SMU’s May 14 Commencement celebrates academic achievement

SMU News

Originally Posted: May 3, 2016

SMU will celebrate the academic accomplishments of more than 2,500 students at its 101st annual Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14, in Moody Coliseum.

Guests are urged to arrive early as seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Additional seating will be available for a simulcast of the event at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, Crum Auditorium and McFarlin Auditorium. The ceremony also will be broadcast outside Moody Coliseum on Bolin Plaza, and there will be a live webcast of the ceremony at http://www.smu.edu/live.

READ MORE

Acker Honored With Presidential Award of Excellence

SMU Athletics

Originally Posted: April 29, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Avery Acker was honored with the SMU Presidential Award of Excellence, which is awarded to three graduating seniors each year. A three-year captain for the volleyball program, Acker graduated in December with a degree in accounting and minors in chemistry and biological sciences, and will begin medical school in the fall.

11254604The setter was named CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, as well as American Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, earning a $4,000 postgraduate scholarship. She finished her career with a 3.941 GPA, graduating summa cum laude. Acker was also a CoSIDA Academic All-American as a junior.

On the court, Acker was named an All-American Honorable Mention award winner three times, and conference Setter of the Year twice. During her senior season, Acker led the Mustangs to a program-best 27 wins and the school’s first conference championship in 2015. SMU finished with a 27-6 mark overall and 17-3 record in conference play to earn The American’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. The Poth, Texas, native led the NCAA with 12.45 assists per set, while also setting an SMU and American single-season record with 1,482 assists. READ MORE

Associate dean for General Education addresses questions about UC-2016

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: April 16, 2016

By: Peter Moore, associate dean, General Education

Let me take a moment to address the issues Noah Bartos raised in his editorial regarding UC-2016.

Noah is rightly concerned about the potential headaches various groups will face regarding two very similar curricula (UC-2012 and UC-2016). We are too. He notes the increase in paperwork. That comes in three forms: 1) course proposals that faculty must write; 2) assessment; and 3) student petitions.

He is right in pointing out that in the near-term faculty will have some additional work to do. A significant portion of that has already been completed this spring and I hope that most of the rest will be finished by December. There is a sense of fatigue, but this is offset to some extent by the improvements he notes in the structure which allow for new opportunities for participation. Regarding assessment, my expectation is that this will actually decrease initially (while eventually returning to the current level).

My biggest concern is with student petitions that will arise through confusion between the two curricula. Noah notes this problem as well regarding the mixture of requirements in the same course. This mixture does not involve Proficiencies and Experiences which are identical in both curricula. We are aware of the problem regarding pillars (UC-2012) and breadth and depth (UC-2016) and will be working to mitigate the headaches that are bound to result.

Noah also raises concerns with the new STEM requirements which he believes have the potential to unduly impact Meadows’ students. With regard to the lab-based portion (PAS under UC-2012) of this requirement the revision in UC-2016 is closer to the original intent of the UC adopted in 2010, that students complete two lab-based courses. The TM requirement, however, should not be an additional burden for most Meadows’ students who will be able to complete it in the major (e.g., Theater Lighting).

Noah notes the advantages from the simplified Second Language requirement which should prove beneficial across all majors. The changes in UC-2016 are designed to lessen the need for double-counting pillar courses by opening up courses in the major.

For example, I expect Cox majors to benefit when ITOM 3306 (a required course for all Cox students) satisfies the TM requirement. In this case the number of UC requirements met in the Cox major will increase from two to three. The modifications introduced in UC-2012 were designed to address high-credit majors and enhance students’ ability to double major. Students should find the same advantages in UC-2016 along with a simplified structure.

Finally he argues that the language of the proposal does not provide an adequate description of content. The descriptions match the information provided in the original UC and are augmented by the Student Learning Outcomes. Together these do provide a good basis for determining what the new breadth and depth requirements are all about.

Nearly two years ago the University Curriculum Council responded to concerns about the original UC and introduced key modifications. Those modifications have helped the class of 2012 to graduate on time. However, the modifications led to some unintended consequences which UC-2016 addresses. We expect that our efforts this time around will be even more beneficial. READ MORE

#MustangsGiveBack is March 24! Support a Dedman College project and make a real difference for students

What will you support at SMU? Make a gift on March 24, 2016 and be a part of Mustangs Give Back, our one-day giving challenge.

