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Nearly 50 Southwestern employees will be recognized Jan. 18 for their long-time service to the university. The recognition ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the Bishops Lounge.

Five retiring employees will be recognized – Bob Paver, Jan Nowlin, Josie Rodriguez, Geraldine Stanford and Torivia Zavala. Paver has retired after more than 16 years of service in ITS, Nowlin is retiring after 33 years of service in University Relations, Rodriguez is retiring after more than 15 years of service in the Business Office, Stanford is retiring after more than 31 years of service in Custodial Services and Zavala has retired after 43 years of service in Custodial Services.

Employees being recognized for 30 years of service are Norma Gaines, administrative assistant in Fiscal Affairs, and Joe LePage, supervisor of Physical Plant.

Debi Flummer of Audiovisual Services is being recognized for 25 years of service.

Employees being recognized for 20 years of service are Lisa Anderson from the Library,  Laura Gatlin of ITS, Lou Ann Moore of University Relations, and Jaime Woody of Student Activities.

Employees being recognized for 15 years of service are Herminia Carreno of Custodial Servivces, Julie Cowley from the Provost’s Office, Verna Macias of Custodial Services, Lori McBee and Gary Logan from the Business Office, and Traci Willis of ITS.

Employees being recognized for 10 years of service are Cindy Busby, Cullie Hamilton, Kent Huntsman, Susan Lamb, Susan Leavell, Jingwen Ma, Duke Moore, Susan Stubbs, Maricruz Valdez, Christine Vasquez and Bishop Joe Wilson.

Employees being recognized for five years of service are Mary Blank, JC Burt, Robert Diaz, Angie Garcia, Rosa Garcia, Megan Hardin, Lisa Hopkins, Brenda Krusely, Bill Lane, Tom Leggitt, Adam Navarro-Jusino, Doreen Prevots, Ruben Ruiz, John Savage, David Smith, Maria Tijerina, Michael Torres and Gena Turner.



Southwestern will host a community dinner to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 16, at 5 p.m. in the McCombs Ballrooms. The theme for the dinner will be “Sustaining the Dream.” 

Featured speaker for the dinner will be La Vonne Neal, dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Neal was on the faculty at Southwestern from 1997 to 2005 before she left to become dean of the College of Education at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She was named dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Education in April 2010.

The dinner is free for Southwestern students, and $5 for faculty, staff and members of the community. For reservations, call 512-863-1342 or write

Read more here.


Kiyoshi Tamagawa, professor of piano, will give a faculty recital on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Tobias Picker, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

The recital is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1504.  


The Fountainwood Observatory has announced its spring 2012 public viewing schedule. Public viewing nights will be held on:

Friday, Jan. 27
Friday, Feb. 24
Saturday, March 31
Friday, April 27

Viewing times are from 8 to 10:30 p.m. The viewing nights are free, but donations are encouraged to help maintain the observatory. The observatory is located on the northeast side of campus adjacent to the Rockwell Baseball Field (see #6 on the campus map at Faculty members from the Physics Department at Southwestern as well as observers from the Williamson County Astronomy Club will be on hand to guide viewing.

For weather-related updates about viewing nights, call the Fountainwood Observatory hotline at 512-863-1242.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun ran an op-ed piece by English Professor Michael Saenger about the value of classroom-based education as opposed to online education.

Georgetown View magazine ran a story about Southwestern’s Upward Bound program.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the start of interior renovations on the Cullen Building.


Romi Burks, associate professor of biology, had a paper titled “One McBug Burger Please: Eating insects in ecology class to contextualize climate change discussion” accepted for inclusion in the EcoEd Digital Library sponsored by the Ecological Society of America. The article was based on a lab Burks developed for her Invertebrate Ecology class. Read the paper here.

Juniors Kathleen Franklin and Shannon Spears have received Benjamin Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this semester. Franklin will be studying in Kigali, Rwanda, and Spears will be studying in Nagoya, Japan. Read more here.

Religion Professor Laura Hobgood-Oster’s recent book titled The Friends We Keep has been selected by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries for its 2011 list of Outstanding Academic Titles. Choice says its Outstanding Academic Titles are truly the “best of the best,” with the 2011 list comprising just over 9 percent of the titles they reviewed during the past year, and less than 3 percent of the more than 25,000 titles submitted to them during this same period. Books on the list are selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important – and often the first – treatment of their subject.

English Professor Helene Meyers’ new book, Identity Papers: Contemporary Narratives of American Jewishness, is one of the featured titles on the bookshelf at the web magazine Secular Culture and Ideas.

Davi Johnson Thornton, assistant professor of communication studies, had two articles published in December. An article titled “Neuroscience, Affect and the Entrepreneurialization of Motherhood” was published in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and an article titled “Psych’s Comedic Tale of Black-White Friendship and the Lighthearted Affect of ‘Post-Race’ America,” was published in Critical Studies in Media Communication.