SFA University

Cutline: L.A. Theatre Works will present a live radio theater performance of Bram Stokers’ “Dracula” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of the College of Fine Arts’ University Series. Photo by Matt Petit.January 14, 2016 - NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS – The College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University will host L.A. Theatre Works in presenting Bram Stokers’ “Dracula” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

Part of the 2015-2016 University Series, this performance features the foremost radio theater company in the United States, according to John W. Goodall, associate dean for the College of Fine Arts. For more than two decades, LATW, under the leadership of Producing Director Susan Albert Loewenberg, has delighted audiences with its unique live radio theater-style performances in more than 300 small towns and major cities, including New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago.

“An L.A. Theatre Works performance is immediate, spontaneous, and features a first-rate cast, live sound effects, and a connection to the audience rarely felt in a traditional theater setting,” Goodall said. “This theater… is an event.”

This current tour of “Dracula” includes several actors with credits in the horror and suspense genre. The cast includes the well-known TV and film actor Nicholas Hormann who’s been seen in dozens of television hits including “The West Wing,” “Parks & Recreation”“ Modern Family” and “Desperate Housewives.” His numerous film credits include “Kramer vs. Kramer” and the early Oliver Stone horror film “The Hand.” Hormann will play Dr. Van Helsing.

Veteran horror film actor Skip Pipo will play the role of Renfield. Pipo’s long list of film and TV credits include B-movie favorites such as “The Janitor,” “Sam Hell” and “Poker Run,” as well as the television series “The Black Dawn.”

The cast also includes Michael Kirby, who appeared in the horror film “Hell’s Heart,” Paul Culos, Graham Outerbridge and Alexis Jacknow, all up and coming TV actors, Summer Spiro, a star of the web series “Dabsity,” and Patrick Wenk-Wolff, who has been seen on television in “The Last Ship,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Life on Mars.”

Prior to the performance, Zach Hanks, SFA assistant professor of theatre, will present a 7 p.m. informative talk in Griffith Gallery about the show style. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers and to honor the event’s corporate sponsor, Lehmann Eye Center.

Single event ticket prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students/youth. For tickets or more information, visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call the Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

SFA students may purchase Rush tickets for $3 during regular office hours starting Monday, Feb. 1. Students must present a valid SFA ID for purchase and at the door on event night.

January 13, 2015 NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The work of artist Kent Rush will be showcased in an exhibition that displays Jan. 20 through March 10 in Griffith Gallery on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

Black and white photographs, drawings and prints are featured in “Kent Rush: Photo-Syntax,” curated by Neal Cox, faculty member in the SFA School of Art, who describes Rush as his mentor.

“Though this is largely an opportunity to pay tribute, Kent’s work alone merits exhibition,” Cox said. “A pleasant blend of graphite drawings, prints and photographs, his works show how one idea can have multifaceted executions and maintain a distinct aesthetic transcending the single-media approach.”

The exhibition will include “mainly close-up images of odd urban infrastructure, much of it discarded or vestigial, photographed through the plastic lens of a toy camera,” according to Cox.

Rush spent his formative years absorbing the artistic, intellectual and political milieu of the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s, studying art, drawing and printmaking. He earned a B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts, a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico where he studied art and lithography, and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin while teaching at the San Antonio Art Institute. After returning to California to show his work and teach for a brief time, he returned to San Antonio where he has spent the last 27 years making art and teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

His work has been exhibited extensively in the United States in solo, two- and three-person shows and group and competitive shows. Internationally, he has also shown in London, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and France.
 Coming from a background in printmaking, drawing and painting, Rush, over the past 20 years, has appropriated photography as a means of making images, Cox explained.

“Specifically, he collects (on film) mundane objects and surfaces (primarily concrete) from urban and suburban sites and presents them in a monumental format,” according to Cox.

Rush will give a talk at the School of Art at 4:45 p.m. Thursday, March 10, followed by a closing reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery, which is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

December 21, 2015 - The T.L.L. Temple Foundation has awarded a grant to Stephen F. Austin State University that will support a proposed Master of Science in nursing degree and allow healthcare professionals to pursue careers as family nurse practitioners.

