News Archives, Aug. 21, 2012

Campus News for August 21, 2012


by Steve Lang, News and Publications

While sifting through research on the toxic aftermath of the Vietnam War, Sul Ross State University student Joseph Rosco found some feelings he hopes to carry to the stage.
His findings, particularly the effects of Agent Orange on returning soldiers and a lack of government response, provided some emotional insight for a play he will direct next spring. Steve Tesich’s “The Speed of Darkness,” a tragedy of two returning Vietnam veterans, will be performed May 2-4, 2013 at Sul Ross.
Rosco, Beaumont, a senior theatre major and McNair Program scholar, developed “Steve Tesich’s ‘The Speed of Darkness’: Agent Orange, the Vietnam War and the Birth of a Dying Nation,” as a McNair research project. Dona Roman, professor of Theatre, served as his mentor.
“I was aware that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was a big issue,” Rosco said. “Then I started researching Agent Orange. The results of Agent Orange really infuriated me. I couldn’t believe how the government denied help.”
Agent Orange, a mixture of powerful herbicides, was used to defoliate the Vietnam countryside in an effort to deny cover for guerilla forces fighting against the South Vietnamese Army and American troops. Although its manufacturers stated it had no harmful effects on humans, later studies revealed massive birth defects and stillbirths among exposed humans and animals, numerous health problems and increased rates of cancer. One of the ingredients used to produce Agent Orange was later discovered to be contaminated with an extremely toxic compound.
Veterans began to file claims in 1977 to the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability payments for health care for conditions they believed were associated with exposure to Agent Orange, or more specifically, dioxin. Their claims were denied unless they could prove the condition began when they were in the service or within one year of their discharge. A subsequent class action lawsuit by veterans was settled out of court, and benefits to affected veterans from the settlement have been limited.
Rosco hopes to infuse his feelings to his cast when rehearsals begin.
“I have a strong appreciation for the U.S. military and respect for those who serve,” he said. “To see how they (Vietnam vets) were treated made me angry and sad at the same time.
“That’s how (as a director) you need to make the characters feel in order to make the audience feel that way as well.”
“The Speed of Darkness,” first performed in 1989, chronicles two Vietnam vets initially ostracized by their hometown on their return 20 years earlier. Through the years, one has become a successful businessman, the other a homeless casualty. When they first returned from the war, psychologically scarred and physically sterile due to Agent Orange exposure, they took symbolic vengeance on their country by dumping countless barrels of toxic waste into the crevices of a beautiful mesa, contaminating the land. The ruined wilderness area is to become the site of a new housing development.
At the end of the play, Joe, a now-successful businessman nominated for the town’s Man of the Year award, reveals the crime. Lou, his homeless friend and fellow veteran, commits suicide in Joe’s living room, saying he will die for Joe’s sins and be a scapegoat.
Through his public confession, Joe seeks to free himself of the past and asks forgiveness of the town. He in turn forgives them in this symbolic gesture. But the American people, the play reveals, are not yet willing to join Joe in an act of mutual healing and would rather bury him along with Lou.
Rosco said he chose the play “because we had a bunch of soldiers who went to Iraq and Afghanistan” and that the play should be a reminder of what happened to Vietnam veterans.
“I want the audience to be aware of that out of respect for U.S. troops and what they went through,” he said.
Rosco, who will graduate in August 2013, called his research a two-part project. He spent several months researching his topic through numerous sources, including the Vietnam Archives at Texas Tech University.
“This was the analytical part,” he said. “The next portion is production; applying the information I gathered and compiling a personal history for each character in the play.”
Following graduation, Rosco hopes to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing and eventually work in live theatre.
“Live theatre can make a much greater impact on the audience than film, if done correctly,” he said.
Roman praised Rosco’s diligence in his research.
“It has been a pleasure working with Rosco on this project,” she said. “I have really enjoyed his evolution in learning and realizing what actually occurred in Vietnam and the impact it had on our country and these soldiers.”
The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is designed to encourage first generation, low-income students and minority undergraduates to consider careers in college teaching as well as prepare for doctoral study. Students who participate in the program are provided with research opportunities and faculty mentors.
Named in honor of the astronaut who died in the 1986 space-shuttle explosion, the program was established at Sul Ross in November 2007. It is funded through the Department of Education’s TRIO programs. For more information, contact Mary Bennett, (432) 837-8478 or
A total of 137 students, 87 from the Alpine Campus and 50 from Rio Grande College, were candidates for degrees during summer commencement exercises at Sul Ross State University.
