Dr. Mary Ann Stutts Says Goodbye to SJMC

Dr. Mary Ann StuttsDr. Mary Ann Stutts gave a tearful goodbye to SJMC faculty, staff and students at our annual Student Awards Ceremony held in Old Main last Friday. Stutts is retiring from the Department of Marketing in the McCoy College of Business Administration, and she has been an integral part of Texas State’s collaborative AAF presence over the last 32 years. She will be missed dearly in the SJMC. We wish Dr. Stutts the best in her new season of life, and you can find her letter below:

What a wonderful retirement send off last Friday when I attended the Journalism and Mass Communication Award Ceremony and to be recognized for my part in the last 32 years of the prestigious AAF Competition at Texas State.

It truly began 32 years ago when I convinced Michael McBride to join me on the greatest adventure of my career—the AAF Competition .  I was convinced then, and I’m still convinced now, that there are many reasons for the tremendous success that AAF teams at Texas State have had over the last 32 years, including two national championships and many Top Four places at district and national.  One reason is the talented and dedicated students who devote their entire fall and/or spring semester to putting together a winning campaign. Another major reason is the “interdisciplinary” approach at Texas State that includes talented students from marketing, advertising, communication design and public relations.  Many schools across the country have tried to copy this but Texas State remains the best at it, in my opinion.

The journalism and mass commucation faculty adopted me immediately in 1983 and never let go.  I have always felt welcome and, in fact, consider Old Main my second home.  I prefer to work in Old Main during spring break for many reasons.  While I like the business feel of McCoy, putting the AAF campaign together should always be done in Old Main, in my opinion.  It has so much history, the students and I love the second floor because it feels like an agency, and they are free the entire week to put together a campaign.  The memories and bonding that take place that week among the students and the faculty advisors lasts a lifetime, and for that I will be forever grateful.  I have watched many talented students go into the advertising industry, that in turn built a positive reputation for Texas State, obviously in Texas, but also in New York and elsewhere across the country.

I am privileged to have had the best co-advisors anyone could ask for that bring left and right brain talents together to create incredible campaigns, win or lose.  I can’t name all the co-advisors, but here are a few some of you may recall:  Michael McBride, Danal Terry, Jody Gibson, Roy Kelsey, and of course Alexander Muk.

The AAF students, going back to 1983, have made Texas State proud, as well as a team to be “reckoned” with, going from that sleepy little “party” school to one that has standing room only when they present.  The students, regardless of major, have a wonderful portfolio to show prospective employers.

My hope is that the partnership between marketing, advertising, communication design and public relations continues long after I’m gone.

Thank you again for allowing me to part of this great journey and for graciously allowing me to “hang out” in Old Main each spring.


Texas State’s 15th Annual Mariachi Festival Brings in Top Talent Concert Features Sebastien DeLa Cruz, Lorenzo Negrete and Comedian Valente Rodriguez

The Texas State University  “Feria Del Mariachi” festival turns 15 with international entertainment performers featured at the final concert on April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the San Marcos Embassy Suites ballroom. The final concert tops off a week of events, from April 21 to 27, including  mariachi music concerts, education and competition among visiting high school mariachi bands.

Lorenzo Negrete will receive the Golden Voice Award, or “La Voz de Oro”

Lorenzo Negrete will receive the Golden Voice Award, or “La Voz de Oro”

Mexican actor, singer and musician Lorenzo Negrete, will receive the Golden Voice Award, or “La Voz de Oro” in Spanish from the hands of 11-year old Sebastien De La Cruz, former ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist and Texas State University youth mariachi singer. Both will perform at Saturday’s concert. Previous recipients of the Voz de Oro have been awarded to famous mariachi artists Pedro Fernandez, Angeles Ochoa, and Jose Hernandez.

The “Soul of the Mariachi” award, or ‘Alma del Mariachi’ in Spanish, will be awarded to the late legendary singer and actor Jorge Negrete; his grandson Lorenzo will accept the award on behalf of the family.  Award winning Texas State student mariachi band Nueva Generacion, or New Generation in Spanish, will perform at the concert.  The concert master of ceremonies will be American actor Valente Rodriguez best known for his role as Ernesto “Ernie” Cardenas of the George Lopez Show where he starred in more than 100 episodes.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for students, $15 for general admission, and $25 for preferred seating. Tickets can be purchased at www.txstatepresents.com

The first ever one-week long Feria will kick off with a Mariachi concert on Monday, April 21 at the LBJ Student Center on campus, and ends with a Mariachi Mass at noon Sunday April 27 at Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic church on campus. Visiting high school performers will attend workshops and

11-year old Sebastien De La Cruz, former ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist and Texas State University youth mariachi singer will also be preforming

11-year old Sebastien De La Cruz, former ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist and Texas State University youth mariachi singer will also be preforming

11-year old Sebastien De La Cruz, former ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist and Texas State University youth mariachi singer

clinics to learn how to perfect the art of mariachi.  They also will compete to win first, second and third place in high school and middle school mariachi group.  In addition an award will be presented to the top violin, armonia or “harmonuy” and trumpet sections in both high school and middle school categories.  Texas State has selected top performers to create the first ever all-state high school mariachi band. These students will come together to perform at the concert.

“This is an opportunity for the community in the San Antonio-Austin corridor and San Marcos to join and enjoy the music and stars,” says John Lopez, coordinator, Latin Music Studies at Texas State.  “Mariachi Nueva Generacion” has been preparing hard and long to show its very best; it’s going to be a real treat.”

