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In Focus: 11/17/2011

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

NEW STUDY FINDS HIGH SATISFACTION AMONG GRADUATES OF LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES

When it comes to getting a first job out of college, gaining admission to graduate school, or generally preparing to meet life’s challenges, graduates of residential liberal arts colleges such as Southwestern University give their college experience higher marks than do graduates of private or public universities, according to a new national study commissioned by the Annapolis Group, a consortium of America’s leading liberal arts colleges.

Southwestern is among the founding members of the Annapolis Group.

Among the study’s career-related findings:

  • Seventy-six percent of liberal arts college graduates rated their college experience highly for preparing them for their first job, compared to 66 percent who attended public flagship universities;
  • Eighty-nine percent of liberal arts college graduates reported finding a mentor while in college, compared to 66 percent for public flagship universities;
  • Sixty percent of liberal arts college graduates said they felt “better prepared” for life after college than students who attended other colleges, compared to 34 percent who attended public flagship universities.
  • Liberal arts college graduates are more likely to graduate in four years or fewer, giving them a head start on their careers.

The study was conducted by the higher education consulting firm Hardwick Day and is based on a total of 2,700 telephone interviews made in 2002 and again in the summer of 2011. It is one of only a few studies that explore the lasting effects of college in such areas as career preparation and advancement, skill development, development of personal and professional values and attitude, and community involvement.

Read more here.

SIX ALUMNI RECEIVE AWARDS

Six Southwestern University alumni received awards from The Association of Southwestern University Alumni Nov. 5.

The Distinguished Professional Award went to Dr. Dan Stultz, a 1972 graduate who is currently president and CEO of the Texas Hospital Association.   The Distinguished Humanitarian Award was given to Sen. Joan Bray, a 1967 graduate who was elected to the Missouri State Senate in 2002 after serving 10 years in the Missouri State House of Representatives.   The Distinguished Young Alumna Award was given to Sylvia Mayer, a 2001 graduate who has worked as a corporate trainer and also held a variety of positions with local political organizations, including serving as president of the Williamson County Young Republicans.

The Distinguished Young Alumnus Award was given to Matthew Brown, a 2002 graduate who is the associate conductor of the Canton (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra. Brown also is co-founder and artistic director of the International Conductors’ Festival in Kiev, Ukraine.

The Distinguished Southwestern Service Award was given to Marjorie Stripling Schultz, 1970 graduate who served as a member of Southwestern’s Board of Trustees, an Alumni Board officer, a member of the Campaign Cabinet, and chair of the Planned Giving Council.

Pam Rossman, a 1972 graduate, was named Ms. Homecoming for 2011. Rossman is the chapel organist and music coordinator.  

GERMAN STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM VISITING PROFESSOR WHO IS A NOTED AUTHOR

Students taking introductory German classes at Southwestern this year have an usual opportunity – the chance to learn German from a German native who also happens to be the co-author of their textbook.

Herbert Genzmer is in his second year of teaching at Southwestern as a visiting professor. He was originally hired as a visiting professor in fall 2010 while German Professor Erika Berroth taught classes in Southwestern’s London Semester program. Since her replacement would be the main German professor for that semester, she needed someone with training and experience teaching language, literature and culture at all levels in the program.

At the same time, Genzmer was looking for a job in the United States because he wanted his children to learn English and experience living here for at least a year. The year went so well that Genzmer was offered a contract for another year.

“It has been a real success story,” Berroth said. “We have a real-life writer in residence teaching all levels of German classes.”

Read more here.

Events

PERFORMANCES OF ‘1940s RADIO HOUR’ RUN THROUGH NOV. 20

The Theatre Department is presenting performances of the holiday musical “ The 1940’s Radio Hour” by Walton Jones through Nov. 20 in the Jones Theater. Performances will start at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The play is set during Christmas in 1942 as a close-knit group of entertainers at a small New York City radio station are broadcasting the final holiday variety show for the troops overseas. Several local musicians will be performing in the production, along with 2007 graduate Joey Banks. The play is directed by Rick Roemer and the set was designed by Desi Roybal.

