News Archives Sept. 25, 2012

Campus News for September 25, 2012

The Sul Ross State University Theatre Program announced its first two productions of the season: “Rough Crossing” by Tom Stoppard, and “Xanadu,” book by Douglas Carter Beane with music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar.
“Rough Crossing,” directed by Gregory M. Schwab, will runOct. 12-14 and 19-21 in the Studio Theatre, Francois Fine Arts Building. The play 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.
“Xanadu,” directed by Dona W. Roman with musical direction by Donald Callen Freed and Lana Potts, runs Nov. 9-11 and 16-18, also in the Studio Theatre. The Broadway musical is a fun-filled family musical spoofing the 1980 film of the same name starring Olivia Newton-John. The cast is hard at work learning musical numbers, dances, and the correct pronunciation of Greek names.
Show times for both productions are 8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information or advanced ticket sales please visit, or contact the Fine Arts Department at Sul Ross State University at (888)-722-SRSU or 432-837-8218.
Dr. Lorie Rubenser, Sul Ross State University professor of Criminal Justice, will preside over the annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice (SWACJ), scheduled Oct. 4-6 in Houston.
The meeting will include paper presentations, poster sessions and student activities, consisting of paper presentations, Crime Scene Interpretation (CSI) competition and a quiz bowl.
Rubenser was elected SWACJ president in 2011, after serving two years as secretary, and one year each as second and first vice president, respectively. She will serve as immediate past president in 2012-2013. The SWACJ is a regional organization consisting of numerous criminal justice/criminologist educators, practitioners and researchers from Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
For more information, contact Rubenser, (432) 837-8166 or
Fall semester enrollment declined at Sul Ross State University, with 1,834 students enrolled after the 12th class day. A total of 1,985 students were enrolled at the Alpine Campus last year.
Semester credit hours dropped from 22,175 in 2011 to 19,606.
A total of 937 students were enrolled at Rio Grande College. RGC semester credit hours totaled 7,246.
Collegiate rodeo returns to its birthplace as Sul Ross State University hosts the 67th National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association event Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 27-29.
Competition begins nightly at 7 p.m. in the San Antonio Livestock Exposition (S.A.L.E.) Arena at the Turner Range Animal Science Center. General Admission is $6. Children under 12 and Sul Ross faculty, staff, and students with ID will be admitted free of charge. Slacks will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, beginning at 9 a.m. each day. There is no charge for the slack.
Teams competing include: Angelo State University, San Angelo; Clarendon College; Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, N.M.; Frank Phillips College, Borger; Howard College, Big Spring; New Mexico Jr. College, Hobbs, N.M.; Odessa College; Ranger Junior College; South Plains College, Levelland; Tarleton State University, Stephenville; Texas Tech University, Lubbock; Vernon Junior Regional College; Weatherford College; West Texas A&M University, Canyon; and Western Texas College, Snyder.
On Saturday evening, one of two co-eds will be crowned Miss Rodeo 2011. The reigning Queen is Nikki Woodward, Alpine. Rodeo Queen 2012 candidates are Ali Burks, Copperas Cove, and Molly Jo Collins, Balmorhea.
Sul Ross boasts nine national team championship teams, seven men’s and two women’s; and 24 individual event titles. The rodeo team won men’s championships in 1949-1952– the first first four years of NIRA competition -- as well as 1962, 1982, and 1983. Sul Ross garnered women’s crowns in 1962 and 1985. Only Southeastern Oklahoma State University claims as many national team championships, five men’s and four women’s.
Harley May, a member of the first three national championship teams, won eight national collegiate titles, three world championships in steer wrestling on the professional circuit and was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1979. He returned to coach the Sul Ross rodeo teams from 1994-1998.
May won the all-around men’s championship from 1949-51; bareback riding in 1949; bull riding in 1949-50; and saddle bronc riding in 1950-51. Tex Martin (1953) and Cody Lambert (1982) also won men’s all-around titles, while Jo Gregory Knox, (1951), Elisabeth Prude Longbotham (1953), and Donna Saul (1962) claimed all-around women’s crowns.
Other Sul Ross national individual champions are: bull riders Johnny Ackel (1952), Ira Akers (1953), Tex Martin (1954), and George Eads (1962); saddle bronc rider Don Lee Smith (1958) and Bill James, who tied for first in calf roping in 1961 and won team roping in 1962.
