SFA University

November 24, 2015 - The Cole Art Center at The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches will be open during a portion of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, gallery officials have announced.

Cole Art Center will be open Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 24 and 25, closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday, Nov. 26 and 27, and open Saturday, Nov. 28, for the downtown Wassail Fest and Main Street’s holiday lighting contest.

The theme of the art center’s window display is based on the 1913 stop-action film “The Insects’ Christmas” by Wladyslaw Starewicz, with a few modern twists thrown in. Starewicz is recognized as the father of Russian animation, pioneering his fanciful stop-motion films. “The Insects' Christmas” is a six-and-a-half-minute silent, animated and captioned film, emphasizing the joy of the holiday season.

Exhibitions showing in the art center include “The Devil You Say! The Saintly, and Not So Saintly, in Folk Art,” which shows in Reavley Gallery through Jan. 16. Two other exhibitions, “The Tenderness of Egocentrism: Drawings by Manuel Miranda” in the Reception Gallery and “25 Veinticinco: Mexican-American Prints from UT San Antonio” in Ledbetter Gallery, will run through Jan. 2.

Normal gallery hours are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The exhibitions are free and open to the public. They are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and the Nacogdoches Junior Forum. The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For additional information, call (936) 468-1131.

November 24, 2015 - NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS – Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. The competition provides an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents.

This year, the artwork submitted for the competition by students living within U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert’s congressional district will be displayed in Griffith Gallery on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

The entries will be exhibited beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1, and will be displayed through Saturday, Dec. 5. An awards ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday in W.M. Turner Auditorium followed by a reception in Griffith Gallery. The exhibition will close following the reception. Griffith Gallery is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building and is open from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The exhibition will open at 10 a.m. prior to the awards ceremony.

First place winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Since it began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of local artists in each district select the winning entries.

First place winning entries will be displayed in the hallway of the U.S. Capitol; second place winning entries will be displayed in Gohmert’s office in Washington; and third place winning entries will be displayed in Gohmert’s district office in Tyler.

November 24, 2015 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Jordan Maddox, a graduate student studying accounting in the Nelson Rusche College of Business at Stephen F. Austin State University, participated in the 2015 Project Run With It competition, where he and his team placed first for their work with the not-for-profit organization, Sojourner Family Peace Center. Maddox’s team worked specifically on the Sojourner Family Peace Center’s shelter, the Sojourner Truth House.


The competition was part of the annual Beta Alpha Psi meeting, which took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this August. Beta Alpha Psi is an international honor organization for financial information professionals, and Maddox is a member of the SFA chapter, Epsilon Mu. Members must maintain a high GPA and commit to community service and professional hours.

Maddox was awarded a plaque, and the chapter earned a $1,000 award.

“Winning was a big surprise,” Maddox said. “It felt good because we put a lot of hard work into the project.”

SFA Epsilon Mu co-faculty advisers Nikki Shoemaker and Kelly Noe attended the meeting with 10 students. Students who were not competing attended various workshops.

“We were so excited and thrilled when Jordan won,” Shoemaker said. “He deserved it because he worked very hard on this.”

Shoemaker said this accomplishment gives the college national recognition and gives the students a great networking opportunity.

“The opportunity for our students to network and learn from professionals is priceless,” Shoemaker said.

Project Run With It involves 72 Beta Alpha Psi student representatives working in 18 teams of four for about 30 hours to develop solutions to real-life business problems of three not-for-profit organizations.

“This year we helped the Sojourner Truth House, which deals with domestic violence predominantly with women,” Maddox said. “We were in charge of creating a model the organization could present to businesses with solid take aways that would invite businesses to donate and become part of the Sojourner family.”

Six months before the competition, the project’s head coordinator emailed participants a Dropbox link that included articles for individual research. Maddox was tasked with researching the effects of domestic violence. During the competition, Maddox and his teammates created a framework for their solution and built a 5-10 minute presentation. Maddox focused on the intangible and tangible effects of domestic violence.

“It made me feel a lot better about the competition because win or lose we all are helping not-for-profits that are helping people,” Maddox said. “Overall, it was a good experience.”

November 23, 2015 NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and the Children’s Performing Arts Series will present “Kids For President” in two performances Friday, December 4, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

Just in time for the 2016 presidential election year, "Kids for President" is comprised of several short plays and songs adapted from children’s writings, capturing their curiosity and excitement about the election process.

The production by Child’s Play Touring Theatre combines whimsy and political thought, backed up by live music, colorful costumes and backdrops based on children’s artwork, according to Diane Peterson, SFA Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the children’s series.

“This show runs the gamut from silly to serious, with suggestions for improving the world and kids' own ideas on what it's like to be the president,” Peterson said.

One of the major issues discussed is education and the improvements that are needed in the current system.

