Archive | October, 2011

Campus Recreation offers variety of Homecoming activites

26 Oct

By Katy VanDunk – Promotions and Sponsorships Graduate Assistant

Campus Recreation offers several activities to engage students during Homecoming celebrations.

The Homecoming Tie Dye takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Student Rec Center Courtyard. Students will be able to tie dye a free Campus Recreation Homecoming shirt at the Rec Center.  Shirts will be provided, as well as tie dye instructions. Campus Recreation will wash the shirts after they are dyed, and students will be able to pick them up at the Rec Center until Friday, Oct.28.
The second annual Homecoming 5K Fun Run takes place Saturday, Oct. 29, beginning at the corner of Wilson Drive and Starr Avenue, across from the Tennis Complex. Runners will begin at 8 a.m., and walkers will begin at 8:10 a.m.

On-site registration will begin at 7 a.m.  All proceeds will benefit the Dr. Raymond Lee Worsham scholarship fund for campus recreation.  Prizes will be given to first and second place males and females (SFA associates), first and second place males and females (non-SFA sssociates), first and second overall “guess your time,” largest group participating, and best Homecoming-themed outfit.

For more information, please visit and click on the Campus Rec Alumni tab.


AlcoholEdu provides education on alcohol usage

26 Oct

By Beverly Farmer – Director of Student Activities

AlcoholEdu for College is a program that is designed to be given to an entire population of students, such as an entering first-year class. This method creates a learning experience that:

  • Motivates behavior change
  • Resets unrealistic expectations about the effects of alcohol
  • Links choices about drinking to academic and personal success
  • Helps students practice safer decision-making
  • Engages students to create a healthier campus community

With several published studies and randomized control trials documenting its efficacy, AlcoholEdu has been a critical building block for addressing the epidemic of high-risk drinking on America’s college campuses.

How well does this program work?  Since 2007, AlcoholEdu has enabled SFA to provide 4,970 students with a baseline of knowledge and decision-making strategies around alcohol use, translating to 12,425 hours of prevention education (based on average course time of 2.5 hours).

In Fall 2010, SFA students reported that AlcoholEdu…

69% – Prepared me to identify and/or help someone who has alcohol poisoning

69% – Helped me establish a plan for responsible decisions around alcohol

88%- Stimulated me to reflect on my personal attitudes and behaviors

90% – Changed my perceptions of others’ drinking related behaviors

The A-Team, a committee made up of faculty, administrators and students, provides educational opportunities throughout the year to help students make wise choices when it comes to their use or non-use of alcohol. This year, the A-Team sponsored an information booth and giveaway at tailgating, manned information tables at the involvement fairs, as well as during the week before Spring Break.  The group has given out more than 5,000 koozies and coasters with information on recognizing alcohol poisoning and the phone number for Driving Jacks, SFA’s safe ride program.

Alternative SFA Homecoming bonfire planned

26 Oct

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Due to the extreme drought in East Texas, this year’s Stephen F. Austin State University Homecoming torchlight parade and bonfire will be modified to ensure safety without dampening the Lumberjack spirit surrounding the annual tradition.

The torchlight parade, which kicks off at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at the SFA statue, will feature lanterns, glow sticks and other portable lights as opposed to the customary flaming torches. As always, students and alumni will join the SFA spirit teams and marching band as they proceed down Raguet Street and Starr Avenue to the bonfire site on the intramural fields.

The bonfire structure will not be lit this year, but it will be set aglow with electric lights, providing a spirited backdrop for the introduction of the Lumberjack football team and the SFA Homecoming king and queen. The a capella group Nota, season-one winner of the NBC show “Sing Off,” also will perform at the bonfire pep rally, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.

“The homecoming bonfire is one of our most cherished traditions; however, we have consulted with local leadership with regard to this matter and are assured that the prolonged drought makes lifting the burn ban inadvisable,” said Dr. Adam Peck, dean of student affairs.

