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

Human Rights, Rwanda (Summer 2016)

SMU Adventures

robyn-600x400A group of 13 SMU students, faculty and staff are in Rwanda from August 4-13, 2016 with SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program. After the country’s 1994 genocide, in which as many as a million people were killed in 100 days, “history lives on,” says group leader and program director Rick Halperin. The group are visiting genocide sites and meeting with survivors, government representatives and representatives of NGOs, They are also carrying donated books, classroom supplies, toys and clothing to share with the schools and orphanages they are visiting. READ MORE

Meet the Scientist: Eveline Kuchmak, an SMU alumna and current Manager of Temporary Exhibitions at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Rock Report

Originally Posted: July 18, 2016

Meet: Eveline Kuchmak

Another Southern Methodist University alumna (Pony Up!), Eveline graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Economic Sociology. Growing up she “lived for trips to art and science museums, space camp, Pony Club veterinary workshops, and the latest issue of National Geographic.” She was homeschooled for much of her childhood and her parents always made sure she had a healthy dose of curiosity. After graduation, she attended archaeological field school in New Mexico which only reinforced her desire to discover new things and share these experiences. This path has led her to a career inspiring others through science museums.

She began working at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in education and public programs; however, at the beginning of this year she transitioned into her new role as Manager of Temporary Exhibits. READ MORE

 

Meet the Scientist, Paleontology

Originally Posted: June 29, 2016

SMU alumna, Katharina Marino, who used to prepare fossils in the Shuler labs and then worked as an educator at the Perot Museum, is now pursuing a Master’s degree in science communication at the University of Otago in New Zealand.  She has started a blog in which she interviews scientists.  Her first interviewee is another SMU alum, Yuri Kimura, who received her Ph.D. at the same time Katharina received her Bachelor’s degree.  Please click the link below to read this very nice interview from two of our finest.

https://therockrecord.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/meet-dr-yuri-kimura/

2016-2017 Dallas-Fort Worth Schweitzer Fellows Named

DFW Schweitzer Fellows will launch health and wellbeing initiatives within underserved communities while completing leadership training

Dallas, TX, June 23, 2016—The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) announced the selection of its second class of Dallas-Fort Worth Albert Schweitzer Fellows—9 graduate students who will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health, and developing lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom their Fellowship is named.

Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based health and/or social service organization. This year’s Fellows will address an array of health issues affecting a range of populations, including a college and career readiness program, an expansion of a smoking cessation program for men experiencing homelessness, and a volunteer doula program for low-income women.

Housed in Southern Methodist University’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, the Schweitzer Fellowship draws on an interdisciplinary approach to guide the Fellows throughout the year. Monthly meetings feature speakers from a range of fields, including several Dedman College faculty members. Renee McDonald, Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs, guided the Fellows through evaluation strategies and program planning, allowing them to begin their projects with a more rigorous approach to assessing their effectiveness. Dr. McDonald will meet with the Fellows periodically to help them refine their evaluation plans and interpret their data.

Neely Myers, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, led a discussion and exploration of the social determinants of health with the group at another meeting. Dr. Myers’ discussion spurred critical thinking about the issues that the Fellows will address through their projects and laid the groundwork for future explorations of the many aspects of health.

Dr. Rick Halperin, Dr. Carolyn Smith-Morris, and Dr. Alicia Schortgen have also lectured and facilitated discussions with Schweitzer Fellows on topics ranging from human rights, ethics and medicine, and how organizations work within Dallas to address the issues facing our community.

“The Schweitzer Fellowship changes the lives of not just the Fellows themselves, but also the lives of the community members they serve through their Fellowship projects,” said Courtney Roy, Program Director of the Dallas-Fort Worth Schweitzer Fellowship. “Our Fellows will learn to lead and innovate as they take on complex issues, and will also have the opportunity to learn from one another, sharing their strengths and knowledge, preparing them for professional careers in an ever-changing world. Meanwhile, their project participants will gain information, skills, and behaviors that will assist them in leading healthier lives.”

“These Schweitzer Fellows are living Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s legacy of reverence for life,” said Executive Director Sylvia Stevens-Edouard. “Their Fellowship year will leave them well-prepared to successfully face the challenges of serving vulnerable and underserved populations, whose health and medical needs are many and varied.”

The 9 Dallas-Fort Worth Fellows will join over 200 other 2016-17 Schweitzer Fellows working at 15 program sites, 14 in the US and one in Lambaréné, Gabon at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital, founded by Dr. Schweitzer in 1913. Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the 2016-17 Dallas-Fort Worth Albert Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of nearly 3,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers. Fellows for Life routinely report that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving people in need.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program marks a unique collaboration between eight Dallas-Fort Worth universities. Housed in Southern Methodist University (Dedman College), supporting universities include the Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, University of Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center.