“‘Kids For President’ is about students who are given the chance to assume the nation’s highest office and make a difference in our country,” Peterson said. “However, they quickly learn that there are a lot of issues facing the world that are a big and challenging part of being ‘in charge.’”

A study guide is available online for teachers to prepare students to see the show and to discuss it afterward.

Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 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.

November 20, 2015 NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin State University voice students will present eight staged and semi-costumed opera scenes in a performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

“Fall Opera Scenes” will feature upper level and graduate students enrolled in the opera class taught by Dr. Gene Moon, director of orchestras and musical director of opera, and Dr. Deborah Dalton, associate professor of voice and opera at SFA.

“This is the largest fall opera workshop class I have ever taught,” said Dalton. “There are 27 in the class. My goal is to cast each student in a scene that is appropriate to their voice type and stage of vocal development.”

The program features scenes from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Falstaff” and “La traviata,” Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” and “Die Zauberflöte” and Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Old Maid and the Thief.” The program will also feature two scenes from “The Mikado” by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

Graduate conducting students Jeff Leung and Nathan Hamilton will conduct the scenes, and Moon and Robert Killingsworth will provide piano accompaniment.

The recital is a joint presentation of the 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

November 19, 2015 NACOGDOCHES, Texas — SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches. Dr. Dave Creech, SFA Gardens director, will present “Special Trees of SFA Gardens.”

There are many trees at SFA Gardens that are the largest, the oldest or the only one of their kind, which is a big part of what makes the gardens special to horticulturists across the South. Creech will saunter through a lineup of special trees that are garden worthy, that have stood the test of time, are Texas tough and deserve a bigger place in the landscapes of the South.

The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is held the second Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center. A rare plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series Fund are appreciated.

Parking is available at the nearby Raguet Elementary School, 2428 Raguet St., with continual shuttle service to the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building.

Creech has been at SFA since 1978 and is director and founder of the SFA Mast Arboretum, Ruby Mize Azalea Garden and Gayla Mize Garden. He also co-directs the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Creech received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in horticulture from Texas A&M University and his master’s degree from Colorado State University. His research efforts have focused on blueberry germplasm and production studies, alternative crops and technology, crop nutrition and evaluation of new plant materials for the South. He and his wife, Janet, are both active gardeners and love to travel.

For more information, call Elyce Rodewald, SFA Gardens educational programs coordinator, at (936) 468-1832 or email Greg Grant, research associate at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, at grantdamon@sfasu.edu.

November 18, 2015 - While many Stephen F. Austin State University students will spend a relaxing Thanksgiving Day at home celebrating the holiday with family and friends, the members of The Lumberjack Marching Band will be far from home representing SFA in a big way.

In just a few short days, the Lumberjack Marching Band will take the “Boldest Sound from the Oldest Town” to New York City where members will perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and show their university pride in the band’s signature spirited style.

The LMB leaves Tuesday to make another appearance on a worldwide stage as one of four bands selected from more than 175 applicants in the 2.5-mile parade route. More than 300 Lumberjack musicians and their directors will travel in two chartered flights from Longview to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and then travel by bus to their hotel in Newark, New Jersey. On Thursday morning, the LMB will take its place as the second band in the full parade line-up behind Macy’s All-American Marching Band.

Under the direction of Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands at SFA and LMB director, and Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands, the band has been preparing “diligently” for this performance that will be seen by millions, according to Campo.

“We wrote the drill for our Herald Square performance and have spent the last month teaching it to the band,” he said. “The challenge is that, unlike a football field, there are no lines on the street to help with orientation.”

Macy’s required SFA to provide a video of the band’s planned performance a few weeks ago. Parade officials specified they wanted the video to be filmed on a street and show band members in full uniform. University officials were more than happy to help, Campo said.

“We are blessed to work at a great institution with great people,” he said. “The University Police Department blocked off East College Street, and the Physical Plant provided us with a scissor lift for this production.”

While NBC network and Macy’s officials instructed the band directors not to release information detailing the band’s performance, Campo said the music selection “pays tribute to our university, state and nation.”

“I have watched Dr. Campo and Dr. Anglley work for over a year and half on this project,” said SFA Director of Bands Fred J. Allen, who arranged the piece the band will perform in Herald Square. “They are going to make SFA proud with the outstanding performance the band will give.”

Campo is looking forward to representing SFA on such a grand scale.

“This is an iconic event,” Campo said. “Almost everyone grows up watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is truly considered ‘America’s parade,’ and it is a true honor to be selected to represent our university, community and the state of Texas in an event where 3.5 million people will line the streets of New York City to see it and more than 55 million will view it on television. I’m very excited to have the SFA logo seen by that many people!”

November 18, 2015 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Audience members responded with enthusiastic praise following Tuesday night’s opening of “Macbeth” presented by the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre.

