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Tuesday, April 21

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This Week's Calendar

Tuesday, April 21
SFA Baseball vs. Louisiana Tech University
Jaycees Field
6:30 p.m.

SFA men's golf at the Southland Conference Championships

Wednesday, April 22
SFA men's golf at the Southland Conference Championships

Friday, April 24
SFA Baseball vs. Abilene Christian University
Jaycees Field
6:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 25
SFA Baseball vs. Abilene Christian University
Jaycees Field
2 p.m.




"SFA Today" is published by University Marketing Communications Monday through Friday (except for holidays) during the fall and spring semesters, and on Mondays only during the summer. Items must be received by noon prior to the day of desired inclusion.

To submit items to "SFA Today," use the online form or email sfatoday@sfasu.edu. The announcement should apply to a significant number of faculty and/or staff members.

Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches, Texas
University Marketing Communications | ©2015



Dr. Scott Hutchens

Department of Psychology

Hutchens, professor and chair of the SFA Department of Psychology, presented research concerning the effectiveness and students’ perceptions of online textbook companion websites at the 61st annual conference of the Southwestern Psychological Association held April 11 in Wichita, Kansas.

The research titled “Is Requiring Students to Use Online Textbook Companion Websites Worth It?,” found that students who were required to complete online chapter-learning activities such as pre-test, study plans and post-test did not perform significantly better on tests, quizzes and discussions than students who did not use the companion website.

Invoking the adage “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” students reported the online activities were time-intensive and could have been more beneficial if they would have invested the appropriate amount of time and effort into completing them.

The results of this study, along with similar studies, shed light on the fact that students should be given the option of voluntarily paying for and using online textbook companion websites rather than being required to do so.

News & Announcements

SFA's environmental science program receives national ranking

SFA's environmental science program was named as one of the nation's top 50 programs by environmentalscience.org, an organization that serves as an advocate for environmental science education and careers.

According to the organization's website, the rankings were determined through an analysis of published surveys, student, school and career data, as well as data from the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and National Center for Education Statistics.

"I think the thing that we strive for is to make sure that our students receive the training that will lead them to a career in environmental science," said Dr. Kenneth Farrish, director of SFA's Division of Environmental Science. "Our philosophy is to produce graduates who are problem solvers."
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SFA's Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture to host Farm and Forestry Day

The SFA Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture will host its annual Farm and Forestry Day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 25, at the Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center.

The family friendly event aims to expose the community to the outdoors and agriculture by providing free, exploratory opportunities, including hayrides, face painting, outdoor cooking and nature-based activities through Nacogdoches Naturally, an outdoor adventure program of SFA Gardens.

"We just want to give the community an opportunity to see farm animals and also expose them to what goes on at the farm," said Dr. Erin Brown, SFA associate professor of animal science.

SFA's Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center is located on County Road 123, off U.S. Highway 259 North in Nacogdoches.

For more information, contact Brown at (936) 468-3705.

Digitize your Bright Ideas Conference poster with the Center for Digital Scholarship

SFA's Center for Digital Scholarship invites you to include your Bright Ideas Conference abstract and poster in SFA ScholarWorks, the University's digital archive.  ScholarWorks provides visibility and access to your research, and it also will allow the CDS to continue to promote the conference and the academic achievements of the SFA community.
Send a PDF copy of your poster, abstract and title to the CDS at cds@sfasu.edu. If you have any questions or issues with converting your poster to a PDF, please contact Ashley Thompson at thompsonashle3@sfasu.edu or (936) 468-1445.

Redesigned mySFA launches in May

A redesigned mySFA will launch Tuesday, May 5. The new layout will boast a clean, intuitive interface and a mobile friendly layout.
Student email will transition away from the Titan email system (@titan.sfasu.edu) and into Microsoft Office 365 (@jacks.sfasu.edu). The Office 365 platform provides a robust suite of applications including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher and OneNote.
Information for navigating the redesigned mySFA will be disseminated via email to students prior to release on May 5.

