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For many offices on campus, spring break is going to be a week of packing and unpacking boxes.

That’s because they will be moving into the new Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning.

The three-story, 40,203 square-foot building will allow Southwestern to consolidate many student services in one location, including the Registrar, Counseling and Health Services, Career Services, the Center for Academic Success, the Office of Intercultural Studies and the Office of Civic Engagement. It also will serve as the home for Southwestern’s Paideia® Program, a three-year program that helps students make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and the world around them.

The $11 million building also will be the new home of Georgetown’s Senior University, which offers non-credit courses for residents 50 and older.

The Prothro Center is located on the Academic Mall next to the F.W. Olin Building. It was dedicated on Thursday, March 11.

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Southwestern may have some students from China enrolling in fall 2011 if a new partnership is successful.

Southwestern is one of 10 schools selected to participate in a pilot project designed to encourage more Chinese students who are financially and academically qualified to study at American universities as undergraduates. The consortium includes colleges and universities that offer a variety of undergraduate experiences, including women’s colleges, state universities and liberal arts colleges.

Two members of Southwestern’s Admissions Office are visiting China March 15-21 on an initial recruiting trip sponsored by the consortium.

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Eleven students from Southwestern plan to spend their spring break in the nation’s capital exploring the intersections of faith, service and politics.  

The students will be going to Washington, D.C., March 16-20 with University Chaplain Beverly Jones and Georgianne Hewett, associate vice president for alumni and parent relations.

Jones said she decided to offer the trip this year to supplement Southwestern’s Destination: Service program, which has been offered over spring break for the past 14 years. 

“This trip is focused more on education than service,” Jones said. “The main theme is poverty and we hope to explore dimensions of poverty from different angles.”

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Media Coverage

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran an op-ed piece President Schrum wrote about the value of a liberal arts education. Read the piece here.

The Williamson County Sun covered the Large Act Concert featuring Common.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the opening of the Prothro Center.


Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, together with three co-authors (Vineet Goyal from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Anupam Gupta from Carnegie Mellon University and Viswanath Nagarajan from the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center), had a paper published in the February 2010 issue of Mathematics of Operations Research. The paper is titled “A Plant Location Guide for the Unsure: Approximation Algorithms for Min-Max Location Problems” and can be read here.

Communication Studies majors Alex Caple and Lili McEntire presented papers at the UNT Undergraduate Honors Conference at the University of North Texas Feb. 27. Caple presented a paper titled “Enter, Mr. President: The Influence of Timing in Presidential Rhetorical Leadership” and McEntire presented a paper titled “Lol Mom and Dad, Who’s txting now: Remedying Middle-Aged Resistance to Text Messaging through Advertising.” Both papers were done as capstone projects last fall under the direction of Davi Thornton, assistant professor of communication studies, and were selected for presentation through a competitive blind-review process.

Ellen Davis, director of communications, received a merit award in news writing from the Texas Public Relations Association for a fall 2009 story about the First-Year Seminar on dogs.

Ed Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar, is presenting the inaugural Luster Lecture at Michigan State University March 15.  The title of his lecture is “Pathways for Navigating the Changing Landscape of Higher Education.” Part of the lecture will focus on the contributions and legacy of Tom Luster, who was a faculty member in the Department of Family and Child Ecology at Michigan State. The lecture is being held in conjunction with the awarding of the first Tom Luster graduate scholarship in the department.

Senior communication studies major Tyler Rankin presented a paper titled “The Beijing Military Museum: An Institutional Display of Objects and Information as a Means of Legitimizing State Rule” at the Design Principles and Practices Conference at the University of Illinois, Chicago Feb. 13. The paper was originally produced as a class project for a spring 2009 visual communication class taught by Bob Bednar, associate professor of communication studies.

Senior environmental studies major Matt Trawick received the award for best undergraduate talk presented at the Texas Academy of Science meeting March 4-5. Trawick presented a talk titled “Waterlogged: Egg Maturity Mitigates Effects of Water Stress on Reproductive Efforts of a Freshwater Invasive Apple Snail (Pomacea insularum).” Trawick also received the award for the best abstract in the Freshwater Science section, which was the largest section at the meeting. That award competition was open to undergraduates as well as graduate students. Alex Hall received the best abstract award in the Terrestrial Ecology section for his paper titled “Artificial Light and Nocturnal Anuran Calling Behavior in Northern Michigan Vernal Pools.”

Four other Southwestern students presented papers or posters at the meeting. Olivia Stanzer presented a paper titled “The Persistence of Pink: Potential Ecological Influences of Ovorubin in Egg Clutches of Pomacea insularum,” Alexis Ritzer presented a paper titled “Two Year Population Survey at Two Sites of the Georgetown Salamander (Eurycea naufragia),” Tiffany Biagas presented a poster titled “Feel Free to Hit the Snooze Button: Time of Day Does Not Influence Surface Counts of the Georgetown Salamander (Eurycea naufragia), and Alexis Kropf presented a poster titled “Size Really Doesn’t Matter for Exotic Female Apple Snails (Pomacea insularum) in Terms of Fecundity.”

Ben Pierce, professor of biology, served as president-elect and program chair for the meeting and Romi Burks, associate professor of biology, served as awards chair and vice president. Pierce assumed the TAS presidency at the end of the meeting and Burks will be responsible for the 114th meeting at St. Edwards in March 2011 as program chair and president-elect.


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