SFA University

February 23, 2016 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Swingin’ Axes and Swingin’ Aces jazz bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and other jazz greats at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

“It’s an exciting semester for jazz at SFA,” said Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone and interim director of the Swingin’ Axes for the spring. Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of tuba and euphonium, is interim director of the Swingin’ Aces this semester. Scott and Salas assumed new roles this semester with the reassignment of Dr. Gary Wurtz as interim director of the SFA School of Music.

“Both jazz bands are sounding great and have really exciting new music planned,” Scott said.

The Aces will perform “Just Friends” by John Klenner, arranged by Joe Jackson; “Basic-ally Yours” by Thad Jones; “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” by Antonio Carlos Jobim, arranged by Mark Taylor; “C-Jam Blues” by Duke Ellington, arranged by Dave Wolpe; and “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans” by Louis Alter, arranged by Les Hooper.

The Axes’ program features “Moanin’” by Charles Mingus, arranged by Sy Johnson; “Count Me In” by Count Basie, arranged by Billy Byers; “Point No Point” by Dan Gailey, jazz director at the University of Kansas; “Wrygly” by Maria Schneider; “Got a Grip” by Chris Culver; and “Point of Return” by Paul Ferguson, a fast Latin number composed for the Paul Ferguson big band.

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 www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

February 19, 2016 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Department of Human Services and the Center for Digital Scholarship at Stephen F. Austin State University recently published the first edition of the Journal of Human Services: Training, Research, and Practice.

This online, peer-reviewed journal publishes reviews and articles based on research, theory development, case studies, and program and intervention applications.
The journal’s mission is to provide practitioners and educators with a forum to report data that substantiate current practices or raise questions about mainstream thinking and practices in education and service delivery within disciplines specifically related to human services.
Dr. Robbie Steward, chair of the Department of Human Services at SFA and the journal’s executive editor, began working on the project in 2014.
“One goal I have maintained is facilitating not only faculty members’ engagement in research and scholarship, but also providing guidance in encouraging undergraduate, graduate and doctoral student participation,” Steward said. “The journal offers a nice balance because it keeps students interested in research and encourages them to collaborate with faculty members in the research process.”
The first issue featured five articles with topics ranging from social work to system changes in education. SFA students from the visual impairment and school psychology programs served as co-authors on three of the published articles. To view the journal, visit http://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/jhstrp/.
“The journal provides another forum for students and faculty members to enhance their professional development and it gives them an opportunity to add to the literature related to their specific disciplines,” Steward said. 
The journal’s multidisciplinary nature allows for the consideration of a range of manuscript types. Also, the educational and comprehensive feedback distinguishes it from many other publications.
“Our review process has an educational component beyond the typical accept, reject or revise outcome. All authors receive detailed and comprehensive feedback from discipline-associated editorial board members regarding how to strengthen the submitted manuscript regardless of the final decision,” Steward said.
The journal’s editorial board is comprised of professionals experienced in various human service-related disciplines from many locations, including South Korea, New Hampshire, Michigan, Georgia and Florida.
“The diversity of the editorial board enhances the journal’s quality and validates the source of the feedback and investment of the editorial board members. This special attention to each manuscript is provided as an educational component for students and faculty members who are beginning their careers as academicians,” Steward said. 
The journal will be published twice a year with special issues approved by the editorial board. Students and faculty members working in any field can submit articles to the journal for review.
Steward believes the research opportunities and experience this journal will afford students will be valuable for their careers. 
“School is not just about course enrollment and degree completion; it’s about preparing for a career,” Steward said. “Publications and presentations at conferences will help distinguish SFA students from others because these added experiences document our students not only know what they are doing and the reasons for their practices, but also are familiar with the literature and the process of inquiry and critical thinking within their disciplines.”
For more information, contact Steward at stewardjr@sfasu.edu.

February 19, 2016 NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and the Children’s Performing Arts Series will present two performances of ArcAttack Science Show on Friday, March 4.

The Children’s Performing Arts Series at SFA will present ArcAttack Science Show at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.Described as “the most electrifying science show on tour,” ArcAttack was seen in the fifth season of “America’s Got Talent.” A highlight of an ArcAttack show is the use of two custom-built singing Tesla coils that have been modified to play musical notes.

“Students will explore concepts such as electricity, voltage and current, magnetism, robotics, and lightning through demonstrations and experiments with ArcAttack’s signature Tesla coils, capable of throwing electrical arcs up to 12 feet long,” explains Diane J. Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the children’s series.

The ArcAttack crew and their trusty robot take classrooms on an interactive journey of discovery where students will learn the science behind the amazing display they see on stage. To view a video of the performance, visit www.arcattack.com/

This show targets students in third through 12th grades.

Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in W.M. Turner Auditorium. 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.

February 18, 2016 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University students will have the opportunity to gain real-world experience while helping people in the community as part of a service learning project offered this fall semester.

Dr. Dusty Jenkins, SFA assistant professor of psychology, is coordinating the project through the Janelle Grum Family Crisis Center of East Texas, a non-profit organization that provides crisis intervention and advocacy services intended to prevent family violence and sexual assault.

Students enrolled in Honors PSY153: Human Sexuality will have the option to work with the Family Crisis Center in a variety of roles suited to the students’ interests.

Jenkins said she chose the Family Crisis Center because it deals with many topics covered in the course.

“It’s important for students to be able to apply what they’ve learned in class to real-world experiences when possible,” Jenkins said. “Students who get the chance to go into the field and learn firsthand about issues tend to take away a deeper understanding of course concepts.”

Jenkins said participating in the service learning projects could help the students after graduation land jobs or admission to graduate school while providing a valuable service to the Family Crisis Center and its clients.

“The client demand is often high and having the extra help from trained students can be very helpful to the paid employees,” Jenkins said. “Students often go about their work with a lot of energy and excitement and have fresh ideas and perspectives that they can add. In addition, students might opt to continue volunteering with the agency after the semester has ended. Since nonprofit agencies often heavily rely on volunteer support, working with students is a great way for agencies to potentially expand their pool of community volunteers.”

Amber Watson, primary prevention coordinator for the Family Crisis Center, said the service learning projects are beneficial to all involved parties.

“These learning projects were important to the student because they allow the students to see firsthand what it means to apply their education to work experience,” Watson said. “It is important to our organization to give students the opportunity to learn in a hands-on manner. The students’ work is important to clients because through learning they spread awareness of domestic violence and its impact on families.”

Alexis Willis, a junior from Beaumont, Texas, completed a service learning project this past fall through the Family Crisis Center as part of the class taught by Jenkins. She said she had wanted a project where she could work with the community since she first enrolled at SFA.

“I gained a sense of caring or how to care and help people,” Willis said. “Initially, I went into the project thinking I'm going to help so many people, and it actually helped me as well. I believe in this project and I helped get the word out to many students and parents about the fact that we actually have a family crisis representative on campus.”

Victoria Pentecost, a freshman from Porter, Texas, also worked on the project this past fall through the class. As someone new to the area, the project had an added social benefit.

“Being a freshman, I didn't have any connections or knowledge of SFA or other areas around Nacogdoches, and I felt that the service learning project would be a great way to get involved,” Pentecost said, adding the experience provided her valuable skills she can use to help other people.

Alexis Willis, left, and Victoria Pentecost speak to their PSY153: Human Sexuality class after completing their service learning projects in December. The course will continue the partnership with the Janelle Grum Family Crisis Center of East Texas in the fall semester.“I was able to learn about the resources available to the students here at SFA, as well as reach out and spread the word about what we do at the Family Crisis Center,” Pentecost said. “I also was trained to become a sexual assault advocate, which taught me a lot of communication skills used in handling delicate situations such as sexual assault and other forms of intimate partner violence.”

Jenkins and Watson said the success of the service learning projects during the course has created a partnership they would like to continue.

“I feel that this service learning project was a valuable experience for the students, organization and clients as well,” Watson said. “I look forward to working with Dr. Jenkins and her students in the future.”

February 16, 2016 NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Two graduates of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art filmmaking program will have their works showcased at the fifth annual Nacogdoches Film Festival, a celebration of the art and entertainment of film in all its forms.

Tickets are now on sale for the festival, which is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 25 through 27, in downtown Nacogdoches, on the SFA campus and other venues in town.

This year’s event includes a star-studded lineup of featured guests, including New York Times best-selling author and the brains behind the hit TV series, “True Blood,” Charlaine Harris.

Festival events also include project viewings and a short film competition, various panels including Q-and-A sessions with featured guests, a “Best True Blood Costume” contest and more, according to information at nacogdochesfilmfestival.org.

Brandon PolancoBrandon Polanco and Derek Wayne Johnson, both graduates of SFA, are among the filmmakers whose works will be shown. Polanco’s short film projects “Alchemy,” “Vicky & Jonny” and “Writer’s Block” will be shown beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, located at 329 E. Main St. A question-and-answer session with Polanco will follow at 8 p.m.

