New Construction

Work has started on a new baseball locker room on the east side of the Robertson Center. The new locker room will be named in honor of former coach Jim Mallon.

Work has started on a new baseball locker room on the east side of the Robertson Center. The new locker room will be named in honor of former coach Jim Mallon.

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La Raza Unida is no longer a registered political party in the United States, but its legacy is still very much alive.

Studying that legacy is the focus of research conducted by Brenda Sendejo, assistant professor of anthropology at Southwestern.

El Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida, or La Raza Unida Party, was founded in Texas in the early 1970s by Mexican Americans who were concerned about the lack of Mexican-American representation in local and county politics and about how few Mexican Americans were registered to vote. It quickly spread throughout the Southwest and even to some parts of the Midwest.

The party was part of a broader set of social and political movements in the post-World War II era that also focused on issues such as labor rights, education reform and sexism. While the party itself is no longer active, many of its members are still involved with politics and in community activism and organizing.

Among these women is Rosie Castro, a San Antonio resident who once served as chair of the Bexar County Raza Unida Party. Today, Castro is best known as the mother of two twin sons who are considered rising stars in the Democratic Party. Julián, who currently serves as mayor of San Antonio, was chosen to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in August. Joaquín is a Texas state representative running for Congress. Both brothers credit their mother’s activism with their interest in politics.

Rosie Castro is among 10 women Sendejo highlighted in her Ph.D. dissertation at UT-Austin.

Read more here.


One may think that designing a gallery exhibit is simple, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Most shows take weeks of planning, including communicating with the artists, composing and signing artists’ contracts, planning the lighting design, positioning the works, and much more.

So is it possible to stage a gallery exhibit in less than 24 hours? Students in Kristen Van Patten’s Exhibition Practicum class had the opportunity to try their hand at it in October.

During the week of Oct. 8-10, Southwestern hosted the 8th annual international conference of the American Society for Shufa Calligraphy Education. Famous calligraphers from around the world were asked to bring samples of their art to be put on display in the Fine Arts Gallery on Oct. 9. Patten and his students were in charge of gathering the calligraphers’ works as soon as they arrived at Southwestern, designing the show and displaying the art by the end of the day.

“We had no idea when we would receive the pieces, how many there were, nor the sizes or colors of them,” Van Patten said. “We are all just playing it by ear.”

Read more here.



The Williamson Museum is sponsoring its 7th annual Chisholm Trail Days Oct. 19-20 in San Gabriel Park. The free family event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and features living history encampments, western demonstrators, working blacksmiths, pony rides, a children’s corral, authentic chuckwagons, live western music and performances, and a cattle drive along the river beginning at 4 p.m..  Teams for the BBQ Cook-off arrive on Friday evening and the public is invited to visit the groups.

The event also includes a BBQ dinner at the Community Center on Saturday from 5:15-7 p.m., with takeout meals available. Tickets for the BBQ dinner may be purchased for $10. A cowboy breakfast cooked by Fiddle Fire Chuckwagon will be served Saturday starting at 9 a.m. for $3 per meal. Proceeds from this year’s event benefit The Nest, Head Start and CASA, as well as the educational programs of The Williamson Museum.

For more information, visit


Mexican filmmaker and television director/producer María Fernanda Suárez De Garay will speak at Southwestern on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m. the Marsha Shields Room (second floor of the campus center). The talk is free and open to the public.

Suárez directed the successful television series “Mujeres Asesinas” (“Women killers”), which aired in both Mexico and the United States from 2008-2010; the 2010 film “Gritos de muerte y libertad” about the Mexican independence of 1810; and the 2011 film “El encanto del águila” about the Mexican revolution of 1910. Her work depicts how the effects of psychological violence, in the form of abuse, sadness and isolation, lead women to make tragic decisions. In addition, her historical fiction series portray real life heroines as well as collective and anonymous female characters as necessary agents of social change.

The talk will be in Spanish with simultaneous translation. For more information, contact Ángeles Rodríguez, assistant professor of Spanish, at

Media Coverage

Southwestern students Sarah Puffer and Joey Kyle were interviewed for a piece Fox7 Austin did about civic engagement among college students.

KEYE-TV did a story about the football team practicing at Fort Hood. Watch the story here.

Golfweek did a story on three sisters who all play golf for Southwestern. Read the story here.

President Jake B. Schrum was quoted in a Chronicle of Higher Education story about college presidents. Read the story here.


Sarah Brackmann, director of civic engagement, co-wrote a paper that was recently published in the New Directions for Student Services series. The paper was titled “Promoting civic engagement to educate institutionally for  personal and social responsibility.”

Alisa Gaunder, associate professor of political science, participated in a roundtable discussion concerning “Japan’s Dysfunctional Politics” at the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies at Southern Methodist University Oct. 6.  Her comments focused on Ozawa Ichiro’s recent break from the Democratic Party of Japan.

Shannon Mariotti, associate professor of political science, had an article accepted at the flagship journal for her subfield, Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy. Her article is titled “Adorno on the Radio: Democratic Leadership as Democratic Pedagogy” and draws from her current book project. 

Bob Snyder, professor of political science, has had a paper titled “The Decline of Revolutionary Nationalism and the Beginning of the Peace Processes in Northern Ireland and the Middle East” accepted for publication in Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process, which is forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press in 2013. The book is edited by Timothy White.

Victoria Star Varner, professor of art, has been invited to exhibit her drawing, “Study for American Ancestor,” in a national invitational exhibition being held in November at the Abercrombie Gallery at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La.

Senior education major Kelsey Welden has been selected to receive a scholarship from the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) for the 2012-2013 school year. The scholarship will be presented at the organization’s annual awards luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel in Austin Dec. 8. This is the 13th year in a row that a student in Southwestern University’s Teacher Certification Program has received a TASPA scholarship. Read more here.