Ready for Class

Employees from Physical Plant arrange furniture in a new classroom on the third floor of the Cullen Building. This is the first semester since fall 2010 that classes have been held in the Cullen Building. See photos of the third floor renovation here.

Top News


Three employees have been honored for their exemplary service to Southwestern.

Police Chief Deborah Brown; Ed Kain, professor of sociology and University Scholar; and Bob Mathis, associate vice president for facilities and campus services, received the 2014 Joe S. Mundy Exemplary Service Award, which honors faculty and staff members who have demonstrated exemplary service to Southwestern. The award was created in 2002 as a memorial to the leadership of Joe Mundy, who was a 1964 graduate of Southwestern and long-time trustee.

Read more here.


Southwestern students may call themselves Pirates, but who were the REAL pirates?

Some Southwestern students are learning that this semester in a new First-Year Seminar taught by Jessica Hower, assistant professor of history. The seminar is titled “A Pirate’s Life for Me”: Pirates, Piracy, and Southwestern University.

Hower said she wanted to teach the class ever since she was interviewing for her position at Southwestern.

“When I found out the Pirates were the mascot here, I couldn’t believe they didn’t have a class on pirates,” she said.

Read more here.



The Fountainwood Observatory will host a public viewing night on Saturday, Aug. 30, from 8-10:30 p.m. Faculty members from the Physics Department at Southwestern as well as observers from the Williamson County Astronomy Club will be on hand to guide viewing.

The viewing nights are free, but donations are encouraged to help maintain the observatory. The observatory is located on the northeast side of campus adjacent to the Rockwell Baseball Field (see #6 on the campus map at

For weather-related updates about viewing nights, call the observatory hotline at 512-863-1242.


The Spanish Department is hosting a film festival this fall that will feature six films from Spain and the Americas. The films will be shown Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. in Room 105 of the F.W. Olin Building beginning Sept. 4.

The film that will be shown Sept. 4 is a 2012 film from Spain and Mexico titled “Aquí y allá” (“Here and There”).

Read more here.


Historian Bryan Glass, a lecturer at Texas State University, will gave a talk at Southwestern on Wednesday, Sept. 10, titled “The End of Britain? The Rise of Scottish Nationalism and the Independence Referendum.” The talk will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Mood Atrium.

On Sept. 18, voters in Scotland will decide whether they want to break away from Britain and the United Kingdom and become an independent nation. It is a momentous referendum, with implications for the British Isles, the EU, and nationalist parties worldwide. In his lecture, Glass will provide the much-needed historical context for the vote, examining the relationship between the end of the British Empire, decolonization and the rise of Scottish nationalism, and weigh in on the referendum’s chance of success. A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture.

Glass is the author of a new book titled The Scottish Nation at Empire’s End, which is based on his Ph.D. thesis from UT-Austin. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the lecture.

Media Coverage

KUT-FM aired an interview with President Burger. Listen to the interview here.

Sociology professor Reggie Byron was interviewed for a WalletHub study that examined the best and worst states for women’s equality. Read the story here.

BYU Radio interviewed professor Laura Hobgood-Oster about her book, A Dog’s History of the World. Listen to the interview here.

The Williamson County Sun ran a story about new tenure-track business professor Debika Sihi. Read the story here.

News8Austin did a story about the solar lounge chair that was designed by three Southwestern students. Read the story here.


Four faculty members have been selected to be Community-Engaged Learning Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year and will receive special mentoring from the Office of Civic Engagement on how to integrate community-engaged learning into their classes. The new fellows are Erin Crockett, assistant professor of psychology; Abby Dings, associate professor of Spanish; Katherine Prater, assistant professor of education; and Carl Robertson, associate professor of Chinese. Read more about the program here.

Barbara Anthony, associate professor of computer science, attended the POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) Southwest Regional 3-Day Workshop in Colorado Springs, Colo., in July. As part of the workshop, she presented a poster on “Community-Engaged Projects in Operations Research,” which was based on the four projects done by students in her Spring 2014 class.

Sarah Brackmann, director of civic engagement, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Board of Directors for The United Way of Williamson County.

Erin Crockett, assistant professor of psychology, co-authored an article titled “LifeWorks Resolution Counseling Program: The effectiveness of a non-punitive violence rehabilitation program” that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Family Violence.

Jessica Hower, assistant professor of history, won the 2014 Wm. Roger Louis Prize, which is awarded annually to the author of the best paper delivered at the annual international Britain and the World Conference. This year’s conference was held June 19-21 at Newcastle University in England and Hower presented a paper titled “Under One (Inherited) Imperial Crown: The Tudor Origins of Britain and its Empire, 1603-1625.” The prize is worth $1,000 and entitles the winners to publication of their articles in a future issue of Britain and the World: Historical Journal of The British Scholar Society, which is published by Edinburgh University Press.

Senior Antonio Lopez has been named an American Chemical Society Scholar for the 2014-15 academic year. Read more here.

2014 graduate Jessica Olson had a piece accepted for publication in a special issue of the journal Agenda Feminist Media that is devoted to gender and climate change. The piece is based on a research paper she wrote for an independent study with Josh Long, assistant professor of environmental studies. Read the article here.

1987 graduate Ray Martinez has been named president of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas. Read more here.