News for October 9, 2012

                Sul Ross State University was awarded $25,200 for graduate assistantships from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
                The award, made Oct. 1, will fund two graduate assistantships during 2012-2013 in the Department of Animal Science of the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Sul Ross is one of 11 Texas universities annually receiving funding for those positions.
                Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officials noted that the organization has surpassed the $330 million mark in educational commitment to Texas students since its beginning in 1932. A record $24.6 million will be awarded during the 2013 Show season.
                In addition to the graduate assistantships, educational funding includes scholarships to high school seniors and college juniors and seniors; educational program grants for a variety of organizations; and support for 2013 Houston Livestock Show junior show exhibitors.
                A new fund will establish graduate-level fellowships in two Sul Ross State University research centers.
                The D.J. Sibley, Jr. Graduate Fellowship will provide funding to eligible Master’s level students enrolled/participating in Range and Wildlife Management through the Borderlands Research Institute and Geology through the Rio Grande Research Center. The fellowship was established through funds donated by the Potts and Sibley Foundation.
                Fellowship selections will be made by the director of the Borderlands Research Institute and the project director of the Rio Grande Research Center. Donor funds will be divided equally between the two entities. The amount and number of fellowships to be awarded will be determined by each program director, according to availability of donor funds.
                Hiram A. Sibley, chairman of the Potts and Sibley Foundation, and Sul Ross President Dr. Ricardo Maestas executed the agreement establishing the fellowship on Sept. 21.
                “We are extremely grateful to Mr. Sibley and the Potts and Sibley Foundation for establishing this new fellowship,” Maestas said. “Their generosity provides more scholarship opportunities for deserving students.”
                Sul Ross endowments presently exceed $14 million with over 215 individual scholarships. For information on endowments, contact Karen Brown, (432) 837-8443 or
                Sul Ross State University’s initial venture into a high-tech theatrical realm has been rewarded with an invitation for a return performance at a prestigious California conference.
                After using motion capture in scenes of “The Merchant of Venice,” this past August, Sul Ross actors have been invited to steampunk (incorporating the use of steam power) scenes from “The Importance of Being Earnest” at next summer’s SIGGRAPH (Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) conference in Los Angeles. The conference is recognized as the premier international event on computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2012 attracted an estimated 20,000 professionals from five continents.
                Sul Ross’ SIGGRAPH presence is twofold: to provide nationwide visibility of the university’s involvement with motion capture and other innovative technology in the educational realm; and to provide hands-on experience for students in the use of equipment, which dovetails with new classes being taught in Computer Gaming. 
Sul Ross faculty members Greg Schwab, Dona Roman note Sul Ross' presence at 2012 SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles. (Photo Courtesy Dona Roman) Sul Ross students and faculty are pictured with actors and technicians during their recent appearance at the Los Angeles-based SIGGRAPH conference. (From left): Kan Anant (PhaseSpace), Missy Embrey, Gregory Gonzales, Katrina (PhaseSpace), John (Sound Engineer), Greg Schwab, Juliette Schwab, Dona Roman, Riley Rose Critchlow, Tracy McSheery (PhaseSpace).  (Photo Courtesy Dona Roman)
Sul Ross faculty members Greg Schwab, Dona Roman note Sul Ross' presence at 2012 SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles. (Photo Courtesy Dona Roman)

Sul Ross students and faculty are pictured with actors and technicians during their recent appearance at the Los Angeles-based SIGGRAPH conference. (From left): Kan Anant (PhaseSpace), Missy Embrey, Gregory Gonzales, Katrina (PhaseSpace), John (Sound Engineer), Greg Schwab, Juliette Schwab, Dona Roman, Riley Rose Critchlow, Tracy McSheery (PhaseSpace). (Photo Courtesy Dona Roman)

                This year, a four-minute movie trailer was produced with innovative motion capture equipment, including clips of Sul Ross actors performing the Shakespearean play. The trailer, with clips from the scenes performed and background clips of production techniques, will be marketed to 2,000 universities in the United States.
