News for November 27, 2012

                Effective immediately, Sul Ross State University-Alpine’s three schools of study have been re-designated as colleges.
                On Nov. 20, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) approved proposals by Sul Ross to phase out the Schools of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Arts and Sciences and Professional Studies and to create the respective colleges.
                Designation as colleges offers a broader distinction for fields of study, said Dr. Quint Tburman, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
                “Typically most universities are organized into colleges and schools, with the latter implying a relatively narrow field of study or professional orientation,” he said. “The designation of colleges at Sul Ross indicates a recognition that each of the units formerly referred to as schools did not sufficiently capture the rich diversity of the faculty and subject matter contained within.
                “Rather than divide these broad units (Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Professional Studies) further into several additional schools and add administrative complexity, the best solution was to more accurately depict them as colleges.”
                The College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences was established as a school in 1999 as an outgrowth of the Division of Range Animal Science. The College of Arts and Sciences was formed as a school in 1986 following the merger of the divisions of Language and Fine Arts, Science and Social Science. The College of Professional Studies was also formed as a school in 1986, merging the divisions of Business Administration, Teacher Education and Criminal Justice.
                Sul Ross opened in 1920 as a Normal School for Teachers. Its name was changed in 1923 to Sul Ross State Teachers College; in 1949 to Sul Ross State College; and in 1969 to Sul Ross State University.
                Sul Ross State University President Dr. Ricardo Maestas is one of 51 chief executives featured in the Nov. 12 Presidents/Leadership issue of The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.
                “Hail to the Chiefs,” written by Jeff Simmons, profiles the Hispanic college presidents of Hispanic Serving Institutions. The presidents were asked about their mottos to better understand their philosophies on education and personal achievement.
                Maestas took office at Sul Ross in 2009 as the first Hispanic chief executive in the history of the university and the Texas State University System.
                His motto: “Always do your best, but expect more from yourself.”
                His advice to potential students who are Hispanic: “Sul Ross is a Hispanic-Serving Institute, which
means that we work hard to make sure that young Hispanics have every opportunity to succeed. Our university is a multicultural meeting place, and we encourage students to explore, to meet new people, and to learn about yourself in as many ways as possible.”
                by Steve Lang, News and Publications
                When Krystal Acosta returns to her hometown of Presidio early next month, she will be making history.
                Acosta, who graduates from the Sul Ross State University Law Enforcement Academy Dec. 7, will soon after begin her new duties as the Presidio Police Department’s first female officer. She has been hired in a reserve capacity until a full-time position opens.
                “They have never had a female police officer, so I’ll be the first,” she said. “Hopefully that will start a new trend.”
                After spending three years in the classroom, first at the University of Texas Permian Basin, then at Sul Ross, Acosta chose a path that better suited her interests.
                “I’ve always been an outdoor type of girl,” she said. “Being active is what I like and law enforcement just seemed right. You never know what you’re going to get into.”
                She enjoyed the hands-on training the Law Enforcement Academy offered, saying courses like self-defense motivated her.
                “I’m five-three and weigh 150 pounds and (during training) I was going up against cadets that were six-three and weighed up to 280,” she said. “That was fearful, but it gives you self-motivation. You find a strength in yourself you didn’t know you had. I think this academy brings out the best in you.”
                LEA director Lloyd Dragoo praised Acosta’s work ethic.
                “She has done a good job in the Academy and has really excelled academically,” he said. “She comes to class every day smiling, motivated and ready to learn.”
                Working in her hometown is a good fit for several reasons, among them, completing her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Sul Ross. Acosta plans to enroll in online courses while doing her police officer field training. Later, she anticipates that she can arrange her on-campus class schedule around her duty shifts.
Cadet Krystal Acosta
                “They (police department) were willing to work with me so I could take classes, and I’m close enough (to Alpine) to do that,” she said. “When this opportunity came about, it seemed too good to be true.”
                Her mother, grandmother and an aunt still live in Presidio, so she will be close to family members.
                Most of all, she is anxious to begin her law enforcement career, which she hopes will eventually extend to the federal level, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration. Acosta will take her state peace officer exams Dec. 3 and graduate from the Academy Dec. 7.
                “I’m just excited to get out there,” she said. “The Academy taught us a lot of hands-on training and I’m ready to do it for real.”
                Sul Ross State University will host the annual Holiday Lights Celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m., in front of the Wildenthal Library.
                 The Christmas tree and holiday lights will be switched on after singing carols and a brief greeting from Sul Ross President Dr. Ricardo Maestas. After the lighting, cookies, hot chocolate, and hot cider will be served in the Morgan University Center”s second floor foyer. 
                This year, Sul Ross community members are asked to donate toys for the student toy drive, to be given to children attending the celebration. A special guest has been invited to distribute the gifts.
                Dr. Kathy Stein, director of Sul Ross State University’s Academic Center for Excellence, received an award at the annual College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) conference, held Nov. 10 in Houston.
                Stein, who is also an assistant professor of English, was one of two recipients of the Karen G. Smith Special Recognition Award.

                CRLA is a group of student-oriented professionals active in the fields of reading, learning assistance, developmental education, tutoring, and mentoring at the college/adult level. CRLA’s most vital function and overall purpose is to provide a forum for the interchange of ideas, methods, and information to improve student learning and to facilitate the professional growth of its members.
                For more information, contact Stein, (432) 837-8770 or