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In Focus: 4/18/2013

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Thinking Big

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Members of the football team helped do some painting for the Palace Theater as part ofThe Big Event, an annual event designed to help connect students and the community. More than 150 Southwestern students participated in the 2013 event, which was held April 6. Other volunteer locations included Forbes Middle School, Getsemani Community Center and the Wesleyan senior citizen community. See more photos from the day here. (Photo by Erica Grant)

Top News

STUDENT FROM RWANDA IS GRADUATING FROM SOUTHWESTERN WITH HONORS – AND AN IDEA FOR HOW TO IMPROVE HER COUNTRY

Yvette Niyomugaba has come a long way since arriving at Southwestern in the fall of 2009.  Back then, she was still struggling to speak English after having just come to the United States from Rwanda as part of a special program designed to help build a new generation of leaders for that African country.

Four years later, she is graduating from Southwestern as a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society and is applying to some of the best schools in the country to pursue graduate studies. She has presented research at state and national conferences and even won a national award for one of her presentations.

“I’m elated to see how well Yvette has done,” said Therese Shelton, an associate professor of mathematics who has worked closely with Niyomugaba.

Read more here.

THEATRE MAJOR RECEIVES 2013 PASSION FOR THE ARTS AWARD

When Robert Frost takes the stage for the George Bernard Shaw play “Heartbreak House” this month, it will be the 15th production he has been in during his career at Southwestern.

In the past four years, Frost has played everything from the crazy dentist in “Little Shop of Horrors” to the wolf in “Into the Woods.” In “Cloud 9,” he played a father in the first act and a little girl in the second act. In “The 1940s Radio Hour,” he had a singing role and also served as musical director for the performance − a job usually taken by faculty members or guest professionals. 

“Robert is pretty extraordinary,” said Kerry Bechtel, associate professor of theatre and chair of the Theatre Department. “His skills and abilities are far beyond what one would usually expect of an undergraduate.”

His dedication to both theatre and music earned Frost the 2013 Fayez Sarofim Passion for the Arts Award from Southwestern. The award is presented annually to the graduating senior who, regardless of major, has demonstrated an unusual passion for the arts during their career at Southwestern. It includes a cash prize that can be used any way the recipient wants.

Read more here.

Events

ADVANCED STUDENT CONDUCTORS TO LEAD CHORALE AND ORCHESTRA IN APRIL 24 RECITAL

Nine student conductors will lead the Southwestern University Chorale and Orchestra in an April 24 recital that will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will include works by Hans Leo Hassler, Henry Purcell, Gabriel Fauré, Gustav Holst, Cecil Effinger, René Clausen, Aaron Copland, Wolfgang A. Mozart, Howard Hanson and Peter I. Tchaikovsky.

Students Ashley Kraft, Melanie Bonevac, Brittney Nixon, Brent Hobbs, Melissa Krueger and Allie Bryan will conduct the Chorale. Students Kailey Parker, Stacie Glowka and Marie Smith will conduct the Orchestra.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at 512-863-1504.

LOCAL POLITICIANS TO PARTICIPATE IN APRIL 26 DISCUSSION AT SOUTHWESTERN

State Rep. Marsha Farney and State Sen. Charles Schwertner will participate in a discussion moderated by Evan Smith from the Texas Tribune on Friday, April 26, in the Campus Center Ballroom. Southwestern students, faculty and staff are invited to participate, but reservations are required. The lunch buffet opens at 11:30 a.m. and the program begins at noon. To reserve a seat, go to texastribune.org/events

WIND ENSEMBLE TO PERFORM APRIL 27

The Southwestern University Wind Ensemble will perform on Saturday, April 27, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. Lois Ferrari will conduct the ensemble as they perform Igor Stravinsky’s Octet and internationally diverse folk music. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at 512-863-1504.

JAZZ BAND TO PERFORM APRIL 30

The Southwestern University Jazz Band will give a concert titled “West Coast Jazz” on Tuesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The concert will be conducted by David Guidi and will include “L.T.D. by Dexter Gordon, Bernie’s Tune by Bernie Miller, Boplicity by Gil Evans and Miles Davis, Theme for an Angel by Dave Wheeler, Sandy Shoes by Dave Pell, and three pieces by Gerry Mulligan: Westwood Walk, Walking Shoes and Rocker

The concert 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 Southwestern’s proposed master’s degree program in translational medicine.

Notables

Senior Brady Kent received the Overall Leader Award for the second year in a row at the Annual Student Leadership Banquet, which was held April 16. The Community Garden also received the Student Organization Award for the second year in a row. Others receiving awards at the event included Bryony McLaughlin (First-Year Award), Annie Emswiler (Sophomore Award), David Boutté (Junior Award) and Kira McEntire (Senior Award). Sophomore De Andre Woods-Walker received the Emerging Leader Award and seniors Mike Cantu and Katelyn Bartell received the Pirate Anchor Awards.The Organization Advisor Award went to Terri Johnson for her work with the seven organizations in the Coalition for Diversity and Social Justice. The students presented President Jake B. Schrum with a special Excellence in Administrative Leadership Award.

Melissa Byrnes, assistant professor of history, presented a paper titled “Slumlord with a Heart of Gold: What the Controversy over the Oliviers de Serres ‘Ghetto’ in Villeurbanne Reveals about Migrants’ Rights in the Republic” on April 6 at the Society for French Historical Studies Annual Conference in Cambridge, Mass. She also gave a talk titled “Migration and Municipal Foreign Policy: North Africans in the Suburbs of Paris and Lyon” at a workshop hosted by UT-Austin’s Institute for Historical Studies on April 15.

David Gaines, associate professor of English, will be presenting “Bob Dylan, Mitch Miller, Brave Combo, and ‘Must Be Santa’” at the Experience Music Project Pop Conference in Seattle, Wash., April 20. The conference proceedings are being simulcast to conference venues in New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland and New Orleans.

Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, was the panel discussant for “Comparative Issues” and the panel chair for “Undergraduate Research: Ethnic Issues and International Relations” at the Southwestern Political Science Association Meeting in New Orleans March 28-30.

Two students in the Economics program presented papers at the Economics Scholars Conference for Undergraduate Research that was held April 5 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Zoe Pham presented “Housing Discrimination and the Great Recession” and Brooke Chatterton presented “The Impact of University Career Services and Internships on Undergraduate Students.” 

Ken Roberts, professor of economics and holder of the Hugh Roy and Lille Cullen Chair in Economics, recently had an invited essay titled “Migration and Agrarian Change” published in the Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration (Blackwell Publishing, 2013).

Eric Selbin, professor of political science and University Scholar, presented a paper at the recent International Studies Association meeting titled “‘Becoming’ IR: The Implications of a Storied IR” and also was a participant in a roundtable titled “Inquiry as Invention: Telling Stories in International Politics.” Selbin also co-chaired the annual meeting of the Editorial Board of Rowman & Littlefield’s book series New Millennium Books in International Studies which he co-edits.