In women’s competition, Charlotte Martin (1954) and Saul (1962) won goat tying championships; Saul won calf tying in 1961; and Jayne Gentry won breakaway roping in 1985.
Sul Ross State University faculty members Dr. Scott Ericsson and Dr. Bonnie Warnock have received a five-year, $245,370.26 grant from the Dixon Water Foundation to develop a biological type of cattle through utilization of traditional Hereford genetics.
This project will utilize Hereford bull semen frozen since the 1960’s, donated by the National Animal Germplasm Program, to artificially inseminate the Sul Ross cow herd and the Mimms Ranch cow herd. Production traits and carcass merit will be assessed during the grant period to ascertain the feasibility of developing a biological type of cattle for a sustainable grass finished cow-calf operation. It is envisioned that at the end of this project, there will be two nucleus herds in which bulls can be produced as herd sires for crossbreeding in a commercial grass finished cow-calf operation.
Ericsson is a professor of Animal Science and Warnock is associate professor and chair of Natural Resource Management in the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at Sul Ross.
Sustainable beef production requires that a specific biological type of cattle (puberty, calving ease, mature weight, rebreeding, and longevity) be matched to the most economically available feed resources. Generally the “most economical” feed resources would be grazed forages rather than harvested or supplemented feeds. The majority of the market cattle produced in the United States are fed concentrates in the feedlot prior to harvest. This method of beef production is not sustainable due to the rising costs of energy, increasing price of corn, and reduction-contamination of underground water supplies.
Over the past several decades the selective emphasis on cattle for increased frame size, growth rate, and mature size has negatively affected many production traits such as calving ease and increasing brood cow maintenance costs. These modern types of cattle require substantially more resources (financial, land/forage, and labor) than previous biological types of cattle.
Cattle with traditional Hereford genetics were hardy, early maturing and capable of fattening on grazed forage. These cattle had good fertility and were easy calving with excellent mothering-milking qualities. In addition, they were docile, easily managed, and had great longevity. These cattle could efficiently and economically convert grass into beef products without having to grain finish them in order to produce a quality carcass. The National Animal Germplasm Program has conserved these traditional Hereford genetics in the form of frozen semen and has allowed industry and the research community to access the collection of semen from bulls born from the 1960’s to the present.
Diet-health perceptions have raised consumer demand for grass-finished beef as there is some evidence that grass-fed beef might have some health advantages over grain-fed beef. The more environmentally friendly nature and reduced animal welfare concerns of grass-finished beef production when compared to grain-fed beef production have also increased consumer demand for an entirely grass-fed beef product. Uruguay and Argentina still employ grass based finishing systems and are able to effectively market this product in Europe.
Entrepreneur, author and entertainer Dr. Scout Cloud Lee, who advocates “peace through play,” will speak Monday, Oct. 1 at Sul Ross State University.
Lee will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center. A book signing will follow her presentation. There is no admission charge and the public is invited. Her appearance is sponsored by the School of Professional Studies John B. Poindexter Speakers Series. The series highlights outstanding individuals who have been successful in their respective professions and allows them to share their stories with the students, faculty and staff at Sul Ross and the community at large.
Lee is the founder and chief executive officer of Vision Us, Inc., a Management Development Center to explore human excellence. As founder of the Magical Child Foundation, Inc., an educational non-profit, she promotes peace through play. In addition she is an internationally known keynote speaker, trainer, corporate coach, author, and singer-songwriter. She delights in being alive and by example stimulates others to know and live their passion.
She was a castaway on the popular network series “Survivor Vanuatu,” was an Olympic Torchbearer and is a successful entrepreneur. Her goal is to inspire each person to “catch the fire of their spirit.” Known as the “World's Best Friend” and a “cheerleader for the human spirit,” her teachings value and celebrate the gifts of diversity.
Lee’s academic and professional accomplishments are extensive. She holds degrees in theology, counseling and higher education. Professionally, her experience includes leadership positions in the areas of therapeutic recreation, graduate curriculum development, extensive research projects, and as the CEO of Vision Us, Inc.
