SFA University

August 2, 2019 Nacodgoches Texas – The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University will honor retiring Music Preparatory Division Director Pat Barnett with a reception from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Music Prep House, 3028 Raguet St.

The appreciation reception recognizes Barnett’s 20 years of service to the Music Prep program. The event will immediately follow Music Prep’s open house, which is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 10, for fall private and group lesson registration.

Refreshments and music will be provided at the come-and-go reception.

For more information about the Music Preparatory Division and its fall lesson lineup, call (936) 468-1291 or visit www.music.sfasu.edu/prep.

August 2, 2019 Nacogdoches, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of the documentary “Free Solo” at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin comes “Free Solo,” a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock – the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park – without a rope. Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death.

“Free Solo” is a National Geographic Documentary Film release. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; Critics’ Choice Documentary Award winner for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary, Most Innovative Documentary and Best Sorts Documentary; BAFTA Award winner for Best Documentary; and American Film Fest winner for Best Film, among other awards.

The film runs 100 minutes. It is rated PG-13 for brief strong language. For more information, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.com.

This screening is part of the School of Art’s monthly Friday Film Series and is sponsored in part by William Arscott, Nacogdoches Film Festival, Karon Gillespie, Mike Mollot, David Kulhavy, John and Kristen Heath, Galleria Z, Jill Carrington, Jean Stephens, Jim and Mary Neal, Richard Orton and Main Street Nacogdoches.

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

August 1, 2019 Nacogdoches, Texas – The Chloé Trevor Music Academy continues to present its Summer Festival of Concerts in Nacogdoches through Aug. 10.

The Chloé Trevor Music Academy is an intensive two-week program for string players and pianists, offering one-on-one instruction, orchestral training and career guidance by the world’s premier soloists, teachers and conductors, according to Trevor, the academy’s artistic director and founder. The academy and its concert series is underway on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

Trevor is one of the most sought after violinists today, performing with orchestras worldwide, including the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Latvian Chamber Orchestra, Slovak State Philharmonic and Plano, Houston and Knoxville symphonies.

The series of public concerts by the academy’s faculty and guest artists offers a wide range of performances, including world famous violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist and composer Sean Chen, and pioneering cellist, singer, composer and educator Mike Block.

“Rachel Barton Pine is one of the best violinists in America today,” said Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, professor of violin at SFA and academy organizer. “Sean Chen is a Van Cliburn winner, and Mike Block has worked with Yo-Yo Ma. These are all world-class musicians who are performing in Nacogdoches.”

Pine will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, in Cole Concert Hall. Other performances include a faculty concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, and a student recital at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, both of which will also be in Cole Concert Hall. Chen performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5; the Aeolus Quartet performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6; Fellowship Ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7; and Block performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, all of which will be in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. A student solo and chamber music recital is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, in Turner Auditorium. The academy concludes with the Orchestra Gala at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, also in Turner Auditorium. Performances on Aug. 4, 7 and 9 are free of charge. Admission for the other concerts is $10 at the door. Students and youth will be given free admission.

For further information, visit http://www.chloetrevormusicacademy.org.

July 25, 2019 Nacogdoches, Texas — The Stanley Center for Speech and Language Disorders at Stephen F. Austin State University has received a two-part grant to fund Speak Out! and Loud Crowd, a program developed by Parkinson Voice Project, to offer free speech therapy to people with Parkinson's disease for a second year.
The Parkinson Voice Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing speech disorders that people with Parkinson's disease develop.
Through the grant, faculty members in SFA's Department of Human Services and all graduate students studying speech-language pathology have been trained to conduct the program.
“Up to 90% of people with Parkinson’s are at high risk of losing their ability to speak, and aspiration pneumonia caused by swallowing issues accounts for 70% of the mortality rate in this patient population,” said Parkinson Voice Project’s founder and CEO, Samantha Elandary. “Awarding these grants has substantially increased access to quality speech treatment for those living with Parkinson’s.”
Speak Out! is an intensive individual therapy program designed to address the motor speech deficits associated with Parkinson's disease, such as softer speech, a hoarse or scratchy voice and inconsistent speech volumes. Typically, the program comprises 12 individual speech-therapy sessions.
After completing the Speak Out! phase, participants will progress to the Loud Crowd portion, where they will engage in a group therapy setting once a week for maintenance.
The Stanley Center for Speech and Language Disorders doubles as a community clinic and learning facility for SFA students to hone their skills in a supervised setting. Graduate students will conduct the therapy supervised by licensed speech-language pathologists for both parts of the program.
“Our clinic provides speech/language services, such as therapy and evaluations to clients of all ages and with varying disorders in the East Texas area. We see at least 60 clients per semester,” said Deena Petersen, director for the Stanley Center for Speech and Language Disorders at SFA. “We are excited to offer the Speak Out! and Loud Crowd therapy for the second year to help those with Parkinson’s speak with intent.”
For more information, contact the center at (936) 468-7109.

