Monthly Archives: November 2010

Alumni: Nominate your favorites

Do you know a distinguished
Texas State graduate?

Every year, the Texas State Alumni Association recognizes a group of graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award. A number of them have been recognized recently on the blog, along with other alumni.

The award recipients are distinguished in their business, professional or life work, on a national or international level, and must have received previous recognition from their contemporaries on a national or international level. Anyone can make nominations through a link at the association’s website.

The first person honored with the Texas State award was then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson, in 1959. There is a complete list of honorees at the website as well.

Alumni Profiles: Jen McAndrew

Alumna serves Americans in Israel as first line of border defense

Jen McAndrew, right, and a consular representative at an outreach event at an Israeli university.

By Billi London-Gray

“You need to have maximum flexibility for this type of work,” says Jen McAndrew.

The 2007 master’s graduate of Texas State’s mass communication program is now a member of the U.S. Foreign Service, currently representing the State Department in Israel. As a vice consul at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, McAndrew does everything from approving visa applications to managing the consulate section’s social media outreach.

McAndrew received her bachelor’s degree in Irish Studies from Southwestern University. She interned at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin before starting a career in public relations. After she started her master’s program at Texas State, McAndrew began the application process for the Foreign Service in 2006. The process lasted more than two years: she was hired in 2009 and, after nearly a year of training, departed for her first assignment.

“I feel very lucky that I didn’t join the Foreign Service right out of college,” McAndrew says. “Having a master’s degree and seven years of work experience when I joined meant that I could immediately bring a lot of expertise to the table.”

Although McAndrew enrolled in the mass communications graduate program at Texas State to support her public relations career, she has found the training “invaluable” to her work at the consulate.

“Since my background is in PR and writing, I knew I wanted to enter the public diplomacy career track,” McAndrew says. “My constituents are Americans living in Israel and Israelis needing visas for work, travel or study.”

McAndrew is using her social media savvy – one of her many mass communications skills – to get out the State Department’s message. She issues warden messages, or security alerts, to U.S. citizens through Facebook and Twitter. She also uses social media to receive and answer questions from foreign nationals.

“Nearly fifty percent of Israelis are on Facebook,” McAndrew says. “It’s by far the most-used social network here. I spend a lot of time answering questions that way.”

McAndrew also spends a lot of her time interacting face-to-face with visa applicants, both through outreach events at universities and through applicant interviews at the embassy.

“I interview at least a hundred people per day. It is intense and very personal,” McAndrew says. “When I’m interviewing people for visas, I make the decision whether they get the visa to come or not. It’s the first part of border control, the first point of protection for the American people.”

But the responsibility is one that makes McAndrew’s work meaningful to her.

“There’s nothing like the satisfaction of doing your job, serving your country and helping American citizens living abroad, and knowing you’re a form of protection for your family and friends back home,” McAndrew says. “I never experienced that kind of satisfaction before I came to work for the State Department.”

Happenings: Bobcat Tube Film Festival

Bobcat Tube Film Festival
scheduled for Friday

The Bobcat Tube Film Festival, the premiere of the top videos from the second annual Texas State video contest, will be Friday at 2 p.m. on the 11th floor of the J.C. Kellam Administration Building.

The first 30 fans through the doors will receive commemorative T-shirts, and there will be door prizes and video contests as well.

Twelve videos from across campus, made with the theme “Texas State’s Got Talent,” will make their public debuts. All the entries had to be less than five minutes long, have an image of a star in them and have been made on campus.

The top three videos will win prizes: an iPod Touch, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. Everyone at the event will vote for the winner of the Golden Bobcat award as the fans’ favorite.

Videos by the five finalists will be compiled onto a playlist on the Texas State channel on YouTube.

Distinguished Alumnus of the Day: John T. Dailey

John T. Dailey

John T. Dailey

John T. Dailey

John T. Dailey graduated from Texas State University in 1936 with a degree in government and education.

While working for the Federal Aviation Administration during the 1960s, he developed psychological and behavioral profiles for the detection of potential airplane hijackers.

He received the FAA Flight Safety Award in 1972, which recognizes “outstanding individual contributions to aviation safety, through basic design, device or practice.”

John also wrote a book titled, Nine/Eleven: Could The Federal Aviation Administration Alone Have Deterred the Terrorist Skyjackers? You Will Find The Answer Here, But Not In The 9/11 Commission Report, which “takes you behind the scenes from the very beginning of efforts to curb aircraft hijacking, to how a proven program fell victim to bureaucracy.”

He was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1975.

The award recognizes graduates who have achieved prominence and distinction in their chosen business, profession or life work on a national or international level.

Spotlight: Texas State Ethics Bowl Team

Ethics Bowl team prepares
for national competition

The Texas State Ethics Bowl team, made up of students from the Department of Philosophy, is headed for the national competition in Cincinnati in March. Team members are (from left) Ethan Watt, Trista Bishop, James Ziller, David Newton and Hunter Chambers. Faculty adviser Jo Ann Carson is between Siller and Newton.

See our previous post about the team for more on the story.

Texas State Updates: Holiday gift sales

University offering holiday
ornaments, greeting cards

Texas State University-San Marcos is proud to offer unique items that promote pride in the university and support student scholarships.