Family nurse practitioners provide comprehensive primary care to patients of all ages, managing acute and chronic conditions, often to underserved and vulnerable populations. Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president, said the university is committed to addressing growing concerns regarding severe shortages, statewide and nationally, in access to quality health care.

“The DeWitt School of Nursing has a reputation for excellence in the delivery of nursing education,” Pattillo said. “We are grateful for the support of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and appreciate their partnership and their desire to ensure that East Texans have access to quality health care in the years to come.”

According to Dr. Kim Childs, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics at SFA, only 10 percent of physicians graduating from medical schools choose to practice in rural areas, while approximately 80 percent of nurse practitioners are employed in primary care settings in rural areas, where they diagnose and manage acute and chronic health problems, prescribe medications, plan treatments, and teach patients to promote and maintain health.

“Increasing the number of nurse practitioners providing primary care will increase the availability of quality health care and improve the well-being of East Texans,” Childs said. “By adding this program, SFA’s DeWitt School of Nursing will continue its tradition of preparing nurses who can practice at all levels and meet the changing demands of health care.”

The $750,000 Temple Foundation grant will provide start-up fees for the proposed program, which must be approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and other affiliated agencies.

“The board of trustees of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation is pleased to partner with SFA in this endeavor to maximize resources to cultivate outstanding educational experiences for students who serve to improve the quality of life in our region of Texas,” said Buddy Zeagler, executive director of the foundation.

A recent Texas Tribune report showed that 10 of the 12 counties in Deep East Texas are designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas and hospitals across the state are dealing with similar issues.

“The new nurse practitioners program at SFA will address a critical shortage of primary care providers, particularly in the outlying communities in East Texas,” said Gary Stokes, CEO of Nacogdoches Medical Center. “This program will provide greater opportunities for East Texas residents to get the training and clinical rotations locally. The recruitment and retention of these students is essential in providing qualified practitioners and returning them to our under-served areas.”

The program, when approved, will be offered in an online format to allow students to continue to work while completing the degree. For more information about the DeWitt School of Nursing, call (936) 468-7705 or visit www.sfasu.edu/nursing/.

December 17, 2015 NACOGDOCHES — More than 130 students in Stephen F. Austin State University’s hospitality administration program participated in a service-learning pilot project this semester that generated 786 volunteer hours.

Faculty members for each course within the program included a six-hour service-learning component to their syllabi.

“Each semester, our program gets multiple requests to help with events from community organizations,” said Dr. Chay Runnels, hospitality administration program coordinator. “This semester, we decided to formalize the process and implement a six-hour service-learning component in all hospitality courses. We believe students enrolled in these courses should have real-world experience if they plan on working with the public in this industry.”

Students volunteered with organizations that Runnels said the program has built relationships with over the years. For example, students were bell ringers for the Salvation Army, and Molly Hoya, kettle coordinator and secretary of the board for the Salvation Army, said the students were instrumental to the organization’s fundraising.

“It’s very important to give back to our community. We need to help out our fellow neighbor because who knows what situation we will be in in the future,” Hoya said. “Volunteering allows students to see the reality that life can be hard and how important it can be to help out our community.”

Students also worked at various events and with several organizations, including the SFA Art Gallery, food pantries, Love Inc, Appleby Community Farm, the SOLID Foundation, Millard’s Crossing, SFASU Foundation, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Lufkin, The Bettie Kennedy Memorial Food Drive, Caddo Mounds State Historical Site, the Durst-Taylor House, SFA outdoor recreation, the dean of Fine Arts and the SFA Alumni Association.

“We've been discussing sustainability issues with our students for a long time, and we want to develop sustainable partnerships with every organization we work with,” Runnels said. “This project helps both the instructors and the students gain a greater understanding of how our volunteering assists these organizations in meeting their goals.”

One of the project’s goals was to give students experience working with the public in a structured environment and to help them feel connected to the larger East Texas community.

Runnels said the program will continue to embed the service-learning component in its courses with modifications as needed.

“By making the service-learning project program wide—not just isolated to one or two courses—we can begin to institutionalize the idea of service learning,” Runnels said. “The hospitality industry also is called the ‘service sector.’ If you don't have a heart for service and serving people, then you are in the wrong industry. I think this helps students to see early on in their careers if working with people is right for them.”

