SFA University

July 10, 2015 - The following student received a degree from Stephen F. Austin State University during May commencement exercises:

Center, TX
Gloria Davis, Master of Education, Elementary Education
Steven Hennigan, Bachelor of Science, Kinesiology
Cameron Lathan, Master of Education, Elementary Education
Jami Mosby, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Nursing
Destiny Russell, Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science
Tiffany Snider, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Nursing
Kaela Ward, Master of Education, Educational Leadership
Zane White, Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement

Joaquin, TX
Katelyn Cockrell, Bachelor of Science, Communication Disorders
Sherry Roberts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Nursing
Erin Stone, Master of Science, Speech Language Pathology
Courtney Strong, Bachelor of Science, Family and Consumer Sciences

Shelbyville, TX
Summer Koltonski, Doctor of Philosophy, School Psychology

Tenaha, TX
Alexia Guilbeau, Master of Education, Elementary Education

Timpson, TX
Susan Adams, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Nursing
Kinsey Carrington, Bachelor of Arts, Language

June 12, 2015 - The photograph “Urban Beauty” by Sharon Scifres was awarded Best of Show at the 2014 NPA annual juried show. The 2015 Best of Show winner will be announced at the opening reception of this year’s show at 6pm. Friday, June 19, at The Cole Art Center at The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Nacogdoches Photographic Association and Nacogdoches Art League will open their 2015 gallery shows with a reception at 6 p.m. Friday, June 19, in The Cole Art Center at The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

Theme for the photographic association show is “Tells a Story,” and serving as juror was Johanna Warwick, assistant professor in the School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University.

The “Tells a Story” theme was chosen because although many pictures are taken primarily because the subject captures the attention of the photographer to the beauty of the scene, or to the uniqueness of the scene, or because the scene satisfies an assignment, not every picture has an implicit story within it, explained R.G. Dean, member of the NPA. However, the occasional photograph becomes a way of both telling and preserving a story, he said.

“The challenge for the photographer is to combine the skills of composition, framing and proper exposure while recording a message,” Dean said. “Most photographers are occasionally fortunate enough to make a photograph which does that, so we chose a theme which gave us an opportunity to ‘retell’ some of the stories we have recorded with our cameras.”

The images were judged in three categories: “Fits the Theme,” “Appeal (how interesting the picture is and if the viewer wants to keep looking at it)” and “Technical Skill.” Warwick selected 66 images from the 128 that were entered by NPA members. Awards will include Best of Show, first, second and third places and honorable mentions in two categories, including traditional and digitally enhanced. The 2015 Best of Show recipient will be announced at the opening reception.
Since the Nacogdoches Art League embraces all visual art media and has members in numerous media, no theme is adopted for its gallery show. Awards will include Best of Show, first, second and third places and honorable mentions in four categories in each of two divisions – professional and non-professional. The categories in each division are: “Watercolor and Mixed-Media,” “Oils and Acrylics,” “Three Dimensional” and “Photography.”

This year’s juror is Jason Daniel, a native of Nacogdoches who earned BFA and MFA degrees from SFA. He taught studio art at Southern University in Baton Rouge for eight years and has taught art at Jersey Village High School in Houston for 10 years. Recently, his interests have included a more surrealist approach to painting and a renewed interest in ceramics.

The Nacogdoches Art League was organized in 1969. Its purpose is to encourage appreciation of and participation in the various visual art media. Activities include one or more annual exhibitions, art demonstrations and informative programs, and the awarding of one or more art scholarships each year to a Nacogdoches County high school senior who will attend SFA with a major or minor in art.

Regular meetings are held at 6 p.m. the second Thursday of each month September through June at The Cole Art Center, and guests are welcome to attend. Membership in NAL is open to anyone interested in the visual arts. For information, contact Dean at dean@sfasu.edu.

NPA meets at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month (except on field-trip nights) in The Cole Art Center. For more information about the Nacogdoches Photographic Association, contact NPA president Bob Stout at nacvet@hotmail.com, or Dean at dean@sfasu.edu.

Both shows will run through July 18 with the NPA show in the Reavley Gallery and the NAL show in the Reception Gallery.
All receptions and gallery exhibitions are free of charge.
Gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main Street. For additional information, call (936) 468-1131.

