SFA University

September 2, 2022 — As part of its goal to provide expert economic research, analysis and consulting services in the East Texas region and beyond, Stephen F. Austin State University’s Rusche College of Business has established the Center for Business and Economic Research.

Housed in SFA’s Department of Economics and Finance, the nonprofit center offers data analysis, market research and economic impact analysis to the community while providing real-world training to SFA students.

“We want to become the go-to resource in the region for expert analysis and commentary on matters of economic policy and economic development,” said Dr. Mikhail Kouliavtsev, chair of the department.

He believes new relationships can be established and existing ones strengthened between the university and local businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations through CBER, as evidenced by past projects completed through the department.

These include an analysis of sales tax revenue for the City of Nacogdoches; assessments of the economic impact of various events and entities, such as the Texas Blueberry Festival held annually in Nacogdoches and SFA’s economic contribution to the local economy; and a detailed study of the Texas Purchasing from People with Disabilities Program’s impact for the Texas Workforce Commission.

CBER also works to inform the public and media about the impact of national and state policies on the local economy, the effects of major events on the economy, and the role of new initiatives, such as the Interstate Highway 69 corridor, in local economic efforts.

In addition to increasing SFA’s outreach and visibility to the community, Kouliavtsev said the center will benefit the university in two key ways.

“A center like this attracts high-quality students and faculty to SFA and promotes collaboration with other research centers on campus,” he said. “Plus, SFA offices and departments that normally contract out market research, economic forecasts and other analyses to external consultants can request help from CBER instead.”

CBER is one of several entities launched recently by the College of Business to help bolster local businesses. Others include Business and Community Services; the Greg Arnold Center for Entrepreneurship, or ACE; and the Small Business Resource Hub, which is housed in ACE.

For more information, visit sfasu.edu/cber or contact the center at (936) 468-4301.

August 29, 2022 – The Children’s Performing Arts Series returns to the Stephen F. Austin State University campus in the 2022-23 academic year with four fun shows designed to entertain and educate East Texas youngsters.

The series, presented by the Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts, features curriculum-enhancing programs presented by Texas artists. Although selected shows are designed to engage audiences of all ages, careful consideration is given to show topics, which always include teachable classroom elements, according to Diane Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the series.

“CPAS shows are a great way to supplement class curriculums, and our in-depth study guides provide suggestions for pre- and post-performance activities and discussions,” Peterson said.

CPAS shows bring hundreds of students from schools throughout East Texas to the SFA campus to enjoy the productions.

With the renovation of Turner Auditorium still underway, teachers can expect a few changes this year. Performances will be in Kennedy Auditorium, 1906 Alumni Drive, and three show times will be offered at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to accommodate the smaller venue.

“Kennedy holds half the audience that Turner would, so we expect shows to sell out quickly. We encourage teachers to book their classrooms early to take advantage of these great field trips that provide fun and educational outings for children,” Peterson said. “We also offer great discounts for large groups.”

This year’s lineup includes “Oskar’s Not So Simple Comeback” on Thursday, Oct. 6; “The New Little Red Riding Hood” Thursday, Nov. 10; “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical” Wednesday, March 1; and “Reading and Rhyming with Mother Goose” Wednesday, April 26. Tickets go on sale Sept. 1.

“Oskar’s Not So Simple Comeback” opens the Children’s Performing Arts Series at SFA on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Presented by Alley Theatre, “Oskar’s Not So Simple Comeback” targets children in kindergarten through fifth grade. When Oskar starts attending school in person again after an extended period of remote learning, he’s excited about joining his classmates for his favorite activity: Sportsball! But much to his dismay, his skills have deteriorated, and he’ll have to find a way to restore his talent and confidence. After trying to tackle his problems on his own, he is compelled to find connection and support from his peers, his teachers, his parents, and his community, finding the solution to all his woes comes in the unlikeliest of places.

The forest comes to life with “The New Little Red Riding Hood” presented by Storybook Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 10.

In “The New Little Red Riding Hood” presented by Storybook Theatre, Big Bad Wolf has retired as the forest’s caretaker. His daughter, Wanda Wolf, is finding out she has big shoes to fill, especially when her BFF, Little Red, the great-great-great-granddaughter of the first Little Red Riding Hood, is trashing out the forest! Using Storybook Theatre’s signature “edutainment” format, the forest comes to life as the audience interacts with Granny Red, Wanda and the forest animals to help Little Red understand what she’s doing is wrong. This show targets kindergarten through fifth grade.

From the Caldecott Honor award-winning book, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical!” offers innovative music mixed with a simple story that speaks to children. The musical comes to SFA Wednesday, March 1.

When a bus driver takes a break from the route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place – a pigeon! And you’ve never met one like this before! From the Caldecott Honor award- winning book, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical!” is sure to get everyone’s wings flapping with its innovative mix of songs, silliness and feathers. The production, which targets pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, is based on the book by Mo Willems and presented by Main Street Theater.

