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Scott Havard, an employee with the Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department, hangs a Southwestern University banner on the Georgetown Square to welcome students and parents to Georgetown for the fall semester. Read more here.




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President Jake B. Schrum has announced plans to retire from Southwestern University at the end of the university’s 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Schrum has served as president of Southwestern since July 1, 2000. He is the 14th person to serve as president of Southwestern and the third Southwestern graduate to serve as president of the university. Only three other Southwestern University presidents have served longer.

President Schrum announced his plans to retire while giving his annual state of the university address to faculty and staff Aug. 23.

“It has been a special honor and privilege to lead my alma mater,” he said. “Jane and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity. Southwestern has a great future ahead of it and I look forward to watching its continued progress.”

Dr. Robert W. Karr, chair of Southwestern’s Board of Trustees, said a search committee composed of trustees, faculty members, students, staff and alumni will start meeting in September to begin the search for a successor. Karr said the trustees plan to announce a successor well before President Schrum leaves office June 30, 2013.

Read more here.


Southwestern is one of the best undergraduate colleges in the country according to a new ranking of America’s Top Colleges published by Forbes magazine.

The Forbes ranking looks at colleges the way a consumer might look at them, with an emphasis on factors such as teaching quality, four-year graduation rate, success after graduation, and the amount of debt that students graduate with. It does not look at factors such as selectivity and reputation, which play a key role in other rankings of colleges and universities.

Southwestern placed in the top 100 colleges and universities in the United States on the Forbes list and second in Texas. Rice University is the only other Texas college − public or private − that ranked in the top 100 on the Forbes list.

“This survey validates what we have known for a long time – that Southwestern is an outstanding investment as well as an extraordinary experience,” said President Jake B. Schrum. “With so many families looking at whether colleges are worth the investment, this outcomes-based ranking couldn’t be more timely.”

Read more here.



The Spanish Department, along with the student groups Sigma Delta Pi (the Spanish honor society) and Latinos Unidos, are hosting a film festival Sept. 6-Oct. 4 that will feature five films from Spanish-speaking countries. The festival begins Sept. 6 with a screening of  “El niño pez” (“The Fish Child”), a 2011 film from Argentina.

All films will be shown in Olin 105 at 8 p.m.

Read more here.


Cellist Patrick Jee and pianist Kiyoshi Tamagawa will give a guest and faculty recital on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program includes works by Igor Stravinsky, Robert Schumann, Frank Bridge and Astor Piazzolla.

Jee is a cellist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and has performed as a soloist in the United States, Europe and Asia and as a member of Ensemble Ditto. He also is a professor at Roosevelt University/Chicago College of Performing Arts. Tamagawa is a professor of music at Southwestern University and has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout the United States and in seven foreign countries.  

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

Media Coverage

Community Impact newspaper ran a story about how Georgetown and Southwestern are working together to strengthen ties. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Southwestern’s 2012 commencement.

The Williamson County Sun published an op-ed piece by President Schrum related to commencement.

Political Science Professor Tim O’Neill was quoted in a The Williamson County Sun story about turnout for the May primary.

The Williamson County Sun and the Austin Business Journal did stories on Southwestern’s $1.3 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Read the ABJ story here.

Economics Professor Dirk Early was quoted in a series the Portland Oregonian did about Section 8 housing. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun, the Austin Business Journal, the Houston Business Journal and Community Impact newspaper did stories on the $3 million gift Southwestern received to complete renovations to the Cullen Building. Read the ABJ story here. Read the Community Impact story here.

Several media outlets mentioned Mary Gonzales’ work experience at Southwestern when reporting on her election to the Texas House of Representatives. Watch a piece that aired on MSNBC here.

Biology Professor Romi Burks was quoted in a Cabin Life article about aquatic invasive species.

The Williamson County Sun ran an op-ed piece by Classics Professors Hal and Pam Haskell.

Religion Professor Laura Hobgood-Oster was mentioned in an op-ed piece that ran in the Austin American-Statesman. Read the piece here. Hobgood-Oster also was quoted in a column about dogs and church. Read the column here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the Conductor’s Institute held at Southwestern in June.

Joey King was quoted in a story Inside Higher Ed did about “blended” learning at liberal arts colleges. Read the story here.

Paul Gaffney, dean of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts, and Art Professor Mary Visser were quoted in a column in the Williamson County Sun about why Georgetown needs an arts center.

The July issue of Champion magazine ran a reflection on former baseball coach Jim Mallon. Read the piece here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about the 2012 Vicente Villa Summer Scholars Program.

The Austin American-Statesman and the Williamson County Sun and Community Impact newspaper reported on research that Biology Professor Ben Pierce has been conducting on the Georgetown Salamander. Read the Statesman story here. Read the Community Impact story here. The Statesman story was picked up by the Associated Press, which led to additional placements across the state.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about Southwestern’s fundraising in 2011-2012.

The Williamson County Sun did a feature story on assistant soccer coach Zach Pope, who plays for the Austin Aztex.

The July issue of Texas Capital News (Dezhou shoudu xinwen), an Austin-based Chinese newspaper, did a story on Southwestern’s Chinese program.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about the 2012 Texas LDZ program held at Southwestern.

The Gainesville (Fla.) Daily Register did a story on an upcoming pet blessing in Gainesville that will be conducted by Religion Professor Laura Hobgood-Oster. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about Southwestern’s new athletics logo.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about new chief information officer Pam McQuesten.

NPR did a story on a high school student from Massachusetts who is coming to Southwestern this year to play baseball. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on Southwestern’s good ranking in the Forbes’ list of top colleges.

