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In Focus: 8/20/2010

A weekly newsletter published by the Communication Office

Top News

SOUTHWESTERN WELCOMES ITS LARGEST CLASS EVER

Southwestern is setting three enrollment records this fall – it is welcoming its largest and most diverse first-year class ever and also the largest student body in its 170-year history.

This fall the university welcomed 384 first-year students as well as 54 transfer students. The total student body is expected to be around 1,386, compared to 1,301 last fall.

Both increases are tied to Southwestern’s new Strategic Plan for 2010-2020, which calls for increasing the size of its student body to 1,500 students.

The first-year class is 42 percent male and 30 percent are minority students – both up from last year. 49 percent of the first-year students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class and these students had an average SAT score of 1215 and an average ACT score of 27. The class has students from 23 states and four foreign countries.

SOUTHWESTERN ALSO WELCOMES FOUR NEW FACULTY MEMBERS

Southwestern also is welcoming four new tenure-track faculty members this fall, several of whom have international backgrounds. Read all about them here.

Events

SOUTHWESTERN TO HOLD COMMUNITY AUDITIONS FOR ‘THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER AUG. 23

The Theatre Department is holding community auditions Aug. 23 for roles in its upcoming production of The Man Who Came to Dinner by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. All members of the Georgetown and Williamson County community who would like to work with Southwestern students and faculty on this production are invited to audition.

Auditions will take place on Monday, Aug. 23, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Jones Theater. To schedule an audition, please contact Stage Manager Cat Winsor at catwinj@gmail.com. Interested actors should prepare a one-minute, age-appropriate monologue from a 20th century American playwright. Read more here.

FACULTY RECITAL AUG. 31

Soprano Dana Zenobi and pianist David Utterback will perform in a faculty recital on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The concert will feature works by Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, as well as a song by Franz Liszt.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, call The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at (512) 863-1504.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail giving the 2010 Commencement Speech.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about members of the SU Chorale who are going to China. The Austin American-Statesman mentioned the SU Chorale’s trip to China in a larger story about Texas being represented at the 2010 World Expo.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Southwestern’s economic impact in Georgetown.

An NCAA publication featured Southwestern’s lacrosse team. Read the story here.

Roger Young, director of Career Services, was quoted in a story Community Impact News did about job hunting for recent graduates. Read the story here.

Michael Mosser, visiting assistant professor of political science, had a commentary piece published in the Austin American-Statesman. Read the story here.

Ben Pierce, professor of biology, was featured in a story the Williamson County Sun did about the San Gabriel River.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on the new Vicente Villa Summer Scholars Program.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on Friday Night Lights filming at Southwestern.

The Round Rock Leader did a story on student Lauren Kjolhede’s summer research with Chemistry Professor Emily Niemeyer. Read the story here.

Religion Professor Laura Hobgood-Oster was quoted in a story in the July 8 edition of Inside Higher Education. The story focused on the growing number of courses being offered about animals. Read the story here. It also appeared in USA Today.

Hobgood-Oster also was interviewed for a story sent out by Religion News Service that was picked up by media outlets across the country, including the Huffington Post and The Baptist Standard. Read the story here.

Laura Hobgood-Oster also was interviewed for a story that appeared in the Tampa Tribune. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on the first Southwestern University students to intern at the Texas Life Sciences Collaboration Center in Georgetown (TLCC).

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the summer theatre camp for high school students at Southwestern that is directed by John Ore, professor of theatre.

The Williamson County Sun and the Austin Business Journal ran a photo of HEB representatives with reusable shopping bags they donated to Southwestern. See the photo here.

The Georgetown View did a feature story on Paideia Scholar Kimberly Griffin. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on Jake Schrum’s 10 years as president of Southwestern.

Police Chief Deb Brown was interviewed for a story the Austin American-Statesman did on campus safety. Read the story here.

Mary Gonzalez, assistant dean for student multicultural affairs, is featured in the July-August issue of Latino Leaders magazine. Read the story here (e-mail address required to enter site).

The Williamson County Sun did a story on the Education Trust report which found that Southwestern had one of the smallest “gaps” between graduation rates of Hispanic students vs. white students.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on the first-year students moving in. Watch a video of the new students moving in here.

Notables

Two recent Southwestern psychology graduates placed in national award competitions sponsored by Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society. Stacy Mathis placed first in the Psi Chi /J.P. Guilford Undergraduate Research Awards competition with her paper titled “Perceived Effectiveness of Self-Presentation Strategies Designed to Improve Perceptions of Shy Individuals.” This award came with a $1,000 prize. Kathryn Bollich placed second in the Psi Chi/Allyn & Bacon Psychology Award competition with her paper titled “From Shy to Fly: Strategies to Improve First Impressions of Shy Individuals.” This award came with a $650 prize. In all, 10 students from Southwestern have received awards in the Psi Chi national paper competitions in the past 12 years. All the students had Psychology Professor Traci Giuliano as their research advisor. Read more here.

Michael Cooper, professor of music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts, guest-edited a special double-issue of the Journal of Musicological Research and co-authored an article titled “‘With True Esteem and Friendship’: The Correspondence of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Louis Spohr” with R. Larry Todd (Duke University) in that issue. The 89-page annotated article is the first publication of 13 letters spanning the period 1834-46, and provides extensive documentation of some of the most hotly contested issues of mid-19th century musical life. It presents the letters in English translation and in the original German. Cooper and Todd were assisted in editing the latter by Southwestern students Stephanie Rizvi Stewart (’10) and Zach Zeman (’10), both music majors who also studied German at Southwestern.

Edward L. Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar, gave the opening keynote address for a preconference of the American Sociological Association meetings in Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 13. His talk was titled:  “The Ecology of Teaching and Learning:  Increasing your Pedagogical Footprint.”   Later in the day he made a presentation on strategic planning, then led a roundtable discussion on that topic for the ASA workshop for department chairs. At the ASA meetings he co-led two workshops, one with Kathleen Piker-King, Keith A. Roberts, and Gregory Weiss on “Applying for a Faculty Position in a Teaching-Oriented Institution,” and another with Kathy Stolley and Melodye Lehnerer on “Connecting Classrooms to Careers for Undergraduate Students.”    

Emily Niemeyer, professor of chemistry, Eileen Kwee (chemistry graduate, 2010) and Phuong (Fern) Nguyen (chemistry graduate, 2009) recently published an article in the journal Food Chemistry (Volume 123, Issue 4, 15 December 2010, Pages 1235-1241). The article is titled “Potassium rate alters the antioxidant capacity and phenolic concentration of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) leaves,” and focuses on research that Kwee and Nguyen conducted over several years while participating in the Chemistry Department’s Welch Summer Research Program.

Theatre professor Rick Roemer’s book, Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company was reissued in May 2010 with a soft cover. Originally published in 1998, the book chronicles the life and career of American actor, director and playwright Charles Ludlam, and offers a critical analysis of Ludlam’s 29 plays.

Jaime Woody, associate dean for student life, received the Robert D. Bradshaw Small Colleges Student Advocate Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Region III in June. The region covers 11 states and only one person is selected for the award each year.