Join Mother Goose and her puppet friends for “Reading and Rhyming with Mother Goose” Wednesday, April 26, on the SFA campus.

Join Mother Goose along with Lamby, Mary, Goosey, Itsy Bitsy and her other puppet friends as she shares the music of language expressed in rhyming in “Reading and Rhyming with Mother Goose,” presented by MCP Shows. In this fun and hilarious interactive show, children will learn these classic poems by acting out the various rhymes utilizing props, and they will leave the theatre with enthusiasm for reading, language and creativity. This performance targets pre-kindergarten through second grade.

Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more. To order tickets, call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Visit the CPAS website at www.cpas.sfasu.edu for additional information.

August 26, 2022 - They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Her Majesty’s Consul General Richard Hyde will discover that to be true as he embarks on a road trip around the State beginning on Tuesday 6 September 2022.

Hyde and senior staff from the British Consulate located in Houston, will not be hard to spot in a Union Jack draped Jaguar as they travel to north and east Texas, with bonus side trips into Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The route will cover approximately 2,500 miles – nearly 3 times the length of the United Kingdom. This trip follows last year’s 2,500 mile road trip to central and west Texas, with a return drive along the length of the Texas-Mexico border.

Coming in the year of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the team will be honouring Queen Elizabeth’s 75th year on the throne by participating in the Queen’s Green Canopy, a global sustainability initiative to plant trees. Consul General Hyde will be planting a tree in each location visited, including one in each of the five states on the itinerary.

Along with the tree planting ceremonies, the team will also host town hall style ‘pop-up consulates’ to meet with local businesses, civic and political leaders and other interested groups. The meetings will highlight the close economic links that the UK has with the state of Texas (as well as celebrating some Great British food and drink!).

The British delegation will be promoting investment opportunities between Texas and the UK, with exports from Texas to the UK amounting to over $10 billion in 2018, with a combination of events helping to support a range of UK interests across business, trade, defence, education and other sectors.

180 years after the UK Government first appointed a representative to Texas, this tour is also a chance to mark the UK’s continuing commitment to enduring relationships, mutual prosperity and extensive security cooperation with long-standing and close allies.

Consul General Richard Hyde said: “The aim of this tour is to focus on cities outside the ‘Texas Triangle’ (Houston, Dallas, Austin/San Antonio). This will enable us to engage with a wide range of politically influential and economically important communities and groups. Whilst honouring Her Majesty’s 75th year on the throne and enhancing the environment with tree plantings, we also hope to demonstrate that the UK is a modern and dynamic partner of Texas, a leading centre of culture, music and sport and a world class centre of innovation and science.”

List of locations for the Great British Tour of Texas (w/ bonus trips into AR, LA, OK and NM)
Below is the list of locations where the British Consulate will visit. The tree plantings and pop-up consulates will be casual, indoor receptions featuring British food and drink.

  • Tuesday, September 6 - Nacogdoches, Meetings and tree planting
  • Tuesday, September 6 - Kilgore, Tree planting and pop-up consulate
  • Wednesday, September 7 - Shreveport, LA, Tree planting and pop-up consulate
  • Wednesday, September 7 - Texarkana, AR, Meetings, tree planting, and pop-up consulate
  • Friday, September 9 - Amarillo, Tree planting and pop-up consulate
  • Monday, September 12 - Lubbock, Tree planting and pop-up consulate
  • Tuesday, September 13 - Waco, Tree planting and pop-up consulate

August 24, 2022 – Lumberjacks near and far as well as friends of Stephen F. Austin State University are encouraged to participate in the university’s second-annual Giving Day scheduled for September 15.

The fundraising event falls three days before the university’s 99th anniversary — SFA welcomed its inaugural class of students on September 18, 1923. Therefore, the theme #LogYourLegacy encourages Lumberjacks to celebrate that nearly century-long legacy by giving in support of the university’s future.

“Coinciding with the university’s anniversary, Giving Day provides a perfect opportunity to celebrate SFA while simultaneously investing in its future,” said Trey Turner, executive director of SFA’s Office of Development. “The donated funds received on Giving Day will be directed to immediate projects and initiatives, as well as help fund endowments that will serve future students for years to come.”

Some areas donors may consider helping include colleges or departments from which they graduated, student organizations of which they were a part, athletics, scholarships and more.

“As we look back at everything that has made SFA a leader in higher education, we know our alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students are who make this institution so incredible,” said Kathleen Thompson, coordinator for annual giving.

A Facebook event page will go live in the upcoming weeks, and everyone interested can follow Giving Day announcements and updates on SFASU Foundation’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Campaign progress will be actively updated for the @SFASUfoundation on these pages. Athletics will also be sharing content, as will SFA’s main social media accounts.