July 24, 2019 Nacogdoches, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents unanimously named Dr. Scott Gordon, a first-generation college student who became provost of Eastern Washington University, as sole finalist for SFA president.

A native of Malone, New York, Gordon received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Cortland. He earned a master’s degree and doctorate in botany and mycology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and holds certifications from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in educational management and leadership.

As EWU provost, Gordon is the university’s chief academic officer, overseeing more than 500 faculty members in six academic colleges, with responsibility for academic policy and planning, distance education, international programs and institutional research.

Gordon led a complete reorganization of EWU’s Academic Affairs unit, led the development and implementation of the university’s strategic plan in 2018 and developed partnerships with community colleges, business and industry, as well as government entities. This work was highlighted by a unique partnership with Microsoft and the collaboration with multiple businesses on The Catalyst, a 140,000-square-foot facility in downtown Spokane. 

Prior to joining Eastern Washington, Gordon spent 22 years at the University of Southern Indiana, where he served as dean of the Pott College of Science, Engineering and Education. In addition, Gordon served for 10 years as the Faculty Athletics Representative, was named a NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative Fellow, and was vice president and treasurer of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, which includes 14 NCAA Division II institutions. 

“I am honored to be named sole finalist for the position of president at Stephen F. Austin State University,” Gordon said. “I look forward to the next steps in this process and the opportunity to work with the SFA Board of Regents, university leadership, faculty, staff, students and the great community of Nacogdoches to build on the tradition of excellence at SFA.”

Gordon called the opportunity to serve as a leader at SFA a “dream come true.” 

“I am deeply committed to the vision, mission and goals of SFA and believe my background and values are a great fit with the institution,” he said. “I look forward to joining the SFA family.”

If confirmed by regents after the state-required 21-day waiting period, Gordon will become SFA’s ninth president, succeeding Dr. Baker Pattillo, who was SFA president from 2006 until his death in December 2018.

Before interviewing finalists for the presidency, Regents considered recommendations from a presidential screening committee that worked with an executive search firm, R. William Funk & Associates of Dallas, to review applications and meet with prospective candidates.

Alton Frailey, who chaired the search committee, said Gordon is an accomplished visionary who will lead SFA into its second hundred-year history.

“Dr. Gordon has an outstanding track record in all aspects of academic leadership, from both student and faculty recruitment to core curriculum development and strategic planning,” Frailey said. “His vision for a student-centered education aligns with SFA’s values, and we look forward to introducing him to the campus and the community.”

Gordon is expected to attend a public reception from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Cole Art Center.

July 24, 2019 Nacogdoches – The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents approved actions during the July quarterly meeting that will support students across campus, from Steen Library to those in disciplines ranging from agriculture to culinary sciences.

Regents approved a $6.46 million capital plan that addresses academic support, student life and safety. Projects include the renovation of a home at 1401 Mound St. for use by SFA’s hospitality administration program.

The residence, previously owned by former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, will be renovated to house the Culinary Café, a student-run restaurant that serves meals to guests two days each week during the regular semesters. Utilizing $1.5 million in the capital Higher Education Fund, the residence will be renovated to keep its historic nature while adding a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and prep area, according to Dr. Judy Abbott, dean of the Perkins College of Education.

“This learning laboratory, unique for a university in Texas, will provide hands-on, real-world experiences for students pursuing the hospitality administration degree,” Abbott said. “Much like the Lumberjack Express, the mobile food laboratory recently unveiled, the regents are acknowledging the interest in and growth of the culinary arts, entrepreneurship, event planning and food-service management. SFA is investing in the historic nature of Nacogdoches as it establishes state-of-the-art facilities that attract and transform students in East Texas and beyond.”

