SMU Alumnus Matt Alexander discusses the college lessons that launched his entrepreneurial career
Lecture will kick start Dedman College Alumni Connection Series
Originally Posted: October 6, 2015
DALLAS (SMU) – The SMU Dedman College Alumni Connection Series of lectures will launch its 2015-16 series in mid-October when alumnus and entrepreneur Matt Alexander ’10 takes the stage at Vester Hughes Auditorium in SMU’s Caruth Hall.
Alexander will discuss how the lessons he learned at SMU about innovation, English, computer science and fashion prepared him for his entrepreneurial career.
In 2013, Alexander founded his first online company, Need, as a “curated shopping” site aimed at young men with disposable incomes. In February, Alexander launched his second site, Foremost, which sells informal, Dallas-made clothing for men and women in their 20s.
The lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15. The event is free and open to the public. READ MORE
Wednesday, October 21st
11:00am- Noon and 3:00 pm- 4:00 pm in the Department Lobby, 3rd Floor Hyer Hall
Drop into a causal spring enrollment event to meet Faculty members (including three new faculty members), learn about course offerings for Spring 2016 and pick up a snack! Have questions about the major or classes? Our Undergraduate Advisor Professor DeArman will be there to answer your questions. Interested in Sociology, but not sure if adding a second major or a minor is feasible? Come talk to our Advisor and learn how many students have loved their second major.
Annika Rieger receives a 2015 engaged learning research grant for her research project, “Students, Sustainability, and Schooling: Undergraduate Perspectives on Campus Initiatives.” In this project Annika will be exploring how participating in coursework on the Taos campus leads to changes in environmental attitudes and behaviors among undergraduate students. Debra Branch, senior lecturer in Sociology, is her faculty mentor.
Andrew Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Professor and director of American Studies at Columbia University, and has been distinguished for his work in humanities studies. His book “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be” was written up in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Delbanco is a visiting professor that delivered a speech Thursday, Sept.24, in Dedman Life Sciences Building.
He took the classroom, that evening, filled with students and teachers of all ages through the increasingly important question, “What is College for?”
Delbanco shares his historic approach on whether college is a lousy investment or not to a fully packed room, with some standing in the back. In this world of grade inflation and timeliness is college an “expensive dating service for pampered students?”
Grace Hogan is a 24-year-old SMU graduate and teacher at Uplift Heights Preparatory who works with low-income students. Hogan came with her foundations course on the history of higher education. “My students find themselves in a lot of these situations,” she says of the increasingly hostile environment in which kids justify to their parents the need for an education that may leave them in debt.
Delbanco argues for all sides, the institutions-most of which are public and underfunded, as well as the teachers and students. His style of taking concepts apart and arguing for their necessity in education at every level is an effort to cheat death, “to transmit to younger people what we have learned.” READ MORE
DALLAS (SMU) – On the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies announced it has formed a strategic academic partnership with the Latino Center for Leadership Development (Latino CLD). The new Latino CLD-SMU Tower Center Policy Institute will identify and implement policy-focused solutions to the Latino community’s most pressing concerns, from educational and economic opportunities, to voting rights and immigration reform, to the under-representation of Latinos in elected and appointed roles at the federal, state and local levels, as well as corporate boards.
As part of this unique partnership, the Latino CLD will provide SMU’s Tower Center with $900,000 over five years. The funding will allow the new policy institute to attract and engage scholars and thought leaders in an interdisciplinary think-tank, creating a framework to analyze and develop policy priorities, provide public forums and outreach, and support greater understanding and influence for the Latino community.
“America is in the midst of a fundamental, Latino-driven demographic shift,” said Latino CLD founder and SMU alumnus Jorge Baldor ’93, citing Pew Research Center reports that Latinos will represent about 30 percent of the U.S. population by 2060. “With the growing number of Latinos comes a reciprocal responsibility to lead,” he said, adding, “Latino CLD is focused on developing the next generation of those leaders.” (For additional relevant data, see accompanying “Key Research Findings Underscore Need for Forward-Thinking Policy Planning Work.”)
“I’m pleased the Latino Center for Leadership Development and SMU are joining forces for a premier Latino policy institute. The research it produces will be an asset for policy makers, allowing for in-depth analysis and creation of policies that will improve the lives of people across Texas and throughout the nation.”
– Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings
The Latino CLD-SMU Tower Center Policy Institute will work in three major areas:
Provide influential voices and data to support research on policy issues
Offer two-year appointments for postdoctoral scholars who will research and publish their findings on public policy issues
Provide research grants and public seminars to promote stronger community understanding and dialogue about key societal issues
The relationship between the new SMU policy institute and Latino CLD also will allow promising leaders, such as those within the Latino CLD’s new Leadership Academy, “to develop as individuals and hone network skills necessary to assume positions of influence” while focused on policy and politics to help people from all spectrums of society, Baldor said.
