Connor Fitzhugh, a student at Williams Elementary School, talks about the project he did this fall as a participant in the SMArT (Science and Math Achiever Teams) program, which pairs local elementary school students with mentors from Southwestern. Fitzhugh worked with first-year student Brisa Gonzalez on a project about squids. Fitzhugh is shown here explaining his project to Carl Illig from the W.D. Kelley Foundation, which provided the endowment for the SMArT Program. At left is Jenny Sloan, who teaches 4th grade at Williams Elementary and is the daughter of Everette “Pop” Williams, for whom the school is named.

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Uncovering valid information about charitable organizations can be difficult. When organizations are headquartered abroad, it can be next to impossible.

Jennifer O’Neal, a junior who has crafted an independent major in the geography of poverty and culture, hopes to change all that with the help of a grant from the King Creativity Fund, which supports innovative student projects at Southwestern.

Working with Anwar Sounny-Slitine, instructor of environmental studies and GIS Lab manager, O’Neal plans to develop an online resource calledCharity at a Glance that will use Google Maps and GIS technology to help people learn more about charitable organizations headquartered in Kenya.

O’Neal’s project is one of 14 to receive grants from the King Creativity Fund for the 2013-2014 academic year. Other projects that have been funded include a project to test a low-cost dome structure for use as a greenhouse and a project to create a robotic arm that can mirror human movements.

Read more here.



An exhibit consisting of paintings and drawings by three Southwestern University seniors will be on display in the Fine Arts Gallery through Dec. 8.

The exhibit includes “The Presence of Words” by Jamie Gardner, “Swatches” by Nikki Grona and “Candid” by Candace Weigand.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Dec. 4 from 4-6 p.m.

Additional information on the exhibit is available here.


Southwestern will offer Candlelight Services for the Season of Advent on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 6 and 8 p.m. in the Lois Perkins Chapel. The services are free and open to the public.

Sodexo will offer dinner to the public from 5-8 p.m. in the Commons at a cost of $9 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. Following the 8 p.m. service, there will be a hot chocolate reception in the Bishops Lounge.

Read more here.


The annual lighting of the Georgetown Square will take place on Friday, Nov. 29, at 5:30 p.m. Also on Nov. 29, the Williamson Museum will unveil a new sculpture of Williamson County’s namesake, Robert McAlpin Williamson, at 4 p.m. in front of the museum on Austin Avenue.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun covered the Writer’s Voice lecture.

The alleged kidnapping of an Austin woman that led to a lockdown of the campus the evening of Nov. 11 turned out to be a hoax. Read the KVUE story here.


Fifteen Southwestern students were inducted into the Alpha Chi national honor society Nov. 20. Membership in Alpha Chi is open to juniors and seniors who are in the top 10 percent of their class. The latest inductees are Christopher Adams, Chareena Barrows, Shelby Beem, Annelise Carlin, Sadie Clarendon, Zoe Cordes Selbin, Augustus Crimm, Kelsey Debner, Heather Gronewald, Emily Grover, Joanna Hawkins, Drew Kotlarczyk, Maria Reyes, Elizabeth Stewart and Jeanne Wehde.

Five Southwestern students had artwork selected for the 34th Annual Central Texas Art Competition & Exhibition, which is on display at the Temple College Visual Arts Complex through Dec. 2. Amber Wallour received a special Juror’s Award for her oil painting and Paige Guerra received an Honorable Mention for her assemblage of pencils titled “Sharp and Dull.” Both awards came with cash prizes. Ellen Hinds, Katy Nave and Roxana Saenz also had piece selected for the exhibition, which was juried by Mark Anderson, chair of the Art Department at Baylor University. Read more here.

Head football coach Joe Austin has been named offensive coordinator for the U.S. team that will play in the Bowl of the Stars in Mexico Dec. 21. Read more here.

Sarah Brackmann, director of civic engagement, recently chaired a panel and presented a paper at the 2013 International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) Conference in Omaha, Neb. The panel was on “Democratic and Community Engagement: A General Discussion of The Neoliberal Problem” and her paper was titled “Community Engagement in the Neoliberal Paradigm.” Brackmann also was a guest lecturer recently for a graduate-level course at the University of North Texas on Organization and Administration of Higher Education. She discussed community engagement and the role of scholar-practitioner. 

Ben Pierce, professor of biology and holder of the Lillian Nelson Pratt Chair, recently received a $25,927 grant from the Williamson County Conservation Foundation for research on the ecology of the Georgetown salamander. Over the past four years, Pierce has received a total of $104,069 for his research on the Georgetown salamander.


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