Top News 


Southwestern students Colin Kyle and James McDonough won’t be going home for Thanksgiving this year. But they’re not complaining.

That’s because the two of them have to opportunity to spend the holiday in Uruguay, where they will give poster presentations about their research on applesnails to an international scientific community and conduct additional field research.

Kyle and McDonough will spend two weeks in Punta del Esta,Uruguay, a small town on the Atlantic coast about 90 km from the capital city of Montevideo. They will present their research at the International Shallow Lakes Conference, which is being held in the town Nov. 23-28. During the conference, and for the week after, they will conduct field work in shallow lakes near Punta del Esta. They also plan to drive to northern Uruguay to collect samples of applesnails that live there.

The two senior biology majors both conduct collaborative research in the Aquatic Ecology Lab of Professor Romi Burks. They have spent the past several years helping Burks with her research on two species of Pomacea, applesnails that literally grow to the size of apples. The native range of both snail species point to South American countries such as Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.  Pomacea insularum, which has made it to Texas, definitely occurs in Brazil but may be in northern Uruguay as well.  In Texas, this species causes problems in several bodies of water in the Houston area.

Read the rest of the story here:



Southwestern University will hold two Candlelight Services for the Season of Advent at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Lois Perkins Chapel. The services are free and open to the public. 

The services, which are a Southwestern and Georgetown tradition, are adapted from “An Advent Service of Lessons and Carols” in The United Methodist Church Book of Worship, and are based on one developed in 1934 for the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. The Season of Advent, which begins the Christian year, is the four weeks prior to the celebration of Christmas and marks the season of anticipation and preparation.

Liturgists for the services will Ronald Swain, senior advisor to the president; Aaron Rohre, acting director of Religious Life; and Eric McKinney, interim University Chaplain.

Kenny Sheppard, professor of music, will conduct the Southwestern University chorale. Pam Rossman, instructor of music, chapel organist and music coordinator, will be the organist. Michelle Perrin, a senior music major, will conduct the Southwestern University orchestra.

Following the 6 p.m. service, Southwestern’s dining service will be available until 8 p.m. in the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Commons of the McCombs Campus Center. The cost is $8.75 for adults and $4.50 for children 10 and under. There will also be a coffee reception provided by the Greater Georgetown Association of Southwestern University Alumni in the Rockwell Rotunda on the first floor of the Campus Center.

Following the 7:30 p.m. service, there will be a holiday reception for the public in the Bishops Lounge of the Campus Center.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun ran articles about the following:

  • Azar Nafisi’s visit to campus for the Writer’s Voice series.
  • The alumni architecture and design exhibit now on display at the Fine Arts Gallery.
  • The fact that that Southwestern was selected as a finalist for the Texas Downtown Association’s Best Downtown Partner Award for 2008.
  • The fact that a graduate student from Germany spent eight weeks observing how Southwestern’s Career Services office helps graduates transition to life as working adults.
  • The new Ellsworth Peterson Society, which will support the annual Festival of the Arts in Georgetown. Peterson retired from Southwestern in 2002.


Eileen Cleere, associate professor of English, delivered a paper titled “Hyperaesthesia:  Art After Ruskin” at the November meeting of the North American Victorian Studies Association in New Haven. The paper explored the work of late-Victorian art critic Bernhard Berenson in the context of E.M. Forster’s 1908 novel A Room with a View.

David Gaines, associate professor of English and director of the Paideia Program, delivered the keynote address at Texas Campus Compact’s “Service Learning and Civic Engagement Educators Retreat” in Austin Oct. 24. He also spoke to college-bound students at Georgetown High School Nov. 13. The title of his talk was “This Land Is Your Land: From Woody Guthrie to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.”

Junior Charles Prince will be the keynote speaker for the Dec.13th Austin African-American Men’s and Boy’s Conference. Prince will speak on “What to Do When the Educational Odds Are Against You.”