SFA students are sensitive to the fact that Texans have lost homes, businesses and, in some cases, their lives in recent wildfires throughout the state, he said. Members of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Student Activities Association and Traditions Council are working with university officials to plan an alternative bonfire celebration that allows for the expression of Lumberjack pride and Homecoming spirit without placing the campus or its neighbors in danger.

“I know that our campus community will be disappointed, but I also know everyone will be supportive of this decision because our consideration for others is so engrained in the campus culture,” Peck said. “We look forward to hosting the traditional bonfire and torchlight parade for Homecoming 2012.”

Another aspect of the SFA bonfire tradition, the Burn Shirts, will take on added meaning this year. During Homecoming week, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to discard apparel branded with the logos and names of other universities in exchange for free SFA T-shirts that read “Lumberjack Spirit Burns in My Soul!” This year, the discarded clothing will be donated to Texas wildfire victims.

The SFA Homecoming game against McNeese State University will kick off at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Homer Bryce Stadium.

Ride in style to the Chief Caddo game at Northwestern State

26 Oct

By Sydni Mitchell – Student Body President

Student Government Association is sponsoring a fan bus for students to ride to the Saturday, Nov. 19, SFA vs. Northwestern game.

The bus will meet at the commuter lot at 9:30 a.m. and will depart at 10 a.m. The bus will leave immediately after the game ends. All students are required to make a $10 refundable deposit when they sign up at the Involvement Center, located on the first floor of the Baker Pattillo Student Center. This deposit will be returned to them, unless they do not show up and do not properly notify SGA first.

All students must purchase their own tickets for the game. These may be purchased through the SFA ticket office on the first floor of the student center.

Seats are limited, so encourage your student to sign up today! For more information please e-mail SGA at or call (936) 468-3500.

SFA welcomes back alumni, friends during this week’s Homecoming

26 Oct

SFA’s 2011 Homecoming, themed “There’s No Place Like Home!” brings past, present and future Lumberjacks back to the place that so many consider a second home.

This week’s celebrations are packed full of events for all SFA students. Students can run for a spot on the Homecoming Court, help decorate a grocery cart for the Residence Hall parade, trade another University’s T-shirt for Student Activities Association’s annual burn shirt event, make a float for the downtown parade, participate in an Amazing Traditions Race or create a display board to show off your SFA spirit.

A full calendar of events and information on how to sign up to participate is available here (

Students are also encouraged to cheer on the ’Jacks at the bonfire, go to the biggest tailgate of the season, and, finally, attend the game against the McNeese Cowboys on Saturday.

The “There’s No Place Like Home!” theme was developed as a celebration of what SFA means to all Lumberjacks. SFA was and is a second home to many Lumberjacks for a few short years, and what better way to celebrate than a week’s worth of festivities?

For more information on homecoming, students may contact the Traditions Council at (936) 468-6721 or come by the Involvement Center located on the first floor of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

Lumberjack Leadership Academy improves students’ skills while helping the community

26 Oct

By Jamie Bouldin – Assistant Director for Leadership and Service

Students may now sign up for the 2011-2012 Lumberjack Leadership Academy. All students who are interested in gaining leadership skills and learning more about how to be an effective leader are encouraged to apply.

The program, sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs Programs, offers participants the chance to take part in leadership-based retreats, workshops and service projects with other current and future student leaders. The program is free of charge for students.

Students can sign up online at Students must sign up by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, and be available for the LLA kickoff, set for 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, as well as attend the ODK Leadership Conference from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.

A calendar of events for the spring semester, including retreats and other off-campus events, will be provided at the kickoff.

During the LLA program, students will attend weekly workshops throughout the spring semester, where, along with their fellow students, they will learn skills to improve their leadership abilities, create an e-portfolio, and design and implement their own service project.

In past years, students have created projects to benefit the Family Crisis Center of East Texas, the Best Buddies program and the Martin Center for Educational Achievement. The Martin Center project received funding this year from Americorps and Texas Campus Compact’s Students in Service program to continue efforts begun by the LLA group that created the project.

