Ready to Break Ground

Southwestern will hold the groundbreaking ceremony for its new science center April 25. Read more below.

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Southwestern will officially break ground for its new science center April 25.

Phase One of the project will add 23,700 square feet of space to the existing Fondren-Jones Science Building. This will be done by constructing an L-shaped addition on the southeast corner of the building. 

The first floor of the new addition will have labs for biology, chemistry and physics close to each other to encourage collaboration between disciplines. The second floor will have biology labs, a cell culture lab and a molecular biology center. The third floor will have a biochemistry research lab and the organic chemistry teaching and research laboratories.

The addition is expected to be completed in time for the spring 2016 semester.

Read more here.


A Southwestern student conducted research that contributed to a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – one of the country’s most respected scientific journals.

Junior biology major Kelsey Rice performed research that led to the paper last summer while interning at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston.  

Rice worked in the lab of Dr. James Musser, who does research on infectious diseases.

Musser and his team were trying to figure out the sequence of genomic alterations that led to a more virulent strain of the Streptococcus, or “flesh-eating” bacteria, which is estimated to cause 600 million infections globally each year and 10,000 to 15,000 severe infections in the United States.

Rice helped the team analyze the genomes of more than 3,600 samples of Streptococcus that were collected from a variety of locations in Europe and North America between the 1920s and 2013.

Read more here.


Southwestern has received a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will be used to help liberal arts colleges implement specific collaborative projects.

The grant will support the work of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), which is based at Southwestern.

Michael Nanfito, executive director of NITLE, said that a growing number of colleges recognize the advantages of offering collaborative programs to accomplish innovative learning objectives. What these colleges need is a practical “roadmap” for how to implement such programs.

NITLE will use the Mellon Foundation grant to provide specific tools such as agreement structures, templates, checklists, case studies and experienced facilitators to help guide colleges as they negotiate the process of collaboration.

Read more here.



The annual Red Poppy Festival will take place on the Georgetown Square April 25-27. Festival highlights include the Red Poppy Bike Ride on Saturday at 8 a.m. and the Red Poppy Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m. More than 70 Southwestern students have signed up to ride Pirate Bikes in the parade. A variety of bands will play throughout the weekend, including Dysfunkshun Junkshun, the Bellamy Brothers and Brandon Rhyder.

For a full schedule of events, visit


Students in the Environmental Studies Capstone class taught by Josh Long, assistant professor of environmental studies, will be hosting a communitywide sustainability forum on Wednesday, April 30, at 6 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballrooms. The forum will address the importance of sustainability at institutions of higher education, and how Southwestern can work with the greater Georgetown area to enact positive change. The presentation will be followed by a short interactive session in which members of the community are invited to provide feedback.

For a list of other capstone presentations next week, go here.

Media Coverage

The Austin American-Statesman ran a story about Southwestern receiving a $500,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to support NITLE.

The Williamson County Sun ran a page of photos from the SU NATIVE PowWow.


Southwestern received a bronze award in the 2014 awards competition sponsored by District IV of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Creative Services received the award in the Design - Publication Design Series category for the materials that were produced for the 2013 Brown Symposium organized by Traci Giuliano, professor of psychology.

English and education major Paige Duggins has been named the inaugural recipient of the G. Rollie White Public Service Scholarship at The University of Texas School of Law. The scholarship provides $15,000 a year for three years to an entering student with strong academic credentials and demonstrated commitment to public service who plans to pursue a legal career helping the underserved. Read more here.

Helene Meyers, professor of English and McManis University Chair, had an article titled “Why Do Research?” published in the Forum section of the March 2014 issue of PMLA, the journal of the Modern Language Association of America. PMLA is a premier journal in literary studies with a circulation of almost 30,000. The essay relates the scholarly enterprise to the sacred art of teaching. Read the article here.

Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, assistant professor of Spanish, presented a paper titled “Memoria cultural y las heroinas de la independencia de Mexico” in the 67th annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference April 10-12. She also had a paper titled “El pasado nacional como narrativa de ficcion, o la historia es una telenovela” published in the 2014 Winter issue of the Journal of Mexican Studies and had a translation titled “Comunidad indigena Miskitu de Tuara en el proceso autonomico de la costa Caribe de Nicaragua” published in the 2013 book Otros Saberes. Collaborative Research on Indigenous and Afro-descendant Cultural Politics.

Michael Saenger, associate professor of English, chaired a seminar on the interplay of languages in relation to Shakespeare at the 2014 Shakespeare Association of America conference in St. Louis April 10-12.  

Brenda Sendejo, assistant professor of anthropology, presented on research conducted for her recent book chapter at the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Conference in Salt Lake City April 11. The chapter is titled “Methodologies of the Spirit: Reclaiming Guadalupe and Discovering Tonantzin Within and Beyond the Nepantla of  Academia” and appears in a book titled Fleshing the Spirit: Spirituality and Activism in Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous Women’s Lives.

Kimberly Smith, professor of art history, gave a public lecture at Southern Methodist University April 10. Smith was invited to speak as part of the Comini Lecture Series organized by the Art History Department at SMU. Her talk was titled “Learning to See: Franz Marc and Robert Delaunay.”

Dustin Tahmahkera, assistant professor of communication studies, gave an invited talk titled “Who was that Masked (Co)man(che)?: Cinematic Comanches in Indi’n Country” at the symposium “Frontier Odyssey: The Lives and Legacy of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker” at the University of Texas at Arlington April 18.