Tower Center for Political Studies, Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center name new executive director, Luisa Del Rosal

SMU News

Originally Posted: August 10, 2016

Luisa-Del-RosalThe Tower Center for Political Studies and the recently announced Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center found a new executive director in a familiar face at SMU – Luisa Del Rosal, currently the director of strategy and international affairs with the Cox School of Business’ Latino Leadership Initiative.

“The centers will help shape important regional and national conversations on topics such as education, trade and energy – topics that impact our communities every day,” Del Rosal says. “As research policy centers, they’ll be places not of rhetoric, but of facts and idea sharing. The unique missions of each will influence policy questions and carry out the critical goals of engaging and mentoring the students who will become our next generation of leaders.”

Del Rosal will assume her new leadership role at the helm of the two centers on Aug. 10.

“I am honored to return to the Tower Center for Political Studies as its executive director and to serve as the founding executive director of the newly established Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center,” Del Rosal says. “Leading these centers enables me to contribute to the regional, national and global reach of SMU.”

In this new position, Del Rosal will have strategic and operational responsibility for both centers, including staff oversight, programming strategy and execution, board coordination and ensuring all activities are aligned with the centers’ missions.

“Luisa will add a great deal to the knowledge base of those two centers,” says Thomas DiPiero, Dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “She has tremendous international experience, she’s worked a great deal with people in public policy and in Mexico, and she has the diplomaticskill setthat will allow the two centers to thrive under her leadership.”

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.

Announced earlier this year, the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center is an action-oriented, research policy center looking to understand and explore the dynamic political, cultural, economic and business relationship between Texas and Mexico. The center focuses on the following key areas of research and policy: border issues, energy, human capital and education, immigration and trade.

“Luisa del Rosal is a leader in higher education with the ideal background and combination of skills to build the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center,” says Jim Hollifield, director of the Tower Center. “An SMU graduate and dual national, Luisa has a deep and intuitive understanding of the vital relationship between Texas and Mexico in all of its dimensions and complexities. We are delighted that she has returned to the Tower Center and Dedman College to assume this critical leadership role.”

Prior to working for the Cox School, Luisa was director of programs and external relations for the Tower Center. READ MORE

Three Dedman College faculty members present at conference on history of conflict

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: August 11, 2016

Texas, United States and global perspectives on conflict will be the topics of the second annual New History at Old Red Conference for teachers Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Old Red Museum in Dallas.

“The topic of conflict is extremely relevant in today’s intense geopolitical climate,” says Brooke Creek, education and programs director at the Old Red Museum. “Understanding how the past dealt with unprecedented issues impacting our society allows us to focus on creating a better future. This conference will provide educators with an interesting and factual foundation from noted scholars to structure their lesson plans in the classroom.”

Cohosting the conference are SMU, the Texas Historical Commission and Humanities Texas with additional support from Dallas Independent School District’s Region 10 Education Service Center.

Conference participants can choose to hear three of six speakers presenting during the morning session, and a catered lunch will be provided to all participants. The afternoon breakout sessions will provide teachers with lesson plans, materials and strategies to help them make history come alive for students at all grade levels. Participating organizations include the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the El Paso Holocaust Museum and the Museum of South Texas History. Teachers attending both sessions may earn 6 Continuing Professional Education Credits.

history

Topics and speakers include:

The First American Civil War
Edward Countryman
University Distinguished Professor, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, SMU.

Myth, Memory and Monument: Rethinking the Texas Revolution
Sam Haynes
Director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and Professor of History at University of Texas at Arlington.

The Other Texas Revolution: A Forgotten Borderlands Revolt in the Early Twentieth Century
Benjamin Johnson
Assistant Professor in History at Loyola University Chicago.

Overcoming Apartheid
Jilly E. Kelly
Assistant Professor of African history and South African history, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, SMU.

First World War and the Making of the Modern Middle East
Sabri Ates
Associate Professor of History (modern Middle East), Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, SMU.

Home Away from Home: American Women and Military Entertainment
Kara Dixon Vuic
Associate Professor and Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in 20th Century America, TCU.

Conference participants also will have access to the Old Red Museum’s temporary exhibit, Dallas on the Home Front, which examines the everyday lives of women and men on the home front during World War II. The exhibit runs through September 30, 2016.

