Class of 2020: 23 countries, 44 states, 387 SMU legacies, ages 16-45, top SAT scores in SMU history

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: August 23, 2016

Fun Facts about the class of 2020.

New students at SMU hail from across the United States and the world and bring talents ranging from art to robotics to entrepreneurship. Byron Lewis, dean of undergraduate admission and executive director of enrollment services ad interim, shared these facts about the incoming class August 21 at SMU’s Convocation ceremony. The demand for an SMU degree continues to rise as demonstrated by a record setting pool of 16,000 applications for first-year and transfer admission. READ MORE

  • On average, the class of 2020 has the highest academic profile ever of an entering class at SMU.
  • Students hail from 44 states, led by Texas, California, Florida, Connecticut, Georgia, and Missouri; and 23 countries led by China, Mexico, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, the UK and France.
  • Students represent 853 different high schools and 99 different colleges and universities worldwide.
  • Eighty-two entering students represent SMU as NCAA Division 1 athletes.
  • Collectively, new students have taken 7,003 AP courses and 2,112 IB courses.
  • For the second year in a row, SMU has defied national higher education trends by welcoming slightly more men than women in the first-year class – 51percent men and 49 percent women.
  • The age range for the entering class is from16 to 45.
  • 387 students are continuing the Mustang tradition in their families as legacy students.
  • Classmates include Girls and Boys Staters, student body presidents, Eagle Scouts, Girl Scout Gold Award winners, yearbook editors, drum majors, sports captains, three-sport athletes, founders, innovators, entrepreneurs and some of the most talented visual and performing artists in the world.
  • Six new Mustangs have served the cause of freedom and their country across the globe as members of the U.S. military.

And students’ individual stories are phenomenal:

  • Thomas did medical mission trips to Haiti,
  • Ryan studied in Brussels
  • Aarthi interned at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Chengrui competed in Los Angeles at the World VEX Robotics Championship
  • Dylan was crowned Miss DC Teen USA
  • Kaleigh toured China while playing the French horn in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • Matea and Jonathan (incoming Mustang swimmers) just competed in the Rio Olympics
  • Tanner studied in Paris during his junior year in high school
  • Grace is a world champion rock climber who has competed all around the world
  • Alicia did a language immersion program in Seville, Spain during her sophomore year
  • Allyson created the CraftyAllyson YouTube channel with more than 19,000 subscribers
  • Thomas is a state champion diver
  • Adam did research at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman
  • Tannah was president of the human rights forum at her school
  • Hunter founded Kids4Kids, a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $70,000 for scholarships for students who have overcome childhood cancer.

“For these students, a world of opportunities at SMU awaits,” Lewis says.

Welcome to the Class of 2020

SMU News

Originally Posted: August 22, 2016

Following you will find Class of 2020 PhotoMaking the Class of 2020 PhotoOpening Convocation scenesOpening Convocation speechCamp Corral scenes“Discover Dallas” scenes“Discover Dallas” StorifyCorral Kick-OffMove-In video and scenes, and AARO.

SMU Class of 2020 Photo

SMU Class of 2020

SMU Clements Center awards top book prize Sept. 27

SMU News

Originally Posted: August 15, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies will present its annual book prize on Tuesday, Sept. 27, to historian Andrew J. Torget forSeeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

The David J. Weber-William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America honors both the Center’s founding director and founding benefactor.

Torget, a former Clements Fellow, will be honored Sept. 27 at a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by a 6 p.m. lecture and book-signing at McCord Auditorium in Dallas Hall, 3225 University, SMU. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To register, call 214-768-3684 or click here.

Andrew TorgetIn Seeds of Empire, Torget, associate professor of history at the University of North Texas, explores the roles that cotton and slavery played in fomenting the Texas Revolution, which was in part a reaction against abolitionists in the Mexican government, and in shaping Texas’ borderlands into the first fully-committed slaveholders’ republic in North America.

In selecting the book from a large field of entries, judges wrote: “Torget’s deep archival work brings a fresh perspective to the conflicts over slavery in Texas on the eve of the Civil War. The book’s most notable accomplishment is the emphasis on cotton and slavery as a world-wide system that bound Texas history to larger economic and political forces in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. He challenges the traditional interpretation that the westward movement in the early nineteenth century was primarily motivated by ideologies of racial supremacy that characterized Manifest Destiny. Instead, Torget demonstrates that, although westering Americans felt superior to the people whose lands they invaded, they mainly migrated to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the trans-Atlantic cotton economy that the Mexican government had established by offering them free land.”