A Brooklyn-based filmmaker from Austin, Polanco earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre at SFA in 2009. He was among the Rose Bruford Exchange students in the School of Theatre, and while on the exchange he also studied at RESAD (Spain’s Royal Dramatic Academy) in Madrid. His short film “Writer’s Block” starring Bryan Cranston of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” fame won widespread acclaim in 2013-14 and was shown at the 2014 Nacogdoches Film Festival. Polanco’s film “Vicky & Jonny” was accepted last year into the world-renowned Cannes International Film Festival as part of the Short Film Corner. Polanco is co-owner of the production company 3 of A Kind Productions.

Derek Wayne JohnsonJohnson’s documentary about the Oscar-winning director of “Rocky” (1976) and “The Karate Kid” (1984) entitled “John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs” (2016) will show from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Theater on the SFA campus. It will be followed by a Q&A session with Johnson.

The documentary examines the life, career and films of the legendary director and features exclusive never-before-seen interviews with Sylvester Stallone, Ralph Macchio, Martin Scorsese, Burt Reynolds, Jerry Weintraub, Talia Shire and many more, according to the festival website.

Johnson is an award-winning film director/writer/producer and owner of AJ16 Entertainment, a production company specializing in feature films and documentaries. After film school at SFA, he got his start by acting in Hollywood films and TV as well as directing independent features in Texas and Louisiana, eventually making his way to California.

Among the festival panelists are Herbert Midgley, an instructor of music technology in the SFA School of Music who is also an active filmmaker. Midgley has worked as a director, unit production manager, assistant director, cameraman, editor, sound designer, sound mixer, boom, grip, production assistant, screenwriter and composer. He has worked on nine feature films, more than 30 short films, and has made many art films. In 2014, Midgley premiered his sci-fi feature film, “The Rise Of The Robots,” in film festivals across the United States.

A portion of the festival proceeds will fund filmmaking projects within the SFA School of Art.

For a full list of featured guests, event specifics and ticket information, visit nacogdochesfilmfestival.org.

February 15, 2016 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen Lias, professor of composition at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present “Encounters: Music Inspired by Our National Parks” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

The recital showcases the musical compositions of Lias and will be performed by guest artists Scott LaGraff, baritone; Gary Wurtz, trumpet; Christina Guenther, flute; Jennifer Keeney, flute; Carly Hood, saxophone; Deb Scott, trombone; and Ron Petti, piano.

The recital is presented as part of the centennial celebration in 2016 of the National Park Service.

“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service,” Lias said. “As part of our national celebration, I recently released a CD of park-inspired chamber works titled ‘Encounters: Music Inspired by Our National Parks.’ Three of the pieces from that CD are included on this recital.”

“River Runner” was the first piece Lias composed about a national park. It recounts a paddle trip on the Rio Grande through Big Bend’s Santa Elena Canyon.

“Starting with the frenzy and excitement of setting out, it moves through the somber landscape and then concludes with the terror of ‘Rockslide Rapids,’” Lias said. “The audience can be assured that the performance is entirely authentic, since the trombonist was there for the adventure as well.”

“Range of Light” is the most recent of the pieces on the program, and employs a different approach, the composer said. Rather than going into the park and writing about his experiences, Lias used four of Ansel Adams’ iconic photos of Yosemite as his inspiration – composing one movement about each of them. Lias will display the images for the audience during the recital.

As an added treat, those in attendance will see the first public showing of a new “Art & Inspiration” short film produced by Denali National Park. This six-minute movie features Lias along with other artists – painters, writers and photographers – who have been inspired by Denali National Park. Special permission was obtained from the National Park Service to premiere the film at this recital.

Lias’ park-inspired pieces have been performed across the country, and upcoming performances are scheduled with the Shreveport, Anchorage, and Fairbanks symphonies, as well as an NEA-funded commission from the Boulder Philharmonic for a new orchestral work to be premiered in 2017 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

There will be a reception in the lobby following the concert. Audience members are encouraged to stay and greet the composer and performers. CDs will also be available for sale. A portion of all CD sales will go to the National Park Foundation.

The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. 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 www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

February 11, 2016 - Lone Wittliff, Stephen F. Austin State University lecturer of marketing, demonstrated and discussed proper dining etiquette to help students prepare for job interviews, banquets, galas and other professional dinner settings in a recent Student Success Passport Program workshop in the Nelson Rusche College of Business.
More than 20 students attended the workshop where Wittliff explained the do’s and don’ts for several-course-meal dining. She also recommended students be on time, wear appropriate attire, network with other guests and more.
The Student Success Passport Program helps SFA students hone their professional skills while competing for scholarships. Program activities and workshops are designed to assist students in developing their personal and professional branding, experiential learning, leadership development, and engage in college activities and events.

