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April 2001

Release Date: April 9, 2001

New Southwest Studies Minor Available at ASU

A new minor in Southwest studies at Angelo State University will allow students to understand the people, environment and culture of the most diverse region in the nation.

The minor, which was approved by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System in February, will begin with its first classes this fall. The interdisciplinary minor will include courses from history, modern languages, English and sociology.

The new program is an extension of a $20,000 U.S. Department of Education grant to develop a special topics course in Southwest studies. That course was first taught in 1999 and was so well received by students that it was taught each subsequent semester by English and sociology faculty.

Dr. John M. Wegner, assistant professor of English, said the interdisciplinary minor offers several advantages as a course of study for students. Students receive a broader view of the region and its issues through the insights of the various humanities rather than from a single academic discipline. This approach enhances their understanding of their major fields as well. Further, students become more acutely aware of the Southwest and the multiple cultures that have blended together to make the region so distinctive.

Past courses have been taught by Wegner and Dr. Kenneth L. Stewart, professor of sociology and university studies. The first course in the approved minor will be taught this fall by Dr. Terence A. Dalrymple, professor of English. Guest lecturers from a variety of disciplines, including history, animal science, biology and physics, bring their expertise and insight into the program.

Wegner said previous students have benefited from the course through a deeper knowledge of the complexity of the region in which they live and a broader understanding of the multiple environmental, cultural and artistic factors which have shaped the region and the people.

Students desiring more information on the course should contact Wegner or Dr. James A. Moore, head of the ASU English Department, at 325-942-2273.

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