As a professor, Lee created and set the standards for Leisure Counseling and Accessibility for the Handicapped. She has written and received funding for large federal and private grants. Author of 11 books and hundreds of articles, her writings range from highly technical books published by Prentice-Hall and Simon & Schuster to a book of spiritual teachings titled “Sworn to Fun: Celebrating Every Little Thing” to “The Circle Is Sacred,” published by Council Oak Books.
As an entertainer/singer-songwriter, she brings her message through music that is inspirational and soul moving. Travelling throughout the world as a highly acclaimed key-note speaker and corporate training consultant, Lee utilizes her intuitive knowledge to tap and elicit audiences’ finest excellence.
For more information, contact Dr. Larry Guerrero, Dean of Professional Studies, (432) 837-8134 or
by Robert Parvin, RGC Media Relations
Del Rio – Dr. Miriam Muniz-Quiz, whose dedication to teaching spans nearly 28 years and who has influenced students ranging from the earliest grades to graduate school, has been awarded full professorship in the Education Department at Sul Ross State University - Rio Grande College. She is the first Hispanic female to earn this distinction since the founding of Sul Ross State University in 1917, or at its affiliate institution, Rio Grande College in the early 1970s.
SRSU Rio Grande College serves a 13-county region of Southwest Texas from modern
campuses at Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Uvalde.
“Dr. Muniz has had a distinguished career at SRSU-Rio Grande College,” said Dr. Ricardo Maestas, the University’s president. “Her teaching experience and perspectives outside the classroom have proven assets to our institution and to our students. I am delighted and honored to be part of this historical moment in the advancement of Hispanic women in higher education at Sul Ross.”
Residents of Del Rio, Dr. Muniz and her husband, Dr. Fernando Quiz, have been instructors in RGC’s Education Department since 2000. They were among the first Hispanic education professors to receive faculty positions at the University. Three of the department’s eight professors are Hispanic, hired under former Education Department Chair, Dr. Elmer Ireton in 2000.
Both taught at San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District (SFCISD) from 1987- 1991. Muniz and her husband earned master’s degrees in Education from Rio Grande College in 1995 and 1996, respectively. After gaining private sector experience in the application of educational technologies, Muniz was employed from 1995-1998 as Director/Coordinator of SFDRCISD Technology Department.
A proverb that Muniz is often inclined to recite, “To whom much is given, much is expected,” has come to greatly influence her life and those around her.
Raised in the Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley, where her roots trace to Spanish Colonial-era settlers from the mid-1700s, Muniz comes from a family whose dedication educational achievement and service to others was paramount.
Her grandmother, Martha H. Rodriguez, was a vivacious, candid woman who excelled in music and drama. Later, as an elementary teacher in the Harlingen area, her talents carried over to her classrooms. After raising her family, she returned to college and received a teaching degree in 1964 from Pan American University, Edinburg.
Ahead of desegregation laws, in the late 1950s her mother, Amadita Muniz, was one of the first Hispanic public school teachers in San Marcos ISD. She was known as a master teacher who capped off her long career with a Ph.D. and a professorship at Pan American University in Edinburg, where she taught reading and curriculum development courses. She passed away at age 59.
“I am the product of three great influences,” Muniz explains. “First of all, I come from a place – the Valley – where people stand up and fight for what’s right.”
“Secondly, I am the product of two remarkable educators who always told me, ‘It’s never about you. You’ve had opportunities for a good education. You now have to be the voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.’”
A third factor that shaped the career perspectives of both Muniz and her husband was their opportunity to participate as Kellogg Fellows through the Hispanic Border Leadership Institute at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, in 1997, where they were able to pursue their Ph.D.’s in Education Administration. While enrolled in this specialized program at NMSU, participants were provided with the necessary educational and leadership skills to prepare for leadership and administrative positions at all academic levels.
“We were mentored by the top Hispanics in education to become agents of change,” she says, reflecting on what she thinks is the need to include more proportionate numbers of Hispanic teachers and administrators in local, state and national academic institutions. That goal still remains elusive, but Muniz says she stays hopeful.
“My goal is to help produce the best possible teachers and educators for our children,” she says. “I instill in my students that they have the potential to be anything they want to be and that their influence over their future students is an enormous responsibility.
“The sky’s the limit,” she adds, looking over her shoulder at her mother’s portrait.