Prize-Winning Project

Amir Hessabi (left) and Chandler Johnson show off their prototype of a solar lounge chair at the Research and Creative Works Symposium that was held April 8. The project won the award for the best creative work. Marion Clendenen won the award for best poster presentation and a group that included seven students from the Department of Math and Computer Science won the award for the best oral presentation. Other award winners were Katie Ferrick, who won the prize for the best PechaKucha presentation, and Alex Michael, who had the most attendees at his oral presentation. Read more about the chair project below.

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The Southwestern campus may soon have a series of custom-designed wooden lounge chairs where students can relax, read, and even charge their laptops while they are enjoying the outdoors.

It’s all the result of a project that was a joint effort between students in an engineering class and students in a Paideia cohort led by Fumiko Futamura, associate professor of mathematics.

Since the theme of Futamura’s Paideia cohort is creativity, students in the group wanted to come up with something that would encourage creativity on campus. They even got a SEED grant to help fund the project.

The solar lounge chair that resulted from their idea ended up winning the award for best creative project at the 2014 Research and Creative Works Symposium.

Read more here.


Sisters and fellow Southwestern students Taylor and Jordan Hutchison say they have always enjoyed working on projects together. This year, their teamwork earned them a $2,500 prize.

The two sisters were the recipients of the 2014 Walt Potter Prize, which is awarded for the best project at the annual King Creativity Symposium. The two won the prize for their project titled “The Perfect Glaze: Using Evolutionary Computing to Format the Most Aesthetically Pleasing Glaze.”

Paul Gaffney, dean of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts and coordinator of the King Creativity Fund program, said the Potter Prize selection committee was impressed with the “very unexpected combination” of computer algorithms and ceramics that the two sisters used.

Read more here.


During his time as a student at Southwestern, 2004 graduate Justin Smith was incredibly involved in the Theatre Department both onstage as well as behind the scenes. He was an actor, a singer, and even directed a main stage show, but his true passion was designing and building sets.

“I was always building,” Smith said. “The Theatre Laboratory Practicum for scenery I took with Desiderio Roybal and Don Day is why I’m here today.”

Today, Smith is the Technical Director for the Theatre Department and teaches the same course that inspired his own career.

“A big part about what I look for in a job is if I believe in what I’m doing there,” Smith said. “It’s really, really great to be here and to be working with such an amazing department. The energy here is what inspires me to keep going every day.”

Read more here.



Timothy White, a professor of political science at Xavier University, will give a talk titled “Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process” on Thursday, April 10, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballrooms.

White has written more than 45 publications that focus mostly on Irish politics. He also edited Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process, which was published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He has been named by the Irish Voice as one of the top 100 Irish educators in the United States and was nominated for Educator of the Year in 2013 by Cincy magazine.

The lecture is free and open to the public.


Kimberly Jones, assistant curator of the arts of the Americas at the Dallas Museum of Art, will give a talk at Southwestern titled “Early Water Management in the Ancient Andes” on Thursday, April 17, at 4 p.m. in Olin 110.

Jones curated the exhibit titled “Between Mountains and Sea: Arts of the Ancient Andes” that is currently on display at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin.

The talk is free and open to the public.


Cellist Christopher Adkins and pianist Kiyoshi Tamagawa will give a guest and faculty recital on Monday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer. The program will include works by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Crumb, Maurice Ravel, Antonin Dvorak, Englebert Humperdinck, Jules Massenet, Paul Hindemith and Christoph Gluck.

Adkins is the principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and serves on the faculty of Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas. Tamagawa is a professor of music at Southwestern.

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


The 2014 Jesse Daniel Ames Lecturewill be given on Wednesday, April 23, at 4 p.m. in Olin 105. The title of the lecture is “Transforming Feminist Scholarship and Pedagogy Through Digital Media: The Chicana por mi Raza Digital Archive Project.”

Maria Cotera and Linda Garcia Merchant will co-present on the national digital archive project, Chicana por mi Raza: Uncovering the Hidden History of Chicana Feminism (CPMR), and its implementation. Cotera is the national director of CPMR and Merchant is the technical director. Cotera, a feminist scholar and long-time political and community activist, will address the ways in which the project is connecting older Chicana feminists to a new generation of scholars and activists.

CPMR digital archivist Seiferle Valencia will join the speakers for a Q&A session following the presentation.

Media Coverage

The Austin American-Statesman ran a piece by history professor Melissa Byrnes about “The Monuments Men” and art looting throughout history. Read the piece here.

The Austin Chronicle reviewed Southwestern’s production of Gypsy. Read the review here.

Salon ran an excerpt from Laura Hobgood-Oster’s new book, A Dog’s History of the World. Read the excerpt here.

The Georgetown Advocate covered the communitywide luncheon that was held to kick off the 2014 football season. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a feature story on Sarah Kinney’s senior art exhibit on “selfies.”


