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Thursday, Dec. 3

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58° / 33°

58° / 33°

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



SFA Gala to honor outstanding faculty members

Two outstanding SFA faculty members will be honored during the 27th annual SFA Gala Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

The faculty awards presented during the Gala recognize innovation and excellence in teaching and research. Dr. Eric Jones, associate professor of exercise physiology and human performance in the James I. Perkins College of Education, is the recipient of the 2015 Faculty Achievement for Teaching. Dr. Christopher Comer, professor of forest wildlife management in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, will receive the 2015 Faculty Achievement Award for Research.
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Dr. Stephen Mullin

Department of Biology

Mullin, chair of the department of biology, recently published work in the scholarly journal Biological Conservation.

Mullin's research addressed how forest management in urban areas can impact snake populations in urban parks. Management strategies promoting shrub habitat within developed areas are rarely greeted with public acceptance because bushy thickets shelter undesired species of animals and are typically associated with a lack of property maintenance.

An experiment in a heavily impacted suburban area containing forest and meadow habitats manipulated the forest habitat by removing trees and promoting the growth of brambles. Within six years, the newly created shrub habitat was rapidly colonized by snakes and the total number of detected individuals increased over time. Complaints from the public were absent, which demonstrates that management strategies favoring unpopular organisms are feasible, even in densely populated areas.

News & Announcements

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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Center for Teaching and Learning High-Impact Practice today

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. today. 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.

'Lumberjacks Make Great Artists' competition gallery opens today

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. today 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.

Purple Santa toy drive scheduled for tomorrow

Purple Santa has become a holiday tradition at SFA. Each year, generous faculty and staff members donate hundreds of toys to Nacogdoches children in need. Without these donations, many area children would have a very sad holiday.
SFA's Purple Santa toy drive will take place tomorrow. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys for children between the ages of 5 and 12.

To schedule a visit from Purple Santa and his elves to collect the items, email Dr. Adam Peck, assistant president and dean of student affairs, at peckae@sfasu.edu.

Donors will receive a gift and be placed on Santa’s nice list, which will be published in SFA Today the week of Monday, Dec. 7.

SFA Planetarium show begins tomorrow

The first screening of the SFA Planetarium's "Season of Light" program will begin at 7 p.m. tomorrow. 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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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.

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.

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.


Middleton nominated for 2016 Allstate Women's Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Team

SFA women's basketball junior LaNesha Middleton has been nominated for the 2016 Allstate Women's 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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SFA baseball unveils 2016 schedule

The 2016 SFA baseball schedule will feature 26 non-conference engagements and 30 Southland Conference games.

Among the opponents on SFA’s schedule are four institutions ranked in the final 2015 baseball polls. Those teams, ranked by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and the USA Today Coaches Poll, include: Texas Christian University, Texas A&M University, Oklahoma State University and Dallas Baptist University.
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Fine Arts

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. tonight 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. tomorrow 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 opens tomorrow

The SFA College of Fine Arts and the Children's Performing Arts Series will present "Kids For President" in two performances tomorrow, 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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Theatre students to present 'Bobby Gould in Hell'

The SFA School of Theatre will present the student-directed "Bobby Gould in Hell" at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

Baytown senior theatre major Stephen Davis directs David Mamet's one-act play that examines the life of the title character and his past sins after he dies and is in the waiting room of hell.

"'Bobby Gould in Hell' is a dark comedy in which we find our title character in discussion with the Devil himself about Gould's immortal soul," Davis said.
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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
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Purchase tickets at the
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or call (936) 468-6407

Radio telescopes are among scientists best tools for studying the cosmos. The looming dishes record vast amounts of data, but they aren't something many people come across every day. Similarly, the majority of the nation lives in urban areas where clear views of the night sky aren't readily available.

So, the folks behind Skyglow, an organization aimed at reducing light pollution for clearer views of the night sky, created this short film paying tribute to radio telescopes. Check out more videos and information on Skyglow here.

©2015 SFASU