Taking Shape

The framing is now up for the field house that will be located by the new athletics fields. See more photos from the ongoing construction here. (Photo by Erica Grant)

Top News


Michael Douglas, a Southwestern graduate with more than 30 years experience as a professor, university administrator and biotechnology executive, has been named the new executive director of the Texas Life Sciences Collaboration Center in Georgetown. He replaces Russ Peterman, who left the center last year to start a new regional biotechnology partnership.

The TLCC was founded in 2007 by Southwestern, the City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce. It currently is home to seven companies – Cleanint, DiFusion Technologies, DisperSol Technologies, Microbinc, Molecular Templates, Radix BioSolutions and Xeris Pharmaceuticals. These companies have brought 55 new technical jobs to Georgetown and attracted investments totaling more than $40 million.

Douglas earned undergraduate degrees in chemistry and biology from Southwestern and earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Saint Louis University Graduate School. He served as a faculty member at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and as chair of the Department of Biochemisty and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina Medical School before leaving academia in 1994 to become CEO of Sigma Diagnostics, a multinational clinical diagnostics company based in St. Louis.

Douglas then held leadership positions in two other pharmaceutical companies in St. Louis before being named associate vice chancellor for research and director of the Office of Technology Management at Washington University in Saint Louis in 2002. He held that position until 2006, when he was named director of UAMS BioVentures, the technology licensing office and life science business incubator affiliated with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Douglas said being able to return to Texas and work at the TLCC is a “dream that finally came true for him.”

Read more here.


Many students want to get involved with volunteer work but don’t know where to start. The Big Event will provide an answer to this question April 6 by giving students the opportunity to spend four hours volunteering at a wide range of organizations in the community.

The Big Event is modeled after a national day of service started by Texas A&M University nearly 30 years ago and brought to Southwestern last year by junior David Boutté.

Boutté said more than 150 students, faculty and staff members have signed up to volunteer this year at locations ranging from the Annunciation Maternity Home and a homeless shelter for women and children, to gardening with a local church and playing with dogs at the Georgetown Animal Shelter.

Read more here.



The sixth annual SU Arts Festival will take place on Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Campus Center and on the Academic Mall. The festival is hosted by Delta Omicron, the professional music fraternity, and is free and open to the public.

The festival is an opportunity for Southwestern students to share their passion for the arts with the campus community, as well as local youth and their families.

The festival embraces every aspect of the arts, offering educational experiences, arts and crafts booths, an instrument petting zoo, live performances by local youth and Southwestern students, Yoga on the Lawn, Zumba, improvisation troupe performances, and a cooking demonstration. A special guest ensemble, Mariachi Nuevo Estilo A.D.M., will perform at 11:30am.

For a complete schedule of events, visit the festival website at http://www.southwestern.edu/sarofim/suartsfestival/


Wendy Brown, a professor of political science at UC Berkeley and one of the country’s  leading contemporary political theorists, will deliver the 2013 Jesse Daniel Ames lecture on Monday, April 8, at 4:15 p.m. in Olin 105. The title of her talk is “Homo Oeconomicus, Homo Politicus, and Predicaments of Contemporary Democracy.”

Brown received her Ph.D. in political philosophy from Princeton University. Prior to joining the faculty at Berkeley in 1999, she taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at Williams College.

Brown’s research analyzes fundamental questions of power, political identity, sovereignty, citizenship, religion, secularism, toleration, and capital in the late modern era of Western liberal democracies and in the global neoliberal context.  She has authored or co-authored eight books, including Walled States, Waning Sovereignty; Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Empire and Identity; Edgework: Essays on Knowledge and Politics; Politics Out of History; States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity; and Manhood and Politics: A Feminist Reading in Political Theory.

Read more here.


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 in conjunction with the Williamson Museum’s new Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker Trail Exhibit. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.williamsonmuseum.org.

Media Coverage

Josh Long, assistant professor of environmental studies, was interviewed for a story on KUT-FM. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about President-elect Burger’s first official visit to campus and a story about the SU Chorale’s trip to Italy.


Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented a research paper titled “Marica Bodrožić: Transnational Identity Narratives in Layers, Folds and Fractals” at the 44th annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Boston March 21-24. With this essay, part of a theory chapter in her book on transnational identity narratives by contemporary women writers, Berroth contributed to a double panel titled “The Eastern European Turn in Contemporary German-Language Literature” which brought together eight leading scholars on the topic from Europe and the United States. While at NeMLA, she also participated in expert discussions on “Blended Learning in Modern Languages and Literature Classrooms” and “Best Practices: Teaching Professional Communication in German.”

