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In Focus: 8/21/2009

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE RELOCATES TO SOUTHWESTERN

Over the summer, Southwestern became the new home for the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), a technology initiative that serves more than 130 colleges in the United States and abroad.

NITLE was established in 2001 with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to provide small liberal arts colleges with technological solutions that might otherwise be unavailable to them. Up until this summer, NITLE has operated through a network of centers and regional offices, with staff in nine states.

It is now headquartered at Southwestern and is led by W. Joseph (Joey) King, a Southwestern graduate who holds a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction from the University of Washington. King has also been appointed vice president for innovation at Southwestern.

“I am tremendously excited about the future of NITLE,” King said. “Our goal is to provide participating institutions with technological solutions that add to their effectiveness in teaching. Being campus-based will allow NITLE to develop best practices and both test and demonstrate them in a real-world learning environment.”

King spent the summer making a “listening tour” of participating NITLE institutions to assess how the organization can be of more value to them. His plans include creating an advisory board for NITLE and hosting an “Innovation Summit” in the fall of 2010. Watch for the debut of NITLE’s new Web site later this year.

Go here to read the press release on the NITLE announcement.

SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY RESEARCHERS RECEIVE $98,928 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT  

Two biology professors from Southwestern have received a $98,928 grant from the National Science Foundation that will enable them to purchase several key pieces of equipment for their teaching and research.

Maria Todd, assistant professor of biology, and Maria Cuevas, associate professor of biology, applied for the grant to help further their research on a membrane protein known as claudin-3. The study of claudins is relatively new, since the family of proteins was only discovered a decade ago. Claudins are found in tight junctions, which connect adjacent cells and act as a barrier to the movement of substances between cells.

“Currently, there is little information about the critical roles of each of the 24 different types of human claudin proteins in particular cell types,” Todd said. “It’s a very exciting field and we’re in on the ground floor.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Events

AUG. 31 FACULTY RECITAL TO FEATURE WORKS OF JOHANNES BRAHMS

Violinist Eri Lee Lam and pianist Vincent Lam will perform works by Johannes Brahms in an Aug. 31 faculty recital that will begin at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

The program will feature Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78; Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100; and Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108.

Eri Lee Lam is an associate professor of music at Southwestern. Vincent Lam joined Southwestern’s piano faculty in 2006 and teaches applied piano.

The recital is free and open to the public.

Media Coverage

The June issue of Community Impact News had a story about the grants to Southwestern’s Environmental Studies Program. Read the story here.

KXAN-TV in Austin did a story on May graduate Marisa Mauldin, who witnessed the June shooting in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Read the story here.

KXAN-TV in Austin did a story about Paideia students refurbishing computers for children in Honduras. Watch the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article about Glada Munt being named Athletics Director of the Year for Division III West Region.

The Austin American-Statesman ran an article about the $50,000 grant Southwestern received from Verizon to run a summer domestic violence internship program. Read the story here. The Williamson County Sun also ran a feature story about several of the students doing summer domestic violence internships funded by Verizon.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Southwestern making the Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2009 list of “Great Colleges to Work For.”

Art History Professor Thomas Howe was quoted in an article in USA Today about archaeological work in Italy. Read the article here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the summer theatre camp that Southwestern faculty members put on for high school students.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about a local organization that donated funds to restore a book in the Edward A. Clark Texana Collection.

Community Impact News, the Williamson County Sun and the Austin American-Statesman picked up the story about Robert Utley and Melody Webb donating their book collection to Southwestern. Read the Community Impact story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article about Southwestern’s new lacrosse team.

The Austin Business Journal and Community Impact News picked up the story about the NSF grant received by Biology Professors Maria Todd and Maria Cuevas. Read the Austin Business Journal story here. Read the Community Impact story here.

Notables

Southwestern won two national awards over the summer from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Both awards were related to materials produced for the Sarofim School of Fine Arts Dedication. Southwestern won a grand gold award in the Special Program Publications Packages category and a bronze award in the In-House Publications category.

The 2008-09 Southwestern women’s golf team placed second in the country on the National Golf Coaches Association list of women’s intercollegiate golf programs with the highest collective GPA for the season. Southwestern’s team had a GPA of 3.756 for the year. The only team placing higher was the University of Idaho, which had an average GPA of 3.780.

Duncan Alexander, a senior studio art major, won the 2009 Austin Critics Table Award for video design for his work on “The Color of Dissonance,” which premiered at Southwestern in April.

Ellen Davis, director of communications, contributed an article for Volume 3 of the Crisis Management Guidebook published by PR News.

Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, wrote chapter titled “Women Running for National Office in Japan: Are Koizumi’s Female ‘Children’ a Short-term Anomaly or a Lasting Phenomenon?” that was published in a new book published by the Brookings Institution titled Political Change in Japan: Electoral Behavior, Party Realignment, and the Koizumi Reforms.

Thomas Howe, professor of art history, participated in a symposium held at the Getty Villa in Malibu June 4-6. The symposium was held in conjunction with an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art titled “Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples,” which runs through Oct. 4. Howe was part of session on “New Research in Roman Villas.”

Glada Munt, director of intercollegiate athletics, was named the 2008-09 Division III West Region Athletics Director of the Year. She received the award June 20 at the annual National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Convention in Orlando, Fla.

Senior chemistry majors Jennifer Pitzen and Natalie Sanders presented research at the American Chemical Society meeting this week in Washington, D.C. Pitzen presented her research on “Attempted Synthesis of Novel Bis-Anthrapyrazoles” that she did with Frank Guziec, professor of chemistry. Sanders presented her research on the synthesis of Seleno-Dapsone that she did the past two summers with Lynn Guziec, assistant professor of chemistry.

An interview with Eric Selbin, professor of political science, was published in Russian”>http://russ.ru/Mirovaya-povestka/Magiya-revolyucii%29”>Russian Journal under the title “The Magic of Revolution: Debates on Revolution.”

Roger Young, director of Career Services, has been elected to a two-year term on the Board of Directors of the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers (SoACE). Young is serving as the board’s director of external relations and communications. 

SoACE is a non-profit organization consisting of human resources, college relations and career services professionals whose mission is to promote partnerships between career services professionals and employers that facilitates the career development and employment of students and alumni represented by the association. SoACE currently has more than 700 members in 15 southern states from New Mexico to Virginia.