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Monday, July 21

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This Week's Calendar




"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 | ©2014


How to Train An Animator: SFA degree launches grad's degree in feature films

Whether sitting in a movie theater with his professional colleagues, his family or complete strangers, SFA graduate David Polk is relishing the response of audiences to "How to Train Your Dragon 2," the DreamWorks Animation feature film that dropped onto the big screen this summer.

A background character and cycles animator with DreamWorks, Polk helped construct the "Dragon" sequel's excitement and emotional beat with an array of visual effects. Polk calls the opportunity to see theatergoers' responses firsthand "the real thrill" of his professional work.

"It's amazing to think that the stuff I've touched goes on the screen and then travels around the world," the 36-year-old says.
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News & Announcements

Opportunities to support 'Pathway to Music' campaign continue

"Pathway to Music," a scholarship fundraiser benefiting students enrolled in the Music Preparatory Division of the SFA School of Music, is still underway, and there are continued opportunities to make donations.

"The scholarship fundraiser's purpose is to raise money to assist students in their study of music," said Pat Barnett, Music Prep division director. "Partial scholarships are awarded each August to those who make application. The scholarship fund has been depleted, so it is imperative to raise more funds."

And with tuition costs rising this fall, it is even more critical for the campaign to be successful, Barnett explained.

"Due to increased expenses for the Music Preparatory Division, scholarships are even more important for our students," said Barnett.
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SFA introducing English language program for area residents

SFA is pleased to announce the debut of a new, intensive English language program for the Nacogdoches community.

The English Language Institute within the Office of International Programs will begin offering a non-credit series of courses for non-native English speakers who would like to improve their skills for personal or professional reasons.

The program is part of an existing set of courses aimed at international SFA students who need intensive English education. Community members interested in the program can take as many as four courses, about 20 hours of instruction per week for a 14-week period, which include conversation hours, computer lab time and formal instruction in writing, speaking, reading, grammar and vocabulary. Most classes will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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Internal funding deadline extended

The deadline for submission of applications for Research Pilot Study and Research Grant Development grants for the 2015 fall semester has been extended to Aug. 15. 

 - Research pilot study grants provide support of up to $3,000 to assist faculty members in initiating pilot projects to generate data for a specific project for extramural funding.

- Research grant development grants support a one-course release in order for faculty members to develop the proposal phase of an externally funded grant. This application must be tied to an announced or projected Request for Proposals from an external source. 

Applications and guidelines can be found on the Office or Research and Sponsored Programs' website under Internal Funding, Faculty Research Grants. 

Any questions should be directed to Shawn Fischer in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at (936) 468-6606. 

Take your presentation to the next level

The next time you're working on a big presentation for your colleagues, students or clients, ditch those bland templates built in to PowerPoint. 

The Office of University of Marketing Communications has created several SFA PowerPoint slides for use by faculty and staff members. The templates are available for download here, along with official SFA logos and wordmarks.

SFA agriculture professor on seventh volunteer trip to Africa

An SFA professor on his seventh trip to Africa, is helping to change how Angolans think about agriculture. 

Dr. Leon Young, whose work is featured on the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs website, undertook a four-day volunteer excursion to Soyo, Angola, to educate farmers on sustainable practices. 

Young focused on showing agriculturalists how to make the soil they work with more fertile for vegetables using resources they can find at home. 

You can read about Young's philanthropic work here

Show SFA pride with spirit flags

Creating a "knockout purple wave" throughout town on Spirit Days is a project of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. To achieve that goal, the SFA-Chamber Connection committee sponsored by East Texas Professional Credit Union is offering SFA Spirit Flag subscriptions for the 2014-15 season.
Each $75 annual subscription includes one 3 by 5 foot flag volunteers will display in front of the business on days many out-of-town visitors will attend SFA events.  These days include SFA's commencements, home football games, Showcase Saturday and the Cram the Coliseum basketball games.
"This subscription program is a great way for businesses to support SFA," said Misty Roe, vice chair of community development. "We appreciate the partnership with SFA Driving Jacks, too. Proceeds benefit Driving Jacks who will place the flags throughout the community."
For more information about the SFA Spirit Flag subscription, contact the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce at (936) 560-5533 or go here for the subscription form.

SFA Dining launches sustainability initiative

On Tuesday, July 8, SFA Dining eliminated the use of disposable, Polystyrene to-go containers from the SFA dining halls. Dining options now include: dining in, the RFoC Express cooler and reusable, Eco To-Go containers. Historically, the dining halls have offered the option to dine in, get RFoC Express and hot meals to-go in disposable, polystyrene containers. The SFA Dining Eco To-Go program will annually eliminate the use of more than 230,000 disposable, Polystyrene to-go containers.
The reusable, Eco To-Go container program works like to checking a library book into and out of a library. Each SFA ID-card holder gets one Eco To-Go container for free. Using the customer's ID-card, SFA Dining tracks which customers have an Eco To-Go container "checked in" or "checked out" of the dining halls. Once the Eco To-Go container has left the dining hall, it belongs to the customer. 