This play by William Shakespeare is often produced because of the theatrical elements that are present: drama, betrayal, love and murder. In SFA’s production of “Macbeth,” all of these components are highlighted with exciting fight sequences, powerful dance choreography and gripping fake bloodshed.

In the weeks leading up to the play’s Nov. 17 opening, hours of research, rehearsal and preparation were put into the show. Kate Shirley, a junior theatre major at SFA and the choreographer of this production, described her process.

“There were so many unpredictable elements, and we often found that the choreography I created didn’t work the way I imagined,” she said. “I had to rethink and reinvent and reteach on a moment’s notice. I was so lucky to have such cooperative, enthusiastic dancers.”

Likewise, it takes hours of sword-fighting practice to perform fight scenes without actually injuring another actor. The swords and daggers seen on stage are real and heavy. However, the experienced actors swing them with ease.

“When doing a show like ‘Macbeth’ that's heavy on exciting staged sword combat, we want the fights to tell part of the story through believable, captivating and epic means,” explained senior theatre major Chipper Morris, who plays the part of Malcolm in “Macbeth” and functions as the show’s fight captain.

“We slowly work through the technicalities of the fights step by step to ensure that, when performing at full speed, the actors are fully comfortable with their fight partners and the choreography while feeling as safe as they can,” Morris said.

Safety is an important part of every production, but with a play as macabre as “Macbeth,” there has to be blood to make it look authentic.

“Although it’s kind of a mess to clean up, the blood definitely adds a whole new layer to the play,” said Shelby Barrette, a freshman theatre major who works as an assistant stage manager on this production. “Without giving too much away, this aspect of the play is gruesome.”

“Macbeth” runs through Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 nightly in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. A matinee performance is at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov.19. 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.

The School of Theatre’s Mainstage Series is sponsored in part by Tipton Ford.

November 7, 2015 - Stephen F. Austin State University’s Nelson Rusche College of Business recently implemented the Student Success Passport Program to help students develop their professional skills.

The Passport Program, which launched in early October, aims to help students hone their professional skills while competing for scholarships. Dr. Ann Wilson, interim associate dean for the Rusche College of Business, said the program received a gift that will allow the college to annually award $130,000 in scholarships.

For the 2015-16 year, the Rusche College plans to award $50,000 in competitive scholarships to the top participants in the Passport Program. The top scholar in each classification: freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior, will be awarded $2,500 and 10 runner-ups will be awarded $1,000 per classification, with a total of 44 competitive scholarships being awarded in one year. Furthermore, $80,000 will be used to support program participants in experiential learning and career development activities such as study abroad or student competitions.

“The program encourages students to complete experiences outside the classroom curriculum for personal and professional enrichment,” Wilson said. “The scholarship gives students a tangible incentive.”

This program is designed to provide a formalized strategy for leadership development and career launch. Students will develop a personal portfolio of activities in D2L that will help prepare them to successfully launch their careers after graduation. Students are automatically enrolled in the Passport Program, and can choose if they want to participate.

Dr. Timothy Bisping, dean of the Nelson Rusche College of Business, notes that helping students launch into successful careers is central to the mission of the college.

“The Passport Program aligns perfectly with our mission, and it will serve as the foundation for future career success initiatives in the college,” Bisping said. “We are proud of the exceptional academic programs, faculty and staff members and students in our college, and the Passport Program is a great way to leverage this excellence in order to ensure that our students go on to be successful leaders in their chosen careers.”

The program works on a point system similar to other SFA courses. Program activities are designed to help develop students in personal and professional branding, experiential learning, leadership development, and engage in college activities and events. Assignments include developing a personal mission statement, attending an etiquette presentation, completing an internship and more.

“I start the program with the statement ‘Begin with the end in mind.’ We are trying to get our students to self assess. We want them to know their strengths, choose a major to get ready for a career they will be good at and take classes that will target their career goals,” Wilson said. “This program provides students with experiential learning activities that go above and beyond the classroom.”

The college also will be providing workshops within the Passport Program with faculty and staff members and industry professionals educating students. Wilson said she is coordinating with SFA’s Career Services and Involvement Center to direct students to resources already available at the university.

Currently, there are about 1,200 students involved in the Passport Program.

November 5, 2015 NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens will host “Gifts from the Garden,” a soap-making workshop from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, November 14, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building, Room 101 at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches.

Participants will create a variety of herbal soaps while learning recipes and techniques used in the art of soap making. Workshop attendees also will leave with samples of their own luxurious soap creations.

“The soap will be made from coconut and palm kernel oil, lye, essential oils and dried herbs,” said Elyce Rodewald, SFA Gardens’ education coordinator. “Participants will learn the step-by-step process of soap making, so they have the skills to make soap at home on their own.

“Once you use the new soap, you’ll never go back to store-bought,” Rodewald added. “The workshop is fun and educational. Participants will be surrounded by wonderful fragrances, like a special gift from the garden!”