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Two projects proposed by Southwestern faculty members have received funding from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS).

Carl Robertson, associate professor of Chinese, received $1,600 to work with Li Wei at Rollins College on a pilot project that will allow small colleges with limited faculty resources to offer advanced classes in Chinese and Chinese culture.

Bill O’Brien, associate professor of physics, and John Ore, professor of theatre, received $7,168 to work with a colleague at Trinity University to develop a course that will be cross-listed between Environmental Studies, Theatre and Physics. The course will focus on energy conservation strategies for the theater, particularly the replacement of incandescent lighting fixtures with systems that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The grant proposal stems from a project Ore began last September to design LED technology for Heather Hall, a small theater on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building.

Read the rest of the story here.


Emily Niemeyer, a professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Southwestern, has been selected to receive the 2009-2010 Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Each year the Board allows the university to designate one teacher to receive this award, which includes a $500 cash prize.

Criteria for receiving the award include excellence in teaching; civility and concern for students and colleagues; commitment to value-centered education; and service to students, the institution and the community.

Niemeyer has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1998. In addition to teaching and serving as chair of her department, she has served as a member of the Budget Advisory Committee and is assisting with the university’s salary equity study.  

“Dr. Niemeyer always receives outstanding evaluations from both majors and non-majors,” said Provost Jim Hunt. “She exemplifies Southwestern University’s commitment to science literacy for all students and to the preparation of future leaders in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry.”



Pianist Vincent Lam will present a solo faculty recital on Tuesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program features Brahms’ Four Ballades and Chopin’s Four Scherzi.

The concert is free and open to the public.


The Southwestern Theatre Department is presenting “Urinetown, The Musical” from Wednesday, March 3, through Sunday, March 7, in the Jones Theater.

The Tony Award-winning musical is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. Due to the water shortage citizens of a Gotham-like city must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he’s had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom.

Performances will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets for the Wednesday and Thursday evening performances and the Sunday matinee are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 63 and over, and $8 for students. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday evening performances are $18 for adults, $14 for seniors 63 and over and $12 for students. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 512-863-1378. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more.


The English Department is sponsoring a touring production of Romeo and Juliet by the American Shakespeare Center on Friday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mood Atrium. The performance will be free, courtesy of the Howard-Crawford Lecture Series.

Prior to the performance, there will a panel discussion titled “American
Verona: Making sense of Shakespeare in our world” at 4 p.m. in Mood Atrium. A panel consisting of English Professor Michael Saenger, Political Science Professor Bob Snyder and Education Professor Stephen Marble will discuss a variety of topics related to Romeo and Juliet.  

Media Coverage

The Austin American-Statesman did a story on Kinesiology Professor Scott McLean’s work with the U.S. Olympic bobsled team. Read the story here.

The Austin American-Statesman and the Williamson County Sun ran stories about the National Student Peace Conference coming to Southwestern. Read the Statesman story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a page of photos from the opening of the “Who Owns Classicism” exhibit at the Fine Arts Gallery.

The Austin American-Statesman interviewed students who were enjoying the snow on Tuesday. Read the story here.


Lois Ferrari, associate professor of music, conducted the Washington All-State Wind Ensemble at the Washington Music Educators Association Conference in Yakima, Wash., Feb. 12-15. The Wind Ensemble was comprised of the best wind and percussion students in the state of Washington and rehearsed for six hours a day before performing a culminating concert Feb. 15. The concert included the world premiere of a work titled “He With Reel” by Lewis Norfleet that was commissioned for the event.

Joey King, vice president for innovation and executive director of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), has been elected to the Board of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The Washington, D.C.,-based organization works to foster new approaches to the management of digital and non-digital information resources so that they will be available in the future.  

Shannon Mariotti, assistant professor of political science, was interviewed by the journal TELOS about her recent article on Theodor Adorno, psychoanalysis and alienation in post-WWII America. The article is available at

Carl Robertson, associate professor of Chinese, gave a lecture to alumni living in the Washington, D.C., area last weekend in conjunction with the exhibit on terra cotta warriors that is on display through March 31 at the National Geographic Museum. His lecture was titled “Terra Cotta Warriors and Ink-Brush Poets: Figures of Service.”