Latest News from Sul Ross June 25, 2013

    Sul Ross State University will offer basic American Welding Society (AWS) certification classes beginning Fall Semester 2013.
    Classes in fuel and arc welding for AWS certification will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9 p.m. beginning Thursday, Aug. 29 in the Industrial Technology Department at Sul Ross. Ray Bullock, who recently retired as welding technology instructor at Alpine High School, will be the instructor.
    “Sul Ross is thrilled to offer welding certification classes,” said Scott Wassermann, Industrial Technology instructor. “This will help meet an ever-growing demand for certified welders in this region.”
    For more information, contact Wassermann, (432) 837-8137 or


"Pirates of Penzance" at Theatre of the Big Bend

Gilbert and Sullivan's “The Pirates of Penzance" will continue performances on the Theatre of the Big Bend stage Friday-Sunday, June 28-30. The vibrant summer theatre production delights audiences young and old.   A fun-filled family musical, “Pirates” tells the tale of pirate-apprentice Frederic (played by Augustus Arbogast, right), who meets Mabel (Ashley Page, left), the daughter of the Modern Major-General, and the two instantly fall in love. Many hilarious hi-jinks and antics ensue as the pirates return for a battle against the Major-General and his bumbling police force. Curtain time for all performances is 8:15 p.m. at the Kokernot Outdoor Theatre in Alpine.  A pre-show Pirate Costume contest will be held for children attending the show.  Children entering the costume contest will receive $2 off of their admission and will be eligible for prizes.  Additionally, patrons attending the Marfa Film Festival will receive 10 percent off of their price of admission with a ticket stub or event pass. For advance ticket sales, or more call (432) 837-8218 or visit our website (Photo by Cheryl Zinsmeyer)


    A Department of Energy grant will provide Sul Ross State University faculty members training in solar energy instruction, as well as equipment to include in resultant classroom instruction.
    Sul Ross Industrial Technology instructor Scott Wassermann and adjunct instructor Terrence Ross will receive online and hands-on training in solar energy instruction through a DOE regional grant awarded to Houston Community Colleges. As a grant sub-recipient, Sul Ross will also receive funding for solar energy equipment to be incorporated into existing classes.
    In addition, Wasserman will enroll in a five-week class at Texas State University, San Marcos, to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC), provides building owners and operators a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance measures.
    Wassermann will be able to incorporate LEED training into existing classes.
    “Receiving this training will enable us to add solar energy components into our existing electricity and construction classes,” said Wassermann. “This will help Sul Ross provide its students with technical expertise in solar energy and give them credibility as solar installers.”
    The grant also provides funds for laboratory equipment for the classes.
    “All this will help us help students build a package of skills for environmentally conscious construction,” he said. “Green construction, which includes solar energy implementation, is adaptable to both new building and renovation. The job growth potential is exponential.”
    For more information, contact Wassermann, (432) 837-8137 or



New UDPS officer

Sul Ross State University President Ricardo Maestas pinned the badge on new UDPS officer Joseph Waelbroeck following the oath of office Monday (June 24). Waelbroeck, a native of Memphis, Tenn., previously worked as a Sul Ross police officer from December 2009 to October 2010. He spent the next two years with the Jeff Davis County Sheriff's Department, then several months in private security. He and his wife, Lia, have one son, Max, and live in Alpine. (Photo by Steve Lang)

    by Steve Lang, News and Publications

    Katie Savage’s interest in a better exercise regimen for her quarter horses evolved into a McNair Program research project and stimulus for a career path.
    “I wanted to find the perfect way to exercise my horses so their performance at rodeos would be better,” said Savage, a Sul Ross State University senior Animal Science major.
    With the encouragement of her faculty adviser, Dr. Byron Housewright, assistant professor of Animal Science, Savage applied to the McNair Program, was accepted, and her idea became research.
    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.
    Savage’s project, “Cardiac and Metabolic Responses Related to Lactate Thresholds in Quarter Horses During a Sprint Training Regimen,” measures the exercise intensity at which lactate (or more specifically, lactic acid) starts to accumulate in the blood stream. The speed in which lactate reaches the threshold level is a useful measure for determining exercise intensity and conditioning for training and racing horses.