Brandon Canfield, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies, has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Chemistry at Northern Michigan University beginning in Fall 2013. He will join the faculty as an assistant professor, teaching courses in analytical chemistry, general chemistry, and chemistry for non-majors, while continuing to pursue his research interests in environmental chemistry.  

Michael Cooper, professor of music and holder of the Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts, has completed work on the Historical Dictionary of Romantic Music. The book will be published this fall by Scarecrow Press as part of their series titled Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. 

Abby Dings, assistant professor of Spanish, presented a paper titled “Language learners in interaction: Orientation to novice and expert identities” at the Dialogue in Multilingual, Multimodal, and Multicompetent Communities of Practice Workshop in Austin March 22-24.

Melissa Johnson, associate professor of anthropology, was invited to participate in a one-day conference on Race, Place and Nature that was held at Rutgers University March 8 as part of a year-long Sawyer Seminar on Race, Place and Space in the Americas. Johnson presented a paper titled “Racing Nature in a Creolized World: Race, Color and Nature in Belize.”

Terri Johnson, assistant dean for student multicultural affairs, has released her second book of poetry. The book is titled Jumping in the Sunshine: Laughter is a Gift and is available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.

2009 graduate Megan McCarty has been awarded a Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst Fellowship to conduct research on Franz Liszt in Weimar. In the fall, she will enter Duke University’s Ph.D. program in musicology. She completed her master’s degree in musicology at Boston University in 2012.

Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton, associate professor of English, presented a paper titled “The Limits of Liberal Literacy Pedagogies in a Global Context: Lessons from Vietnam” on a panel called Questioning English Instruction Abroad and at Home at the 2013 Conference on College Composition and Communication held March 13-16 in Las Vegas. At the conference she saw Southwestern graduate Sarah Hart, who completed her Ph.D. in August and is teaching as an adjunct at Colorado State and working on a book project based on her dissertation on rhetoric and poetry.

Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, assistant professor of Spanish, attended a seminar on the history of mass media in Latin America at the University of Buenos Aires while she is on sabbatical in Buenos Aires this semester. She also participated in a workshop on “Memory and Education” at the Haroldo Conti Cultural Center for Social Memory, which is housed at a facility that functioned as a concentration camp in the 1970s during Argentina’s military dictatorship. The workshop provided an opportunity to interact with educators, community leaders, artists and students who are creating opportunities for the production and promotion of the culture of memory and human rights through art, education, literature, culture and politics. She said she plans to incorporate what she has learned this semester in the Contemporary Latin American Literature class she will be teaching in the fall, and in her Cultural Memory in Latin America class that participates in Paideia.

Patricia Schiaffini, instructor of Chinese, delivered a paper titled “The Language Debate in Sinophone Tibetan Literature: Cultural Authenticity, Audience, and Representation” at a roundtable on “Critical Conversations in Sinophone Studies” at the Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies in San Diego March 21-24.

Brenda Sendejo, assistant professor of anthropology, presented a paper titled “Activist Pedagogies as Resistance: Promoting Social Change from the Borderlands of Chicana/o Studies and Anthropology” at the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies annual conference in San Antonio March 20-23.

Anwar Sounny-Slitine, instructor of environmental studies and GIS Lab Manager, has received a $10,500 Google education grant to install Google Earth Pro edition on 30 computers on campus that are used by students in GIS, Physics and other programs.

Former Registrar David Stones recently received one of the highest awards presented by The University of Texas Austin. Stones received the Arno Nowotny Medal, which is awarded to staff members of the Division of Student Affairs. He received the award for his work in modernizing UT’s registration process when he served as associate registrar and database coordinator there.

Jennifer Tindle, a 2011 accounting graduate, is one of 39 winners nationwide of the 2012 Elijah Sells Award, which is given to outstanding performers on the uniform CPA examination. More than 92,000 candidates sat for the CPA exam in 2012 and Tindle was of the select few to be recognized nationwide. Read more here.

Dave Voskuil, vice president for enrollment services, delivered a speech remembering former Lakeland College men’s basketball coach Moose Woltzen as Woltzen was posthumously inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in Kansas City March 12. Voskuil is one of Woltzen’s former players and is in the Lakeland College Hall of Fame. Read more here.

1968 graduate Susan Youens has been named an Honorary Member of the American Musicological Society