Leaving Their Mark

Carter Cowan and Jeremy Tufnell sign the Cullen Tower during the annual “Tower Days” event for graduating seniors. Approximately 336 seniors are expected to receive degrees on Saturday. Read more below.

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Southwestern will hold its 170th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10.

This year’s commencement ceremony will be different from recent ones in several ways. One difference is an earlier start time. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the Corbin J. Robertson Center.

A second is the addition of two student commencement speakers. Sarah Puffer, an environmental studies and international studies double major, was selected by her classmates to be the student speaker. Puffer will present a speech titled “Moments in Time.” Senior English major Katie McLaughlin was selected to be the Phi Beta Kappa speaker. McLaughlin will give a speech titled “Academic Self.”

The other commencement speaker will be Amanda McMillian, a 1995 Southwestern graduate who now serves as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, one of the world’s largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies. McMillian will give a speech titled “Not If, But How.”

Approximately three hundred and thirty-six December, May and August graduates are eligible to receive degrees at the May 10 ceremony.

Read more here.


If history is any indication, members of Southwestern’s Class of 2014 should not have too much trouble either finding a job or getting accepted into graduate school.

A survey of students who graduated from Southwestern in 2013 found that within one year of graduation, more than 92 percent of respondents were either working or in graduate school.

Career Services has been conducting a postgraduate survey for more than 25 years. Over the past 14 years that Alexandra Anderson, associate director of career services, has been managing the survey, the results have been consistently similar, even after the economic downturn in 2008.

Unlike many schools, Southwestern makes a concerted effort to find out what happens to every student who graduates. The 2013 postgraduate survey is based on responses from 98 percent of the students who graduated between December 2012 and August 2013. Of those students, 67 percent are now employed and 25 percent are in graduate or professional school.

Read more here.


Until this year, Maria Todd, an associate professor of biology at Southwestern, would never have thought about incorporating civic engagement into her classes.

But now she says she cannot imagine teaching a class without it.

Todd is one of the first faculty members at Southwestern who were selected to be Community-Engaged Learning Fellows. The new program, which is run by the Office of Civic Engagement, provides faculty members with special mentoring on how to integrate community-engaged learning into their classes.

Five faculty members were selected to be the first Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) Fellows in 2013-2014. Faculty members who were selected in addition to Todd were Sherry Adrian, professor of education; Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science; Kathleen Juhl, professor of theatre; and Josh Long, assistant professor of environmental studies.

Sarah Brackmann, director of civic engagement, met monthly with the group to discuss topics such as how to develop partnerships in the community. The first Community-Engaged Learning Fellows shared what their classes did this year at an April 30 symposium.

Read more here.



Jack Woodville London, the grandnephew of author Jack London, will speak in Georgetown Saturday as part of the first annual “Look in the Book” Art & Author Book Faire sponsored by Central Texas Authors. The event will be held from 1-5 p.m. in the Hewlett Room on the second floor of  the Georgetown Public Library. London is one of several local authors who will be featured at the event, which will also include acting, music and refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit http://www.centraltexasauthors.com.


Photographer Ann Tarleton will be the featured speaker at The Williamson Museum’s May Salon, which will be held on Wednesday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the back room of Wildfire Restaurant, 812 S. Austin Ave. Tarleton will give a talk titled “Light, Place, and Spirit: A Photographer’s View of Mission History” that will explore her photography of Texas missions and her research on their history. The talk corresponds to a current exhibit of her work on display at the Williamson Museum.

For more information, visit www.williamsonmuseum.org.

Media Coverage

Lois Ferrari, professor of music, was interviewed by KUT-FM radio about the Austin Civic Orchestra’s April 26 concert titled “Texas Rising Stars.” The concert featured the world premiere of a composition by Jason Hoogerhyde, associate professor of music.

The May issue of Georgetown View magazine ran a story about Professor emeritus Ellsworth Peterson and a story about former computer science professor Suzanne Buchele, who moved to Ghana this spring.

The Williamson County Sunran a story about Southwestern’s upcoming graduation. The story featured Nancy Juarez, who is the third of her siblings to graduate from Southwestern. The Sun also ran photos of the therapy dogs visiting campus during finals week.


Sophomore Chase Allen and senior Colton Seeton were named SCAC Baseball Players of the Week for the week ending April 27. Read more here.

Four members of the baseball team were honored by the SCAC at the end of the season. Jake Pawelek earned All-SCAC honors, while players Zach Lynch, Colten Shea and Charlie St. Clair earned Honorable Mention honors. Read more here.

Junior outfielder Lindsy Biggers and first-year pitcher Cozette Palmer were selected to the SCAC women’s softball All-Tournament Team. Read more here.

Education majors Chareena Barrows and Jeana Garcia have been awarded Benjamin Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this summer. The scholarships, which are highly competitive, are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and designed to help U.S. undergraduate students pursue academic studies abroad, particularly in areas outside of Western Europe and Australia. Both plan to use their scholarships to participate in Southwestern’s Intensive Intermediate Spanish program in San Joaquin de Flores, Costa Rica. Read more here.

Alisa Gaunder, professor of political science, presented a paper titled “Quota Non-Adoption in Japan: The Role of Party Competition and the Women’s Movement” at the Associated Colleges of the South Gender Studies Conference at Furman University April 4. Gaunder also was the chair and discussant of a panel titled “Populism, Leadership, and Institutions” at the Western Political Science Association Meeting in Seattle, Wash., April 17-20. At this same meeting, political science honors student Danny Jozwiak presented a poster of his honors project titled “The Influence of Minor Parties within Coalition Government: A Study of the German Free Democrats and the Japanese New Komeito.” The project was supported by a Southwestern faculty-student grant he and Gaunder received.

Junior political science major Louisa Keeler has been awarded a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study Arabic in Oman this summer. The scholarship is through the Critical Language Scholarship Program, which is designed to increase the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. The program provides all-expense paid intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences that last seven to 10 weeks. Read more here.

2012 graduate Sierra Perez has been awarded the Kenneth H. Ashworth Fellowship at UT-Austin for the 2014-2015 academic year. The fellowship assists students pursuing careers in public service. Perez is enrolled in the MSSW program at the School of Social Work. Read more here.

First-year student Lorena Roque has been selected to participate in the Kemper Scholars Program, a scholarship-mentorship program sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation in Chicago. Students are selected for the program from a group of 16 liberal arts colleges around the country. Read more here.

Eric Selbin, professor of political science and University Scholar, published an invited article titled “Revolution: a Source of Insecurity and a Thing of the Past?” on the International Relations and Security Network (ISN) website. The article, which can be read here, is part of an analysis of whether revolutions are a thing of the past and today represent sources of insecurity and disorder. The ISN is a project of the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) jointly funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) and ETH Zurich. (Note: “The views expressed in this piece are his own. The ISN does not endorse the opinions of any individual or institution, other than those expressed by an ISN staff member acting in an official capacity.”)


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