News Archives March 27, 2012

News for March 27, 2012



An article by Dr. Donald Callen Freed, Sul Ross State University associate professor of Music, has been published in the journal for the Athens (Greece) Institute for Education and Research.

In addition, Freed recently published a book review in Choral Journal.

Freed’s article, "Stroke and Voice Therapy: One Singer-Conductor’s Own Journey and Recovery," is included in the 2011 journal, "Visual and Performing Arts," edited by Stephen Andrew Arbury and Aikaterini Georgoulia.

Freed also wrote a review of "The Solo Singer in the Choral Setting," by Margaret Olson, published by Scarecrow Press. The review appeared in the March issue of Choral Journal.

For more information, contact Freed, (432) 837-8216 or




"Communication in Clay," ceramic work by guest artist Jennifer Quarles, will be on exhibition through April 6 at Sul Ross State University.

Quarles’ work will be on display in the Main Gallery, Francois Fine Arts Building. Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

This is a ceramic exhibition of anachronistic objects that explore the timeless relationship of recording and sharing information. Quarles’ work is a blending of the age old tradition of fired clay coupled with text and images that allude to life in the digital age.




A Sul Ross State University faculty recital will be held Thursday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, 6th St. and Ave. A, Alpine.

There is no admission charge and the public is invited.

Performers include: Donald Callen Freed, tenor; John Kuehne, violin; Heather Dobbins, bassoon; Steven Bennack, guitar; Don Slocomb, clarinet; and Christopher Dobbins, tenor and alto trombones.

For more information, contact Freed, (432) 837-8216 or





A new scholarship fund will provide annual awards to undergraduate and graduate geology majors at Sul Ross State University.

The Joseph B. Dishron Geology Scholarship Fund, established March 12, will commence with two $250 awards for the 2012-2013 academic year. One undergraduate and one graduate award will be presented, with scholarship selections to be made by the Earth and Physical Sciences Scholarship Committee.

Dishron graduated from Sul Ross in 2011 with a Master’s degree in geology and now works for XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, in Fort Worth.

Undergraduate scholarship criteria includes: a geology major or minor with sophomore, junior or senior standing who has completed 11 or more semester credit hours of geology coursework. Successful applicants must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher and a GPA of 3.0 or better in geology.

Graduate applicants must be geology majors with a thesis option of any geological discipline, completing at least nine graduate-level credits. Applicants must have a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average as an undergraduate and 3.5 or higher as a graduate student. A completed Sul Ross scholarship application, including essay and references will be required from each applicant.

"We deeply appreciate Mr. Dishron’s gift to Sul Ross," said Dr. Ricardo Maestas, President. "This contribution further expands scholarship opportunities to deserving students."

Sul Ross endowments exceed $14 million with more than 215 scholarships.

For more information on endowments, contact Leo Dominguez, associate vice president for Advancement and University Relations, (432) 837-8033 or




by Jason Hennington, News Writer

Sul Ross State University, through the Department of Criminal Justice is offering students a unique look at firearms.

Dr. Robert Hunter, Department Chair of Criminal Justice, offers a class each long semester, "Forensics Ballistics" in the Fall Semester and "Firearms, Cops, and Crooks" in the Spring Semester. Both classes are an off- shoot of a long-standing Criminal Investigation class that he has offered for years.

"In the Criminal Investigation class maybe one-third of that class was firearms, but it was such a big topic I’ve now turned the firearms parts into two specialized classes to extend the detail of the subject," he said.

Hunter explains that"Forensic Ballistics" is a more highly technical class than the "Firearms, Cops, and Crooks" that is offered in the Spring. The "Forensics Ballistics" class goes into great detail and focuses more about what physical evidence may be found during a criminal investigation. Aspects of 4th Amendment Search and Seizure along with criminal investigation techniques are emphasized in this class.

"A criminal trial is really very simple. It is a fight over evidence. If you don’t have any evidence – you don’t have a case – game over. Therefore, the legal collection and examination of evidence is crucial to any criminal conviction."

"Most of our students want to become Law Enforcement officers," Hunter added. "This class prepares them. When our graduates go out to a crime scene, they need know what they’re looking for and what they are looking at. They can see something and they can recognize it because they’ve seen it in class, or they have some general knowledge of what it is they have discovered during the course of the investigation. This is a valuable technical skill-set."

The ‘Forensic Ballistics" class also delves deeply into the different types of firearms, and gives students a chance to go out to the shooting range to learn more about the weapons.

"It’s a detailed forensics class; they learn about different firearms, the investigation of firearm related crimes, they get some hands-on familiarity with firearms. I take them to the range, they’re exposed to it, they get to shoot, and they get to do a lot of things that get them up to speed with firearms," Hunter said.