                Motion capture is a process of recording movement of one or more objects or persons. In film making and computer games, the term refers to recording actions of human actors, and using that information to animate digital character models in 2D or 3D computer animation. When including face and fingers or capturing subtle expressions, it is referred to as performance capture.
                Dona Roman, Sul Ross professor of Theatre, along with fellow professor Greg Schwab and students Melissa Embrey, Gainesville; Mandy Mata, Alpine; Julian Johnson, El Paso; and Greg Gonzales, San Antonio; and part-time instructor Juliette Schwab participated at SIGGRAPH.
                “(SIGGRAPH) was a wonderful experience for the students,” Roman said. “They hit the ground running. In addition to participating in the scenes, they set up and ran equipment. When they are not acting, I think we will have a team of students capable of running the equipment as well.
                “The conference increased the university’s visibility at a very high level,” she said.
                Roman is teaching classes in motion capture this year. Sul Ross was recently awarded a $4.3 million Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)grant to increase degrees through the Computer Science Initiative. A Fine Arts component is included.
                The Communication Design and Technology platform, including classes to be taught by Roman, offers courses to provide the technical knowledge and training needed for professional design work for publication media, corporate design, and interactive electronic media. 
                Four concentrations have been added within the Computer Science degree plan and two of them, Gaming Design and Technology and Communication Design and Technology, began this fall. Students enrolled in the Gaming Design and Technology concentration will learn to create animations, games and applications for Apple, PC and Android platforms.
                Roman said Sul Ross has purchased motion capture equipment for use in the classes. The system can be used for both computer game development or filmmaking.
                Combining fine arts and communication with computer science “provides opportunities for not only actors, but animators, system operators and graphic artists as well,” she said.
                “In my class, we’re already seeing a blending of these two departments. We immediately put cameras in the students’ hands, and they’re shooting projects.”
                For more information, contact Roman, (432) 8219 or
                Information will be enhanced with celebration during Sully’s Showcase, scheduled Saturday, Oct. 13 at Sul Ross State University. Potential students and their families will have the chance to explore academic opportunities and campus life.
                On-site registration and check-in begins at 9:45 a.m. in the Gallego Center mezzanine, with campus tours set to start at 10:15. Departmental booths open at 12:30 p.m., with the Showcase starting at 1. Campus tours will resume at 1:45 p.m. Sully’s Showcase is free of charge.
                Between campus tours, T-shirts will be launched, while information stations will also include a photo booth. Aside from the tours, activities will be held in the Pete P. Gallego Center.
                The first 300 visitors to register will receive free T-shirts and a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship to Sul Ross. Music and entertainment is also in store.
                Prospective students and their families can learn about major requirements, degree programs, sponsored activities and course offerings. Information on admissions, financial aid, housing and student activities will be provided. Students and faculty will be available to discuss programs and research as well.
                For more information, contact Mary Beth Marks, (432) 837-8343 or
                “Rough Crossing,” written by Tom Stoppard, and directed by Gregory M. Schwab, opens the Sul Ross State University theatre season Friday, Oct. 12. Additional performances are scheduled Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 13-14 and Friday-Sunday, Oct. 19-21.
Rough Crossing cast and crew
Rough Crossing cast and crew
Front row (from left); Tony Castro, Adrian Soto, Ashley Page, Greg Gonzales Back row: Christina Esparza, Olivia Gallegos, Missy Embrey, Richard Newbold, Joseph Rosco, Jay Sawyer, Greg Schwab, Matt Hardison. (Photo Courtesy Dona Roman)
                “Rough Crossing” cleverly chronicles a voyage from Italy to New York where a playwriting duo is preparing a new musical for opening. Add in love triangles, misunderstandings, and musical numbers to create a witty and hilarious comedy.
                Performances will be held in the Studio Theatre of the Francois Fine Arts Building. Show times are 8:15 p.m. for Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Ticket prices are $7 for general admission and $5.00 for children and seniors. Sul Ross State University students, faculty and staff receive complimentary admission, and Activity Card holders receive half-price admission. Tickets are on sale now through or by calling ( 432) 837-8218.
                The Sul Ross State University Wind Ensemble, Choir and Mariachi Band will be in concert Thursday, Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. in Marshall Auditorium.
