Mayoral Forum

Southwestern hosted a forum March 31 for the two candidates who are running for mayor of Georgetown - Dale Ross and Marlene McMichael. The forum was organized by Scott Kelly (center) and other members of Student Congress.

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What constitutes identity? Are places physical or abstract? What impact are we as humans having on our environment?

These are just some of the topics that will be the focus of new Paideia clusters that will be available to students at Southwestern beginning in fall 2014.

All students entering Southwestern in fall 2014 will select three courses from a Paideia cluster to help meet their core requirements. Paideia clusters are groups of courses from different disciplines that share a common theme. In addition to taking three courses from a Paideia cluster, students will take a Paideia seminar their junior or senior year that will be team-taught by two faculty members who teach courses in their cluster.

The six Paideia clusters that students will have to choose from in fall 2014 are “Americas: North by South,” “The Anthropocene: Questions for the ‘Age of Humans’,” “Global Health,” “Investigating Identity,” “Representing Gender” and “Situating Place.”

Read more here.


In recent years, horses have become increasingly popular as therapy animals. Like dogs, horses provide companionship to children diagnosed with a variety of physical and mental disabilities.

However, the real reason parents continue to bring their children to equine-assisted therapy centers is because they see improvements in their children’s conditions. Equine-assisted therapy works. How and why it works, however, is hard to define.

For the past five years, psychology professor Jacquie Muir-Broaddus and Southwestern psychology students have partnered with the R.O.C.K., Ride on Center For Kids in Georgetown, a facility that offers therapeutic horse-riding services, to help answer that question. Each year they approach the problem from a different angle, focus on a different group of children, and implement different research methods. This year’s project has focused primarily on children with autism spectrum disorders.

Read more here.



Students who received grants from the King Creativity Fund for the 2013-2014 academic year will display their projects on Monday, April 7, from 5-6 p.m. in the Bishop’s Lounge. Fourteen different projects were funded this year, ranging from a website that will analyze charitable organizations in Africa to a robotic arm that can mirror human movements.

Read more here.


The 10th annual SU Native Powwow will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Robertson Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The complete schedule for the event is available here.


The SU Opera Theater will perform Mozart’s comedic masterpiece “Così fan tutte” on Sunday, April 13, at 3 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

The performance is free and open to the public.


The Central Texas Civic Trombone Choir will give a guest recital at Southwestern on Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will include works by Flor Peeters, John Cheetham, Guiseppe Verdi, Quirino Gasparini and Michael Davis, and a new piece by David Wilborn that was commissioned for the ensemble.

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

Media Coverage

President Burger was interviewed April 2 by Fearless Parent Radio for a program about his book, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking. Listen to the program here.

The Williamson County Sun and Community Impact newspaper covered the 2014 Shilling Lecture. Read the Community Impact story here.

The Williamson County Sun ran several stories related to the inauguration, including a story on President Burger’s inauguration speech, a story on the “Soap Bubble Geometry” event and a column by editor Linda Scarbrough.

The Williamson County Sun ran several pages of photos from inauguration week, including a page of photos from the inauguration ceremony, a page of photos from the Pirate Party on the Lawn and a page of photos from the gala that was held at Gabriel Springs event center.

The Austin American-Statesman and the  Williamson County Sun covered the March 31 mayoral forum at Southwestern. Read the Statesman story here.


Eight Southwestern sociology majors presented their research at the annual meetings of the Pacific Sociological Association held in Portland, Ore., March 27-30.  Lucas Grisham, Kelsey Kisor and Mitchell Petersen presented their paper titled “Planning for Change in the Sociology Curriculum: Sociology Departments and the MCAT® 2015.” Victoria Flores and Tara Smith presented “Planning for Change in the Psychology Curriculum: Psychology Departments and the MCAT® 2015.”  Marta Selby, John Semlitsch and Forrest Stanley-Stevens gave apresentation titled “Adjustments Following Addition: Advisors’ Actions Regarding MCAT® Revisions.” They discussed their research as part of a workshop on “Preparing for Changes in the MCAT® − Opportunities and Challenges for Sociology Programs” organized by Edward L. Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar.

