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News 2012

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Model Arab League President Received Saudi Fellowship

The History Department sponsors Texas State's Model Arab League activity, and this year's MAL president, Matt Korn (MA, Anthropology, '13) was selected to take part in the National Council for US Arab Relations' next student study visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This award made Korn one of only a handful of American young people with first-hand experience inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The expense-paid, 10-day, cultural immersion study visit during December 2012-January 2013 selects from hundreds of students who have participated in the MAL program, in turn benefitting the History and entire Texas State communities.

Korn's year-long Fellowship consists of activities designed to share knowledge he gains in Saudi Arabia with his home communities. Congratulations, Matt!

Two Texas State students have taken part in previous KSA programs; Alana Torrez (MA, 2011) traveled during the winter of 2010-2011, and Andrew Cotton (BA, 2011) during the summer of 2010. The article can be found here.

For more information about Model Arab League, please contact faculty advisor Elizabeth Bishop, eb26@txstate.edu.
               Matt Korn

Assistant Producer of CTMH’s NPR show wins Murrow Award

Haley Howle, a 2010 Mass Comm graduate of Texas State, is an Assistant Producer for KUT’s syndicated NPR program, Texas Music Matters. (Our Center for Texas Music History's popular show, This Week in Texas Music History, is part of the Texas Music Matters program on NPR.)

In September 2011, Haley interviewed legendary Texas singer-songwriter, Guy Clark, for a special Texas Music Matters episode entitled "West Texas, 1941: The Story of Guy Clark," which aired on October 28, 2011, just prior to our November 2nd, 70th Birthday Tribute to Guy Clark at the Long Center in Austin.

In March 2012, "West Texas, 1941: The Story of Guy Clark" won the regional Edward R. Murrow Award for "Best Documentary" from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

History Alum named one of the 300 Best Professors by Princeton Review

Light Cummins, Guy M. Bryan Chair of American History at Austin College who earned his M.A. in History at Texas State University 1972 and his Ph.D. in History at Tulane University, 1977, has been named one of the 300 Best Professors in all disciplines by the Princeton Review.

View list of professors here.

Muslim Students' Association Sponsors Women-Centered Events

Hijab for a Day, March 2012The Muslim Student Association strived to promote open dialogue at their third-annual “Hijab for a Day” event the afternoon of 27 March. Fashion-forward MSA stylists offered a selection of modish scarves and sparkly pins, transforming anyone who would like to see the world from a Muslim point of view (if only for a day). A photo of Bobcats who took part in the event made the pages of the University Star.

The same evening, a panel discussion on "Islam and Women's Rights" followed. Fulbright Scholar Nita Novianti presented on, "Look at Me, Not My Veil," stressing the importance of women’s freedom to make choices. In reply, Austin Peace Academy's Sheikh Umer elaborated on women’s rights according to the Qur'an, identifying the advent of Islam in the seventh century as a first feminist movement.

Texas State University is a public, student-centered, doctoral-granting institution dedicated to excellence in serving the educational needs of the diverse population of Texas and the world beyond. In pursuing our mission as a university, we value diversity of people and ideas, a spirit of inclusiveness, a global perspective, and a sense of community as essential for campus life. The MSA program acknowledges the support of the Dean of Students' office; the History Department, and the Office of Equity and Access. Dr. Elizabeth Bishop is faculty advisor for this group; for information on future events, you can email her at eb26@txstate.edu.

Texas State Team Again Wins Honor at West Coast Model Arab League in Oakland

                          2012 MAL team w Hoda Rashad at Mills College
Eleven Texas State students returned from an academic competition in California with awards.

The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations organized this West Coast University Model Arab League competition March 30 - April 1. 
On Mills College campus, Bobcats debated in four councils: Joint Defense, Palestinian Affairs, Political Affairs, and Social Affairs. Seven universities (among them, the University of California/Berkeley, the UC/Santa Barbara, and the University of San Francisco) represented ten member nation-states.



