SFA University

November 18, 2017 Nacogdoches — The SFA Gardens will host a garden seminar, “Deck the Halls: Using Evergreens to Decorate for the Holidays,” from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St.

Evergreen branches and garlands once served as symbols of enduring life and a fruitful year to come. Join Dawn Stover, research associate with SFA Gardens, to learn how to create elegant wreaths and garlands using materials from the garden.

Participants will learn principles of wreath, garland and centerpiece construction and make a wreath to enjoy and take home for the holidays.

In addition to the traditional wreaths and garlands, Stover will introduce new crafts using natural items from the garden and forest. All materials will be provided.

Class size is limited, so register in advance by calling (936) 468-1832, or email The cost is $25 for SFA Garden members and $30 for non-members.

November 17, 2017 - The Music Preparatory Division in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music has announced its fall recital schedule.

Piano students of SFA music major instructors and students of Dr. Mario Ajero will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, in Music Recital Hall in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

A number of performances will take place beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5. Guitar students of Andrew Sperandeo, cello students of Kate Hite and a voice student of Charlotte Davis will perform. The recital will take place in the performance hall in the Music Prep Building, located at 3028 Raguet St.

  • Harp students of Emily Mitchell, artist-in-residence for the SFA School of Music, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, in the Music Recital Hall.
  • Violin students of Dr. Jennifer Dalmas and cello students of Dr. Evgeni Raychev will perform at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, in the Music Recital Hall.
  • The Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, directed by Raychev, will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
  • The SFA Young Violinists, featuring of students of Brenda Josephsen, will perform at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, in the Music Recital Hall.
  • Piano students of Linda Parr will perform at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, in the Music Recital Hall.
  • The final fall recital will feature the piano students of Mary Cooper performing at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, in Cole Concert Hall.

All recitals are open to the public.

Music Prep offers musical training on any level of proficiency. Overall musicianship is stressed in addition to the study of an instrument. Private music lessons are offered in piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, classical guitar, voice, percussion, French horn, clarinet, saxophone, composition and flute.

In addition to the Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, Music Prep offers the PineyWoods Fiddlers, an adult piano class, the Raguet Strings adult ensemble and Music Theory Adventures classes. Music Prep teaches all ages, from infants to 80 and beyond. Music therapy is also offered.

For a complete listing of classes and types of instruction available, visit or contact Director Pat Barnett at (936) 468-1291.

Stephen F. Austin State University students received top honors at the American Advertising Federation-Houston Student Conference held Nov. 3 and 4. Students from SFA’s School of Art, Department of Management and Marketing, and Department of Mass Communication competed during the conference.

November 17, 2017 Nacogdoches — Six Stephen F. Austin State University students received top honors at the American Advertising Federation-Houston Student Conference held Nov. 3 and 4.

The federation comprises professionals from advertising, marketing and communications disciplines.

Students from SFA’s School of Art, Department of Management and Marketing, and Department of Mass Communication competed during the conference.

SFA students Victor Henson, Houston junior, and Kourtney Williams, San Antonio senior, placed first. Joshua Robertson, Austin junior, placed second. Third-place finishers were seniors Amanda Campbell from Frisco and Jocelyn Paz from Houston, and junior Deon Egenti from Houston.

Three faculty advisors from SFA accompanied the students: Dr. Seth Bradshaw, assistant professor in SFA’s Department of Mass Communication; Peter Andrew, professor in the School of Art; and Dr. Marlene Kahla, professor in the Department of Management and Marketing.

San Jacinto College was this year’s competition sponsor, and students were tasked with developing advertising campaigns designed to increase enrollment among 22 to 34 year olds.

Dozens of students from 13 universities competed and were divided into 12 teams. Each team was allotted eight hours to create a campaign, which included creative aspects, research, marketing and media plans, and a presentation.

Bradshaw said the conference provided students with real-world application of materials discussed in class, as well as connected them to industry professionals.

“The broader goals of the competition and conference included connecting students to industry professionals and local media organizations,” Bradshaw said. “Activities for attendees included a panel discussion from recent college graduates about how to break into the advertising industry, and professionals offered one-on-one feedback to students regarding portfolios and résumés.”

Kahla agrees the conference “enables business students to better understand the roles of marketing, communications and art when working on a project.”

The conference served as a district-level advertising competition and a precursor for students who plan to compete in the national competition in spring 2018.

By Kasi Dickerson, senior marketing communications specialist at Stephen F. Austin State University.

“The Patriotic Art of World War I in France” will be exhibited Oct. 31 through Dec. 30 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

November 10, 2017 - The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the SFA Galleries will host the exhibition “The Patriotic Art of World War I in France” Oct. 31 through Dec. 30 in The Cole Art Center at The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

The exhibition features French WWI posters from the extensive collection of Dr. Jere Jackson, Regent’s Professor of History at SFA and director of the Center for East Texas Studies. Topics of the lithographed posters made during WWI address issues concerning the war, and the exhibition includes some posters that focus on children during the war.

In “An Introduction to the Patriotic School of Paris: French Poster Artists of the Great War,” Jackson writes: “It is difficult, even after 100 years, to comprehend the magnitude and the importance of the First World War. It was the Great War of 1914-1918, and not World War II, that presaged the grim horrors which we now associate with the 20th Century wars: machine guns, trenches, tanks, chemical weapons and gas masks, aerial warfare, civilian bombardment, submarine attacks, starvation blockades, concentration camps, atrocities, deportations, vicious propaganda attacks, etc. Yet, on the eve of this war, almost no one foresaw the terrible path that coming events would take.

“Everyone expected the war to be over ‘before the leaves fall’ or ‘by Christmas,’” he continues. “In military matters, for this reason, everyone worshiped the offensive. In non-military matters, on the other hand, most governments including the French believed only in the defensive. The French had the best censor in the world! The government controlled the posting of bills, the flow of paper to the major presses, and the major channels of distribution. Had the war been short as anticipated, victory might have made any positive methods of propaganda unnecessary. After the stalemate in the fall of 1914, however, the new war of wills necessitated the encouragement of morale, patriotism, sacrifice, conservation of resources, and duty; in short, a complete mobilization of French society and resources. Since radio and television were yet to be invented, the main tools available were the products of the printing press – newspapers, magazines, reviews, journals, leaflets, postcards, and most importantly posters. The French Government, however, did not come to a positive use of these potential weapons until very late. Outside the press organs it controlled, the official attitude toward the press and artists was antagonistic.”

The exhibition was planned to coincide with next year’s 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.

Jackson will speak at a reception at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day. Coffee and cake will be served. The event is sponsored by SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, the Nacogdoches Junior Forum and The Flower Shop. Admission is free. The annual Downtown Art Walk takes place that evening.

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

The Stone Fort Wind Quintet at Stephen F. Austin State University features faculty members, from left, Charles Gavin, horn; Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Kerry Hughes, oboe; Christina Guenther, flute; and Lee Goodhew, bassoon.

November 1, 2017 Nacogdoches – The Stone Fort Wind Quintet at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 7, in Cole Concert Hall as part of the School of Music’s Calliope Concert Series.

The quintet includes SFA music faculty members Christina Guenther, flute; Kerry Hughes, oboe; Christopher Ayer, clarinet; Charles Gavin, horn; and Lee Goodhew, bassoon.

The program opens with “Pastorale” by Amy Beach.

“This lovely little piece by American pianist-composer Amy Beach features interesting harmonies as the melody floats through the ensemble,” Guenther said.

Composer-conductor-mezzo soprano Jenni Brandon’s “Five Frogs,” a fun piece in six movements depicting various events in the life of frogs, is also on the program.

Each movement features one of the five quintet instruments, Guenther explained. “Leaping” features the clarinet actively jumping in eighth notes; “On the Lily Pad” features the oboe in improvisational melismas; “Swimming” features the horn, melodically, while the rest of the ensemble accompanies; “Bullfrog” features the bassoon as the bullfrog; “Catching Bugs” features the piccolo as the frog (and the horn mouthpiece as the bug); and “Epilogue” closes the work with some returning material from earlier in the piece.

Cuban composer Paquito D’Rivera’s “Wapango,” also on the program, is a short, lively and rhythmic work with a fun Latino flair, according to Guenther.

“‘Wapango’ is a Mexican folk dance and music style, part of the style ‘son huasteco,’” she explained. “The word may be a corruption of the Nahuatl word ‘cuauhpanco’ that literally means ‘on top of the wood,’ alluding to a wooden platform on which dancers can make zapateado dance steps.”

A five-movement piece by American composer Daniel Dorff, “Cape May Breezes” depicts different events in Cape May, such as the autumn monarch migration, dusk at Sunset Beach and night breezes on the boardwalk.