The reason Hunter takes the class to the range is to help them understand more about the weapons, and give them a chance to see the weapons first hand.

"A lot of people see stuff on TV or video games, and a big point I try to make in both classes is to demonstrate to students that what they are seeing or what they think they believe, may not be reality," he said. "I demonstrate different firearms to them so they can see the power, the tremendous destructive force, and the consequences of using a firearm."

Hunter labels himself as "safety obsessed" when it comes to being at the range.

"That’s one of the other aspects of both classes, I teach safe gun handling. "I am probably driving students crazy with safety out there. It is drilled into them every time we are at the range."

The second firearms class, "Firearms, Cops, and Crooks," has a different perspective.

"In the classroom we talk about the historical aspect," Hunter explains. "I take them all the way back to the cowboy days and they learn about black powder cowboy pistols used in the West up to modern weapons worn by today’s Law Enforcement officers. I take them out and they get to experience that, I’ll take a machine gun out there before the end of this semester. I take these fully automatic weapons out there and they can see the reality and sobering destructive power of modern weapons. This is not TV, this is not a game – this is the real thing!"

Hunter explains that this class is a demonstration of firearms that police officers, as well as criminals, use or have used historically.

"Certain types of firearms have become popular with criminal elements, and criminal elements may modify them for their application," he said. "They may chop down the barrel of a rifle or shotgun so it can be concealed , and other illegal modifications.

Hunter believes the classes are very different in style, but both give different information on the same subject.

"The class in the Fall Semester is very technical, while the class in the Spring offers a broader picture of firearms than the Fall forensics class," he said.

Students enjoy the classes, and believe they are gaining knowledge in the field. Criminal Justice major Jason Renforth, Odessa, explains there is a large range of information covered in the class.

"Everything from ballistic math to different types of handguns, rifles, shotguns, even to the ballistics of ammunition and each of those weapons," he said.

Marcy Zamora, Van Horn, explains how deep the class goes into firearms.

"It’s about firearms, the mechanisms of a firearm, cartridges, and bullet sizes," she said. "I’ve learned a lot about the guns and pistols because I really didn’t know anything about it. I wasn’t really too familiar with guns or weapons. I’ve learned to at least identify some."

Zamora had never used a firearm prior to the class, but has been out to the range five times all together between the two semesters. The idea of learning more about firearms is what sparked her interest in the class.

"To learn about the weapons, other than being one of my required Criminal Justice classes, I really wanted to learn about firearms and what they actually do," she explained.

Renforth took the first part of the class, so he had some knowledge of the weapons, but he also became more intrigued with firearms after the class.

Both Renforth and Zamora said their favorite part of the class is going out to the range to shoot.

"I really like this class, it’s pretty good," Renforth said. "Dr. Hunter is pretty good about covering cool stuff that people aren’t going to figure out any other way."

Hunter explains that Sheriff Ronny Dodson of the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office has been a large part of the success for the class.

"The Sheriff has always been very accommodating and supportive of these classes. Many times one of the Deputies will assist me watching the students during live fire at the range. Anytime I’ve ever asked for something the Sheriff’s Office has come through," Hunter said.

Hunter added that the Big Bend Sportsman’s Club and its President, David Arnold, have also been a great community partner with the firearms classes.

"We don’t have a range so every student that takes this class becomes a member of the Big Bend Sportsman Club," he said. "I don’t just take them out there willy-nilly, every single one of them is a card-carrying member of the club. The students have a stake in the facility and the club."

This gives the students the option to go to the range on their own for additional practice.

"Students from my classes have had training. They have been taught firearms safety. When they leave these classes they know right from wrong. Student membership with the Big Bend Sportsman’s Club helps support them, and the club helps support us," Hunter said. "One hand washes the other, and it works out really well."

According to Hunter, most of the students in the class want to be police officers, and a number of FBI agents, Border Patrol agents, County Sheriffs, DPS officers, Game Wardens and even one Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer (RCMP) have come from the Sul Ross Criminal Justice Program.

"In West Texas we have a strong robust influence and excellent representation of our SRSU students within the law enforcement community," he said. "We’re offering here at Sul Ross, what I think, are exceptional classes that will help our students get a job, help them keep that job, keep them safe, and be professional, all things we expect of American law enforcement and criminal justice folks. My standards and expectations of students are high. Our SRSU Criminal Justice graduates can compete with the best of them – no question."

For more information about the class contact the Criminal Justice department at (432) 837-8166 or email Hunter at




Dr. Tanya Shenk will deliver the 18th H.J. Cottle Lecture, "The Colorado Canada Lynx Reintroduction Program," Thursday, April 5 at Sul Ross State University.

