Imagine That!

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By Erica Wiggins, Board Member – Round Rock Area Arts Council

IMAGINE 2013: An Evening of Art and Music will take place on Friday, February 22, 2013 from 7-9:30 PM at Texas State University Round Rock Campus, which is located at 1555 University Blvd. in Round Rock, TX (see MAP). A celebration of visual and performing art and music from Round Rock and surrounding areas, the evening consists of a juried art exhibit, musical and theater performances and a silent auction. More than $1500 in artist prizes will be awarded and $5,000 in grants to nonprofit performance groups will be announced. Light refreshments, beer and wine will be served. Admission is free but donations are encouraged at the door.

Imagine 2013 Signature Artwork

Imagine 2013 Signature Artwork: Agave Movement by Micheal Hammons

A VIP reception occurs from 5:30-6:30 PM prior to the main event. A $250 donation to the Round Rock Area Arts Council (Round Rock Arts) provides tickets for two to an elegant wine and refreshments party and an opportunity to bid on silent auction items and take them home if the reserve price is met prior to the opening of the auction to the general public. (Click on the Donations tab at roundrockarts.org to make a donation and qualify for the reception.)

In 2008, the Round Rock Arts organization chose the signature annual event name “Imagine” to symbolize how Round Rock could evolve into an arts and cultural center. During the past three years, an arts plan for the city has been developed with the goal of more access to visual and performing art venues in the area. Over the next three to five years, the city of Round Rock, together with Round Rock Arts and other city and community groups will help implement the plan.

More Information

Artwork submissions are being accepted through February 8, 2013. Click here for further details.

The exhibit will remain at Texas State University Round Rock Campus through May 17, 2013.

For more information about Round Rock Arts, and to donate for tickets to the VIP reception, visit www.roundrockarts.org.

About the Round Rock Area Arts Council (Round Rock Arts):

Made up of a grassroots group of dedicated and diverse individuals, the non-profit, 501 c 3 designated Round Rock Area Arts Council was formed in January 2009. The organization promotes art and performing venues in the city, facilitating regular gatherings with all art groups located in Round Rock.  The goal of the organization is to encourage, support and enhance arts and cultural activities in the Round Rock area to transform the city into a thriving arts and culture scene. With stellar annual performance and art shows behind them, successful Chalk Walk events in October 2010, 2011 and 2012,  monthly art exhibits at ArtSpace in downtown Round Rock, and grants awarded to Round Rock based art non-profits, art initiatives in Round Rock are increasingly supported by city government, corporations, and artists alike. With two theater groups, two symphonies, a community choir, and talented artists whose works are displayed in various venues around town, this “Sports Capital of Texas” has hit a home run in encouraging the creative class.


Why Texas State University Round Rock Campus?

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By Kristen McLaughlin 

What can you expect at Texas State University Round Rock Campus (RRC)?  To start, friendly faces, a beautiful facility and a top notch education is what I have experienced here.

Having graduated from the Mass Communication graduate school program at Texas State University in May, I had the opportunity to take three classes at the Texas State RRC. This was certainly helpful, since I live in Georgetown. I looked forward to these classes because it saved me gas mileage, but I learned quickly there were many other advantages to taking classes at the Round Rock Campus.

The classes I took here were Creativity in Business, Social Media at Work and International   PR/Advertising. The professors who taught my classes were all seasoned and dynamic. They not only taught the concept, but made it practical and shared their own experiences working in their field. The classes were small and the teachers all encouraged participation. My International PR professor shared his experiences teaching in South Korea, North Korea and other countries. My business professor was able to speak about various companies he worked for and my Social Media professor showed how social media outlets could be helpful for both career and everyday life.

You will probably notice driving onto the small campus on 1555 University Blvd. in Round Rock that it is a small campus with plenty of vacant parking spots. The university consists of two buildings: the St. David’s School of Nursing and Avery (which houses all of the other programs).  Texas State University Round Rock Campus is a satellite campus for Texas State University, but it offers primarily upper-level courses and masters-level programs. If you are thinking about transferring to the Round Rock Campus, view our transfer planning guides here. The campus offers Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, certification and distance learning ranging in subjects that include Criminal Justice, Education, Nursing, Business and more.  Click here to view a full list of the programs the campus offers.

