Author Archives: Mindy Green

Student Life: Exploring Majors

What is it like to be a dance major?
Lauren Dorsett tells us.

by Mindy Green

Photo of Lauren Dorsett Q. When did you first know you wanted to study dance?
A. I started dancing when I was three and it’s always been my passion. When I was in high school, I helped teach at a studio. I realized I love to perform but I love to teach dance even more. So it was in high school when I said this is what I have to do for the rest of my life. I want to teach people to enjoy what I love.

Q. Were there other majors that you considered at any point? If so, why did you finally settle upon dance?
A. I’ve always wanted to help people; I didn’t put much consideration into anything other than teaching and now I’m going into dance education. There really wasn’t any other major I could see myself doing.

Q. How did you first learn about Texas State’s program?
A. I went online and typed in “dance programs in Texas” and Texas State popped up. Tuition here is decent and we have a program that lets you choose from four different degree plans: Dance education, performance & choreography and dance studies. Dance education is split in two, either single teaching or double teaching certification. I chose double teaching certification because I felt it would be more useful for what I wanted to do.

Q. What is your minor? Why did you choose that?
A. I’m minoring in Business Administration because I hope to someday open up my own dance studio.

Q. What made you decide to come to Texas State?
A. When I came to visit the campus, I really fell in love with the beauty of it. I felt like this could be a place I could call home.

Q. Did you have to audition? If so, what was that like?
A. We don’t have an audition process for dance education but there is an audition for the performance & choreography plan.

Q. What’s a typical day like for you at Texas State?
A. I’m doing what I love all day, so that’s great, but it’s very busy. Being a dance major means a lot of our classes are only one credit hour so we have full days taking technique classes, having our regular history classes on top of education classes, dealing with teaching, and then at night we have rehearsals if we’re in a company. They’re full days, but they’re enjoyable.

Q. Where are most of your dance classes? What is that building like?
A. Most of them are in Jowers. We have a close-knit community but we have only two studios and they’re really nice. We have great teachers and great faculty. Coming to Texas State and being taught by the faculty here has really helped me to see dance in a new way. Now I see dance more as an art form. Now I see the actual beauty of the art.

Q. What performance opportunities have you been given?
A. My first two years here, I was in Orchesis Dance Company and through that we had a performance every year. Now I’m in Merge Dance Company and this year we’ve had a lot of performance opportunities. There were two in the fall, one coming up this week, one in two more weeks and one at the end of the year. We get to perform a lot so it’s really nice.

Q. What do you want to do after you graduate?
A. If I can, I would love to perform some more. I hope to be picked up by a company or have some kind of opportunity to travel and perform. If not, I would definitely love to jump straight into teaching, whether in a public or private school system, and then eventually have my own studio.

Q. How has the program helped you achieve your goals?
A. It has definitely helped me to increase my ability as a dancer but I also feel like I’ve learned a lot about how to approach teaching students who may have had dance experience and also students who have not. This department is really big on kinesiology and whole body awareness — like what is the right position for every movement.

Q. What are your thoughts on the new Performing Arts Center?
A. It is beautiful and we’re really excited to be the first dancers to perform there. I definitely feel like this is an exciting time for the arts because we’re finally getting more recognition here at Texas State.

Q. What’s your advice to anyone who is considering being a dance major at Texas State?
A. To definitely do it! It’s been a wonderful experience for me. My best advice would be to do as much as you can while you’re here. This is the time for us to increase our technique and perform as much as we can.

 

Alumni: Distinguished Young Bobcat Award

Recent alumni create award for incoming Bobcats

by Mindy Green

Distinguished Young Bobcat Award logoAndrew Henley and Maggie Worthington graduated from Texas State University only last year, but already they have created a scholarship for one incoming freshman who has made an impact on his/her high school campus and community.

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LBJ-MLK Crossroads Memorial

Community works together to memorialize a famous partnership

by Mindy Green

Computer image of the LBJ-MLK Crossroads Memorial

At the intersection of LBJ and MLK in San Marcos, a statue by Aaron Hussey commemorates the nation at the crossroads of equality and civil rights.

A new city landmark is about to be unveiled in San Marcos. The LBJ-MLK Crossroads Memorial,  the end-result of years of collaboration between San Marcos and Texas State University, commemorates the combined efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson to advance the march towards equality. Continue reading

Bobcat Faces: Haydyn Jackson

December grad creatively merges diverse fields of studies

By Mindy Green

Photo of Haydyn Jackson

Jackson’s artwork is inspired by the study of culture and human interaction.

When Haydyn Jackson first enrolled at Texas State, she declared art and design as her major. As she started getting into her upper-level classes, however, she decided to pursue a different field. Jackson found herself drawn to anthropology, and eventually she switched her major. “The idea of studying culture and the way people interact and socialize seems really important,” Jackson says.

After switching majors, art was no longer Jackson’s primary focus. Her professors, however, encouraged her to continue to develop her artistic talents. She credits Ashe Laughlin, senior lecturer in the School of Art and Design for helping her decide to keep art as a minor. “He wouldn’t let me give up on it,” she says.

Dr. Teri Evans-Palmer also played a big role in Jackson’s college career by supporting her and helping her find the connection between anthropology and art. “Haydyn always seemed to want to go beyond learning about techniques and skills to find out more about the artists that produced artifacts left on the earth,” says Evans-Palmer. “What cultural or social phenomenon initiated this type of imagery? What happened in the lives of these cultures, the social context, that initiated this type of work? Her investigations that led her into producing art have such an obvious scientific methodology to the process.”

There is no conflict between Jackson’s two passions. Instead, anthropological studies have given Jackson new sources of inspiration. “Anthropology informs my art,” she says. “My subject matter and ideas all stem from the way I see myself interacting with society and the way I see society interacting with me.”

There are additional benefits: “Anthropology has given me the best skills learning how to listen to people and work cooperatively,” Jackson says. Jackson is using these skills in a variety of art initiatives, such as curating exhibitions, showing her own artwork in galleries and coordinating art walks around town.

After graduation, Jackson plans on seeking a job in an art gallery and eventually continuing her studies in graduate school. One of the greatest lessons she learned at Texas State is also her best advice to others: “Follow what you love to do,” Jackson says, “and everything you need will fall into place.”

Spotlight on Excellence at Texas State: Joe McKenna

Criminal justice doctoral student honored at the White House

Photo of McKenna as he receives his award

Joe McKenna (center) contributes to the safety of students everywhere through his work at TxSSC.

By Mindy Green

It is unfortunate that safety in educational settings requires an extraordinary amount of research and preparation. Luckily for Texas State, one of the country’s most prominent research facilities on the subject is right on campus.

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Alumni: Laura Romero

One alumna’s journey inspired her

to make an impact on families

By Mindy Green

Photo of a preemie laying in the palm of a hand

Premature babies may require lengthy hospital stays, which can be stressful for parents and older siblings. [Photo from handtohold.org]

Recent graduate Laura Romero is making a lasting impression on some Austin families. During her graduate practicum in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Family and Child Studies program, Romero developed a groundbreaking program that helps siblings of premature babies cope with familial stress during the baby’s long-term stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

“My research revealed that very few programs were in place for siblings of children with special healthcare needs, not only across the United States, but worldwide as well,” Romero says.

Romero developed Sibling Sundaes to fill that void.

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Happenings: Black and Latino Playwrights Conference

Theatre Department prepares for another successful conference

By Mindy Green 

Poster with events and dates

Schedule of events poster

For the 11th year, Texas State University is hosting the Black and Latino Playwrights Conference in the Theatre Center. The conference promotes writers who historically have been under-represented and its purpose is to attract and appeal to multicultural involvement in and through theatre.

This year, the conference pays tribute to playwright pioneer Luis Valdez and his El Teatro Campesino for his contributions to and sustained excellence in American theatre. Valdez’s son, Kinan, will be directing one of the play development workshops. Continue reading

Faculty: Kenneth H. Margerison

History professor rewarded for his dedication and service to teaching

By Mindy Green

Photo of Kenneth H. Margerison

Kenneth H. Margerison is the 20th Piper Professor from Texas State University.

Faculty member Kenneth H. Margerison is fascinated by the past and the way that people in earlier time periods dealt with the opportunities and problems they faced. Convinced that we have much to learn from the experiences of previous eras, he provides the opportunity for his students to gain insight and respect for history.

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Around Campus: Summer Fun in San Marcos

San Marcos offers wide array
for outdoor summer fun

Downstream photo of the San Marcos River

The San Marcos River is a popular destination.

By Mindy Green

San Marcos is full of summer hot spots and cool escapes — especially if you know where to look. Take advantage of its beautiful climate and visit some of these nature destinations, all within a few miles of campus.

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Happenings: World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

Breaking a world record to
spread a message

By Mindy Green

World's Largest Swimming Lesson logo

Thousands of people around the world will be participating. Jump in, Bobcats!

It’s not often one can say they participated in a world record, but here’s your chance! Texas State University is a site host for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) on Tuesday, June 18 and registration is open to anyone who wants to get their name in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Continue reading