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Meet the 2016-2017 Dallas-Fort Worth Albert Schweitzer Fellows

About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is preparing the next generation of professionals who will serve and empower vulnerable people to live healthier lives and create healthier communities. To date, more than 3,200 Schweitzer Fellows have delivered nearly 500,000 hours of service to nearly 300,000 people in need.  Additionally, more than 100 Fellows have provided care at the 100-year-old Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa. Through this work and through the contributions of Fellows whose professional careers serve their communities, ASF perpetuates the legacy and philosophy of physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer. ASF has 14 program locations in the U.S. and one in Lambaréné, Africa. Its national office is located in Boston, MA and hosted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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Tower Center fellow Sionaidh Douglas-Scott discusses implications of a Brexit on UK law

Financial Times

Originally Posted: June 20, 2016

Tower Center fellow Sionaidh Douglas-Scott was interviewed for the Financial Times article “Untangling Britain from Europe would cause constitutional ‘havoc’” June 20. READ MORE

Meet Hope Hicks, Dedman College Alumna and Donald Trump Communications Director

Marie Claire

Originally Posted: June 7, 2016

In Donald Trump’s inner circle on the campaign trail, there’s just one woman: Hope Hicks, 27, his communications director and the only woman who travels full-time with the Republican front-runner.

Hicks has played an integral role in Trump’s unprecedented rise in the 2016 election. As Trump tweets about the controversies du jour with abandon, delivers unscripted soliloquies at campaign stops, and is a near-constant presence on cable news, Hicks is behind the scenes, juggling the moving parts of the rapid news cycle.

In 2012, after a successful teen modeling career and graduating from Southern Methodist University, the Connecticut native got her first taste of the Trump life working on the hotel and golf divisions of his company for New York public relations firm Hiltzik Strategies. The Trump Organization brought her in-house as the director of communications in 2014, and the following year, she got the surprise of a lifetime when The Donald asked her to join his budding campaign. Here, in her first-ever interview in her current role, she shares what it’s like to work for the unconventional candidate.  READ MORE

College grads, take heart: You’re entering best job market in years

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: May 24, 2016

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, the denizens of Southern Methodist University’s campus seemed to move at a leisurely pace.

A few cyclists clicked along the pathways and the stately brick buildings, with their bright white colonnades, were quiet. Commencement had taken place a few days earlier.

But for Regina James, the busy season was getting into full swing.

“There are still students who are in transition. They’re either waiting to hear back about offers — there’s a little anxiousness there — or they’re students that maybe just didn’t get around to the search, so they’re starting to reach out and say, ‘I don’t have anything yet,’” she said. “Those students, we’ll be helping throughout the summer.”

James is the associate director for employer relations at SMU’s Hegi career center.

Experts say newly-minted college graduates in the Dallas area are entering one of the best job markets they’ve seen. But James said that’s no excuse to slack off in the hunt.

“We encourage students to have multiple internships for a number of reasons,” she said. “You’ve got to think about it as, not only are you competing against your peers here, you’re competing against peers from other institutions in the area, you’re competing against institutions nationally [whose students] may desire to live in the Dallas area.”

According to a report by the firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, 1.8 million Americans with four-year degrees are expected to enter the workforce this year, where they’ll be greeted by the best job market for college graduates in several years.

The report cites the fact that the nation has seen almost 70 months of job gains, meaning that 14 million workers have been added to payrolls across the country. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are retiring.

A National Association of Colleges and Employers survey found that companies are slated to hire 5.2 percent more new graduates than a year ago.

And, the report says, 59 metro areas have unemployment rates below 4.0 percent.

All of those factors add up to a demand for workers who are ready to start their careers.

In Dallas-Fort Worth — one of those metro areas with a low unemployment rate — there’s extra momentum, said Bud Weinstein, an economist and associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU’s Cox School of Business.

The region’s economy is more diverse than it’s ever been. And more companies are relocating or expanding in North Texas — in part because they’re attracted by the area’s talent pool.

“Dallas-Fort Worth probably has the strongest job market in the nation among large metropolitan areas — maybe not in absolute numbers, but certainly in percentage terms,” Weinstein said. “I think the job market has never looked better, particularly for college graduates.”

Michael Carroll, director of UNT’s Economics Research Group, added that although energy and manufacturing jobs across the state are hurting, “we’re fairly insulated from that” in North Texas.

A flood of migration into the state, Carroll said, has also helped keep wages at a manageable level and competition for workers from scaring off new jobs.

“I think it’s a real positive with all the companies moving in,” he said.