One aspect I have enjoyed about the Round Rock Campus both as a student and working as a Graduate Research Assistant in the spring is the calm, beautiful atmosphere. Both the inside and the outside of the campus are pristine and peaceful. The campus features a pond and walking trail behind the Avery building. The campus is also environmentally conscious, featuring recycling bins in the student lounge area.

Although it is small, there are definitely resources available that can help students succeed. A Writing Center can be found in Avery 203. Library Services is located in Avery 255 and the comprehensive resources of the Alkek Library can be accessed here.  Are you a student who wants to get more involved in “campus life”? The Round Rock Campus offers plenty of events throughout the year, including the summer. Click here for a listing of events.  And to stay connected to campus, join our social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).

Thinking about attending Texas State RRC? Visit the website for more information. Already a student? What is your favorite aspect of the campus? E-mail km1745@txstate.edu and I will share your answer on our social media sites.

Lazos “embraces Latinidad”

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By Kristen McLaughlin, Texas State RRC Graduate Research Assistant

I have had the pleasure of working on the communications team for Lazos 2012, an event which celebrates students and filmmakers from the U.S. and countries in Latin America. This year’s theme is “Embracing Latinidad”.

Not only have I had the opportunity to be on the student communications team for the event this semester as a part of our class, but I will see the event come to fruition this today, April 27 at Texas State University-San Marcos in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom from 7-10 p.m. Thanks to El Centro (the Center for the study of Latino Media & Markets), student organizations and community sponsors, the event is free. However, registration was required for the event.

This is only the second year for Lazos, but we anticipate a good turnout. Lazos is the closing ceremony for Puntos De Vista, a Latin documentary competition which involves students from Colombia, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Chile and the U.S. The students participating in the competition will find out their ranking at the awards ceremony at Lazos. This year’s film festival included 14 documentaries by students in the participating countries. Student filmmakers will be honored at Lazos.

In addition to awarding students, Lazos will include special entertainment from Texas State’s Mariachi Nueva Generacion as well as Salsa and Latin Jazz Ensembles Salsa del Rio and Orquesta del Rio. Salsa del Rio was the first Latin Jazz Ensemble created at Texas State. The group is dedicated to the performance of music from Latin America, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic and Mexico. Orquesta del Rio also focuses on music from these countries. Popular styles include Mambo, Son-Montuno, Cha Cha, Bolero and Morengue.

The student group Mariachi Nueva Generacion, also a Texas State student group, performs the Mexican art form known as Mariachi. They perform many different styles, including Huapango, Bolero, Polka and many others.

The student communications team included myself and three of my graduate student peers (Shannon Delaney, Eileen Suarez and Doug Seliger), but so many others have spent months coordinating this event and Puntos De Vista. Organizing Lazos was an idea that professors Dr. Sindy Chapa and Olga Mayoral-Wilson thought of when they were brainstorming about Puntos De Vista.  Students from organizations and student workers at El Centro have eagerly assisted them with both Lazos and Puntos De Vista.

This year’s Lazos event is being co-hosted by the Alpha Upsilon chapter of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Inc.

“To be a part of an event such as Lazos has meant a lot to Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Inc,” said Catherine Arriaza-Ortiz, SIA treasurer and Lazos committee member.

Other organizations and departments are also participating in the event, including Alpha Upsilon SIA, Ballet Folklorico, Communication Disorder Bilingual Cognate, Latinas Unidas, Love Across Borders, LULAC, Sigma Delta Pi, the Texas State Sociology Department, and the Texas State International Student Association.

Lazos participants will be able to learn from Keynote Speaker Robert Bard, the CEO of Latina Style Magazine. In his 11 years leading the company, he has developed four signature programs. These include the LATINA Style Business Series, the most successful ongoing business development program for Latina business owners in the nation; the LATINA Style 50 Awards and Diversity Leaders Conference, reporting on the top 50 companies for Latinas to work for in the U.S.; the National LATINA Symposium recognizing Latina achievement in all areas and professions; and the Distinguished Military Service Awards, honoring outstanding Latinas for their military Service.