2015 Teaching Showcase begins Wednesday

The 2015 Teaching Showcase will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in the SFA Baker Pattillo Student Center Multimedia Room.

The showcase provides faculty and staff members, and teaching assistants the opportunity to share best practices, recognize colleagues' innovative teaching methods and hold cross-disciplinary conversations to create better learning opportunities for students. Presentations will take place from 2 to 3 p.m., and open discussion will follow from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Refreshments also will be served.

The 10 faculty members who will present are: Adam Akerson (elementary education); CC Conn (theater); Randi Cox (history); Casey Hart and  Phillip Madison (mass communications); Brad Meyer (music); Volha Minich (biology); Chay Runnels and Theresa Tkacik (human sciences); and Louise Stoehr (languages, cultures and communications).

For more information, visit the Teaching Showcase page on the Center for Teaching and Learning website.

SFA School of Social Work partners with UTMB to present lecture

The SFA School of Social Work in partnership with the University of Texas Medical Branch East Texas Geriatric Education Consortium will present Susan Chandler from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the School of Social Work, Room 201.

Chandler will present "Exercising Your Brain: An Informative Session and Brain Work-Out for Healthy Aging." There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided. Seating is limited. Register before Thursday, April 30, by calling (936) 468-5105. 

SFA hosts Nacogdoches ISD Leaders of Tomorrow

Immediately after Dr. Roger Masse, assistant professor of wildlife in SFA's Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, completed his lecture on safety and the best techniques for finding vertebrates like salamanders and lizards, 25 eighth-graders from Nacogdoches County ISD middle schools enthusiastically ventured out into the sun-dappled forest floor of SFA's Tucker Woods, turning over logs and peering into thickets for the elusive creatures.

The enthusiasm for their surroundings and willingness to take on new challenges is exactly what the sponsors had in mind for the Leaders of Tomorrow, or LOT Crew.

The LOT Crew program began 14 years ago as a leadership-development initiative, hosted in collaboration with SFA, the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Nacogdoches and Nacogdoches County ISDs. Since then, the program has provided immersive, community-based experiences for hundreds of local students.
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SFA's ninth annual Leadership and Service Awards presented today

Omicron Delta Kappa is proud to host the ninth annual Leadership and Service Awards Tuesday, April 21.

This is an evening purposefully coordinated to recognize SFA students and student organizations for their outstanding leadership and service, as well as award some of SFA's brightest, with the university's top honors.

If you know of a deserving student or student organization, please nominate them for one of the many honors, including Top 23 Freshmen, Student Employee of the Year, Baker Pattillo Student of the Year, Service Organization of the Year, and so many more.

For a complete list of awards and nomination forms click here.

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs offers training

SFA's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will launch a new Proposal Clearance Form and process this month. For help navigating the internal requirements for grant submissions, these training sessions are available:
9-10 a.m. Tuesday, April 21
Noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 22
9-10 a.m. Thursday, April 23
Workshops are open to faculty and staff members who register via MyTraining. All workshops are held in the Wyatt Room of the Steen Library. Please contact ORSP at (936) 468-6606 with any questions.

SFA Teaching Excellence Award Recipients announced

Seven SFA faculty members were recently honored for their teaching abilities at the annual Teaching Excellence Convocation.

The Teaching Excellence Awards were established in 1994 to honor outstanding classroom teachers at SFA. Each of the university's six colleges selects a member of its faculty to receive the annual award based on knowledge of subject matter, quality of lectures and assignments, enthusiasm for teaching, interest in and availability to students, commitment to continuous improvement, and contribution to the quality of teaching within SFA by assisting and encouraging other faculty members.
Read More


Brandon Schneider announces resignation

SFA head women's basketball coach Brandon Schneider has announced his resignation. Schneider leaves SFA to become the head women's basketball coach at the University of Kansas.

