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In Focus: 9/1/2011

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

RELIGION PROFESSOR PLANS EVENTS TO MARK THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SEPT. 11 ATTACKS

Several film screenings and a day-long symposium are among the events that will be offered at Southwestern to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The events have been organized by Rebecca Lorins, a part-time assistant professor of religion who teaches courses in Islamic Studies. The overall theme for the events she has organized is “Sept. 11, 2001: Memories, Legacies and Aftermaths Ten Years Later.”

“The 10th anniversary offers us a chance to collectively reflect on the events of that day, the wider political and historical context, as well as the events that followed, such as the War on Terror and the backlash against Muslims,” Lorins said.

Read more here.

SOUTHWESTERN GRADUATE IS GETTING A FIRSTHAND VIEW OF THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

A Southwestern graduate is getting a firsthand view of the 2012 presidential race.

1998 graduate Jason Embry is one of two reporters from the Austin American-Statesman who are covering Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s bid for the Republican nomination. Embry was in South Carolina when Gov. Perry announced his candidacy Aug. 13, and he has since traveled with him to Iowa and New Hampshire.

Embry posts breaking news from the campaign trail on Twitter as well as his “First Reading” blog for the Statesman, which won a first place award from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors this year. He also does regular spots on KVUE-TV and KUT radio in Austin and has been on CNN, MSNBC, the BBC, Wall Street Radio and various other radio stations around the country.

Read more here.

PROFESSOR WHO SEES MATH IN ART BRINGS A NEW DIMENSION TO THE SEMESTER IN LONDON PROGRAM

Students participating in Southwestern’s London Semester program this fall will visit many of the city’s famous tourist attractions such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern and Kew Gardens.

But at these places, they will looking at objects in a much different light than most tourists.

That’s because their guide will be Fumiko Futamura, a math professor at Southwestern who sees the math in art.

So at Kew Gardens, for example, Futamura will show students how to find fractals in nature such as ferns and trees.

At the British Museum, they will look at the symmetry of designs found in textiles and woodwork made by people of various cultures.

At the Victoria and Albert Museum, they will see a machine that was designed to help artists paint things in perspective and see some of Eadweard Muybridge’s famous time-lapse photography of people and animals in motion.

Read more here.

Events

OPENING RECEPTION FOR NEW GALLERY EXHIBIT TO BE HELD SEPT. 8

A reception for artist Heather Carter will be held outside the Fine Arts Gallery on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 4-6 p.m. Carter created the exhibit titled “Lifeboats,” which will be on display in the gallery through Sept. 29.

PIANISTS TO GIVE GUEST RECITAL SEPT. 9

Pianists Geneva Fung and Kiu Tung Poon and will give a guest recital on Friday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program includes works by Franz Schubert, Edvard Grieg, Francis Poulenc and Georges Bizet.

Fung is on the piano faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University. Poon is on the faculty at the University of Saint Joseph in Macau and at the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing. She was named a Young Steinway Artist this past June.

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

Media Coverage

Computer Science Professor Suzanne Buchele was featured in a Chronicle of Higher Education story about academics who take their families abroad. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the gallery exhibits scheduled for the fall.

Notables

Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, Rick Denman, professor of mathematics and computer science, and Alison Marr, assistant professor of mathematics, recently had a paper titled “Some Families of Fixed Points for the Eccentric Digraph Operator” published in the Journal of Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing.

Math major Nina Freeman participated in an NSF-supported REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) at Texas State University this past summer. The program focused on research projects in discrete mathematics and algebra. Read more about it here.

Traci Giuliano, professor of psychology, recently had a paper titled “The reverse double standard in perceptions of student-teacher sexual relationships: The role of gender, initiation, and power published in the Journal of Social
Psychology
. Student co-authors on the paper included 2008 graduate Braden Ackley and 2009 graduates Patrick Egan and Jenny Howell.

Edward L. Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar, has a chapter in a new book published in August by the American Sociological Association. The book is called Peer Review of Teaching: Lessons from and for Departments of Sociology. Kain’s chapter is titled “Ways to Start the Peer Review Conversation within a Department.”

Shannon Mariotti, assistant professor of political science, contributed a chapter titled “Emerson’s Transcendental Gaze and the ‘Disagreeable Particulars’ of Slavery: Vision and the Costs of Idealism” to the volume A Political Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson,  just published by University Press of Kentucky.

Helene Meyers, professor of English and holder of the McManis University Chair, was the keynote speaker for Austin’s Florence Melton Adult Mini-School graduation in May. Her commencement address was titled “Jewish Talk, Jewish Texts: Identity in the Making.” In June, Meyers’ book Reading Michael Chabon was added to Gale’s Virtual Reference Library

Emily Niemeyer, professor of chemistry, and Eileen Kwee, a 2010 chemistry graduate, published a co-authored paper titled “Variations in phenolic composition and antioxidant properties among 15 basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) cultivars” in the Oct. 15 issue of Food Chemistry. The paper, which analyzes differences in the chemical composition of basil leaves among commercially available varieties, is based on Kwee’s capstone research.

Kiyoshi Tamagawa, professor of music, will be the featured soloist at two upcoming performances by the Temple Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra is performing at Temple College Sept. 10 and at the Klett Center for the Performing Arts in Georgetown Sept. 11. Tamagawa will be performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as part of a program of Russian symphonic music. For more information on the performance in Georgetown, visit here. Tamagawa also had an article titled “From AMB to WTC: Teaching the Basics of Contrapuntal Playing at the Keyboard,” published in the August/September 2011 issue of American Music Teacher, the journal of the Music Teachers’ National Association.