For those who want to learn from accomplished professionals such as Bard and celebrate student filmmakers, Lazos is the perfect way to end the semester. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Hope to see you tonight!

Jill Seidenberger’s adventure in Italy

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Article and Photos By Jill Seidenberger, Student Development Specialist

Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Assisi, Italy

Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Assisi, Italy

If you have graced my office with your presence, you may have noticed three pictures of what I thought Italy would like look – tall cypress trees lining the long and winding driveways, scenic views from a hilltop, and vineyard upon vineyard.  I suppose the movie Under the Tuscan Sun was on my mind and much more of what I expected than I realized.  Don’t get me wrong, Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome each have their highlights, but it was the scenery that drew me to Italy.

Montalcino, Italy

Montalcino, Italy

Finally, six days into the trip, I experienced what I fondly refer to as my Italy, on a half-day tour from Siena into the countryside of Montalcino.

Yes, tall cypress trees lining the long driveways, scenic views, villas, and vineyards!  The city of Siena was quaint and cobblestoned.  The hotel had one of the most beautiful views overlooking a valley.  Ah, Siena…

Overlooking Assisi, Italy

Overlooking Assisi, Italy

Though I fell in love with Siena and the surrounding countryside landscape and thought that it would be my number one Italian city, it was Assisi that made it to the top of my list.  Assisi is even more quaint as it is nestled on the side of a hill.  It is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever experienced.  And, it has a restaurant that served the best lasagna I’ve ever tasted!  Speaking of food… oh, the food, fantastically fresh!  Everywhere!  In exchange for my money, I brought back a few unwanted souvenirs – a few extra pounds to prove just how good the food was!

We finished the trip in Rome and visited many of the historical highlights that the ancient city is known for – the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Coliseum, Fountain of Trevi (assuring a return trip to Italy completed by tossing coins into the fountain – legend has it), just to name a few.  With a city so rich in history, it was simply amazing to walk the streets that were created so long ago.  It was also in Rome that I was able to fuse my love of potatoes (yes, it’s the German coming out in me) with my love of Italian food – pizza topped with potatoes!!

It truly was a vacation of a lifetime that excited all of the senses.  A few special thank you’s to: the One Stop Center staff for covering for me, Travel Guidebooks by Rick Steves, the incredibly knowledgeable tour guide in Rome, Claire with Devine Tours, and to her husband, Charlie, who set up a special Vatican Radio tour for us.  Grazie! Grazie! Grazie!

Jill Seidenberger visited Italy during Spring Break. Stay tuned to the blog for another story of a fascinating Spring Break trip to Italy by Dr. Edna Rehbein, Director of the Texas State University Round Rock Campus.

SXSW Interactive for Free: One Texas State Class gets the Opportunity of a Lifetime

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SXSW Interactive 2011 - Austin, TX

SXSW Interactive 2011 - Austin, TX (Photo credit: kk+)

By Shannon Delaney

Getting the chance to attend SXSW for free is almost unimaginable, right?  This may be true for most, but Cindy Royal’s Advanced Online Media graduate class has gotten the opportunity to attend SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) for free.

For the past five years, Royal has taken hands-on learning to a whole new level, as students have been able to cover SXSWi for the class blog, sxtxstate.com.  For those who don’t know, SXSWi is an amazing learning and networking opportunity, as it unites journalism, technology and social media professionals at the top of their various fields.  People come to Austin from all over the world to present on panels, and registrants get to choose from over 5,000 panels and events covering topics from data visualization in journalism to sports media.  There is literally something for everyone.  Interested in fashion?  Music?  Film?  There are panels and events for you.

The 19th SXSWi will be held March 9-13 in and around the convention center in downtown Austin.  Not only is the festival an opportunity to see cutting edge presentations, but there are also various events showcasing the latest in new media, journalism and tech, as well as hands-on trainings and networking parties.  These Texas State students get to experience these events alongside these professionals. Each student in Royal’s class will attend SXSWi for two days.  During their time at the festival, students will post blogs about each panel they attend, video interviews with panelists and attendees, photos of various events and so much more.  The goal is to capture the essence and breadth of SXSWi.