The capital plan also includes a $250,000 renovation of Steen Library, replacement of furniture in Hall 14 and fire-safety upgrades across campus. In residence halls, card-access systems will be installed to provide secure entry into the buildings, and the university’s wireless network will be upgraded. A $3.5 million upgrade to a power plant that supports the College of Fine Arts buildings and the purchase of a radio system for the University Police Department are included in the plan.

Regents approved the creation of the Marilyn Cranford Quasi Endowment, the result of a $1.5 million gift to support SFA’s National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops. A quasi endowment allows for distribution of revenue and principal from a fund balance.

The mission of SFA’s National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops is to improve human health by discovering novel anti-tumor and antiviral agents in native and invasive plant species and to enhance U.S. security by reducing dependency on foreign supplies of pharmaceutical ingredients.  The center previously has received significant support from the U.S. Congress and the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, as well as from state and federal agencies and private individuals, like the late Marilyn Cranford, according to Dr. Steve Bullard, SFA provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“The center has a remarkable track record in creating new pharmaceutical compounds and developing innovative methods to control invasive plants and insects,” Bullard said. “This endowment will play a critical role in the long-term support of staffing and operations and will have a great impact on SFA and East Texas, as well as a positive national and global impact.”

Regents approved the sale of timber from the Todd Agricultural Research Center to convert predominately pine forestland to silvopasture – a form of agriculture that integrates trees, forage plants and grazing livestock operations. 

“The proceeds will fund pasture improvement and will create demonstration areas for teaching, research and outreach,” Bullard said.

Regents approved the purchase of property at 208 Feazell St., a lot located between two existing university lots. “This acquisition will create a continuous section of lots and provide an opportunity to expand student parking,” said Dr. Danny Gallant, vice president for finance and administration.   

Regents approved the selection of Page Southerland Page to create an updated campus master plan.

“The Board of Regents approved our current campus master plan on April 19, 2011, and that plan extends through fiscal year 2020,” Gallant said. “We issued a request for qualifications, and three of the five firms that responded presented their plans to the board for consideration. We look forward to working with this agency to develop a plan for the future.”

Page Southerland Page has completed projects for University of Texas campuses in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.  

Regents approved changes in course fees, an increase in the student application fee and an exemption of the distance-education fee for dual-credit students enrolled in ITV-delivered courses. They approved a one-time $117 fee to be paid by students enrolled in programs utilizing Watermark LiveText hosted services. 

Regents also approved:

  • The 2019-2020 holiday schedule
  • The annual audit plan
  • Resolutions supporting Texas Department of Transportation grant applications to enhance pedestrian sidewalks, trails and bicycle paths
  • Exemptions and waivers of tuition and fees authorized by the Texas Education Code
  • FY19 grant awards totaling $228,836
  • Purchase of SAP Concur travel-expense software
  • Revisions to the Intercollegiate Athletic policies and procedures manual
  • An update of approved financial institutions and brokers
  • Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity architectural and engineering contracts
  • A new policy and policy revisions, and
  • The conversion of SFA course numbers to the Texas Common Course numbering system.

The board heard an update on construction projects and reports from the Student Government Association, the Faculty Senate and Dr. Steve Westbrook, interim president.

SFA theatre students, from left, Carson Cook, McKinney sophomore, as Captain Hook and Bayley Owen, Royse City junior, as Peter Pan rehearse a fight scene from “Tales of Neverland.” The School of Theatre will tour the original play in August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland.

July 22, 2019 Nacogdoches – The School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a community preview at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 26, of the original play students will perform next month at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The preview performance will be in the HPE Complex Dance Studio, Room 201, on the SFA campus. The event is a fundraiser to offset travel costs of the trip.

For the third time, SFA theatre students will tour a play that will be seen at the largest performing arts festival in the world during a two-week trip to Edinburgh in August. This year, SFA dance students will be among those performing.

This year’s play is “Tales of Neverland,” a family-friendly stage adaptation written and directed  by School of Theatre professor Angela Bacarisse based on the book “Peter Pan,” J.M. Barrie’s most famous work.

The description on the festival’s website reads: “Make way for the Lost Boys! Join Wendy, Michael and John as they are whisked away to Neverland by Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Watch as they tangle with vicious pirates and cheer for the boy who never grew up. Fusing spoken word with dance, the performers bring to life the beloved characters and fly through many adventures. An original script appropriate for all ages.”

The play’s choreography is by Heather Samuelson and movement direction is by Haley Jameson. Samuelson and Jameson are dance program directors in the SFA Department of Kinesiology and Heath Science.