The final work on the program is a short, fun piece by American hornist-composer Lowell “Spike” Shaw. “Dear Tessiel” is a jazz-inspired quintet, Guenther said.

“The title does not refer to an individual, but rather was an exclamation that came into use (and then faded quickly) about the time Shaw first put the tune to paper,” she explained. “It started out as a piano sketch, later surfaced as a ‘chart’ for big dance band, and then was put into quintet form as a concert closer.”

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit

SFA’ Madrigal Singers will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.October 27, 2017 Nacogdoches – The Madrigal Singers at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a choral program, “Sacred and Profane,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 2, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

The concert will explore themes of love, nature, the divine and exotic fairy tales, according to Dr. Michael Murphy, director of choral activities at SFA.

The program includes “Trois Chansons,’ or “Three Chansons,” by Maurice Ravel.

These three French songs give an interesting twist to the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood, a song of merciless conflict and a fantasy about forest creatures, Murphy explained.

Also on the program is A Set of Chinese Folk Songs by Chen Yi, who was the first woman in China to receive a Master of Arts in Musical Composition. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1969, Chen was sent to the work camps for forced labor. Even though she was unable to practice her violin for many years, she developed a love for folk songs that she would regularly hear in the countryside.

The SFA Madrigal Singers will perform three of her folk song arrangements. “Diu Diu Deng” has the choir portraying a steam locomotive. “Mayila” is a song about a young girl singing songs and playing the dongbula. And, “Riding on a Mule” exhibits vocal percussive sounds and pentatonic melodies. Now a professor of composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Chen weaves western and eastern influences into her musical compositions.

The ensemble will also perform Igor Stravinsky’s setting of T.S. Eliot’s “The dove descending breaks in the air,” which is composed as a serial or twelve-tone composition.

“The descending dove signals the entrance of the Holy Spirit into the world in order to cleanse humanity,” Murphy explained.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit

October 26, 2017 Nacogdoches — Future college students will have the opportunity to experience a taste of campus life during a free, action-packed open-house Saturday, November 11, at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

Prospective students will have the opportunity to visit with university faculty and staff members, tour the campus and residence halls, and preview academic programs during the SFA Showcase Saturday event.

"There is no better time than Showcase Saturday to visit the beautiful SFA campus and witness firsthand what it's like to be a Lumberjack," said Jessica Maynard, assistant director of SFA's Office of Admissions.

"Guests are encouraged to visit one-on-one with our faculty members to learn more about our quality, personalized academic programs, and our staff members will be available to answer questions about everything from admission requirements to financial aid to residence life," Maynard added.

SFA is a comprehensive, residential university located in the heart of Texas Forest Country. Approximately 13,000 students attend SFA, which is within a few hours' drive of Texas' major metropolitan areas.

Showcase Saturday event registration will begin at 11 a.m. on the first floor of the Baker Pattillo Student Center and will remain open until 12:45 p.m. Each person who registers will receive an information packet. The opening program begins at 12:30 p.m. and will provide an overview of the day's events.

Guests will then be able to visit with representatives of the academic departments until 4 p.m. at the Academic Fair in the Student Recreation Center. A Student Services Fair will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

Campus and residence hall tours will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m. Campus tours will take students on a guided walk of the SFA campus, while the self-guided residence hall tours will showcase several halls on both the north and south ends of campus.

Admissions counselors will be available to discuss admission procedures and requirements from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Rusk Building, Room 206, and at several freshman and transfer admissions sessions held throughout the day.

Financial aid information sessions will be held at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Regents’ Suite A. Residence Life information sessions will be held at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Theater on the second floor.

Participating prospective students will receive a free SFA T-shirt after completing an evaluation form in the tent located in the courtyard area of the Rusk Building.