Finalists for the Weber-Clements Book Prize are Emily Lutenski for West of Harlem: African American Writers and the Borderlands; and former Clements Fellow John Weber for From South Texas to the Nation: The Exploitation of Mexican Labor in the Twentieth Century.

This is the eighth major book prize Seeds of Empire has won.

The $2,500 Weber-Clements Book Prize, administered by the Western History Association, honors fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The competition is open to any nonfiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present. The William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies is affiliated with the Department of History within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The center was created to promote research, publishing, teaching and public programming in a variety of fields related to the American Southwest.  READ MORE

Calendar Highlights: Back to school in brief, Fall 2016

Dallas Hall at SMU

Welcome to the 2016-17 academic year! Here are a few Fall 2016 dates to remember:

  • Opening Convocation and Common Reading discussion: Sunday, Aug. 21
  • First day of classes: Monday, Aug. 22
  • General Faculty Meeting: Wednesday, Aug. 24
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 5 (University offices closed)
  • First Faculty Senate Meeting of 2016-17: Wednesday, Sept. 7
  • Family Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Sept. 23-24
  • Fall Break: Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 10-11
  • Homecoming Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 4-5
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 24-25 (University offices closed, no classes on Wednesday, Nov. 23)
  • Last day of classes: Monday, Dec. 5
  • Reading days: Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 6-7
  • Final exams: Thursday-Wednesday, Dec. 8-14 (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
  • December Commencement Convocation: Saturday, Dec. 17 (official close of term and date for conferral of degrees)
  • Christmas/Winter Break: Friday, Dec. 23, 2016-Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 (University offices closed)

READ MORE

Trump smartly ditches Manafort. Is this the pivot?

SMU NEWS

The following is an excerpt from an SMU news release.

CUTTING TIES INSULATES TRUMP, BUT MORE IS NEEDED

Matthew WilsonMATTHEW WILSON:
jmwilson@smu.edu

Friday’s announcement that Trump had accepted the resignation of former campaign chair Paul Manafort was a wise move, says Wilson, but more action than that will be needed to turn the election around.

“Bringing Manafort on board has not seemed to fix any of the Trump campaign’s problems. It’s bad optics for a campaign that emphasizes themes of patriotism, nationalism and American pride to have a guy so deeply involved in Russian and Russian-allied dictators in such a prominent role,” Wilson says “Cutting ties now, from Trump’s standpoint, should make the story go away, but Trump has many other things to worry about.”

Wilson points out that Trump made a smart follow-up move by travelling to the flooded regions of Louisiana, which could indicate his new advisors are getting their unruly candidate pointed in the right direction.

“The fact that Trump perceives this is a major disaster and that people down there could use some support and attention – that speaks well for him and that’s a real contrast from Obama vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard,” Wilson say. “If his new team advised him to do that … It shows him being thoughtful, empathetic, presidential.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science. He can discuss:

  • religion and politics
  • political psychology
  • voting behavior of religious voters
  • public opinion and politics

Dedman College alumnus and photographer Stuart Palley shares his tips on how to create beautiful images once darkness falls.

Time

Originally Posted: August 10, 2016

SMU alumnus and photographer Stuart Palley shares his tips on how to create beautiful images once darkness falls. Palley graduated in 2011 with a double major in History and Finance and minors in Human Rights and Photography. Read more

~In our latest How to Photograph series, TIME asked award-winning photographer Stuart Palley to share his tips and tricks to create beautiful night-time imagery.

Palley has mastered the art and technical skills of photographing at night and is known for his compelling and breathtaking photos of wildfires and his magical images of the the night sky. “Ninety percent of it is preparation and 10% of it is the actual execution,” he says.