February 10, 2016 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas – No injuries were reported as a result of a minor fire that activated a single fire sprinkler in the small kitchen area of the Baker Pattillo Student Center first-floor food court Tuesday evening.

The building’s fire suppression system was activated, and the building was evacuated at approximately 9 p.m. The University Police Department and Nacogdoches Fire Department responded immediately, according to Dr. Steve Westbrook, vice president for university affairs.

“There was only minor damage from the fire, and the smoke was cleared by the smoke evacuation system,” Westbrook said.

When the sprinkler system in the building was reactivated, a broken pipe on the third floor caused flooding in the area of several student organization offices. This flooding then affected the second and first floors of that area of the building.

Because of these two events, retail food services on the first floor atrium of the building will be closed until the areas can be cleaned and inspected. This includes Urban Bricks Pizza, Sushic, the C-Store, Great American Cookies, Chick-fil-A and Marble Slab Creamery. Ongoing clean up and restoration of other portions of the building will continue for an undetermined amount of time.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

February 5, 2016 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Master of Business Administration program at Stephen F. Austin State University is ranked in the top 50 most affordable M.B.A. programs in the nation, according to Top Management Degrees, an online business education career guide.
“The M.B.A. program at SFA is very affordable, especially compared to many of our competitors around Texas and the U.S.,” said Dr. Mikhail Kouliavtsev, Master of Business Administration program director. “We aim to serve business professionals in the East Texas region, providing them with the tools, knowledge and credentials to either jumpstart or advance their careers.”
Dr. Tim Bisping, dean of the Nelson Rusche College of Business, agrees the program is not only affordable, but also has great value for students.
"I am happy to see that our M.B.A. program has received this important recognition,” Bisping said. “The excellent curriculum, combined with top faculty members and affordable tuition, certainly makes our program an excellent value."
Top Management Degrees analyzed more than 500 schools accredited in the U.S. by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, according to PR Newswire.
Kouliavtsev explained this accreditation is the most prestigious international accreditation organization and it is a distinction shared by about 700 universities worldwide. In order to receive the accreditation, faculty members, curriculum and other academic aspects of the business programs must maintain a high standard.
Currently, there are approximately 40 students enrolled in SFA’s Master of Business Administration program in the Nelson Rusche College of Business. While many of the courses are offered online, the majority of the program is delivered in the traditional classroom format, Kouliavtsev said.
“We find our current students prefer the in-class interaction with classmates and faculty members to the strictly online format, but online delivery of our program is something we continue to explore for the future,” Kouliavtsev said.
Most of the M.B.A. classes are offered in the evening, allowing professionals to continue to work while pursuing their education. The degree is flexible, meaning students can choose the pace at which they want to complete their degree. Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree and meet admission standards are accepted into the program regardless of their undergraduate major.
Also, each student’s degree plan is customized to his or her background. Students are required to take 30 semester hours of core courses. Electives can be tailored to meet the student’s interests or career. Kouliavtsev said many students have opted for a study abroad experience to fulfill elective requirements. Students also can branch out and enroll in courses outside of the Rusche College of Business that will complement their skillset.
“Our M.B.A. program reflects the Rusche College of Business’ student-centered mission with the program’s flexible course offerings and customized degree plans,” Bisping said. “Our goal is to equip students to become leaders in their chosen careers, and this program is one of the tools we are utilizing to help our students be successful.”
For more information on SFA’s Master of Business Administration program, visit http://www.sfasu.edu/cob/mba.asp.

February 5, 2016 - NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS – The SFA Ladyjack and Lumberjack basketball teams are ready for Cram the Coliseum when they take on the A&M Corpus Christi Islanders on Feb. 13. Women's game begins at 4 p.m., and the  men's game will start at 6 p.m. in the William R. Johnson Coliseum at the intersection of E. College St. and University Dr.

All Nacogdoches County Chamber members received 10 tickets in the February mail packet, and a link to download and print more can be found in Hot News at www.nacogdoches.org 

"We'd like for Chamber members to share the tickets with everyone they know, because the entire community is invited to Cram the Coliseum," said Murphey Gayler, Chairman of the SFA-Chamber Connection Committee. "The Chamber is working with SFA Athletics to get another record-setting crowd to these games. Give these tickets to your co-workers, your customers, your family, friends, neighbors and any one else that will go and support the Jacks.”

Cram the Coliseum tickets are compliments of SFA Athletics Department. For all SFA athletic event schedules, please visit www.sfajacks.com. Go to www.nacogdoches.org for more information about this and other Nacogdoches County Chamber events or call 936-560-5533.

Free admission tickets available at Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce