Monthly Archives: January 2011

Distinguished Alumna of the Day: Marsha Wills-Karp

Marsha Wills-Karp

Marsha Wills-Karp

Marsha Wills-Karp was honored in 2002 for her contributions to the understanding of immunological factors surrounding asthma. She was also named one of the top 1,000 scientists in the world by the Faculty of 1000.

Currently, she is the director of the Division of Immunobiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio.

Her studies focus on allergies and immune responses, which she hopes will help with the future prevention of debilitating diseases.

She received her masters of science in biology from Texas State in 1982.

Alumni: Grupo Fantasma

Grupo Fantasma heads to Grammys with four talented Texas State alums

By Billi London-Gray

For ten years, the Austin-based Latin funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma has been turning heads and earning accolades. With the talents of four Texas State grads, the group has received its second Grammy nomination.

Grupo’s 2010 album, El Existential, is nominated for the Best Latin Rock, Alternative or Urban Album Grammy. Their 2008 release, Sonidos Gold, was nominated for the same award. Texas State alumni Josh Levy, Kino Esparza, Matthew “Sweet Lou” Holmes and Gilbert Elorreaga are all full-time members of the 10-piece ensemble. Continue reading

Bobcat Faces: Willow Kreucher

Criminal justice senior dreams of helping juvenile offenders

By Billi London-Gray

Ready for a change of pace, Willow Kreucher transplanted herself from Iowa to Austin nine years ago. She wanted to be closer to her family and their support as she found her path in life. Now the criminal justice major is ready for another big move: entering her career as a juvenile probation officer.

“I want to help those who can’t help themselves: children,” Kreucher says. “We were all children at one time, and we all have made mistakes; it shouldn’t mean that a kid gets written off as a problem case. I want to steer kids in the right direction so they become successful.”

Continue reading

Texas State Updates: Film Premiere

Independent film Campus Radio
to premiere in San Marcos

Campus Radio, a movie set and shot in San Marcos and Austin, will have its world premiere Feb. 4 at the Starplex Theater in San Marcos.

Filmed in 2008-09, Campus Radio is described as “a romantic comedy about a band manager torn between his love of the band and his love of its sexy new singer.”

Written and directed by Aaron James Sorensen, Campus Radio stars Canadian actor Tom Belding and Austin actress and singer Lauren Walsh. The film is a follow-up to Sorensen’s 2005 film, Hank Williams First Nation, which premiered at the AFI festival. Continue reading

Around Campus: Connected

Organization helps students
create new bonds on campus

By Britney Munguia

The first six weeks of a college career are often the most important in determining if a student stays in school for the next academic year.

Texas State has established a program on campus called Connected that works to create a comfortable environment for students to connect and learn about the many resources available to them during that critical time.

Connected meets every Sunday for the next six weeks of the semester. The first meeting is this Sunday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in LBJ Student Center, room 3-8.1, and, as is the case with every meeting, there will be free pizza and drinks. Continue reading

Alumni: Nelva Gonzales Ramos

Texas State alumna nominated
for federal district judgeship

Nelva Gonzales Ramos

Texas State graduate Nelva Gonzales Ramos has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

She currently is a state district court judge in Corpus Christi.

Her nomination was announced Wednesday by the White House, and she is supported by Democratic congressmen from Texas as well as both of the state’s U.S. senators. She still must be confirmed by Congress. Continue reading

Distinguished Alumna of the Day: Barbara Tidwell

Barbara Tidwell

Barbara Tidwell (left) and Susan Angell-Gonzalez

Barbara Tidwell was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996 to recognize her role in founding the Strutters, the Texas State dance team, in 1960.

Tidwell created the first precision dance team at a four-year university in the United States.

In the last 50 years, the Strutters have performed in two presidential inaugural parades, at numerous NFL and NBA games, in the nationally televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, on MTV’s Total Request Live and in a national television commercial for Coca-Cola. The team also advanced to the semifinals on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

The team was the first of its kind to perform in the People’s Republic of China as well.

In 2012, a Strutters gallery will open on the new north side addition to Bobcat Stadium. It will honor the organization’s accomplishments and dedication to the university.

Tidwell served as the director and choreographer of the Strutters for 37 years. She  was succeeded by Susan Angell-Gonzalez, the current director.

Tidwell received her master’s degree from Texas State in 1962.

Rising Star: Christian Wallace

Honors graduate found thesis inspiration ‘beyond the tracks’

By Billi London-Gray

Christian Wallace came to Texas State University for two things: an education and an experience. As a fresh graduate, he’s already produced work that proves his attainment of both.

The gifted young writer just graduated Summa Cum Laude from the university with a double major in English and history. His Honors program thesis project, like his decision to come to Texas State, centered on one of his favorite places: Cheatham Street Warehouse.

Continue reading

Faculty: Oren Renick

Texas State professor Renick to lead
Hope Hospice board of directors

Oren Renick

Oren Renick, a professor in the Texas State School of Health Administration, has been elected president of the board of directors of Hope Hospice in New Braunfels.

Renick also is the principal investigator of the Texas Long Term Care Institute, and he previously served as chairman of Health Administration at Texas State. He has degrees from Mississippi College, Tulane University and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has served as founding director of the Service Learning Initiative, chairman and vice chairman of the Faculty Senate, and vice chairman of the Interfaith Caregivers Alliance.

Prior to coming to Texas State in 1990, Renick spent almost 20 years in the health care industry, and he has been the chief executive of three organizations, including managed-care organizations in Chicago and New Orleans. He has been named to Who’s Who in America and chosen to present at the annual Presidential Seminar as well as at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

He is executive editor of the book on intergenerational service-learning, The Ties That Bind.

Hope Hospice was founded in 1984 to serve those with life-threatening illness and their families. The nonprofit organization serves northern Bexar County and the Greater Randolph Metro Area, as well as Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall and Blanco Counties.

Texas State Updates: Essay Contest

Texas State CAMCO
sponsoring essay contest

Cancer affects nearly everyone at one time or another. For some, it’s the experience of a family member or friend battling the disease. For others, it’s the focus of intensive research, or volunteer efforts. And there also are the personal stories, of living with and surviving cancer.

The Cancer Advocacy Movement for Colleges and Outreach at Texas State wants to hear all those stories. This spring, CAMCO is sponsoring an essay contest with the theme “What Does Cancer Mean to You?”

The competition, with prizes of $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third, is open to full-time Texas State students. Essays are limited to 750 words.

Entries should be sent by e-mail attachment to Dr. Lawrence Estaville,, by March 1. Writing will be judged on the topic, creativity, understanding, and style and grammar.

Winners may read their essays at the 2011 Cancer Survivors Panel and Remembrance, March 30 on campus.
For information, see the Texas State CAMCO website.