Monthly Archives: April 2010

Bobcat Faces: Sam Samudio

Student from a small town finds
Texas State is just the right fit

Sam Samudio

Being from a very small town — Ganado — Sam Samudio was very happy to find a small-town atmosphere at Texas State.

“I chose Texas State because I felt like this was the perfect size university for me,” he explains, which may sound surprising as the university has more than 30,000 students. But it is testament to the fact that the university has maintained an intimate feeling, even in the midst of record-breaking growth.

The university’s size means that it has plenty of resources, and Samudio, a business management major, has learned to use those resources for his studies. He advises other students to do the same: “Take advantage of all the help that the university offers to you, like Student Learning Assistance Center.” He also suggests that students study early.

“It’s much easier to remember the material if you have already gone over it once or twice,” he says.

Samudio plans on making a career in construction management, with aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur. “The things that I’m studying now will help me with the overall aspect of managing the people, projects and the overall business,” he explains. Upon graduation, Samudio will work on his construction project management certification.

With all the studying Samudio does, he has to find time to rest and hang out. Texas State offers him plenty of opportunities for downtime as well. “If I’m on campus and between classes,” he says, “I like to go to Boko’s Living Room and relax on the couch and watch TV or take a nap till my next class starts. I love to eat at The Lair. You have a nice variety of food, and you can go into George’s [named for alum George Strait] and watch the big screen or sit outside when it’s a nice day.”

Samudio believes those considering Texas State “would be making a great decision in choosing” the university. He says he’s had outstanding experiences, “such as meeting great friends, participating in awesome student organizations and just trying to absorb everything Texas State has to offer.”

For Samudio, Texas State offers just the right combination of opportunities for work and play that round out his education and set him on the road to future success.

McCoy College of Business Administration

Department of Management

Be a Bobcat: Audrey Buchanan

Special education major
featured on Texas State website

Audrey Buchanan

The latest in the “Be a Bobcat” series of videos and profiles, on special education major Audrey Buchanan, has been posted on the website. Hear about and read the Boerne native’s experiences at Texas State, and in the College of Education.

Here’s the direct link:
Audrey Buchanan

Here’s a link to recent profiles:
Be a Bobcat archives


WordPress Wednesday

Welcome to the Texas State blog, where we profile the people who make the university special. Please look around, and if you see a familiar face, leave a comment or two.

Bobcat Faces: Amanda Venable

Communications studies major finds
extracurriculars important to career path

Amanda Venable

“Deciding to attend Texas State was the best decision I could have made,” says communications studies senior Amanda Venable. “When looking at universities, Texas State seemed like the right fit for me. The campus is beautiful, the people are welcoming and the opportunities are endless. Plus, since I’m from Austin, it’s close enough that I can go home for a day, but far enough that I don’t have to.”

Like many freshmen, she was unsure of her career path, but with guidance from faculty and her experience writing for The University Star, she found it. After graduate school, she wants to “take the tools I’ve learned while working as a journalist and editor at The University Star and apply them to a career in political communications, public affairs or crisis management.”

Her extracurricular education is as important as what she’s learned in the classroom.

“Working at the newspaper is where I’ve gained most of my knowledge and practical skills about writing, researching and management,” she explains. “Being editor-in-chief of The University Star might be a hard gig, but it is extremely rewarding. I work with a great group of students who dedicate themselves to ensuring we put out a quality publication. I also have the benefit of always knowing what’s new on campus.

“The tools I’ve gained while working at the paper have aided in getting me internships, the last of which was in Washington, D.C., where I spent the past summer working at a political think-tank.”

Texas State also provided her with the opportunity to study abroad in Spain for a summer.

“I had never been to Europe,” she says, “and it turned out to be the biggest adventure of my life.”

Venable also has been a recipient of many scholarships and awards, including the third-place award for in-depth reporting and best breaking news award from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association in 2008 and 2009, respectively. She also won second-place for breaking news from the Society of Professional Journalism.

