The Art of the Written Line

This facsimile scroll, titled “Lu Yu Brewing Tea,” by Zhao Yuan is one of 21 facsimile scrolls from the Taipei National Palace Museum that will be on display in the Fine Arts Gallery Sept. 17 through Oct. 8. The exhibit is being offered in preparation for the 8th Annual International Hanzi Calligraphy Conference to be held at Southwestern Oct. 8-10.


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Southwestern has received an $800,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will be used by the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) to support new initiatives in digital humanities.

NITLE, which is headquartered at Southwestern, supports a network of 118 small colleges across the country.

“Thanks to digital technology, networked information systems and new media, humanities scholars are developing methods and resources that emphasize openness and collaboration as drivers of innovation and knowledge creation,” said Joey King, executive director of NITLE and vice president for innovation at Southwestern. “Liberal arts colleges have an opportunity to use these digital methods and resources to remodel undergraduate humanities education.”

King said that until recently, most digital humanities initiatives have been concentrated in larger research universities.

“Liberal arts colleges need support in translating the gains made in this emerging field to their institutions,” King said. “We want to provide that support so that faculty, staff and students at these colleges can realize the full potential of the digital humanities.”

Read more here.


The poems in Terri Johnson’s new book are not necessarily ones that talk about happy times. But she hopes they will help others get through whatever they are facing.

Never A Journey Alone: Even a Strong Woman Cries, was released this past May. The 50 poems in the book focus on overcoming difficulty and rising above challenges.

“It is a sort of prose through poetry,” says Johnson, who serves as assistant dean for student multicultural affairs at Southwestern. Johnson wrote the poems featured in the book over the past 10 years.

Johnson says she began writing poetry when she was a little girl. “I used [poetry] to express myself,” she says. “I found that it was a natural release for me.”

With encouragement from her family and friends, Johnson continued to write poetry through the years. She used poetry as a form of self-healing to help get past tough times in her own personal and professional life.  

Read more here.



An exhibit titled “Calligraphy: The Art of the Written Line” will go on display in the Fine Arts Gallery Sept. 17.

The exhibit, which has been curated by Carl Robertson, associate professor of Chinese, will feature 21 facsimile scrolls from the Taipei National Palace Museum as well as 24 fans and album leaves. The scrolls are a selection from the Six Dynasties Period (256-581) through the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Each scroll is printed in the original scroll size using a high-resolution photographic process with five black inks to replicate the look of traditional ink faithfully.

The exhibit is being offered in preparation for the 8th Annual International Hanzi Calligraphy Conference to be held at Southwestern Oct. 8-10. It can be seen through Oct. 8 and then again from Oct. 17-Nov. 18. The gallery is open from 1-5 p.m. daily.


The Fountainwood Observatory at Southwestern University will host a public viewing night Saturday, Sept. 22, from 8-10:30 p.m.

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 observatory hotline at 512-863-1242.


Pianist Benjamin Irom and bassoonist Eric Stone Miller will give a guest and faculty recital on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m. in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer. The program includes works by Alexander Tansman, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ferdinand David and Julius Fučík. 

Irom is the director of jazz studies and instructor of jazz piano at Temple College in Temple, Texas. He has performed alongside numerous jazz and Latin jazz legends, including Paquito D’Rivera, Poncho Sanchez, Arturo Sandoval, Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker, Jim Pugh, Rufus Reid, James Moody, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Daniels, John Fedchock, Marcus Printup, Ed Calle, Bill Watrous, Butch Miles and Dave Pietro.

Miller has taught at Southwestern since 2005 and is principal bassoonist of the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Chamber Ensemble. 

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


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 film to be shown Sept. 13 is “La Yuma,” a Nicaraguan film made in 2009. “La Yuma” tells the story of a young woman who dreams of transcending her bleak life in the slums of Managua by becoming a boxer. The film offers a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of everyday life in Nicaragua.

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

Read more here.

Media Coverage

Community Impact newspaper did a story about Southwestern’s ranking by Forbes magazine. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story on Megan Frisque, Southwestern’s new associate vice president for alumni and parent relations.

The Williamson County Sun ran photos of people who attended the opening night of the Spanish Film festival being sponsored by Southwestern.


Maria Lowe, professor of sociology, and Reggie Byron, assistant professor of sociology, have had an article titled “Food for Thought: Frequent Interracial Dining Experiences as a Predictor of Students’ Racial Climate Perceptions,” accepted for publication in The Journal of Higher Education, the leading scholarly journal on the institution of higher education. Recent graduates Griffin Ferry and Melissa Garcia contributed to the paper.

Abby Dings, assistant professor of Spanish, recently had an article titled “Native Speaker/Nonnative Speaker Interaction and Orientation to Novice/Expert Identity” published in the Journal of Pragmatics.  

Senior computer science major Yvette Niyomugaba and senior computer science and economics major Van Pham presented papers at a national math conference called Math Fest that was held Aug. 2-4 in Madison, Wisc.  

Jesse Purdy, professor of psychology, is presenting a talk titled “Vertebrate Predators May Share Facial Characteristics Providing Opportunities for Detection by Prey” at the biannual meeting of the International Society of Comparative Psychologists, which is being held this week in Jaen, Spain.

Eileen Meyer Russell, associate professor of music, presented master classes last week for low brass students who attend the Vidal M. Treviño School of Communication and Fine Arts in Laredo. She also presented a recital of music for organ and low brass Sept. 7 at Texas A&M International University in Laredo with organist with Don McManus.

Michael Saenger, associate professor of English, has had an article titled “Interlinguicity and The Alchemist” accepted in Multilingualism in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, a forthcoming special theme issue of English Text Construction 6 (2013) edited by Dirk Delabastita and Ton Hoenselaars. English Text Construction is an internationally refereed journal of English linguistics, applied linguistics and literary studies focusing on the communicating subject and the text constructing this intersubjective communication.

First-year student Olivia Woodward is one of 60 students from around the country selected for the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars Class of 2016. T he Jackie Robinson Foundation supports high school seniors who have demonstrated strong leadership potential and a dedication to community service. JRF Scholars receive $24,000 over four years to attend a four-year accredited college or university. The JRF Scholars Class of 2016 was selected from more than 1,700 candidates representing 23 states and the District of Columbia. Read more here