Listen: Joshua Rovner, Tower Center, On the Paris attacks


Originally Posted: November 16, 2015

SMU’s Joshua Rovner, the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics & National Security Policy, talked with KLIF radio’s Amy Chodroff and Dave Williams, about the terrorists’ attacks in Paris last Friday and SMU students who are studying there. LISTEN

Dedman College student named EO Dallas winner in the Global Student Entrepreneur awards

Edward Allegra of BioLum Sciences to Represent Dallas in U.S. Finals

DALLAS – November 16, 2015 – Edward Allegra, a Southern Methodist University (SMU) student, became the proud winner of the Dallas qualifying competition for the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), a program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Edward Allegra, 22 years old, bested his competitors with an innovative smartphone-based medical device that is able to monitor and help manage asthma. Allegra is co-founder and runs the company while also attending college. The judges selected Allegra based on his vision for BioLum as well as his desire to make a mark with a product that can improve the quality of others’ lives and the way asthma is diagnosed and managed.

In order to qualify for this award, Allegra had to be an undergraduate student and the owner of a for-profit (revenue generating) business that has operated for at least six consecutive months.

Founded in April 2015, BioLum is the developer of a smartphone based medical device that is able to monitor and help manage asthma. This is accomplished by utilizing chemiluminescence to detect and quantify specific disease biomarkers found in exhaled breath condensate. The BioLum device will enable users to monitor their condition with a mobile health platform, which can indicate lung condition and function. The device will aid in treatment programs as patients manage their symptoms, as is the trend with emerging mobile health technologies. BioLum’s smartphone integrated technology offers a valuable opportunity to gather global data about this illness that plagues millions. The device will help doctors identify when asthma is the worst (time of year), where it is the worst (location/region), triggers that cause it as well as how to best prevent asthma from occurring and what medications treat the illness.

The company has raised $118,000 in capital and prize money to develop the product and begin a research study at SMU. BioLum will begin a clinical study for the product in January, which will also start the company’s FDA regulatory process.

“Our goal is to get the BioLum device in the hands of asthma patients all over the world as a low-cost personal health management system. BioLum will gather data about asthma and help the world deal with growing health problems,” said Edward Allegra, president BioLum.

“In our first year of the EO Dallas student competition we discovered an impressive group of undergraduate entrepreneurs,” said Jessica Nunez, chair, EO Dallas GSEA. Students like Edward Allegra of BioLum are pioneering the next generation of great business ventures. I am honored that we can bring them global visibility through this EO program.”

This Dallas entrepreneur will go on to compete at the U.S. national competition in Miami on February 11, 2016. The winner of the National Competition will attend the GSEA Global Finals to compete with the world’s top student entrepreneurs and have a chance to win over US$150,000 in cash and donated business services. Allegra will also receive a valuable prize package including:
· $1,000 prize money
· One-year EO Dallas Accelerator Membership | Value: $2,500
· Three-Month Mentorship, EO Dallas Forum of Entrepreneurs | Value: Priceless
· BizOwners Ed, 5-week Entrepreneurial Program, Gallery Participant | Value: $2,000
· Lunch and Internet Marketing, Globe Runner | Value: $1,000
· Marketing Communications Consultation, TruePoint Communications | Value: $1,000
· Logo Creation, Worlds of Wow! | Value: $2,500

About the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards
As the premier global competition undergraduate students, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) represents more than 1,700 of the prominent student entrepreneurs from more than 32 countries. Built on a mission to inspire students to start and grow entrepreneurial ventures, GSEA brings global visibility to pioneering student business owners. Since 1998, the GSEA, a program founded at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, has honored outstanding students who simultaneously attend university full-time while running their own businesses. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) took on leadership of the GSEA in 2006 to offer student entrepreneurs access to a global network of mentors, resources and connections from the most influential community of entrepreneurs in the world. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s GSEA is generously supported by Thomas Franchise Solutions. To nominate a student entrepreneur or to get involved, go to and follow GSEA on Twitter at @EO_GSEA.

English professor creates ‘Moby Dick’ inspired card game

The Daily Campus

Originally Posted: November 16, 2015

An SMU English professor and a couple of his students have taken the American literary classic “Moby Dick” and created a game. A card game simply called “Dick.”
Professor Tim Cassedy came up with the idea for the game while teaching a “Moby Dick” seminar class at SMU in the spring of 2015. Hayley Waring, a senior in the class at the time, said the class was reading the Henry Melville novel and started picking up on the humor in the text.