December 15, 2015 - Michael Rugeley Moore, left, recently donated the ambrotype of the stone house to the Stone Fort Museum. Stone Fort Museum Director Carolyn Spears, right, said the image will be on display at the museum as part of the tricentennial celebration in 2016.December 15, 2015 NACOGDOCHES – A donor recently gave an ambrotype image estimated to be about 160 years old of the stone house to the Stone Fort Museum on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

The image will be on display in 2016 as part of the tricentennial celebration at the museum, according to museum director Carolyn Spears.

“I'm very excited about the acquisition of this ambrotype for the Stone Fort Museum's collection,” Spears said. “The object is not only an early document depicting the stone house on the square, but also an example of early photographic processes. It's just a beautiful thing.”

Michael Rugeley Moore, who donated the photographic image to the museum, said the image has been in his family since it was created, and he estimates it was taken in the 1850s.

Ambrotypes were popular in the 1850-60s, and tintypes and other photographic processes later replaced the medium.

Laura Poynor, Stephen F. Austin State University senior and Braille and Cane Club president, along with SFA student Trenton Rowland help children build Santa beards during a holiday celebration in SFA’s Human Services Building.

December 11, 2015 - NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Santa hats, glitter and glue covered the tables inside Stephen F. Austin State University’s Human Services Building, as university students and more than 10 children from area schools attended a collaborative holiday celebration Wednesday.


SFA’s visual impairment, orientation and mobility program, SFA’s Braille and Cane Club, the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services - Division for Blind Services, and the East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind hosted the event.

“This event is an opportunity to collaborate with different agencies and give back to the community. It gives our program students an opportunity to work directly on various skills with some incredible area children who are blind or visually impaired,” said Michael Munro, program director of the visual impairment, orientation and mobility program in SFA’s Department of Human Services.

During the event, the children worked with SFA volunteers and students on different activities at craft stations. Activities included painting, ornament making, card decorating, Santa beard making, a treasure hunt through the snow and more. Santa also made a special visit.

Laura Poynor, SFA senior and Braille and Cane Club president, helped coordinate the event and said its benefits are two-fold.

“This event is really fun for a variety of reasons. First, the club can come together in a creative way. Several of our student members have visual impairments and several of us don’t, but we are all together as a club,” Poynor said. “For the kids, the crafts and activities get them moving, which is great for fine motor skills, problem solving and a lot of developmental qualities, but in the big scheme of things everyone just has fun.”

Children from Nacogdoches ISD, Joaquin ISD and six schools in Lufkin attended.

December 9, 2015 - Three Stephen F. Austin State University donors will be honored during the 27th annual SFA Gala on Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

This year’s Gala honorees include Jimmy W. Murphy, the late Marleta Chadwick and The Charles and Lois Marie Bright Foundation.

“We are excited about plans for this year’s Gala,” said Jill Still, SFA vice president for university advancement. “We look forward to honoring the commitment of generous donors whose kindness has impacted our students and our community, as well as recognizing the accomplishments of two outstanding faculty members.”

The Gala cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a candlelight dinner at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Blind Date, featuring seven of Austin’s most accomplished musicians whose repertoire ranges from dance music to jazz, rock, country and hip hop.

Tickets are $175 for orchestra seating and $125 for ballroom seating. Proceeds from the Gala help build a permanent endowment created by the SFASU Foundation to honor faculty achievement. For more information or to purchase tickets, call April Smith at (936) 468-5406.

Jimmy W. Murphy

Murphy transferred to SFA in 1954 and in two seasons earned a reputation as an outstanding football player, receiving All Lone Star Conference tackle honors and being named to the Dallas Morning News All Texas Football Squad. Murphy graduated from SFA in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and received his master’s degree in education from Sam Houston State University in 1959.

The Chicago Cardinals drafted Murphy, but an injury forced his retirement from professional football. He coached high school athletics in Houston before joining the team at Lincoln Liberty Life.

Since then, Murphy has earned virtually every honor awarded in the life insurance industry, including Qualifying and Life Membership for 44 years in the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table, The Texas Leader’s Round Table, The Top of the Table, and the Twenty-Five Million Dollar Forum.