                The concert will feature winners of the first annual Sul Ross State University Wind Ensemble Composition Contest.
                On Sunday, Oct. 14, an Alpine Community Band concert will be held at 3 p.m., also in Marshall Auditorium. There is no admission charge to either event and the public is invited.
                For more information, contact Dr. Donald Callen Freed(432) 837-8216 or
                Former U.S. Congressman J.T. “Slick” Rutherford; former Del Rio Mayor and Regent Dora G. Alcala; and Trappings of Texas founder Gary Dunshee, Alpine, will be honored as Sul Ross State University Distinguished Alumni during Homecoming 2012.
                In addition, Peggy and Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Beeville, will receive the Slingin’ Sammy Baugh Award for Outstanding Service during the annual Distinguished Alumni/Hall of Honor banquet scheduled Saturday, Nov. 3 in the Morgan University Center.
                Five new members will be inducted into the Hall of Honor, the late Victor Villarreal and the late Don Bandy; Natalie Whitewood Johns, Center Point; and Outstanding Boosters Metha Sprinkle, Alpine, and her late husband, Bill.
                Alcala, who graduated cum laude in 1978, earlier attended Southwest Texas Junior College. She later received a Master’s degree in Management from Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. She was the first woman elected Mayor in Del Rio’s history, serving three terms until 2006. She ran unsuccessfully for State Representative of Texas House District 74 earlier this year.
                She was appointed to the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System by Governor Rick Perry in 2004, serving a six-year term. Coincidentally, her swearing-in ceremony occurred at the Alpine Campus.
                “It was a wonderful honor to be sworn in at my alma mater,” she said. “My most memorable experience was serving on the Board of Regents and the committee with Sul Ross and to be able to be there when (Sul Ross) was building the new student housing,” she said. “I enjoyed all my years on the Board, looking after the development of the campus as we were growing. It (new housing) was a step in the right direction.”
                Regarding her Distinguished Alumni Award, “what a nice surprise! That is quite an honor when your alma mater recognizes you,” she said. Alcala also credited her peers and professors for skills and education received.
                “We learn from each other and that’s important.”

               In her most previous career, Alcala worked as a Management Consultant and motivational speaker for her company, Alcala & Associates, which she formed after her retirement. She also served 37 years as a civilian for the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force. In 1990, she received a presidential appointment from President George H. W. Bush as the Deputy for Equal Opportunity for the United States Air Force and attained the rank of Senior Executive.               Alcala served on the Texas Military Preparedness Commission and is also past chair of the Texas Border Infrastructure Coalition. Alcala also serves/served on numerous community boards including the Del Rio Child Welfare and United Way boards; the Pan American Round Table and International Good Neighbor Council.
              She is the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award given by the governor of New Mexico; the California Hispanic Woman of the Year, given by the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation; and the Woman of the Year Award from the National Council on Hispanic Women. In 1998, Alcala also received the Yellow Rose of Texas Award from then Governor George W. Bush.     In May she was selected as one of the recipients of the 2012 Woman of Distinction Award given by the Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Council.
                She and her husband, Alfonso, have three children.
                Dunshee, a 1973 graduate, has been an active supporter and fundraiser of Sul Ross rodeo and other activities in the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. He competed in rodeo for two years as a student and is a former president of the ANRS and Rodeo Exes. He was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in 2008.
                Known nationwide for his saddle-making skills, Dunshee has demonstrated his work at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. and San Antonio’s Folkstyle Institute ( Institute of Texan Cultures). He purchased Big Bend Saddlery in 1977 after working there since 1971. Brett Collier joined as a partner in 1979. The business has done custom work for Tom Selleck, Larry Mahan, Charlie Daniels, Sam Shepard and Nolan Ryan among others.
                He helped organize several ranch rodeos and later worked with the WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo to raise funds for Sul Ross scholarships. For a number of years, he built saddles for the men’s and women’s all-around champions at the annual Sul Ross NIRA Rodeo, and has also built World Championship and Rookie of the Year saddles for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He is a member of the ANRS Advisory Board and an avid recruiter.
