Service Over Spring Break

Will Danheim and Nolan Klein work on a trail in New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness over spring break. The Gila trip was one of three Destination: Service trips offered over spring break. See more photos from the trip here.

Top News


When members of the Southwestern University Chorale learned they had the opportunity to perform in Italy over spring break, they knew it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But they had no idea just how special that experience would be.

Shortly before the group was scheduled to depart for their trip on March 8, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be stepping down. A conclave to select the new pope was set to take place the week of March 11 − the same week the SU Chorale was scheduled to be at the Vatican singing in St. Peter’s Basilica.

When the new pope was named on March 13, there was some concern that the group’s scheduled March 14 performance during mass at St. Peter’s Basilica might have to be canceled. However, during a guided tour of the Vatican Museum, they learned they were going to be able to sing as planned.

“When the good news came that the Chorale was approved to sing the mass (reportedly by the Capellmesiter in consultation with the new Pope) just after entering the Vatican Museum, everyone cheered through the tears in their eyes. I will never forget that moment as long as I live,” said Lois Ferrari, a music professor who accompanied the Chorale on the trip.

In fact, they learned that the new pope would be conducting mass in the Sistine Chapel at exactly the same hour the Chorale was singing mass at St. Peter’s.

Read more here.


As a political science and French double major, junior Octivia Marcel had thought about pursuing a career in politics, but was not sure whether it was really for her.

That all has changed this semester.

Marcel is one of nine students from Southwestern who are doing internships at the State Capitol this semester through Southwestern’s Texas Politics Internship program. The program, which is directed by political science professor Tim O’Neill, combines classes on Texas politics with real-world internships in the Texas House of Representatives, the state Senate or various state agencies.

Read more here.



Tibetan calligrapher, writer and scholar Pema Bhum will be visiting Southwestern on Thursday, March 28. At 4 p.m. Bhum will give a lecture in the Prothro Room on his memoir about the Cultural Revolution, which is titled Six Stars with a Crooked Neck. At 6:30 p.m., he will give a calligraphy demonstration in the lobby of the Olin Building.

For more information, contact Patricia Schiaffini at


Senior Art Exhibitions will be on display in the Fine Arts Gallery April 2-14. The gallery is open from 1-5 p.m. daily.

This year’s senior exhibition includes the work of Jessica Cox, Kim Dembrosky and Rebecca Gordon. Cox’s exhibition is called “Lethal Attraction: Fatal Weapon” and includes several large paintings and some small sculptures. Dembrosky’s exhibition is called “Dembrosky, Inc.” and also includes both paintings and sculpture. Gordon’s exhibit is called “Infinite Imaginings” and includes a series of large abstract paintings.

An opening reception for the exhibits will be held April 4 from 4-6 p.m.


Southwestern will present performances of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic “Trial by Jury” on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

“Trial by Jury” is a one-act comedic opera satire about the breach of a marriage proposal, where Edwin, the defendant, fights a breach of promise lawsuit brought on by his jilted lover, Angelina. Edwin is a roguish playboy who withdraws his marriage proposal to Angelina, claiming he was bored with her and now loves another. Angelina, the scorned bride in her wedding gown, enters the court with her bridesmaids to demand Edwin’s hand in marriage. Angelina wins over the jury and corrupt judge with her beauty and charm. The opera will be directed by Paul Gaffney, dean of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. Bruce Cain is musical director.

Tickets are $6 - $8 and may be purchased online at or by calling the Box Office at 512-863-1378.


Dustin Tahmahkera, assistant professor of communication studies at Southwestern, will be the featured speaker at the April 10 “Salon at Wildfire” sponsored by the Williamson Museum.

Tahmahkera, who is a dual citizen of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma and the United States, will speak on “Becoming and Being Comanche.” Thetalk will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the back room of Wildfire Restaurant, 812 S. Austin Ave. in Georgetown.

The talk is being held on conjunction with the Williamson Museum’s new Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker Trail Exhibit. For more information, visit the museum’s website at

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about the chimney swift tower students built on campus.

Paul Gaffney, dean of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts, was interviewed by Fox News about the selection of the new pope. Watch the story here.


Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, facilitated a Birds-of-a-Feather session on “Trends in CS Enrollment at Small, Liberal Arts Institutions” at the 2013 SIGCSE (Computer Science Education) Technical Symposium, “The Changing Face of Computing” in Denver, Colo., March 7-9. Suzanne Fox Buchele, associate professor of computer science, presented a paper at the same conference titled “Two Models of a Cryptography and Computer Security Class in a Liberal Arts Context.”

Shana Bernstein, associate professor of history, was invited to comment on two papers at the Borderlands History Seminar at Chicago’s Newberry Library on March 15.

Political science major Ben Bracher is presenting a paper based on his honors thesis at the annual meeting of the Southwest Political Science Conference in New Orleans March 27-30. The title of his paper is “The Economic Rise of Japan and China: is China following in Japan’s footsteps?”

Eileen Cleere, professor of English, delivered a paper called “Chaste Polygamy and Victorian Sensation Fiction” at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) conference in Charlottesville, Va. , March 14-17.  The essay extends her current project on representations of Mormon marriage in Victorian literature, 1860-1870. While at INCS she also chaired a panel on British Romantic literature, and agreed to serve on the selection committee for the 2014 INCS conference hosted by the University of Houston.

Elaine Craddock, professor of religion, published an article titled “The Half Male, Half Female Servants of the Goddess Aṅkāḷaparamēcuvari” in the December 2012 issue of Nidān: Journal for the Study of Hinduism.

Herbert Genzmer, visiting assistant professor of German, has been invited to start writing a column for Entwürfe, a literary magazine from Zürich. The column is titled “Notes from America.” The first column, published March 7, was titled “Faith will help.”

Music students Stacie Glowka and Marie Smith are performing in Round Rock this Saturday with Ensemble Settecento, a Baroque Orchestra and Vocal Ensemble based in Austin. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church, 1420 E. Palm Valley Blvd.

Junior Chelsea Leeder was the only SCAC player to earn a spot on the All-Region First Team for the South Region. Read more here.

Valerie Renegar, associate professor of communication studies, attended the Western States Communication Association annual conference in Reno, Nev., Feb. 15-19. She was involved in two roundtable discussions to help emerging scholars develop their work through the publication process. She also presented a co-authored paper in the Rhetoric and Public Address division titled “Contradictions and Watersheds: Up in the Air with the Comic Frame.”

Fred Sellers, associate professor of business, presented a paper titled “Dynegy Corporation: Inflating Operating Cash Flow” at the Southwest Regional Meeting of the American Accounting Association in Albuquerque, N.M., March 15.

Maha Zewail-Foote, associate professor of chemistry, co-authored an article titled “Science for the ‘Haves’” that was published in the January issue of the international journal Angewandte Chemi. Read the article here.


Related News & Events