The items can be ordered online, or purchased at JC Kellam Room 860, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Texas State Ornaments

2010 Ornament
Make the Rising Star of Texas part of your holiday celebration. This beautiful and festive star is the third in a series of Texas State-themed ornaments. Measuring 3.2 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall, the gold-tone ornament comes packaged in a maroon gift box. Cost: $19.95 each

2009 Ornament
Combine your bobcat and holiday spirit this year with a unique ornament featuring the iconic bobcat statue from campus, outlined by the Texas sky. This is the second in a series of Texas State-themed ornaments. Each gold-tone ornament is 3.5 inches in diameter and comes packaged in a maroon gift box. Cost: $19.95 each.

2008 Ornament
This unique ornament featuring Old Main was the first in the series of Texas State-themed holiday ornaments. Each gold-tone ornament measures 3.2 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall and comes packaged in a maroon gift box. Cost: $19.95 each.

Texas State Holiday Cards

These one-of-a-kind holiday cards feature paintings by well-known Texas wildlife artist Clemente Guzman III. Each box of cards includes 12 cards (three each of the four designs) and 12 gold foil-lined envelopes. Cards come packaged in a gold box with a clear lid and a gold elastic ribbon. Message inside reads: Season’s Greetings.
Designs included in each box: Baby Bobcat with Lights, Baby Bobcat with Ornament, President’s House and Theatre Center.
Cost: $15 per box.

Spotlight: Texas State Facts

Assorted facts about Texas State

Some information you may not know about Texas State, courtesy of your faithful social media team:

Fulbright honors

At least one member of the Texas State University-San Marcos faculty has been chosen for a Fulbright Fellowship every year since 2002, and Texas State has been recognized as a top-producing institution of Fulbright scholars.

Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers honors

Since 1997, Texas State has had 22 students win the coveted Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship, which helps minority students entering the teaching profession. Three were chosen this year.

Diversity

The student body at Texas State for 2010-11 is 65 percent white, 25 percent Hispanic, 6 percent African-American, 3 percent Asian and 1 percent Native American, which closely reflects the population of Central Texas. See the 2010 data tables for more information.

Residential College

The Texas State Residential College program, open to all incoming freshmen, began in 1995 and now includes three residence halls where student and faculty live, dine, socialize and learn together. Faculty living within each hall teach “co-enrolled” courses, which allow hall mates to attend class together regardless of their majors. Among Residential College students, 48 percent in the fall of 2008 earned a 3.0 or better, and 17 percent were on the dean’s list.

Facebook fans

As of Monday, Facebook fans for Texas universities and colleges:

Texas A&M University: 240,616
University of Texas at Austin: 205,307
Texas Tech University: 90,495
Baylor University: 41,392
Texas State University-San Marcos: 26,793
Texas Christian University: 17,344
University of North Texas: 16,740

Oldest student newspapers

Student newspapers, and when they were founded:

The Battalion, Texas A&M University: 1893
The Daily Texan, University of Texas at Austin: 1900
The Daily Skiff, Texas Christian University: 1902
The University Star, Texas State University-San Marcos: 1911
The Thresher, Rice University: 1916
The UNT Daily, University of North Texas: 1916

Student-athlete graduation rates

Graduation rate for student-athletes who enrolled at the largest universities in Texas in 2003, as compiled by the NCAA:

Texas A&M University: 72 percent
Texas State University-San Marcos: 70 percent
University of Texas at Austin: 70 percent
University of Houston: 69 percent
University of Texas at El Paso: 69 percent
University of North Texas: 68 percent
Texas Tech University: 67 percent
University of Texas at Arlington: 63 percent
University of Texas at San Antonio: 60 percent
University of Texas Pan American: 57 percent

Texas State Updates: RAVE

TXSTate RAVE system
to provide emergency texts

Texas State has instituted a new system that can push text messages to campus users in the event of an emergency.

Provided by the Office of Emergency Management, the TXState RAVE program is designed to be one of the primary means of communications and instruction during a campus emergency.

The service is free to students, faculty and staff. All users are pre-registered in the system with their “@txstate.edu” e-mail address.

To register a cell phone number and receive the text alerts, users go to the site and enter their NetID and password. That is the portal to the setup page.

Emergency Management has established an FAQ page about the system, or users can send e-mail to emergencymanagement@txstate.edu or call 512.245.7284.

Happenings: Thanksgiving and Turkey Trivia

What better time than Thanksgiving week to appreciate everything we have, plus mark once-a-year traditions like eating roasted (or smoked, or deep-fried) fowl, jellied cranberries and six pounds of green beans.

First, a little video to warm up:

And now, some facts that may leave you wondering, “How did I not know that?”

@txst_wd debuts

The word on the street:
Follow @txst_wd on Twitter

We’ve launched a new social media effort today called “Texas State Words,” or as well refer to it to make it less stodgy-sounding, @txst_wd.

On a schedule with no discernible pattern, we’ll be posting a word or phrase on the Twitter account @txst_wd with particular meaning at Texas State. The post will include a definition and a link for more information.

You’re welcome to follow @txst_wd, and even make suggestions. In fact, we encourage your suggestions. We solicit your suggestions. We entreat you to send us your suggestions. Petition you to send them. Grovel on our digital knees for your suggestions.

You get the idea.

Check us out…the first post is upon us.