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In Focus: 10/25/2012

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Costume Collection

Linda Lam, a junior education major who is president of the Pan Asian Association this year, put together a collection of costumes from Asia to display at the diversity conference that was held at Southwestern Oct. 19. Lam also taped a map of Asia to the floor of the Olin Lobby, where the costumes were displayed. The purple dress Lam is standing next to is a dress of hers from Vietnam.

Linda Lam, a junior education major who is president of the Pan Asian Association this year, put together a collection of costumes from Asia to display at the diversity conference that was held at Southwestern Oct. 19. Lam also taped a map of Asia to the floor of the Olin Lobby, where the costumes were displayed. The purple dress Lam is standing next to is a dress of hers from Vietnam.

Top News

REPRESENTATIVES FROM SACSCOC TO VISIT SOUTHWESTERN OCT. 30-NOV. 1

Representatives from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) will be at Southwestern Oct. 30-Nov.1 as part of the university’s 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation.

Commission representatives are coming to see whether Southwestern meets the more than 90 principles of accreditation that are required for reaffirmation. They also are coming to learn about Southwestern’s new Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, which is a required component of the reaffirmation process.

Southwestern has been preparing for this visit for more than two years. A major part of this preparation included the selection of a topic for the new Quality Enhancement Plan. Southwestern’s QEP topic of interdisciplinary teaching and learning was selected from 165 proposals that were submitted by faculty, staff and students.

The new QEP draws upon elements of the Paideia program that Southwestern started in 2002, but – unlike the original Paideia program – will be available to all students and will be at the center of Southwestern’s academic program.

Read more here.

WRITING CENTER HELPS STUDENTS POLISH THEIR PAPERS

In the evening, most of the rooms in Mood Hall are dark. The lights are on in one room, though – the Debby Ellis Writing Center.

Located on the third floor of Mood Hall, the writing center is a place students can go four nights a week for help with a variety of writing, whether it be papers for classes, capstone projects or even scholarship applications.

While writing centers are common at most colleges, one feature of the writing center at Southwestern stands out – the center is staffed entirely by undergraduate students. Eight to 12 students a semester work at the writing center after taking a course on the teaching of writing.

During the 2011-2012 academic year, student consultants provided more than 600 consultations at the writing center, more than double the center’s average from previous years. The center is on track to top that record in 2012-2013, with more than 250 consultations the first half of the fall semester.

“This suggests to me that the work we’ve been doing to build a culture of writing at Southwestern is taking root,” said Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton, an associate professor of English who oversees the writing center.

Read more here.

Events

CHORALE TO GIVE CONCERT OCT. 27

The Southwestern University Chorale under the direction of Kenny Sheppard will present its annual fall concert on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. in Perkins Chapel. The concert will consist of Italian Renaissance and early Baroque music by Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina, Gregorio Allegri, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Gabrieli and Claudio Monteverdi.

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

HISTORY COLLOQUIUM SET FOR OCT. 29

The History Department’s 2012 Colloquium Lecture will be held on Monday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. in the Mood-Bridwell Atrium. Todd Shepard, associate professor of history at The Johns Hopkins University, will discuss “The Algerian Revolution and the Sexual Revolution in France.” A reception will follow.

WRITER TO SPEAK AT SOUTHWESTERN NOV. 7

The English Department is hosting writer Oscar Casares on campus Nov. 7 as part of its Writer-in-Residence speaker series. Casares will give a talk titled “The Writing Life” at 4 p.m. in the Howry Center.

A native of Brownsville, Casares is the author of the novel, Amigoland, and a collection of short stories, Brownsville, that have earned him fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Copernicus Society of America and the Texas Institute of Letters. Brownsville was selected by American Library Association as a Notable Book of 2004, and his writing has earned critical praise from such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and Entertainment Weekly. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Casares now teaches creative writing at The University of Texas and directs their new Master of Fine Arts Program in English.

Media Coverage

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion and environmental studies, was interviewed live for a Huffington Post program about a restaurant that took horse off its menu after protests. Watch the segment here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about the impact of affirmative action at Southwestern.

Notables

Computer science majors Erick Bauman (senior), Rob Campbell (junior) and Jefferson Ellinger (senior) teamed up with junior mathematics majors Alain Chau and David Vaden to compete in the 2012 South Central USA Regional Programming Contest in held in Waco Oct. 19- 20. The team su-root placed 17th overall out of 59 teams and 4th among undergraduate-only institutions. In the separate scripting contest, su-root placed 19th overall and 6th among undergraduate-only institutions. The students were coached by Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, and Rick Denman, professor of mathematics and computer science.

Shana Bernstein, associate professor of history, gave an invited lecture at the University of Denver Oct. 16 titled “Nazis, Red-Baiting, and Civil Rights: Jewish Americans as Interracial Activists in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles.”

Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, recently had an article titled “The DPJ and Women: The Limited Impact of the 2009 Alternation of Power on Policy and Governance” published in the Journal of East Asian Studies, 12.3 (2012): 441-466.  

Josh Long, assistant professor of environmental studies, was part of a team that submitted the winning proposal to redesign Austin’s Waller Creek area. Long helped the team he was working with gauge how Austinites might react to different proposals and ideas. In the coming years, he will help the team with  community outreach and soliciting feedback from various stakeholders in the community. Read more here.

Junior environmental studies and international studies major Sarah Puffer has been named Volunteer of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of Georgetown. She will be honored Oct. 25 at an event recognizing Boys & Girls Club volunteers from Killeen, Georgetown, Gatesville, Lampasas and Copperas Cove. Read more here.

Dustin Tahmahkera, assistant professor of communication studies, was an invited speaker for the Native American & Indigenous Studies Program at The University of Texas at Austin Oct19. Tahmahkera gave a presentation was titled “Postindian Pop: Tribal Tele-Visions of Sitcom Sovereignty.” Read more here.