The Austin American Statesman ran a column by 2012 graduate Hayley Hervieux, who is interning with AARP Texas. Read the column here. The column was picked up by the Associated Press and ran in other newspapers such as the San Antonio Express News.

The Austin American Statesman and the Williamson County Sun ran stories about the new banners that were hung downtown to welcome students back to school.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about Southwestern’s new class.

Senior communication studies major Tyler Pratt was interviewed about Southwestern for a piece that ran in the Austin Chronicle. Read the story here.


Melissa Byrnes, assistant professor of history, gave a paper on “The Algerian War through Metropolitan Prisms: How Ideas of Empire Shaped Local Immigration Policies and Policing” at the French Colonial Historical Society’s annual conference in New Orleans May 30-June 2.

Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, assistant professor of Spanish, presented two papers at conferences over the summer. She presented a paper titled “Construcción narrativa de la realidad en el cuento contemporáneo de la Revolución Mexicana” at the 54th International Congress of Americanists held July 15-20 at the University of Vienna and another paper titled “Cultural Memory and the Fictional Portrayal of the Latin American Past on Television” at the International Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences Research held in Paris July 24-28.

Music Professor Lois Ferrari and the Austin Civic Orchestra have been named finalists for the 2012 American Prize in two categories: Orchestral Performance (Community Orchestra Division) and Conducting (Community Orchestra Division). Read more here.

Fay Guarraci, associate professor of psychology, and Maha Zewail-Foote, associate professor of chemistry, had a paper titled “Kin Discrimination in Prepubescent and Adult Long-Evans Rats” published in the July issue of Behavioural Processes. Co-authors on the paper include former students Jessica Bolton, Alex Burby, Brittany Ford and Carissa Winland.  

Patrick Hajovsky, assistant professor of art history, has published a chapter in a new book titled Seeing Across Cultures in the Early Modern World. His contribution is “Without a Face: Voicing Moctezuma II’s Image at Chapultepec Park, Mexico City.” The book was edited by Dana Leibsohn of Smith College and Jeanette Favrot Peterson of the University of California - Santa Barbara, both well-published scholars of Latin American art history. Read more here.

Melissa Johnson, professor of anthropology, chaired a panel on Community, Environment and Governance at the Caribbean Studies Association’s 37th

Annual Conference, which was held in Guadeloupe May 28-June 1.

Edward Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar, presented the keynote address for a day-long preconference on learner-centered teaching at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association in Denver Aug. 17-20.  His talk was titled “Increasing your Pedagogical Footprint by Focusing upon Student Learning.” At the same meetings, Kain also was co-leader for a professional development workshop on “Applying for a Faculty Position in a Teaching-Oriented Institution” and a presenter in a workshop titled “Retirement: Sociologists’ Experiences in Starting What’s Next.”  He also presented a co-authored paper in a panel on “The Core of Sociology: What Introductory Students Need to Know” and was a consultant in the “Department Chairs Drop-In Clinic: Providing Help and Insights from DRG Consultants with Expertise in Curriculum Review and Faculty Development.”

Senior biology and environmental studies major Kira McEntire gave several presentations over the summer. She gave an oral presentation at the EuryceAlliance meeting held May 25 at Texas State University, a poster presentation at the Ecological Society of America meeting Aug. 5-10 in Portland, Ore., and a poster presentation at the World Congress of Herpetology meeting Aug. 9-13 in Vancouver, Canada. Ben Pierce, professor of biology, presented the poster with her at the meeting in Vancouver.

Helene Meyers, professor of English and McManis University Chair, presented a paper titled “The Unmarked Chains of Paper Clips” at the Ninth Tel Aviv International Colloquium on Cinema and Television Studies in June. The paper, which traces the forms of white Southern Christian forgetting that often accompany Holocaust memorialization, is part of Meyers’ new book project on Jewish American cinema. 

Senior Austin Painchaud received two awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Over the summer, he was one of four students nationwide who were selected to receive the Peter Buchanan Scholarship to attend a student leadership conference sponsored by CASE that was held in Indianapolis. He also has received a CASE ASAP Career Fellowship for the fall that will enable him to explore various areas within the field of educational advancement.  

Katy Ross, associate professor of Spanish, presented a paper at the Congreso de la Asociación Hispánica de Humanidades in Madrid June 28-30.

Michael Saenger’s review of “Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume 25” was published in the latest edition of Sixteenth Century Journal. Saenger is an associate professor of English.Head athletic trainer

Glenn Schwab was named the Division III Head Athletic Trainer of the Year by the National Athletic Trainers Association. Schwab received the award at the association’s annual meeting in Las Vegas in June. Read more here.

Todd Watson, director of systems and networking, co-authored a paper published in the June 2012 issue of The Astrophysical Journal (Volume 751, Issue 2, article id. 91). The paper, titled “Empirical Determination of Convection Parameters in White Dwarfs. I. Whole Earth Telescope Observations of EC14012-1446,” was the result of an international collaboration where Watson collected data on EC1402-1446, a pulsating white dwarf star, at UT’s McDonald Observatory in April 2008 as part of a global effort to collect unique data on this star that could not otherwise be obtained using traditional methods.

Junior international studies major Cheyenne Wooldridge received a Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship for the fall 2012 semester. Wooldridge will use her scholarship to enroll in a program in Beijing, China, called China Now: Development, Politics & Social Change that is offered through the Alliance for Global Education.

The Office of Communications received a Bronze Award in the 2012 national Circle of Excellence competition sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. The award was in the category of Fundraising Publications/Flyers, Pamphlets and Brochures and was for a fundraising publication campaign titled “Hello My Name Is.”


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