Volume 18 • Issue 2

On Campus: Student News

Three Southwestern University Student Life Programs Receive National Recognition

Three Southwestern University Student Life programs have received national recognition for excellence from the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

NASPA is the largest professional association for Student Affairs administrators and faculty, with more than 11,000 members at 1,200 campuses. The NASPA Excellence Awards recognize the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services and effective administration.

The “Pirate Training” program sponsored by Southwestern Intramurals and Recreational Activities (SIRA) received the 2007 Gold Medal Award in the category of Athletics, Recreation, Physical Fitness and Non-Varsity Sports. Pirate Training is a three-year-old program conducted during New Student Orientation that helps assimilate first-year students into the University’s culture and create enthusiasm for the school. The events challenge first-year students to work and play together as they meet each other and develop new friendships.

Southwestern’s Diversity Education Program won a Silver Award Medal in the category of International, Multicultural, LGBTQ, Spirituality and Disability programs for its “One Community, Many Voices” program. This program—offered during orientation—focuses on creating a climate of open dialogue about diversity among incoming students.

Southwestern received a Bronze Award Medal in the Health, Wellness and Counseling category for its “Alcohol Reality Check” program developed by Counseling and Health Education. This interactive computer program was developed as a collaborative effort with the software engineering capstone class in the spring of 2002 and gives students information about the effects and risks related to alcohol use and abuse.

“To have three of the top programs in the country, as selected by our peers at other universities, is truly extraordinary,” says Jerry Brody, vice president for student life. “We are very proud of the staff of our Counseling and Health Services, Diversity Education Program, and Intramural and Recreational Activities Department.”

Opera Students Perform in American Premiere

Photo by Ken Howard for Austin Lyric Opera

Southwestern students performed in the premiere of the Philip Glass opera “Waiting for the Barbarians.”

Three Southwestern students shared the spotlight in January as the Austin Lyric Opera performed the American premiere of the Philip Glass opera “Waiting for the Barbarians.”

David Smith ’06 and seniors Dolores Noel and Katherine Wiggins were selected to be part of the 44-member chorus for the production, which received positive reviews from both critics and audience members.

The opera is a dramatic allegory of oppressor and oppressed, based on the 1980 novel of the same name by John M. Coetzee, a South African writer who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003. The students enjoyed the opportunity to be seen by critics and to work with directors and singers from around the world. They even got to meet Glass, who is one of the most prolific living American composers.

“You get an idea of how a professional staging works and you get to watch opera singers and the level of performance demanded from them,” Smith says. “Most importantly, you can strengthen your voice dramatically as a result of all the singing you do in such a short time.”