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In Focus: 4/15/2011

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

ELECTRIC CELLO PROJECT WINS KING CREATIVITY PRIZE

Although electric cellos are available commercially, senior music major Natalie Phillips-Perkoff and senior physics major Will Hardy wanted to try making one of their own. So they teamed up to make one with the help of a 2010-2011 King Creativity Fund grant.

Their work ended up winning them the 2011 Walt Potter Prize, which comes with $2,500. The prize is awarded to the best King Creativity Fund student or project in a given year.

“What impressed us was how complicated the project was – how much they had to do,” said Paul Gaffney, dean of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts and coordinator of the King Creativity Fund program. “They had a regular cello bow and regular strings, but that was it – everything else was electronics.”

Read more here.

FROM STUDENT TO PROFESSOR: 2006 GRADUATE GETS TO TEACH AT SOUTHWESTERN FOR A YEAR

When he was hired to be an instructor of French at Southwestern for the 2010-2011 academic year, Chris Tanguay didn’t have to worry about finding the classroom he would be teaching in. He had already been in that room as a student at Southwestern eight years ago. 

Tanguay was hired to teach French this year while Francis Mathieu, assistant professor of French, is on leave for a junior sabbatical.

“We were looking to hire a qualified teacher with lots of energy and creativity,” said Erika Berroth, associate professor of German and chair of the Chinese, French and German programs. “When I let Chris know about our position he responded with great enthusiasm. We had a competitive pool of applicants and identified Chris as our top choice.”

Since graduating from Southwestern in 2006, Tanguay has been working on a Ph.D. in French at Rice University. Getting to teach at Southwestern before he even completed his Ph.D. was a dream come true.

Read more here.

FACULTY MEMBERS RECEIVE $114,004 TO SUPPORT RESEARCH AND TRAVEL IN 2011-2012

Southwestern has awarded $114,004 in funds for 2011-2012 that will enable faculty members to travel to conferences or conduct research that will enhance their teaching and further their academic careers. A total of 44 faculty members received funding for their proposals. Projects funded included research in France, Germany, India, Italy and South America.

Read more here.

Events

April 15-16 ‘SHACK-A-THON’ WILL BENEFIT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Students from Southwestern University’s Habitat for Humanity chapter have organized a “Shack-a-thon” April 15-16 to raise money for a new Habitat

for Humanity house in Georgetown.

Teams of up to 10 people from local schools, churches and other organizations will be given a 12’ by 12’ space in the Wolf Ranch parking lot. Building begins at noon on Friday. The object of the event is for teams to have local businesses donate cardboard boxes or any other building materials they can find to create a shack that at least one member from each team must stay in through the night. Throughout the night there will be a speaker to raise awareness of homelessness, a band, dinner and games. Visitors are encouraged to stop by to vote on the best shack.

Southwestern students are trying to raise $55,000 this semester to build the last home in Georgetown’s Old Mill Village for a single mother and her two children. As of April 1, they had raised $33,813. For more information on the project, visit here.

FIRST SU SPLASH TO BE HELD APRIL 16

On Saturday, April 16th, high school students will come to Southwestern to “get their feet wet” in short classes offered by Southwestern students and faculty. The program will run from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., mostly in the Fondren-Jones Science Building. For information on this new program, visit http://susplash.learningu.org/. Southwestern students interested in volunteering at the event can send an e-mail to southwesternsplash@gmail.com.

‘AGE OF AROUSAL’ CONTINUES THROUGH APRIL 17

The Southwestern Theatre Department is presenting Linda Griffiths’ “Age of Arousal” April 13-17 in the Jones Theater. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday.

“Age of Arousal” is a fantasy-filled, fun and witty re-working of George Gissing’s 19th-century novel The Odd Women. It is set in Victorian London where there are twice as many women as there are men. An ex-suffragette has opened a typing school to liberate women from the home with the new invention that will gain them freedom − the typewriter. When three sisters sign up, unexpected passions and secret desires are unleashed as they each learn what being a New Woman can truly mean.

The play is directed by Lara Toner, associate artistic director of the Austin Playhouse. Tickets are $12 to $16 and may be purchased online at www.southwestern.edu/boxoffice or by calling the box office at 512-863-1378 Monday through Friday from 1-5 p.m.

