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In Focus: 2/7/2013

A weekly newsletter published by the Communication Office

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Dan Savage, the author of a popular nationwide sex advice column, signs copies of his books following his talk at the 2013 Brown Symposium. (Photo by Erica Grant)

Top News

STUDENTS SIGNING UP TO HELP OTHERS OVER SPRING BREAK

Sometimes you need to get out of your community to see what your community really needs.

That’s what happened last year to junior theatre major Abby Birkett when she went on a Destination: Service trip to Tucson, Ariz. On that trip, students from Southwestern worked in a community garden run by the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and helped Habitat for Humanity build houses for local residents.

“The trip made us realize there is a lot to be done in Georgetown,” Birkett said.

Exposing students to needs at the local, national and even international level is one of the goals of Southwestern’s Destination: Service program, which is now in its 17th year. Students will be going on three different trips the week of March 9-16.

Read more here.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM PREPARES STUDENTS FOR A VARIETY OF CAREERS

As an aspiring veterinarian, Stephanie Beeson knows she is going to have to answer questions related to animal behavior on a regular basis.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re working with dogs, cats, cattle, lab animals or zoo animals, the subject is going to come up,” said Beeson, a 2007 Southwestern graduate who is now enrolled at the Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Fortunately for Beeson, she is going to be well prepared to handle such questions. Beeson is among the students who have earned degrees in animal behavior at Southwestern − a relatively rare program the school has offered since 1991.

“I came to Southwestern specifically to major in animal behavior,” Beeson said. “Most schools have biology, psychology or animal science, which might have behavior in there somewhere, but very few schools have undergraduate degrees in animal behavior. I wanted something different from what I could get in the biology programs at other schools, so when I saw Southwestern had a behavior major I decided that would be perfect.”

While some students who graduate from Southwestern’s Animal Behavior Program plan to work with animals, some take what they learn from working with animals and apply it to humans.

Read more here.

Events

MEZZO-SOPRANO TO GIVE LECTURE AND GUEST RECITAL

Mezzo-soprano Linn Maxwell will give a guest recital on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. in Perkins Chapel. Maxwell will perform seven original songs by Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century German prophetess, healer and composer who was canonized in 2012.The performance is free and open to the public.

Maxwell also will give a free public lecture titled “Finding Hildegard,” on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 4:30 p.m. in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer.

For more information on either event, contact The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at 512-863-1504.

OBSERVATORY TO HOST PUBLIC VIEWING NIGHT FEB. 15

The Fountainwood Observatory will host a public viewing night on Friday, Feb. 15, from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

Viewing nights are free, but donations are encouraged 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.

FACULTY MEMBERS AND GUEST ARTIST TO GIVE RECITAL FEB. 19

The Sarofim School of Fine arts is sponsoring a faculty and guest artist recital on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer. Performers include Anna Carney, clarinet; Kiyoshi Tamagawa, piano; Eric Stone Miller, bassoon; Joshua Davies, trumpet; Lynn Ledbetter, violin; and Karla Hamelin, cello. The program includes works by Louis Cahuzac, Aaron Copland, Johannes Brahms and Bohuslav Martinů.

Carney, Tamagawa and Miller are on the faculty at Southwestern. Ledbetter and Hamelin are on the faculty at Texas State University and Davies teaches trumpet at the University of Lethbridge in Canada.

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

THEATRE DEPARTMENT TO PRESENT LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS FEB. 21-24

The Theatre Department will give five performances of “Little Shop of Horrors” by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman Feb. 21-24 in the Alma Thomas Theater. Performances will be given at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The show, which is an affectionate spoof of 1950’s sci-fi movies, is one of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time. Tickets are $14-$20 and may be purchased online at www.southwestern.tix.com or by calling the Box Office at 512-863-1378.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun did a story about presidential candidate Ed Burger’s visit to campus.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about how area colleges feel about proposed legislation that would allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion and environmental studies, participated in a live discussion about the impact of cats on native species on the Huffington Post website Feb. 4. Watch the archived discussion here.

Notables

Southwestern students and faculty members raised more than $2,600 for Meals on Wheels and The Caring Place through the Empty Bowls lunch they sponsored Jan. 28. Students and faculty members who made bowls for the fundraiser included Owen Cassidy, Daniella Garcia, Zoe Martin, Kira McEntire, Kate Nelson, Tess Outlaw and Patrick Veerkamp.

Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, had a 150-entry annotated bibliography on the “Politics of Japan” accepted for publication by Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science, which was edited by Rich Valelly and is being published this spring by Oxford University Press. Ben Bracher, a senior political science major, provided significant research assistance on the project last summer as part of a Southwestern University faculty-student research grant.

Josh Long, assistant professor of environmental studies, served as a panelist at the 2013 Food, the City, and Innovation Conference held in Austin Feb. 1. The paper he discussed was co-authored by Anwar Sounny-Slitine, instructor of environmental studies and GIS lab manager, and members of the 2012 Environmental Studies Capstone class.

Victoria Star Varner, professor of art and chair of Studio Art, exhibited an engraving in “Pressing Matters: A National Print Competition and Exhibition” at the Pacific Art League, in Palo Alto, Calif. in November. The juror for the exhibition was Valerie Wade, director of Crown Point Press in San Francisco.