Preview performance admission is $5 per person at the door. Additional donations to help with student costs to attend the festival will also be accepted.

The School of Theatre continues to seek out people who may want to help sponsor students and pay for trip expenses. For information on supporting the students, contact Bacarisse at abacarisse@sfasu.edu or (936) 468-1126. Tax-exempt donations can be made at sfasu.edu/giving by clicking on the “give online” tab and writing “Scotland trip” for special instructions.

July 17, 2019 Nacogdoches, Texas – The 35th Watercolor East Texas juried exhibition will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 27, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

This year’s juror is Houston artist Carla Gauthier, who is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society. She has degrees in fine art, art history and education. She is also a member of Canadian Society of Painters and Watercolor Art Society- Houston (WASH). She works in both watercolor and oils. She has received numerous awards on  regional, national and international levels. Her paintings are in collections throughout Canada, United States and Europe. 

Her artist statement: “Painting, for me, is an opportunity to make sense of an increasingly visual world. I get to enjoy the image making process, choosing the contrast, color and light that suit the subject at hand and the story being told. It is a pursuit which has its challenges and successes, but it is about the process, and the small gains made along the way.”

The exhibition runs through Aug. 25.

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, contact WET member Carol Athey at atheycj@sfasu.edu or call the art center at (936) 468-1131.

Watercolor East Texas (WET) was founded in 1983 by Reese Kennedy and other community artists to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of art, to expand the public appreciation of water media painting, and to stimulate art education. Membership is open to all water media artists. WET invites water media artists to attend a meeting and join this group of regional artists. Next meeting is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, in  Regions Bank community room, 300 E. Main St., Nacogdoches.

July 17, 2019 – New dates for Guitar Camp offered by the Music Preparatory Division of the School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University are July 23 - 26.

Larry Greer, who teaches guitar at SFA and Angelina College, is the camp director. The camp is from 2 to 3 p.m. each day at the Music Prep House, located at 3028 Raguet St.

Lessons are designed for students ages 10 and up. Tuition is $50, and guitar rental is $10. Lessons are provided in rock, country, classical and jazz. Class size is limited to 10 students.

Register for the camp by visiting www.music.sfasu.edu/prep, or contact Music Prep director Pat Barnett at pbarnett@sfasu.edu or musicprep@sfasu.edu, or call (936) 468-1291. Office hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

July 16, 2019 - Silent bidding for artwork in the annual 12x12 scholarship fundraiser for the Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University is now in the final week at The Cole Art Center at The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

Multiple pieces have been generously donated by a local artist who has contributed a piece to every auction fundraiser since its inception. Wally Knight has been central to the Nacogdoches art scene since the 1970s. Much of his work could be described as assemblage, but a visit to his home studio reveals that Knight surrounds himself with creative expression, not only his own, but that of his friends and fellow artists. Nacogdoches “has a very deep well of art,” says Knight.

Knight also works as a carpenter, and he initially approached his art in the same way as his work. Coincidental influences helped him to see that he needed allow the connections to appear, rather than planning them. He describes himself as the machine that assembles the pieces as the objects reveal themselves. “Basically, everything is connected,” he said. “What I do is just push some of that closer together. The ordinary becomes the extraordinary, and the function of it is no longer important.”

Knight’s pieces are always a highlight of the 12x12 event, often creating bidding wars. “I first noticed Wally’s work at the first fundraiser I attended several years ago,” says Crystal Hicks, Friends of the Visual Arts event committee chair. “Many of the works were exciting and were generating attention, but Wally’s stood out. The audience always looks forward to seeing what he’s contributed. Nacogdoches is lucky to boast a thriving art scene, and Wally has been integral to keeping it going.”

The silent auction features 12x12-inch pieces of art which are currently on display and may be bid on up until 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Anyone may silently bid on the unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Beginning at 6 p.m. that night, the starting bid for art pieces without previous bids will be lowered to $100. The auction closes at 7:15 p.m., and winners for all pieces will be announced at 7:30 during the art party. Pieces without bids at 7:15 will be awarded in a raffle.

The purpose of 12x12 is to raise funds for the FVA scholarships and grants that are awarded to SFA art students. The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about 12x12 or to become a sponsor, call The Cole Art Center at (936) 468-6557.

Cutline: Wally Knight is among the local artists who have contributed works to the annual 12x12 fundraiser benefitting students in the SFA School of Art.