Highlighting Our Purpose on Founders Day

The Ambassadors are back together again! On April 22, 2017, the Ambassadors met atSHSU for a day full of presentations to learn more about the University on Founder’s Day.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

The day began with a presentation about the new Osteopathic Medicine Program at SHSU. University officials plan to build the medical center in Montgomery County. President Hoyt began her discussion, however, by introducing the Austin Interns….

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

…before discussing her belief in this new Osteopathic program its capacity for stimulating growth at SHSU and meeting crucial medical needs in our region.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program, President Dana Hoyt

The newly hired Dean of the Osteopathic College, Dr. Charles Henley, also joined the conversation.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program, Dr. Charles Henley

He spoke about how Texas is in need of more medical students, and why SHSU can efficiently train such students, meeting the needs of the state. Noting that the program would be 100 percent self-funded, Dr. Charles did a great job at explaining the academic side of the college and how the program would work for future students.

After the program, Dr. Hoyt spent time with the LEAP Ambassadors…

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

…discussing the Osteopathic program more, and also the goings-on in Austin.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

Next, we attended the Golden Circle Luncheon, where SHSU Alumni who graduated in 1967 or earlier gathered for lunch–alongside other alumni who were attending Founders Day.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston AustiLEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program Internship Program, Golden Circle Alumni

We had the opportunity to talk to many wonderful alumni who talked to us about SHSU and their careers after college. It was a great experience for us, because we had the opportunity to talk to people who came from different career paths than what we are considering.  We even had the chance to see an alum who graduated before 1950!

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

As we enjoyed our conversations, the musical department provided some entertainment. The department offered a vivacious performance taken from their version of Hairspray. Viewing the comic choreography, where at one point the dancers invited guests to join them–including Mac Woodward.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

Following the Lunch, we headed to the Gaertner Performance Arts Center. There, we joined members of our community and presented the wonderful opportunities the Center for Law, Engagement, and Politics has to offer.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

The goal of our presentation was to inform community members of all the activities and subjects in which LEAP is involved.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

From visiting art museums around the country, to assisting local elected officials, to meeting intriguing authors, there is almost nothing a LEAP Ambassador would not participate in. As long as it promotes growth, education, and civic engagement, we will pursue any new experience.

LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Founders Day, Sam Houston Austin Internship Program

As we said goodbye to our guests, we all pondered on our accomplishments as an Ambassador and organization. With the Founder’s Day wrapping up, it was rewarding to consider our accomplishments as an appropriate way to honor our university.

A View from an (Austin) Bridge

Thanks to the ever-alert Glynda Turner, we learned that the Pennybacker Bridge in Austin has a Huntsville connection!  Anna Pennybacker graduated from SHSU in the early 1880s (then Sam Houston Normal School) and in 1884 married Percy Pennbacker, for whom the Pennybacker Bridge in Austin is named.

The Pennybacker Bridge is known for its interesting architecture and for spanning a particularly attractive area.  In honor of its Huntsville connection and its attractiveness, the LEAP Ambassadors decided to celebrate Anna Pennybacker’s 156th birthday by visiting the site at sunset.

Pennybacker Bridge, Austin Texas, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Sam Houston Austin Intern Program

With its hills and waterways, Austin is something of the sunset capital of Texas, but even so, the Pennybacker vistas are impressive.

Indeed, the aesthetic qualities of the area encouraged us to linger and engage….

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…although Alex soon went off to a corner of the cliff for solitude…

Pennybacker Bridge, Austin Texas, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Sam Houston Austin Intern Program

…perhaps because his fiancee was playing pattycakes at sunset with one of the other interns…

Pennybacker Bridge, Austin Texas, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, Sam Houston Austin Intern Program

We also had a little fun with the photography, creating ghostly images…

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All in all, it was a fun way to celebrate Anna Pennybacker’s birthday, and to have some fun and enjoy Austin and nature at the same time!

 

National Book Awards Come to SHSU

The National Book Award Festival (NBAF) at SHSU is the product of hard work by Dr. Amanda Nowlin-Obanion, who has once again brought a group of award-winning authors to Sam.  Sponsored by the CHSS, the NBAF featured the young-adult trilogy March, by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell.  The three spent 24 hours or so at SHSU, mingling with students, faculty, and staff at a reception, formal presentation, and a breakfast.

The evening kicked off with a reception for 80 or so stakeho0lders in the Lowman Student Center, where Lewis, Aydin, and Powell patiently shook hands…

National Book Award Festival, SHSU, Sam Houston State University, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, John Lewis

…mingled…

National Book Award Festival, SHSU, Sam Houston State University, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, John Lewis

…discussed politics, literature, and the weather…

National Book Award Festival, SHSU, Sam Houston State University, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, John Lewis

…and, of course, signed books.

From there, the authors migrated to the LSC Ballroom, where they took turns discussing their book and life experiences for about an hour and a half.  Introduced by Dean Abbey Zink, Benjamin Samuel (NBA Director of Programs), and President Dana Hoyt, the three authors spoke to a packed house of approximately 650 people.

National Book Award Festival, SHSU, Sam Houston State University, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, John Lewis

Illustrator Nate Powell discussed the challenges of drawing pictures that not only advanced the narrative, but also captured the raw emotions of the events: violence, courage, and passion.

National Book Award Festival, SHSU, Sam Houston State University, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, John Lewis

Author Andrew Aydin discussed his career with Congressman Lewis, from his beginnings handling mail to working with emergent digital technologies.  He also took credit for the idea of a graphic novel, as a means of achieving Lewis’s goal of reaching a younger audience.  Pushing a “comic book,” he noted, was a tough sell, but one that Lewis warmed up to over time.

National Book Award Festival, SHSU, Sam Houston State University, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, John Lewis

The crowd was clearly there to hear Rep. Lewis, who responded with a moving biographical discussion and rousing calls to action. He reminisced about his days on a farm in Alabama, his lack of access to college education, his parents’ admonitions “not to get in trouble,” and his own tendency to push the envelope for the right cause.

It’s a strategy that has served Lewis well over some six decades in public life.  He has served in elective office for 46 years, 41 of them in US Congress.  And he encouraged the young people in the audience to heed a similar call: to pursue activism for the right cause, to “get into trouble” for a good cause.

Whatever your thoughts about getting in trouble, the night was clearly a good cause, one supported by hundreds of staff, faculty, students, and locals, who offered thanks with multiple standing ovations and the purchase of probably 200 books.

LEAP students were privileged to be a small part of the proceedings, serving as somewhat ineffectual ushers (people sat where ever they wanted mostly, irrespective of instructions).

Following the event, we were able to pose with a group shot of the authors, the Dean, and event organizers, a special coda to a special evening.

National Book Award Festival, SHSU, Sam Houston State University, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, John Lewis

Many kudos to Dr. Nowlin-Obanion, Dean Abbey Zink, and the staff of CHSS for putting on a first-class event.