For more information about SFA's Showcase Saturday, contact the SFA Office of Admissions at (936) 468-2504, or email

October 20, 2017 - A new book by Dr. Jim Towns, Stephen F. Austin State University professor of communications, examines selected speeches from 1956 to 2002 of W.A. Criswell, who was a pastor, author and two-term elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“The Legacy of W.A. Criswell” examines selected speeches from two-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention and longtime pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, W.A. Criswell. Jim Towns, SFA professor of communications, authored the book, which is available for purchase on the book, “The Legacy of W.A. Criswell,” Towns discusses Criswell’s influence on Christianity, specifically within the Baptist denomination and analyzes Criswell’s conservative impact on the Southern Baptist Convention and Christianity as a whole.
Criswell was named pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas in 1944. He spent the remainder of his life at First Baptist, preaching more than 4,000 sermons from its pulpit.
During Criswell’s tenure, church membership grew from 7,800 to 26,000 with weekly Sunday school attendance in excess of 5,000. Under his leadership, the church expanded to include multiple buildings on five blocks in downtown Dallas, eventually becoming the largest Southern Baptist church in the world.
Criswell was an early pioneer of the modern megachurch phenomenon, and he introduced a number of innovations that became a model for growing churches throughout the country.
He was awarded eight honorary doctoral degrees and published 54 books. Many of his sermons were televised nationally. He died in 2002.
Towns said he was prompted to write the book to detail Criswell’s 50-year influence on churches and Christian teaching.
“No one has ever written about the social or spiritual impact Criswell left behind,” Towns said. “His legacy has been deeply burned into the brand of Texas and Baptist churches around the nation and the world. It is a legacy that will not ride quietly into the sunset.”
In addition to his influence from the pulpit and through his writings, Criswell was a mentor to many prominent pastors, including evangelist Billy Graham.
Towns, who has taught at SFA for 52 years, has published 14 books. “The Legacy of W.A. Criswell” is available in paperback for purchase on Use code 3B to receive a 30% discount.
By Emily Brown, marketing communications specialist at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Tickets are still available for the Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” to be performed Nov. 16 and 17 at SFA.

October 20, 2017 - A limited number of tickets are still available to attend the Nov. 16 and 17 performances of Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” at Stephen F. Austin State University.

An Encore Event presented by the SFA College of Fine Arts, “The Great Russian Nutcracker” will be presented at 7:30 each night in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

All ages will want to celebrate Christmas with the Moscow Ballet’s company of nearly 40 ballerinas and other dancers on its 25th Anniversary Tour of North America.

Known for its award-winning, technically supreme performers, lavish costumes and magnificent backdrops, this ballet ensemble performed at SFA in 2009 before a sold-out Turner Auditorium crowd.

“Good seats are still available for both performances,” said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the University Series. “But sales are unusually brisk, especially for the Friday performance, so it’s important to order tickets early to avoid disappointment. We feel sure we’ll sell out both of these shows!”

A separate event apart from the University Series, Nutcracker adult tickets are $45 for Section A seating, $36 for Section B seating and $20 for Section C seating. Discounts are available for seniors, students, children, SFA faculty and staff members. Some student/youth tickets are available for as little as $8 each.

Both performances are sponsored in part by Lehmann Eye Center.

As an “informance” prior to the Thursday night performance, Haley Hoss-Jameson, associate professor and co-coordinator of dance in the SFA Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, will present an informative talk at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery.
The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is inside the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception Thursday to meet the dancers and to honor the event’s corporate sponsor.

For more information, visit, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

Stephen F. Austin State University will host its fourth-annual Purple Premium Cattle Sale beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center. All aspects of the sale are planned and executed by students enrolled in the advanced beef science course (pictured) taught by Dr. Erin Brown, professor of animal science at SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on 30 purebred lots, as well as more than 200 head of commercial females.

October 17, 2017 Nacogdoches — Stephen F. Austin State University will host its fourth-annual Purple Premium Cattle Sale beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 11, at the Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center.

The sale is planned and executed by SFA students enrolled in Dr. Erin Brown's advanced beef science class.

Brown, professor of animal science in SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, said students are instrumental in all aspects of the sale, from obtaining cattle consignments to sale marketing and setup.

This year, the sale will offer 30 purebred lots of Beefmaster, Angus, Charolais, Horned and Polled Hereford, Red Angus, and Simbrah cattle, as well as more than 200 head of commercial females. While a number of the lots are consigned by cattle owners from Texas and the Southern U.S., cattle from SFA's herd also is included.

In addition to cattle being auctioned, attendees may bid on semen from high-quality bulls donated by several cattle breeders. A Nacogdoches get-away package that includes a one-night stay at The Fredonia Hotel with food and recreation accommodations also will be offered for bid.

Interested buyers may view the cattle from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, or beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. The SFA Beef Farm is located at the Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center on County Road 123 off of Highway 259 in Nacogdoches.

To learn more about the sale, visit the SFA Purple Premium Sale Facebook page, Instagram, or email Dr. Erin Brown at