“Professor Cassedy came up with the concept for a game that preserves the literary merits of the book but still highlights that the language Melville used is really funny,” Waring said.

Cassedy and students Chelsea Grogan and Jenna Peck made a prototype of the game and brought it to class. It was an immediate hit.

“We all loved it and could not stop laughing,” Waring said. READ MORE

George Holden, Psychology, to speak at congressional briefing on corporal punishment in public schools


Originally Posted: November 13, 2015

SMU Professor and Psychology Department Chair George Holden will speak before a congressional briefing titled “Spare the Rod: Protect the Child” from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Washington D.C.

Holden, a leading expert on parenting, discipline and family, will participate in a panel designed to tackle the ongoing practice of corporal punishment in schools – which is still legal in 19 states, including Texas, though outlawed in Dallas and the state’s other metropolitan areas.

“There’s very limited research about the impact of corporal punishment in schools, but what research is available is focused on how much it’s used and to whom its used on,” Holden says. “It’s mostly used on minority students and students with disabilities.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, is hosting the briefing, which will be attended by congressional staffers. Hastings’ goal, says Holden, is to introduce a bill that will outlaw corporal punishment and paddling of children in schools.

Holden believes this is the second recent attempt to pass such a bill. In 2011, New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy introduced a bill called the “Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act,” which failed to make it out of committee.

The 19 states where corporal punishment in schools is still legal are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

At a Glance
What: SMU Professor and Psychology Department Chair George Holden speaks about corporal punishment in American public schools before a congressional briefing titled “Spare the Rod: Protect the Child” hosted by U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings.

Who’s invited: The event is free and open to the public.

When: 10-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18

Where: Room 122, Cannon House Office Building, 1st and C Street, SE, Washington, D.C.


SMU students in Paris report they are safe; SMU monitoring situation

SMU News

Originally Posted: November 14, 2015

SMU has heard from all 11 of its students studying in Paris that they are safe. The SMU Travel Oversight Committee is closely monitoring the situation and is receiving updates from the U.S. State Department and International SOS.

SMU community members abroad are asked to be aware that France has declared a national state of emergency and has tightened its borders. On Saturday, November 14, the U.S. Embassy in France issued a security message regarding the terrorist attacks: “Further incidents are possible. We strongly urge U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security, including limiting their movements to essential activity. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.” While airports and train stations remain open, travelers may expect delays due to heightened security measures.
All SMU Abroad students are covered by emergency travel assistance through I-SOS and may use the services of I-SOS worldwide during their term of study abroad. During SMU Abroad orientation, students received laminated cards with emergency phone numbers for I-SOS. I-SOS contact information also is available online at In addition, every SMU-approved study abroad program has its own emergency preparedness plan and protocols.

Students with concerns or questions are asked to contact the SMU Abroad Director, Dr. Cathy Winnie, at (214-768-4904) or SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters at (214-768-1586). Student safety is the highest priority of SMU and our partner study abroad programs. READ MORE

Congratulations to Dedman College undergraduate Edward Allegra. His team, BioLum Sciences, will advance to Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.

SMU News

Originally Posted: November 12, 2015

SMU ‘Big iDeas’ winners advance to Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

Since its launch in 2008, student teams have been awarded grants through SMU’s Big iDeas program to research and improve issues facing the Dallas area and beyond, ranging from energy and education to health and campus living.

This year, two of the contest’s winners will compete against university undergraduates from other area schools in the regional Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competition, sponsored by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

The event will be 6-9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, on the SMU campus in Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium. It is open to SMU students and the neighboring community. Those interested can RSVP here.

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards is a worldwide forum for student entrepreneurs who have successfully developed and run their own business. The nominees compete in regional qualifying competitions for the chance to advance to the global finals in Bangkok, Thailand, in May 2016. The participating student teams from SMU are:

BioLum Sciences: Winning both the SMU Pitch Contest in 2014 and the Business Plan Competition in 2015, BioLum Sciences is the developer of a medical device used to help manage asthma. It allows users to test their symptoms, monitor daily progress, and understand the cause of their asthma. BioLum uses a smartphone based imaging system to detect and quantify the disease biomarkers found in the user’s exhaled breath. This technology has the potential to reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the US.

