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In Focus: 10/30/2008

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

GETTING CREATIVE: SOUTHWESTERN STUDENTS RECEIVE 2008-09 KING CREATIVITY AWARDS

Two theatre projects, two physics projects and a proposal to create an afterschool music program for elementary school children in Georgetown were among the proposals funded this year by the King Creativity Program.

The program was started in 2000 with an endowment provided by Southwestern alumnus W. Joseph “Joey” King. Each year, the endowment supports up to 20 “innovative and visionary projects” proposed by Southwestern students. This year, nine projects were funded for a total of $12,644.

Adam Carter, a senior English and theatre major, was one of two students who received grants to fund theatre projects. Carter will stage a performance of John Kennedy Toole’s popular 1981 novel A Confederacy of Dunces Dec. 4-5. He received $1,240 to help fund the production.

“It is my aim to transfer this novel onto the theatrical stage so that Southwestern can experience the brilliance, relevance and hilarity of this story firsthand,” Carter said in his proposal.

Sophomore Jessica Espinoza also received funds to stage a theatre performance. Espinoza will produce a play she has written titled “Spectres” that portrays the life of five people who are institutionalized in state schools. It will be presented April 16-18, 2009, by the Theatre for Social Justice group. Espinoza received $2,000 for her project.

Read the rest of the story.

SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR RECEIVES TEACHING AWARD

Ed Kain, a long-time sociology professor at Southwestern, has been selected to receive the 2008 Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Each year the Board allows the university to designate one teacher to receive this award.

Criteria for receiving the award include excellence in teaching; civility and concern for students and colleagues; commitment to value-centered education; and service to students, the institution and the community.

Kain has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1986 and was named University Scholar in 2000. In 2007, he was selected to receive the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award from the American Sociological Association.

The sociology curriculum at Southwestern – which Kain played a major part in developing – has been selected as a model for other colleges across the country.

Kain also has been instrumental in developing the orientation program for new faculty members at Southwestern and in starting a monthly program in which faculty members share their research with their colleagues.

Events

SEAK, THEATRE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE GROUP COLLABORATE ON PLAY

Students from SEAK, the student environmental group on campus, are collaborating with students interested in theatre for social justice to try a new approach to environmental awareness. 

The two groups have developed a travelling show that will take people to different places on campus where students encounter decisions that affect the environment. The show, titled “Sam I Am,” will feature a student named Sam who doesn’t know where to start to live a “green” life.

Performances will be given at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31; Saturday, Nov. 1; and Sunday, Nov. 2. Those interested in seeing the show should gather at Mood-Bridwell Hall.

Amy Litzinger, one of the directors of the show, said the Theatre for Social Justice group plans to collaborate with other student organizations in the future to use theatre to further a variety of causes.

Read more about the play.

PUBLIC VIEWING NIGHT AT FOUNTAINWOOD OBSERVATORY NOV. 7

The Fountainwood Observatory at Southwestern will have a public viewing night on Friday, Nov. 7, from 8-11 p.m.

The evening viewing will begin with Jupiter low in the southwestern sky and a bright gibbous moon shining in the southern sky. Beautiful star clusters such as the “Double Cluster in Perseus” and the “E.T.” cluster in Cassiopeia will be in view. Binary star systems such as eta Cassiopeia, a beautiful double star, or iota Cassiopeia, a charming triple star, also will dot the sky.

Fountainwood Viewing Nights are always free and open to the public. The observatory is located on the northeast side of the Southwestern campus adjacent to the Rockwell Baseball Field (see #5 on campus map). Faculty members from the Physics Department at Southwestern as well as observers from the Williamson County Astronomy Club will be on hand to guide viewing.

For weather-related updates about viewing nights, call the Fountainwood Observatory hotline at 512-863-1242.

ALUMNI ARCHITECTURE EXHIBIT OPENS NOV. 7

The works of seven alumni architects and designers will be on display Nov. 7 - Dec. 5 in the Fine Arts Gallery.

Alumni whose works are featured in the exhibit include Phil Henry ’89, Amy Robins Dempsey ’97, Scott Adams ’97, Julien Meyrat ’98, Michal Golinski ’99, Libby Schrum ’00 and Albert Bui ’06.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Saturday, Nov. 8, from 4-5 p.m. in the gallery. Southwestern has had a program in architecture and design since 1985. The program has a 100 percent success rate sending its students to design schools such as Harvard, Yale, Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Houston and The University of Texas. Southwestern’s was the first degree program of any kind in the United States to introduce historical design as well as modernist principles as a regular part of the curriculum. It has taken advantage of Southwestern’s commitment to a liberal arts mission, in the belief that the liberal arts contribute the ability to create a successful architect and designer.

MARIMBA PERFORMANCE NOV. 10

Marimba performer Nancy Zeltsman will give a solo concert at Southwestern on Monday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will include music of J.S. Bach, David Friedman, Daniel Levitan, Steven Mackey, James Rolfe and Paul Simon.

Zeltsman teaches the marimba at both The Boston Conservatory and Berklee School of Music. She is recognized internationally as a performer, teacher, author and festival director.

The performance is sponsored by the Department of Music in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. It is free and open to the public.

Media Coverage

The Cypress Sun ran an article about senior Kristin Lahaie receiving a scholarship from the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA). Read the story.

Notables

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion and chair of the Environmental Studies Program, was the keynote speaker at a luncheon held at St. Edward’s University Nov. 12. The luncheon was part of a day-long program titled “Religion and Environment – Dominion or Stewardship?”

Lisa Moses Leff, associate professor of history, is spending the fall semester as a fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. The Center is dedicated to fostering the study of European history, politics and society at Harvard, and selects visiting scholars who will play an active role in the intellectual life of the Center and the University. Leff is conducting research at the Center on the ownership of French Jewish history and archives in transit after World War II.