Murphy was named to SFA’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976 and received the SFA Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987. He served on SFA’s Board of Regents from 1995 to 2001, where his peers elected him to serve as chairman for two successive terms. In 1998, the university named the Jimmy W. Murphy Wellness Center in his honor.

Outside the SFA community, Murphy also has gained recognition for his outstanding leadership skills and volunteer work, including serving as chairman of the board for the Business Benefits Corporation, board member and chairman of the Joint Conference Committee for Sam Houston Memorial Hospital, founding director and board chairman of the Memorial Spring Branch Chamber of Commerce, and the founder and director of the Spring Branch FFA & Livestock Show.

Murphy has supported athletics, the Lumberjack football program and scholarships at SFA.

Marleta Todd Chadwick

The late Marleta Todd Chadwick had a heart for giving and sharing with others. She truly had a servant’s heart and was well known in her community for her hospitality and service to others.

Chadwick was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Center, where her husband Carroll served as pastor until his death in 1973. After Carroll’s death, Marleta continued to serve the church in the children’s area of Sunday school, teaching in the beginner’s department and welcoming infants into the Cradle Roll.

Whether in the Fellowship Hall or at her home, Chadwick’s friendliness and warmth toward others was evident. Much of her ministry was connected to her kitchen, where she enjoyed preparing meals for large and small groups alike, including sandwiches for Sunday evening activities at church, dozens of cookies for wedding receptions and anniversaries, special meals for deacons and their families, and snow cones for Vacation Bible School.

The Chadwick home was always open to young couples as the site for their wedding. Chadwick took pride in knowing that she had a part in the beginning of their lives as a married couple.

In addition to her numerous church activities, Chadwick was a member of the Center Garden Club, the Women’s Reading Club and the Center Music Study Club. Her contributions frequently included service as a judge at flower shows and home demonstration contests and as a presenter at various organizational programs.

Chadwick’s charitable giving supports scholarships for the James I. Perkins College of Education; scholarships for the Nelson Rusche College of Business; support of the Student Financial Advisors program; and support for the creation of the new banking program within the Nelson Rusche College of Business.

The Charles and Lois Marie Bright Foundation

The Charles and Lois Marie Bright Foundation provides assistance to duly-qualified public and private foundations and charities, as well as governmental organizations located primarily in Nacogdoches County for the purpose of providing relief for the poor and disadvantaged; construction and maintenance of public buildings, monuments and works; the advancement of education and science; and prevention of community deterioration.

Charles and Lois Marie married in 1967. Charles owned and managed Bright Coop, a manufacturer of live-haul poultry transportation equipment, until his death in 2013. Lois taught public school in Nacogdoches until her retirement and later owned and operated an antique business until her death in 2006.

An avid supporter of organizations that promote the preservation and restoration of properties that support tourism and the recording of Nacogdoches history, Charles gave his time, service, leadership and financial support to help create the Plaza Principal, Main Street Historical Light Project and the monument honoring the veterans of the Battle of Nacogdoches.

Charles served on the City of Nacogdoches Historical Commission and on the Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital Board for 22 years, with 16 as chairman. He was a member of the Downtown Business Association, Nacogdoches Historical Association and the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce.

The Charles and Lois Marie Bright Foundation has contributed to many projects that have increased tourism and enhanced the appeal of downtown Nacogdoches, including the Gateway Statue, which stands in the center of downtown, and the antique light poles, planter boxes and benches that line both sides of Main Street.

In 2012, the Nacogdoches City Council unanimously voted to name the visitor center The Charles Bright Historic Town Center in honor of his contributions. The Bright Pavilion at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital also is named in his honor.

The Charles and Lois Marie Bright Foundation has been a supporter of the College of Fine Arts and the Student Financial Advisors program in the Nelson Rusche College of Business.

Faculty Awards

The faculty awards presented during the Gala recognize innovation and excellence in teaching and research. Dr. Eric Jones, associate professor of exercise physiology and human performance in the James I. Perkins College of Education, is the recipient of the 2015 Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching. Dr. Christopher Comer, professor of forest wildlife management in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, has earned the Faculty Achievement Award for Research.