Team members are students Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar and Jack Reynolds. READ MORE

Anthropology Ph.D. candidate Kerri Brown receives prestigious Fulbright-Hays grant


Originally Posted: Nov. 12, 2015

SMU anthropology Ph.D. candidate Kerri Brown recently received a Fulbright-Hays international education fellowship to support 18 months of research in Brazil. Brown leaves for Rio de Janeiro in January to continue work on her dissertation about public policy related to traditional medicinal plants in Brazil.

In Brazil, home to nearly one-fourth of the world’s plant species, many groups within the country have long relied on medicinal plants for basic health care. Pharmaceutical companies also use South American plants to create medications such as quinine for malaria and beta blockers for cardiovascular disease. But local groups’ knowledge of the natural world and pharmaceutical companies’ desire to better understand and export untapped resources has created a conflict resulting in international regulation, Brown says.

“I am interested in how international policy affects various communities’ uses of medicinal plants,” Brown says. “The regulation of medicinal plants is often a point of conversation for larger issues in Latin America, such as deforestation, biopiracy and the rights of marginalized people.”

Brown first became interested in Brazil as an undergraduate at the University of Texas in Austin. A psychology and anthropology major, she studied abroad in Rio de Janeiro and volunteered at Criola, an organization that seeks to empower Afro-Brazilian girls and women to become agents of change. At Criola she became interested in women’s access to health care and use of traditional medicine.

As part of her fellowship, Brown will spend nine months in Rio de Janeiro and then travel to Oriximiná, a small town in the Amazon, to continue her research.

“The Fulbright-Hays fellowship will give me so much flexibility,” Brown says. “It will enable me to travel, attend regional conferences and meet with other researchers in Brazil.”

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded $4.4 million in Fulbright-Hays grants aimed at increasing understanding between the United States and the rest of the world. Brown is one of 86 scholars nationwide to receive funding through the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad project.

Event: Nov. 12, Noah’s Ark – Figuring Climate Change

SMU News

Originally Posted: Nov. 10, 2015

Professor Jeffrey Jerome Cohen of George Washington University, who specializes in medieval studies, ecotheory, posthumanism and the history of monsters, will speak on “Noah’s Ark — Figuring Climate Change” at SMU on Thursday, Nov. 12.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be at 6 p.m. in Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium. It is part of the Gilbert Lecture Series.

Most medieval illustrations of Noah depict him serenely floating in his ark, surrounded by his family and a harmonious menagerie. What would happen if we stopped using the Flood as our unspoken cognitive frame for global warming – or at least if we stopped playing the role of Noah, if we abandoned the hope of salvaging a small community in an ark built against more complicated, more collective, more livable futures? What if we thought with more sympathy about what is lost when we assume the world must drown? This talk traces some alternative traditions about Noah and his ark, medieval and modern, attempting to use them to rethink the future during a time of climate change.

Cohen’s work ranges over medieval literature, cultural studies, digital humanities, posthumanist theory, and the environmental humanities. In addition to his traditional scholarship, Prof. Cohen manages a strong online presence on Twitter and on his group blog In the Middle, which features academic work in progress as well as reflections on higher education. He is also a key member of The BABEL Working Group, a co-disciplinary, global collective for scholars, researchers, and artists inside and outside the academy who are interested in the relationship between “medieval” and “modern.” READ MORE

A Secret Apartment in Dallas Hall?

Inside Dedman College

Originally Published: November 5, 2015

Dallas Hall is home to more than just the famous university seal, classrooms, and offices. Unbeknownst to most of the student body, Dallas Hall is also home to several secret spaces, including a hidden time capsule and a spiral staircase nestled in the building’s walls that leads from the first floor up to the attic. The most talked about “secret” feature, though, is an apartment, hidden away in the very top of the building. Most pass by its unmarked door every day, unaware that anything of historical importance is on the other side. From the balcony directly off the apartment’s single bedroom is one of the best views of the SMU campus and downtown Dallas. In fact, on a clear day one can see nearly twenty miles all the way to AT&T Stadium in Arlington where the Dallas Cowboys play. READ MORE