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In Focus: 11/12/2010

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

SIX ALUMNI RECEIVE AWARDS AT HOMECOMING

Six Southwestern alumni received awards from The Association of Southwestern University Alumni last week. The awards were presented Nov. 6 during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.  

Congressman Pete Sessions, a 1978 Southwestern graduate, received the Medal of Honor. Sessions has been a member of Congress since 1996.  

The Distinguished Professional Award went to Bob Dupuy, a 1969 graduate who has worked as a lawyer in Dallas for 38 years. He currently is a member of Southwestern’s Board of Trustees and is Chairman of the Board of the Texas Methodist Foundation.

The Distinguished Humanitarian Award was given to Harland DeWitt, a 1991 graduate who started an organization called Texas Tents for Haiti to provide shelter for victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The organization ultimately provided shelter for more than 1,000 Haitians.  

The Distinguished Young Alumna Award was given to Lauren Niver Paver, a 2001 graduate who serves as vice president of business strategy at United Way Capitol Area. Before joining United Way Capital Area, Niver Paver served as Community Relations and Employee Communications Manager at National Instruments.    

The Distinguished Young Alumnus Award was given to Taylor Garrett, a 2000 graduate who works as a crisis stabilization and governance officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He previously worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  

The Distinguished Southwestern Service Award was given to Russell Ramsey, a 1966 graduate who has supported Southwestern for nearly 45 years as a class agent, an Alumni Board member and vice president, a Homecoming Chair, the Class of 1966 Reunion Chair, and a charter member of the Brown Society. Ramsey is currently co-president of the Houston Association of Southwestern Alumni and a member of the Name Research Task Force.

SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR’S RESEARCH PROVIDES NEW INSIGHT INTO CERTAIN TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION 

Discrimination can come in many forms. It can be based on sex, race and even factors such as pregnancy.  

Researching discrimination and teaching students about it is the focus of Sociology Professor Reggie Byron’s work. 

Byron began studying discrimination while working on his master’s degree at The Ohio State University. Researchers there were able to obtain data from more than 60,000 employment and housing discrimination complaints made to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission between 1986 and 2003 that were investigated and closed. The data included both quantitative variables and rich qualitative narratives, which is particularly rare.
To date, the researchers have generated eight articles and one book based on this data. Byron’s first solo paper based on the data appears in the November 2010 issue of the international sociological journal Work and Occupations. The paper compares the rate and process of discrimination in public and private work sectors.

Read more here.

Events

FOUNTAINWOOD OBSERVATORY OFFERS PUBLIC VIEWING NIGHT NOV. 12

The Fountainwood Observatory will host a public viewing night on Friday, Nov. 12, from 8-10:30 p.m.

The evening viewing will begin with a waxing crescent Moon in the southwestern sky while Jupiter and its Galilean moons are high in the southern sky. The planet Uranus will appear through a telescope as a small gray green dot about 3.5 degrees to the east of Jupiter. Viewers also will be able to see numerous star clusters as well as the Andromeda galaxy, some two million light years distant.

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 as well as observers from the Williamson County Astronomy Club will be on hand to guide viewing.

For weather-related updates, call the Fountainwood Observatory hotline at 512-863-1242. This will be the final public viewing night for the fall 2010 semester. Public viewing nights will begin for the spring 2011 semester in February.

ORCHESTRA, WIND ENSEMBLE TO PERFORM NOV. 13

The Southwestern University Orchestra and Wind Ensemble conducted by Lois Ferrari will perform on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will include music by Berlioz, Bizet, Gullingham, Smetana and Offenbach. Special guests include flutist Magen Smith ’10, who won last year’s concerto competition, and student conductors Audrey Olena and Natalie Phillips-Perkoff.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1379.

NOV. 15 LECTURE OFFERS INSIGHT INTO WHAT MAGIC CAN TEACH US

Philosophy professor and internationally renowned magician Larry Hass will give a lecture and demonstration titled “What Does Magic Teach Us” on Monday, Nov. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer of the Alma Thomas Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Read more here.

THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES TO PERFORM ‘THE YELLOW BOAT’ NOV. 19-21

Southwestern’s Theatre for Young Audiences program will present four performances of “The Yellow Boat” Nov. 19-21 in the Jones Theater.

“The Yellow Boat” is a true story about a boy named Benjamin who contracted HIV through a blood transfusion at the age of six. The play was written by Benjamin’s father, David Saar, who is the founder and artistic director of the Childsplay theatre program in Tempe, Ariz. The play is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19 and 20 and at 3 p.m. on Nov. 20 and 21. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for seniors, students and youth 16 and under. To purchase tickets, contact the Southwestern Box Office at 512-863-1378 Monday through Friday between 1-5 p.m. or by going online to www.southwestern.edu/boxoffice.

SU CHORALE TO PERFORM NOV. 20

The Southwestern University Chorale, conducted by Kenny Sheppard, will give a concert on Saturday, Nov. 20, in the Alma Thomas Theater.

The music for this concert comes from five different centuries and four different countries. The earliest is a Latin motet (1581) by the great Italian composer, Palestrina, and the most recent is a set of Six Chansons (1939) by Paul Hindemith. The SU Chorale will present a wide variety of musical styles from reverent German motets to lively Gypsy Songs by Johannes Brahms, and even a setting of the rollicking “Down Among the Dead Men” by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

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

INDIAN VOCALIST TO GIVE GUEST RECITAL NOV. 21

Classical Indian vocalist Samarth Nagarkar will give a guest recital on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The concert is free and open to the public.

WHOLE FOODS CEO TO SPEAK AT SOUTHWESTERN NOV. 29

John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., will visit Southwestern on Monday, Nov. 29, as part of the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Lecture program. Mackey will deliver a public lecture titled “Conscious Business and Conscious Capitalism: New Paradigms for the 21st Century” at 4 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater with a reception to follow.

Read more here.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun covered the 2010 Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about the women’s volleyball team making it to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Notables

Lois Ferrari, professor of music, will make history as the first woman to ever conduct in Dell Hall at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 3 p.m.  This joint concert is presented by the Austin Civic Orchestra (for which Ferrari serves as Music Director) and the Austin Symphonic Band. ACO guest artists include Peter Bay (Music Director) and Jessica Mathaes (Concertmaster) of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Tickets may be purchased online here.

Ken Roberts, professor of economics, has a paper titled “The Role of Children on Migration Decisions of Rural Chinese Women” forthcoming in The Journal of Contemporary China. The paper is the third in a series of four papers he is writing about migration in China.

Max Taub, associate professor of biology, had a paper titled “Effects of Rising Atmospheric Concentrations of Carbon Dioxide on Plants” published by the Knowledge Project, an online library of peer-reviewed science articles for college and high school students. Read the article here.

Willis Weigand, associate professor of chemistry, had an article titled “Synthesis and Crystal Structure of Bis-(N,N’-dibenzylethane-1,2-diamine) cobalt(II) acetate” published in the Journal of Chemical Crystallography. The paper was co-authored by former student Tiffany Salazar.