The goal for Giving Day is to raise $125,000. Donations can be made online during the day through Giving Day platforms, and links will be provided through emails and shared on social media. All donations are tax deductible.

For more information about SFA’s Giving Day, contact Turner at turnertrey@sfasu.edu.


Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens will host a fruit research field day from 9am to 4pm Sept. 30 featuring kiwifruit, muscadine grapes, blueberries, figs, feijoas and other fruits.

August 18, 2022 — Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens will host a fruit research field day from 9am to 4pm September 30 featuring kiwifruit, muscadine grapes, blueberries, figs, feijoas and other fruits.

Speakers will include Dr. David Creech, director of SFA Gardens, and Dr. Tim Hartmann and Dr. Justin Scheiner, both of Texas A&M University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences.

“We are proud to show off our ever-increasing collection of fruits,” Creech said. “We have the two top fruit specialists from Texas A&M to help us do just that.”

The day will start with presentations at 9am at the Brundrett Conservation Education Building in the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, located at 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches. Participants will then go to the fruit research plots at SFA Gardens around 10 a.m. Lunch will not be provided.

The cost of the field day is $15 per person. Register on-site the day of the event or in advance online at sfasu.edu/sfagardens.

For more information, call (936) 468-4129 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu

Fall class registration for music instruction through SFA’s Music Preparatory Division is underway.

August 12, 2022 – Registration is underway for fall classes in the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music, according to Alba Madrid, Music Prep director. The fall roster for youth includes private lessons in piano, violin, cello, viola, bass, voice, trumpet and guitar. Lessons may be available for other instruments upon request. Group classes will be offered in piano for adults and children, Kindermusik (for students ages 0 to 6), Strings Project, children’s chorus (for students ages 9 to 15), youth orchestras and Raguet Strings for adult students. Lessons begin Aug. 15.

Strings Project students have the opportunity to learn to play a stringed instrument at a low tuition cost as part of an after-school activity. The project is grant and community funded. The SFA Children’s Chorus offers an introduction into choral singing for students in second through eighth grades. In this program, students are given opportunities to enjoy music and participate in a group to sing, play games and interact with other students in a musical setting. This choir is intended as a preparatory program to learn skills needed for upper level choral singing, according to Madrid.

Registration for private and group instruction can be completed online at sfamusicprep.com or by calling (936) 468-1291. Prices range from $20 to $180 per month, depending on frequency, type of lesson and lesson length. Some scholarships may be available to qualifying applicants.

The Music Prep House is located at 3028 Raguet St. Office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Madrid can also be contacted at: madrida@sfasu.edu or musicprep@sfasu.edu. Parents can also find program information on Facebook and Instagram.

August 11, 2022 — Stephen F. Austin State University has combined six of its key health and wellness resources into one centralized hub so students can get help faster when they need it.

Part of SFA’s Lumberjack Wellness Network, the new Health and Wellness Hub includes Health Services, Counseling Services, Student Outreach and Support, the Lumberjack Food Pantry, and a Chartwells dietitian. It also provides access to services at the Family Crisis Center of East Texas off campus.

“The Health and Wellness Hub offers comprehensive services that treat the whole person — mind, body and spirit,” said Andrew J. Dies, SFA’s assistant vice president of student affairs and dean of students. “We want to support the health and well-being of every Lumberjack.”

These services were previously spread out in different buildings across campus, but students often need a combination of these services when they’re in crisis.

“Many students find it difficult or are unaware of how to make the first step in taking care of themselves,” said Marcie Shoemaker, director of Health Services operations. “Having our services in one location allows us to take a look at the whole person and focus on what matters to them.”

Health and Wellness Hub personnel are hoping students who were reluctant to seek mental health services in the past find it easier to do so through the hub.

“My hope is that by creating the hub, we are helping to demystify counseling by having a place where students can go to really connect with someone and get the help they need,” said Clare Fite, director of Counseling Services. “Through the hub, students who are struggling either emotionally or socially and may not know where to go or whom to talk to will be connected with the appropriate people and departments that can provide them with guidance and support.”

The hub works to address the seven dimensions of wellness: career/financial, emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, socio-cultural and spiritual. By maintaining balance among these dimensions, students improve their odds of finishing college and moving on to a successful and fulfilling career.

The Health and Wellness Hub, located in the Tucker Building at the corner of Raguet and East College streets, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To learn more, visit sfasu.edu/thehub.

August 9, 2022 – Following recent approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Stephen F. Austin State University’s School of Social Work will begin offering a Doctorate of Social Work program in spring 2023, officially becoming the university’s fourth doctoral-level degree option.

SFA’s DSW program is structured to enhance the clinical expertise of social workers while also containing a pedagogical track that prepares graduates for teaching in bachelor’s- and master’s-level social work programs. It also will prepare social workers to enter leadership positions in health care management and administration.

