On Campus: Student News

Sociology Student Receives National Award

Sociology major Meagan Elliott ’07 received an award for the top undergraduate paper in the country from the American Sociological Society. Elliott received the award for a paper she wrote on Jewish identity in Poland. The paper was written for her capstone class under the direction of Sandi Nenga, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology.

This was the second year in a row that a Southwestern student has written the top undergraduate sociology paper in the country. Last year Ali Hendley ’06 received the award for her research on language and interaction on a bilingual soccer team in Georgetown.

Student Lobbies for Research

Ian Bothwell, a senior majoring in biology and chemistry, was one of only 80 students nationwide chosen by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) to present research on Capitol Hill this spring.

Bothwell presented research to members of Congress, federal agency funding officers and other invited guests in Washington, D.C., as part of the CUR’s annual “Posters on the Hill” event. Bothwell met individually with Texas Congressman John Carter to discuss the importance of funding for undergraduate research.

“I discussed the process and pitfalls of federal funding for science with Congressmen Carter, and I managed to learn quite a bit about the government’s point of view on the subject,” Bothwell says.

At Southwestern, Bothwell conducts research in the field of molecular microbiology with Martín Gonzalez, assistant professor of biology. Their research, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, focuses on the regulation of mutation-causing proteins in E. coli bacteria. It could help increase our understanding of bacteria resistance mechanisms.

Bothwell also has worked with Frank Guziec, professor of chemistry, on a new, less expensive way to synthesize Tamoxifen, a drug used in the treatment of breast cancer.

Speaker Series Brings Justice, Congressman to Campus

A speaker series sponsored by the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brought several distinguished speakers to campus this spring, including Congressman Pete Sessions ’78 and Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina.

Sessions told students Southwestern prepared him for his current leadership role by providing him with a “critical thinking education” along with many opportunities to develop as a person.

“Southwestern enables each of you to become good leaders and good followers,” he said. “A lot that happens on the Southwestern campus is a lot like the real world.”

Sessions told students he wanted them to “thirst for the world to become better” and encouraged those interested in politics to do an internship in his office. Of 10 Southwestern students who have interned with his office to date, Sessions said five have ended up securing permanent jobs on Capitol Hill.

Two Students Receive NSF Summer Research Internships

Two Southwestern students have received grants for National Science Foundation (NSF) summer research internships. Phillip Cantu, a senior sociology major, was accepted into a 2007 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at The University of Texas at Austin. Patrick Egan, a junior psychology major, was accepted into the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC), which is run by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Cantu will work on the 2007 REU Program in Minority Group Demography at UT’s Population Research Center, which is the foremost research institute for population studies in the Southwestern United States. Over the summer, REU students will develop a research project and produce a scholarly paper on a topic of their choice. They will be given a travel allowance to attend a meeting of the Southern Demographic Association (SDA) and present their research during the fall semester.

The Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center provides summer research opportunities for talented undergraduates interested in the fields of psychology, education, computer science and language technologies. Students spend eight to 10 weeks during the summer working in a research laboratory at either Carnegie Mellon University or the University of Pittsburgh.

Theatre Students Travel to Bulgaria This Summer

Six theatre students from Southwestern are traveling to Bulgaria this summer to participate in a unique program called the Rhodopi International Theater Collective (R.I.T.C.).

The group arrived in Sofia July 13, and settled in Smolyan — a town in the Rhodopi Mountains near Bulgaria’s border with Greece. The Rhodopi Mountains are considered to be the origin of Western theater, music and performance. They will return August 13.

Students participating in the program include Edward Coles, Emily Everidge, Emily Galey, Kinsey Keck, Diana Leon and Cliff Miller ’07. They will be accompanied by Sergio Costola, assistant professor of theatre.

The R.I.T.C. attracts theater practitioners, scholars and students from around the world. Each year, a different world myth is selected. This year the program will focus on the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh and its literary and historical counterparts. Visiting artists and lecturers from across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East will provide the necessary historical background, and participants will be trained in various models of theatrical techniques during intensive workshops. Students also will develop their own independent projects to be shared at the end of the program.

“Our students, by assembling at an important geographical root of storytelling, will have the chance to inter- nationalize their imaginations, broaden the scope of their vocabularies, and collectively discover how sets of diverse styles, conventions and philosophies may be merged into uniquely cohesive theatrical events,” Costola says.

The R.I.T.C. program is now in its third year. Costola and Miller both participated in the 2006 session, where the collective used the myth of Dionysus as the primary source of material.

For more information on the program, visit http://www.theatercollective.org.

Southwestern students worked with students from Round Rock ISD throughout the year to develop a play that addressed racial stereotypes. The resulting play, “As Seen on TV,” was performed at a variety of locations during the spring, including a performance at Southwestern.

Members of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and other Southwestern students joined Tracy Schach (center) in March for part of her cross-country walk to spread awareness about Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Schach began her walk in Austin March 1 and ended it June 15 at the gates of Fenway Park in Boston. Schach, whose mother died of ALS in 2002, is the sister of Boston Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin ’88.

Several Southwestern students got a chance to see what goes in to running a professional baseball operation when Career Services organized a visit to the Round Rock Express in April. Here, junior kinesiology major Michelle Oliver tries her hand at batting practice.

The Southwestern men’s lacrosse team made its third straight trip to the national tournament this year after finishing the season ranked #12 in the nation and earning an at-large bid. The team was undefeated in the Lone Star Alliance and won its third conference championship in as many years. Here, senior captain Jason Jones takes a shot during the team’s match against #6-seeded University of Northern Colorado in the first round of the national tournament. Southwestern lost this match, 9-4. The women’s lacrosse team also picked up its first Texas Women’s Lacrosse League (TWLL) conference title this spring with a dramatic come-from-behind win over Rice on April 28.