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In Focus: 10/8/2010

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

SOUTHWESTERN RECEIVES $10,000 GRANT TO SUPPORT THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES PROGRAM


Southwestern has received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that it will use to help local children enjoy a theatre performance.

The funds will be used to stage the November 2010 Theatre for Young Audiences production of “The Yellow Boat” by David Saar. The funds will pay for a guest director for the play and will help bring 1,300 local children attend the performance.

Southwestern has offered its Theater for Young Audiences program since 2005. The program is designed to introduce live theatre to children who otherwise would have little or no opportunity to have such an experience. It also is designed to help children think about important topics. “The Yellow Boat,” for example, is a true story about a boy named Benjamin who contracted HIV through a blood transfusion at the age of six.

Read more here.  

SOUTHWESTERN PROFESSOR OFFERS NEWS IDEAS ON WHY REVOLUTIONS OCCUR IN SOME PLACES BUT NOT OTHERS  

Why do revolutions occur in some countries but not others?  

Traditionally, social scientists have looked at factors such as a country’s economic situation or the strength of the government in power to predict where revolutions will happen and why. However, such methods have not been very successful in predicting revolutions. For example, virtually no one predicted the “color” revolutions that took place in Eastern European countries in the early 2000s.  

Eric Selbin, a political science professor and University Scholar at Southwestern University who studies revolutions, believes social scientists have been overlooking a key indicator: the power of cultural factors such as storytelling and the use of symbolism. That’s the theme of his new book, Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance: The Power of Story. The book is based on more than 20 years of research in countries such as Nicaragua, Grenada, Mexico, Spain and France. 

Read more here.

Events

SUSTAINABILITY EXPO TO BE HELD IN GEORGETOWN OCT. 10

Southwestern is among the local organizations participating in a sustainability expo that will be held in Georgetown on Sunday. Oct. 10.

The event is part of the worldwide “Global Work Party” being mounted in thousands of local communities by an organization called 350.org to demonstrate solutions available for effectively fighting climate change.

The Expo will be held on the grounds of the Monument Café at 500 S. Austin Ave. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and the Monument will be serving refreshments all day.

The centerpiece of the expo will be a “living green wall” that demonstrates the many benefits of vertical urban gardening. Southwestern will feature exhibits on its 100 percent investment in electricity from wind power, the Pirate Bike program, campus solar installations, and the campus garden and greenhouse. A Pirate Bike with a special Georgetown350 decal on it will be given away in a raffle.

For more information, visit georgetown350.org.

DISTRICT 52 CANDIDATE FORUM OCT. 14

Southwestern will host a forum for the candidates running for state representative in Dist. 52 on Thursday, Oct. 14, from 6-7:45 p.m. in the Campus Center ballrooms. 

The event is being organized by students from the Young Democrats, College Republicans and SU Libertarians. It will be moderated by Juan Juarez, a senior political science and international studies major.

Three candidates – Republican Larry Gonzales, Democrat Diana Maldonado and Libertarian Charles McCoy – are vying for the Dist. 52 seat. All three will participate in the forum.

District 52 covers most of Round Rock, all of Taylor, and the portion of Georgetown that is to the east of Interstate 35 (see map at  http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/pdf/districts/52.pdf)

The forum is open to the public. Audience members will be able to participate in the forum by submitting written questions that will be reviewed by a panel of students and a faculty member. The candidates will have the opportunity to make opening and closing remarks.

FOUNTAINWOOD OBSERVATORY TO HOST PUBLIC VIEWING NIGHT OCT. 15

The Fountainwood Observatory at Southwestern will host a public viewing night on Friday, Oct. 15, from 8-10:30 p.m.

Fountainwood Viewing Nights are always free and open to the public, but donations are accepted to help pay for maintenance. The observatory is located on the northeast side of campus adjacent to the Rockwell Baseball Field (see #6 on campus map at http://www.southwestern.edu/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.

The evening viewing will begin with a waxing gibbous Moon in the Southeastern sky while Jupiter and its Galilean moons rise in the east. An extra bonus will be the planet Uranus appearing just a few degrees to the north of Jupiter. Colorful brighter stars and multiple star systems also will be readily vieweable in the moonlit fall sky.

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

CONCERTS ON OCT. 17 AND 18 WILL PREVIEW THE 2011 FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS IN GEORGETOWN

Two free concerts Oct. 17 and 18 will offer a preview of the 2011 Festival of the Arts in Georgetown, which will feature the work of Johannes Brahms. The concerts will include selected piano, organ and vocal works by Brahms. Performers will include Professor Emeritus Ellsworth Peterson and his wife, Suzanne, and a chamber choir directed by alumnus Philip Smith which includes current students Katie De La Vega and Andrew Fields.

The first concert will be given at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, in the old sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church at 703 S. Church St. The concert will be repeated on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 410 East University Ave.

The 2011 Festival of the Arts will be held June 2-5.

Media Coverage

The Austin American-Statesman ran a p. 1 story featuring Religion Professor Laura Hobgood-Oster and her new book. Read the story here. A column by Hobgood-Oster ran in the Washington Post’s online religion feature, On Faith. Read the column here. The column was reprinted in the The Williamson County Sun. A column Hobgood-Oster wrote also was posted by the Humane Society of the United States. Read the column here.

Music Professor Lois Ferrari is featured in the October issue of Austin Woman magazine. Read the article here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on the $443,000 grant Southwestern received to offer three new summer programs for high school students and teachers.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on the Community Garden’s new project to grow and donate 1,000 bags of fresh produce to Meals on Wheels and Head Start in Georgetown this fall.

Notables

Laura Senio Blair, associate professor of Spanish, and Katy Ross, assistant professor of Spanish, are presenting papers next week at the 20th Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica being held in Austin. Senio Blair is presenting a paper on Chilean film director Angelina Vazquez at a panel on Latin American Women in Transnational Cinema. Ross is presenting a paper titled “Being Bad is Good: The Ethics of Mothering according to El club de las malas madres by Lucia Etxebarria” at a panel on Ethics and Otherness.

Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, participated on a roundtable titled “Evaluating the DPJ Administration One Year Later” at the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies at Texas Christian University Sept. 25.  Roundtable participants included professors from UT Austin, SMU, University of North Texas, TCU and Southwestern.

Mary Hale Visser, professor of art, is the featured artist in the Art Hop presented by Georgetown Arts Works this month. Her piece titled “Hera’s Woman” is on display at the Georgetown Library.