As the United Arab Emirates, Texas State's team was recognized with an "honorable mention" award. In addition to this collective honor, individual prizes were conferred on Texas State delegations. On the Joint Defense council, Maribell Ibañez and Johannes Street were the "outstanding delegation;" on Political Affairs, Ayhab Farhat and Lauren Kahre were the "outstanding delegation;" and on Social Affairs, Cavazos and Torrez were "outstanding."

About the UAE delegation's contributions to the debate on the Social Affairs council, Torrez noted: " Cavazos and I worked on a draft resolution that called for the creation of an awareness campaign to shed light on the status of widows, orphans, and the elderly across the region; Nora contributed language to the last resolution passed that addressed vocational training for special needs populations across the region and she used examples from progressive programs already in use in the UAE."

Looking back on her experiences on Joint Defense, Ibañez observed: “I was able to step out of my box and meet new people as well as make connections;” Street added that this was: "largely due to the excellent preparation of the respective delegations, served as an effective simulation of a meeting of the Arab League."

Kahre described the resolution the delegation contributed to Political Affairs, responsible for the: “creation and implementation of Arab League-controlled military force to take over the functions of United Nation peacekeeping forces in the Arab League member states.“ Fellow delegate Farhat, “Hopefully we can continue to compete at the West Coast MAL and continue to represent Texas State positively and let everyone know who we are and what we can do.”

Finally, Matthew Korn was honored as "outstanding chair." Matt Korn: "The debates showed in practice that the Arab world is not monolithic; like us in the USA, they are in the process of critically evaluating their political systems and often posing new solutions to the problems of democracy and freedom."

Street concluded that the JD council's deliberation's illustrated some of "the difficulties multilateral organizations face when they attempt to pass strong and effective resolutions in the face of disparate political visions." Here, the MAL team poses with Hoda Rashad, author of Rising From Tahrir: Egypt's 2011 Revolution.

Texas State's MAL program is grateful for support from Academic Services, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, the Dean of Students' office; the History Department, the Office of Equity and Access, and the Political Science Department.

The MAL acknowledges a personal gift from H.E. Dr. Alia Mohamad Ali Hatough Bouran, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

For more information, email Dr. Elizabeth Bishop (eb26@txstate.edu).

Model Arab League Wins Awards at Bilateral University Model Arab League in Houston

Bilaterial University Model Arab League HoustonEleven Texas State students and a faculty member returned from the Bilateral University Model Arab League event at the University of Houston with awards. Nineteen universities (among them Louisiana State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas/Arlington, and the United States Military Academy at West Point) were represented at the competition, which took place 24-25 March 2012.

This is the third year Texas State has taken part in the Bilateral, representing a different Arab country each year. The Bilateral US/Arab Chamber of Commerce and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations organized this event, at which students debated in five councils: Council on Palestinian Affairs, Council of Arab Social Affairs Ministers, Council on Political Affairs, the Council of Arab Economic Affairs Ministers, and the Joint Defense Council. In this way, students sharpened their skills in diplomacy and public speech. >>In preparation for this year's competition, students researched the political priorities of the United Arab Emirates. Three individuals brought honors back home with them. In alphabetical order, Daniel Burrow was recognized as "outstanding chair," and Alfredo González-Benítez received an "outstanding chair" award as well. Alana Torrez received an "honorable mention" for her representation of the UAE on the Social Affairs council.

In Social Affairs, Torrez was successful in passing two resolutions. The first proposed to develop administrative capacity necessary to reach their millennium development goals; she explained, "by utilizing a corps of teachers that could be sent to areas of need, kind of like a peace corps but more focalized." The second established a committee (Arabs Against Transnational Organized Crime) to formulate a standardized set of policies and procedures by which to deal with trafficking on a regional basis. Chair of Social Affairs González-Benítez credited her contribution, adding: "she was a major influence on the resolutions passed in committee; she was a source of advice, helping to orient the language and direction of the resolutions which her fellow delegates put in front of her."