Senior Tyler Downing and junior Travis Zeiler were named SCAC Men’s Lacrosse Players of the Week for the week ending March 30. Read more here.

Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, was invited to write the introduction to Gernot Blume’s new volume of poetry, Redewendungen, Gedichte aus den Jahren 2012/13. Blume,a contemporary German poet, ethnomusicologist, composer, singer, musician, multicultural improviser and multi-instrumentalist has gained international recognition for his complex body of work. Germanists are particularly delighted with his Dichterlieder compositions that breathe new life into German classics like Friedrich Hölderlin, Heinrich Heine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hermann Hesse and Hildegard von Bingen. The volume is scheduled for publication in fall 2014.

Eileen Cleere, professor of English, chaired two panels and delivered a paper at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference in Houston March 27-30. Her talk, “Resuscitating Ruskin: Race Culture as Aesthetic Culture at the fin de siècle,” was drawn from the final chapter of her forthcoming book, The Sanitary Arts: Aesthetic Culture and the Victorian Cleanliness Campaigns. Cleere also served on the Program Committee for the conference.

Alison Kafer, associate professor of feminist studies, is giving a talk at Ohio State University April 3. The talk, titled “Un/Safe Disclosures,” offers a disability studies reading of safe space, “trigger warnings,” and trauma. While at OSU, she will lead a workshop on incorporating disability and disability studies into course syllabi and developing accessible pedagogy. 

Senior English major Katie McLaughlin received Southwestern’s second annual Rose Prize for Literary Criticism, which comes with a $200 check. McLaughlin won the prize for her capstone paper, which was titled “‘Everybody Writes’: Re-imagining Reader, Writer, and Text in the Online Community.” Read more here.

Valerie Renegar, associate professor of communication studies, was one of the spotlight scholars at Texas State University’s 26th Annual Communication Week March 24-28. Renegar gave a talk on March 24 titled “Rhetoric and Social Criticism: Imagining the Future.”

Michael Saenger, associate professor of English, has been invited to deliver the first keynote address at an international Shakespeare conference hosted by the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the University of London. The conference, titled “Adapting, Performing & Reviewing Shakespearean Comedy in a European Context,” will draw attendees from across Europe and beyond. His talk will concern the role of language and genre in mediating Shakespeare in the modern world.

Eric Selbin, professor of political science & University Scholar, participated in a roundtable at the International Studies Association titled “Resistance as a Strategy for Peace and Justice?” He also co-chaired the annual Editorial Board meeting of the book series he co-edits for Rowman & Littlefield, New Millennium Books in International Relations.

Brenda Sendejo, assistant professor of anthropology, had an essay titled “Methodologies of the Spirit: Reclaiming Guadalupe and Discovering Tonantzin Within and Beyond the Walls of Academia” published by the University of Arizona Press this month in the anthology, Fleshing the Spirit: Spirituality in Chicana/Latina/Indigeous Women’s Lives.

Laura Senio Blair, associate professor of Spanish, has earned a place in the 2014 NEH Summer Seminar on Jewish Buenos Aires, to be held in Buenos Aires between July 7-24. The seminar will focus on major texts in 20th century Jewish culture as it has played out in the context of immigration and assimilation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the major center of Jewish culture in Latin America. Through a detailed examination of these works as literary texts that interpret the Jewish experience in Buenos Aires, the seminar will provide participants with an important grounding in this important dimension of ethnic culture in Argentina and, by implication, in other Latin American societies.

Bob Snyder, professor of political science, presented two papers, “The Arab Uprising and the Persistence of Monarchy” and “Ideology and International Conflict” at the International Studies Association’s annual conference in Toronto last week. He also participated on a roundtable that discussed the book Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process, in which he has a chapter.

Mary Visser, professor of art and holder of the Herman Brown Chair, has work in the exhibition “Momentum: Women/Art/Technology,” which will be on display at Arizona State University’s Night Gallery April 4-27. The exhibit features the work of 20 contemporary women artists and is being held in conjunction with Momentum: Women/Art/Technology, a global community of women who embrace technology as their mode of expression.


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