                Dunshee, a native of Tucumcari, N.M.,  is a founder of the annual Trappings of Texas, a juried invitational exhibit that brings together the best contemporary cowboy gear and art. He served as Trappings curator for 16 years. In addition, he has sponsored numerous community and regional events. He is also a corporate sponsor of the Working Ranch Cowboys Association and founder of the Big Bend Ranch Rodeo’s Chuck Wagon Cook-off. Dunshee also helped with the formation of the Sul Ross Ranch Horse team.
                He and his wife, Hillary, who is a graduate of the Sul Ross Licensed Vocational Nursing program, have two children, Wade and Mattie.
                “We have always been proponents of Sul Ross and helped whenever we could,” Dunshee said. “Sul Ross has been a part of me since I started out as a student. It’s been good to us and we have tried to do what we can for them.”
                Rutherford, who died in 2006, attended Sul Ross from 1947-48 after transferring from San Angelo College (now San Angelo State University). After Sul Ross, he attended the Baylor University Law School. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1942-46; was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from 1948-52; was a member of the Texas State Senate from 1953 to 1954, then was a U.S. Congressman from 1955-1963.
                Rutherford was the first chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks and was instrumental in the creation of the Fort Davis National Historic Site. In 1962, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Interior’s Conservation Service Award. He represented the old 16th District, which extended from Midland to El Paso and for hundreds of miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, an area of more than 42,000 square miles.
                While in Congress, he served on a number of committees, including the House Banking and Currency Committee; House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee; and was chair of the House Armed Services Committee.
                Born in Hot Springs, Ark., he moved with his family to Odessa in 1934 and attended public schools. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and spent 28 months overseas during World War II. He was wounded in action and awarded the purple heart. During his years of active and reserve service, he rose in rank from private to major. His belief in providing good care for military veterans led him to be active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and he served a two-year term as Texas state commander in the 1950s.
                While at Sul Ross, he met his future wife, Sara Jane Armstrong. After completing his education, Rutherford was a businessman and a partner in an industrial electrical construction firm and the owner of an advertising company. After leaving Congress, he formed J.T. Rutherford & Associates, a government relations consulting firm, retiring in 1988.             
                Even as a Congressman, Rutherford remained a prominent Sul Ross ex-student, twice serving as keynote speaker during Homecoming. He regularly attended Homecoming meetings. Among the friendships he made at Sul Ross were Dan Blocker, who starred as Hoss Cartwright in the long-running TV series “Bonanza,” and Gene Hendryx, Alpine broadcasting pioneer, former state representative and athletic Hall of Honor member.
                “Since my parents met there, I credit the place with my beginnings,” said daughter Ann Rutherford, who will accept the award on her father’s behalf.             
                “One of the things he did early on was start up the College Inn. He saw the need for a hangout at Sul Ross,” she said.
                “He loved that part of the country and was very proud of his efforts in establishing the Fort Davis National Historic Site and Guadalupe (Mountains) National Park,” she said.
                Rutherford was preceded in death by his wife, Sara, who died in 2004. They are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The couple had three children, Ann, Arlington, Va.; Charles, Denton; and Jane, Alexandria, Va.
                Dan Allen and Peggy Hughes established Sul Ross’ first endowed position with a $1 million gift earlier this year. The couple has a deep commitment to wildlife/land conservation and Dan Allen serves on the advisory board of the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross. In 2009, he was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to a six-year term on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
                Dan Allen is president of Dan A. Hughes Company, LP; president of Hupecol Operating Company, LLC; and CEO of Maverick American Natural Gas. He is a member of the Texas A&M University College of Geosciences 2 Advisory Council and is a member of the All American Wildcatters. He is a 1980 Texas A&M graduate.
                Peggy Gorden Hughes is a 1982 Texas A&M graduate, a member of the Council of Athletic Ambassadors and the San Antonio Champions Council. She is a trustee of the 12th Man Foundation and a member of the San Antonio Charity Ball Association, San Antonio Symphony, Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and the Alamo Heights Methodist Church.
                Both Dan Allen and Peggy enjoy hunting, fishing, diving and photography. They are the parents of three children.