In addition, LLA participants will have the opportunity to attend not only SFA’s on-campus leadership conference, but a conference at Texas Christian University, as well.

LLA provides students the opportunity to become better leaders, and provides ways for those skills to improve the community. For more information about the program, contact Jamie Bouldin at or (936) 468-1088.

Staff Profile Q&A – John Mlinar

26 Oct
John Milnar

John Milnar

Name: John Mlinar

Position: Career Counselor & Research Coordinator

Department/Office where you work: Counseling & Career Services

Number of years at SFA: First year

Educational background:

I received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from SFA in 2008, then a Master of Arts in Clinical/Mental Health Counseling from SFA in May 2011.

Tell us how you came to work in your current position:

I actually learned about Career Services by being a career counseling client myself during the fall of 2008, just after I graduated with my undergrad degree.  My career counselor and I immediately clicked, and it was from her that I learned what real professionalism and dedication to clients looks like firsthand.  Fast forward to the second-to-last semester before graduating with my master’s in counseling in 2010, and I was in the process of thinking about where I wanted to intern.  As a complete shot in the dark, I emailed my former career counselor and asked if she needed a second counselor around in Career Services, and the answer was an enthusiastic “yes.”  I spent a semester as a career counselor intern, getting a feel for the career counseling process and learning to really love working with college students.  When my time was up, I heard that her position would be opening up (she left to pursue her dream to open up her own private practice) and decided to apply in the summer of 2011.  Since then, I’ve been happily employed with Counseling and Career Services, and I have used this story with my clients to underscore how powerful networking can be.

What do you love about working at SFA?

First and foremost, I enjoy working with students.  Working with them brings me back to my college experience every day I see them, and is rewarding if for no other reason than because I’m helping them in a way that I know could have been so useful in my life as an undergraduate.  I also like giving presentations to different classes and getting the word out on career exploration, which is a pretty mysterious process for many college students, as it most certainly was while I was in college.  I also love working with each and every one of my coworkers, including my wonderful boss Jenny Davis.  It’s a very supportive and family-like atmosphere here, and it always helps to have coworkers you’re excited to be around.  In the bigger picture, I am committed to the idea of education and learning, which is clearly a large part of what SFA stands for.  Being an active learner interested in many different subjects is a central part of my spare time and who I am as a person.  It’s an honor to know my job is rooted in the age-old value of learning and educational growth.

What’s one thing you wish you could tell SFA students and parents?

Students, and first-semester freshmen in particular, need all the support they can get.  Virtually every client I’ve worked values, secretly or not, the support of their relatives and friends in making their career decisions.  So, parents, don’t be shy in expressing your support.  Ask them how their studies are going, how hard (or not) classes are, and especially what they may begin to be thinking about doing for the rest of their lives.  Most importantly, support them in becoming the unique individuals they are becoming, even if this means they are going in a direction they’re passionate about that may diverge from a specific idea you may have for them.  Perhaps the highest stress issue for many of the clients I see as a college career counselor involves the perception that their parents may not be as excited or supportive about their career goals as they are. So let them know you’re there for them.

For students, know that you have a supportive staff and faculty at your disposal.  Always know that there are professors who really do care for your learning and self-growth.  Also know that the college experience can be a wonderful time of exploration and realization, but can easily (especially for first-year students) become a place of confusion and uncertainty.  Know your support system during this time, which can include parents and relative, friends, or faculty and staff on this campus.  Find someone you can talk with.  There’s always someone there.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m a coffee shop frequenter, so you can often find me in Java Jacks with a cup of coffee and a few books I’m working through at the moment.  I’ve also been a committed guitar player for more than ten years, always on the lookout for a good riff or musical idea to follow.  I’m hopelessly attracted to writing and blogging, with the hopes of one day making it as a published author, but for now I’ll focus (happily) on my day job.  I’m also actively involved with SFA Recreation, visiting the gym there three or four times a week.  What I love the most, though, is a good, long conversation with a friend.  That and Texas falls, during which I’ll be outside as much as possible