Archive | March, 2011

Mr. and Miss SFA Named

10 Mar

Mr and Miss SFA

Jamal Smith of Killeen and Jessica Patterson of Texas City were chosen as the 2011 recipients of the Mr. and Miss SFA Awards presented by the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association.

The Mr. and Miss SFA titles are awarded each year to exemplary student representatives of SFA. The Mr. SFA Award was established in honor of the late Stan McKewen, a 1934 SFA graduate. The Miss SFA Award was established in honor of Arnodean Covin, who was named Miss SFA in 1940, 1941 and 1942.

Smith is a senior at the university and is majoring in business. A 2007 graduate of North Mesquite High School, he is the son of Kassandra Smith of Killeen.

Smith has been honored with the bronze, silver and gold Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for his service to SFA and the community. He received the National Orientation Directors Association Student Leadership Award in 2010 for his service as an orientation leader and supervisor at SFA. Smith was a student instructor for SFA 101 and is a member of the Order of Omega, demonstrating outstanding leadership and academics as a member of the Greek community.

Smith’s community volunteer work includes service in the Theta Chi fraternity. He organized and implemented the first Theta Chi Give Back Week, served as the community service chairman and worked as a new member educator for the fraternity. As a member of the SFA Student Activities Association, Smith volunteers his time to coordinate and assist with many campus events. He is a volunteer with Driving Jacks, and he served as a Jack Camp counselor for two years.

Patterson is a senior majoring in communication studies. A 2007 graduate of Texas City High School, she is the daughter of Michael and Wendy Patterson of Texas City.

Patterson has held many leadership positions at SFA. Most recently, she served as president of the Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity. In 2008, she was voted the Zeta Tau Alpha Miss SFA for her involvement on campus. Patterson coordinated the Houston Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and co-produced an awareness video with the Nacogdoches Medical Center to debut its “Simply Pink” fashion show.

She was awarded a Texas City Rotary Club Scholarship for leadership and academic excellence and was inducted into the Order of Omega. Patterson was a student instructor for SFA 101 and served as an orientation supervisor and leader. She was employed by the Academic Assistance Resource Center as a supplementary instruction leader.

Her volunteer work includes service with Driving Jacks, the Nacogdoches Boys and Girls Club, the Adopt-a-Highway program, and Relay for Life.

Award recipients are selected based on their scholarship, participation and leadership in academic and co-curricular activities, citizenship and service, and loyalty to the university. Selections were made by a committee of faculty and staff members, students and alumni.


Spirit Teams celebrate accomplishments, prepare to defend national titles

10 Mar

SFA’s cheer and dance teams have a lot to celebrate these days, both in the classroom and on the competition floor.

All four squads (Large Coed, Small Coed, Pom Squad and Jack Attack) are gearing up to compete in the National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Alliance Collegiate National Championships April 7-9  in Daytona Beach, Fla. In addition to the four teams competing, six couples qualified for the partner stunt competition, taking six of the top seven qualifying positions, and one couple qualified for the open partner stunt competition.

SFA Spirit Teams hold 18 national titles since 1994 from the NCA/NDA National Championships, including a 2010 National Championship for the Large Coed team.

The Spirit Teams continue to make strides in average team GPAs, coming in above the all-campus average for the 2010 fall semester. The Large Coed squad had an average GPA of 2.47 for the fall 2010 semester, with three students making the Dean’s List and one making the President’s Honor Roll. The Small Coed squad boasted a 2.688 average GPA for fall 2010, with six students on the Dean’s List and five on the President’s Honor Roll. Pom Squad’s fall 2010 average GPA was a 2.854, with two students each on the Dean’s List and President’s Honor Roll, and Jack Attack held a 2.853 average GPA, with four students on the Dean’s List.

The SFA community will get a preview of the Spirit Teams’ routines at the annual Nationals Showcase at 6:30 p.m. April 1 in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. There also will be special performances by other competitive college teams.  This event is open to students, faculty and staff, as well as to the community.  Entry is $2 for pre-sale tickets, or $3 at the door.

