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Wednesday, Dec. 2

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This Week's Calendar

Friday, Dec. 4
Women's basketball vs. Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
5 p.m.

"Season of Light" SFA Planetarium screening
7 p.m.

SFA Big Dip Ceremony
9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom

Saturday, Dec. 5
Men's basketball vs. Texas Southern University
5 p.m.
William R. Johnson Coliseum

Women's basketball vs. Weber State University

Tuesday, Dec. 8
Men's basketball vs. Henderson State University
7 p.m.
William R. Johnson Coliseum

Wednesday, Dec. 9
Women's basketball vs. Texas Christian University
Fort Worth




"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



State Rep. John Zerwas to offer SFA commencement address

State Rep. John Zerwas, M.D., will offer the commencement address during SFA's fall graduation ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 19.

Serving his fifth legislative term, Zerwas represents the Texas House of Representatives' District 28, which includes northwestern Fort Bend County, one of the fastest-growing regions in Texas. He serves as chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education and is an advocate for increasing access to higher education and growing opportunities for graduate medical education.

Zerwas earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Houston and his doctoral degree in medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He has been a physician for more than 30 years and is one of four medical doctors in the Texas House of Representatives. Two of Zerwas' sons, Brandon and John Jr., graduated from SFA.
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News & Announcements

Presentations now being accepted for 2016 Teaching Showcase

SFA’s Center for Teaching and Learning will host the 2016 Teaching Showcase from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Multimedia Room. The Showcase provides faculty and staff members and teaching assistants with the opportunity to share best practices and innovative teaching methods, recognize colleagues and hold cross-disciplinary conversations to create better learning opportunities for students.

Faculty and staff members and teaching assistants are invited to submit presentation proposals through this form. Each five-minute presentation should address innovations used in physical or online classrooms that enhance the learning experience, such as stimulating critical thinking, learning from failure, teaching with technology, increasing cultural awareness and innovative applications of teaching and learning theory.

For additional information or to see examples of last year's presentations, visit the Teaching Showcase online.

Applications being accepted for Udall scholarships

The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2016 scholarship pool.

The foundation is a federal agency aimed at improving leadership, education and cooperation in environmental, public land and natural resource issues in order to strengthen Native American nations, help environmental conflicts and encourage continued use and appreciation of the nation’s rich resources.

Faculty and staff members are encouraged to share this opportunity with students who have an interest in Native American tribal policy, Native American health care or environmental issues. 

For more information, contact Dr. Michael Tkacik, professor of political science, at mtkacik@sfasu.edu.

Center for Teaching and Learning High-Impact Practice scheduled for Thursday

SFA’s Center for Teaching and Learning invites faculty and staff members to participate in a panel on High-Impact Practices scheduled for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. The panel will discuss the three platforms of SFA’s Quality Enhancement Plan: collaborative learning, mentored undergraduate scholarship and field-based learning.

Thursday's discussion is titled "Mentored Undergraduate Scholarship," and will feature Dr. Daniel Scognamillo, assistant professor of spatial science, and Dr. Jennifer Gumm, assistant professor of biology.

Service Learning Mini Grant applications due today

Applications for spring 2016 Service Learning Mini Grants are due at 5 p.m. today.

For more information about Service Learning programs and proposal guidelines, click here. Questions should be directed to Molly Moody, assistant director of leadership and service, at moodmk@sfasu.edu

Photos, video available of Lumberjack Marching Band's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade performance

A gallery of university photographer Hardy Meredith's images from the Lumberjack Marching Band's performance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is now available on the SFA Facebook Page.

Lumberjack parent and fan Mike Rooch also accompanied the band to New York and recorded several videos of the trip, which are available on his YouTube channel.

SFA Planetarium show begins Friday

The first screening of the SFA Planetarium's "Season of Light" program will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. The show will run each Friday through Dec. 18.

The program is about the sky, special celebrations and traditions of the winter solstice season. Attendees will search for December constellations, planets and other fascinating objects using the Planetarium's star projector following each show.

Tickets cost $2 each.
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Wreath-making seminar scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5

SFA Gardens will host the “Deck the Halls: Using Evergreens to Decorate for the Holidays” wreath-making seminar from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St.
Join Dawn Stover, research associate at SFA's Mast Arboretum, to learn how to create elegant wreaths and garlands using materials from the garden. Participants will learn principles of wreath, garland and centerpiece construction. In addition to traditional wreaths and garlands, Stover will introduce new crafts using natural items from the garden and forest. All materials will be provided.
To register in advance, or for more information, call (936) 468-1832 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu. Class size is limited and the cost is $25 for SFA Garden members and $30 for non-members.

'Lumberjacks Make Great Artists' competition gallery opens tomorrow

SFA Dining Services and SFA Student Services will reveal the work of Jacqueline Morales, winner of this year's Lumberjacks Make Great Artists competition, at a special reception scheduled for 4 p.m. tomorrow at Urban Bricks Pizza in the Baker Pattillo Student Center. Morales is a student in SFA's School of Art.

Refreshments will be served at the unveiling, which is free and open to the public.

SFA Faculty Senate to host new-faculty forum

New SFA faculty members are invited to join the Senate Strategic Planning Committee for the New Faculty Forum, scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, in the McGee Business Building, Room 483. Coffee and donuts will be served at the event.

All new and recently hired faculty members are invited to discuss their semester, how the senate can help them succeed at SFA and voice their concerns to the committee.