"Making the move to a Big 12 university says so much about how Brandon has built the SFA program," said Athletic Director Robert Hill. "He has definitely made an impact at SFA and in the Southland Conference, and there is no doubt he will do the same at Kansas. Our job is going to be so much more attractive to potential candidates because of Brandon, and we wish him and his family only the best."
Read More

SFA sixth after day one at SLC Championships

SFA closed the opening day of the 2015 Southland Conference Championships with a 21-over 309, placing them in sixth after the opening 18 holes at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club in McKinney.

Junior Luke Sheehan had the low round of the day for the Lumberjacks, shooting a 2-over 74 to tie for 14th among the individual standings. He is the only Lumberjack among the individual top-20, and holds a three shot lead on senior teammate Blake Pugh, who posted a 5-over 77 through the opening 18 holes and is tied for 25th.
Read More

Fine Arts

SFA's Orchestra of the Pines to present 'Musical Portraits'

SFA's Orchestra of the Pines will present "Musical Portraits" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25, in Cole Concert Hall of the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

Among the highlights of the concert is a performance of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," arranged by Maurice Ravel. Other program features include a solo performance by Dr. Chris Ayer, SFA professor of clarinet, and the orchestra performing "Gates of the Arctic," written by Dr. Stephen Lias, SFA's composer-in-residence.

Lias composed "Gates of the Arctic" while serving as artist-in-residence at Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska in 2012, according to Dr. Gene H. Moon, director of orchestras at SFA.
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SFA's University and Symphonic Bands to perform concert

The SFA Symphonic Band and University Band present their last concert of the semester at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, in Cole Concert Hall.

A presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music, "Classics to Modern" features music ranging from Baroque to contemporary, according to Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands at SFA.

The University Band, directed by Campo and graduate conductors Lucas Halley of Lockhart and Dwight Watson of Lavon, will begin the concert with Andrew Boysen's "Kirkpatrick Fanfare."
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Florida artist wins first in Texas National; SFA student earns honorable mention

Artist Jason John, of Jacksonville, Florida, won first place in the 2015 Texas National Competition and Exhibition at SFA

Commenting on the high quality of work entered in the 21st Texas National event, Juror Zhi Lin selected an unprecedented 10 works of art as honorable mentions.

"Mr. Lin had a very difficult time choosing the winners this year," said John Handley, director of art galleries at SFA, "which is why we had an unprecedented number of honorable mentions - 10 in all. Normally there are maybe four honorable mentions, but Mr. Lin could not get the number below 10."

Pictured is John's 2014 "Carrier" work.
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SFA Repertory to present 'Danceworks'

The SFA Dance Program will present Danceworks, a studio concert featuring student, faculty member and guest artist choreography, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

Senior choreographic projects by dance majors Caitlin Cano, Elena Conde, Stephanie Laranjeira and Rachel Smith will be presented, as well as an independent choreographic project by Ivoryanna McDonald. Student collaborative choreography by members of the SFA Repertory Dance Company, directed by Elizabeth Rhodes, will be performed, along with excerpts from a score composed by School of Music major Josh Coe.

This will be the final performance of "Creed of Fools" choreographed by guest artist Meredith Robertson-Early of the University of Southern Mississippi. The Repertory Dance Company performed Robertson-Early's work in an adjudicated concert held in March at the annual conference of the American College Dance Association in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
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Heifner to conduct beginner workshop in playwriting

The Beta Phi cast of SFA's Alpha Psi Omega national theater honors society will host a playwriting workshop with SFA's playwright-in-residence Jack Heifner.

The workshop is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 26, in Room 303 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus. Cost is $25 for community members and $10 for students attending any college or university.

Led by Broadway playwright Heifner, the workshop is an introductory course designed for those who have little or no playwriting experience.

Seating is limited to 30, and payment will be taken at the door in cash or check form. To reserve a seat, RSVP to apobetaphi@gmail.com.

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