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After only two years on campus, Southwestern’s Mock Trial Team has done well enough to qualify for a national tournament.

Eight members of the team − Alex Barnes, Emily Goodman, Sarah Gould, Juan Juarez, Alexis Kropf, Lili McEntire, Ashley Richards and Jake Wilson − will participate in a National Intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournament to be held in Memphis March 27-29.

The team qualified for the national tournament by placing 6th out of 22 teams at the Great Southern Regional Tournament held Feb. 21-22 in Houston.

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Students at Southwestern University are seeking computers that can be refurbished to send to children in Honduras. Donated computers must be no more than seven years old, have a 1GHz processor and must run Windows XP.

As part of a civic engagement project for Southwestern’s Paideia® program, students will clean the hard drives on the computers and install a Spanish version of Windows XP on them. The refurbished computers will be shipped to Honduras at the end of April and the students will travel to Honduras to install them Aug. 3-9.

Southwestern students, faculty and staff members have been running a program to provide computers for children in Honduras since 2002. The project is done in conjunction with Save the Children Honduras. Last year, students installed 125 computers at eight elementary and middle schools located in small villages around La Esperanza, Honduras.

“Computers that are seven or eight years old are lasting another three to four years down there,” said David Williamson, a staff member in Southwestern’s Information Technology Services (ITS) Department. “The students use them during the day and their family members and parents use them on the weekends. It is amazing how many people one computer can touch.”

Anyone interested in donating an old computer to be refurbished should contact Williamson at 512-863-1643 or



Cellist Hai Zheng will present a concert with pianist Kiyoshi Tamagawa on Saturday, March 7, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

Zheng and Tamagawa will perform the U.S. premiere of a piece called “Remembrance” by Chinese composer Ki-Ling Lui, Zheng’s first cello teacher in Shanghai, China. “Remembrance” was written in 1977 during Ki-Ling Lui’s visit to the city of Banchuang in Hunan Province. It was the birthplace and final resting place of Chairman Mao’s first wife, Madam Yang Kaiwei. The composer learned of the injustices that Madam Yang suffered and decided to write an emotion-filled piece in her memory. The program also will feature works from 19th century composers Antonio Dvorak, Alexander Tcherepnin, Edvard Grieg and Peter Tchaikovsky.

Zheng has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1995. She has performed as a soloist with orchestras in Europe, North America and Asia.

The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1379.


Two years of multidisciplinary, international collaboration will come to fruition in April as Southwestern University’s Sarofim School of Fine Arts presents the premiere of an original opera called The Color of Dissonance.

The opera is based on the correspondence between Russian artist Wassily Kandinksy, German artist Gabriele Münter and Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in the period just before World War I. Their artistic collaboration played an important role in the development of modernism in Western music and art from 1911 to 1914.

The project began two years ago when faculty members in Southwestern’s Sarofim School of Fine Arts were brainstorming what could be done to commemorate the renovation and addition to the university’s Fine Arts Center.

“We wanted to create an original production that would bring music, theatre and art together,” said Kim Smith, associate professor of art history. “We cast about for times in history when music, theatre and art history came together, and this seemed like a natural fit.”

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Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun did a story on the Texas Politics Internship Program.

Read the Round Rock Leader story on the new admission center at ">">">">">">">">

The Williamson County Sun ran a page of photos from the Rocky Horror Show.


Jason Chapman, student activities coordinator, received the 2008 Central Region Outstanding New Professional award from the National Association of Campus Activities.


Students Colin Kyle, James McDonough, Matt Trawick and Anna Frankel will be presenting their research at the Texas Academy of Sciences meeting in Junction, Texas, March 6. Frankel will talk about her experience working with sea turtles on South Padre Island last summer. Kyle, McDonough and Trawick will talk about their applesnail research with biology professor Romi Burks. The abstracts of their research are posted at ">">


Student Lance Keller also is presenting research this week at a meeting of the Texas branch of the American Society of Microbiology. Keller has been working in the lab of biology professor Martin Gonzalez.


Sophomores Juan Juarez, Erika Rendon, Randi Spencer and Sarah Woolley have been selected to receive Sumners Fellowships beginning in the fall of 2009.

The fellowships, which are awarded by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation of Dallas, are for $5,000 per semester, or a total of $10,000 per year. The fellowships are awarded in the sophomore year and are good for the junior and senior years.

The fellowships are designated for students majoring in political science, history, pre-law or education. Students are selected for the fellowships based on their academic history, extracurricular activities, and leadership experience. Selection for the fellowships includes an interview with the trustees of the Sumners Foundation, which was created in 1949 by former Congressman Hatton W. Sumners (1875-1962).

In addition to assistance with tuition, students selected to receive Sumners Fellowships have access to other programs sponsored by the foundation, including a distinguished lecture series; a variety of public policy, leadership and civic participation programs; and several educational and internship opportunities in Washington, D.C.


Mary Visser, professor or art, currently has two works installed in a gallery in Wenzhou, China. The pieces are part of the touring e-Form exhibition of 30 international artists that is part of the cultural programs related to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The exhibit has already travelled to the Duolun Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai and the Today Art Museum in Beijing and will appear later this spring in the Jinse Gallery in Chongqing.

Visser’s works can be seen on the website ">">">">">">">">, which was created for the exhibition by Autodesk.


Three collaborative faculty projects have been funded for 2009 out of Southwestern’s three-year, $150,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for collaborative faculty projects.

Michael Cooper, associate professor of music, received $16,600 to produce a performance of “Songs of Bilitis,” which features texts by Pierre Louys and music of Claude Debussy. The performance will be held in spring 2010 and will be recorded for national and international distribution. More than 20 faculty members will be involved with the project, as well as several students. The complete set of musical compositions, poems, and visual artworks associated with the original Louys/Debussy collaboration has not been performed since 1901.

Fay Guarraci, assistant professor of psychology, and Maha Zewail Foote, assistant professor of chemistry, received $16,600 to continue their collaborative research. The two are combining psychology and biochemistry to investigate the adaptive significance of female mate choice on the reproductive success of different potential fathers in Long-Evans rats.

Sue Mennicke, director of intercultural learning, received $13,000 for a study designed to identify strengths and weaknesses in Southwestern’s off-campus and study-abroad programs. The project also will involve Julia Johnson, assistant professor of communications, Kathleen Juhl, professor of theatre, and Elaine Craddock, professor of religion and philosophy. As part of the study, all four will spend a week participating in the Border Studies Program Earlham College operates along the U.S.-Mexico border. The program is considered a model for how off-campus study can be a learning tool for liberal arts education. The four also will spend time visiting with colleagues at Denison University about their off-campus study programs.