Shenk’s lecture will be held at 1 p.m. in Marshall Auditorium, Morelock Academic Building. She will disucess the reintroduction of Canada lynx back into the Colorado portion of the Rocky Mountains. There is no admission charge and the public is invited. The Biology Club will host a reception outside the auditorium immediately following the lecture.

Shenk is currently a landscape ecologist with the National Park Service, Biological Resources Management Division, focusing on wildlife conservation in Fort Collins, Colo. She was chosen from a number of candidates because of her extensive background within the biological sciences. Shenk is a Colorado State University faculty affiliate and is also a member expert with the ICUN’s North American Cat Specialist Group.

This annual lecture series is named in honor of Dr. Harve James Cottle who was a distinguished researcher, educator, and member of the Sul Ross Biology Department for several years in the 1920s, and promoted student interactions with outstanding scientists of various fields.

Previous Cottle Lecturers include: Dr. Barney Lipscomb from The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (Rappaccini's Garden: Murderous Plants-Poisonous Herbs in our World); Dr. Jeff Meldrum from Idaho State University (Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science); and Dr. Millicent Goldschmidt from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (The Mighty Microbe, the Ultimate Predator).





by Jason Hennington, News Writer

Former Sul Ross State University athletes Brittany Hatch, Dallas, and Julio Romero, Denver City, recently coached a younger group of Lobos to the top of Alpine’s Youth Basketball League.

Hatch and Romero coached the Wolf Pack, named in honor of the Lobos, and made up of seven little girls interested in the game of basketball. The team competed in the eight and under division, and went undefeated after an eight-game season and an end of the season tournament.

"I really enjoyed getting to know all the girls and growing a bond with them," Hatch said.

Dr. Barney Nelson, Professor of English, received a call from her daughter, Carla Spencer, who was in need of volunteer coaches for the league, and suggested Hatch and Romero.

"As a Division III non-scholarship school, Sul Ross’s goal is to produce future coaches for public schools rather than NBA players," Nelson said. "It looks like we’re doing a great job."

This became a good opportunity for both Hatch and Romero who both hope to coach in the future.

"Dr. Nelson gave us an opportunity to help out with the team, and they were some really good girls," Romero said.

This was not Romero’s first time coaching. He has coached little dribblers in his hometown, and coached junior varsity AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball, but this was his first time winning a championship and going undefeated.

"It was great," he said of the experience. "I got to meet new friends, got to know Brittany better, and become good friends with her. The experience was great, and the girls made it really awesome."

This was Hatch’s first time coaching, and she had to get used to working with younger children.

"My patience really came in handy, because you have to have patience with young kids," she laughed. "Since this was my first time coaching it was very interesting at first because I forgot when you’re young you have energy so it was tough keeping them entertained with drills."

The coaches of the Wolf Pack taught the basics of basketball in order to keep the team entertained and enthusiastic.

"We started off with the basics because fora lot of them it was their first time playing basketball," Hatch explained. "We started off with dribbling, passing, and shooting. Then we worked our way up to defense and doing lay-ups."

Romero explained that the girls needed a push from the coaches to realize and achieve their ability.

"Some of them were really scared to play at first, but we just went hard on them," he said. "We had a few talented ones, but they were all really hard workers, and that’s what I was looking for."

Romero recalled one of their players going through a transformation between the beginning and the end of the season.

"One of the girls told me that she didn’t really like basketball," he said. "She didn’t miss any games or practices, and in the end she was the best player we had. So that was really awesome."

Both Hatch and Romero feel this was a great opportunity to pass on knowledge that they have of the game.

"Love the game, the best thing I can pass on to them," Romero said.

Hatch hopes that she can look back on this opportunity later and use what she has learned from this experience.

"Overall the experience was fun," she said.

With the experience I got to know great people and kids, and I can say that I have coaching experience under my belt."

Romero believes that this experience will help him in the future as a coach.

"I think it’ll help me with knowing kids better. That’s like the main part," he said. "Make it fun for them, but at the same time practice hard. It helped me to learn more about the game."

Hatch and Romero hope that the girls continue to play basketball and hope they continue to love the game.

"Hopefully the girls continue to play because they all improved and they all have potential," Hatch said.

Hatch was a four-year letter winner with the Lady Lobo basketball team and is currently serving as the graduate assistant for the Lobo Track team. She hopes to coach women’s basketball at the middle school level in the future.

Romero played for the Lobo Men’s basketball team for three years and is planning for a future in federal law enforcement, but hopes to continue volunteer coaching as well.