Top News


Students involved with Southwestern’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity won’t have to look far to see who their latest house project is benefitting.

This month, Southwestern students will help break ground for a new house that will soon be home to Physical Plant employee Michael Sedwick and his family. 

“It’s a blessing from God,” said Sedwick, a Georgetown native who has worked as a groundskeeper at Southwestern for nine years. “For us, home ownership always seemed to be a dream that was unattainable.”  

Sedwick and his wife, Alanna Williams-Sedwick, have four children – Diamond, Michael, Annissa and Madison. Alanna works as a bookkeeper for a local custom cabinet company. They currently are living in a three-bedroom duplex in Georgetown that has only one bathroom.

Read the rest of the story here.


It’s 5 p.m. on a Monday evening and the Fondren-Jones science building is buzzing with activity. It’s not Southwestern students trying to get their lab work done, though. It is a group of elementary school students who are trying to learn more about how science works. 

The students are participants in the SMArT program, which was started in 2007 by Romi Burks, an associate professor of biology at Southwestern. SMArT stands for Science and Math Achiever Teams. The program pairs Southwestern students with 3rd-5th grade students from Cooper Elementary School in Georgetown who are participating in the school’s Extended School Enrichment (ESE) program.

Burks started SMArT to teach elementary students about the scientific process of inquiry. Student mentors from Southwestern guide the children through the process and help them explore topics that inspire them about science, from physics to biology. The teams  will present the result of their work this semester at an Achievement Party to be held Monday, April 20th, at 5 p.m. in the Bishops Lounge on the first floor of the McCombs Campus Center.

Read the rest of the story here.



The percussion duo of Lisa Nicol and Matthew McClung will give a guest artist recital on Monday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in Caldwell-Carvey Foyer.

Nicol is director of percussion studies at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi and is the timpanist for the Corpus Christi Cathedral. McClung is an assistant professor of percussion at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The two formed their duo in 2007 to bring new and exciting percussion music to the Coastal Bend region. They have collaborated with composers and other musicians from the area, and have dazzled audiences with their innovative style and virtuosic command of a diverse array of percussion instruments.

Their performance is sponsored by Southwestern’s Percussive Arts Society. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1379. 


The Central Texas Trombone Choir directed by Andrew Russel will give a recital on Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The concert will feature guest artist David Waters.

The performance is being held as part of International Trombone Week April 5-12.

It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Eileen Meyer Russell at 512-863-1732 or

Media Coverage

The Austin American-Statesman and the Williamson County Sun ran stories about “The Color of Dissonance.” Read the Statesman story here.  

   ran a story about the senior art exhibitions.


Junior Magen Comley won the assistant principal flute chair in the Small College Intercollegiate Band that performed last weekend at the College Band Directors National Association Conference held at The University of Texas at Austin. The ensemble was comprised of students from more than 40 states.

Sophomore chemistry major Donato (Joe) De Luca received Honorable Mention for the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, which are given to undergraduates who plan to pursue careers in science, math and engineering. De Luca has been doing research in the lab of Maha Zewail Foote, assistant professor of chemistry.

Lois Ferrari, associate professor of music, led the Austin Civic Orchestra in a sold-out performance in the Alma Thomas Theater Feb. 21. This concert featured the world premiere of Professor Michael Cooper’s edition of Mendelssohn’s Fantaisie und Variations uber den Zigeunermarsch aus Weber’s “Preziosa,” as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” Listen to the Mendelssohn piece here.

Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton, associate professor of English, is co-host of the 2009 South Central Writing Centers Association Conference, which is being held at Southwestern April 2-4. The conference is titled “Writing and Teaching a Practice of Pleasure,” and features a keynote speech by T.R. Johnson of Tulane University, author of A Rhetoric of Pleasure: Prose Style and Today’s Composition Classroom.

Aaron Prevots, assistant professor of French, was selected as a finalist for the 2008 Texas Institute of Letters’ Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation. The nomination was made for Return to Calm by Jacques Réda, a bilingual French-English poetry volume published in 2007 by Host Publications. Return to Calm features seven sections and uses verse to depict growing up, past loves, travel, seascapes, seasons and places in and around Paris. 

Eric Selbin, professor of political science, had an article titled “What Was Revolutionary about the Iranian Revolution? The Power of Possibility,” published in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, vol, 29, no. 1 (2009), pp. 33-46.

Rebecca Sheller, associate professor of biology, is presenting a paper about her research on two breast cancer cell lines at the American Association of Cancer Research International Meeting to be held in Denver April 19-23. The paper was written in collaboration with Maria Cuevas, assistant professor of biology, and Maria Todd, assistant professor of biology.


Wonder what members of the Class of 2008 are doing these days? That information is now available online, along with information on previous graduating classes. Take a look here.