“Texas State is a place where you can come into your own,” Venable says. “You don’t have to come here with your life mapped out for you. You’ll find your own niche — an organization, major, job — that makes you feel a part of something bigger than yourself. I did.”

College of Fine Arts and Communication
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University Star

Bobcat Faces: Chris Schave

Texas State offers further opportunities
for a veteran to explore the world

Chris Schave

For international business major and former member of the Air Force Chris Schave, Texas State has provided a great way to learn business techniques as well as other cultures. “After being in the Air Force, I realized that I really enjoy traveling and working abroad. For me, immersing yourself in another culture is a wonderful experience, so international business was the right choice.

“The great thing about the international business program is that you don’t just study the business side of things. You study cultures and languages. I believe in being a well-rounded person, and this degree puts emphasis on that.”

Schave also has had the opportunity to go to both Rennes, France, and Florence, Italy, through Texas State’s study abroad program. He enjoyed his experience with Dr. Moira Di Mauro-Jackson, his favorite teacher. “She was my French 1420 professor and the advisor for the French Club. Last summer, I went on her study abroad to Florence, Italy, and had an amazing time. Dr. Jackson has a wealth of knowledge about so much. She was born in Italy and traveled around the world with her family. She speaks five languages. Going to her class made me want to improve my French.”

Dr. Jackson was not Schave’s only mentor on campus. Fellow student and veteran Clay Patterson saw potential in Schave to become a leader on campus. Patterson and Schave wanted to spread fellowship among other veterans. “Initially, I just wanted to go to go to my classes and do well, then graduate,” he says. But after Clay and I started organizing [a veterans group], this whole other side of university life opened up to me.”

Now Schave stays active. He is the president of the Veterans Alliance and former president and current public relations officer of Le Cercle Français, committee chair in Student Foundation and student member of the Veteran’s Advisory Board.

“I am learning a lot about leadership and perfecting that skill. I would like to be in charge of a company one day. Being a great leader is a necessity.”

Schave continues to learn not only what Texas State has to offer to him, but what he can offer to Texas State. “If you want to be somebody, you can. Texas State is small enough to make a difference. Texas State is a great school with so much to offer. Come here, get involved, graduate and give back!”

Center for International Studies

Study Abroad Program

Bobcat Faces: Coty Raven Morris

Early decisions work out
for music education major

Coty Raven Morris

A lot of students go through high school wondering where they will go to college, and many of them put off the decision to the last possible moment.

Not Coty Raven Morris, though. She came to San Marcos for a choir camp the summer before her freshman year of high school and came away with a plan.

“When that camp was over and I thought about the fantastic music faculty that had taught me for the past week, the life long friends that I had made — and now have classes with — and the community of people that were in other areas of the campus, I knew that Texas State was the university for me,” says the junior, who graduated from Austin’s Anderson High School and is majoring in music education at Texas State.

Morris, who wants to teach music to middle school or high school students, calls music “the tool that I will use to make a difference in the world around me.” Thanks to her experience before her freshman year of high school, she also would like to run her own summer choral camp.

For now, though, she is expanding her horizons — she says she has tried to study in every building on campus — and enjoy the diverse atmosphere. That diversity is especially evident at what she calls her favorite spot on campus, the lobby of the Music Building.

“In other departments, the lobby serves as a calming community area where people can relax between classes,” she says. “In the music building, the lobby serves as the watering hole for what is the music building zoo; you never know what chaos may break out, what jam session may occur, or what random activity my spring up to once again shock the poor, unknowing Intro to Fine Arts students as they leave their classes.”

College of Fine Arts and Communication
School of Music

Bobcat Faces: David Ray Cosner

‘Bass Cat’ freshman finds way
to blend love for fishing, college

David Ray Cosner

David Ray Cosner’s dream job is, to say the least, different: He wants to be in the professional bass fishing business.

And he’s gotten the chance to pursue that goal at Texas State.

