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Southwestern University Biology Professor Romi Burks did not have the opportunity to conduct research abroad until she was in graduate school − and even then she felt lucky. 

Now, thanks to a grant Burks has received from the National Science Foundation, Southwestern students will be able to gain valuable international research as undergraduates.

Burks has received a $72,075 grant from the NSF’s International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program. The grant, which was a cooperative proposal between Southwestern and the University of Hawaii, will enable five undergraduate students a year to conduct research abroad for the next three years along with one Ph.D. student to help guide the mentoring process. Two faculty members from the University of Hawaii, Ken Hayes and Rob Cowie, received an additional $77,000 to support their students.

The research projects funded by the grant will use the freshwater gastropod family Ampullariidae – apple snails – as a model system to provide international research experiences for students in Uruguay and Brazil. Apple snails are the largest freshwater snails and a major component of freshwater diversity in tropical and subtropical environments. “This research project has the potential to discover new species, redefine our understanding of evolutionary relationships and provide key life history data on invasive species in their native range,” Burks said.

Read more here.


Lyndsey Resnik and her brother, Steven, both love playing soccer and cheering for each other. And despite their busy schedules as college students, they are still able to do so.

That’s because both play soccer for Southwestern – Lyndsey on the women’s team and Steven on the men’s team. Since the two teams travel together, Lyndsey and Steven always get to cheer each other on.

Lyndsey came to Southwestern first and is now a junior majoring in kinesiology. Steven is a sophomore majoring in physics and may also minor in music. Both are starters on their teams, with Steven playing outside left midfield and Lyndsey playing outside left backfield.

The Resniks have been playing soccer since they were 4 or 5 years old. They played for the same youth soccer club in Austin − the River City Rangers − and both played soccer at Anderson High School in Austin.

Lyndsey said she decided to come to Southwestern after one of her high school teammates came here. “It’s really nice to play at a Division III school,” she said. “Soccer is a huge part of my life, but it is not everything.”

Lyndsey said she is glad her brother decided to join her at Southwestern. “We’ve gotten even closer since he came here,” she said. “We’ve both grown as players and as people. It’s nice to have someone who is always there for you.”

Read more here.



Tickets for the 2011 Writers Voice lecture featuring author Dave Eggers are now available to Southwestern students, faculty and staff and will be available to the public Sept. 27.

Eggers will speak on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. Each person may reserve up to two tickets. For more information, visit here.


Pianist Andrew Parr will give a guest recital on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program includes works by Béla Bartók and Frédéric Chopin.

Parr is on the faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, and has performed extensively in solo, chamber and concerto settings. For more information on Parr, visit

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


The Madera Trio will perform at Southwestern on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The trio includes Anna Carney, clarinet; Lynn Leadbeter, violin; and Roy Wylie, piano.

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


Cellist Hai Zheng will give a faculty recital on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

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


The Theatre Department will present “Cloud Nine” by Caryl Churchill from Wednesday, Sept. 28, through Sunday, Oct. 2, in the Jones Theater. Wednesday and Thursday performances will begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 8 p.m., and the Sunday matinee will begin at 3 p.m.

“Cloud Nine” humorously confronts colonial and sexual repression through a cast of peculiar characters and their journey from colonial Africa to 20th century London. Social expectations and stereotypes are brought into focus as the characters, cross-cast over sexual and racial lines, struggle to fulfill the strictly assigned roles of English colonials in the Victorian era. Then, transplanted to 1979 London, the characters attempt to establish their identities in the changing sexuality of modern times. The play explores relationships, sex, power, politics, money, and of course, Queen Victoria.  

Tickets are $12 - $18 and may be purchased online at online at or by calling the Box Office at 512-863-1378.

Media Coverage

Provost Jim Hunt had an op-ed piece about the value of teachers published in the Austin American-Statesman. Read the piece here.


Senior math and education major Sarah Ayers is one of three students selected statewide to receive a scholarship from the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) for the 2011-2012 school year. The scholarship will be presented at the organization’s annual awards luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel in Austin Dec. 8. The scholarship honors the best teacher candidates in the state. Ayers hopes to be a high school math teacher and also wants to coach swimming at the high school level. Read more here.

Patrick Hajovsky, assistant professor of art history, published a book review in the Journal of Anthropological Research, vol. 67 (2011). He reviewed Eduardo de J. Douglas’ In the Palace of Nezahualcoyotl: Painting Manuscripts, Writing the Pre-Hispanic Past in Early Colonial Tetzcoco, Mexico (UT Press, 2010). Douglas will be coming to campus this semester to give a lecture on his research.

Edward L. Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar, edited a chapter in the third edition of Social Problems: A Case Study Approach, which was released last week by Kendall Hunt publishers. His chapter is titled  “Families.”