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When Barbara and George Brightwell moved to Georgetown in 1977 to work at Southwestern University, they knew they wanted to be involved with the community as well.

Just how involved they became was evident this month as the couple was honored with Southwestern University’s seventh annual Martha Diaz Hurtado College Town Award.

The award was created in 2006 to recognize citizens, organizations or businesses whose exemplary efforts have enhanced the “college town” environment for students, faculty and staff at Southwestern. Previous recipients of the award include the Williamson County Sun, the Downtown Georgetown Association, former mayor Gary Nelon and Chamber of Commerce President Mel Pendland, Dr. Doug Benold, Ellsworth Peterson and Esther Weir.

President Jake B. Schrum said the Brightwells have connected Georgetown and Southwestern through their leadership and service at the former Georgetown Hospital (now St. David’s Georgetown Hospital), the Georgetown Health Foundation, the Ride on Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.), and the Georgetown Area Communities Foundation (now the Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation).

Most recently, the Brightwells have been key leaders in the Georgetown Aging Initiative, which includes extending lifelong learning opportunities for Georgetown residents.

Read more here.


From humble beginnings doing childhood renditions of “Peter Pan,” 2007 graduate Natalie Goodnow has garnered national attention for her work in the theatre.

Most recently, Goodnow was honored as the 2011 winner of the Jane Chambers Playwriting Contest for her solo play, “Mud Offerings.” This national award recognizes excellence in feminist plays and performance texts created by women writers. “Mud Offerings” interrogates Mexican mythology and iconography. Goodnow’s character is a Chicana who questions both La Virgen de Guadelupe and the alleged betrayal of La Malinche, a Mexican woman who served as Hernan Cortés’ translator and consort. Goodnow said that one of the questions the play is meant to ask is “What is betrayal?”

“The goal in both my teaching and performance is not to tell people what to think or do but to ask big questions,” Goodnow said. “I like to take opposing ideas and mash them up against each other.” In many of her performances, the audience is pushed to think about questions on topics that people may typically stay silent on: “How are we going to change things?” “How do we think about women?” “How do we think about people of color?”

Goodnow will perform “Mud Offerings” at Southwestern on Tuesday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. in Heather Hall.

Read more here.



An exhibit titled “Culinary Cultures: A Ceramics Perspective” opens in the Fine Arts Gallery Feb. 13 and will run through March 9. The exhibit, which has been co-curated by Southwestern University Art Professor Patrick Veerkamp, will feature the work of 19 contemporary ceramicists from across the country.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Monday, Feb. 27, at 4:30 p.m. The exhibit is being held in conjunction with Southwestern’s 2012 Brown Symposium. Read more about the symposium here.


The Black Box Theatre Series is presenting two plays Feb. 15-19: “Beirut” by Alan Bowne and “Night Maneuver” by Howard Korder. “Beirut” will be directed by junior Alexis Gette and “Night Maneuver” will be directed by junior Abraham Ramirez.

Beirut is the story of a Brooklyn man quarantined in the Lower East Side after testing positive for a deadly, nameless virus. His girlfriend, who has not been infected, makes the dangerous journey across the quarantine line to be with him. The plague has upped the ante on love and introduced them to sacrifice.

Night Maneuver is a story of lies, inconsistencies and the relationship between three brothers: Lou, Tim and the absent Monty whose heavy shadow follows them throughout. An underhanded power struggle between the two ensues, as Lou acts as the rather obnoxious patronizing older brother, and Tim the pathetic and helpless younger brother. It becomes clear that both of them have their secrets. Using mind games and deception, they each try to catch the other out.

Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 15 and 16, 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18, and 3 p.m. Feb. 19 in Heather Hall. Tickets are $5 and may be obtained online at or by calling the Box Office at 512-863-1378.

Both plays contain adult subject matter and are for mature audiences only. For more information on these productions visit


The Fountainwood Observatory at Southwestern University will host a public viewing night Friday, Feb. 24, from 8-10:30 p.m.

The viewing will begin with a thin crescent Moon and the planet Venus low in the southwestern sky. While these will set relatively early in the night, Jupiter (further to the East and higher in the sky) will remain visible throughout the viewing. With limited moonlight, bright winter star clusters and the Orion nebula will be viewable in fine detail. By the end of the evening, Mars will appear above the eastern horizon.

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. The viewing nights are free, but donations are encouraged to help maintain the observatory.

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

Media Coverage

Georgetown View magazine ran a story about Ben Nava and Southwestern’s annual Native American Powwow.

The Williamson County Sun ran a page of photos from an alcohol awareness program that was held at Southwestern Jan. 18 and a page of photos from the Jan. 24 faculty recital.

The Williamson County Sun covered the presentation of the 2012 College Town Award.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the students directing the spring Black Box Theatre series.


Several students and faculty members in the Psychology Department presented their research recently at the national meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in San Diego. Erin Crockett, visiting assistant professor of psychology, presented a poster titled “When being helped hurts: Gender differences in cortisol responses to spousal support”; Lauren David, Martha Simon and Professor Traci Giuliano presented a poster titled “To wait or not to wait: Relationship recovery time and strategic ‘rebounding’”; and Brooke Blomquist, Sarah Chatfield and Giuliano presented a poster titled “Exploring perceptions of saying ‘I love you’ in romantic relationships.”

Juniors Nicholas Arcuri and Morgan McReynolds received Intercultural Leadership Awards from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) for their efforts while studying abroad in Denmark last semester. The DIS Intercultural Leadership Award recognizes students who have worked actively to immerse themselves in Danish society through classwork, housing and participation in immersion activities and opportunities.

Herbert Genzmer, visiting assistant professor of German, is presenting a paper titled “A Present from the Past: Mendacious Discourse Structures in the Classroom” at the Texas Foreign Language Education Conference being held at UT Austin Feb. 24- 25. Genzmer also published a paper titled “Come to Texas: On the German heritage in the hill country, Fredericksburg” in the February issue of apéro 22 (Munich, Germany).

Barbara Boucher Owens, associate professor of computer science, was a member of a task force appointed by the Computer Science Teachers Association that produced a document detailing standards to be used for computer science curriculum development in grades K-12. Owens was the four-year college representative on the committee.

Herbert Genzmer, visiting assistant professor of German, is presenting a paper titled “A Present from the Past: Mendacious Discourse Structures in the Classroom” at the Texas Foreign Language Education Conference being held at UT Austin Feb. 24- 25. Genzmer also published a paper titled “Come to Texas: On the German heritage in the hill country, Fredericksburg” in the February issue of apéro 22 (Munich, Germany).



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