EVENTS CELEBRATE ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH

The Pan Asian Association at Southwestern University has planned several events to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in April. Upcoming events include an April 18 lecture by Madeline Hsu, professor of history and director of the Center for Asian American Studies at UT Austin. For a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.southwestern.edu/live/news/4787-asian-heritage-month-at-su

ORCHESTRA AND WIND ENSEMBLE TO PERFORM APRIL 17

The Southwestern University Orchestra and Wind Ensemble will perform in concert on Sunday, April 17th, at 3 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The wind ensemble will perform “Prelude on Three Welsh Hymn Tunes” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Mars” from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst and “L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2” by Georges Bizet.

The orchestra will perform “Brook Green Suite” by Holst, “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber and “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.

Both ensembles are directed by Lois Ferrari. They will be joined by guest conductor Willis Traphagan and pianist Audrey Olena. The program also will feature student conductors Briana Garcia, Stacie Glowka, Natalie Phillips-Perkoff and Andrea Plybon.

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

PAIDEIA GROUP HOSTS APRIL 19 SHOWING OF ‘WAITING FOR SUPERMAN’

History Professor Daniel Castro’s Paideia group is hosting a public showing of the documentary “Waiting for Superman” on Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in Olin 110.

The event is free, but donations will be accepted for Posada Esperanza, a house in Austin for immigrant mothers and children to get on their feet. Students also will be collecting school supplies for children staying at Posada Esperanza. Free pizza will be served at the event.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the students who are raising money for a Habitat for Humanity house in Georgetown.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Southwestern’s need for a new science building.

The Williamson County Sun ran a feature story on senior Rachel Freeman.

Notables

The following students received awards at the 13th Annual Student Leadership Banquet April 12:

Overall Leader Award – Addison English and Sarah Wooley

Emerging Leader Award – Erin Bradley and Samantha Sada

First-Year Award – Sarah Puffer

Sophomore Award – Jenna Gaska

Junior Award – Kimberlee Pierson

Senior Award – Juan Juarez

The Student Organization Award went to SEAK and Southwestern’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter, and the Organization Advisor Award went to Religion Professor Molly Jensen for her work with the Community Garden.  

Three students who graduated from Southwestern in 2009 and another who graduated in 2010 have received grants from the National Science Foundation to support their studies in graduate school. The 2009 graduates who were awarded NSF fellowships are Stephen Foster, Jenny Howell and Whitney Johnson. The 2010 graduate who received a fellowship was Jessica Bolton. This is the second year in a row that four Southwestern students have received NSF fellowships to fund their graduate studies. Read more here.

Rick Denman, professor of mathematics and computer science, gave an invited lecture at Temple College on March 31 titled “How Do I Know That?”

Kinesiology Professors Scott McLean and Jimmy Smith published an article titled “Oxygen Uptake Response to Stroke Rate Manipulation in Freestyle Swimming” in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Former student Graham Ice also was a co-author on the paper.

Theatre Professor Rick Roemer is starring in the Austin Playhouse production of “Stop the World – I Want to Get Off,” which runs April 22-May 22. Music Professor Oliver Worthington is musical director for the play and musical theatre student Hannah Rose has a role in the play, along with 2009 graduate Emily Everidge. For more information, visit the Austin Playhouse website at http://www.austinplayhouse.com/

Several students and faculty members from the Animal Behavior Program presented their research at the Southwestern Psychological Comparative Association (SCPA) annual meeting held in conjunction with SWPA in San Antonio April 7-9.  Psychology Professor Jesse Purdy presented a paper titled “Exploring the Interaction Between New Technology and Old Ideas.” Purdy and seniors Elizabeth Anne Wilson and Alex Hall presented a paper titled “Retention of Learned Association following Metamorphosis in African Claw-toed Frogs.” Senior Carissa Winland and Psychology Professor Fay Guarraci presented a paper titled “Nice Guys Finish Last”: Mate Choice, Reproductive Success, and Testosterone in Rats. Senior Morgan Mingle presented a paper titled “Chimpanzee See; Chimpanzee Do: A Study of Social Learning and Handedness,” which was done in collaboration with William Hopkins from Agnes Scott College, Sarah Brosnan from Georgia State University, Lydia Hopper, Susan Lambeth, and Steven Schapiro from The University of Texas- M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Mingle also presented a paper titled “Acoustic Preference for World Music in Chimpanzees,” which was done with Victoria Horner and Timothy Eppley from The Living Links Center at Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Frans B. M. de Waal from Emory University.