Cutline: The photograph “Urban Beauty” by Sharon Scifres was awarded Best of Show at the 2014 NPA annual juried show. The 2015 Best of Show winner will be announced at the opening reception of this year’s show at 6 p.m. Friday, June 19, at The Cole Art Center at The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

Cutline: The Best of Show award in the 2014 NAL show went to R.G. Dean for “Stained Glass.” The 2015 Best of Show winner will be announced at the opening reception of this year’s show at 6 p.m. Friday, June 19, at The Cole Art Center at The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

April 16, 2015 - The Stephen F. Austin State University Texas AHEC East–Piney Woods Region recently held a health careers camp for students enrolled in Shelby County ISDs.

This year’s camp hosted 45 high school students who gained hands-on experiences and knowledge about health careers in their field of interest. The students spent three days participating in activities that educated them in individual health careers, health career training programs and college preparation.

“Students have an opportunity to meet local health care professionals in their communities and build long-lasting relationships,” said Mavis Yarbrough, health careers and promotion coordinator for TAE-PWR.

Yarbrough added that the overall goal is for students to complete college and return to their communities as health care professionals.

On the camp’s first day, students heard from physician assistant students who are currently serving clinical rotations in the East Texas area. As part of a current grant program through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Physician Assistant Learner Support program allows for participating students to receive information regarding various aspects of this field. This grant program teaches high school students about the PA profession and how to enter the field, as well as how to gain PA shadowing experience. Students also learned about other health careers, hands-only CPR and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

During the camp, students had the opportunity to shadow PAs, physical therapists, nurses, physicians and other allied health professionals at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

“The staff and I enjoyed having the students join us,” said Nicki Gregston, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital nurse. “We see a lot of nursing and physician assistant students but rarely get the opportunity to interact with high school students. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the day.”

Students also toured the SFA campus and visited with faculty members and students. They experienced college life, learned how to apply for various programs, gained insight into different educational paths and acquired various important college resources. Drs. Alan Larson and Robert Choate with the SFA Department of Human Services gave an insightful presentation about understanding patients with disabilities, as well.

The camp concluded with student presentations highlighting individual experiences captured during the event.

“My experience at AHEC was an unforgettable experience,” said Alexis Salas, Center High School student. “It opened my eyes to the real world and let me see what I would be dealing with if I were to become a CRNA. My AHEC experience helped me know for sure that I want to be a CRNA and with hard work, I will achieve it.”

Among other supporters, this year’s TAE-PWR health careers camp was made possible by Glenda Webb, registered nurse at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital; Alease Copelin, career technology counselor for Center High School; and Karen Fallin, counselor for Tenaha High School.

TAE-PWR is a grant-funded program of SFA, which strives to create healthier communities through growing a quality health care workforce. Annual health career camps allow TAE-PWR to provide opportunities for communities to grow their own future health care workforce.

To learn more about Texas AHEC East-Piney Woods Region and its programs, contact Mark Scott at (936) 468-6901 or visit txaheceast.org/piney-woods/.

April 15, 2015 - The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Human Sciences fashion merchandising program invites university alumni and friends to Fashion Icons: A Legacy of Style Fashion Gallery Opening and Costume Exhibition at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30, in the Education Annex, 1620 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches.

Featured speaker will be Houston fashion industry insider, Roz Pactor, who will speak at 6 p.m. in the Culinary Café followed by a ribbon cutting to officially open the Fashion Gallery and viewing of the new exhibition.
Pactor, a fashion/marketing consultant and fashion lifestyle blogger based in Houston, has more than three decades experience in fashion retailing with Foley’s Department Stores, Bloomingdales NYC and Neiman Marcus. She was most recently employed as the vice president/fashion director at Foley’s before starting her own company, The Pactor Group. She currently serves as chair of the advisory board at the University of Houston for Retail Merchandising Careers.

Light refreshments will be served and guests can view displays related to program activities and interact with students. Jazz music provided by students in SFA’s School of Music will be featured, as well as a red carpet-like photo opportunity.

