The Art of the Pot

Students Mica Radu, Simon Gersib and Amber Wallour look at some of the pieces that are on display in the “Art of the Pot+” exhibit that will be in the Fine Arts Gallery through Nov. 10. The gallery is open from 1-5 p.m. daily. (Photo by Lucas Adams)

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Why would someone give up a tenured faculty position at one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States?

For Suzanne Buchele, associate professor of computer science, the answer is simple: to help create one of the best liberal arts colleges in Africa.

Buchele, who has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1998, went to the West African country of Ghana on a Fulbright Award in 2006-2008 to teach at Ashesi University. Ashesi is a liberal arts college that was started in 2002 by Patrick Awuah, a native of Ghaha who earned his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College.

Buchele’s husband, Steve, who is a United Methodist minister, went with her to Ghana  and worked at a nearby church.

Ever since they returned to Georgetown in 2008, Buchele said she and her husband felt pulled back to Ghana. In fact, they have gone back there almost every year since to either visit or teach.

Read more here.



The Williamson Museum will be hosting its annual Chisholm Trail Days on Saturday, Oct. 19, at San Gabriel Park. The event starts with a Cowboy Breakfast for $3 at 8 a.m. Other activities will include food and craft vendors, pony and wagon rides, stagecoach rides, a cattle drive, living history demonstrations and a re-enactment of the Sam Bass Shootout. For more information, visit


Pianist Nicholas Phillips will give a guest recital on Friday, Oct. 25,at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will include works by Luke Gullickson, Ethan Wickman, Ben Hjertmann, David Maslanka, William Price, John Griffin, David Rakowsi, Joel Puckett and Mark Olvieri.

Phillips is an assistant professor of music at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.

The concert is free and open to the public. Additional information is available here.


Works by guest composer Bonnie Miksch and faculty composer Jason Hoogerhyde will be featured in a chamber music concert to be held Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Caldwell Carvey Foyer.

Works by Miksch will include Inklings on the Loose, for flute and computer-realized recording, Man Dreaming Butterfly Dreaming Man, for violin and piano, and Surrender Me Endless, for amplified voice and live computer. Hoogerhyde’s featured works will include songs from the River of Words Project, for baritone and guitar, and the premiere of the new string quartet, Circle Variations. Performers will include faculty artists Adrienne Inglis, Eri Lee Lam, Vincent Lam, Bruce Cain, David Asbury, the Southwestern Student String Quartet, and Miksch, who teaches composition, theory and computer music at Portland State University.

The performance is free and open to the public. Additional information is available here.

Media Coverage

The October issue of Community Impact newspaper had a page of photos from the Sept. 7 football game. The photos and story are available online here.

Southwestern was mentioned in a USA Today story about the Common Application website. Read the story here.


Steven Alexander, professor of physics and holder of the Robert Sherman Lazenby Chair in Physics, presented a paper at the 2013 Fall Meeting of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society at The University of Texas Brownsville Oct. 11. The paper was titled “Calculating Relativistic Atomic and Molecular Properties Using Monte Carlo Methods.” At the same meeting, senior physics major Vicente Estrada-Carpenter presented a poster titled “Examining XMM Observations in the Galactic Bulge Survey Region.” This poster won the award for best undergraduate poster at the conference.

Romi Burks, professor of biology and co-chair of Environmental Studies and Animal Behavior, is serving as a senior mentor at the Women Evolving the Biological Sciences Symposium being held in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Oct. 16-19. Along with 14 other mentors, Burks participated in two panel discussions (Navigating Tenure and Promotion and Establishing a Research Lab at a PUI) and also partnered with Laura Katz of Smith College in a two-hour teaching workshop. WEBS is an annual three-day symposium supported by the National Science Foundation that is aimed at addressing the retention of female scientists and issues related to the transition of women from early career stages to tenure-track positions and leadership roles in academic and research settings. The symposium targets early career women in the biological sciences with an emphasis on ecology and evolutionary biology.  

Senior education and Spanish major Katie Elder has been selected to receive a scholarship from the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) for the 2013-2014 academic year. The scholarships are given each year to three students who TASPA identifies as the best teacher candidates throughout Texas. This year’s scholarships will be presented at TASPA’s annual awards luncheon in Austin Dec. 12. Read more here.

First-year student Michael Erwin was named SCAC Special Teams Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 13. Read more here.

Alisa Gaunder, professor of political science, was an invited participant to the Political Representation of Women in Asia Workshop in Hamilton, Ontario, sponsored by McMasters University, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange and the ACLS. She presented a paper titled “Female Representation in the LDP and the DPJ: the Significance of the Weakness on the Left.” Participants will submit their papers as a special issue for review and publication.

Thomas Howe, professor of art and art history, is among the people who have been invited to speak at an international conference that will be held Oct. 20-22 at the Tower of London. The conference will focus on how digital technology can be used to save cultural heritage sites before they are ravaged by war, terrorism, climate change and other threats. Howe will talk about his experience using digital technology to map the structures at the Stabiae site in Italy, which is one of 500 sites that has been targeted for “digital preservation.”

Pam McQuesten, vice president of information services and CIO, has been named one of the 50 Most Social CIOs in Higher Ed by the Huffington Post. Read more here.

Victoria Star Varner, professor of art and chair of Studio Art, is represented in four exhibitions this fall: Marks: A National Juried Drawing Exhibition at Madelon Powers Art Gallery, East Stroudsburg University, Oct. 9-Nov.15; Printmaking 2013, a national juried art exhibition at the Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery, SUNY Geneseo, Sept. 20-Oct. 19; the Awagami International Print Exhibition comprised of work from 39 countries on view at the Hall of Awa Japanese Paper in Tokushima, Japan, Oct. 12-Nov.10; and the One Foot Show at Lone Star Gallery at Kingswood College, which is part of the Texas Association of Schools of Art (TASA) conference in Houston this month. There, her work was awarded first prize in the professional category of the exhibition by Wade Wilson of Wade Wilson Gallery, Houston.

Mary Visser, professor of art and holder of the Herman Brown Chair, will be exhibiting her artwork at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art Nov. 1 through Feb. 22. The exhibit, titled Texas Sculpture Inside and Out,” is being held in conjunction with the 2013 Texas Sculpture Symposium that is taking place at Midwestern State University Nov. 1-3.


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