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In Focus: 1/26/2012

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

STUDIES BEING CONDUCTED BY SOUTHWESTERN PROFESSORS AND STUDENTS MAY HELP DETERMINE WHETHER A LOCAL AMPHIBIAN IS PLACED ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST

Some Southwestern biology students are getting the opportunity this year to conduct research that will have real-life impact.

Working under Biology Professors Ben Pierce and Romi Burks, the students are doing studies that will be used to help determine whether the Georgetown Salamander is placed on the Endangered Species List.

The Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia) is a small salamander that is believed to exist only in Williamson County. It lives in springs found in the South, Middle and North Forks of the San Gabriel River and in wet caves. The salamander is threatened because many of the springs where it lives have been degraded by development. 

In 2010, Pierce received a $25,000 grant to study the local salamander populations. He has received an additional $35,000 to continue the research through July.

Read more here.

SOUTHWESTERN STUDENT SPEARHEADS EFFORTS TO RAISE FUNDS FOR A METHODIST UNIVERSITY IN THE CONGO

Kamina Methodist University is thousands of miles from Southwestern University, but it has become very close to the heart for Southwestern student Alexandra Klein.

Klein, a sophomore anthropology major, first heard about the university through her home church, Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. KMU was founded in 2006 and is located in the North Katanga area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Formerly known as Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is known for civil wars and political instability, as well as general strife among its more than 200 ethnic groups. According to the university’s website, Kamina Methodist University is “striving to create a center where emerging Congolese leaders can obtain an affordable world-class education without leaving Congo.” The university currently offers programs of study in information management, theology, psychology and education.

Members of Highland Park United Methodist Church funded the construction of the university’s first  dormitory, but scholarship funds are now needed to help fill that dormitory with students. One of Klein’s friends, Lisa Tichenor, brought this need to Klein’s attention last year and Klein said Tichenor challenged her to use her resources to aid others.

Read more here.

Events

GUEST ARTISTS TO GIVE. JAN. 31 CONCERT

Pianist Maimy Fong and low brass player Kendall Prinz will give a guest artist recital on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer. The program will include works by Prinz, Libby Larsen, Walter Ross, Jay Rozen, John Stevens and more.

Prinz  holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin and currently serves as director of bands at Taylor Middle School. Bands under his direction have received numerous honors including consecutive “Sweepstakes” trophies in UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Competitions. His compositions have enjoyed performances in several venues throughout the United States, including a recent premiere at the Southwest Regional Tuba Conference in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Fong earned master’s and doctoral degrees in piano performance from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been a pianist for the Conspirare Youth Choir since its inception in 2005 and recently helped co-found the “Feed the Soul” spiritual music series at Dell Children’s Medical Center.

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

2012 JESSE DANIEL AMES LECTURE WILL FOCUS ON ‘RACE AND THE NEW BIOCITIZEN’

Dorothy Roberts, the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at Northwestern University, will deliver the 2012 Jessie Daniel Ames lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballrooms. The title of her lecture is “Race and the New Biocitizen.”

Roberts is a prolific scholar on legal and policy issues related to race, gender, genetics and reproduction. Her 2011 book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century, explores race-based biotechnologies. Her two previous books are Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (1997) and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2003).

Roberts has received fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Hastings Center, and the Stanford Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, among many others. She also is chair of the Board of Directors of the Black Women’s Health Imperative and serves on the editorial board of Feminist Economics and on the Lexis/Nexis advisory board.

NOTRE DAME PRESIDENT TO SPEAK AT SOUTHWESTERN FEB. 9

Rev. John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, will give Southwestern’s 2012 Willson Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 9th. Rev. Jenkins will be speak during chapel at 11:30 a.m., followed by a lunch discussion. The topic of his lecture is “Conviction and Dialogue in Contentious Time.” 

The lecture is open to the public.

Media Coverage

The Beaumont Enterprise did a story on Robert Lee, who still holds four school records in basketball 38 years after graduating from Southwestern. Read the story here.

Austin Culturemap did a story on the Southwestern alumni who organize a music festival in Austin each year in memory of a classmate who died. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Chinese Professor Carl Robertson and his expertise on the Chinese New Year.

The Williamson County Sun ran a page of photos from Southwestern’s MLK Day Community Dinner.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about student Katy Franklin, who is studying in Rwanda this semester.

The Williamson County Sun ran student Allie Klein’s efforts to raise money for Kamina Methodist University.

Notables

Bob Bednar, associate professor and chair of communication studies, authored the lead article in the December 2011 issue of Memory Connection, a new international memory studies journal. His article is titled “Materializing Memory: The Public Lives of Roadside Crash Shrines.”

Francis Mathieu, assistant professor of French, had a chapter titled “Early Modern Women Writers in a History of Ideas Survey Course” published in a 2011 book titled Teaching Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century French Women Writers. The book was edited by Faith Beasley and published by the Modern Language Association of America.