Registration, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch, parking, materials and access to the exhibit area, is $25 and can be made a http://www.oldred.org/. For additional information, call Brooke Creek at 214-757-1927 orbrookec@oldred.org.

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The mission of the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture is to inspire and educate people with the rich cultural, economic, political and social history of the Dallas County area, showcasing the main cultures that, together, have formed the Dallas of today.  The museum, located at 100 S. Houston in downtown Dallas, is housed in the historic red sandstone Dallas County Courthouse.

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.

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

SMU students earn fellowships to conduct research during summer of 2016

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: August 10, 2016

For five SMU students, the summer of 2016 wasn’t a walk on the beach. It was an international research adventure instead.

Benjamin Chi, Abigail Hawthorne, Sara Jendrusch, Katherine Logsdon and Yasaman Sahba traveled far and wide this summer conducting research on topics ranging from diabetes in China to performance anxiety among musicians thanks to prestigious Richter Research Fellowships earned through SMU’s University Honors Program. In conducting their research, they joined fellow students Preksha Chowdhary and Anthony Jeffries, who embarked on their projects earlier this year as SMU’s 2016 Richter Research Fellows.

SMU is one of only 12 universities that offer the competitive fellowships, which are supported by the Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Funds. To qualify for a Richter grant, a student needs to be an honors student in good standing.

“My research this summer has been a life-changing experience for me,” says Richter fellow Hawthorne.   “Mental health – and opinions of self-worth often so closely connected to professional artists’ careers – is rarely discussed, and I am hoping my research will help to change some of the negative stigmas associated with experiences of anxiety.”

Details about each student’s project can be viewed below:

Benjamin Chi in Harbin, China

“Diabetes among Rural Immigrants moving to Chinese Cities”

During the summer of 2016 Chi traveled to Harbin, China, to conduct original research on diabetes in China, where it is reaching epidemic proportions. The problem appears especially acute among the migrant populations who have moved in great numbers from the country’s rural villages to its largest cities, such as Harbin. Mentored by a medical professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chi observed patients at a medical clinic and conducted interviews and surveys in a search for causes of the spread of diabetes. With this original research Chi had the chance to contribute significantly to the study of diabetes and its potential causes.

Abigail Hawthorne in Durango, Colorado

“Performance Anxiety among Classical Music Players”

Abigail traveled to a summer music festival to interview classical music performers and gauge their level of performance anxiety. Combining her double majors of music and psychology, this project allowed her to investigate an issue that she herself has often struggled with. In addition to the qualitative interviews, Abigail also distributed a set of written questions so she could develop preliminary quantitative data as well. With the mentoring of her professor in the Psychology Department, Abigail intends to seek publication for the final results of this study.

Sara Jendrusch in London,

Prostitution in the United Kingdom & the United States: A Comparative Study”

Sara traveled to London to further her research into prostitution in modern society. Having pursued the American half of her comparative study here in Dallas, Sara volunteered in a handful of British shelters that assist women and men seeking to leave prostitution. She also conducted informal interviews with current prostitutes as well. Her research project asked the question: What is the life of a prostitute like today in these two countries? Are conditions better or worse than in past historical periods? And how has an increase in human trafficking world-wide impacted prostitution?

Katherine Logsdon in Amsterdam, Netherlands

“Pain in Childbirth: Exploring Pain Management Techniques and Perceptions of Childbirth Pains in Dutch Women”

Katherine traveled to Amsterdam this summer for her second trip studying the Dutch society where almost 50 percent of children are still born at home using traditional childbirth techniques. Despite its status as a highly industrialized and western society, the Netherlands has chosen not to turn to the modern methods used in the United States and other industrialized societies, where the vast majority of births are performed in hospitals. Katherine’s work contrasts the pain management techniques used in more traditional midwife practices with those employed in American hospitals. Her field work included shadowing four Dutch midwives as well as conducting numerous interviews with their patients. Katherine has now been at work on this project for three years and the final product will serve as her Honors or Distinction thesis in her health and society major. Katherine also is working with her faculty mentor, Professor Carolyn Smith-Morris, to submit an article for publication in a scholarly journal.

