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Four students enrolled in Southwestern this semester as part of a new program for transfer students from ACC that is funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Read more below.

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Southwestern University has received a $1 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., that will help it move forward with construction of a new science center.

If Southwestern can raise $1 million in matching funds by the end of 2013, that will bring the total amount raised for the new science center to $8 million. This will be enough to begin work on the first phase of the project, which will add 23,700 square feet of space to Southwestern’s existing Fondren-Jones Science Building. This will be done by constructing an L-shaped addition on the southeast corner of the existing building.

The second phase of the project will be the complete remodeling of the original 1954 section of the science building. When that is completed, a new three-story entrance will be built on the northwest side of the building.

“This challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation is critical to helping us get started on this vital project,” said Southwestern University President Jake B. Schrum.

Read more here.


Like most students on their first day at college, Conner Herriges was facing the “new student jitters.”

Fortunately for Herriges, he did not have to face them alone.

Herriges is among the first students who are taking advantage of a new program at Southwestern that is funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Last spring, the foundation gave Southwestern a $450,000 grant to help support transfer students from Austin Community College. Four students have enrolled at Southwestern this spring as a result of the program and 12 more are expected to start in the fall.

Herriges said he had not thought about Southwestern until he received an email from Amy Grosso, who is the director of the new program. Grosso had written Herriges and all other ACC students who are in the national community college honor society Phi Theta Kappa.

“I fell in love with the campus when I saw it,” Herriges said. “The small class sizes really grabbed my attention.”

Read more here.



Senior Abraham Ramirez will direct performances of Kenneth Lonergan’s play “This is Our Youth” Jan. 31-Feb. 3 in Heather Hall. Performances will be given at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

The play covers 48 hours in the lives of three young adults who are living in New York City during the Regan Era.

Tickets are $5 and may be purchased online at or by calling the Box Office at 512-863-1378. The play contains adult language and subject matter and is recommended for mature audiences only.


Pianist Artina McCain will give a lecture and guest recital on Friday, Feb. 1, at 3 p.m. in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer. McCain will talk about “Muscle Activation Techniques: A New Solution to Performance Injury” and will perform works by George Walker, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Amy Beach.

McCain completed her doctoral degree at The University of Texas at Austin with Anton Nel. She is on the keyboard faculty at Huston-Tillotson University and coaches at Austin Chamber Music Center. She and soprano Icy Simpson released an album of African American spirituals and art songs on The University of Texas’ Longhorn Records titled I, Too.

McCain is a strong advocate of performance injury prevention, and has presented various lecture/performances at universities and music teacher association conferences on muscle activation techniques. 

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


Southwestern University and partner Revolution K12 are offering reduced-cost SAT prep classes for high school students this spring.

The next available session to register for will run from Mar. 2 though Apr. 25. The session includes 11 classes at a cost of $395, which is considerably lower than other test prep courses.

Classes will meet Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. in Room 111 of the F.W. Olin Building. The registration deadline for this session is Feb. 15.

To register for the classes, go to For more information, contact Nancy Schutz at 512-863-1456 or

Media Coverage

Community Impact newspaper and the Austin Business Journal did stories about the $1 million challenge grant Southwestern received from the Mabee Foundation. Read the Community Impact story here.


Eileen Cleere, professorof English, had an article titled “Tactile Consciousness: Art, Cognitive Criticism, and the (New) Degeneration Debates” published in the current issue of Nineteenth-Century Contexts.

Fumiko Futamura, assistant professor of mathematics, presented a minicourse titled “Visualizing Projective Geometry Through Photographs and Perspective Drawings” at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings held Jan. 9-12 in San Diego along with Annalisa Crannell from Franklin & Marshall College and Marc Frantz from Indiana University. Thirty-six mathematics professors, high school teachers and artists attended the minicourse, which covered material the three have developed for an upcoming textbook.

David Guidi, part-time assistant professor and director of the Southwestern University Jazz Band, gave a presentation titled “Transcription: The Ultimate Lesson Plan for Beginning Improvisers” at the 4th annual Jazz Educator’s Network (JEN) conference held Jan. 2-5 in Atlanta, Ga. Read more here.

Senior mathematics major Yvette Niyomugaba won an Outstanding Presentation Award for the poster she presented at the Undergraduate Poster Session of the Joint Mathematics Meetings held Jan. 9-12 in San Diego. Her poster presentation, titled “Recycling toward a Better Earth through Math,” resulted from her ongoing honors project in mathematics, which she is doing under the direction of Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics. The work began in summer 2012 as a faculty-student collaborative research project. 

Rick Roemer, professor of theatre, will act, direct and produce three local productions this semester. At Austin Playhouse, he will play the role of Lyman in Other Desert Cities, which will run from Jan. 25-Feb. 24. The award-winning play by Jon Robin Baitz is a powerful drama about a family coming to terms with long-held secrets. In April, he will play The Albert’s in the world premiere of Steven Dietz’s play Mad Beat Hip & Gone at Zach Scott Theatre, and in May he will direct and produce the musical song cycle Bittersuite: Songs of Experience for the Trinity Street Players.

Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics, presented “Building and Feeling Confidence Intervals” at the Joint Mathematics Meetings held Jan. 9-12 in San Diego.



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