Below is a list of Dedman College projects:

DedmanFund-300x200-11. Support Dedman College Scholars for a semester. 

Help us fund one semester for a Dedman College Scholar student next year! CLICK HERE

 

DallasBusTour1-600x4002. Introduce new students to Dallas

Introduce new SMU students to Dallas with a day-long bus tour of the city’s historic sites. CLICK HERE

 

Dedman3-300x2003. Create a new section of microeconomics

Fund a new section of this always-oversubscribed course, allowing students to take it when it best fits their schedules. CLICK HERE

 

Dedman2-300x2004. Support Minds, Brains and Robotics

This will provide funding for Minds, Brains and Robotics, a popular course in philosophy. CLICK HERE

 

Dedman4-300x2005. Create a new course in digital humanities

Help SMU create a new course in Digital Humanities. CLICK HERE

 

Dedman1-300x2006. Support the One-Day Jewish University

Provide classroom materials for guest lecturers for the annual SMU One-Day Jewish University. CLICK HERE

 

CivilRights1-300x2007. Send students on a journey into history

Provide partial scholarships for 8 students to experience the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. CLICK HERE

 

SupremeCourt-300x2008. Support Supreme Court scholarships

D.C. bound! Send 5 students with Professor Kobylka to learn about the Supreme Court. CLICK HERE

 

Refrigerator1-300x2009. Replace the rusty refrigerator

Help us retire the rusty old refrigerator in Dr. Son’s Chemistry lab. CLICK HERE

 

SchweitzerFellows-300x20010. Fund orientation for Schweitzer Fellows

Help us fund the overnight leadership orientation program for 10-15 graduate fellows. CLICK HERE

 

SantosRodriguez-300x20011. Fund a new human rights scholarship

Raise one semester’s worth of funds for a compelling new scholarship honoring Santos Rodriguez. CLICK HERE

Congratulations Dedman College Dean’s Research Council Award Recipients

March 18, 2016

Dallas Hall4

Congratulations to the the recipients of this year’s Dean’s Research Council grants. The Dean’s Research Council provides competitively awarded seed funding for faculty research and allows them to compete for larger grants and fellowships outside SMU.

Sciences

Peng Tao

Department of Chemistry
Extending the Protein Evolution Paradigm to Combat Antibiotic Drug Resistance

Karen Lupo
Department of Anthropology
Exposing the Myth of the Pristine Rain Forest: Building the Case for the Cultural Landscapes in the Tropical Forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Jingbo Ye
Department of Physics
Developing an Integrated Circuit that Drives Arrays with Ultra Low Power

Humanities

Phillipe Chuard
Department of Philosophy
Time Consciousness: The Lockean View

 

 

Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry, Why Americans don’t get enough sleep

Healthline

The following is from the March 2, 2016, edition of Healthline. SMU Chemistry Professor Brian Zoltowski provided expertise for this story.

We all know that a good night’s rest is vital to overall health, but we may not realize how essential it is or try hard enough to get it.

After all, a rough night can easily be “erased” by guzzling a good cup of coffee in the morning, right?

Maybe not.

Prioritizing sleep and finding solutions if you’re not getting enough is smart if you want to maintain optimal health. . .

Street light radiance isn’t the only culprit. Other sources of blue light from computers, televisions, or other electronic devices could be impairing your ability to sleep.

“As a society, we are using more technology, and there’s increasing evidence that artificial light has had a negative consequence on our health,” Brian Zoltowski, PhD, a professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said in a statement.

He conducted research in 2014 that reported how light impacts chemical signals in our bodies. The interruptions can affect sleep, metabolism, cancer development, drug addiction, and mood disorders, to name a few. READ MORE

Congratulations to the Dedman College Research Day Winners

SMU graduate and undergraduate students presented results of ongoing and completed SMU-based research on February 10. Dedman College students received an impressive 20 awards.

Research Day aims to foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community.

CLICK HERE for a full list of Research Day winners