Senior Auburney Jackson received the Overall Leader Award at the Annual Student Leadership Banquet, which was held April 3. Others receiving awards at the event were Grace Atkins (First-Year Award), Kathryn Reagan (Sophomore Award), Anne Bransford (Junior Award) and Paige Duggins (Senior Award). First-year student Sebastian Gualy received the Emerging Leader Award and seniors Lilly Duarte and Daniel Poole received the Pirate Anchor Award. Alpha Phi Omega was named Student Organization of the Year and the Organization Advisor Award went to Will Molidor for his work with the SU Veterans Association. Students presented Jerry Brody, vice president for student life, with a special award for his dedication to students.

Four economics majors presented their research at the annual Economic Scholar Program at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas March 28. Alex Michael presented “An Evaluation of Institutional Effects: Exploring the Empirical Relationship Between Economic Freedom, Growth, and Income Inequality,” Izzy Ramirez presented “Unbanked Hispanics,” Brooke Chatterton presented “The Benefits of Bilingualism” and José Bayoán Calderón presented “From Scientific Understanding to Effective Policy: Fruit and Vegetable Consumption on Cancer Incidence.”

Students from Southwestern wrote three of the 21 undergraduate papers that were presented at the annual meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America held in Laredo April 3-5. Brian Cohen and David Vaden presented “Magic Graphs,” which they did under the supervision of Alison Marr, associate professor of mathematics, and Kendall Richards, professor of mathematics. Robert Lehr presented “An Irrational Decomposition of Generalized Fibonacci Number,” which he did under the supervision of Edward Burger, president and professor of mathematics. Andrew Banister presented “Can You Make Change by Increasing Minimum Wage?” which he did under the supervision of Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics.

Nine psychology students presented their research at the Southwestern Psychological Association’s annual conference in San Antonio April 3-5. Estrella Thomas and Anne Stankus presented a paper titled Extraversion as a predictor in mentor-mentee relationships.” Quinlyn Morrow and Cristina Muyschont presented a paper titled Does support effectiveness vary as a function of self-efficacy and support type?” Both these papers won one of Psi Chi’s Regional Research Awards for outstanding research. Anna Hartmann and Annelise Carlin presented a paper titled “Opposites don’t always attract: The matching hypothesis and openness in relationships.” Michelle Cincunegui presented a paper titled “The problem with happily ever after: Fate-based relationships, neuroticism, and infidelity.” And Araceli Castaneda and Markie Wendel presented a paper titled “Through the looking glass: Facebook reflects IOS in romantic relationships.” Castaneda, Wendel, Morrow and Muyschontalso presented their papers at the 15th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, which was held in Austin Feb. 13-15. The papers were written under the direction of Erin Crockett, assistant professor of psychology.

Senior Jacob Brown presented a paper based on his Spanish honors thesis titled “Modelos masculinos: La cultura norteamericana y las representaciones de la masculinidad hegemónica en Amado amo (1988) de Rosa Montero” at the 20th Annual Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures held April 3-5 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brown wrote the thesis under the direction of Katy Ross, associate professor of Spanish.

Thomas Howe, professor of art history, was the lead presenter at a lecture titled “The Rebirth of a Roman Luxury Resort: Recent Archaeological Discoveries at The Seaside Villas at Stabia”that was held at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia April 8. The lecture was held in conjunction with the institute’s exhibit titled “One Day in Pompeii,” which runs through April 27. Read more here.

Adrienne Inglis, flute instructor, and harpist Shana Norton performed as guest artists in the Celtic Spring concert series in Little Rock and Hot Springs, Ark., in March. The concerts were presented by The Muses Creative Artistry Project and featured Inglis on the flute, bass flute, piccolo, D whistle, low whistle and flauto traverso in music from Ireland, Scotland and England. The programs also included two movements from “The Book of Goddesses” (2010) by American composer Robert Paterson.

Helene Meyers, professor of English and McManis University Chair, gave an invited lecture titled “Reel and Novel Jews: A Feminist and Queer Renaissance” at Vassar April 3. Read more here.

Emily Northrop, associate professor of economics, presented a paper titled “Promoting Economic Growth and Climate Change in ECON 100” at a meeting of the Association for Institutionalist Thought, which met under the auspices of the Western Social Science Association Annual Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 2-5.

Nico Schüler, visiting faculty member in music, recently had an article titled “Computerunterstützte Mozartanalyse: Geschichte, Methoden, Kritik und Ausblick” (“Computer-Assisted Mozart Analysis: History, Methods, Critique, and Perspectives”) published in Mozartanalyse heute.

Eric Selbin, professor of political science and University Scholar, spoke to the United States Embassies in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine about “The Power of Story and Social Change” as part of the U.S. State Department Virtual Lecture Series. 


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