Thinking of Double Majoring?

SMU Meadows School of the Arts

Originally Posted: June 1, 2016

Below is an excerpt from an SMU Meadows School of the Arts news article that highlights six student experts that have majors in Meadows, Dedman College and Cox. READ MORE

5 Tips on How to Double Major
Double majoring is on the rise. Is it right for you?

Students thinking about double majoring want to know: How do students study for two degrees and still have a life? How do they handle it all? At SMU Meadows School of the Arts, over 35 percent of the students double major in combinations such as dance and economics, film and finance, public relations and marketing and more.

Below, six Meadows double majors give straight-up advice on how to succeed at pursuing two degrees at once.

#1: Black Belt Time Management

When you’re in college, there are always more things you want to do than you have time for. To help tame an overloaded schedule or keep procrastination at bay, our double majors’ secret weapon is the planner.

“I keep a physical planner that I am constantly updating and taking notes in,” says Elainy Lopez (B.F.A. Art, B.A. Anthropology ’16). “When the day or week appears to be a full one I make a list and work my way down it as best I can.” For those times when she can’t quite get through the list, Elainy reminds herself to not stress out and instead re-orders her list based on priorities. “When things start to get unbalanced it is usually due to procrastination or poor planning,” she says. “I just get back on track by focusing and starting the work, which is usually the hardest step.”

Even with a champion planner, procrastination can be a siren call. As a performing arts student who is also deep into coding and computer science, Zach Biehl (B.F.A. Dance, B.A. Creative Computing ’17) knows firsthand how the combo of rehearsals, coursework, parties, movie nights and exams can tempt him to put things off. “I’m my own worst enemy in terms of procrastinating because I work well and thrive under pressure, but I would say, yes, buy a planner,” he says. “The semesters I haven’t had a planner have felt much more panicked than those when I’ve had one. With the planner, everything feels much more logical.”

Many double majors also use the “Semester-at-a-Glance” calendar available free of charge from A-LEC, the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center located in the Ford Stadium building on the northeast corner of campus. With the calendar, they can see their entire semester on one page. READ MORE

Anonymous donor establishes Brad E. Cheves Endowed Tower Center Scholars Program fund

SMU News

Originally Posted: June 8, 2016

SMU Vice President Brad Cheves honored with scholars’ fund

DALLAS (SMU) – An anonymous donor has established The Brad E. Cheves Endowed Tower Center Scholars Program fund in honor of the University’s vice president for Development and External Affairs. SMU President R. Gerald Turner surprised Cheves with the announcement at the April 27 meeting of the Tower Center Executive Board of Directors.

The fund will support the Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars – a select group of students who are chosen every year to combine academic studies with experience in the real world of public policy and international affairs. Tower Scholars are enrolled in an exclusive minor in Public Policy and International Affairs, which pairs policy practitioners with SMU faculty to combine critical thinking and analytical skills within a rigorous academic framework.

The application-only minor is open to all majors across the schools, with admission based on a competitive application process. The first cohort of scholars will graduate in 2017. READ MORE

Ryan Cross recently named Presidential Fellow by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress

Wilton Bulletin

Originally Posted: May 31, 2016

Congratulations to Ryan Cross, a Political Science and International Studies double major who was recently named Presidential Fellow by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. READ MORE

Incoming SMU students examine tough questions in their first college reading assignment — Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy

Each year the Common Reading book is selected by the Common Reading Selection Committee. Chaired by David Doyle, Director of SMU’s University Honors Program. READ MORE

SMU News
Originally Posted: May 31, 2016

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Incoming SMU students will examine tough questions about justice, equality and poverty in their first college reading assignment — attorney Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy (Random House, 2014).

Students will read the book as part of the University’s Common Reading Program, an academic initiative that includes small-group discussions about the book before and after classes begin. Community members, alumni, book lovers and book clubs are invited to join SMUReads to take part in other smu.edu/smureads events surrounding the book.

Author Stevenson’s free campus lecture is open to the public at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, at McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane. Preregistration is requested at smu.edu/smureads. READ MORE

“This is a book not as much about apocalypse as it is about our human society, particularly the objects and technology we live with but take for granted on an every-day basis.  Also, the book enables readers to consider how art can create meaning and value in the most constrained of human circumstances.”
-Dr. Harold Stanley, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost ad interim

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

Seven Dedman College students awarded prestigious national fellowships and awards for the 2015-16 academic year

SMU News

Originally Posted: May 17, 2016

Congratulations to the Dedman College students recently awarded prestigious national fellowships and awards for the 2015-16 academic year, including Fulbright Grants and a fellowship to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

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Hena Rafiq, graduated May 14 with degrees in human rights and political science and has earned a Fulbright Award to teach English in Kosovo. READ MORE

scholar-nate-whiteSenior Nate White has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to teach next year in Spain. He is graduating this spring with a Bachelor’s degree in economics, as well as a minor in Spanish, from Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He also is earning a Bachelor’s degree in education from Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

scholar-joseph-DiPaneJunior Joseph Di Pane, a biological sciences and history major, was named a 2016-17 Barry Goldwater Scholar, one of 252 sophomores and junior college students selected nationwide to receive the honor. READ MORE

Junior Patricia Nance, a chemistry and mathematics major, was awarded the 2016-17 Barry Goldwaterscholar-patricia-nance Scholarship. Nance plans to earn a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry and pursue a university teaching and research career. READ MORE

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Senior Nicole Michelle Hartman, a recipient of The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), will graduate with majors in physics and mathematics from Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and a minor in electrical engineering from the Lyle School of Engineering. READ MORE

scholar-margaret-sala

Margaret Sala, doctoral student in clinical psychology, has been awarded a three-year Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. READ MORE

scholar-ryan-crossSophomore Ryan Cross has been named a Presidential Fellow to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington, D.C. Cross is majoring in political science and international studies with minors in Spanish and history. He is a member of the Tower Scholars program, and has been selected for an internship at the Library of Congress as part of the Junior Fellows Summer Internship Program. READ MORE

For a full list of SMU students who received prestigious national fellowships and awards for the 2015-16 academic year, CLICK HERE.

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.

Graduating entrepreneur ready to take Biolum mobile asthma management device to next level

SMU News

Originally Posted: May 12, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Edward Allegra started his SMU journey as a biology major, thinking he wanted to become a physician. But during his sophomore year, when he began attending meetings of the SMU Entrepreneurship Club, everything changed.

Edward Allegra won the first annual Global Student Entrepreneur Award.
Medical school is no longer in the picture, but Allegra will be graduating from SMU May 14 with degrees in biology and economics, already hard at work marketing a mobile health device for asthma diagnosis and management he developed with a team of SMU students. The imaging system can signal the presence and severity of an asthma attack by detecting and quantifying the disease biomarkers in exhaled breath. The BioLum Sciences (Allegra’s company) app allows users to test their symptoms, monitor daily progress, and understand the cause of their asthma. READ MORE