Arena sprint

Sul Ross student Katie Savage sprints her quarter horse, Cross, as part of her McNair Program research project.  Savage is measuring the speed in which lactate reaches the threshold level to determine a better exercise regimen for her horses. (Photo by Steve Lang)

    Throughout spring semester, Savage, Pearland, exercised several quarter horses at full speed in the rodeo arena. At regular intervals following the sprints, blood was drawn to measure the lactate thresholds. She is presently awaiting the results to complete her findings.
    Both Housewright and Savage said that similar research on quarter horses is not readily available.“With different breeds, the training differs greatly,” Savage said. “We found that there is not a lot of research on sprint horses.”
    “Not much research has been published on blood tests (for sprint horses) and how it relates to training,” said Housewright.
    Quarter horses are named and bred for their speed in short distances up to a quarter mile. Because of their rapid acceleration for rodeo events or short races, measuring endurance via treadmill tests is not applicable.
    “What we are doing (research-wise) is something that hasn’t been done,” Savage said.
    Savage competed on the Sul Ross rodeo team in barrel racing, goat tying and breakaway roping. She hopes her research results will not only provide a more effective exercise regimen for her horses but will also be beneficial in her future plans as a breeding manager for quarter horses.
    In the meantime, she plans to complete her research, which includes an academic paper, PowerPoint presentation and poster. McNair Program participants present their research at the on-campus McNair-Tafoya Symposium during the following Fall Semester. In addition, students are encouraged to present their findings at state and national conferences, also in Savage’s future plans.
    “I absolutely love McNair,” she said. “It has been a fun experience, although at first I definitely didn’t see it as something I was going to do....Seeing it (research) all come together and seeing the end result makes it all worthwhile.”
    She plans to complete bachelor’s degrees in Equine Science and Reproductive Biology at Sul Ross, as well as earn a Master’s degree in Equine Science. Savage also plans to stay active as an advocate for the Sul Ross Animal Science program and in promoting the research aspects.
    Named in honor of the astronaut who died in the 1986 space-shuttle explosion, the McNair 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

           Sul Ross State University will add women’s soccer as a club sport this fall, and will join NCAA Division III competition in 2014.
           “Soccer has gained widespread popularity at all levels of collegiate competition,” said Sul Ross athletic director John Tyree. “The addition of women’s soccer to our athletic program offers another opportunity to recruit student-athletes.”
           Home matches will be played on the infield of the Sul Ross track, located next to the Jackson Field football facilities. Following a year of club competition, Sul Ross will begin intercollegiate play in Fall 2014 in the American Southwest Conference. All the other ASC members play both men’s and women’s soccer at the Division III level.
            Jessica Eikenberry, a Sul Ross graduate student who served as assistant Lady Lobos softball coach last spring, will serve as head coach. Eikenberry, a Tucson, Ariz. native, was a two-year letter winner in soccer at Sahuaro High School, before concentrating on softball at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona.
           “I feel this program will hopefully build an interest to attract more students in the surrounding areas to Sul Ross because they will now have the opportunity to play soccer at the collegiate level closer to their hometowns,” said Eikenberry.
         “I want to get a good group of girls here in the fall so that they can get the experience this year playing in tournaments and against other club teams in order to have a competitive team ready to take the field in 2014.”            
           Eikenberry plans to reach out to the Sul Ross community as well as West Texas area high schools and junior colleges to recruit and build the program.
    For more information, contact Eikenberry, (520) 904-8701 or