Higher education institutions around the region say they’re bullish on the possibilities for their graduates — whether they’re armed with a bachelor’s degree or trade certification.

“I cannot even tell you — we’re tripping over jobs,” said Dawn Gomez, career services coordinator at the Dallas County Community College District’s Northlake College in Irving.

The hard part, she said, is connecting students with the right employer in an age when job hunters have countless online resources.

“Soft skills, communication, critical thinking, teamwork — employers want those that can pull it all together in a composed, succinct package,” Gomez said.

For Morgan Slottje, who graduated from SMU in December, settling on a career path wasn’t easy.

As an undergraduate, she said with a chuckle, she changed majors “at least 10 times.”

Throughout college, she also test drove various jobs through internships: She worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, she worked in marketing.

When the time came to focus on the job search, Slottje, 23, applied to “hundreds” of jobs she said sounded interesting, from advertising to financial analysis. She considered getting a master’s degree in statistics.

In the end, Slottje said she went to a Deloitte presentation and felt a strong sense that its values aligned with hers: An emphasis on continuing to learn and grow.

“I picked a company where their values really align with mine,” she said. “That’s important with the job search — I want a career. I want to love what I’m doing.”

And although Slottje said she was open to moving to another city, she preferred to stay in Dallas, close to her parents and where living costs are more manageable than in New York, where she went to school for 2 and a half years before switching to SMU.

“I’d rather be in a city like Dallas when I’m starting a career,” she said. “I’m versed in tech, but when I was interviewing [with a company in the] Bay Area, I was thinking, ‘No matter what I’m getting paid, I’m going to be so poor.’”

She’ll be starting a job here, in business technology consulting at Deloitte in July.

Reggie Davis, a 21-year-old University of North Texas logistics student, won’t graduate until next year.

He said he’s optimistic about his job prospects, particularly in logistics. In D-FW, information technology and other “knowledge” jobs that require college degrees are in high demand, particularly given the breadth of the region’s transportation industry.

His father, too, works in logistics, meaning he’s had exposure to the jobs for years.

Nevertheless, Davis said he’s not cruising to graduation day.

For one thing, UNT’s logistics program requires that students intern before they graduate, so he’ll be working at Schneider Logistics this summer.

Davis is also participating in the school’s professional leadership program, which aims to prep students for business leadership with access to mentors and professional development opportunities.

He said that although he’s been around supply chain and logistics work — it’s what his dad does, too — he sees the internship as both a way to get an edge and to test out which specific type of job he might like best.

“If I end up doing well in the internship and enjoying it, I would be glad to consider a full-time position or transition to being a full-time employee,” he said. “But I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.” READ MORE

Bryson DeChambeau, former SMU golfer, applies physics to his sport

WFAA

Originally Posted: May 18, 2016

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 21:  Bryson DeChambeau tees off on the 12th hole during the first round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course on April 21, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – APRIL 21: Bryson DeChambeau tees off on the 12th hole during the first round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course on April 21, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images)

IRVING, Texas — During Bryson During Bryson DeChambeau’s press conference before the AT&T Byron Nelson, the subject of physics came up, and how it applies to golf.

Here’s part of his answer: “[…] especially Newtonian mechanics. See, quantum mechanics doesn’t really correlate — I mean, it does, on a really, really minute scale. But doesn’t affect how you’re striking the ball necessarily,” he said. “It’s more Newtonian mechanics.”

DeChambeau majored in physics at SMU and is trying to use what he learned to get better.

“I lean more to the technical side, just because I like numbers,” DeChambeau said. “I like understanding and seeing results. That gives me confidence.” READ MORE

Congratulations to Robyn Ann Langley, the first SMU Jewish Studies minor

slnewCongratulations to Robyn Ann Langley, the first Jewish Studies minor. She was recently honored at a reception on Friday, May 13th hosted by the SMU Jewish Studies program and faculty advisor, Shira Lander. Robyn is a Fashion Media major in the Meadows School of the Arts and triple minor in Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, both housed in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and Art.

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Robyn was born in Miami, FL and moved to Boca Raton when she was just four years old. She was enrolled in preschool at the Jewish Community Center and has continued her involvement in the community ever since. She attended Hebrew school at Congregation B’nai Israel and was confirmed in 10th grade. She continued working at B’nai Israel as a Madricha (teacher’s assistant) and was part of the synagogue’s Senior Youth Group (BISY, a National Federation of Temple Youth affiliate). She has been involved with many Jewish organizations, such as Ruth Rales Jewish Family Services, JAFCO-Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options, and the Otzar Program for Special Needs. She most enjoyed working as the lead art and design volunteer for the Otzar Special Needs Sunday school.