News Archives June 26, 2012

News for June 26, 2012



Twelve cadets are candidates for graduation from the Sul Ross State University Law Enforcement Academy.

Graduation ceremonies will be held Tuesday, July 3, 11 a.m. in the Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center.

Guest speaker will be Lt. Lisa Tarango of the Fort Stockton Police Department.

Zachary Banwart, Anchorage, Alaska, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and be the class speaker. Cadet Cassandra Carrasco, Stanton, will deliver the invocation. Dr. Melanie Croy, Dean of the School of Professional Studies, will give the welcome.

Lloyd D. Dragoo, Jr., Law Enforcement Academy director, will serve as Master of Ceremonies and present individual awards for the class valedictorian, highest score on the state examination, top gun award (Cadet Robert Aguilar, Fort Stockton) and highest score in physical fitness (Cadet Esai Ontiveros, Fort Stockton). He will also present certificates of graduation and make closing remarks.

Other cadets are: Joshua Criddle, Alpine; Angel Dominguez, Alpine; Willys Drawe, Albuquerque, N.M., formerly of Alpine; Timothy Ellis, New Boston, Mich.; Timothy Murphy, Fort Stockton; Clariza Pina, Presidio; Aaron Rodriguez, Alpine; and Miranda Rodriguez, Midland.

Tarango, a member of the Fort Stockton Police Department since 1994, holds two degrees from Sul Ross, a B.S. in Criminal Justice (2006) and M.S. in Criminal Justice (2008). She graduated from Odessa College’s Law Enforcement Academy in 1993and later attended Midland College.

After starting as a dispatcher, she was assigned to the Patrol Division with the Fort Stockton Police Department. She served as a patrol officer from 1994-1998; school resource officer, 1998-2002; sergeant of the Patrol Division, 2002-2008; Criminal Investigations sergeant, 2008-2010, and since 2009, has been a polygraph examiner. Tarango served as interim lieutenant from 2010-2011 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2011. She is currently the lieutenant of Special Investigations.

Tarango has over 6,000 hours of TCLEOSE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) training. She is married to Rick Carreon and has four adult children and two granddaughters.




Sul Ross State University will be closed Wednesday, July 4 for Independence Day.

Classes will resume and offices will reopen Thursday, July 5 at 8 a.m.




Second summer classes will be held July 5-Aug. 9 at Sul Ross State University.

On-line registration for the second summer session ends at midnight Wednesday, July 4 with classes, late registration and schedule changes beginning Thursday, July 5.

Monday, July 9 is the last day to register for shortened format classes, with the shortened format beginning that day. Tuesday, July 10 is the fourth class day and the last day for schedule changes and late registration.

Tuesday, July 24 is mid-term, and Tuesday, July 31 is the last day to drop a course with a "W." Drops must be processed and in the Center for Enrollment Services by 4 p.m.

Final examinations will be held Thursday, Aug. 9. Summer commencement will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 in the Pete P. Gallego Center. Residence halls will close on that day.




by Steve Lang, News and Publications

Sul Ross State University student Miriam Nunez’ interest in Spanish literature has evolved into a McNair Program research project of a a controversial 19th-century Peruvian author.

For 36 hours a week over a six-week span, Nunez, Sanderson, has immersed herself in researching Clorinda Matto de Turner’s ground-breaking novel, "Aves Sin Nido" (Birds Without a Nest) and surrounding literary criticism. Written in 1889, the novel reveals how indigenous people of Peru were stripped of their civil rights by their European counterparts. Her book also explores the unequal treatment of women. Matto de Turner’s independence inspired women throughout the region as her writings sparked controversy in her own culture.

Nunez’ project, "The Role of Women and Indianism in ‘Aves Sin Nido’" has included studying Matto de Turner’s novel as well as nearly a dozen books and other articles of literary criticism of the novel and novelist – all in Spanish. Her research paper will also be written in Spanish. Dr. Filemon Zamora, assistant professor of Spanish, serves as her faculty mentor.

"The novel was considered the first book about indigenous people (of that period). It showed how indigenous people did not have the same rights as those of European descent," Nunez said. "It also showed how women were prohibited from expressing their views."

Matto de Turner’s novel, along with other writings, evoked the ire of both the Catholic church and the Peruvian government. "Aves Sin Nido" was controversial because it told the story of a love affair between a girl whose parents were indigenous and a white man who at the end is found out that  both were conceived by a Catholic bishop who had had an affair with the mother of each respective child and who had kept the secret; that caused a scandal at that time. Her outspoken views led to her excommunication from the church and forced exile from the country (in 1895). She lived the rest of her life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, teaching at a local university and writing. She died in 1909.

Nunez said Matto de Turner’s writing "opened the eyes of people about existing conditions. She was building a new woman in her work and building the future of how a woman would be."

She noted that not all writers she researched agreed with Matto de Turner’s views, but some, both men and women, "approved of her point of view and started looking more into the woman’s side." Change was not immediate, but Matto de Turner’s writings would prove influential with the passage of time.

Although her research was extensive, Nunez said, "I don’t see it as a job; I see it as a learning experience. The more time you put in it, the more you gain."

A senior, she is scheduled to graduate in May 2013, but intends to go to graduate school, eventually earn a Ph.D. and teach at the collegiate level.

