Robert Kehoe, Physics, New precise particle measurement improves subatomic tool for probing mysteries of universe

Originally Posted: September 29, 2015

Physicists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, have achieved a new precise measurement of a key subatomic particle, opening the door to better understanding some of the deepest mysteries of our universe.

The researchers calculated the new measurement for a critical characteristic—mass—of the top quark.
Quarks make up the protons and neutrons that comprise almost all visible matter. Physicists have known the top quark’s mass was large, but encountered great difficulty trying to clearly determine it.
The newly calculated measurement of the top quark will help guide physicists in formulating new theories, said Robert Kehoe, a professor in SMU’s Department of Physics. Kehoe leads the SMU group that performed the measurement.
Top quark’s mass matters ultimately because the particle is a highly sensitive probe and key tool to evaluate competing theories about the nature of matter and the fate of the universe. READ MORE
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‘Art & Power: War, Politics and the Destruction of Ancient Treasures’ Focus of Art, International Security Experts at SMU Tower Center Forum Oct. 1

Contact Denise Gee: or (214) 768-7658

Sept. 29, 2015

‘Art & Power: War, Politics and the Destruction of Ancient Treasures’ Focus of Art, International Security Experts at SMU Tower Center Forum Oct. 1

DALLAS (SMU) — As atrocities are being perpetrated by ISIS militants on some of history’s most irreplaceable treasures and their guardians, a distinguished panel of art and international security experts will discuss “Art & Power: War, Politics and the Destruction of Ancient Treasures,” Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. in Jones Great Hall at Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd.

The forum, sponsored by SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, will be free and open to the public, but reservations are required by 5 p.m. Weds., Sept. 30, by emailing

Featured speakers will be:

Anita M. Difanis, director of government affairs for the Association of Art Museum Directors in New York City, who has combined a passion for politics with the joy of art since joining the AAMD in 1992. Before then, Difanis worked with the American Arts Alliance. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Michigan State University.

Mark A. Roglán, director of the Meadows Museum and adjunct associate professor of art history at SMU, is an authority on Spanish art, art history and community art engagement. His leadership has resulted in an array of creative acquisitions, exhibitions and community outreach events at the Meadows, which features one of the finest repositories of Spanish art in the nation. In 2010, Roglán was knighted for his contributions to arts and culture by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Joshua Rovner, moderator of the forum, is John G. Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security and acting director of the Tower Center, a program within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Rovner writes frequently on strategy, international security and U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011), which won the International Studies Association Best Book Award for security studies, and the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award.

For more information about the Tower Center and its upcoming events, visit or call (214) 768-3954.

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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

In the spirit of John Tower’s commitment to educate and inspire a new generation of thoughtful leaders, the Tower Center seeks to bridge the gap between the world of ideas, scholarship and teaching, as well as the practice of politics. The primary mission of the Tower Center is to promote the study of politics and international affairs and to stimulate an interest in ethical public service among undergraduates. The Tower Center is an academic center where all parties and views are heard in a marketplace of ideas, and the Center pursues its mission in a non-partisan manner.

Professor David Rosenfield, Psychology, Climbs Tenure Ladder Twice in 3 Decades

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Originally Posted: September 28, 2015


The first time David Rosenfield went up for tenure, in the late 1970s, an academic career lay before him. The second time, 30 years later, he was trying to reclaim it.

Mr. Rosenfield’s first bid succeeded. In 1980 he became an associate professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University. But when a leave of absence grew unexpectedly longer, he had to resign his position. In 2008 he put himself in the tenure process again.

In between, Mr. Rosenfield stepped in to run the family business, in steel distribution, and little by little became an entrepreneur, drifting away from the academic life he knew.

When academics switch jobs, they usually move from one college to another, seeking a more desirable locale, a more esteemed reputation, or a bigger paycheck. Given the grueling process of earning tenure, most professors who’ve got it negotiate a way to keep it, and others at least get credit for having started on that track. READ MORE

SMU Expert confirms Boehner’s departure is victory for Tea Party

North Dallas Gazette

Originally Posted: September 25, 2015

Just want you think the Republican Party cannot go much further to the right, they prove you wrong. Today, House Speaker John Boehner announced his retirement.
SMU Associate Professor of Political Science Matthew Wilson declares this a victory for the Tea Party – one they have wanted for a long time.

“It reflects the triumph of conservatives within the house caucus,” Wilson says. “This is a big scalp taken by the Tea Party movement because they’ve been gunning for Boehner for a long time, and it certainly does signal a more combative caucus on Capitol Hill moving forward. He will be replaced by someone more confrontational than he is.”