“The Latino CLD-SMU Tower Center Policy Institute will provide an excellent opportunity to combine our expertise to focus on contemporary policy matters of major interest to this country’s diverse, growing Latino community,” said Joshua Rovner, director of studies at the Tower Center in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities
“As a hub for social-scientific issues, we will play a major role in cutting through the cacophony of numbers related to the Latino community, letting us take big issues and quickly drill down to ideas for thoughtful solutions and policy implementation,”
The announcement of the new policy institute follows on the heels of the Tower Center’s Sept. 8 launch of its new Texas-Mexico Program during Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s historic visit to Mexico.
“SMU is becoming a major presence in Latino-focused research and education,” said Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College. “It’s also a propitious moment to bring new expertise and scholarship to bear both nationally and locally,” he said, noting that the Dallas-Fort Worth region, with 7 million people, is the nation’s fourth-largest population center, and growing rapidly.
“Looking ahead, the success of this institute will allow SMU and the Latino CLD to contribute vital public policy research while based in DFW — a U.S. political and economic center of gravity with strong global connections,” DiPiero said.
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.
Latino CLD is a privately funded foundation with a vision of developing future leaders with an understanding of Latino-focused policies and actionable items for solutions resulting from such partnerships as the Latino CLD–SMU Tower Center Policy Institute.
The three pillars of Latino CLD involve the annual Leadership Academy, which brings together national future leaders; a policy institute; and ongoing strategic initiatives to address critical current topics, including KeepHB1403.com, which led bi-partisan efforts to preserve in-state tuition at Texas universities for all of the state’s residents.
Bryson DeChambeau is a physics major with a unique approach to golf, and a set of irons all cut to the same length.
There is also the Ben Hogan-style cap the SMU senior wears when he plays, and the rare distinction that added him to a group of elite golfers: Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore. READ MORE
Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Amateur in stunning fashion. Here are four things you should know about the talented youngster.
1. Bryson DeChambeau is just the fifth player to win both the U.S. Amateur and the NCAA individual title in the same year.
Jack Nicklaus (’61), Phil Mickelson (’90), Tiger Woods (’96) and Ryan Moore (’04) are the only other players to grab both titles in the same season. The 21-year-old will also make an appearance for Team USA at September’s 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
2. He majors in physics at SMU and applies his studies to his golf game.
According to Golf Channel, DeChambeau gives new meaning to the term student-athlete. He uses a green-reading system called Vector Putting that factors in a variety of stats, like green speed, green slope and the length of the putt; he cuts all of his irons to the same length (a 6-iron) to create a single-plane swing; and he uses a putter with torque balance to keep his stroke square. READ MORE
UNIVERSITY PARK — Education has been crucial in getting SMU golfer Bryson DeChambeau to where he is today, so he was adamant Wednesday that he will eventually get his degree.
When that might happen, however, is a bit of a question after the 21-year-old senior became only the fifth man in history to win the NCAA tournament and the U.S. Amateur in the same year.
“I plan to stay in college and complete my degree,” DeChambeau said. “Whether I get it done this year, I’m not 100 percent sure.”
DeChambeau said he could finish up his major in the first semester and then fill in with online courses, but he said he will think long and hard before he eventually commits to turning pro. Next up is the Walker Cup, Sept. 12-13 in England. If he doesn’t turn pro, he will receive invitations to next year’s Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and U.S. Amateur. READ MORE
DALLAS (SMU) — When SMU creative writing director David Haynes started planning this summer’s Kimbilio Literary Retreat, a weeklong excursion to SMU-in-Taos for African American fiction writers, he knew he’d need a helping hand.
Where to look? He quickly made up his mind to recruit help from his spring intermediate fiction writing class.
“Haynes offered me a work-study position because he needed help with the Kimbilio website and their social media platforms,” says 20-year-old interdisciplinary studies junior River Ribas. “I said, ‘I’m young. I can help you with that.’”
Ribas didn’t realize it then, but the job description would include a lot more than social media duty by the summer’s end. READ MORE
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — SMU senior Bryson DeChambeau advanced to the U.S. Amateur final, putting him a victory away from becoming the fifth player to win the tournament and NCAA individual title in the same year.
DeChambeau, from Clovis, California, beat Southern California sophomore Sean Crocker 4 and 3 in the semifinals Saturday at Olympia Fields. He will face Virginia junior Derek Bard of New Hartford, New York, in the 36-hole final Sunday. Bard topped Japan’s Kenta Konishi 3 and 2.
“It’ll be a fun battle,” DeChambeau said. “If I can stay in the moment, I’ll be all right.”
Jack Nicklaus (1961), Phil Mickelson (1990), Tiger Woods (1996) and Ryan Moore (2004) are the only players to sweep the NCAA and Amateur titles in a season. READ MORE