The freshman from Austin founded the Texas State Bass Cats, an organization dedicated to fishing that has gone from a handful of members in 2008 to three dozen today. And on Monday, he and partner Jay McCollum finished second in the FLW College Fishing national tournament, earning $25,000 for the club and $25,000 for the university’s scholarship fund.

Cosner and McCollum were just nine ounces behind the team from the University of Florida for the first-ever national title, the culmination of a year-long series of events sponsored by FLW and the National Guard. The Texas State team was one of five that advanced to the final day of the three-day tournament.

But, as Cosner has discovered, it’s more than just the fishing. He also has discovered a field, marketing, that works for his interests.

“I’ve studied basic business aspects and marketing, and I’ve been able to apply those skills to help the Bass Cats,” he says.

“I really enjoy the marketing aspect of the fishing industry, and we successfully created a sport club that has grown exponentially. I figured, why not do something that you love, and you’re not half-bad at?”

Cosner, who graduated from Bowie High School, says he has developed a balance between school and fishing since coming to San Marcos.

“I am a very focused person,” he says. “If I want something, I will go to the ends of the earth to get it. I know what I want to get out of college here at Texas State, and I have no intention of letting the normal college distractions take away from that.”

Texas State Bass Cats
FLW College Fishing Series
McCoy College of Business Administration
Department of Marketing

Texas State Faces: Pulitzer Prize winners

Texas State journalists help bring
Pulitzer honors to Seattle Times

David Birdwell, on a manual typewriter, from the 1974 Pedagog yearbook

Joe Ruiz

Two former Texas State journalism students were intimately involved in the Pulitzer Prize won by the Seattle Times earlier this month, giving the university what is believed to be its first winners of the prestigious award.

David Birdwell, who graduated in 1975, and Joe Ruiz, who attended Texas State from 1998-99 and 2004-06, were part of the coverage of the shooting deaths of four Lakewood, Wash., police officers last year and the manhunt for the suspect.

Birdwell, who has been at the Times since 1999, is the newspaper’s national/foreign editor, but he was working as the Page 1A editor Nov. 29-30, 2009, when events unfolded in the Seattle suburb. He wound up serving as one of the lead editors of the paper’s printed stories, and he also led their design and placement, and wrote or approved all the headlines.

Ruiz is an associate producer for news with the newspaper’s Web site,, and kept the site updated as events unfolded.

“The Pulitzer is the pinnacle of the journalism profession,” says Kym Fox, head of the journalism sequence in the Texas State School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “It’s the prize every journalist wants to win, even if they tell you otherwise.”

As far as can be determined, the award — which goes to the entire newsroom in the breaking news category — is the first for former Texas State students.

“To win in the breaking news category speaks to the strength of the team at the Seattle Times,” Fox says. “When something like the shooting of multiple police officers happens in a town, it’s the newspaper that has the journalistic resources to fully inform the community. This is a testament to what newspapers do.”

Ruiz awoke to the sound of Twitter updates the day the story broke and quickly headed to the Times’ offices.

“On the Sunday morning of the shootings, I was the first person in the newsroom updating the Web site,” he says. He continued to find and update stories throughout the day, and established ways to find and coordinate information on Twitter.

“The following days, I either worked on the homepage making sure the latest information was posted, or I was writing brief, continuous Web updates to have the latest information on the page.”

Fox noted that the duo came from very different eras at the university.

“It’s interesting that the Texas State connection to this comes in the form of David, who is a veteran journalist, graduating from the university when our program was much smaller and Joe, a journalist with only a few years experience, who attended the university recently,” she says. “A lot has changed between the years these two walked the halls of Old Main, but good journalism is good journalism. We’re really proud of their work.”

Ruiz spoke fondly of his time at Texas State, when the native of San Antonio worked for both the University Star and Bobcat Update, a student-produced newscast.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today or have any chance at becoming the person I want to be without the Texas State community,” says Ruiz, who worked for the Web site of San Antonio television KSAT before taking the job in Seattle.