Lopez says remembering our ancestors who excelled at mariachi like Jorge Negrete is an important tribute  for younger generations to appreciate the music art form. Negrete senior was one of three famous Mexican mariachi singers and movie stars in the 1940s. Negrete, along with Javier Soliz and Pedro Infante, were considered the three kings of Mexican films that fans embraced with pride and joy. Their songs and films were famous not only in Mexico but in all Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean.

Grandson Lorenzo Negrete will share some of the movies made famous by his grandfather, Jorge, at the ‘Cine y Cena’ event, or ‘Movie & Dinner,’ fundraiser on April 24, 7 p.m. in LBJSC Ballroom to raise funds for mariachi students’ scholarships. Fans who want to donate to the scholarship fund may contact Ms. Gabriela Poler-Buzali, Senior Major Gift Officer, via e-mail at gpolerbuzali@txstate.edu or by phone at 512-245-8822.


Feria Del Mariachi 2014 Schedule

April 21-27, 2014



Monday, 4/21        11:30am Mariachi Kick Off ConcertAt the LBJ Student Center
Tuesday, 4/22         6:30pm Youth Mariachi ConcertAt the Centro Cultural Hispano
Wednesday, 4/23       7:00pm SMCISD Folkloric Art CompetitionAt the Centro Cultural Hispano
Thursday, 4/24       7:00pm Cine y CenaAt the LBJ Ballroom
Friday, 4/25      6:00pm –10:00pm Feria Del Mariachi CompetitionAt the LBJ Ballroom
Saturday, 4/26       8:00am –4:00pm Feria Del Mariachi WorkshopsAt the LBJ Student Center
Saturday, 4/26       7:30pm –9:30pm Feria Del Mariachi ConcertAt the Embassy Suites
Sunday, 4/27      12:00pm –1:00pm Mariachi MassAt Our Lady of Wisdom (Texas State)


SAN MARCOS — Four teams of public relations campaigns students will present a check of about $6,000 to the American Widow Project.

The students in Chuck Kaufman’s class produced four strategic events from San Marcos to Killeen to reach this total.

Taryn Davis, founding CEO of the nonprofit organization, said, “I’m absolutely floored by the results of these incredible events. No matter how much they raised, it was an honor for the class just to think of doing this for the widows.”

Davis, who attended Texas State University, was a 2009 CNN Heroes award winner and has received national attention for helping more than 1,200 widows throughout the country to cope with their loss and reintegrate into society.

The American Widow Project is based in Buda. Davis’s husband, Cpl. Michael Davis, died in Iraq during combat seven years ago and inspired the founding of the organization. At the time, Davis was 21. The organization supports widows of military service members killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

“Obviously, I’m very proud of all of the students on so many fronts,” said Kaufman, a Texas State University senior lecturer. “We have a fabulous client. They showed great resourcefulness, enterprise and learned a lot about planning, executing and evaluating during the course of a campaign.”

The students presented a wide variety of events, all with patriotic themes.

  • In Killeen on March 21, “The Remembrance Fashion Show” featured fashions from Dillard’s and widows as models and attracted about 200 patrons.
  • At the Marc in San Marcos on March 29, “The Red, White and Badass” country music concert featured The Hill Country Gentlemen, Landon Bullard, Dry River Religion, JJ Garrett Band, and Jake Kellen and attracted another 200 or so.
  • One team organized a talent show called “Mr. and Mrs. Stars and Stripes.” Students with a variety of “talents” showed their stuff for a raucous student audience.
  • “Combat Chaos” challenged teams of four on a crossfit obstacle course.

Davis said she loved the patriotic themes, logos, creative and strategic thinking, and the opportunities the events created for the widows.

“I think the fact that the models for the ‘Remembrance’ event were military spouses and widows is what makes the event special,” Davis said. “These women and what they give and sacrifice on a daily basis is incredible.”

Samantha Woods of Nolanville, Texas, wrote online after the fashion show, “What an honor to be in the same room with such caring supportive, phenomenal people.”

Vanessa Joseph, a “Remembrance” team member noted that her father served the military overseas, so the event was personal to her and her brother, Michael, also a team member. “We feel lucky our father was able to come home,” she said. “These widows weren’t so fortunate and their situations and Taryn’s work were inspirational to all of us.”

Sequoia Owens said the AWP and the fundraising event celebrated the fact that “after tragic events the widows can come together and still support each other.” Their event actually has connected numerous events to AWP. There are more than 180 widows from the conflict in the Middle East who are living at Fort Hood, the nation’s largest military installation.

Joshua Quinn said the “Combat Chaos” campaign event also raised awareness of a growing population of a generation of young widows for everyone involved in the effort between San Antonio and Austin. “The mission of AWP aligns so closely with Texas States University’s 2012 – 2017 Diversity Plan that administration and staff will begin looking for ways to also support the underrepresented group of family, spouses and widows of service members,” Quinn said.

Morgan Goodson, who worked on the talent show, said the campaigns class taught her about the process of planning a campaign and generating positive outcomes for clients. “I know I will be able to use these skills once I graduate and get a job.”

For more information about the American Widow project (www.AmericanWidowProject.org) call (877) 297-9436. Donations may be sent to The American Widow Project, P.O. Box 1573, Buda, Texas 78610.