Welcome to the 2016-17 academic year! Here are a few Fall 2016 dates to remember:
- Opening Convocation and Common Reading discussion: Sunday, Aug. 21
- First day of classes: Monday, Aug. 22
- General Faculty Meeting: Wednesday, Aug. 24
- Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 5 (University offices closed)
- First Faculty Senate Meeting of 2016-17: Wednesday, Sept. 7
- Family Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Sept. 23-24
- Fall Break: Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 10-11
- Homecoming Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 4-5
- Thanksgiving: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 24-25 (University offices closed, no classes on Wednesday, Nov. 23)
- Last day of classes: Monday, Dec. 5
- Reading days: Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 6-7
- Final exams: Thursday-Wednesday, Dec. 8-14 (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
- December Commencement Convocation: Saturday, Dec. 17 (official close of term and date for conferral of degrees)
- Christmas/Winter Break: Friday, Dec. 23, 2016-Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 (University offices closed)
Originally Posted: August 10, 2016
SMU alumnus and photographer Stuart Palley shares his tips on how to create beautiful images once darkness falls. Palley graduated in 2011 with a double major in History and Finance and minors in Human Rights and Photography. Read more
~In our latest How to Photograph series, TIME asked award-winning photographer Stuart Palley to share his tips and tricks to create beautiful night-time imagery.
Palley has mastered the art and technical skills of photographing at night and is known for his compelling and breathtaking photos of wildfires and his magical images of the the night sky. “Ninety percent of it is preparation and 10% of it is the actual execution,” he says.
Watch this TIME video to see which apps Palley uses to plan his shoots, tips on how to work in darkness, what equipment to invest in and how you can play with different light sources to achieve the best results. READ MORE
Photo credit: Ginny Martin
Then at the elite girls’ school I attended in Dallas, my hometown, the message changed. I was taught that I could accomplish anything any man could. I was not to consider myself “lesser” in any regard, and definitely not because of my gender.
That sounded and felt great. I knew I had much potential and I wanted to experience all life had to offer, so I embraced this new message. But as I engaged in the larger world, it seemed, for a while, that the old “you can’t, you’re a girl” messages came roaring back.
When I got married, for instance, I wanted to keep my last name, as many other women across the country were doing at the time. We were all rejecting a custom that linked us back to a time when wives were the possessions of husbands, just like cattle and land.
But I got a lot of pushback. Institutions questioned forms where I both checked the married box but did not have the same last name as my husband. Friends and acquaintances introduced me with my husband’s last name on the presumption I had changed it.
I was living in Texas, which culturally seemed to be denying the realities of the women’s movement. An exception of course was Vivian Castleberry, the first female editor at the Dallas Times Herald and a Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century awardee in 2009, who wrote about domestic violence and gender-based work inequities at a time when this was unheard of. Another exception was Louise Raggio, the first female prosecutor in Dallas County, Texas, who radically changed the property rights for women in the state. But outside of a few champions like them, the 1960s mainstream society of Texas was doing its best to stick to old customs. READ MORE
A 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
Originally Posted: July 25, 2016
The issue of “comfort women” still simmers. To draw attention to it, three Korean cyclists are journeying across the United States, and they just stopped in Dallas.
During World War II, the Japanese military forced about 200,000 women and girls from throughout Asia and other regions into sexual slavery. About 80 percent of these “comfort women” were Korean. Tae Woo Kim, 22, Hyun-Gu Kim, 24, and Han-Kyul Kim, 24, are raising awareness about this tragic chapter in Korean history.
The issue gained widespread publicity in 1991, when Korean ex-comfort women filed a class-action suit against Japan. The Japanese government has since apologized and agreed to pay $8.3 million to a foundation that helps surviving victims in Korea. But the women want more. They want Japan to admit it was a government-sanctioned program — a step it so far has refused to take.
“Only a handful of U.S. citizens know about what happened,” said Tae Woo Kim. “We are meeting with families and sharing information.”
The cyclists, who attend college in Seoul, started their journey in Los Angeles. They will continue to Chicago and Washington, D.C., before ending in New York. It’s going well, they said, but the heat has posed a challenge. READ MORE
Originally Posted: July 26, 2016
Lindsay G. is a rising senior majoring in international studies and human rights. This summer she traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Army ROTC for closer study of the country’s culture and language.
This week began with quarantine in our hotel due to political unrest throughout the country. This was extremely fitting since this next week we were going to be working with the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Day 1 we went to the military school for English language, which aimed to help soldiers in the FARDC learn basic English. At the language school we got the opportunity to meet officers in the FARDC who had been given the opportunity to come to San Antonio to learn English at the Defense Language Institute. These gentlemen (no women were given the opportunity to go) spoke perfect English, and prided themselves on knowing various aspects of American culture that only a native would know. During our time at the English Institute we gave classes in basic Army doctrine in hopes of helping to improve the basic functions of the Congolese military. All of the soldiers of the FARDC were eager to learn about the functions of the U.S. Army, and took great pride in their country when we attempted to teach the class in French, their national language.
