Top News


Southwestern University students have announced plans to hold their second annual spring music festival known as Clusterfest on Friday, April 20, at the  Corbin J. Robertson Center.

The headline performer for this year’s festival is Sleigh Bells, an electro-rock duo from Brooklyn, New York. Other bands scheduled to perform at the festival are Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Future Islands, Suzanna Choffel, Mother Falcon, Whiskey Shivers and The Frontier Brothers.

Read more here.


Mary Visser, a professor of art in the Art and Art History Department, has been named to the Herman Brown Chair, one of two “rotating” Brown Chairs at Southwestern University. Visser will hold the chair for the next five years.

The Herman Brown Chair is one of six endowed positions funded at Southwestern by The Brown Foundation Inc. of Houston. It was previously held by Art History Professor Thomas Howe.

Holders of the Brown Chairs receive additional funds and time to conduct their scholarly research. They also are responsible for hosting Southwestern’s annual Brown Symposium on a topic of general interest to the university and the community.

Visser has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1979. She is one of a small group of sculptors who have pioneered the use of rapid prototyping in creating sculptural forms, in which three-dimensional models are constructed from computer-aided design (CAD) data.

Read more here.



The Community Garden is hosting a workshop on building a sustainable food system Tuesday, March 20, from 4-5 p.m. The workshop is free and open to the public. To register, contact Molly Jensen, faculty advisor for the Community Garden, at 512-863-1797 or


Cellist Hai-Ye Ni and Pianist Kiyoshi Tamagawa will give a recital Wednesday, March 21, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will include works by Carl Maria von Weber, Ludwig van Beethoven, Gunther Schuller, Robert Schumann, Sergei Prokofiev and Manuel de Falla.

Ni is principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and has performed with orchestras around the world. Tamagawa is a professor of music at Southwestern and has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout North America, and in England and Asia.

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


A March 24 “Yoga Under the Stars” fundraiser will benefit the Georgetown Animal Shelter and the education and public outreach efforts of Southwestern University’s Fountainwood Observatory.

The event will be held from 8:30-10 p.m. and will give participants an opportunity to practice  yoga under the stars at the Fountainwood Observatory. Anna Easterling from Moksha Yoga will lead the yoga practice and Southwestern Physics Professor Mark Bottorff will run the observatory.

Suggested donation for those wanting to participate in the event is $10, but any amount will be accepted. Space is limited, so anyone interested in participating should reserve a space by writing

For details on the event, visit


An exhibition featuring the paintings of three Southwestern University seniors will be on display in the Fine Arts Gallery March 22-29. The exhibit includes paintings by Morgan Bailey, Jenna Foster and Rachel Sellars.

The gallery is open from 1-5 p.m. daily. It is free and open to the public. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Thursday, March 22, from 4-6 p.m.

Media Coverage

News8Austin and KEYE-TV covered the news conference for new head football coach Joe Austin. Watch the News8Austin story here. Watch the KEYE story here.

The Williamson County Sun covered the Shilling Lecture.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on the Southwestern students who are teaching in an after-school language program for elementary school students in Jarrell.


Two Spanish majors presented their capstone research at the 20th Colloquium on Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Linguistics held in Austin March 2-3.  Milly Arcovedo presented a paper titled “Identidad, lenguaje y el estudio en el extranjero: Hablantes nativos del español y los cambios de identidad.” Amanda Tompkins presented a paper titled “Factores sociales y tópicos de conversación que provocan el uso del cambio de códigos por los hablantes bilingües del español e inglés y las actitudes lingüísticas asociadas.” The papers were written for their fall 2011 course on Spanish sociolinguistics taught by Abby Dings, assistant professor of Spanish.


Sophomore sociology major Susana Contreras, senior anthropology major Melissa Garcia, and Brenda Sendejo, assistant professor of anthropology, participated in a panel Sendejo organized for the regional conference of the National Association of Chicano and Chicana Studies that was held at Texas State University March 1-3. The panel focused on ways that the historical and cultural legacy of Our Lady of Guadalupe-Tonantzin-Coatlique impacted feminists and activists of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement and how that legacy manifested itself in the social activism and spiritual identities of subsequent generations of Chicanas. Contreras presented a paper titled “Re-Imagining the Mestizaje of La Virgen: Reflections of Choque in Chicana Cultural Identity and Activism.” Garcia presented a paper titled “Don’t Worry, M’ija, La Virgen Is with You: A Chicana Activist’s Personal Narrative of Perseverance and Strength.” Sendejo presented a paper titled “Spiritual Activism as Pedagogy: Three Generations of Chicana Self-Making with Guadalupe-Tonantzin.” The other presenter on the panel was Chicana feminist icon Martha Cotera.


Several Southwestern students and faculty members presented research at the Texas Academy of Science meeting held March 1-3 at Sul Ross University in Alpine.

Kira McEntire, Ashley Wall and Benjamin Pierce, professor of biology, gave a presentation on “Reproductive timing of Eurycea naufragia at two spring sites.” The three also presented a poster titled “Visual encounter surveys show limited movement of the Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia).

Allyson Plantz and Romi Burks, associate professor of biology, gave a presentation titled “The pink predicament: Pomacea Insularum eggs fail to deter predation by red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans).”

Meredith Liebl, Kate Roberts and Romi Burks gave a presentation titled “Staying SMArT: Assesment of a one-on-one inquiry model to teach the scientific method to elementary school students.”

Romi Burks and Tracy Day presented a poster titled “Probably not snail eating plants: Enriched macrophyte N15 values in a stable isotope study of Pomacea insularum’s trophic interactions.”

Jonathan Miley, Allyson Plantz, Tracy Day and Romi Burks and presented a poster titled “Microscopic buffet: Estimates of meiofauna availability for the Georgetown salamander in two permanent springs.”

Kevin Burge and Romi Burks presented a posted titled “Frail snails: Effect of pH on the growth and survival rate in juvenile apple snails (Pomacea insularum).”

Katie Gibson, Allyson Plantz and Romi Burks presented a poster titled “Putting on Mussel: Interactions between the Asian Golden Mussel (Limnoperna fortunei) and Native Ampullariid Snails.”

The meeting ended Burks’ year as president of the TAS and she received a recognition award for her service.


Herbert Genzmer, visiting assistant professor of German, is doing a book tour in Germany March 9-17 to promote his new novel, Das perfekte Spiel (The Perfect Game).


Thomas Howe, professor of art and art history, has been invited to contribute a chapter to a new reference book on Greek architecture titled A Companion to Greek Architecture that will be published later this year by Wiley-Blackwell publishers. The title of his chapter is “Hellenistic Architecture in Italy: Consuetudo Italica.” The book is being edited by Margaret M. Miles of U.C. Irvine.


Joshua Long, assistant professor of environmental science, presented a paper titled “Practicing Environmental Sustainability in Educational Travel” at the Association of American Geographers conference held in New York City Feb. 24-28. Long also chaired and co-organized a session at the conference on “Integrating Sustainability Across the Geographic Curriculum.”


Kate Nelson, studio technician in the Sarofim School of Fine Arts, won first place for her piece “Two objects at equal distance acting as if they care” in an exhibition of ceramic artwork called Central Time Ceramics that is currently on display at the Bradley University Gallery in Peoria, Ill. Nelson is sending another piece to the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts National Ceramic Competition.