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In Focus: 4/22/2011

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

SOUTHWESTERN TOPS THE SCAC IN EPA’S 2010-2011 COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY GREEN POWER CHALLENGE

While Southwestern athletic teams compete in the SCAC championships this month, the university has already won the conference championship in another area – green power.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced April 18 that Southwestern topped the SCAC in the agency’s 2010-2011 College & University Green Power Challenge. The yearly contest determines which schools in each NCAA conference use the most green power.

Southwestern beat its conference rivals by purchasing 17 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Southwestern has been using 100 percent green energy since January 2010, when it signed an 18-year contract with the city of Georgetown to receive only electricity generated from wind power.

According to the EPA, Southwestern’s green power use of 17 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually or the CO2 emissions of more than 2,000 passenger vehicles per year.

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POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR AND FORMER STUDENT TEAM UP TO WRITE NEW BOOK ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS  

International relations is typically taught in a “North/West” model, with power centered in the United States, Great Britain and some of the Western European countries.  

But as a student in Eric Selbin’s comparative politics class during her junior year at Southwestern, Meghana Nayak began to question that. She dropped her plans to become a neuropsychologist and instead earned a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Minnesota – the same school where Selbin earned his Ph.D. The 1997 Southwestern graduate is now an associate professor of political science at Pace University in New York.  

Several years into her academic career, Nayak began thinking about writing a book with Selbin since the two of them have so many similar ideas. They started talking seriously about the project in 2007 and secured a publisher in 2008. The result of their effort is a new book titled Decentering International Relations, which was published in late 2010 by Zed Books.  

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Events

TROMBONE CHOIR TO PERFORM AT SOUTHWESTERN APRIL 25

The Central Texas Civic Trombone Choir will give a concert at Southwestern on Monday, April 25, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The group will perform music by Gayman, Kabalevsky, Verdi, Wilborn and more. Conductors will include JD Janda, David Jennison and Andrew Russell.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1504.

JAZZ BAND TO PERFORM APRIL 26

The Southwestern University Jazz Band, directed by David Guidi, will give a concert on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

The band will perform a mix of traditional and modern jazz, including the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter and other great jazz composers. It also will feature arrangements written by two students who perform with the Jazz Band, Ethan Banner and Audrey Olena.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1504.

ENGLISH PROFESSOR TO SPEAK ON LITERACIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton, associate professor of English, will deliver the keynote address for the Texas Press Women Association annual meeting to be held in Georgetown April 30. Piedmont-Marton will give a talk on “Literacies for the 21st Century” on Saturday, April 30, at 2:30 p.m. in the Prothro Room of the Smith Library Center. The talk is free and open to the public.

HISTORICAL MARKER TO BE DEDICATED MAY 1

A state historical marker commemorating the Negro Fine Arts School, which was a joint effort of Southwestern University, the First United Methodist Church in Georgetown and the Georgetown School Board, will be dedicated on Sunday, May 1, at 12:30 p.m. The marker will be installed on University Avenue in front of the Methodist Church. Members of the Southwestern community and the general public are invited to attend this dedication of Williamson County’s newest state historical marker. Refreshments will be served after the dedication in the McKinney Ministry Center. 

Notables

David Asbury, assistant professor of music, recently went on a tour of the Ukraine, where he played six solo recitals in various cities, appeared as a soloist with the Dnipropetrovsk Philharmonic Orchestra, and gave master classes at the Kiev International Music School and Dnipropetrovsk Conservatory.

Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, served as chair and discussant on a featured social science panel titled “How is the DPJ Changing Japan? Women, Denizens and the Poor” at the Association of Asian Studies Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, March 31-April 4.

Molly Jensen, assistant professor of religion, has received a $20,000 grant from the Wabash Center for the Study of Religion. She plans to use the grant to help faculty members in the Department of Religion learn how to better incorporate ecological learning into their classes. The grant also will enable Southwestern to develop its community garden into a learning garden. The grant will enable Jensen to visit to several colleges that have developed effective models of place-based ecological learning such as the Piedmont Project at Emory University, the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona, and the Learning Garden at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan. Jensen and student field assistant Andrea Gannon also will attend an ecological learning workshop at the Occidental College of Arts and Ecology this summer. Jenson hopes faculty members can work new material into their courses by the spring 2012 semester.

Seniors Shae Seagraves and Josh Stanfield were selected to receive the 2011 Pirate Anchor Award. The award is presented annually to the male and female athlete who best display a number of traits that embody the spirit and character of Southwestern. Winners are voted on by any members of the Southwestern student body, faculty and staff. Stanfield is a kinesiology major and a four-year letter winner on the men’s swim team. He has been named to the SCAC All-Sportsmanship Team twice and is a member of the Academic All-American Men’s Swim team of 2010. Seagraves is double-majoring in kinesiology and English and is a member of the women’s basketball team and the golf team. She served as captain of the basketball team for two seasons and was named to the SCAC Academic Honor Roll twice, SCAC All-Conference Second Team twice and was Southwestern’s first-ever member of the SCAC All-Tournament Team after the Pirates advanced to the semi-final game at the conference tournament. Other finalists for the 2011 Pirate Anchor Award were Lauren Kjolhede (soccer), Sarah Ayers (swimming), Nick Caputo (basketball) and Chris Churchwell (baseball).

Dustin Tahmahkera, assistant professor of communication studies, has an article titled “‘An Indian in a White Man’s Camp’: Johnny Cash’s Indian Country Music” forthcoming in a special American Quarterly issue on “Sound.”

A new book by Davi Thornton, assistant professor of communication studies, will be published next month by Rutgers University Press. The book is titled Brain Culture: Neuroscience and Popular Media.