"This was my first research project but I really enjoy it," she said. "What keeps me going is that I want to earn more than a bachelor’s degree."

Zamora said that Matto de Turner is considered the initiator of the indigenous novel.

"She (Matto de Turner) defied society and her book denounces the injustices (of the indigenous people)," he said. "Many other authors followed her and this literary movement is studied in most universities where you study Hispanic-American literature."

Zamora said that Nunez’ research is to determine how the author "reconciles an ideology and type of behavior expected of women at that time. Women were supposed to be the ‘angels of the house.’ The bourgeois society gave woman a role: she should be confined to the domestic sacrifice herself for the well-being of the family.

"The novel on one hand portrays women as angels of the house, but women are forced to act because of injustices to the indigenous people."

Zamora, who has taught Nunez in several classes for nearly three years at Sul Ross, meets with her twice a week.

"I am helping her to do research, organize her ideas and to polish her style. I think her theme has a lot of potential; it can easily develop into a doctoral dissertation."

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, McNair Program director, (432) 837-8478 or




by Steve Lang, News and Publications

Murals painted by German prisoners of war inspired a McNair Program research project for Sul Ross State University student David Lattimer.

During the past few months, Lattimer, Brackettville, a senior history major, has studied documents and visited former POW camps at Camp Hearne (Hearne); Fort Russell (Marfa); and Fort Clark (Brackettville). His McNair research project is titled "Germany’s Bonded Soldiers: Prisoners of World War II in Texas."

Lattimer decided on the project after viewing murals at the former Fort Clark site. Further research would show that a number of prisoners painted, sculpted, made wood carvings and artistic cement creations as part of their activities. His research also discusses other daily activities, housing, adherence to Geneva Convention rules, a few escapes and the opening and closing of the camps.

"I wanted to show how they lived, what they did to take up their time," Lattimer said. "My project tries to paint a picture of what day-to-day life was like."

Beginning in 1942, Germany’s Afrika Corps, numbering about one million soldiers, faced a shortage of supplies when the German high command opened a campaign against Russia. The Afrika Corps eventually surrendered to Allied Forces, and 425,000 soldiers were interned in the U.S. About 43,000 were sent to prison camps in Texas, including 4,700 at Camp Hearne. Fort Russell housed 180 prisoners and Fort Clark about the same number.

According to Lattimer’s findings, life as German prisoner in Texas was more than tolerable, and included beer rations and ice cream.

"It wasn’t a country club, but it was tolerable. Prisoners were paid for their work and also received a stipend," Lattimer said. "They had coupons to buy things like tobacco, soap, art supplies and cement at the fort canteen."

He said that prisoners at Camp Hearne converted a barracks into a theatre, dug an orchestra pit, built stadium seating and put on plays.

Under the Geneva Convention rules, which Lattimer said were adhered to by the U.S. government, housing quarters were required to be equivalent to those of a nation’s owned armed forces. Physical activity was encouraged, with access to aspects of religion, education and art.

His stops at Fort Russell and Fort Clark turned up limited information aside from murals painted by prisoners, so Lattimer journeyed to Austin to search the Texas State Archives. Once again, he found little data, but did learn about Camp Hearne, a two-hour drive from Austin. At Camp Hearne, he found a wealth of information in the camp’s museum and archives.

"Pretty much everything I have is about Camp Hearne," he said, "and the related information is the starting point for every section in my paper."

He learned that Fort Russell and Fort Clark were satellite camps, set up to be near work sites. There, prisoners who were enlisted men worked eight-hour days. (Under the Geneva Convention rules, officers were not required to work.)

Lattimer did record several escape attempts, including one from Fort Russell where three prisoners were found three days later in Sierra Blanca. At Camp Hearne, four prisoners built a raft, concealed it on the bank of the Brazos River and were gone for three days before a fisherman saw them and alerted authorities, who recaptured them.

"Most escapes were not met with a huge amount of retaliation by the guards," Lattimer said. "Usually, 30 days of confinement to the barracks followed.

"The Geneva Convention rules guaranteed the right to attempt to escape," he said. "Not everybody followed the Geneva Convention rules, but the U.S., during World War II, followed them to a ‘T’ in hopes of guaranteeing the safety of U.S. prisoners."

Lattimer, who grew up in Brackettville, was unaware that Fort Clark housed German POWs until he began his research.

"I never knew there were POWs there," he said. He did learn that one of the "prized" work assignments was cleaning the Fort Clark pool, a spring-fed enclosure where the water is a constant 65 degrees in contrast to surrounding high humidity.

He added that prisoners housed at Fort Russell were quartered in almost-new barracks (built in 1940) with a new mess hall and laundry facilities.

Lattimer, who plans to attend graduate school following graduation, was mentored by Dr. Mark Saka, Sul Ross history professor.

"I’m very excited about David’s project," Saka said. "He has a wide collection of photographs and conducted oral interviews with archivists and is working very hard.

"Being an historian is detective work and David has done a pretty good job," said Saka. "When he visited one site and did not find the information he needed, he went to another four or five sites."

Saka, who has mentored a number of McNair projects, including those of Texas history, said this was his first World War II project.

"I have learned a lot. That’s one of the advantages of being a mentor," he said, adding that "David was a self-starter from the beginning. He came to me with the project idea and he has been a pleasure to work with." 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, McNair Program director, (432) 837-8478 or