SFA’s Charter School students collected approximately 12,000 aluminum pull tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Houston, which serves as a home for families with children being treated in Texas Medical Center member institutions. Students enrolled from kindergarten through fifth grade have been participating in this project since August. Proceeds from the recycled pull tabs will help with the house’s expenses.

December 8, 2015 NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Students in the Junior Jacks Give Back program at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Charter School collected approximately 12,000 aluminum pull tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Houston, which will be delivered to the house this week. Proceeds from the recycled pull tabs will help with the house’s expenses.

Students enrolled from kindergarten through fifth grade have been participating in this project since August. Jan Wisener, who teaches fifth grade, served as the teacher/sponsor responsible for coordinating the project.

Junior Jacks Give Back offers students an opportunity for engagement in service learning. During the semester, students deliberate, plan, implement and reflect on a special community service goal, such as donating to the Ronald McDonald House.

“SFA Charter School Junior Jacks Give Back concept was developed to allow children opportunities to do good for others and begin to launch the next generation of generosity,” said Lysa Hagan, principal and CEO of the SFA Charter School. “Our students collaborate with teacher sponsors to determine easily accessible, age-appropriate opportunities that have meaning to the children and our school community. Junior Jacks Give Back is one way we strive to support social and emotional development as our school community focuses on educating the whole child.”

The Ronald McDonald House in Houston is a home away from home for families with children being treated in Texas Medical Center member institutions. The SFA Charter School plans to make a second donation to the house in the spring.

December 8, 2015 NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Students in Stephen F. Austin State University’s School of Human Sciences participated in the “Dine In” project on Family and Consumer Sciences Day to encourage families to cook and eat together.

Dr. Mary Olle, SFA assistant professor in the School of Human Sciences, supervised the project. Olle’s Management in Meal Production classes were divided into 12 “families” and assigned to create themes that encourage families to dine in.

The labs in the Human Sciences North Building on the SFA campus were bustling with chefs, as students prepared themed meals, which included “Star Wars” movie night, family heritage, camping, Italian night, football, Christmas movies and more.

Jamason Garcia, SFA hospitality administration major, explained the project was “promoting families having a meal together.”

The “Dine In” project is a nationwide campaign sponsored by the American Association on Family and Consumer Sciences. More than 120,000 people across the nation committed to preparing and eating a healthy meal together on Dec. 3, according to AAFCS.

Lucas Fandry, sophomore hospitality administration major, was a member of a group that created dishes for a football theme. Fandry explained how his group cooked ham and cheese sliders with an onion and poppy seed topping, spicy barbecue wings, cream cheese and bacon-stuffed jalapeño pepper poppers, double daisy cookies, strawberry lemonade punch and buffalo chicken dip.

“We chose our theme because, being college kids and it being football season, we felt it was really something that would be familiar to everybody in the lab,” Fandry said.

Another group prepared meals with a Christmas movie theme, which included Buddy the elf’s faux pasta made from funnel cakes, a salad in the shape of a wreath to represent the wreaths the Grinch steals in the movie, and more.

“This project taught us to work as a team, and it taught us that we can be really creative,” said Adison Dolch, senior hospitality administration major with a culinary emphasis.

SFA students involved in the project also live tweeted during the meal planning and preparation stages.

Stephen F. Austin State University sophomore Sarah Weatherford assembles a wreath made from materials gathered from nature to help prepare for SFA Gardens’ seminar on Dec. 5. Weatherford is a student worker at the SFA Mast Arboretum.December 1, 2015 - The SFA Gardens will host a garden seminar “Deck the Halls—Using Evergreens to Decorate for the Holidays” from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, located at 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches.

Evergreen branches and garlands once served as symbols of enduring life and a fruitful year to come. Join Dawn Stover, research associate at the SFA Mast Arboretum, to learn how to create elegant wreaths and garlands using materials from the garden. Participants will learn principles of wreath, garland and centerpiece construction. Participants also will make a wreath to enjoy at home for the holidays. In addition to the traditional wreaths and garlands, Stover will introduce new crafts using natural items from the garden and forest. All materials will be provided.

Class size is limited, and participants are encouraged to register in advance for this holiday seminar. The seminar costs $25 for SFA Garden members and $30 for non-members. To register or for more information, call (936) 468-1832 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu.