Elizabeth Barrera

Associate professor helps minority students and faculty reach their full potentials

Many students and faculty go through college without guides. Dwight Watson ensures people in need of help are mentored to achieve success.

Watson, associate professor of history and special assistant to the president for minority affairs, is in charge of helping to develop and support minority faculty on campus. Watson mentors new and underrepresented faculty and encourages them to develop their roles at Texas State, said Terence Parker, associate director for Retention Management and Planning.

“Ultimately, people are headed toward the same direction, and that is excellence,” Watson said. “That is Texas State University.”

Texas State athletics travel costs increase as program grows

As the Texas State football team continues to gain recognition, the cost of travel climbs as well.

Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said since joining the Sun Belt Conference last year, costs for charter buses and planes have increased due to competitive bidding for prices of travel resources.

“(The funding) would come from the athletic department, which receives money from the athletic fee in student tuition,” Nance said. “Athletics gets ticket revenue and contributions and all kinds of different revenues. All the funding gets dumped into one budget, but the fee that you pay for in tuition partly goes to the football team.”

Bridge construction underway at Hunter Road

A bridge is being constructed over Hunter Road to help solve low-water crossing problems in the area, and the lane will be widened in a project with the Texas Department of Transportation.

With any significant amount of rain, Hunter Road shuts down due to flooding, said Richard Reynosa, San Marcos senior project engineer. Construction on the project began in March and is predicted to be complete in fall 2015.

“The low-water crossing has been an issue, along with the safety of the roads,” Reynosa said. “Hunter Road is one of our few west of (the) IH-35 north and south roads, so that low-water crossing problem pushes everybody back out to Craddock Avenue or back toward IH-35, so it’s a major connection and problem to the City of San Marcos.”

Leadership program continues in memory of alumnus

In tribute to his friend Kevin Housley, Bill Poston, founder and president of the Housley Principled Leadership Program, maintains connections with alumni and current students for support in reaching success.

The memorial program for Housley has had a great turn out, Poston said. Housley was an alumnus of Texas State and best man at Poston’s wedding. Housley died six years ago from brain cancer, and ever since, Poston said he was his motivation to fulfill the need of a program for students eager to gain leadership proficiency.

University now offering online master of science degree in dementia and aging studies

Beginning this month, Texas State will offer a Master of Science degree program in dementia and aging studies, the first of its kind in America.

The three tracks that make up the program are a practitioner’s sector, which is involved with aging services and government jobs, long term care, which offers a six-month internship and a variety of administrator positions and a research sector, giving students the skills needed to work immediately for a company upon graduation. The course is a 33-hour online Master’s degree.

Susan Day, sociology department chair, said the new program was proposed by faculty.

Two-year plan in place for creation of new residence halls

Construction crews have broken ground on a two-year project to build two new residence halls that will make up the Moore Street Complex and help accommodate enrollment growth.

The Speck Street Garage has been closed to begin construction on the Moore Street Complex project planned for the West Campus area. The construction is expected to be finished in fall 2016, said Rosanne Proite, director of Housing and Residential Life. The new halls will be similar to Gaillardia and Chautauqua Halls in the North Housing Complex on Student Center Drive.

“(The halls) will be traditional pod-style, community bathrooms,” Proite said. “There will be 598 beds total. One hall will be about 300 (beds), and the other will be about 298 (beds).”

Endangered species, aquifer levels being affected by Stage 4 drought

As extreme drought conditions in Central Texas persist, endangered species and natural wildlife are being monitored and cared for by local specialists.  

San Marcos is currently in a Stage 4 drought, which has caused significant concern regarding the San Marcos River and the organisms that call it home. The San Marcos salamander and Texas wild rice are just some of the endangered species that may be affected.

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