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In Focus: 4/17/2009

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

SOUTHWESTERN STUDENTS GUIDE GEORGETOWN HIGH SCHOOL WOMEN TOWARD SUCCESS

After arriving at Southwestern, Sarah Gould found some good mentors who have helped her focus her career goals.

Now, Gould is trying to offer the same opportunity to high school students.

Last fall, Gould established a new organization on campus called the Society of Young Women Leaders (SYWL). In addition to providing support to each other, group members began mentoring five young women from Georgetown High School this semester.

Read the rest of the story here.

NEW VARSITY LACROSSE TEAM TAKING SHAPE

Southwestern’s first varsity lacrosse team is beginning to take shape and the hard work and long hours head coach Joe Ernst has put in the past few months are starting to pay off.

“The excitement of being not only the first men’s varsity team ever at Southwestern but also in the state of Texas has numerous people intrigued and yearning to be a part of this historic program,” Ernst said.

Ernst received his first in-state commitment in March from Edward Williams, an attack standout at St. John’s High School in Houston. A big presence on the field at 5’11” 245 lbs, Williams led his team in scoring his junior year with 49 goals for St. John’s, a perennial state playoff team with a tradition of sending players to DI and DIII programs.

Read the rest of the story here.

SEAK MEMBERS EDUCATE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE THEY CAN MAKE

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, a group of middle school children from Georgetown gathered in Southwestern’s community garden to watch a controlled combustion reaction in a water bottle. In the demonstration, three types of alcohol were used to show how a combustion engine emits carbon dioxide.

“The explosion shows how cars produce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produce a greenhouse effect,” explained first-year student Vanessa Toro. “Many children hear that driving is bad for the environment but they don’t know why. The demonstration provides what is missing from education by making the connection between knowledge and life-style.”

The combustion reaction was one of four activities that Toro and other students from Southwestern offered that day to raise awareness and create enthusiasm among the children for the protecting the environment. The other stations provided demonstrations about water conservation, composting and recycling.

“Kids idolize college students so it’s good to emulate for them what you value as important,” Toro said.

Toro and the other Southwestern students who put on the demonstrations are members of the Education/Outreach Committee of Students for Environmental Activism and Knowledge (SEAK), a campus organization committed to improving sustainability locally and nationally.

Read the rest of the story here.  

Events

BOOK READING APRIL 21

John Pipkin, who has taught writing and creative writing at Southwestern, will read a selection from his debut novel, Woodsburner, on Tuesday, April 21st from 5 - 6:30 p.m. in the Mood-Bridwell Atrium. A reception will follow the reading.  

In the spring of 1844, American naturalist Henry David Thoreau accidentally set fire to 300 acres of woods near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. The consequences of this fire, told through the lives of four main characters, form the narrative heart of the novel. Woodsburner interweaves the story of Thoreau, a young pencil maker by trade; Oddmund Hus, a Norwegian immigrant and farmhand who pines for the love of a woman he cannot have; bookseller Eliot Calvert, an aspiring but unsuccessful playwright who must choose between his business and his art; and Caleb Dowdy, an opium-addicted Episcopal minister who believes he can prove God’s existence by seeking his own damnation. All four men are leading lives of quiet desperation when their encounter with Thoreau’s fire alters them forever. Combining fiction and history, Woodsburner chronicles these changed lives against the background of a final compelling character; the fire itself, which gains a powerful personality as it progresses toward the town and eats away at the Concord landscape.  

The reading is sponsored by the Howard-Crawford Lecture Series and the English Department.

‘BURIED CHILD’ TO BE PERFORMED APRIL 22-26

The Southwestern Theatre Department is presenting Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Buried Child,” April 22-26.

“Buried Child” probes deep into the disintegration of the American Dream. A bizarre and explosive family reunion takes place unexpectedly when a prodigal grandson returns to his estranged family’s Illinois farm. At first recognized by neither his grandparents nor his own father, he soon realizes this homecoming has unearthed an unwanted family inheritance, rather than the idealized mid-western roots he hoped to find. Sometimes humorous, often monstrous, the play’s roots in ritual and its approach to monumental, timeless themes of human suffering - incest, murder, deceit and rebirth - resemble the destruction wreaked by the heroes of Greek Tragedy.

The play will be directed by Jared J. Stein. Performances will be held in the Jones Theater at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, and Thursday, April 23; 8 p.m. on Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25; and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 26.

Tickets are $8-12. To purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 512-863-1378.

CHORALE AND ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM APRIL 26

The SU Orchestra and Chorale will perform in a joint concert on Sunday, April 26, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater of the Fine Arts Center.

The program will feature the Overture from “The Pearl Fishers” by Georges Bizet, the Overture to “The Barber of Seville” by Gioacchino Rossini and “O Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen.

Lois Ferrari will conduct the SU Orchestra and Kenny Sheppard will conduct the SU Chorale. Student conductors Magen Comley, Jeffrey Elliott, Michelle Perrin and Taryn Robertson also will be featured. 

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1379.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun ran a feature story about the Society of Young Women Leaders.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Southwestern getting a grant for the Texas Life-Sciences Collaboration Center.

Southwestern was mentioned in a story the Austin American-Statesman did about the latest company to move to the Texas Life-Sciences Collaboration Center. Read the story here.

The Global Language Monitor, an Austin-based company that ranks the nation’s colleges and universities according their appearance on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere, as well in the global print and electronic media, recently ranked Southwestern #14 in momentum among liberal arts colleges. Momentum is defined as change since the last day of 2008. The complete ranking list can be found here. Southwestern also ranked #48 overall for “media buzz” among liberal arts colleges. That ranking list can be found here.  

Notables

Ed Kain, professor of sociology, served as an external program reviewer for the Sociology program at Grinnell College in Iowa this week. 

Mary Grace Neville, associate professor of business, has been selected to receive the Journal of Management Education’s 2009 Fritz Roethlisberger Award for the best article published in the journal in 2008. Neville was selected to receive the award for her article titled “Using Appreciative Inquiry and Dialogical Learning to Explore Dominant Paradigms.” The article discusses a seminar Neville developed for upper-level business students titled “Contemporary Issues in Global Business.” The seminar challenges students to engage each other in idea development. The award will be presented at the Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference at the College of Charleston June 10-13. The award includes a cash prize of $500 from Sage Publications, which publishes the Journal of Management Education. The Journal of Management Education has been published longer than any other management education journal.

Ellsworth Peterson, professor emeritus of music, has been named the recipient of the 2009 Community Arts Leadership Award given by Georgetown’s Performing Arts Alliance. Peterson is being recognized for his work in initiating the Festival of the Arts in Georgetown and for his contributions to the Georgetown Symphony Society. The award will be presented at a gala to be held this Saturday, April 18, at the Georgetown Public Library. Tickets for the event are $60 and may be purchased by contacting Charles Aguillon at 512-677-2916 or by email at aguillonc@georgetownisd.org.

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If you missed the Austin Civic Orchestra’s Feb. 21 world premier at Southwestern of Professor Michael Cooper’s edition of Mendelsson’s Fantaisie und Variations uber den Zigeunermarsch aus Weber’s “Preziosa,” you can watch the performance online here.