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In Focus: 10/11/2012

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Calligraphy Demonstration

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Participants attending the 8th international conference of the American Society for Shufa Calligraphy Education, which was held at Southwestern Oct. 8-10, put on a demonstration for the public in the Fine Arts Gallery Oct. 9. Works created by these calligraphers also were on display in the gallery. See more photos from the exhibition and demonstration here. (Photos by Lucas Adams)

Top News

STUDENTS IN NEW FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR LEARN THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO THROWING THINGS AWAY

You wouldn’t think that something as small as a piece of chewing gum could be a problem, but first-year student Macey Pool has learned otherwise.  

Pool has learned, for example, that there are 125,000 tons of chewing gum on the ground and 850 tons of aluminum in landfills from gum wrappers – the equivalent of 60 million cans of soda.  

“Gum is the second largest litter item in the world,” she said.   Pool is among the students taking a new First-Year Seminar taught by Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics. The seminar is titled “Talkin’ Trash.” 

“It’s a really cool class,” Pool said. “It makes you a lot more conscientious.”

Read more here.

SOUTHWESTERN GRADUATE RUNS A NONPROFIT HE STARTED IN HONDURAS

In Copan, Honduras, many of the children never even finish elementary school. Less than one percent graduate from college.

This early dropout rate leads to a variety of social problems, including a high rate of teen pregnancies and a huge disparity between the rich and the poor.

Blair Quinius, a 2005 Southwestern graduate, is giving more than 300 children from this town the encouragement and support they need to finish school.

In 2009, Quinius founded an organization called Urban Promise Honduras, which provides summer camp and after school programs for children in grades 1-6. When the children get to high school, the program offers leadership development and job skills.

Urban Promise Honduras is a branch of a faith-based organization in the United States with the same name that is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey. Quinius was the first person to take the Urban Promise model outside the United States.

Read more here.

Events

ART EXHIBIT OPENS IN THE LIBRARY

In conjunction with the 2012 Writer’s Voice lecture, an art exhibit titled “Identity, Race, Diversity, Humanity: The Creative Works of Letitia Eldredge” will be on display in the Special Collections area on the second floor of Southwestern’s library from Oct. 11-Nov. 16.

Eldredge is an internationally exhibited artist who expresses herself through painting, ceramic art, story-telling, performance art and dance.

Read more here.

OBSERVATORY TO HOST PUBLIC VIEWING NIGHT OCT. 19

The Fountainwood Observatory at Southwestern University host a public viewing night Friday, Oct. 19, from 8-10:30 p.m.

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. The viewing nights are free, but donations are encouraged to help maintain the observatory.

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

PHI BETA KAPPA VISITING SCHOLAR TO SPEAK AT SOUTHWESTERN OCT. 18

John Agnew, a Distinguished Professor of Geography and professor of Italian at UCLA, will give a public lecture at Southwestern on Thursday, Oct. 18, as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program.

Agnew will give a lecture titled “Rethinking The World Water Problem ” at 4 p.m. in Room 105 of the F.W. Olin Building.

Agnew’s research concerns political geography, international political economy and European urbanization, with a special emphasis on Italy. He is past president of the Association of American Geographers, recipient of the association’s Distinguished Scholarship Award, and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

The lecture is sponsored by the Southwestern University Theta of Texas Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

GUEST ARTIST TO GIVE PIANO RECITAL OCT. 19

Pianist Ning An will give a guest recital on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will include works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Olivier Messiaen and Franz Liszt.

An made his concerto debut at the age of 16, performing the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra. He has since appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Belgian National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.

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

Media Coverage

Focus on Georgetown magazine did a story on Chinese Professor Carl Robertson. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun covered Alan Boesak’s visit to campus.

Joey King was interviewed for a United Methodist Reporter story about online learning at UM-affiliated colleges. Read the story here.

Notables

Kerry Bechtel, associate professor of theatre, designed the costumes for the Unity Theatre’s production of The Philadelphia Story,” which ran from Sept. 20-Oct. 7.

Eileen Cleere, professor of English, was a featured speaker at Rice University Oct. 7. Her lecture, “Visual Culture and Aesthetic Experience,” was part of “Papers in Honor of Robert Lowry Patten,” an academic celebration of the scholarship and intellectual legacy of the Rice professor. Patten, an international authority on Victorian culture, especially the works of Charles Dickens, was one of Cleere’s dissertation directors.

Dirk Early, professor of economics, recently had a chapter titled “Geographical Price Variation, Housing Assistance, and Poverty” published in The Oxford Handbook of The Economics of Poverty. The work is coauthored with Edgard Olsen at the University of Virginia.

Herbert Genzmer, visiting assistant professor of German, recently published a short story titled “Atemlos” (“Breathless”) in an anthology titled Wie immer unverhofft and a short story titled “Bekanntschaft” (“Acquaintance”) in an anthology titled Weihnachtskatzen.

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion and environmental studies and holder of the Elizabeth Root Paden Chair, will be a guest lecturer at the National Cathedral Oct. 16. Hobgood-Oster is giving a lecture titled “Animals at Home on the Earth: Lessons for People of Faith.” Read more here.

Mary Visser, professor of art and holder of the Herman Brown Chair, is one of the guest artists whose work is featured in a month-long exhibition at Arizona State University’s Night Gallery at the Tempe Market Place. The exhibition, titled “XYZ,” explores “digital sculpture” generated through data capture, modeling and rapid prototyping techniques. Visser will participate in a symposium with other artists featured in the exhibition Oct. 28.