The Education Annex structure served as the Early Childhood Laboratory at SFA for 30 years before its conversion to a classroom and office building. Remodeling of other spaces in the building will continue as funds are available.

The School of Human Sciences Twentieth Century Costume Collection was originally established and developed by former faculty member, Janie Kenner, to enhance student learning related to fashion history. Currently, faculty members Rebecca Greer and Michelle Jones serve as co-directors of the collection. It contains more than 500 pieces of historic costumes with the earliest pieces dating back to the late 1800s.

Among its contents are apparel or accessory items by fashion designers Geoffrey Beene, Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli. The collection also contains articles from a variety of fashion retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Saks and Battlesteins. The remodel of the Education Annex space for the Fashion Gallery marks the first area on campus dedicated to exhibit the collection.

The Fashion Gallery opening was funded with program-generated funds and charitable donations. Sale of licensed SFA tartan products and the annual denim drive have generated more than $1,200 for the program.

For more information, contact Greer at (936) 468-2209 or email rgreer@sfasu.edu.

April 14, 2015 - Production to feature stage veterans Simmons, Maule

Veteran stage actors Brad Maule and Rhonda Plymate Simmons rehearse a scene from “August: Osage County” by Tracy Letts to be presented by the SFA School of Theatre April 28 through May 2NACOGDOCHES, Texas – When the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Theatre present “August: Osage County,” some familiar professional actors will be seen on stage appearing alongside SFA’s talented student performers.

Directed by Scott Shattuck and featuring Nacogdoches residents Rhonda Plymate Simmons and Brad Maule, “August: Osage County” focuses on what happens to the Weston family when their patriarch disappears and they hurriedly assemble at the rural Oklahoma home of his hilariously caustic, pill-popping wife. Their outrageous conflicts and lies collide to launch the corrosive comedy that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and became the basis for the hit movie starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

“August: Osage County” by Tracy Letts will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, April 28 through May 2, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. A 2 p.m. Saturday matinee is also scheduled.

When Shattuck, who is director of the SFA School of Theatre, saw “August: Osage County” in its Broadway production, he thought it was the best new American play he had encountered in a long time.

“I knew immediately that our audiences would love the soapy story, the delightfully outrageous characters and the painfully hilarious satire of family life in today's America,” he said.

In the ensuing years, Shattuck began talking with long-time SFA’s Friends of Theatre president Rhonda Plymate Simmons, who had a successful career as a professional actor before she moved to Nacogdoches and earned her master’s degree in theatre at SFA, about her desire to return to the stage in one last great role.

“One night as we were chatting, it all came together in both of our minds,” he said. “Rhonda had seen the play and loved it as much as I had, and I wanted to direct it. It has a great ensemble with opportunities for lots of students, including excellent roles for women, but it probably wouldn't work well without a strong, mature female actor in a key role.

“Rhonda said, ‘What about…?’ And I said, ‘I think that's the one,’” he said.

One problem that remained was finding an equally strong, mature male actor to play the husband of Simmons’s character.

“But I lucked out,” Shattuck said. “When I asked Brad Maule, he immediately said yes.”

Maule, best known for his 22 years on ABC’s “General Hospital” playing the role of Dr. Tony Jones, teaches acting and filmmaking at SFA and hosts a morning radio talk show and syndicated TV entertainment shows.

In the play, after Maule’s character, a distinguished but aging poet, disappears one August day, his sharp-tongued wife, who is suffering from cancer and has become addicted to her prescription pain medications, calls her three daughters, her sister and their male partners together to await word of his fate at their otherwise nearly empty house. As her drug-fueled candor becomes increasingly raw, the family's secrets begin to crumble, and the last of the tenuous emotional bonds that had held them together come unglued, Shattuck explained.

“As wild as the story gets, what's most unnerving about the play is how realistic it is,” Shattuck said. “These people are smart and witty, isolated and tormented, but they're definitely three-dimensional, detailed and all-too-recognizable. For better or worse, most of us will recognize the squirm-inducing undercurrents of a picturesque family gathering.

“So I've asked the actors to go for a very authentic, conversational style – even those whose characters are quite flamboyant,” he said. “That seems to make the humor cut all the more deeply.”

