Compiled by Public Affairs Interns Michael Marks, Nye Howard, and Jacob Moreno
International and National Media Highlights
Ani News|January 27, 2021
Anirudh Ashok Damani ‘05 is announced as the first investor on board for Kuberan’s House, an entrepreneurship-themed TV show in India. Damani has extensive work experience across more than 85-startups all over the globe and is counted as one of the most sought out investors in the Indian start-up space. As part of the global group of mentors and advisors, Damani works with the sole aim to provide the required support, connections, and guidance to the founders of the aspiring firms.
Building Design Construction|January 12, 2021
The new Austin College North Flats appear on a list of 14 best new student housing projects in the nation by Building Design + Construction magazine. In a survey for the article, most students indicated a preference for returning to campus, even amid the pandemic, and 80% said that even if they have to study remotely, they would rather do so from campus apartments than from home.
Daily Beast | January 11, 2021
In Texas and nationwide, jails have become particularly bad incubators for the coronavirus, yet there is no plan in Texas to vaccinate inmates. Dr. Saritha Bangara, epidemiologist and public health professor, comments on the importance of vaccination for incarcerated populations who do not have access to other mitigation strategies such as masks and physical distancing.
Great Composers Competition | December 17, 2020
Andrew Kim ’22 (violin), Andres Hernandez ’22 (violin), Rizwan Jagani ’15 (viola), and Jacob Martin, 2017-2018 attendee (cello)—all current or former students of Dr. Ricky Duhaime, professor of music—make up the Austin College Generations String Quartet. The musicians placed second in their age group in the international virtual competition in honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday.
Inside Higher Ed|January 12, 2021
Jake Sapp, Austin College Title IX Coordinator, comments on a recent court ruling regarding a Title IX sexual assault case at Columbia University, in which the court reversed the college’s original ruling.
MigrationthatWorks.org | MDecember 8, 2020
Assistant professor of sociology Dr. Catherine Bowman, working with a team at Migration that Works, a coalition of migrant and worker rights advocates and scholars, presented a transition memo to the Biden-Harris administration’s Agency Review Team. The coalition promotes migrant labor policies that respects the rights of workers and their families.
Penn Live Patriot-News | January 24, 2021
Gary Ivory ’89 is named as president of Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) Inc., a national nonprofit based in Harrisburg, PA, that gives communities alternatives to incarcerating and placing young people in residential treatment facilities.
PBS News Hour| January 8, 2021
PBS News Hour pays tribute to five people who lost their lives to COVID-19, including Chris Miller, the Austin College senior who died in December from complications of COVID-19.
Smithsonian Channel|January 2021
Film historian Tom Rice stumbled upon a rare artifact while researching depictions of the Ku Klux Klan in movies. It was fragments of a 1920s-era film that didn’t simply show the Klan but made them the central part of the narrative. Who made this film? Why did they make it? And was it ever released? Austin College assistant professor of history Dr. Felix Harcourt appears in a recently aired episode of “America’s Hidden Stories” to share his historical knowledge on the subject. (available to subscribers only)
The Daily Guardian|January 27, 2021
Kuberan’s House, an entrepreneurship program under development described as “India’s Biggest Startup Show,” has announced Anirudh Ashok Damani ’05 as the first Kubera (investor) for the show. He is the founder and managing partner of Artha Venture Fund (AVF), India’s first MicroVC fund for early-age start-ups. In addition to his expertise, Damani is expected to draw a following from his own podcast and weekly live broadcast on Instagram.
The Nation | December 1, 2020
Dr. Catherine Bowman, assistant professor of sociology, was interviewed for a Nation Magazine article about J-1 visa workers and the challenges they face amid Covid.
Wallet Hub|January 2021
In this article from WalletHub, Dr. Shannon Cornelison-Brown ’04, assistant professor of business administration, answers questions about starter credit cards that are designed for teenagers and college students to help them build a credit score.
Yale Environment Review|January 25, 2021
Aarthi Kannan ’19, who is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in environmental science at Yale University, published an article in the Yale Environment Review about deaths from venomous snake bites in India and what can be done to help save lives moving forward.
Dallas and Regional News
Plains Capital Bank| January 28, 2021
Plains Capital Bank recently welcomed Bill Leonard ’83 to its Private Bank as a wealth strategist. Mr. Leonard will develop customized financial plans and investment strategies for the Private Bank’s clients, aligning their assets with their goals.
