By Oluwatosin Orojo, Skyline Graduate Managing Editor,

and Stephanie Blas, Skyline Reporter and Translator


For many Sul Ross students, February 14th meant preparing for memorable Valentine’s Day events.  For Sul Ross English majors/minors, professors, and librarians, it meant a research symposium on the second floor of the Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library. Organized by the Department of Languages and Literature, the symposium educated students on how to develop sound research theses and provided hands-on, on-the-spot review and guidance on conducting and acquiring library research materials to support their ideas. Students and faculty from Alpine, Eagle Pass, Uvalde, and Del Rio were present.

The research summit was made possible thanks to an Innovation Grant from the Department of Institutional Effectiveness, along with support from President Kibler’s office.

After breakfast and brief introductions of participants, the program began with the Dean of Library and Information Technologies, April Aultman Becker, giving a presentation on how to gain maximum value from the University library, both online and offline. She also discussed how to contact any staff of the library for help/assistance, as well as Interlibrary Loan (ILL) processes and the relationship with the Southwest Texas Junior College libraries.

Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. James Downing, also offered opening remarks, stating, “The ability to determine what is crude and archaic is what is crucial” in thesis writing. He mentioned the possibility of similar opportunities being made available to equip further students in writing quality research, as well.

Dr. Ian Peddie, Associate Professor of English, Alpine, spoke on ethics in research writing. He emphasized the importance of two crucial steps when converting one’s ideas to strong and researchable thesis statements—thinking and time. “Students should always create time for incubation and not be scared should things go wrong, as they are wont to in the early stages of research,” he said. Dr. Peddie illustrated his points using probing questions for a sample topic. This provided clarity for the students in attendance. In conclusion, Dr. Peddie emphasized the need for students to “do the work” and “spend the time.”

Significantly, time at the summit was made available for students to be guided by faculty members on their existing research thesis questions so that students worked during the day to put into practice the ideas discussed.

The summit attendees visited the Archives of the Big Bend, as well, which is housed on the second floor of the library. Senior Archivist, Melleta Bell, gave an historical overview of the archive and pointed out the purpose of the archive and of archival research. She also highlighted efforts being put in place to transmit some archival materials to digital formats.

The afternoon session was led by Mike Fernandez, System and Discovery Librarian, and Betsy Evans, Education and Outreach Librarian.  Together, they expounded on and illustrated the databases available to students to acquire needed research materials.  The group began with general research techniques and then focused more on MLA databases, narrowing the results to particularly pertinent pieces to English studies.

The sessions ended with students searching for their particular research and practicing utilizing ILL services (particularly crucial for students at our Middle Rio Grande corridor campuses).  Then students were presented with information about websites available to easily store for easy future access their PDF sources after they have acquired them.

To end the Research Summit, Associate Professor of English, Alpine, Dr. Theron Francis, presented an overview of the upcoming SRSU Research Symposium being held April 20th from in Alpine. He discussed the processes for being selected to present via nominations of abstracts by mentors/professors and encouraged students from all campuses toward potential presentation and attendance.  He ended by reminding students that transportation or remote presentations would be available to Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde campuses.

After a full day of research methods, students joined the fun downstairs at the library’s annual Valentine’s party.  So, finally, research did not completely supplant celebrating St. Valentine!


SRSU Cumbre Investigativa

Stephanie Blas, Traductora, Skyline

El pasado viernes 14 de febrero, el departamento de Lenguaje y Literatura organizó  una cumbre investigativa para los estudiantés especializándose en Ingles en el segundo piso de la librería Wildenthal. Este evento no solo incluyó a los estudiantes de Alpine, y también vinieron los estudiantes de Rio Grande, Eagle Pass, y Uvalde.

Estos son los acontecimientos más importantes:

  • Ofrecieron desayuno a los estudiantes ya que la junta empezó a las 9:00 am
  • El programa empezó con Aultman Becker (Decana de la Librería e Información de la Tecnología) explicando como los recursos que hay en la librería son una gran ventaja para los estudiantes y como pueden hacer uso de toda esa información
  • El Dr. James Downing (Decano de Ciencias y Arte) indicó que el tener las mismas oportunidades que los profesores para obtener información verídica es un factor benéfico para los estudiantes.
  • Él Dr. Ian Peddie estableció que el uso de la ética al escribir trabajos de investigación es un factor importante, junto a darse tiempo para desarrollar una idea y realmente pensar en todos los aspectos de la investigación.
  • Los profesores dedicaron tiempo para ayudar a los estudiantes en cuestión a sus tesis elaboradas o para guiarlos en el camino correcto.
  • Luego hubo una breve visita a los Archivos del Big Bend donde Melleta Bell explicó por qué tener esos archivos y como pueden ser benéficos no solo a los estudiantes y también al publico.
  • Hubo una hora de receso para ir a comer en el Centro Universitario.
  • Después del receso los estudiantes se introdujeron unos a otros para conocerse mejor y formar lazos más fuertes entre las escuelas.
  • Mike Salazar (Bibliotecario de Sistemas e Investigación) dio una presentación sobre el uso y manejo de la página web de la biblioteca.
  • Betsy Evans luego presentó otras páginas web fuera de las universitarias que son verídicas y pueden usarse para la investigación.
  • Al final de la cumbre él Dr. Francis dio una presentación sobre el Simposio que tendrá lugar el 20 de abril al cual los estudiantes pudieran presentar las tesis que desarrollaron ese viernes.