Shattuck warns that the language and adult situations make this play unsuitable for children and those who may be sensitive to profanity, obscenity, and drug and alcohol abuse. But adults who are up for a “spectacularly entertaining roller-coaster ride into the acidic guts of 21st century life” will not be disappointed.

“I'd love for our audiences to leave with some of the same excitement I felt when I first saw the play,” he said, adding he hopes patrons experience “that amazement at the power of dramatic storytelling to involve and enthrall and shock us, even without an all-singing-all-dancing chorus or twirling laser lights.

“I hope we'll make some jaws drop the way mine did,” he said.

“August: Osage County” is sponsored in part by Tipton Ford Lincoln. The play is recommended for mature audiences.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit theatre.sfasu.edu

April 9, 2015 - The Stephen F. Austin State University Sylvans, a timbersports team, captured its third consecutive championship title at the 58th annual Southern Forestry Conclave in Mississippi.

The team of 35 students, composed primarily of forestry majors, competed in technical and physical events against 14 other Southern forestry schools, including Virginia Tech, Clemson, Auburn and Louisiana State University.

Dr. Jeremy Stovall, assistant professor of silviculture in SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture and the Sylvans’ faculty adviser, said the rigorous coursework undertaken by students in SFA’s forestry program is a key component of the team’s success.

“Stephen F. Austin has one of the best undergraduate forestry programs in the country,” Stovall said. “This really helps with the technical events, which are mostly focused on coursework in subjects like dendrology, wildlife, wood technology and timber estimation.”

In addition to the technical portion of the event, students compete in traditional physical timbersport events such as crosscut sawing, log birling, archery, axe throwing and pole climbing.

To prepare for these physical events, the Sylvans practice daily in the weeks leading up to the competition. During the semester, members are often found practicing events and providing teammates with performance critiques and encouragement in the designated practice area, located behind the Forestry Building.

“This was the best-rounded team I have seen,” Stovall said. “We had 18 different individuals compete in the 22 events, each working hard at perfecting his or her event.”

Out of the 15 competing schools, SFA won first in both technical and physical events, with an overall score of 317.25 points. Clemson finished in second place with 269.5 points, and the University of Georgia finished third with 268.5 points.

The Forestry Conclave is an annual competition between forestry schools of the Southeast featuring both technical and physical timbersport events. Next year’s competition will be hosted by Clemson.

For information about the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, visit www.atcofa.sfasu.edu.

April 9, 2015 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin State University has been recognized for its commitment to educating all students – regardless of physical challenges – with the 2014 Desire2Excel Award for Accessibility.

The award is presented by D2L, a global leader in educational technology and the creator of Brightspace, an integrated learning platform used by SFA faculty members and students. The company lauded SFA for demonstrating how such partnerships and technology can make education available to more learners.

“It is one of D2L’s core beliefs that education should be accessible to all,” said John Baker, president and CEO of D2L. “Brightspace was built and continues to grow with accessibility in mind. We strive to make our integrated learning platform easy for people to navigate and understand using assistive technologies or any and all devices that support their needs.”

A large part of the university’s dedication to accessibility is ensuring that faculty members are provided with professional development that includes how to make instructional materials accessible, according to Dr. Randy McDonald, director of SFA’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

“We conduct rigorous professional development for faculty members concerning the design of online courses, and we continually collaborate with the SFA Office of Disability Services to help ensure the needs of each and every student are met,” McDonald said.

“The university is able to provide accessible support to students and faculty members using the Brightspace integrated learning platform,” McDonald added. Led by Andra Floyd, SFA’s D2L support team includes student workers who specialize in providing accessible tech support.

SFA’s focus on accessibility for all students is “part of our DNA,” said Janet Kamps, distance education coordinator at the Center for Teaching and Learning. She said that commitment stems from the institution’s origins as a teacher’s college.

“Personalized instruction, mentoring, and respect for and inclusion of all university community members are foundations of our university,” she said. “Brightspace has played a crucial role in enabling us to live up to those ideals and ensure that students’ access to a quality education is not obstructed. Taking responsibility for accessibility is foundational here – it’s something we all do.”