Tickets are $12-$18 and may be purchased by calling the Box Office at 512-863-1378 or going to www.southwestern.tix.com.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS, ATHLETICS TEAMS COLLECTING FOOD FOR THE CARING PLACE

Eighteen student organizations and sports teams from Southwestern have come up with a fun way to collect food for the Caring Place in Georgetown. During halftime of this Friday’s men’s basketball game, the 18 organizations will each wheel an HEB shopping cart they have decorated through the gym. Spectators attending the game are being asked to bring canned goods to donate, and will have the opportunity to place their donations in the shopping cart they think is the best decorated. A team of judges, including Southwestern’s own Ella Sedwick, will help determine the best-decorated shopping cart. HEB has donated gift cards that will be given to the winners of the contest.

The Caring Place is trying to collect 100,000 pounds of food to distribute to needy local families during the months of November and December. To read more about their “100 Grand” campaign, go here. To read more about the Friday night event – and see a list of items needed – go here.

For those unable to attend the basketball game Nov. 18, a shopping cart will be set up outside The Commons.

WIND ENSEMBLE AND ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM NOV. 19

The Southwestern University Wind Ensemble and Orchestra will perform on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The concert will be conducted by Lois Ferrari and includes works by Percy Grainger, Johan De Meij, Gustav Holst, Vaclav Nelhybel, Edward Grieg and Ludwig van Beethoven.  

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

PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE TO PERFORM NOV. 21

The SU Percussion Ensemble will give a concert on Monday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.  The concert will feature works by George Hamilton Green, Culligan and Zivkovic. 

The concert is free and open to the public.

JAZZ BAND TO PERFORM WITH THE LEON ANDERSON TRIO NOV. 29

The Southwestern University Jazz Band will perform with The Leon Anderson Trio on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The concert will be conducted by David Guidi and will include works by Benny Goodman/Charlie Christian, Tadd Dameron, David Guidi, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Van Heusen, Julian Adderley and Quincy Jones.

The Leon Anderson Trio includes Leon Anderson Jr. on drums, Barry Stephenson on bass and David Meder on piano. Anderson is an associate professor and director of jazz studies at Florida State University. Stephenson studied at Florida State and Meder is an undergraduate at Florida State.  

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

SOUTHWESTERN TO HOST CANDLELIGHT SERVICES AND HOLIDAY RECEPTION DEC. 1

Southwestern will hold two Candlelight Services for the Season of Advent at 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Lois Perkins Chapel. The services are free and open to the public. Following the 8 p.m. service, there will be a holiday reception for the public in the Bishops Lounge of the McCombs Campus Center.

The services, which are a Southwestern and Georgetown tradition, are adapted from “An Advent Service of Lessons and Carols” in The United Methodist Church Book of Worship, and are based on one developed in 1934 for the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. The highlight of each service comes when the sanctuary is completely darkened and candles are lit throughout.

Liturgists for the services will be Southwestern University Chaplain Beverly Jones and Bishop Joe Wilson. Kenny Sheppard, professor of music, will conduct the Southwestern University Chorale and a different student string quartet will play at each service.

Following the 6 p.m. service, Southwestern’s dining service will be available until 8 p.m. in the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Commons of the Campus Center. The cost is $9 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. There also will be a hot chocolate reception co-hosted by Southwestern and the Greater Georgetown Association of Southwestern University Alumni in the Rockwell Rotunda on the first floor of the Campus Center.

FOUNTAINWOOD OBSERVATORY TO HOST PUBLIC VIEWING NIGHT DEC. 2

The Fountainwood Observatory will host its final public viewing night of the semester on Friday, Dec. 2, from 8-10:30 p.m.

The viewing will begin with a just past first quarter Moon high in the southern sky while Jupiter and its Galilean moons rise in the east. Viewers also will able to see star clusters and the Andromeda galaxy, which is two million light years away. By the end of the viewing, winter constellations such as Orion and Taurus will be viewable.

Public viewing nights are always free and open to the public, but donations are accepted to help maintain the observatory. The observatory is located on the northeast side of campus adjacent to the Rockwell Baseball Field (see #6 on the campus map at http://www.southwestern.edu/map). Faculty members from the Physics Department at Southwestern as well as observers from the Williamson County Astronomy Club will be on hand to guide viewing.

For weather-related updates about viewing nights, call the Fountainwood Observatory hotline at 512-863-1242.

The spring 2012 public viewing night schedule will be posted on the observatory website in mid-January.