Naturally Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus had pleasant things to say about the service of Boehner. He released the following statement today:

“I want to thank Speaker Boehner for his efforts to make our party, the state of Ohio, and our nation stronger. He has been a tireless advocate for conservative principles who has raised millions to elect and re-elect Republicans to the House of Representatives. Our party owes him a great debt, and I wish him and Debbie the best as he continues to make contributions to the Republican Party and America.” READ MORE

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Eyes glued to Susan Hawk in planned return to Dallas County DA’s office

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: September 24, 2015

It began as a courthouse whisper, morphed into happy hour gossip and now has bubbled up to the highest levels of Texas’ political circles.

The question on everyone’s mind: Can Susan Hawk survive her first term as Dallas County’s district attorney?

“Everybody’s talking: What’s the over-under on when she leaves office?” said defense attorney Al Gilbertson. “It’s not even a negative on Susan Hawk as much as an assessment of how bad this situation has become, with apparently no end in sight.” READ MORE

LISTEN: SMU religion experts Matthew Wilson and Charles Curran on KERA


Originally Posted: September 21, 2015

Pope Francis Comes To America

This week, Pope Francis visits the U.S. for the first time, making stops in Washington, New York and Philadelphia. This hour, we’ll talk about what his visit means for American Catholics – and about how their beliefs align with church teachings, with SMU religion experts Matthew Wilson and Charles Curran. LISTEN

Biologists develop a computer model of key protein that helps predict how cancer drugs will work

SMU News

Drugs important in the battle against cancer behaved according to predictions when tested in a computer-generated model of P-glycoprotein, one of the cell’s key molecular pumps.

The new model allows researchers to dock nearly any drug in the P-gp protein and see how it will actually behave in P-gp’s pump, said Associate Professor John G. Wise, lead author on the journal article announcing the advancement and a faculty member in SMU’s Department of Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

SMU biologists developed the computer generated model to overcome the problem of relying on only static images for the structure of P-gp. The protein is the cellular pump that protects cells by pumping out toxins.

But that’s a problem when P-gp targets chemotherapy drugs as toxic, preventing chemo from killing cancer cells. Scientists are searching for ways to inhibit P-gp’s pumping action. READ MORE

Professor Harold Jeskey honored as one of the giants in SMU history

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: September 19, 2015

Found objects engage the art world — and SMU history

Found objects play an increasingly important role in the world of art. As the definition of sculpture has broadened, so too has the cool factor of found objects. They’re even making a difference in the 100th anniversary of Southern Methodist University.

Dallas multimedia artist Gretchen Goetz is creating 10 giant puppets that will make their presence felt at various events honoring the giants of SMU history. When it comes to found objects, Goetz has taken a Cake Pops container and used it to symbolize the base of the Oscar won by SMU alumna Kathy Bates. She used plastic tablecloths to represent the pom-poms of cheerleading pioneer and SMU grad Lawrence Herkimer.

The puppets will make special appearances during SMU’s homecoming festivities beginning Wednesday. The puppets will walk, wave and in one case perform a well-known “cheerleader leap.”

The 10 are: Bates, who won an Oscar and Golden Globe as best actress for Misery in 1990; civil rights activist Adelfa Callejo, the first Hispanic woman to graduate from the Dedman School of Law; Herkimer, who created the National Cheerleaders Association; the Rev. Zan Holmes Jr., a recognized civil rights leader; Lamar Hunt, the founder of the American Football League; Robert S. Hyer, the first president of SMU; professor Harold Jeskey, who taught organic chemistry at SMU from 1945 to 1979; Ruth Morgan, who served from 1986 to 1993 as SMU’s first female provost and who was a two-time winner of SMU’s outstanding professor award; golfer Payne Stewart, who earned 11 PGA tour victories, including three majors, before his death at 42; and, of course, football legend Doak Walker, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1948.

For more information, visit, which will go live this weekend. READ MORE

‘Southwest Review’ literary journal is turning 100


Originally Posted: September 17, 2015

Dallas (SMU) – When the week of Sept. 25 rolls around, SMU won’t be the only Hilltop institution celebrating its centennial.

The Southwest Review, SMU’s nationally renowned literary journal, is turning 100, too, and launching a fundraiser to support its future.

“One-hundred years, for any magazine, is remarkable,” says Willard Spiegelman, editor-in-chief of the Southwest Review and SMU Hughes professor of English. “Over the years, there have been international authors, including some Nobel Prize winners. Larry McMurtry, before he became famous for Lonesome Dove, published his first work in SWR when he was just out of college. Lady Bird Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover have appeared in its pages.

“It would be sad, I think, if we didn’t have room for old-fashioned print culture in the 21st century,” says Spiegelman, who passionately rejects human expression as driven by 140-character messages and emoticons. READ MORE

SMU faculty to assist area history teachers in tackling immigration

DALLAS (SMU) — Immigration has rarely been so controversial or prominent a topic as it is today, which makes it all the more challenging to teach it to middle-and high-school students. SMU and the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture are partnering with Humanities Texas and the Texas Historical Commission to present a conference at the museum on the history of U.S. immigration from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, to help area teachers tackle this hot-button topic in the classroom. READ MORE