Top News


Eleven innovative student projects will become reality in 2012, thanks to money from the King Creativity Fund.  

Among the projects funded this year are a mosaic mural made of recycled ceramic fragments, a machine that will dispense items need for bicycle repairs, a device that will collect the energy of people’s footsteps and convert it into electrical energy, and a low-cost method of detecting bacteria in food products before they are shipped to grocery stores.

This is the 12th year the King Creativity Fund has supported “innovative and visionary projects” proposed by Southwestern students. The fund was established in 2000 with an endowment provided by Southwestern alumnus W. Joseph “Joey” King. This year, $13,880 was awarded to fund the 11 projects. Students will present their projects at a symposium to be held on Monday, April 2, 2012. 

Read more here.


Anyone interested in learning more about the study abroad experience Alex Benitez had in Peru during the fall 2011 semester has to look no further than YouTube.

Benitez has posted five videos to the popular video-sharing website under the username “alexintheandes.” The videos document everything from her home-stay family to her experiences visiting Machu Picchu and swimming with dolphins in the Amazon.

Benitez is one of four Southwestern students who were able to study abroad in 2011 thanks to scholarships from the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education. Competition for the scholarships is intense.

All scholarship recipients are required to do a follow-up project that promotes study abroad. Benitez said she decided to make the videos as her project.

“I really wanted to do something creative and fun that would allow me to learn something new since I’ve never done any sort of video before,” Benitez said. “I thought since I was going abroad it was probably the appropriate time to push my boundaries and step out of my comfort zone.”

Read more here.



The Georgetown Heritage Society is sponsoring its annual Holiday Home Tour Dec. 10-11 from noon to 5 p.m. The tour will showcase five homes in Old Town, several of which have connections to Southwestern. Among the houses on the tour will be the house at 1010 Ash St., which was once lived in by former Southwestern University President J.S. Barcus. 

Tickets for the tour are $15 in advance and $18 the day of the tour. Tickets may be purchased in advance at several locations on the Georgetown Square, including the Visitor Center, Diva, The Escape, the Hill Country Bookstore and the Georgetown Antique Mall. On the day of the tour, tickets may be purchased at Grace Heritage Center, 811 South Main St.

 For more information, call 512-869-8597 or visit

Media Coverage

Southwestern and the Texas Life-Sciences Collaboration Center were mentioned in a USA Today article about successful public-private partnerships. Read the story here.


Alex Anderson, associate director of career services, gave a presentation about her office’s award-wining “Ichabod” campaign at the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers conference in Savannah, Ga., this week.

Graham Oliver, a help desk technician in ITS and recent English graduate, had an article published in The Front Porch Journal, the official literary journal of the Texas State University MFA Program. The piece was a creative non-fiction essay titled “The Language of Cancer.” Read his essay here.


This is the last issue of In Focus that will be published this semester. For the latest news about Southwestern over the holiday break, visit the newsroom page at Publication of In Focus will resume Jan. 5. Happy Holidays!