AAUW HOSTS HOLIDAY TEA AT THE PRESIDENT’S HOUSE DEC. 10

The Georgetown Chapter of the American Association of University Women is hosting a holiday tea on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 3-5 p.m. at the home of President and Mrs. Jake B. Schrum. There is no charge for the event, but contributions to AAUW’s Scholarship Fund will be welcome. To RSVP, call AAUW President Diane Melton at 512-943-9387.

Media Coverage

Fox 7 News in Austin did a story on Southwestern’s plans to reinstate football. Watch the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story and photo essay on Southwestern’s 2011 Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.

The Williamson County Sun ran an editorial on Southwestern’s plans to bring back football. It also ran an op-ed piece by Philosophy Professor Phil Hopkins.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the Theatre Department’s production of “1940s Radio Hour.”

The Williamson County Sun ran a feature story about the last day the golf course was open.

Notables

Students Colin Berr, Cortney Carlson, Rebekah Gomez, Priscilla Hernandez, Kylie LeBlanc, Jenna Mozingo and Gillian Ring attended a Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series and Sumners Scholars Public Policy Seminar at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas Nov. 11-12. The lecture series featured Fox News commentators Bob Beckel and Cal Thomas, who are co-authors of the USA Today column “Common Ground.” The public policy seminar included sessions on the debt crisis, energy security and the role of government in public health. Both events were sponsored by the National Center for Policy Analysis. All seven students are recipients of Hatton W. Sumners Scholarships, which provide $10,000 per year during their junior and senior years to selected students majoring in political science, history, pre-law or education. Steve Cotton, a 1977 Southwestern graduate who is a managing partner with the Cotton-Adams Financial Group in Dallas, served as sponsor for the students while they were in Dallas.

The Austin Chronicle gave the Fountainwood Observatory a 2011 Best of Austin Award. Read what they said about the observatory’s public viewing nights here.

Erika Berroth, associate professor of German and chair of Chinese, French and German Programs, presented her research on transnational identity narratives at the annual conference of the Coalition of Women in German held in Augusta, Mich., Oct. 20-23. Berroth spoke about “Migration and Aging in Narratives of Gender and Generation” as part of a panel on “Gender and Aging in German Literature, Arts, Culture and Society.” Berroth also presented her research on theories of affect and cinema at the Midwest Modern Language Association conference in St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 3-6. Berroth spoke about “Docu-Fiction/Mockumentary and Werner Herzog’s Ecstatic Truth,” as part of a panel on “Playing with History in Contemporary Memoirs and Documentaries.”

Ellen Davis, director of news and media relations, received the New Member Achievement Award from the Texas Public Relations Association Nov. 11.

Lois Ferrari, professor of music and music director of the Austin Civic Orchestra, presented the orchestra’s second concert of its 35th season Nov. 5 in the Rollins Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Southwestern students Briana Garcia and Marie Smith performed with the orchestra, along with 2011 graduates Jennifer Coyle and Abbey Benold. The orchestra also performed a work written by 2007 graduate Travis Jeffords. The orchestra’s holiday concert is Dec. 11th at 3 p.m. in Bates Hall on the UT campus and will feature jazz singer Suzi Stern and composer/narrator Dan Welcher. For more information, visit http://www.austincivicorchestra.org.

Herbert Genzmer, visiting assistant professor of German and internationally recognized author of literary and scholarly works, was invited to read from his most recent novel Das perfekte Spiel (The Perfect Game) for students and faculty at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The book will be published by Berlin University Press in February 2012.

Shannon Mariotti, assistant professor of political science, was invited to chair a panel at an interdisciplinary graduate student conference at the University of Chicago titled “Exile on Main Street: Fascism, Emigration, and the European Imagination in America,” which took place Nov. 10-11. She also presented a paper drawing from her new book titled “Adorno and Democracy in America: Countertendencies, Imminent Critique, and Democratic Pedagogy” at the university’s Social Theory Workshop Nov. 10. 

Bishop-in-Residence Joe Wilson has been named the recipient of the 2012 Founder’s Award presented by the Texas Coalition Against the Death Penalty. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the cause of ending the death penalty. The award will be presented Feb. 28 at the TCADP Annual Conference to be held at the University of the Incarnate Word.