D2L partners with thought-leading organizations to improve learning through data-driven technology that helps deliver a personalized experience to every learner, regardless of geography or ability. D2L’s open and extensible platform is used by more than 1,100 clients and 15 million individual learners in higher education, K–12, health care, government and the enterprise sector, including Fortune 1000 companies. The company has operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Singapore.

March 26, 2015 - Through a partnership between Stephen F. Austin State University’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, the School of Human Sciences’ Hospitality Administration program and Älvdalen Educational Center, a forestry and hospitality post-secondary technical college in Älvdalen, Sweden, 15 Swedish students and two faculty members from the educational center completed a two-week exploration of East Texas.

Robert Nilsson and Matthew Tunn, instructors at Älvdalen's Educational Center, said the partnership greatly benefits the participating students, many of whom have never traveled abroad.

During their stay, students toured sights throughout the region that were focused on their particular area of study.

Dr. Hans Williams, associate dean of SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, and Dr. Chay Runnels, associate professor and hospitality administration program coordinator at SFA, organized the visit, which included trips to state parks, historic sites and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, as well as logging operations.

The machines used in U.S. logging operations are very different from those used in Sweden, said Daniel Karlsson. Karlsson, who will graduate from Älvdalen's forestry program next year, added that seeing the difference in forest operations has helped him grow as a student.

While the partnership places great focus on the vocational pursuits of the students involved, Williams said perhaps the most important aspect is the personal growth that results from experiencing a different culture.

The broadening of horizons led to the partnership between SFA and Älvdalen’s Educational Center more than three years ago. Since that time, five SFA students also have visited Älvdalen's Educational Center for similar cross-cultural immersion.

“It’s more than just learning forestry, it’s about seeing a whole different culture,” Williams said.

Emma Sandgren, a nature and adventure tourism student at Älvdalen's Educational Center, said while she thought the Texas weather would be warmer, it did not detract from her enjoyment of the local cuisine and people.

The students’ visit culminated in a barbecue and tour of SFA’s Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center. Prior to their departure home, the SFA Horseman’s Association demonstrated a range of versatility and skill-based events before facilitating horse rides for the students.

“The welcome we had, the hospitality and the friendliness, has just been overwhelming,” said Tunn.

This May, Runnels and Dr. Mary Olle, assistant professor of human sciences at SFA, will lead a Maymester course titled “Connecting People with Nature in Sweden.” The class will provide participants with the opportunity to explore the confluence of ecology, history and culture through visits to forest, recreation and hospitality resources in the Älvdalen region.

March 6, 2015 - The Stephen F. Austin State University Student Government Association and Hunger Jacks, along with the Office of Academic Affairs, hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for the new Food for Thought campus food pantry, located in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on SFA’s campus.

The pantry will serve as a resource to help alleviate food insecurity among SFA student on campus.


Pictured (from left) are Marquice Hobbs, SFA student body president; Roger Van Horn, Nacogdoches mayor; Dr. Miranda Terry, assistant professor of health science at SFA; Dr. Steve Westbrook, vice president for university affairs at SFA; Brittany Hearnsberger, SFA student; John Anderson, Aramark district manager; Dr. Adam Peck, dean of student affairs at SFA; and James Burns, SFA student.

February 27, 2015 - The following students have been named to the President's List at Stephen F. Austin State University for the fall semester: To be eligible for this honor, a student must be enrolled in 12 or more semester hours and maintain a grade-point average of 4.0.

(Name, Major, Department)

Center, TX

     April Broomfield, Professional Accountancy, Accounting
     Kayla Broomfield, Pre-Professional Undecided, Physics & Astronomy
     Lesley Cockrell, Interdisciplinary Studies, Elementary Education
     Yvette Garcia, Mathematics, Mathematics & Statistics
     Matthew Goodwin, Creative Writing, English
     Alex Morris, Art, School of Art

Joaquin, TX

     Nicholas Cheatwood, Biochemistry, Chemistry
     Katelyn Cockrell, Communication Disorders, Human Services
     Jordan Powdrill, Engineering Physics, Physics & Astronomy
     Ryleigh Yates, Interdisciplinary Studies, Elementary Education

Shelbyville, TX

     Casey Lovell, Interdisciplinary Studies, Elementary Education

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