Ceremonies were held Saturday, Aug. 11 in the Pete P. Gallego Center on the Alpine Campus.
Alpine campus graduates, their degrees and hometowns are listed below. Degree codes are as follows: AA-Associate of Applied Science; BA - Bachelor of Arts; BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration; BFA - Bachelor of Fine Arts; BS - Bachelor of Science; Cert. - Certificate; MA - Master of Arts; MAg. - Master of Agriculture;
MBA - Master of Business Administration; MEd - Master of Education; MS - Master of Science; VN - Vocational Nursing Certificate; cum laude, 3.5-3.69 grade point average; magna cum laude, 3.7-3.89; summa cum laude, 3.9-4.0.
CHIHUAHUA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO: Miriam L. Derat Carrasco, MBA, Business Administration; HarniR. Dozal Ochoa, MBA, Business Administration; Laura C. Gomez Herrera, MBA, Business Administration
OJINAGA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO: Dacil Gutierrez, MA, History
ABEOKUTA, NIGERIA: Babajide Babatunde, MBA, Business Administration
CARACAS, VENEZUELA: Jose R. Contreras Escalante, MBA, Business Administration
RIVERSIDE, ILL.: Rachel Osier Lindley, MBA, Business Administration
KANSAS CITY, MO.: Carla M. Parsons, BS, Biology
PLAINFIELD, N.J.: Laura J. Culp, MS, Range and Wildlife Management
LOVINGTON, N.M.: John B. Mock, MEd, Education-General; Kimberly S. Mock, MEd, Education-General
ROSWELL, N.M: James L. Barela, BA, Communication, cum laude
MCALESTER, OKLA.: Derrick L.Matthews, MEd, Physical Educaton; Sirena R. Matthews, MEd, Physical Education
ABILENE: Jey Penquite, MEd, School Administration
ALPINE: Veronica L. Alvarez, MA, English;Desiree P. Baeza, BS, Criminal Justice; Alberto Calderon, BBA, Business Administration; Daniel M. Celaya, BS, Chemistry; Dee Dee De La O, MEd, Physical Education; Kenna Garcia, BS, Criminal Justice; Benjamin Mason, MS, Criminal Justice; Clark S. Nussbaum, MBA, Business Administration; Jose Rodriguez, BS, Industrial Technology
ASHERTON: Federico Cervantez, MS, Criminal Justice
BAIRD: Cathlene Dyer Womack, MEd, Education-General
BANGS: John M. Carroll, M.Ag, Animal Science
BLACKWELL: Cynthia K. Cumby, MEd, Education-General
BRECKENRIDGE: Robert A. Jackson, MEd, School Administration
CLEBURNE: Joseph S. Walden, BA, History, summa cum laude
CORSICANA: Eve C. Herrington, BA, General Studies
DE LEON: Mark A. Bradford, BA, Political Science
DEL RIO: Susana Garza, MA, History; Pamela L. Stoddard, MA, History
DENVER CITY: Julio A. Romero, BS, Criminal Justice
DEVINE: Mitchell Waechter, BA, Music, cum laude
DICKINSON: Stacy L. Sawyer, BS, Geology
DRIFTWOOD: Juan D. Solis, BS, Criminal Justice
EL CAMPO: Kody W. Kubala, MS, Biology
EL PASO: Melissa E. Amparan, BA, Administrative Systems and Business Technology; Alejandro G. Armendariz, MEd, School Administration; Araceli Barrios, MEd, Counseling; Claudia T. Eggenhafer, BA, Psychology; Corina Fernandez, MEd, Reading Specialist; Jeffrey J. Ivey, BS, Geology; Veronica Ordonez, MEd, School Administration; Minerva Ornelas, MEd, School Administration; Jorge G. Reyes, MEd, School Administration; Robert Robledo, MEd, School Administration; Darron E. Saunders, MEd, School Administration; McKenna Serwatka, MEd, School Administration; David T. Walker, MEd, School Administration; Juan C. Wittke, MS, Criminal Justice
GRANDVIEW: Tracey Keeney, MEd, Education-General;
HITCHCOCK: Bailey N. Moyers, MBA, Business Administration
HORIZON CITY: Alfonso Rendon, MEd, School Administration
HOUSTON: Matthew D. Murray, MS, Criminal Justice; Boniface Sebit, BS, Kinesiology and Sports Science; Anthony Stephens, BBA, Business Administration
KILLEEN: Corey C. V. Bowser, BA, Communication
LEVELLAND: Charles M. Lynn, BA, History
MARBLE FALLS: Guy Taylor, MS, Criminal Justice
MARFA: David Rodriguez, MBA, Business Administration
MARION: Ellen M. Oelke, MA, English
MERKEL: Pamela N. Hailey, MEd, School Administration
MIDLAND: Gregory M. Freidline, MBA, Business Administration; Ruben R. Hernandez, MS, Criminal Justice; Victoria E. Munguia, BS, Biology; Jamie L. Seabourn, BS, Biology
