Sophomore Diana Cates delivered a heartfelt speech about her road to SMU and desire to serve. She was featured during SMU’s Campaign Finale and Founders’ Day Weekend Celebration.
Originally Posted: April 20, 2016
SMU Aluma in Ecuador and SMU police officer dad grateful for far-reaching support after quake
DALLAS (SMU) – Everything Lisa Walters learned from earning recent SMU degrees in human rights and Spanish is being put to the ultimate test in Ecuador. She was about to board a plane back to her home in the South American country Saturday, April 16, when she learned Ecuador had been struck by a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
Lisa, the daughter of SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters, moved to Ecuador a week after her May 2014 graduation and now works as a team leader for the educational nonprofit group Global Citizen Year (GCY), a program that provides study abroad opportunities for young men and women in their “gap” or “bridge” year between high school and college. She was changing planes in Houston, on her way back to Quito after escorting a group of GCY students to California, when she learned the quake had killed hundreds, injured thousands, and left some 40,000 people searching for shelter, food and family members.
At the time, her usually unruffled police officer father was, “to be honest, frantic,” he says.
Since he and his daughter are close, they communicate almost daily by email or via the international–calling WhatsApp service. Chief Walters worried about her heading to Quito, which had closed its airport to allow in only flights carrying relief supplies.
After the duo connected during Lisa’s delay in Houston, she checked in as “safe” on Facebook –
much to the relief of her 687 friends on the social media network and her Ecuadorean husband of less than three months. Meanwhile, countless people were contacting Chief Walters to inquire about his and Lisa’s wellbeing.
“It was a pretty amazing feeling to hear from so many people, especially at SMU, who showed just how much they care about us,” he says. “It was heartwarming to say the least.”
As Lisa and her father connected with family members and friends during a multi-hour delay in Houston, her flight was finally cleared to return to Quito. But once there, she would spend nearly another full day trying to get a seat on a bus to take her to her home, three hours away in the Imbabura province that borders hard-hit Esmeraldes. READ MORE
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
Renata Eguez had a chapter entitled “Writing the Riverbanks in El libro flotante de Caytran Dolphin, by Leonardo Valencia” accepted for publication in the edited volume Written in the Water: The Image of the River in Latino/American Literature. The editors, Elizabeth Rivero and Jeanie Murphy, are looking for publishing options.
She also had a paper entitled “Ecuador visto por Rolf Blomberg: recuperaciones del archivo y la mirada en El secreto de la luz (2014)” accepted for presentation at the forthcoming Latin American Studies Association in New York in May.
Lourdes Molina had a paper entitled “Abilio Estévez’s Palaces of the Past: Havana in the Special Period” accepted for presentation at the NorthEast Modern Language Association Conference in Hartford Connecticut in March.
Dayna Oscherwitz had an article entitled “From Bab el Oued City to Timbuktu: Flipping the Script on Global Jihad” accepted for publication in a special issue of Studies in French Cinema on Terrorism in North African Cinema. The article and issue will be published in October 2016.
She also had a paper entitled “Overturned Equality: Migration, Globalization and the African Immigrant Film” accepted for presentation at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in April in Atlanta.
Originally Posted: December 18, 2015
Eleven SMU faculty members have received 2015-16 Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund of the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Five of the recipients are Dedman College faculty.
The Fellowships, funded by income from a portion of Taylor’s estate, award up to $2,000 for full-time faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas. Any full-time faculty member is eligible to apply for the Fellowships, which support research, “advancing the intellectual, social or religious life of Texas and the nation.”
Applications are evaluated on the significance of the project, clarity of the proposal, professional development of the applicant, value of the project to the community or nation and the project’s sensitivity to value questions confronting higher education and society.
The winning Dedman College professors for this academic year, and their projects:
• Karisa Cloward, Political Science, Dedman College, for field research on NGOs in Kenya
• Karen Lupo, Anthropology, Dedman College, to collect sediment cores in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a study of the central African rainforest
• Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Anthropology, Dedman College, for travel to Japan for a study on food safety after Fukushima
• Hervé Tchumkam, World Languages and Literatures (French and Francophone Studies), Dedman College, for travel to research Cameroonian deaths and disappearances
• Roberto Vega, Physics, Dedman College, to support collaborative research on high-energy physics
Books published in 2015 by the SMU community, including faculty, staff, alumni, libraries and museum, can complete your holiday gift list.
Need to satisfy a history buff? This list has it covered in genres from art to film to science to the Southwest. Find selections for readers of poetry, as well as personal, political and travel memoir. There’s a cookbook for foodies. A photography collection showcases the American West. Arty crime capers are filled with mystery and intrigue to the end. There’s even a literary riff in the form of a card game based on a classic novel.
This collection has something for all reading preferences, from light to serious. Some selections are available at the SMU bookstore, but all are available via online booksellers unless otherwise noted. Authors are listed alphabetically. READ MORE