Watch this TIME video to see which apps Palley uses to plan his shoots, tips on how to work in darkness, what equipment to invest in and how you can play with different light sources to achieve the best results. READ MORE

Dedman College 2016 Election Experts

SMU NEWS

Need insightful perspectives and accurate interpretations of all things election relation? See Dedman College experts below:

POLITICS

Jeffrey A. Engel

Jeffrey A. Engel, Director of the Center for Presidential History
He is an award-winning American history scholar and an expert on the U.S. presidency and American diplomatic history. He has authored or edited six books, including Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War

Cal-Jillson-lg

Cal Jillson, Professor of Political Science
One of the nation’s foremost political experts, he regularly provides journalists thoughtful insight on Texas and U.S. politics. He is the author of the political classic Pursuing the American Dream, as well as Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy and American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change

Joshua-Rovner

Joshua Rovner, Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics & National Security Policy
He writes extensively on strategy and security. His recent book, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence, is a wide-ranging study about how leaders use and misuse intelligence. His research interests also include international relations theory, nuclear weapons, grand strategy, and U.S. defense policy.

Matthew-Wilson-lg

Matthew Wilson, Associate Professor of Political Science
He specializes in religion and politics, as well as public opinion, elections and political psychology.

ECONOMY and UNEMPLOYMENT

Tom-Fomby-lg

Tom Fomby, Professor of Economics
He can discuss the Texas economy vs. the rest of the nation, what the unemployment rate means for Texas and political promises about the economy.

IMMIGRATION

Pia-Orrenius

Pia Orrenius, Fellow at SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies
A senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, her research focuses on the border region and the causes and consequences of Mexico–U.S. migration, illegal immigration, and U.S. immigration policy. She is the author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization.

READ MORE

Global ranking places SMU among top 15 percent of universities worldwide

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: July 19, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) — The Center for World University Rankings once again this year placed SMU among the top 15 percent of 1,000 universities ranked worldwide.

SMU ranked No. 142 overall and No. 27 in the alumni employment category, which is assessed by the number of alumni who have held CEO positions since 2011 at the world’s top 2,000 public companies that are listed on the Forbes Global 2000 list.

The Center for World University Rankings, which ranked SMU No. 142 last year as well, analyzes the world’s top 1,000 universities (from 25,000 worldwide) based on eight factors, including quality of education, alumni employment and quality of faculty, related to the size of the school.

In addition to the strength of its alumni employment ranking, other key factors reflected positively on SMU including its quality of education, measured by the number of alumni who have won major international awards, and the quality of its faculty, which was determined also by the number of major international awards received. Faculty also were measured by publications, influence, citations, broad impact and patents. FULL RANKINGS

David Meltzer, Anthropology, mammoth mystery solved

Smithsonian Magazine

Originally Posted: August 3, 2016

Until recently, Alaska’s St. Paul Island was home to a mystery of mammoth proportions. Today the largest animals living on this 42-square mile speck of earth are a few reindeer, but once, St. Paul was woolly mammoth territory. For more than 4,000 years after the mainland mammoths of Asia and North American were wiped out by environmental change and human hunting, this barren turf served as one of the species’ last holdouts.

Only one group of mammoths lived longer than those of St. Paul: the mammoths of Wrangel Island, a 2,900-square mile island located in the Arctic Ocean, which managed to survive until about 4,000 years ago. In this case, scientists suspect we played a hand in the tenacious beasts’ demise. Archaeological evidence suggests that human hunters helped pushed already vulnerable populations over the edge.

But the mammoths of St. Paul never encountered humans, meaning they were shielded from one of the main destructive forces that likely killed their kin. So how did they meet their final end some 5,600 years ago?

Scientists finally think they have the answer. This week, an interdisciplinary team of researchers reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the mammoths essentially died of thirst. Using mammoth remains and radiocarbon dating, researchers found that dwindling freshwater due to climate change caused populations to dry up. Their results—which also show that the St. Paul mammoths persisted for longer than originally thought, until about 5,600 years ago—pinpoints a specific mechanism that may threaten other coastal and island populations facing climate change today.

Scientists had known previously that climate change must have played a role in the St. Paul mammoth extinction, but they had few clues as to the specifics. “This is an excellent piece of research, well-evidenced and well-argued,” says David Meltzer, an archaeologist at Southern Methodist University who was not involved in the study. “It’s just the sort of species- and region-specific work that needs to be done to fully understand the causes of extinction for this and other animals in the past.” READ MORE