    Dr. Barney Nelson, local author and retired Sul Ross State University faculty member, will offer a memoir writing class during Fall Semester 2013.
    The class will meet in an intensive week-end format on Sept. 7-8, Oct. 5-6 and 26-27, and Nov. 16-17. Week-end classes meet from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m.-noon on Sundays. Respective weekends will concentrate on collecting memories onto index cards, organizing into chapters, writing a sample chapter, and preparing a publisher’s submission packet.
    “Almost anyone who lives in the Big Bend or rural areas and small towns has memories that would interest readers and publishers,” said Nelson. She is the author or editor of seven books and a 40-year veteran of magazine, newspaper, and book publishing.
    Those interested in signing up for the class should contact the Languages and Literature department chair, Sharon Hileman, (432) 837-8151 or For more information about the class, contact Nelson at



Ecology/Field Biology course

From May 28-June 1, 10  Sul Ross State University graduate students and their instructor, Chris Pipes, lecturer/research assistant with the Borderlands Research Institute, participated in a whirlwind Ecology and Field Biology course. The class visited and explored 12 different ecosystems in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. In addition to completion of the academic portion of the course, the students were required to successfully camp, prepare meals, and most importantly, get along amicably under occasional adverse conditions. Participants (photographed outside the entrance to Slaughter Canyon Cave at Carlsbad Caverns National Park) included (from left): Dana Milani, Alpine; Pipes (kneeling); Bobby Allcorn, Spring; Price Rumbelow, Van; Skyler Stevens, Midland; Thomas Janke, Granger; Ron Thompson, Pinetop, Ariz.; Diane Trevino, Fort Davis; Megan Boatright, Alpine; Katie Dennison, Alpine; and Masahiro Ohnishi, Alpine. (Photo courtesy Chris Pipes)


    Dr. Rebecca Schlosser, Sul Ross State University associate professor and coordinator of the Educational Leadership Program, recently presented a paper at a statewide municipal judges’ conference on school attendance laws.     In addition to serving as Alpine’s municipal judge, Dr. Schlosser is an authority on education law and holds a doctorate in both educational leadership and law. Dr. Schlosser has also partnered with the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center Deputy Counsel, Mark Goodner, on a recently completed statewide study on new attendance laws and the growing trend to decriminalize school offenses.
    The results of the study have been compiled into a paper, “Decriminalizing School Attendance – Do Preventive Measures Work?” The paper is scheduled to be published in an upcoming volume of the legal journal, The Recorder.
    For more information, contact Schlosser, (432) 837-386-3830 or



Centennial School scholarships

Alpine High School graduates Ernie Rivera (left) and Cody Huelsberg (right) were recently awarded Centennial School scholarships to attend Sul Ross State University. Making the presentations were scholarship committee members (from left) Elidia Polanco, Mary Ann Lujan and Velma F. Valero. (Photo by Cheryl Zinsmeyer)


    By Laura Nelson, Media Relations/Outreach, Rio Grande College
    Students will benefit from an articulation agreement signed Friday by Sul Ross State University (SRSU) and Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) officials and the agreement also solidifies an existing relationship between the two in the area of wildlife management education.
    When students enroll to complete an Associate of Applied Science in Wildlife Management at SWTJC in Uvalde, they will follow a defined degree program with the assurance that the credits they earn within the program will transfer directly to SRSU in Alpine. They can make a smooth transition to finish a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management with a concentration in Wildlife Management plus they will have the advantage of already knowing the faculty they will be learning under and what classes are required.
    The two schools will work cooperatively to discuss and update coursework as needed, share information about any changes in programs, and facilitate access to faculty and students.
    Graduates will be well prepared to fill positions in wildlife biology and management for resource management agencies, national and state parks, and in the thriving private ranch wildlife industry.
    SWTJC and Sul Ross share the belief in making quality higher education accessible to residents in west and southwest Texas, and this new agreement makes it easier than ever for students to complete a four-year degree in a growing field.


Wildlife Management education agreement

Southwest Texas Junior College President-Elect Dr. Hector Gonzalez, middle left, and Sul Ross State University President Dr. Ricardo Maestas, (center right), sign the agreement while SWTXJC’s Department Chair of Wildlife Management Robert Zaiglin and Dr. Rob Kinucan, Sul Ross Dean of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences look on. (Photo by Laura Nelson, Rio Grande College)