If your student is interested in membership on one of the Spirit Teams, tryouts for Dance Teams are April 29-30 in the William R. Johnson Coliseum, and tryouts for Cheer Teams are May 6-8 in the HPE Complex. Information on requirements can be found at or by e-mailing Trisha O’Connor, Head Cheerleading Coach, at, or Head Dance Coach T.J. Maple at

Sorority life generates higher grades

10 Mar

By Beverly Farmer, Director of Student Activities

All sorority members strive for good scholarship, which results in many sorority women achieving higher GPAs than the campus all-women’s average.

The official fall 2010 grades for the SFA Greek system were released this spring. The SFA All-Sorority-Women average cumulative GPA was a 2.96, as compared to the All-University-Women average GPA of 2.90.

Leading all Greeks in grades were:

  • Phi Theta Gamma, 3.21
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., 3.19
  • Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority Inc, 3.09
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., 3.04
  • Chi Omega, 3.04
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., 3.00
  • Delta Zeta, 2.99

The remaining seven sororities at SFA are within nine-tenths of a point of being at the All-University-Women GPA.

Most sororities accomplish the higher grades by providing study hall time for their members. They also provide study skill workshops and provide help for struggling sisters.  By joining a sorority, a student will receive encouragement from their peers to make the best grades they possibly can each and every semester.

SFA students make an impact through service projects, trip

10 Mar

By Jamie Bouldin, Assistant Director for Leadership and Service

SFA students give back to their community in a variety of ways – during this semester, students have had several opportunities to get involved in service.

The third annual The BIG Event takes place on Friday, April 29. SFA’s The BIG Event promotes unity between campus and community as students come together for one day to express their gratitude for the support from the Nacogdoches community.

Individuals and not-for-profit agencies can apply to have jobs completed by students. Because The BIG Event is focused on saying “thanks,” the recipients are not limited by need or socioeconomic status. Anyone in the community, as long as they are not an SFA student, can apply for a job. Students will be performing tasks like yardwork, housecleaning, organization, painting and other jobs throughout Nacogdoches County.

Students can get involved by signing up online at or visiting the Involvement Center to fill out a participant form. Students should be prepared to serve from 2 to 6 p.m. on the day of the event, and they must sign up by Friday, April 8.

Another annual service opportunity is the Alternative Spring Break program. Rather than spending spring break at home or on vacation, a select group of students will spend their break performing service projects in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the annual Alternative Spring Break trip March 13-19.

Eleven students, two student team leaders, a graduate assistant and a professional staff member will assist the Mid-South Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club of Memphis and Shelby Farms.

Pre-trip activities, including fundraising and discussions on poverty and Memphis’ rich music and cultural history, have added to the teambuilding nature of the trip.

ASB team members are chosen through an application and interview process each fall. Students are  responsible for only $100 of the trip costs, making ASB an affordable alternative to traditional Spring Break plans, in addition to enriching the experiences of the students who take part.

Finally, earlier this semester, 130 students made Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service a day on, not a day off. Volunteers went to local nursing homes and senior centers to interact with elderly residents and assist the staffs of these facilities.

MLK Day of Service participants

Students played bingo, organized dances, performed karaoke, and helped with office maintenance and organization.

For more information about service opportunities at SFA, visit, or contact Jamie Bouldin at (936) 468-1088 or

Students should plan ahead for Housing changes

10 Mar

by Jennifer Waters, Assistant Director of Residence Life

The end of another academic year is quickly approaching. For you, that very likely means your student will be coming home. For the Residence Life Department, it means that we will have approximately 4,500 students leaving us for the summer. Before that can happen, students must take care of a number of tasks. We want this to be as smooth of a transition for you and your student as possible. To that end, this article will cover a few of the essential details of which your student needs to be aware. The Residence Life Department greatly appreciates your help in reminding students to take care of these matters.

Students need to decide which hall they would like to live in for the 2011-2012 academic year. We ask all students to log into their mySFA accounts between April 6 and 10 to renew their residence hall contract for next year. Those students who choose to renew their contracts will not be required to pay an additional deposit. Beginning April 12, students will have an opportunity to select their space for next year based upon availability and class standing. Specific details will be provided to the students soon, so they should keep their eyes open.

One of the biggest tasks students have for the end of the year is to move out of their residence hall room. The halls close Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m. Before students officially check out of their rooms, they need to ensure their rooms are clean – floors swept and mopped, all tape and residue removed, and trash removed. This includes the living room, kitchen (stove, microwave, sink, refrigerator, etc.) and bathrooms for residents who have them. Students will need to remove all of their personal belongings from the room and then go over their room inventories with a community assistant. Once they have completed and signed their room inventories, students will return their keys to a staff member. Students who fail to complete these steps may be charged for cleaning or damages. See for tips on cleaning and a list of damage charges.

