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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Presidential Search: Still going...

The Presidential Search Committee continues to meet over the summer to identify the next Trinity President. The committee has trustee, faculty, alumni, staff, and student representatives. Check the Presidential Search web page for regular updates. The most recent update was posted by Trustee and Search Committee Chair, J.R. Hurd on July 2.

Sittin' Pretty

Mike Schweitzer from Physical Plant orchestrated the installation of this fab new seating area outside of the Witt Reception Center, a common meeting place for students who are heading off-campus for service events, retreats, and other activities. This is just one change our returning students will notice when they come back in August. Other changes include phase one of the science building project and a completely renovated Miller Hall.

Additional changes include:
- Phase one of the science building project
- A completely renovated Miller residence hall
- Swanky new lunge furniture on the Prassel Hall third floor patio
- New furniture and game equipment in the North/South Foyer and study room
- Printers in the Thomas and Beze Hall computer labs (in the residence halls). Note that this is happening in part because of the nagging of ASR Senator Danielle Girard.

New Blood

Dr. Raphael Moffett, pictured at right on a recent visit, joins Trinity University as the new Director of Campus & Community Involvement. Dr. Moffett most recently served in a similar position (Director of Student Life) at Morehouse in Atlanta. He brings with him tremendous experience in student activities, Greek life, multi-cultural issues, and community service. Despite his love for the Los Angeles Lakers, we hope the community will welcome him with open arms.

Paul Chapa has been named the new Director of Campus Security. Chief Chapa has served as the assistant director of the campus police at Texas State for seven years following 11 years on the St. Mary's University police force as a field sergeant. He has received numerous awards for crime prevention and is completing his master's degree in Organizational Leadership.

Help One Child

The Residential Life Office is developing three partnerships in the community in order to be able to offer residents service opportunities. One project, working with the homeless at Haven for Hope is still tentative. Student staff in the residence halls will help coordinate these opportunities.

The first project is mentoring elementary school students at Lamar Elementary School. Student volunteers will be asked to commit to once every other week to meet with the assigned young student over lunch during the school day. This is a great opportunity for anyone who likes kids.

The Mark Twain project has been revived after going dormant for the past couple of years. That middle school has a very specific need to have math tutors. The plan is to pair Trinity students with eighth graders for the year to help them pass the TAKS tests. The rates were extremely low this past year and they need our help. For volunteers, only basic math knowledge is required (ninth grade level).

The Residential Life staff is committed to these projects to help Trinity students see the kind of deep needs that exist for the under-privileged and to put that knowledge into action. The schools are within a mile of Trinity. Look for more details in August. TUVAC and CCI will continue to offer important and meaningful community service opportunities. The Residential Life staff has an aggressive goal to ensure that every student who needs mentoring and tutoring will be paired with a Trinity student.

Glad Scientists

Storch Hall (above) undergoes renovation in the first phase of the exciting science building renovation plan. In phase one, Sociology and Anthropology are being permanently moved to Storch. Other phase one work this summer includes adding a classroom to the Chapel and renovating the Chapman Auditorium (see photo) in preparation for shutting down Cobb-Racy/Science Lecture Hall. Plans are underway for phase two, which will bring a new building to the southwest of Cowles. This building will feature lab space and classrooms for biology, chemistry, and biochemistry as well as student gathering spaces. Phase three will include a renovation of Cowles Hall and phase four a replacement of Moody Hall. There are implications for Halsell Hall as well, which will lose Computer Science to the new project.

This project, still awaiting final approval and long-term funding, will do for the sciences what the Dicke-Smith renovation did for art and music. Central to the renovation is the concept of "interdisciplinarity" which will create "effective collisions" in the sciences. This all according to Biology professor David Ribble, who, with Diane Smith in Geo sciences and John Greene in Physical Plant, are spear-heading the long range project with faculty representatives from other departments. Creating synergy between Chemistry and Biology, as well as with the growing Neuroscience program, and developing facilities for Psychology, Computer Science, and Engineering, this LEEDS project will create amazing teaching and learning opportunities for professors and students.

A Strong Constitution

That's me, the ASR advisor, pictured left, in a self-portrait, during a conference call with ASR members this summer. Students in town are supposed to join me on campus, while out-of-town senators call in, but even the locals phoned it in this week.

For the first time in 15 years ASR is conducting a major review of its constitution. It is time for a change, primarily because ASR will operate more as a traditional student government after this year -- taking over student activity fee disbursement responsibilities from the Student Finance Board in 2010. This will quell the erroneous notion that ASR has no power. In addition to continuing to address student concerns, the senators will have a much more direct impact on student life based on how funds are allocated. This responsibility probably never should have belonged to an ASR appointed committee anyways. President Emily Faber is leading the review with help from VP Chantal Van Esch and Malone Allen (senior class senator), Chris Compton (senior class senator), Tim DuVarney (sophomore class senator), Austin Ferrin (sophomore class senator), Ryan Kilpatrick (sophomore class senator), and Cole Wollak (junior class sneator).

The new document will need to be approved by a full student vote in the early fall so candidates can run under the new constitutional rules as outlined. Preliminarily, some changes discussed are electing first year student senators in mid-fall to give that class representation, holding elections earlier in the spring to ensure smoother transitions from year-to-year, and defining procedures for disbursing activity fee funds to students and organizations.

In weekly meetings for the remainder of the summer the committee is looking at the ASR mission, membership, elected positions, procedures, and more.

Editors note: The futuristic triangular device in the photo is a Cisco Ip 7936 conference phone: the pen is a Parker Steel "Jotter", medium point/black ink (and possibly the best pen ever!), Sparkletts water, and a laptop.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Harry and Mary Marshal in the Class of 2013

Dr. Harry Wallace (above, right) and Mary Ullmann-Japhet (above, left) have been named the Class Marshal and Alumni Sponsor, respectively, for the Class of 2013. In this photo, When Harry met... Mary, they had lunch off campus with their Student Affairs liaison, Brian Hirsch, to discuss plans for the Class of 2013. Dr. Wallace is a tenured faculty member in Psychology and Ms. Ullmann-Japhet (Class of 1984) is a former broadcaster who currently leads San Antonio Sports. In their volunteer roles they will serve as practical and ceremonial leaders for the new students over their four years at Trinity. They will offer context for where those students are in the Trinity experience, whether as new students adjusting to freedom or juniors seeking internships.

They join the esteemed duo for the Class of 2012: Dr. Angela Breidenstein, Education (below left), and Mr. Dave Mansen, (below, right). They will be serving in their second year of the program, working closely with their students, now all living in the Sophomore College. They too met this summer to make plans for the year, but took time out to strut their stuff AND honor(?) the Trinity seal in front of Northrup Hall.