Recently Remodeled

The bookstore has reopened after being closed briefly in November for remodeling. The cashier area was moved out of the center of the store to provide more space.

Top News


Growing up in Laredo, Texas, Denise Garcia Simpson’s mother always told her that her options would be greatly expanded if she got a good education.

Now, Simpson plans to instill that same philosophy in local students as the new director of Southwestern’s Upward Bound program. The program, which is funded by a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, serves approximately 50 students a year from East View, Georgetown, Jarrell and Granger high schools. The goal of the program is to help prepare these students to be the first in their families to attend college.

“I want for every student we work with to realize that their opportunities are limitless, and that doors of opportunity only close if you let them,” Simpson said.

Read more here.


Many Southwestern students are passionate about civic engagement, but need help learning how they can become involved with the community in a meaningful way.

Providing that help is the job of Alyson Banda, Southwestern’s new coordinator of civic engagement.

Banda’s job is to help make the many opportunities in Georgetown become accessible to Southwestern students. She hopes to build a bridge between Southwestern and nonprofit organizations in the area.

“Our culture is passionate but disconnected at times.” Banda said. “I want to take the passion and excitement here and push it further into the community.”

Read more here.



Southwestern University and partner Revolution K12 are offering a series of free college readiness workshops for high school students and their parents Jan. 5 through Feb. 12. All workshops will begin at 6:30 p.m. in room 111 of the F.W. Olin Building. Workshop topics and dates are as follows:

Jan. 8 & Feb. 7 – “The College Search Journey.” This workshop will walk month by month through the steps of a successful college search. Tips on visiting schools, the application process and financial aid will be given. This workshop will be helpful for both students and their families.

Jan. 10 & Feb. 12– “Having a Game Plan for the SAT.” This workshop will discuss the content and layout of the SAT, as well as how to prepare for the test, and how to use the PSAT data to identify individual weaknesses and strengths. Instructors will cover the content of the SAT and suggest some strategies to use on the test day. They also will discuss what kind of scores and combinations college admission departments are looking for.

Southwestern also is offering SAT mock exams on Jan. 5 and Feb. 2 for $10. The exams will be given from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To register for the workshops or mock exams, visit For more information, contact Nancy Schutz at 512-863-1456 or

Media Coverage

The Austin American-Statesman covered Harvard professor Dan Lieberman’s visit to Southwestern. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a story about the “Puppies on the Patio” event organized by Professor Laura Hobgood-Oster’s Paideia cohort.

The Williamson County Sun ran photos from the 2012 Candlelight service.


Sophomore communication studies and Spanish major Melina Cantu has been awarded a $4,500 Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship for the spring 2013 semester. Cantu will use her scholarship to study at the Universidad Cátolica del Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay. Read more here.

Herbert Genzmer, visiting assistant professor of German, published a short story this month titled “Letzte Nacht in Madrid” (Last night in Madrid) in Entwürfe, Zeitschrift für Literatur, a publication based in Zürich, Switzerland.

Emeritus faculty member Barbara Boucher Owens has been named a Distinguished Educator by the Association for Computing Machinery, a 100,000-member professional computing organization. The award recognizes ACM members who have achieved significant accomplishments or have made a significant impact on the field of computing, computer science, and/or information technology.

Biology professors Maria Todd, Maria Cuevas and Rebecca Sheller presented research they did in collaboration with Jonathan King from Trinity University at the 2012 Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Conference held in Austin Oct. 24-26. Their presentation was titled “Sub-cellular Localization of Overexpressed Versus siRNA-Suppressed Claudin-3 Protein in Breast Cancer Cell Lines by Cell Fractionation and Indirect Immunofluorescence.” Students Browyn Tyler and Amanda Tompkins were co-authors on the paper. Students Heather Petty and Shannon Spears also attended the conference.


This is the last issue of In Focus that will be published this semester. For the latest news about Southwestern over the holiday break, visit the newsroom page at Publication of In Focus will resume Jan. 10. Happy Holidays!