The next day we headed to the Logistics School of the FARDC, where soldiers learn basic skills including mechanics, field first aid and cooking. The U.S. Army heads this school, and we were able to meet two U.S. soldiers who had been deployed to the Congo for over a year in the hopes of ensuring this school functions properly. They gave us a tour of the grounds and introduced us to the staff and students of the school. The Congolese general in charge of this school proved to be a complete juxtaposition for how the rest of the country worked. While most of the log school was without power and had little airflow, the Generals quarters had air conditioning, a TV and cold drinks for his guests. This experience was the most eye-opening moment of the whole trip because the power structure of the country was highlighted and made very apparent.
Originally Posted: July 14, 2016
By Denise Gee
DALLAS (SMU) – It had been planned months in advance, but when hundreds of city and county leaders gathered at SMU July 9 for the first “Human Rights Dallas” summit, the city was openly grieving the July 7 murders of five police officers in downtown Dallas after what had been a peaceful protest march. That march was in response to controversial police shootings of two African American men in Louisiana and Minnesota – incidents that had produced anger, anxiety and grief.
In taking “unified steps forward,” Embrey Human Rights Program (EHRP) Director Rick Halperin emphasized his event’s goal would not be “to focus on your work, or my work, but our work – to ensure everyone is afforded human dignity, protection and advocacy of their inherent rights.”
What resonated most for “Human Rights Dallas” participant Toya Walker, a senior-level paralegal for SMU and the Sabre Corporation, “was getting to openly share thoughts on what a human rights culture could look like, and how we, as a diverse group, could make it a reality.”
During larger group discussions and smaller breakout sessions guided by innovative coaching from Journeyman Ink, attendees tackled issues and solutions related to concerns ranging from human trafficking crimes to racial, sexual and religious discrimination.
Leaders from business, law enforcement, education, faith, non-profit and other groups expressed overwhelming support “for an official referendum to establish human rights as a top-level concern for Dallas government leaders,” said EHRP Assistant Director Brad Klein. “We also would like to see a public forum for citizens to regularly address their concerns with people who actually can do something about them.”
Summit participants vowed to continue the dialogue by staying connected via social media outlets and creating educational opportunities that could start with initiatives as small as a neighborhood gatherings for coffee and conversation.
The ultimate question, met with resounding applause, was posed by Tri-Cities NAACP Director Carmelita Pope-Freeman, who summarized the feelings of those at her table: “How can we replace fear with empathy?”
While the timing of the long-planned “Human Rights Dallas” event came on the heels of tragic circumstances, Walker said, “I believe it awakened the soul of Dallas and America to know human rights matter.” Leaving the event motivated and inspired, she added, “I believe we have an opportunity to truly enable the change the world so desperately needs.”
Progress on “Human Rights Dallas” efforts will be shared via future EHRP communications and also at its “Triumph of the Spirit” Awards event Nov. 16 at the Kessler Theater in Dallas. The celebration will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the program at SMU — only the seventh university in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree in human rights and also a master’s level degree in human rights and social justice. READ MORE
For more details about the Embrey Human Rights Program within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, contact email@example.com, 214-768-8347 or visit.
Originally Posted: July 7, 2016
DALLAS (SMU) – Texas may lead the nation in job creation and exported goods, but in human rights rankings, it holds these five dubious distinctions:
- Texas has the largest number of hate groups espousing racist, xenophobic and anti-LGBT sentiments. (Conversely, it’s home to the nation’s largest number of resettled refugees/asylum seekers, mostly from Myanmar, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.)
- Texas ranks second in the nation for human trafficking crime, which is on the rise.
- Texas leads the U.S. in the number of people exonerated by wrongful convictions while
also leading in the number of state-sanctioned executions.
- Texas ranks high in the number of children who die from abuse and neglect – and is the
No. 1 state for hot car-related fatalities involving children and infants.
- Texas is home to the nation’s largest number of people without health insurance.
Alarmed by such statistics, some 300 Dallas-Fort Worth community leaders are expected to gather at SMU Saturday, July 9, for “Human Rights Dallas”– the first-ever summit focused on highlighting and resolving Dallas’ most pressing human rights issues. The summit is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in SMU’s Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom in Umphrey Lee Center, 3300 Dyer St.
“The goal of ‘Human Rights Dallas’ is to create a culture for people in for-profit and non-profit fields to not only get involved in issues they care about, but also to form a coalition dedicated to ensuring all people’s rights are protected,” says Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, the event’s sponsor.
The attendee roster reflects leaders in regional business, faith, health and education organizations as well as groups working to combat human trafficking; prevent racial, religious and sexual-orientation discrimination; strengthen immigration and refugee rights; and tackle the surging numbers of the mass-incarcerated and homeless.
Texas’ large number of hate groups is of particular concern to Mary Pat Higgins, president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.
“Currently there are 84 active hate groups in the state, 56 of which are Neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan groups – 11 of them in North Texas,” Higgins says. “As the country faces this dramatic incline, there’s no better time to come together to promote human rights in our community.”
Paralegal Toya Walker hopes the event accomplishes three goals: “Awareness, education and action to get people motivated, inspired and involved,” says Walker, who provides counsel on compliance/employment issues for SMU and the Sabre Corporation.
The ideal end-result? “Transformation and healing,” says Jill VanGorden, director of education for the Crow Collection of Asian Art.
For more details about “Human Rights Dallas” or the Embrey Human Rights Program in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.