English professor’s poem about SMU’s Dallas Hall published in Thomas Jefferson-inspired anthology

SMU News

Originally Posted: February 11, 2016

Fresh off contributing to SMU being named The Most Beautiful Campus in America by the Huffington Post, SMU’s campus centerpiece, Dallas Hall, has inspired a homespun poem that was published Tuesday alongside the works of Pulitzer prize winners in the poetry anthology Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poets on Jefferson (University of Virginia Press).

That’s Jefferson as in Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States.

What’s the connection between Dallas Hall and one of America’s founding fathers? It doesn’t take Nicholas Cage and a map hidden on the back of the Declaration of Independence to find out.

“When the founders of SMU went to Chicago to find an architect for their first building, they said they wanted Dallas Hall to look like The Rotunda at the University of Virginia (which was designed by Jefferson), but of course bigger,” says SMU Hughes Professor in English Willard Spiegelman. The author of the Dallas Hall-inspired poem explains, “My first thought was, ‘Jefferson went to the prairie.’”

The poem, titled Prairie Rotunda, is one of 50 poems featured in Monticello in Mind. READ MORE

SMU experts are available for interview on all things debatable in connection with Thursday’s prime time match between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders


Originally Posted: February 11, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU experts are available for interview on all things debatable in connection with Thursday’s prime time match between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It is currently the only scheduled debate before voters cast their ballots in the Feb. 20 Nevada Caucus, the Feb. 27 South Carolina Primary and Super Tuesday on March 1, when 11 states are up for grabs.



Though Clinton and Sanders are technically tied in states they’ve won (one each), the momentum might look to be heavily in Sanders corner thanks to the narrow loss in Iowa and the big win in New Hampshire.

Now, as the race turns south, Wilson says its time to find out how far Sanders’ campaign can carry.

“Nevada and South Carolina will differ a lot from Iowa and New Hampshire,” Wilson says. “They are much more racially and ethnically diverse, with significant Latino presence in Nevada and an African American majority among South Carolina Democrats.

“This is where we see if the Sanders phenomenon has any legs beyond northern white liberals,” Wilson adds.

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science. READ MORE

App created by SMU physics grad aims to simplify person-to-person buying, selling

Daily Campus

Originally Posted: February 8, 2016

Have you ever wanted to sell your old items online with people nearby? Well now, there’s an app for that.

5miles, a hyper-local marketplace app using GPS location, offers an easy way for consumers to buy and sell items on their phone. The app was launched in January 2015 and gained five million users in one year with $10 million in transactions in Dallas alone. READ MORE

The Tail of the Lion: 100 Years of General Relativity, the Scientific Theory of Space and Time

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Listen to Associate Professor of Physics, Stephen Sekula, as he commemorates one of the greatest scientific discoveries of modern times: Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. This lecture is part of the SMU Godbey Lecture Series sponsored by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute. For information on future events, visit: http://www.smu.edu/Dedman/DCII/Events

Willard Spiegelman, Hughes Professor of English, amid Pulitzer prize-winners in new anthology of poems inspired by Thomas Jefferson

University of Virginia Press:

get-img“In Monticello in Mind, poet Lisa Russ Spaar collects fifty contemporary poems–most original to this anthology–that engage the complex legacy of Thomas Jefferson and his plantation home at Monticello. The anthology features a roster of poets both emerging and established–including Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Claudia Emerson, Terrance Hayes, Robert Hass, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Tretheway, Charles Wright” and Willard Spieglman. His poem “Prairie Rotunda” was written about SMU’s most iconic buiding, Dallas Hall. READ MORE

New Hampshire primary offers chance to reshape race

DALLAS (SMU)SMU experts are available for interview on all things relating to today’s New Hampshire Primary. Full article and expert comments here.

When winning isn’t enough – Managing the expectations game

With Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders polling strongly leading up to the New Hampshire Primary, Wilson says the biggest question might not be, “Who will win?” but rather, “Who will outperform expectations?”

“They really need to win by double digits to be perceived as having had a solid result,” Wilson says. “Unless Trump and Sanders win by 10 points or more, the story will be their underperformance.”

Just below the favorites, Wilson has his eyes on Marco Rubio and whether the senator’s widely panned weekend debate performance will hurt him in the primary.

“If he finishes worse than second, it will be a disappointment,” Wilson says. “If Rubio finishes worse than third, it’s a serious problem for him. It had seemed clear he was emerging as a long-term challenger to Trump after Iowa, but this could be a big stumble for him.”

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

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

Evan McCormick, Center for Presidential History, fluent in Spanish and available to discuss the presidential race with Spanish-speaking media platforms.

The following is an excerpt from an SMU news release. READ MORE

Republican rhetoric on immigration bodes well for Democrats in November

In the grand scheme of the presidential race, McCormick doesn’t think either party has a candidate who has transcended their party’s general acceptance by the Latin-American community in the United States.

“The way immigration has become a security issue for the Republican party has alienated most Latino voters, with the exception of Cubans in Florida, who still vote Republican because of their distaste for the Castro regime,” McCormick says. “The Democrats seem to be most well-positioned to have a productive relationship with Mexico and other Latin American countries.

“Like Republicans, Democrats are also looking for policy solutions to undocumented migrants, but with fewer security measures and more long-term cooperation and planning,” McCormick adds.

Evan McCormick is conversationally fluent in Spanish.

McCormick is a resident fellow of the Center for Presidential History at SMU who can discuss:

  • border security
  • international trade in the Americas
  • U.S.-Latin American relations
  • international diplomacy

Dedman College alumnus Emmanuel Sanders worked hard to reach Super Bowl again

Sealy News

Originally Posted: February 4, 2016

Emmanuel Sanders is rapidly growing to icon status with his second trip to the Super Bowl since entering the National Football League in 2010.

Sanders, who is a 2005 graduate of Bellville High School, knew from a young age what he wanted out of life – to be a professional athlete.

As a young man, growing up to a single mom of three children, the value of hard work was instilled in Emmanuel on many levels. Family first, is the mindset of the Sanders family.

Emmanuel’s sister, Precious Sanders Seymore, described the family as a very close-knit group, who to this day still talk and text daily to support each other. READ MORE

Student achievement in the spotlight during SMU Engaged Learning Week, Feb. 8-12, 2016

SMU’s Engaged Learning Week expands its schedule for 2016 and features a growing undergraduate presence at the University’s annual Research Day as well as presentations from McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Feb. 8-12 and will help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week begins Monday, Feb. 8 with presentations by graduating Engaged Learning Fellows in Community Service and Internships at 12:30 p.m., followed by a Creative Projects panel at 3 p.m., both in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. READ MORE