The MAL program acknowledges the support of Academic Services, the College of Liberal Arts, the Dean of Students' office; the History Department, the Office of Equity and Access, and the Political Science Department. The MAL program is grateful to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to the United Nations and the Embassy of Qatar in Washington DC as well. Dr. Elizabeth Bishop, of the Department of History, mentors Texas State University's program. For further information, you can email her at eb26@txstate.edu.

Dr. Frank de la Teja Named Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies

Jesús F. de la Teja, Regents’ and University Distinguished Professor of History, has been named the Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies at Texas State University beginning September 1, 2012.

He succeeds Prof. Mark Busby, who is retiring as director of Texas State’s Center for the Study of the Southwest and the Southwest Regional Humanities Center and returning to the Department of English on a full-time basis.

De la Teja has been a member of the Department of History at Texas State since 1991, serving as Department Chair 2005-2011, and has published extensively on Spanish, Mexican, and Republic-era Texas. He has served as book review editor for the Southwestern Historical Quarterly since 1997 and between 1990 and 2005 served as managing editor of Catholic Southwest: A Journal of History and Culture. During 2007-2008 he served as President of the Texas State Historical Association. He was part of the content development team for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum from 1998 to 2001, served as an expert reviewer of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Social Studies standards for the State Board of Education in 2009-2010, and currently serves on the board of directors of Humanities Texas. Governor Rick Perry appointed de la Teja the inaugural State Historian of Texas (2007- 2009).

The Supple Professorship is named in honor of Texas State’s ninth president, Jerome Supple, who worked tirelessly in support of the Southwest Regional Humanities Center, and his wife Cathy. It was made possible through a gift from the Alkek Foundation and other gifts from colleagues and friends of the Supple’s and Texas State.

The director of the regional center is designated as the Supple Professor. The Center supports a variety of activities, including programs for students and teachers, lectures and readings by scholars and writers, publication of regional materials.

Texas State Alum wins Lou Halsell Rodenberger Prize

Texas State graduate alum Dr. Kay Goldman of Texas A&M University is the first winner of the Lou Halsell Rodenberger Prize in Texas History and Literature, a publication award established in 2008 to honor the memory of the late Dr. Rodenberger of Abilene, a professor of English at McMurry University. Goldman's manuscript, "Designing Women, Texas Style: The Frankfurt Sisters of Dallas and Page Boy Maternity," will be published by Texas Tech University Press in spring 2013.

Texas State History Alumnus Publishes Book

The History Department is proud to announce the publication of Red Power Rising (University of Oklahoma Press), written by former Texas State History graduate student Bradley Shreve. Brad is currently chair of Diné Colleges (AZ) Social and Behavioral Sciences Department.

History Honor Society Hosts Successful Conference

On Saturday, November 4th, the Texas State chapter of Phi Alpha Theta hosted its first annual Graduate Student History conference. The twenty-five panelists, included students from Texas State, UTA, UTSA, University of Houston, and Texas Tech, presented papers on topics ranging from the battles of ancient Rome to the “unmaking” of the Black Panther Party. Texas State faculty members Ken Margerison, Shannon Duffy, Angie Murphy, Jeff Helgeson, Ron Johnson, Jimmy McWilliams, Lynn Denton, Dwight Watson, Paul Hart, Mary Brennan and Jessica Pliley served as commentators. The keynote speaker, Professor Lynne Fallwell, rounded out the day with an interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking lecture on the “(Not So) Funny Pages: The Role of Graphic Novels in Holocaust Education.”

Special acknowledgement goes to Brandon Jett, Chad McFadon and Lisa Merritt who conceived the original idea and then worked hard to bring their concept to fruition. Their fellow officers, Joie Campbell, Charlie Williams, Jamie Royer, and Jessica Hecht, also worked diligently throughout the day to make the panels run smoothly.