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In Focus: 2/13/2014

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Brown Symposium 2014

A health fair was among the activities that were part of the 2014 Brown Symposium titled “Healing: The Art and Science of Medicine.” Wellness counselor Betsy Warren is shown here at the booth Counseling Services had at the health fair. (Photo by Daniel Dumitru)

A health fair was among the activities that were part of the 2014 Brown Symposium titled “Healing: The Art and Science of Medicine” that was held on campus Feb. 6-7. Wellness counselor Betsy Warren is shown here at the booth Counseling Services had at the health fair. (Photo by Daniel Dumitru)

Top News

SOUTHWESTERN STUDENT RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD FOR INTERNSHIP WORK

Senior English and education major Paige Duggins has been selected to receive the 2014 Academic Internship Student Achievement Award from the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA).

The award will be presented April 8 at the CEIA’s annual meeting in Seattle, Wash., and comes with a $500 prize. The award spotlights students who not only excel in their internships, but also actively serve their communities.

Duggins was selected to receive the award for work she did as an intern with the Luna Legislative Scholars and Fellows Program at the Texas Capitol in the spring of 2013.

Duggins is the fourth Southwestern student to receive this national award in the past eight years. No other school has had more than two students receive this award.

Read more here.

SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR AND STUDENTS HELPING COLLEGES PREPARE FOR UPCOMING CHANGES IN THE MCAT®

Beginning in the spring of 2015, the test that all prospective medical school applicants are required to take is going to be a lot different. In addition to the usual sections devoted to biological sciences, physical sciences and critical reasoning, about 25 percent of the test will be devoted to material from two new subjects – sociology and psychology.

This is the first major change that has been made to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT®) since 1991. Kerry Bruns, a chemistry professor who serves as the pre-med advisor at Southwestern, said the change is being made to ensure that aspiring doctors have an understanding of the social and behavioral sciences.

“Physicians need to be more than just biological or physical scientists,” Bruns said. “They need to understand how the socioeconomic conditions in which a person lives may affect their health.” 

Bruns said that at Southwestern, he has always advised pre-med students to take courses such as psychology and sociology. But that hasn’t necessarily been the case at other schools. For this reason, the forthcoming change in the MCAT® could have a significant impact on sociology departments across the country.

“While many pre-med students already take a psychology course to meet their general education requirements, a much smaller number typically take a sociology course,” said Ed Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar. “Sociology departments need to proactively plan for this change.”

Kain has been at the forefront of helping sociology departments across the country prepare for this change.

Read more here.

Events

HISTORIAN TO GIVE GUEST LECTURE ABOUT NEW ORLEANS FEB. 26

Leslie M. Harris, a professor at Emory University and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Historical Studies at The University of Texas, will give a Feb. 26 talk at Southwestern on “Writing a Personal Urban History of New Orleans.” The talk will begin at 4 p.m. in Mood Atrium.

Harris will talk about her experiences as a professional historian who, in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane season, decided to use memoir and family history as a way to understand the history of New Orleans. The attention New Orleans received during the post-Katrina years inspired her to explore long-standing issues of race and class in the city, as well as what it means to live in such an environmentally fragile place. Harris will explore the challenges of doing family history, not only for the historian, but for the family members involved as well.

Harris is the Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities and associate professor of history and African American studies at Emory.

Media Coverage

KEYE-TV did a story on how baseball coach R.J. Thomas has hired former National League MVP Jeff Kent to help coach the Pirates baseball team this year. See the story here.

The Austin American-Statesman and the Williamson County Sun covered the Brown Symposium. The Statesman story is available to subscribers here.

Notables

Houston businessman and Southwestern graduate Richard H. (“Hank”) Bachmann has joined the Southwestern University Board of Trustees. Bachmann is a 1974 graduate of Southwestern and a 1977 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center. He currently serves as president and CEO of Houston-based Enterprise Products Company. Read more here.

Students Anne Bannister, Egan Cornachione and Jennifer O’Neal won the photography contest that was held as part of the 2014 Brown Symposium. Bannister took first place and won $300 for her photo titled “Fine Motor Strengthening,” which she took during a semester abroad in rural Thailand during her junior year. Cornachione took second place and received $200 for his photo of a shaman sculpture at Seminole Canyon State Park at sunrise. O’Neal took third place and received $100 for her photo titled “Exhaustion,” which showed a sick woman living in a refugee camp in Uganda. See the winning photos here.

Rebecca Edwards, part-time assistant professor of physics, presented a poster titled “Modification of local roughness length by advancing storm surge in landfalling tropical cyclones” at the 2014 American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 2-6. The poster resulted from work done with students Ross Warkentin and Steven Resnik as part of the SCOPE undergraduate research program during the summer of 2013.

Traci Giuliano, professor of psychology, recently presented a poster titled “Strategies for writing effectively in a first-year seminar” at the National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology in Tampa, Fla.

Senior Kayla Irvin has been named SCAC Softball Hitter of the Week for the week ending Feb. 9. Read more here.

Alison Kafer, associate professor of feminist studies, gave a talk at UC San Diego Feb 5 titled “Un/Safe Disclosures: On Trauma, Tragedy, and Other Taboos.” The talk was sponsored by the English and Communication Studies departments as well as the LGBT Center. While at UCSD, she also met with Michael Davidson’s graduate seminar in cultural studies, which was reading her book Feminist, Queer, Crip (Indiana University Press, 2013) as one of their course texts. 

Eric Selbin, professor of political science and University Scholar, moderated a panel on “Pedagogy of Revolution” that was part of a conference on “Illustrating Anarchy and Revolution: Mexican Legacies of Global Change” sponsored by the Center for Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Students Carly Dennis, Annie Emswiler and Kevin Lentz attended parts of the conference.

Willis Weigand, associate professor and director of general chemistry labs, was profiled by the American Chemical Society as part of its series on “Chemists in the Real World.” Read the profile here.