MONAHANS: Tatiana I. Ramirez, BS, Criminal Justice
ODESSA: Adriana F. Carrillo, MBA, Business Administration; Sandra S. Valenzuela Quezada, BA, General Studies
PECOS: Deannady L. Herrera, BA, Communication
PHARR: Jacob Salgado, BS, Criminal Justice
POST: Nancy McDonald, M.Ag, Animal Science
RANGER: Jerry Russell, MEd, School Administration
SAN ANGELO: David D. Lewis, Jr., MEd, Physical Education
SAN ANTONIO: Carter R. Brown, MBA, Business Administration; Stephen C. Munoz, MBA, Business Administration
SHALLOWATER: Sharon L. Shoulders, MBA, Business Administration
SLATON: Reggie W. Gibbs, MEd, Physical Education
TERLINGUA: Ryan Flippo, BS, Industrial Technology
UVALDE: Karla R. Moerbe, MEd, Counseling
VAN: David P. Rumbelow, BS, Biology
VAN HORN: Chad W. Engle, BS, Criminal Justice; Sherri Molina, BS, Biology, cum laude
WELLBORN: Manuel E. McBride, BS, Industrial Technology
Fall semester classes will begin Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Sul Ross State University.
Residence halls will open Saturday, Aug. 25 at noon. Lobo Days Orientation/Welcome Week will be held Saturday-Tuesday, Aug; 25-28.
A faculty meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 27 in Marshall Auditorium, with school and departmental meetings to follow at 10:30.Late orientation will also be held for new and transfer students.
Tuesday, Aug. 28 is the last day for regular registration and also the last day for students to register in Education block courses. Aug. 28 is also the last registration day for new incoming freshmen and transfer students. New students who have not previously registered for fall classes should go online to the Sul Ross website under Orientation and fill out this form
Classes, late registration and schedule changes begin Wednesday, Aug. 29. Weekend Format classes begin Saturday, Sept. 1
Monday, Sept. 3 is the Labor Day holiday, with no classes scheduled and offices closed. Tuesday, Sept. 4 is the last day for late registration and schedule changes.
Sul Ross will host the annual New Student Convocation Thursday, Sept. 6, 10:15 a.m. in Marshall Auditorium. Friday, Sept. 14 is the 12th class day.
Friday, Sept. 21 is the final day for students enrolled in Education block courses to drop a course and receive a “W.”
Monday, Sept. 24 is the deadline for applying to student teach during Spring 2013 semester.A University as Community Meal on the Mall will also be served on that day.
Deadline to apply for Spring 2013 graduation is Friday, Sept. 28. Tuesday, Oct. 16 is mid-semester.
Friday, Nov. 16 is the last day to withdraw from the university or drop a course with a “W.” Drops must be processed in the Registrar’s Office by 4 p.m
Thanksgiving holidays will be observed Wednesday-Sunday, Nov. 21-25. Holidays begin after the last scheduled class on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Residence halls will close at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 and re-open at noon Sunday, Nov. 25.
Wednesday, Dec. 5 is the final class day. Final examinations will be held Monday-Thursday, Dec. 10-13.
Fall commencement exercises will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Pete P. Gallego Center.
According to a recent article in Lone Star Gridiron, Sul Ross State University ranks eighth among universities in the number of graduates who are active Texas high school head football coaches.
Presently, 47 Sul Ross alumni are head coaches at Texas high schools, according to the 58th Texas Coaches Directory, published by Western Sports Guides. Angelo State University has the most active alumni, 93, followed by Stephen F. Austin University (80); Texas Tech University (70); Tarleton State University (58); Western New Mexico University (57); Texas State University (56); Sam Houston State University (49); Sul Ross; Texas A&M University (46); and Eastern New Mexico University (39).
Baylor University (34) ranked 12th in the top 20 list, while the University of Texas (23) was 18th.