Top News


Noting a “renewed sense of urgency,” Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum announced a series of new initiatives Sept. 15 that are designed to help provide a path forward for the university amidst a changing higher education environment.

While Southwestern completed the past fiscal year with a balanced budget and successfully met its fundraising goal for the year, President Schrum noted that the financial model the university has been operating on is no longer sustainable. Students who want to attend the university require more financial assistance, and increasing the amount of financial assistance offered makes it more difficult to balance the university’s budget and maintain its unique academic program. In the past four years, the university has already reduced its budget by 20 percent.

President Schrum announced three new initiatives designed to increase revenues that will support the university’s academic mission:

  • A new January Term will be added to enable students to complete their education sooner and augment teaching compensation opportunities for faculty. University officials hope to have this in place for January 2013.
  • The university may explore the possibility of adding a fifth year in teacher education so students can attain a Masters of Teaching degree consistent with the State of Texas credentialing standards.
    adding a master’s degree program in education consistent with State of Texas credentialing requirements for teachers.
  • Southwestern is partnering with The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston to develop a master’s degree program in translational medicine. Translational medicine is a new field that focuses on bringing discoveries from the lab to the bedside.  

Read more here.


Four Southwestern University employees were recently honored for exemplary service to the university. The four received the Joe S. Mundy Exemplary Service Award, which was created in 2002 as a memorial to the leadership of former alumnus and trustee Joe Mundy. The award honors faculty and staff members who have demonstrated exemplary service to Southwestern.

This year’s award winners were Don Gregory, head men’s soccer coach; Ben Nava, a groundskeeper in Physical Plant; Phil Hopkins, associate professor of philosophy; and Jimmy Smith, professor of kinesiology.

Read more here.


Alicia Moore, associate professor of education, has been appointed to the Cargill Professorship in Education at Southwestern. The professorship was funded by a recent $383,612 gift from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation of Minnesota.

Moore has been on the Southwestern faculty since 2001. Her teaching and research focuses on culturally responsive teaching and best practices for early childhood education. She received the Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church in 2006.

“Dr. Moore is an outstanding teacher-scholar who is deeply committed to the preparation of future teachers,” said Provost Jim Hunt. “Her courses are sought out by a wide range of students, many of whom choose to pursue teaching as a career based on their experience in her class. It is a great honor to be able to recognize her outstanding work through this appointment.”

Read more here.



The Madera Trio will perform at Southwestern on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program includes works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Libby Larsen, Aram Khachaturian and Camille Saint-Saëns.
The trio includes Anna Carney, clarinet; Lynn Leadbeter, violin; and Roy Wylie, piano. Carney is a clarinet instructor at Southwestern and Leadbeter is a professor at Texas State University.

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 and pianist Kiyoshi Tamagawa will give a faculty recital on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program includes works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Béla Bartók, Johannes Brahms and Gregor Piatigorsky.

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


A screening of the 2010 documentary “Camp Victory,” which chronicles the difficulties American soldiers had trying to help build an effective Afghan army, will be held on Monday, Sept. 26, from 4-6:30 p.m. in Olin 105.

Filmmaker Carol Dysinger will be on campus to introduce the documentary, and the screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring John Piedmont, a retired Lt. Col. in the U.S. Marine Corps, and Erik Peterson, a marine who returned from Kabul in August.


Pianist Washington A. Garcia will give a guest recital on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Frédéric Chopin, Enrique Espin Yépez, Robert Schumann, and Franz Schubert.

Garcia is chair of the piano department at Texas State University and is the founder and director of the Texas State International Piano Festival.

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 or by calling the Box Office at 512-863-1378.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun covered President Schrum’s State of the University Address and the presentation of the Mundy Awards.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on Professor Melissa Byrnes’ First-Year Seminar on philanthropy.


The Southwestern chapter of Circle K International received two awards at the 2011 Circle K International Convention held in Virginia over the summer. The chapter received the Club Achievement Award for chapters that have

35 or fewer members. This award is given to clubs that have excelled in all aspects of club operation, including service, fellowship and leadership. The chapter also won the Single Service Award for its “Bead the Change” project. The Single Service Award is given to clubs that produce the best single project or service during the year.

Lois Ferrari, professor of music and music director of the Austin Civic Orchestra, recently collaborated in concert with Eri Lee Lam, associate professor of music. Lam performed the Bartok Rhapsody No. 2 for Violin as guest soloist with the orchestra. Several Southwestern students and alumni also collaborated with Ferrari to mark the ACO’s 35th season opener: Marie Smith ’14, violin, Briana Garcia’12, percussion, Jennifer Coyle ’11, violin, and Abbey Benold ’11, viola. The orchestra’s next performance will take place Nov. 5 in the Rollins Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.  For more information, visit

Sandi Nenga, associate professor of sociology,  published an article titled “Volunteering to Give Up Privilege:  How Affluent Youth Volunteers Respond to Class Privilege” in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (40(3):263-289). Nenga and 2008 sociology graduate Lauren (Cox) Apgar also had an article they co-authored published in Vol. 14 of Sociological Studies of Children and Youth. Their article, titled, “The Age of Love: Dating and the Developmental Discourse in a Middle School Summer Camp,” grew out of a collaborative research project Apgar needed to meet her Paideia research requirement. Their research at the summer camp was featured in an article that was published in the Boston Globe over the summer. Nenga and Jessica Taft from Davidson College have been selected to co-edit Vol. 16 of Sociological Studies of Children and Youth.