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In Focus: 1/30/2009

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

2009 BROWN SYMPOSIUM WILL EXPLORE SCIENCE AND RELIGION

Are science and religion complementary or inherently conflicted? Is there room for convergence, or will they always be at odds with each other?

These are some of the topics that will be addressed at Southwestern University’s 31st annual Brown Symposium, which will be held Feb. 5-6.  

“Science and religion address the most fundamental questions of origin, purpose and place and have produced many of humanity’s greatest achievements. Yet they are often seen as conflicting world views,” says symposium organizer Ben Pierce, a professor of biology at Southwestern. “We plan to explore how the two can co-exist harmoniously.”  

The symposium will bring to campus seven scholars whose work focuses on the intersection of science and religion. 

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.southwestern.edu/newsroom/story.php?id=444

SOUTHWESTERN JOINS NATIONWIDE TEACH-IN ON GLOBAL WARMING

Southwestern will join more than 700 colleges, universities, faith organizations and civic groups nationwide in a Feb. 5 “teach-in” about global warming.

The teach-in will start the night of Feb. 4 with a live webcast titled “The First 100 Days.” Guest speakers will discuss global warming solutions for President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office. The 50-minute webcast is being produced by the National Wildlife Federation and will be aired by the Earth Day Network.

The next day, Feb. 5, faculty members at participating universities are encouraged to incorporate global warming into their lectures. Because Feb. 5 is the same day as Southwestern’s Brown Symposium this year, faculty members at Southwestern will incorporate global warming into lectures throughout the week.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.southwestern.edu/newsroom/story.php?id=688

RED AND CHARLINE MCCOMBS HONORED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION IN TEXAS

Red and Charline McCombs, who have been among Southwestern University’s most visible donors and supporters, were recognized this week for their contributions to higher education in Texas.

The couple received the Mirabeau B. Lamar Medal, which has been presented since 1977 to those providing exemplary service to Texas higher education. The award was presented Jan. 28 at a ceremony at the Headliners Club in Austin.

The Lamar Medal is named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas. Lamar is called the “Father of Texas Education” because under his administration, provisions were made for education at all levels in the state. The award is presented by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), the Council for Public University Presidents and Chancellors, and the Texas Association of Community Colleges.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.southwestern.edu/newsroom/story.php?id=686

Events

VIOLIN AND PIANO CONCERT JAN. 31

Violinist John Gilbert and pianist Dmitri Shteinberg will present a guest artist concert at Southwestern on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will feature Bach’s E Major Partita, Honegger’s Sonata No. 1, Ysaye’s “Ballade” and Brahms’ D Minor Sonata.

Gilbert is a professor of violin at Texas Tech University School of Music and Shteinberg is an assistant professor of piano at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1379.

GUEST ARTIST RECEPTION AND GALLERY TALK FEB. 5

The Department of Art in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts is presenting an exhibition titled “Christian Lavigne: Science and Spirituality as Sources of Inspiration and Questioning for the Digital Arts” from Feb. 5 through March 7.

In conjunction with this exhibit, Lavigne will give a gallery talk on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 4:45 p.m. in the Fine Arts Gallery. A reception will follow the lecture at 5:30 p.m. outside the gallery.

Lavigne is the director and co-founder with Alexandre Vitkine of Ars Mathematica, an international organization that promotes the use of new technologies in sculpture.

Lavigne’s work is being exhibited in conjunction with the Brown Symposium XXXI titled “Science and Religion: Conflict or Convergence?” (see  http://www.southwestern.edu/academics/brownsymposium/)

FEB. 7 FESTIVAL SHOWCASES THE ARTS ON CAMPUS

The fine arts will come out of the Fine Arts Building Feb. 7 as Southwestern hosts its second SU Arts Festival.

The festival, organized by senior Natalie Moore, is designed to showcase the finest of the music, theatre and arts on campus. It will run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and provide activities for all ages.

For more on the festival, go here: http://www.southwestern.edu/newsroom/story.php?id=674

SAN GABRIEL CHORALE TO PERFORM AT SOUTHWESTERN FEB. 8

San Gabriel Chorale, directed by Bruce Cain, will perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Seasons,” on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m. in Southwestern’s Alma Thomas Theater.

“The Seasons” contains some of the most varied and fascinating ideas - some humorous, some pictorial, others noble and brilliantly descriptive in manner.

The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. Admission is $20. For more information, visit http://www.sangabrielchorale.com/

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun did a story on student Gillian Taylor’s work teaching nutrition to local children through Duck University in Taylor.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the upcoming 2009 Shilling Lecture.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the upcoming Brown Symposium. It also ran an op-ed piece on science and religion by Biology professor Ben Pierce.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the upcoming visit to campus of Nicaraguan priest Fernando Cardenal.

The Williamson County Sun covered the memorial service for Rob Atkinson.

Notables

Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, presented a paper titled “Female Candidacy in Japan and the U.S.: The Role Women’s Organizations Play in Confronting Electoral Obstacles” at the Southern Political Science Association meeting in New Orleans Jan. 8.

Bill O’Brien, associate professor of physics, presented an invited paper at the December meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The paper, titled “Pi in the Sky,” describes a visual approach for teaching mathematics in introductory earth and environmental science classes using Google Earth. O’Brien was co-author of another paper about glacier research that was also presented at the same special session on “Integrating Data and Technology in Education: Novel Ways to Promote Earth Science Literacy.” Abstracts of both papers can be accessed at http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/sessions5?meeting=fm08∂=ED53A.

Eric Selbin, Professor of political science and University Scholar, had an article titled “Conjugating the Cuban Revolution: It Mattered, It Matters, It Will Matter,” published in Latin American Perspectives, vol, 36, no. 1 (2009), pp. 21-29.