“SFA’s overarching goal focuses on creating transformational learning experiences for students, and the DSW program strongly aligns with this goal,” said Dr. Emmerentie Oliphant, interim chair of SFA’s School of Social Work and the Buddy Zeagler Endowed Professor. “Students will be engaged in learning and will practice opportunities to develop leadership, teaching and practice competencies. The program also will provide experiential learning opportunities based on social work practice realities, which will develop students’ abilities to address social problems. The social work practice will focus on individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations.”

The need for social workers is at an all-time high in Texas and the United States, and the need gives rise to an accompanying need for more social work instructors to teach in bachelor’s and master’s social work programs.

The School of Social Work recognized a need for a doctoral program in 2007 and, under the leadership of Dr. Freddie Avant, associate dean of the School of Social Work, established a planning committee in 2010.

“The Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work are already among SFA’s largest academic programs,” said Dr. Marc Guidry, SFA associate provost. “The DSW will further enhance the School of Social Work’s reputation as the premier provider of social work education in East Texas and take our Center for Rural Social Work Research to new heights. Adding a doctoral program adds to the reputation of the entire university for academic excellence at the highest level. Therefore, the DSW will be an anchor program for the university and a magnet for recruiting high-performing students to our campus.”

SFA is one of two Texas universities to offer the DSW program. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved Angelo State University’s DSW program at the same time as SFA’s. However, unlike Angelo State, SFA will offer in-person courses.

Currently, the nearest higher education institution to offer a DSW program is Tulane University in New Orleans, which is more than 350 miles from Nacogdoches. Therefore, the addition of the DSW program addresses a regional need for East Texas.

"I am very proud of the staff and faculty who have worked so hard to make the DSW a reality,” said Dr. Lorenzo Smith, SFA provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “This is another great example of how SFA is serving as the anchor university for deep East Texas."

The initial DSW cohort will consist of 10 students, and classes will be held on Fridays to make it accessible for those who work.

For more information, contact Oliphant at oliphante@sfasu.edu, or visit sfasu.edu/socialwork.

August 3, 2022 — Stephen F. Austin State University’s Rusche College of Business has partnered with Smith Sawmill Service to provide SFA students with a direct path to business careers in wood processing, an industry that’s integral to East Texas’ economy.

Smith Sawmill Service is one of the largest suppliers and service providers of saws, cutting tools, filing room equipment and critical consumable products. With locations in Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina, Smith is owned by BID Group, a private company established in 1924 that is now the leading supplier to the wood-processing industry in North America.

“We are thrilled to work with Smith Sawmill Service to better serve our students and our region,” said Dr. Jason Reese, associate dean of SFA’s College of Business. “Smith Sawmill Service is a first-class organization that truly cares about the success of our students and the East Texas region.

“Their support will help us achieve our mission of providing a quality learning environment and helping our students launch their careers and become effective leaders," Reese continued.

Smith Sawmill Service is one of a growing number of corporations that SFA’s College of Business works with to help students explore their career options before graduation.

“We see a tremendous opportunity in our partnership with SFA's College of Business,” said Dustin T. Norris, vice president of Smith Sawmill Service. “SFA has consistently produced leaders and creative thinkers that bring value to our organization, and I am proud to reinforce our commitment to higher education here in the piney woods of East Texas.”

These partnerships are a win-win for corporations and students, said Dr. Tim Bisping, dean of the College of Business.

“Engaging with an excellent partner such as Smith Sawmill Service is a great example of how a quality corporate partner program works to the benefit of all,” he added. “I’m excited to see this partnership grow in the years to come.”

To learn more about SFA’s College of Business, visit sfasu.edu/cob.


Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens will host a floral design workshop to share methods for creating artistic flower arrangements from 9am to noon August 13 in the Pineywoods Native Plant Center’s Brundrett Conservation Education Building.

July 18, 2022 — Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens will host a floral design workshop to share methods for creating artistic flower arrangements from 9 a.m. to noon August 13 in the Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center.

Jordan Cunningham, SFA Gardens greenhouse technician, will explore the principles of floral design, including shapes, colors, materials and construction.

"This year, we will be exploring the elements of floral design using both common plants from the garden and traditional floral materials," Cunningham said. "We want to use the resources here at SFA Gardens to show people how they can use materials from their own garden to make floral works of art.”

Participants will create their own floral arrangements to take home. All materials will be provided, but attendees are welcome to bring flowers and greens from their own gardens to add to their arrangements, or a vase of their own.

Cost for the seminar is $25 for members of SFA Gardens and $35 for nonmembers. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required at sfasu.edu/sfagardens.

For more information, contact SFA Gardens at (936) 468-4404 or sfagardens@sfasu.edu.

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