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A new musical group on campus, a new biomedical instrument and a video documenting the threats imposed by exotic species in Florida and Texas are among the projects that will come out of this year’s King Creativity Program.

This is the 10th year of the program, which was started in 2000 with an endowment provided by Southwestern alumnus W. Joseph “Joey” King. Each year, the endowment supports up to 20 “innovative and visionary projects” proposed by Southwestern students. This year, six projects were funded for a total of $17,955. Students will present their projects at a symposium to be held on Wednesday, April 14, 2010.

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Junior Jessica Espinoza jokes that Southwestern’s blind population doubled when her brother, Michael, arrived as a first-year student this fall. 

The Espinoza siblings have been blind from birth. They have a rare condition called Leber’s congenital amaurosis, in which the optic nerve that serves as a passageway between the eye and brain has been twisted, thus restricting messages from eye to brain.

As the first blind students on campus in nearly 40 years, the Espinozas have faced some unavoidable challenges and overcome unique obstacles in order to make the most of their college experience.

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Award-winning British guitarist Michael Partington will present a guest recital on Friday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will consist of works by Manuel Maria Ponce, Domenico Scarlatti, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mauro Giuiani and Leo Brouwer.

Partington currently lives in Seattle, where he is director of the Guitar Program at the University of Washington. 

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, call The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at 512-863-1504.


An exhibit titled “Turning the Tradition: Transforming the Past in Chinese Landscape Painting” will be on display in the Fine Arts Gallery from Nov. 3-24.

The exhibit comes from Southwestern’s permanent collection of 20 Chinese facsimile (exact copy) scrolls from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.

The scrolls date from the Five Dynasties Period (906-967) to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Students in Diana Tenckhoff’s Chinese art history seminar planned, organized and curated this exhibit. The exhibit includes 14 facsimile scrolls, 12 of which are hanging scrolls and two of which are hand scrolls. The scrolls illustrate the evolution of landscape as a major theme in Chinese painting history. 

Gallery hours are from 1-5 p.m. daily. The gallery is free and open to the public.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 7-9 p.m. in the gallery. 


The annual Jameson 5K run will be held at Southwestern on Saturday, Nov. 7. The race starts and finishes in front of the Mundy Building on Southwestern Boulevard. Race time is 8 a.m.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Jaysn Jameson Memorial Scholarship Fund at Southwestern.

For more information, or to register, visit

Media Coverage

2005 graduate Olga Vasquez was featured on a “Today” show segment reported by Jenna Bush Hager. View the segment here.

The Austin American-Statesman ran the story about Southwestern’s $100,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to continue the Engaged Diversity program. Read the story here

Community Impact posted a story about Lynn Guziec’s $231,950 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article about the Etiquette Dinner sponsored by Career Services.

The Williamson County Sun ran a column about the beef donation Economics professor Mary Young made to the Caring Place.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article about the three Biology professors who were honored for their research.

Political science professor Tim O’Neill was interviewed for a story about former vice president Dick Cheney campaigning for Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Texas governor’s race. The story ran in several newspapers, including the Austin American-Statesman, the Longview News-Journal, the Lufkin Daily News, the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel and the Waco Tribune. Read the story here.


Five Southwestern University faculty members have received Sam Taylor Fellowship awards for 2009-2010. Sam Taylor Fellowships are awarded to full-time faculty at United Methodist-related colleges in Texas by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Southwestern faculty members received a total of $9,125 this year:

Daniel Castro, professor of history, received $2,000 for his project on the MLN-Tupamaros and the struggle for the “second liberation” of Uruguay. 

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion, received $2,000 for her project on animals in religion and the humanities. 

Jacquie Muir-Broaddus, professor of psychology, received $1,125 for her project on the effects of equine-assisted activities on the behavioral, cognitive and linguistic functioning of children with autism spectrum disorder. 

Michael Saenger, associate professor of English, received $2,000 for his project on Shakespeare and the borders of English. 

Elizabeth Stockton, assistant professor of English, received $2,000 for her project on the letters of Elizabeth Stoddard.


Romi Burks, associate professor of biology, recently published an article in the teaching resource section of Science Signaling about co-authoring papers with undergraduates. The paper was co-authored by 2001 graduate Matt Chumchal, who is now an assistant professor of biology at TCU.

Michael Cooper, professor of music, gave a presentation titled “Toward a Structured Series of Written Assignments in the Undergraduate Music-History Curriculum” at the Oct. 10 meeting of the Southwest Chapter of the American Musicological Association, which was held at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The presentation focused on a pedagogical initiative he developed for systematizing the development of music students as writers within their disciplines.

Thomas Howe, professor of art history and coordinator general of the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation, hosted the second international conference on recent work at the ancient Roman villa site of Stabia at the foundation’s center in Castellammare di Stabia, Italy, Oct.13-17. Howe made two presentations to the Italian national archaeological community and led discussions with a delegation from the Hermitage State Museums in St. Petersburg, Russia, that may to open the way for the archaeological department of the Hermitage to open an excavation at Stabia as early as summer 2010.

Ben Pierce, professor of biology, is the author of a new genetics textbook published by WH Freeman titled Genetics Essentials: Concepts and Connections. Pierce is author of several additional genetics textbooks used by colleges and universities across the country.

Eileen Meyer-Russell, associate professor of music, and Kiyoshi Tamagawa, professor of music, collaborated on recitals performed Aug. 5 in Twin Lake, Mich.; Oct. 8 in San Marcos, Texas; Oct. 18 in Shoreline, Wash.; and Oct. 20 in Eugene, Ore. The recitals included repertoire by Paul Hindemith, Hiroshi Hoshina, Donald White and Anthony Plog. Meyer-Russell performed an additional recital Oct. 21 in Portland, Ore., with pianist Jason Kwak, assistant professor of music at Texas State University.