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Students at Southwestern University have planned an event they hope will help bring Southwestern and the Georgetown business community closer together.

Nearly 90 students, faculty and staff have signed up to participate in “The Big Event,” which is scheduled to take place Saturday, March 24. Participants will spend this day working at local businesses that could use their help.

Student organizers hope that by making more businesses in town aware of Southwestern students, these businesses will create more internships and other long-term opportunities for them.

“This is a great opportunity for Georgetown businesses to experience, without a commitment, the excellence that Southwestern students can offer,” said David Boutté, a philosophy major who is coordinating the event. “I have no doubt that these two communities can benefit from each other, and this is a great beginning to that effort.”

Businesses and organizations that have signed on for the event include Special Olympics, the Annunciation Maternity Home, the Georgetown Animal Shelter, the Hill Country Bookstore and The Caring Place.

Read more here.


Southwestern University is one of 16 colleges and universities featured in a new book titled Sweet Sixteen: Great Colleges of the South. The book was published in March by the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the organization’s founding. The ACS includes 16 nationally recognized liberal arts colleges and universities located in 12 states throughout the southeastern United States.

The new book was developed to help high school students, their parents and high school guidance counselors learn more about these colleges. The full book – which has a chapter on each institution – is available online at

“We are very proud to be a member of the Associated Colleges of the South,” said Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum. “These are extraordinary institutions that engage students in a stimulating residential setting and assist them in developing critical skills that prepare them exceptionally well for lives of work and service.”

Read more here.



James E. McWilliams, professor of history at Texas State University-San Marcos, will give a talk titled “An Alternative to the Alternatives: Why Current Approaches to Sustainable Animal Agriculture Fail” on Thursday, March 22, at 4 p.m. in Mood-Bridwell Atrium.

McWilliams specializes in colonial American history, with particular emphasis on environmental history. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is the author of A Revolution in Eating (Columbia University Press, 2005); Building the Bay Colony: Local Economy and Culture in Early Massachusetts (Virginia University Press, 2007); American Pests: The Losing War on Insects from Colonial Times to DDT (Columbia University Press, 2008); and Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Eat Responsibly (Little Brown, 2009). He also has contributed frequently to The New York Times, Slate and The Atlantic.


The SU Wind Ensemble will give a concert Saturday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The concert will be conducted by Lois Ferrari and includes works by H. Owen Reed and Ronald LoPresti.

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

Media Coverage

Southwestern is mentioned in a story and book review that appear in the latest issue (Vol. 1/2012) issue of Texas Heritage magazine. Both are about the book Louise Walsh wrote detailing her family’s ties to Georgetown and Southwestern. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran photo essays of the Brown Symposium, the Feb. 24 public viewing night at the Fountainwood Observatory and the Feb. 26 guest recital featuring pianist Gregory Allen.

The Austin American-Statesman ran an op-ed piece by Joshua Long, assistant professor of environmental studies. Read the article here.

Biology Professor Romi Burks was interviewed for a public radio program called Science Studio. Listen to the interview here.

Community Impact newspaper and The Williamson County Sun covered the Pirate Bike Appreciation Day. Read the Community Impact story here.


Lauraly Hernandez, a senior with a double major in studio art and communication studies, has received the 2012 Fayez Sarofim Passion for the Arts Award from Southwestern. The award is presented annually to the graduating senior who, regardless of major, has demonstrated throughout his or her entire undergraduate career at Southwestern an unusual passion for the arts. The award includes a cash prize that recipients can use to further their artistic goals. Read more about Hernandez here. To see a list of all the students who received awards at the Feb. 25 Honors Convocation, go here.

Ashley Johnson, a junior international studies major, has been selected to participate in a 2012 intensive summer institute in China sponsored by the U. S. Department of State and other organizations. The Critical Language Scholarship Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Read more here.

Jordan Johnson, a December graduate in English and Feminist Studies, has been accepted into Emory University’s Ph.D. program in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and has been awarded a highly selective Graduate Diversity Fellowship, which covers tuition and includes a generous stipend.

Shannon Mariotti, assistant professor of political science, has been invited to contribute the article on Ralph Waldo Emerson for The Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Her article will be published in the forthcoming series from Wiley-Blackwell in 2012.  

2001 graduate Megan Bourg Sassin has been selected to receive one of the first Rising Star Awards from the Women Chemists Committee of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Sassin will receive the award March 26 at the 243rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego. The meeting will include a symposium featuring the work of the award winners. Sassin was selected to receive the award for her work as a research chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Read more here.

Francie Schroeder, executive assistant to the president, was recently recognized as one of the founding members of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE) at their 25th annual meeting in Los Angeles. The association’s meeting is held in conjunction with the American Council on Education.

Laura Senio Blair, associate professor of Spanish, has an article titled “Driving Toward Heterotopias: Taxis and Taxistas in Contemporary Chilean Cinema” in the spring 2012 issue of Letras Hispana s, a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal dedicated to publishing scholarly essays that engage topics in connection with Spanish, Latin American and U.S. Latino literatures and cultures. Read the article here.