This project requires quite a bit of prep work.  Students have been conducting previews of panels for several months in preparation for the event.  Previews allow readers more insight into a panel, including short interviews with the panelists themselves.  In completing my previews for the blog, I have interviewed some interesting professionals in the world of sports media, fashion and journalism, including talking with The New York Times Interactive Editor Aron Pilhofer.  Additionally, the blog also gives weekly news updates of companies who will be at SXSWi and top five panels from various SXSWi tracks, including sports, gaming and non-profits.

Speaking of Aron Pilhofer, he will be at Texas State University-San Marcos on Thursday, March 8, where he will conduct a workshop with graduate students during the day. That evening, Pilhofer will speak about the state of data journalism from 6:30-8 p.m. in Old Main, room 232.  This event is open to all students.  For more information, visit the Advanced Online Media website.

The following day, the craziness really begins, as the Advanced Online Media students will begin covering the full SXSWi experience.  Stay tuned to the class blog throughout SXSWi for updated Interactive coverage, including panel posts, video interviews and photos.

While most events require a pass to attend, the festival includes a few free events, including Screenburn, a video game arcade at the Palmer Events Center.  For a list of all free interactive events, please click here.

Shannon Delaney is a graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Judy Oskam at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus. She has taken classes at both Texas State campuses and will graduate in May.

Mid-terms, projects and papers, oh my!

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English: Students need sleep in order to study.

Image via Wikipedia

How to alleviate stress during midterms

By Kristen McLaughlin

For all of the diligent students stressing out over the challenges that the middle of the semester presents, there is hope.

Resources are available at Texas State University Round Rock Campus to help students make it through with success. Some of these include the Writing Center, the RRC library, the Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC) and activities to take a break from the stress of it all.

SLAC is offering a test preparation and test taking strategy session today (March 1) from 5:15-6:15 p.m. in Avery, 419. If you want to take a break from academic writing and learn how to write creatively, the Writing Center  is also hosting a Creative Writing Workshop March 6, April 10, and April 12 from 5:15-6:15 p.m. in Avery, 419. The Writing Center is located in Avery, room 202, and offers a variety of resources to students at Texas State RRC.

Overall, this type of writing can be a stress reliever, as the writer has the freedom to write about anything rather than on a specified topic,” Writing Center Coordinator Chris Muse said.

When it comes to midterms and getting through the semester, Muse said the key is to relieve stress as much as possible.

“Midterms can be rather stressful and the best advice I can give to students is to remember that these mid-year assignments are only as stressful as we make them,” Muse said. “The reason why this time of the year can be so overwhelming is usually a result from how we allow the stress to take control.  Mainly, this originates from having to cut study time in half as students are required to devote their focus to more than one subject.”

Muse has two key tips that can help students get through midterms:

  • Tip #1-Don’t Procrastinate. One effective method that helps alleviate stress is to organize the amount of work the students have for each midterm.  Here’s how to do that: try not to wait until the last minute.  Procrastination is a key factor of stress and only intensifies as time expires.  Make note cards NOW, review class notes NOW, and begin research for a paper NOW!  The information the professor adds in lecture from this point on should be implemented into daily study sessions that lead up to the exam. Students who wait to study ALL of their notes instead of breaking it in 1-2 hour review sessions every day result in “all night cram sessions.”  This type of “studying” is more harmful than it is beneficial, as students tend to rely on this method more often than they should.
  • Tip #2-Take care of yourself and make time to do what you enjoy. Another piece of advice I have for students is to remember to take time off from studying.  Make time for exercise, community events, sleep and nutrition!  Junk food and caffeinated drinks are wise to avoid a few days prior to the exam day.  This type of eating will take a physical toll on your mental stamina. Remember, if the body is deprived, then the mind will be less focused and alert.

And don’t forget Spring Break is just around the corner! Spring break is March 10-18, a nice deserving break for students! It is also a good time to catch up on school work without the stress of class. For more information about Texas State RRC and resources available, visit http://www.rrc.txstate.edu.