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Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum was one of five individuals recognized recently for their contributions to the education of Latino high school students.

The awards were presented during a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of The National Hispanic Institute, which was founded by Southwestern graduate Ernesto Nieto.

Schrum received the NHI’s Hall of Fame Award for distinguished contribution to the work of the National Hispanic Institute. Southwestern has supported NHI programs for 24 years, including hosting the pilot Great Debate and Collegiate World Series programs, as well as being the sole host for NHI’s inaugural program for high school students, the Texas Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative session. NHI estimates Southwestern’s longstanding support of NHI, which Schrum has been instrumental in maintaining, now exceeds $2.5 million in cash and in-kind donations.


A Southwestern professor has received $20,000 to help the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determine whether minorities face additional barriers when trying to rent affordable housing in neighborhoods that are perceived as more desirable.

Dirk Early, professor of economics and associate dean of the Brown College of Arts and Sciences, submitted a proposal to conduct the research in response to a request HUD sent out for research that would be of interest to them.

“This is an area I have wanted to study for a while,” Early said. “I’ve always been curious about how housing markets work and the interplay with discrimination.”

Early said the subject of discrimination against minorities trying to rent in certain areas has been studied before, but researchers have never been able to reach a consensus on whether or not there is a problem. However, he notes that previous studies have only focused on a small number of markets. Early has received data from HUD that will enable him to study 40-50 metropolitan areas.

Read the rest of the story here.


A group of Southwestern theatre professors and students will be thinking about angels this month, but not in the way you might expect.

The group is helping bring residents of Macedonia (a country that used to be part of the former Yugoslavia) their first production of the Tony Award-winning play “Angels in America.” It will be performed in Macedonian.

Jared J. Stein, a visiting assistant professor of theatre who is also involved with a New York-based company called Fourthworld Theatre Projects, was asked to direct the play. He enlisted the help of Sergio Costola, associate professor of theatre, to serve as dramaturg and Desi Roybal, associate professor of theatre, to design the set for the play. Three students are going to help as well: Junior theatre major Becca Plunkett will serve as assistant director, senior theatre major Kinsey Keck will serve as a costume and acting intern, and junior theatre major Tyler King will serve as a set and dramaturg intern.

The three professors left in late November and the students will join them as soon as classes end for the semester. All six will be there through the month of December, including Christmas.

All said they are looking forward to it, even though it will mean giving up the holiday with family and friends.

Read the rest of the story here.



The 29th annual Christmas Stroll will take place in downtown Georgetown this weekend.  Events will get under way Friday night with the December First Friday. A Bethlehem Village will debut near Grace Heritage Center and the Williamson Museum will be selling copies of a new book on Williamson County.

On Saturday, events begin at noon with a parade down Austin Avenue. At 2 p.m., local tuba players led by Eileen Russell, associate professor of music, will present Georgetown’s third Tuba Christmas on the courthouse steps. A variety of free activities for children will be available throughout the day, as well as two stages with entertainment, a food court and numerous booths featuring arts and craft vendors. 


Walter Herbert, professor emeritus of English, will introduce his new book, Faith-Based War: From 9/11 to Catastrophic Success in Iraq, on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m., in the Prothro Room, which is located on the second floor of the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center.   Herbert’s book examines the impact of a faith-based policy governing key features of the American invasion of Iraq and the religious rationale that blinded devotees of the White House torture program to the predictable cost of American lives and the damage to America’s moral standing.  

Media Coverage

Michael Cooper, professor of music, was interviewed this week for the show “Classical Variations,” which airs on radio station WXEL in West Palm Beach, Fla. The interview was done in conjunction of the Dec. 8 Florida premier of the new edition of Mendelssohn’s Fantasy and Variations on the “Gypsy March” from Carl Maria von Weber’s La Preziosa which Cooper wrote.  

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion, was quoted in an NPR story about a church in California where parishioners can bring their dogs to services with them. Read and listen to the story here.

Provost Jim Hunt was interviewed for an article in an upcoming issue of Dean and Provost magazine.

Ben Pierce, professor of biology, was quoted in a story about the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s birth that was picked up by several media outlets. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the 2010 Brown Symposium.

The Fort Worth Business Press ran a story about NITLE and liberal arts colleges. Read the story here.

Inside Higher Ed ran a story about NITLE’s plans to partner with Internet2. Read the story here.


Maria de los Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, assistant professor of Spanish, presented a paper titled “El pasado nacional como narrativa de ficcion, o la historia es una telenovela” at the Interdisciplinary Conference on History and Fiction at the University of West Georgia Nov. 12-14. She also had an article titled “Relajo and melodrama in the fictional portrayal of the Mexican Independence of 1810” published as a chapter in a new book titled (Re) Collecting the Past.


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