Yasaman Sahba in Llojlla Grande, Bolivia

“Rural Electrification in Bolivia”

Yasaman traveled to the small village of Llojlla Grande in Bolivia, where the country’s government and international NGOs are involved in a project to establish dependable and affordable electrical service. Bolivia is a rich area for this work, as it is currently sponsoring a number of such efforts throughout the country, mostly in rural areas. Yasaman will not only work as a volunteer on this project, but will observe and record her own notes on the relative success of the project – or lack thereof – for the local population.   

Anthony Jeffries in Washington, D.C.

“A Tragedy of Timing: An Examination of the Chief Justiceship of Roger Brooke Taney”

Pursuing an Honors or Distinction thesis in History, Anthony used his Richter Fellowship funding to travel to the Library of Congress, and the National Archives to research the decisions of Chief Justice Roger Taney – author of the now-infamous Dred Scott Decision of 1854 – that helped push the United States toward the Civil War six years later. Preliminary work and secondary source readings have led Anthony to the conclusion that Taney is not simply the notorious figure we remember him as today, but was rather a victim of his time. Anthony concluded few justices could have weathered the difficulties Taney faced.

Preksha Chowdhary in Rajasthan, India

“Information and Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence”

Preksha worked with Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, to put together generic care packets for abused women in an Indian city. Then, working within two local shelters for victims of domestic violence, Preksha interviewed a series of women who found themselves forced to leave their families to seek safety from abuse. The primary focus of the research is to determine how and when a woman decides that violence can no longer be endured. With an eye toward possible preventative strategies in the future, Preksha gathered as much pertinent information on these vulnerable women as possible. READ MORE

Cal Jillson, Political Science, President Obama’s trashing of Donald Trump is unique for the modern era

Christian Science Monitor

Originally Posted: August 6, 2016

The 2016 presidential campaign has broken the mold in so many ways. Start with the first woman major-party nominee in Hillary Clinton and practically everything about Donald Trump’s candidacy. Now, add President Obama’s role as an attack dog.

At the Democratic National Convention last week, Mr. Obama launched a withering attack on the Republican nominee, accusing Trump of selling the American people short, cozying up to autocrats, and offering no solutions. In his choicest dig – a warning about “homegrown demagogues” – Obama alluded to the billionaire-turned-politician, but didn’t mention Trump by name.

This week, Obama became even more pointed. “I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” he said flat out on Tuesday. Two days later, Obama warned the candidates that “if they want to be president, they got to start acting like president.” He used the plural “they,” but everyone knew who he was talking about. READ MORE

Six Dedman College faculty members recommended for tenure and promotion

Congratulations to the faculty members who are newly tenured or have been promoted to full professorships to begin the 2016-17 academic year.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Full Professor:

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

For the full SMU faculty list READ MORE

What Conventions Tell Us About Trump, Clinton and the Parties

The Arizona Republic

Originally Posted: July 31, 2016

The following is from the July 31, 2016,edition of The Arizona Republic. Jeffrey Engel, director of SMU’s Center for Presidential History, provided expertise for this story.

PHILADELPHIA — It was hard to miss the dramatic contrasts between the Democrats’ and Republican’s national conventions.

The four-day spectacles, which offer an opportunity for the presidential nominees and their parties to present their best face as the general-election battle begins, seemed to be held in different Americas.

One, a foreboding place besieged by terrorism and violence. The other, a nation with struggles but where people of different backgrounds can overcome problems by working together.

Either group, it seemed, might not recognize the picture of the United States that the other portrayed.

The candidates’ nomination speeches distilled these contrasts. Hillary Clinton, the first woman ever nominated by a major U.S. party, spoke of unity and reached out to all Americans, even those who won’t vote for her, with a positive tone. Donald Trump at times painted a grim portrait of the United States as a nation facing immediate threats from illegal immigration, terrorism and attacks on law enforcement.

These differences — and the internal tensions that erupted at times into booing and chants throughout both conventions — provide insight into the state of the presidential race, as well as the future of the two parties. READ MORE

Anthropology professor David J. Meltzer profiled in the latest issue of Mammoth Trumpet

Mammoth Trumpet

Originally Posted: August 2016

SMU anthropology professor David J. Meltzer has been profiled in the latest issue of Mammoth Trumpet published by the center for the Study of First Americans at Texas A & M. Congratulations!

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