“I can’t thank those people enough who have kept me as part of the community, and I’m proud to tell people I studied at the School of Journalism at Texas State.”

Birdwell was on newsroom staffs at the Austin American-Statesman and Houston Post, as well as papers in Colorado, California and Alaska, following his graduation in December 1975.

“The best thing . . . is that the department was small enough at the time that I was able to gain a lot of experience,” he says. “I was assistant sports editor (of the University Star) my first semester, moving up the chain to sports editor, executive news editor, managing editor and finally editor.”

The Pulitzer Prize is the eighth for the Seattle Times and the first for the Times since 1997. The murders of the policemen shocked the nation, and the ensuing manhunt was the largest fugitive search in Washington state history. The Times covered the story with dozens of reporters, photographers, editors and online producers, according to the newspaper.

Bobcat Faces: Jennifer Muñoz

Business honors student
keeps her focus on the future

Jennifer Muñoz

Like many successful people, Jennifer Muñoz has found inspiration in a quote from Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People:

“I can live out of my imagination instead of my memory. I can tie myself to my limitless potential instead of my limiting past.”

Muñoz, a marketing major from San Marcos, has more than put Covey’s quote into practice. She has lived it, as she is about to become the first member of her family to graduate from a four-year university.

“The sky is the limit, and I’m reaching for it,” she says.

Muñoz, a dean’s list scholar in the McCoy College of Business Administration, went away to school after graduating from San Marcos High School. But she came back her junior year and earn her bachelor’s from Texas State in May.

“It’s like the old saying goes, ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone,’” she says. “Texas State is a beautiful campus in a wonderful city. It’s a wonderful match for my personality, and I love it.”

Her goal is to own her own business, and she figured that since marketing was such a vital part of any enterprise, it was a logical choice for a major. She hasn’t regretted it, thanks to people like Vicki West, a senior lecturer in the Department of Marketing and her instructor for Professional Selling.

“I took her class at 8 a.m., and trust me, I was never falling asleep,” Muñoz says. “She is a teacher who you know wants to be there. If you take her class, I can guarantee you that you will not feel like you wasted your time — everything she teaches is for a reason.”

Muñoz broadened her horizons by joining the campus chapters of the American Marketing Association and the Hispanic Business Student Association. She is a member of Alpha Mu Alpha, the national marketing honor society, and Beta Gamma Sigma, the honor society for business students, and also took part in the Bobcat Build program.

“Texas State is just an amazing place to be,” she says. “I’m proud to be a Bobcat.”

McCoy College of Business Administration
Department of Marketing

Bobcat Faces: Chris Haywood

Exercise and sports science major
takes career path seriously

Chris Haywood

Chris Haywood came to Texas State because he wanted to pursue his bliss: health and fitness.

And as a result, he is scheduled to graduate this summer with a bachelor’s in exercise and sports science, with the career goal of serving as a strength coach for a professional sports team and eventually opening up his own human performance facility.

“Exercise sports science came easy to me, and I enjoy learning new things about an always-changing field,” he says.

His dedication to the subject goes beyond the classroom. He is up every day at 4:30 a.m. to work out, and he has made it a point to expand his knowledge of his chosen field.

“You can’t base your qualifications strictly on your bachelor’s degree,” says the graduate of Pflugerville’s Connally High School. “You must actively pursue formal and personal education. The combination will make you a valuable asset in the workplace.”

Continuing to challenge yourself also requires some knowledge of yourself, he says.

“You need to know your study habits and plan your class schedule accordingly,” he says. “If you hate to study late at night, like me, it’s OK to schedule a large break during the day to study.”

Haywood also has made time to serve as the president of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, and participate in the Black Men United and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He also was the winner of the MLK Day Poetry Contest, and he has earned the LBJ Achievement Scholarship and Cecil Mayo Scholarship.

“Texas State is a good school, but only as good as you make it,” he says. “To get the most out of your experience, you should be proactive and mold yourself into a valuable young professional.”

College of Education
Department of Health and Human Performance
Exercise and Sports Science