To get a second container (second meal in an Eco To-Go), the customer must return the first container, or they can choose to purchase a second container for a $5 replacement fee. Customers can always get a complete meal from our RFoC Express coolers if they forget or lose their Eco To-Go container and are too busy to sit in the dining hall.

New information about TexFlex plan

Welcome to our fourth Benefits Annual Enrollment Edition.  

This week we have provided you with information about TexFlex.  We have divided the information into two sections so you can better understand how the new “balance carry-over” will affect you.

To read all about TexFlex, please click on this link.


Ladyjacks receive NTCA academic recognition

SFA’s bowling program received academic accolades from the National Tenpin Coaches Association, the organization announced last week. The Ladyjacks ranked fourth among 20 teams recognized for having a team GPA of 3.20 or higher.

“I’m very proud of our team for showing what it means to be student-athletes,” said head coach Amber Lemke. “The focus of our team has been to succeed both in competition and in the classroom, and it is something the entire team has bought into. They are great representatives of SFA Athletics.”

SFA boasted a team GPA of 3.56 during the 2013-14 season, the highest in program history. The Ladyjacks were just one-tenth of a grade point behind top-rated Maryland-Eastern Shore (3.66) with Adelphi (3.63) and Alabama State (3.60) ranking second and third. Rival Sam Houston State rounded out the top-five with a 3.51 team GPA.
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SLC partners with DVSport For football replay

The Southland Conference and DVSport Inc., the leader in collegiate football high-definition (HD) replay technology, have announced a partnership that will provide the league and its 11 football-playing institutions with the cutting-edge technology and efficient workflow of DVSport’s HD Replay™ system beginning with the 2014 season. 

DVSport’s system provides replay officials with a crystal-clear picture quality and state-of-the-art controls to assist them with reviewing each and every play. The Southland Conference is the first NCAA Football Championship Subdivision league to implement a full-time instant replay solution for all home games, regardless of television coverage.  
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Bruno named to 2014 CFPA punter watch list

SFA junior punter Nick Bruno had been named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards Watch List for punters, the organization announced last week. Bruno becomes the fifth Lumberjack named to a CFPA Watch List, joining running back Gus Johnson and wide receivers Tyler Boyd and DJ Ward and kicker Jordan Wiggs.

“Congratulations to Nick Bruno on earning a spot on the 2014 CFPA Punter Award Watch List,” said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. “Bruno will be one of the nation's top punters to watch in 2014."

Bruno is coming off his best season as a Lumberjack in 2013, averaging 40.4 yards per punt en route to being named an All-Southland Conference honorable mention selection. Bruno had 62 punts for 2,504 yards, including 50 punts of 50 yards or more with a long of 68 and 23 inside the 20.
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Fine Arts

Expressive oil paintings featured in Huckaby exhibition

An exhibition that runs July 25 through Sept. 5 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House will feature the work of Texas artist Sedrick Huckaby.

"Sedrick Huckaby: Quiet Dialogues" features expressive oil paintings with heavy applications of impasto depicting members of his African-American family, according to John Handley, director of art galleries for SFA's School of Art. The exhibition will also present a selection of prints and drawings from his recently completed "99 percent" suite.

Handley first saw Huckaby's work last year when he visited Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden in Dallas, which is the lender of this exhibition.
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Have tunes, will travel

In the last decade, the acclaimed SFA Lumberjack Marching Band has grown from 177 members to roughly 300 who will take the field this fall, and now "The Boldest Sound from the Oldest Town" has a new way to make themselves known. 

The 'Jacks old truck couldn't carry all the equipment needed for the band's performances, but a brand-spaking-new trailer emblazoned with the university's logo and notes from the school song has changed that.
“I'm very thankful that Dr. Pattillo and the Board of Regents saw our need and provided us with our new trailer,” said Dr. David Campo, the band’s director. In addition, the commuter parking lot where the band practices underwent a much-needed resurfacing this summer.
“The original layout of the field was done by students, and while their effort and dedication were greatly appreciated, they weren't equipped to do the job to the exacting standards necessary,” Campo said. “Thanks to Bob Coker for giving us a beautiful practice area and for his expert advice on our new trailer. Bob guided us through every step in the process and helped us get exactly what we needed. With high profile events such as the London New Year’s Day Parade and Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, we are now prepared to represent our great university nationally and internationally. It's a great time for The Lumberjack Marching Band!”

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When Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the dusty surface of the moon, he was sporting some pretty high-tech - and costly - duds, according to the Smithsonian Institution. 

Sunday marked 45 years since that historic, inspiring and unparalleled moment in human history, and to celebrate the anniversary, plenty of websites came up with their own unique looks at the achievement. Smithsonian Magazine let us know that spacesuit was actually made by a brazier manufacturer. The fine folks at Mental Floss pulled out a copy of the speech drafted in case Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin couldn't make it home.

You can also check out EarthSky News' collection of photos and video from Apollo 11.

©2014 SFASU