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After offering men’s lacrosse for 25 years as a club sport, Southwestern will become the first university in Texas to offer it as a varsity sport. The University plans to field its first team in the fall of 2009 and begin NCAA competition in spring 2010.

“Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports right now at the high school and collegiate levels,” said Glada Munt, director of intercollegiate athletics at Southwestern. “This is a natural transition for us and reflects the University’s response to a strong demonstrated student interest in the sport.”

In recent years, Southwestern’s men’s lacrosse team has enjoyed tremendous success as a club sport. It has won the Lone Star Alliance Division II championship for the past four years and advanced to the national championship tournament. Men’s lacrosse will become the 16th varsity sport offered at Southwestern. The University is fielding its first varsity women’s softball team in spring 2009.

“We have been looking to grow our athletic program,” Munt said. “The average number of varsity teams for schools in our conference is 20.” She added that Southwestern is considering elevating women’s lacrosse to a varsity sport in three to five years.

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Azar Nafisi, author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, will speak at Southwestern University on Tuesday, Nov. 11, as part of the annual Writer’s Voice series sponsored by the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center. “An Evening with Azar Nafisi” will begin at 8 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. A reception and book signing will follow in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer.

Reading Lolita in Tehran electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students. The book spent more than 117 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 32 languages.

Nafisi’s Nov. 11 appearance at Southwestern is free, but tickets are required. Tickets for the general public will be available Oct. 13 and may be reserved by calling 512-863-1561 or going here.

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Two teams from Southwestern will compete in the world’s most prestigious computer programming competition – the 33rd annual IBM-sponsored Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest. They will begin by participating in a regional competition to be held Oct. 17-18 at Baylor University in Waco.

During the contest, teams of three will use their programming skills to solve as many problems possible within a five-hour period. “The amount of work put into these problems in an afternoon is equivalent to weeks of programming for a typical class,” said advisor Rick Denman, associate professor of math and computer science.

To prepare for the competition, the teams have been training on practice contests one or two days a week for the past six weeks. The SU Pirata Informatico team is made up of sophomore Sarah Doty, junior Lane Hill and sophomore Nick Ashford. The SU Root team is made up of senior Stephen Foster, junior Tommy Rogers and senior Bob Potter. Last year, SU Root placed sixth and received the Top Undergraduate Institution award.

The regional competition will include more than 70 schools from Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. The regional winner will advance to the worldwide competition to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, in April 2009.



Suzanne Buchele, an associate professor of computer science at Southwestern University who recently spent two years teaching at a university in the West African country of Ghana, will share her experiences with the community on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 4:45 p.m. in Olin 110 (Building 10 on the campus map here: In particular, Buchele will talk about her experiences with the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC). OLPC is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide laptops to children in poorer and more remote areas of the globe, since many of these children do not have access to quality educational opportunities.


The Theatre Department in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts is sponsoring a New York Theatre tour Nov. 26-30. The trip will include tickets to three Tony award-winning productions: the smash-hit musical “In The Heights”; the 2008 Tony Award-winning play “August: Osage County” from Steppenwolf, one of America’s premiere theatre companies out of Chicago; and “Boeing, Boeing” starring Christine Baranski, the 2008 Tony Award winner for Best Play Revival.

For more information on the tour, go here. Payments are due Oct 13.

Media Coverage

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion, was quoted in a column in the Washington Times about factory farming and the Humane Society’s new outreach campaign to religious congregations.

The Williamson County Sun ran a preview of the Oct. 8 Dist. 52 candidate forum at Southwestern.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the Decembrists playing at Southwestern Oct. 30.


  • Rick Denman, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, and senior philosophy and computer science major Stephen Foster have had their paper titled “Using Clausal Graphs to Determine the Computational Complexity of k-Bounded Positive One-in-Three SAT” accepted for publication in the Journal of Discrete Applied Mathematics.
  • Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, has an essay based on a conference presentation titled “Bringing Scholarship to the classroom: Strategies for promoting research through teaching” in the fall 2008 volume of ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts.
  • Alicia Moore, associate professor of education, co-presented a two-part workshop on the “The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas” at the 93rd Annual Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Conference. The workshop was presented to 150 social studies teachers and support staff in the Birmingham Schools (Alabama) and focused on the education of African American students, culturally responsive teaching and the integration of African American history into their curriculum.
  • Fern Nguyen, a senior chemistry major, and Emily Niemeyer, associate professor of chemistry, published an article in the Sept. 24 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry titled “Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization on the Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Basil.”