It can be very challenging for students to accomplish everything at the same time they are preparing for and taking final exams. The sooner students start this process, the easier it will be for them during finals week. For example, will students need ALL of their winter clothes after spring break? If not, why not take some home now? It will leave that much less to pack at the end of the year!

If your student or you have any questions about what they must do to renew their residence hall contract for next year or to move out at the end of the year, feel free to contact the Residence Life Department at, at (936) 468-2601, or at the offices on the first floor of the Austin Building.

Attending Orientation eases transition into Lumberjack family

10 Mar

Once your student has been accepted into SFA, it’s time to sign up for New Student Orientation! New Student Orientation is a two-day event, geared toward helping students and their families make the transition into college and integrating them into the life of SFA.

During Orientation, students and family members will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from academic departments, student affairs, residence life, dining services, as well as the representatives from the areas that provide student services and resources.

The cost for all incoming freshmen attending orientation is $145 and includes lodging at Steen Hall, meals, Purple Haze T-shirt, publications and administrative fees. For parents and family members 18 years or older, the cost is $90 and includes accommodations in Lumberjack Lodge, meals and publications. The price for family members lodging off-campus is $70, and families are then responsible for their own accommodations. For pricing information for children 17 years and under, visit the Orientation website.

Students and family members can register online at, by mailing in the Orientation brochure, or via phone.

The New Student Orientation sessions for summer 2011 are: June 9-10, June 16-17, June 23-24, July 21-22 and July 28-29. Student and family members should only attend one session.

For more information, visit or call the Orientation Programs office at (936) 468-6641. Congratulations on becoming a part of the Lumberjack family; we can’t wait to see you and your student at Orientation!

Student government reps join community leaders in Austin

10 Mar

By Jamie Bouldin, Assistant Director for Leadership and Service

Members of SFA’s Student Government Association (SGA) recently joined a group of University and community representatives for Nacogdoches/SFA Days in Austin, an event that focuses on bringing Nacogdoches and Stephen F. Austin State University to the attention of state legislators and policy-makers.

Students visited the state capitol as part of SFA Days

Eight members of SGA, including Student Government President Andy Teel and Student Government Vice President Sarah Feye, joined the local group and were able to meet many members of Texas’ government, including Gov. Rick Perry.

“Several of us got to visit with Gov. Perry in his office for about 20 minutes as he discussed his goals for higher education with us,” Teel said. “This is a very educational experience in which the SFA students attended legislative briefings with our elected officials, interacted with local business owners, and participated in efforts to advocate for legislation and policies that benefit SFA. This year while our students were there, they developed a legislative agenda to give to senators and representatives from their hometown district offices and talked with elected officials about the goals of our university. Our students also attended a session with Sen. Robert Nichols and Rep. Wayne Christian as they gave an update on issues within their legislative districts.”

Dr. Adam Peck, dean of students, serves as SGA’s adviser and also took part in the trip.

“SFA Day serves two very important purposes,” Peck said. “It is a valuable learning experience for our students regarding the legislative process, but it also exposes lawmakers to our students and lets them tell their stories that illustrate the importance of their support for our students and higher education in general.”

“It was a great opportunity to represent SFA,” said Feye, a junior from The Woodlands. “We weren’t only representing the students, we were representing the entire University.”

The students were also able to attend a briefing on higher education, giving them insight into many issues that effect their own constituents.

“We got to hear about a lot of changes that are coming because of statewide budget cuts,” Feye said. “This kind of thing directly affects students.”

Opportunities like these do not come along often for SFA students, Teel said.

“It is amazing when we are able to attend events like these,” he said. “I believe that it not only benefits you by networking, but educating yourself on the process of how government and legislation works.”

The student representatives were also able to network with local business owners, Nacogdoches city officials, SFA administrators and representatives from the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, who also attended SFA Days.

The Nacogdoches delegation in Austin

While visiting state officials’ offices, the SGA students handed out The SFA Way lapel pins. The SFA Way ( serves as the university’s honor code and provides principles to which students, faculty and staff hold each other accountable.