SMU recognizes outstanding achievement at 2015-16 Hilltop Excellence Awards, Honors Convocation

Congratulations to the Dedman College faculty and students who were recognized at the 2016 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 18.

Recipients of the Outstanding Professor Awards presented by the Rotunda yearbook include:

B. Sunday Eiselt, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies, Department of Anthropology
Laurence Winnie, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies, William P. Clements Department of History

Receiving the Extra Mile Awards, presented by Students for New Learning for graciousness and sensitivity to students with learning differences:

Sheri Kunovich, associate professor, Department of Sociology
• Laurie Nuchereno, adjunct lecturer, Department of Economics

For the full list of faculty, staff and student award recipients click here.

 

 

Associate dean for General Education addresses questions about UC-2016

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: April 16, 2016

By: Peter Moore, associate dean, General Education

Let me take a moment to address the issues Noah Bartos raised in his editorial regarding UC-2016.

Noah is rightly concerned about the potential headaches various groups will face regarding two very similar curricula (UC-2012 and UC-2016). We are too. He notes the increase in paperwork. That comes in three forms: 1) course proposals that faculty must write; 2) assessment; and 3) student petitions.

He is right in pointing out that in the near-term faculty will have some additional work to do. A significant portion of that has already been completed this spring and I hope that most of the rest will be finished by December. There is a sense of fatigue, but this is offset to some extent by the improvements he notes in the structure which allow for new opportunities for participation. Regarding assessment, my expectation is that this will actually decrease initially (while eventually returning to the current level).

My biggest concern is with student petitions that will arise through confusion between the two curricula. Noah notes this problem as well regarding the mixture of requirements in the same course. This mixture does not involve Proficiencies and Experiences which are identical in both curricula. We are aware of the problem regarding pillars (UC-2012) and breadth and depth (UC-2016) and will be working to mitigate the headaches that are bound to result.

Noah also raises concerns with the new STEM requirements which he believes have the potential to unduly impact Meadows’ students. With regard to the lab-based portion (PAS under UC-2012) of this requirement the revision in UC-2016 is closer to the original intent of the UC adopted in 2010, that students complete two lab-based courses. The TM requirement, however, should not be an additional burden for most Meadows’ students who will be able to complete it in the major (e.g., Theater Lighting).

Noah notes the advantages from the simplified Second Language requirement which should prove beneficial across all majors. The changes in UC-2016 are designed to lessen the need for double-counting pillar courses by opening up courses in the major.

For example, I expect Cox majors to benefit when ITOM 3306 (a required course for all Cox students) satisfies the TM requirement. In this case the number of UC requirements met in the Cox major will increase from two to three. The modifications introduced in UC-2012 were designed to address high-credit majors and enhance students’ ability to double major. Students should find the same advantages in UC-2016 along with a simplified structure.

Finally he argues that the language of the proposal does not provide an adequate description of content. The descriptions match the information provided in the original UC and are augmented by the Student Learning Outcomes. Together these do provide a good basis for determining what the new breadth and depth requirements are all about.

Nearly two years ago the University Curriculum Council responded to concerns about the original UC and introduced key modifications. Those modifications have helped the class of 2012 to graduate on time. However, the modifications led to some unintended consequences which UC-2016 addresses. We expect that our efforts this time around will be even more beneficial. READ MORE

Professor Kunovich, Sociology, Recognized at Hilltop Excellence Awards Ceremony

Professor Sheri Kunovich received the Extra Mile Award from the Students for New Learning. Students for New Learning is an SMU-chartered student organization for students with ADHD or learning differences. The group meets monthly to provide support, learn tips and strategies, plan fun events, and works to increase campus understanding on the topic of learning differences.

http://blog.smu.edu/forum/2016/04/19/smu-recognizes-outstanding-achievement-at-2015-16-hilltop-excellence-awards-honors-convocation/

Gender Gap in Political Knowledge Persists in Poland, New Research by Sheri L. Kunovich

psroklad

After controlling for political interest, previous voting behavior, and socio-economic controls, women in Poland are found to be less knowledgeable than men about political leaders. However, religious attendance is found to increase women’s political knowledge but not men’s.

READ MORE about Sheri Kunovich

Dedman College students Aubrey Chapman, Carly Shuttlesworth, and Hannah Dudley discuss early graduation

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: March 28, 2016

Aubrey Chapman, a junior double majoring in psychology and religious studies, is looking forward to graduating in May of 2016, a year earlier than her peers. After graduation, Chapman will immediately move on in her studies and get her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at seminary.

Even though Chapman has heard many say that college is the best four years of your life, she has no qualms about missing out on her senior year. She said she has enjoyed her time at SMU.

“Personally, graduating early is allowing me to step into seminary sooner to receive the education that is in complete alignment with what I want to do in the future,” said Chapman. “I’m excited to be in an atmosphere that will strengthen and encourage me in my specific dreams and goals.”

Chapman is one of many students graduating early. Michael Tumeo, the director of institutional research at SMU, said that of the students who started at SMU in 2009, 67 percent graduated in four years or less. That statistic includes students who graduated “on time,” a semester early, or an entire year early. More specific data on those who have graduated in three years or three and a half years was not available.

Completing college a semester early is much more common across the nation and has even become a growing trend at some universities. According to a 2014 study at Duke University, there was a 30 percent increase in students graduating a semester early since 2010. READ MORE

Congratulations to Markets and Culture Alumna Kelly Sayres

MKCL Alumni Update: Kelly Sayres

Kelly Sayres will be pursuing a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in Technology, Innovation, and Education starting Fall 2016. Kelly graduated in 2012 and has been teaching at an impoverished elementary school in rural Central Texas.

Sociology alumna awarded Dedman Law Distinguished Alumni

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In early February, A. Shonn Evans Brown was honored as one of five Dedman Law Distinguished Alumni of 2016. She gives back regularly to SMU by meeting with current sociology undergraduate students as well as serving as a mentor to Dedman law school students. We are honored to have her in our community of active alumni.

Decline in Democratic Oversight in City Budgets, New Research by L. Owen Kirkpatrick

While the wave of urban fiscal distress following the Great Recession resembles local fiscal crises of the past, two factors distinguish the current period. First, city budgets are thoroughly financialized—dominated by speculative and volatile debt arrangements—such that local crisis is now intertwined with financial market instability. Second, local fiscal politics are increasingly removed from democratic oversight and control, hindering the capacity of residents to protect and rebuild their communities. READ MORE: http://pas.sagepub.com/content/44/1/45?etoc

Sociology Students Meet the Steampunk Poet

Students enrolled in Dr. Nancy Campbell’s SOCI 4335: 2016_SOCI4335_SteampunkSocial Movements and Collective Behavior course had the opportunity to meet Steve Sanders, a Steampunk poet. Mr. Sanders provided the class with a rich history and description of the Steampunk community (Steampunk involves 19th Century dress and literature with a Sci-Fi twist) and shared several of his original poems