Voyage Houston|January 5, 2021
Miguel Rojas ’19, currently working in Houston as a full-time artist making music, art, and furniture among other mediums, is profiled by Voyage Houston as a rising star in the Houston art scene.
Local Media Highlights
Herald Democrat | January 26, 2021
Austin College freshman Samantha Thiele has been selected the SCAC Women’s Swimmer of the Week for performances during meets last weekend. Thiele’s time in the 200-yard breaststroke set an Austin College program record and was nearly 15 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
Herald Democrat | January 18, 2021
Texoma leaders and community members paid tribute to the life and work of famed civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Monday when Austin College hosted the annual community Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. This year’s student address was given by Victoria Gilbert, who is the president of the college’s new student book club.
Herald Democrat | January 14, 2021
Austin College is looking to attract more local students through a new Tuition Advantage Program that will max their tuition costs at $17,000 a school year. The program will be open to graduating students from Sherman, Denison, Pottsboro, S&S, Whitesboro, Collinsville, Bells, Whitewright, Howe, and Gunter school districts. Students from private schools, including Texoma Christian School, are also invited to apply.
Herald Democrat | January 13, 2021
The Austin College men’s basketball team has been picked eighth in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason poll, following a season in which the ’Roos went 14-12 and advanced to the conference tournament.
Herald Democrat | January 12, 2021
Sports competitions are back at Austin College, but due to COVID precautions no spectators will be allowed and all Austin College athletic facilities — indoor and outdoor venues — will be closed on dates of home competitions. The Athletic Department is livestreaming team sporting events at no charge, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball, on collegetvticket.com with softball games via Facebook Live. Streaming times and availability can be found at acroos.com.
Herald Democrat | January 12, 2021
Following a brief executive session, the SEDCO Board of Directors approved incentives for PQD International Inc. related to the purchase of a new facility in Sherman that will allow the company to expand its manufacturing operations in the U.S. PQD Managing Director Willie Wu said Sherman’s labor market and work programs through Austin College and Grayson College helped attract him to Texoma.
KTEN News | January 29, 2021
Dr. Shannon Cornelison-Brown ’04, assistant professor of business administration, comments on what increasing the minimum wage would mean for Texoma businesses and the economy as a whole. Cornelison-Brown said the arguments either for or against a higher minimum wage are drowned out by the largest unknown variable in our current economy: the coronavirus pandemic.
KTEN News | January 18, 2021
For more than a decade, Austin College has hosted a Martin Luther King Day event for the community to come together. This year’s celebration focused on the civil rights leader and the importance of education. Student speaker at the event Victoria Gilbert ’21 highlighted the importance of literacy in her own life, recalling those in her own family who had been unable to read and write because of the cultural and economic disadvantages they faced.
KTEN News | January 11, 2021
After being delayed due to NCAA COVID restrictions, athletics competitions resume this spring at Austin College. All athletics facilities on campus will be closed the day of a home games and to protect the student-athletes, visitors will not be allowed into indoor or outdoor facilities on game days.
KTEN News | January 9, 2021 (Video)
The new Tuition Advantage program at Austin College makes it easier for high school seniors in Grayson County to attend. Harri Drake ’19, Admissions staff, explains that the program is a win-win for students who want to get a great education, and stay close to home. Admissions staff Madi Winslett ’19 reinforces that with the Finish in Four Guarantee, students don’t have to let the pandemic put their goals on hold.
KXII News | January 18, 2021
Austin College hosted the annual MLK day community celebration, though most of attendance participated online due to the pandemic. This year’s speakers talked about why celebrating MLK day is more important this year than ever. “If we come together as a community then we can help bring about that dream that Dr. King had in mind,” said Sherman Assistant City Manager Terrence Steele, this year’s keynote speaker.
KXII News | January 15, 2021
High school seniors from Grayson County can attend Austin College for no more than $17,000 a year, nearly 30 percent less than an average student, through the new Tuition Advantage prgram. Freshman Nick Estes said he’s noticed it’s easy for local students to dismiss Austin College as an option, since it’s so close to home, but encourages them to consider the advantages of staying close, especially during the pandemic.