The SFA Faculty Senate will host a series of faculty forums throughout the spring semester. The series will focus on topics including assessment, faculty development, policy concerns and more. Committee members include: Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of music; Dr. Karen Embry-Jenlink, professor of secondary education; Dr. Kimberly Welsh, associate professor of elementary education; Dr. Joey Bray, assistant professor of agriculture; Dr. Janice Hensarling, assistant professor of nursing; and Dr. Dana Cooper, associate professor of history.

Campus Recreation

Healthy for the Holidays seminar scheduled for today

Join SFA’s Employee Wellness for the “Healthy for the Holidays” seminar, scheduled for 5: 15 p.m. today in the Campus Recreation Meeting Room.

The course offers tips and tricks on making holiday recipes healthier, surviving holiday parties and staying active while on the road. 

Pre-register and reserve a spot for the free seminar by contacting Jessica Waguespack, employee wellness coordinator, at (936) 468-6056 or waguespaja@sfasu.edu.

Registration underway for SFA's annual Chili Cook Off

Think your department has the best chili recipe? Prove it!

SFA Campus Recreation will provide the sampling cups, napkins and tasting spoons from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, at this year's annual Chili Cook Off.

The winning department will be presented with the engraved traveling trophy and will be entitled to all bragging rights. Participating departments also are encouraged to compete in the Holiday Booth Decorating Contest, as well.

Click here to register. Registration forms are due by noon Wednesday, Dec. 9.


Walkup nominated for Allstate National Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Team

Senior men's basketball player Thomas Walkup is a nominee for the 2016 Allstate National Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Team.
The team recognizes players at all levels of college basketball who have made outstanding volunteer and civic contributions. From establishing nonprofits providing youth with tools to become leaders, to raising awareness around pertinent issues that could save lives, student-athletes on the team exhibit impeccable leadership skills both on and off the court.
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Ladyjack basketball falls to the University of Texas - Arlington, 67-63

The SFA women's basketball team battled the University of Texas - Arlington team, but couldn’t secure a victory, falling 67-63 inside William R. Johnson Coliseum Tuesday night. The loss put the Ladyjacks at 4-2 this season and snapped a 17-game home-winning streak, which was the eighth longest in the nation before the defeat.

Junior guards Taylor Ross and Brentney Branch found some success against UTA, though. Ross tallied a game-high 19 points and converted 11 of 15 attempts from the free throw line. She tied sophomore Charisma Alexander for a team-high three assists and added two steals. Branch finished with 16 on 6-for-13 shooting. Read More

Fine Arts

Annual 'Percussion in the Pines' concert to usher in holiday festivities

The SFA Percussion Ensemble and SFA Steel Band, both directed by Dr. Brad Meyer, will perform their annual "Percussion in the Pines" holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Cole Concert Hall.

The Percussion Ensemble will play several holiday favorites, including "Deck the Halls," "Carol of the Bells," "Sleigh Ride," "Oh Holy Night" and "Silent Night," according to Meyer, director of percussion studies for the SFA School of Music.

The ensemble's performance of "The 12 Days of Christmas" is always a "hilarious and exciting way to end the first half of the concert," Meyer said.
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SFA voice students to present 'Fall Opera Scenes'

SFA voice students will present eight staged and semi-costumed opera scenes in a performance at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in the Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

"Fall Opera Scenes" will feature upper level and graduate students enrolled in the opera class taught by Dr. Gene Moon, director of orchestras and musical director of opera, and Dr. Deborah Dalton, associate professor of voice and opera at SFA.

"This is the largest fall opera workshop class I have ever taught," Dalton said. "There are 27 in the class. My goal is to cast each student in a scene that is appropriate to his or her voice type and stage of vocal development."
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'Inocente' documentary presents snapshot of homeless children in America

The SFA School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of "Inocente" at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in The Cole Art Center at The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

"Inocente" is a personal and vibrant coming-of-age documentary about a young artist's fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings, according to information at inocentedoc.com.

At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. "Inocente" is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America - children. Neither sentimental nor sensational, "Inocente" will immerse the viewer in the real, day-to-day existence of a young girl who is battling a war rarely seen, the website says.
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'Kids For President' children's show coming to SFA

The SFA College of Fine Arts and the Children's Performing Arts Series will present "Kids For President" in two performances Friday, Dec. 4, in the William M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

Just in time for the 2016 presidential election year, "Kids for President" is comprised of several short plays and songs adapted from children's writings, capturing their curiosity and excitement about the election process.

The production by Child's Play Touring Theatre combines whimsy and political thought, backed up by live music, colorful costumes and backdrops based on children's artwork, according to Diane Peterson, SFA Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the children's series.
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SFA's Rockin' Axes to perform 'The Sounds of the '70s'

SFA's The Rockin' Axes will present "The Sounds of the '70s" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

The concert will feature the music of the widely popular Stevie Wonder; the Bee Gees; Kansas; Billy Joel; the Eagles; Earth, Wind and Fire; and others.

The Rockin' Axes is comprised of students in the SFA School of Music's Sound Recording Technology program. Their course focus has been on influential and popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries, according to Andrew Sperandeo, SRT instructor and director/arranger for the Rockin' Axes.
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College of Fine Arts Calendar

Learn more by visiting
the College of Fine Arts

Purchase tickets at the
online ticket box office
or call (936) 468-6407

Could DNA hold the key to understanding an archaeological site swallowed up by the North Sea? Some researchers think so.

Using a combination of DNA, seafloor sediment and survey data from oil and gas operations, archaeologists are working to explore a place called Doggerland - a small patch of earth beneath the North Sea that was swallowed up at the end of an ice age. Check out Wired.com's article about the research here.

©2015 SFASU