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Ayres HallBill Black, associate head of the Department of Theatre, received Alumni Merit Award from the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association during Southeast’s homecoming celebration. The award is given to Southeast graduates who have brought distinction to themselves and to the university. Black is a 1975 graduate of the school. Black has been designing, teaching, and directing production costumes for UT’s theatre department and the Clarence Brown Theatre Company for more than thirty years. He has participated in the production of more than 200 plays, musicals, and operas.

Thomas Coens of the Department of History will lecture on “New Revelations: Andrew Jackson and Indian Removal” at the U.S. Department of the Interior Museum in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, November 2. Coens is a research associate professor and associate editor of The Papers of Andrew Jackson.

Leslee A. Fisher, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, has been inducted as a fellow of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, the international professional organization of sport and exercise psychology. She was selected for her significant contributions to academic and professional practice knowledge in sport and exercise psychology. Fisher, who is teaches sport psychology and motor behavior, specializes in moral and ethical decision-making, sociocultural aspects of sport participation, cultural sport psychology, and character development in sport.

Kristi Gordon, associate professor in psychology, has received a three-year, $2.16 million demonstration grant from the Administration for Children and Families to implement the Marriage Check-up in community-based integrative health care facility. The Marriage Check-up is a new intervention that uses motivational interviewing principles to help couples at all levels of functioning to identify strengths and vulnerabilities in their relationships and increase their motivation to use their strengths to address the vulnerabilities and make their relationships stronger. The project will also provide groups to teach couples relationship skills and will partner with a local agency to provide groups to help them deal with major financial and employment issues.

Jay Rubenstein, associate professor of history, has published a book which tells the story of the First Crusade (1095-1099) through the eyes of those who witnessed it, emphasizing the fundamental role that apocalyptic thought played in motivating the Crusaders. Entitled Armies of Heaven: the First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse, critics have called it a thrilling work of military and religious history that will revolutionize our understanding of the Crusades. The book hits store shelves in November. This is the second book Rubenstein has published this fall on the First Crusade. The Monodies and on the Relics of Saints was released in October.

Xiaojun Wang, a graduate student in chemistry, has been selected as one of two recipients of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Graduate Travel Award to attend the 2012 ACS National Meeting in San Diego. The award is sponsored by the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry’s Membership Committee. Each year, the committee provides funding for two polymer graduate students to travel to the ACS National Meeting and present their research results. Wang will deliver a presentation entitled “Microstructure Effects on Self-assembly of Polystyrene-b-Sulfonated Poly (cyclohexadiene)” to address an unexplored issue regarding self-assembly behavior of strong electrolyte block copolymers derived from dienes.