KXII News | January 14, 2021
Austin College women’s basketball has been picked first in the SCAC conference coach’s poll. After winning the league for the first time last season, Michelle Filander’s team has plenty of talented players returning. It is a deep league, with lots of good teams, but the ’Roos received five of the nine first-place votes.
KXII News | January 9, 2021
A man in Harris County is the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant B 1.1.7.
Dr. Saritha Bangara, co-director of Austin College’s Public Health Program, says Pfizer’s COVID-19 is about 95 percent effective in preventing the original strain. She says she’s optimistic it will work against the new variant but urges everyone to continue safety practices and mitigation strategies laid out by the nation’s top health officials.
Blogs and Online Media
Austin College|January 8, 2021
Austin College 2020 graduate Katherine Seibert heads out later this week to begin a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant post in Seoul, South Korea. She looks forward to the opportunity to experience the rich culture of the country and to serve as an ambassador of the United States. “It’s more important now than ever to learn about other cultures so that we can be inclusive members of the global community,” she said. “We have so much to learn from other countries about education, public health, and democracy, and I’m excited to gain valuable perspective in South Korea.
Austin College|January 8, 2021
Audrey Rose ’19 has already experienced the joys of Fulbright service, having been awarded a 2019-2020 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain, assigned to the Canary Islands. She spent the year teaching children from 3 years old through third grade. Rose was chosen to remain in the Canary Islands for 2020-2021, serving as the Fulbright Cultural and Pedagogy Mentor for the new cohort of Fulbright grantees who are arriving in the islands in January 2021.
North Texas e-News | January 19, 2021
Dr. Saritha Bangara, co-director of Austin College’s Public Health Program, has been awarded a grant in excess of $90,000 from The Discovery Foundation of Dallas, Texas, in support of her project “Women’s health education for victims of intimate partner violence at the Grayson Crisis Center.” The grant covers a three-year period of research, evaluation, and education.
North Texas E-News|January 19, 2021
January 17, 2021 marked the 60th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address. North Texas eNews rereleased an essay by professor emeritus of history Dr. Light T. Cummins, published while he was State Historian of Texas to mark the 50th anniversary of the occasion.
North Texas E-News | January 31, 2021
Austin College announced a new program for high school students in Grayson County. Eligible seniors can attend Austin College beginning in Fall Term 2021 for no more than $17,000 a year through the new Tuition Advantage Program.
North Texas e-News|January 18, 2021
The 2021 annual Grayson County Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Celebration will happen a little differently this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Community members are invited to join the livestream event on Monday, January 18, at 8:30 a.m., broadcast from Austin College’s Sally and Jim Nation Theatre in Ida Green Communication Center.
North Texas eNews | January 11, 2021
Dr. Jerry Lincecum, professor emeritus of English, warns people about coronavirus- related scams, from callers claiming to represent the CDC to fish for information, to fake at home test kits.
North Texas E-News|January 6, 2021
Chaplain Emeritus Dr. Henry Bucher comments on the outcomes of the recent Georgia Senate elections as victory for the non-violent fight for civil rights that is intrinsically linked to that state. Bucher connects these elections back to the ’60s and the major efforts that took place to get African Americans registered to vote, especially by many civil rights groups such as the NAACP, SCLC, SNCC, and SSOC.
News ’Roos Can Use
Inside Higher Ed | January 25, 2021
President Biden’s proposal to make public colleges free could mean more students may be able to go to college, but what would it mean for private institutions?
Inside Higher Ed | January 22, 2021
Recent polling data shows that college students continue to have concerns about how schools are dealing with the pandemic, but most are giving their institutions the benefit of the doubt. The polling also asked college-bound high school seniors about their attitudes toward higher education. Three-quarters said the pandemic made them change their plans about applying to college, with nearly one-third applying closer to home. More than 20 percent said they were applying to institutions with lower tuition or with clear COVID-19 response protocols.
Inside Higher Ed | January 21, 2021
President Biden extends the moratorium on student loan debt payments first enacted by Trump in August of 2020, giving student loan borrowers an additional nine months before they have to start making payments again.
Inside Higher Ed | January 13, 2021
Higher Ed Workers Get in the COVID Vaccine Line: States differ on prioritizing higher education workers for vaccination the same way as pre-K-12 teachers. CDC recommends higher ed workers be considered in the second phase of vaccination.