News

Brita Andercheck’s teaching assignment top 10 resource among Sociologists

Originally Posted: February 1, 2016

Sociology visiting professor Brita Andercheck‘s teaching resource, Education and Conflict Perspective: A College Admissions Committee Activity is among the top 10 most downloaded teaching resources of 2015.

The resource can be found in the TRAILS database on the American Sociological Association (ASA) website.

Angela Ards, English, releases new book, Words of Witness: Black Women’s Autobiography in the Post-Brown

Originally Posted: February 1, 2016

Ards

WORDS OF WITNESS by Angela Ards, an Associate Professor of English at SMU, explores how black women writers craft life stories to engage and shape our politics. In it, she argues that these autobiographers offer counter-memories to official, and often nostalgic, understandings of the civil rights and Black Power movements; in pushing against past visions of black struggle, they reveal the needs and concerns of the present. Written to show the role of culture in movement-building, WORDS OF WITNESS charts new political ethics to guide our organizing now that it is movement time once more. READ MORE

Greg Brownderville, English, The People Making Us a Well-Read City

Dallas Innovates

Originally Posted: January 29, 2016

The Dallas literary renaissance is upon us—and it has arrived quickly.

“There was a huge gap here even just two and a half years ago,” says Will Evans, founder of Deep Vellum Publishing. “It’s happened really fast that Dallas has started to feel like a literary city.”

Evans attributes the growing literary scene to the independent book stores that have sprouted up around the Dallas area. The Wild Detectives, which opened in early 2014 and is run by Javier Garcia del Moral and Paco Vique, is a coffee-booze-book stop in Bishop Arts. Evans’s Deep Vellum, a publishing house known for its international translations, is gearing up to open its own store, Deep Vellum Books. There’s also Serj Books, which vends coffee, local food, and a small but lovely selection of handpicked books.

“Where do you go to see people who are into the same stuff as you, if you’re into writing—which is a solitary activity—or reading—which is also a solitary activity? Now you have book stores, and suddenly Dallas feels more literary,” Evans says. “When the Wild Detectives opened, Dallas went from nothing on the literary map to being a place—it gave us a sense of place, purpose, and community.”

Evans stresses that the stock of these small book shops—indie books, translated titles, works written by local authors or printed by local publishers—is different from that of a place like Half Price Books, known for its massive flagship store and rows upon rows of marked-down bestsellers.

“I really appreciate, as an author, that Wild Detectives goes out of its way to feature local authors,” says Greg Brownderville, SMU associate professor, poet, and published author of two books, Gust and Deep Down in the Delta. “When I walk into Wild Detectives, often they’ll have one of my books prominently displayed. Local authors really appreciate that.”READ MORE

NYU Press Announces Dr. Anne Lincoln’s new book

NYU PRESS

Originally Posted: January 28, 2016

Failing Families, Failing Science
Work-Family Conflict in Academic Science

Work life in academia might sound like a dream: summers off, year-long sabbaticals, the opportunity to switch between classroom teaching and research. Yet, when it comes to the sciences, life at the top U.S. research universities is hardly idyllic. Based on surveys of over 2,000 junior and senior scientists, both male and female, as well as in-depth interviews, Failing Families, Failing Science examines how the rigors of a career in academic science makes it especially difficult to balance family and work.

Ecklund and Lincoln paint a nuanced picture that illuminates how gender, individual choices, and university and science infrastructures all play a role in shaping science careers, and how science careers, in turn, shape family life. They argue that both men and women face difficulties, though differently, in managing career and family. While women are hit harder by the pressures of elite academic science, the institution of science—and academic science, in particular—is not accommodating, possibly not even compatible, for either women or men who want to raise families. Perhaps most importantly, their research reveals that early career academic scientists struggle considerably with balancing their work and family lives. This struggle may prevent these young scientists from pursuing positions at top research universities—or further pursuing academic science at all— a circumstance that comes at great cost to our national science infrastructure. In an era when advanced scientific research and education is more important than ever, Failing Families, Failing Science presents a compelling inside look at the world of the university scientists who make it possible—and what universities and national science bodies can do to make a difference in their lives. READ MORE

Dedman College professors weigh in on Trump and the final GOP debate

SMU News

Originally Posted: January 28, 2016

Below is an excerpt from an SMU news release:
Trump’s biggest gamble yet? 
GOP frontrunner backs out of final debate before Iowa, N.H. votes

SMU experts are available for interview on all things debatable in connection with tonight’s prime time matchup GOP contest, the final debate before Republicans cast their votes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Matthew-Wilson-lg

MATTHEW WILSON:

WHEN EVANGELICALS VOTE WITH THEIR WALLETS, TRUMP WINS

214-335-5447, jmwilson@smu.edu

Despite a highly publicized flubbing of a Bible verse at Liberty University on Jan. 18. Trump continues to dominate the polls in Iowa, where evangelical voters are notorious for holding sway, leaving many experts – and rivals – flummoxed that such a traditionally strong voting block has been fractured by the real estate mogul’s camp.

“Anyone who looks at the situation can see Trump is not a profoundly religious person,” Wilson says. “It’s surprising how many evangelical voters seem not to care about that very much when there are committed Christians in the field.”

At one point, Cruz appeared most ready to turn the evangelical vote into a caucus victory, but his one-time lead has evaporated under a barrage of attacks from Trump.

“Part of the reason (Trump’s) been able to reach evangelical voters is a lot of them, when push comes to shove, care more about other issues than religious concerns,” Wilson says. “They care more about immigration positions or anti-terror positions. Not all evangelicals swing that way, but enough for Trump to do OK despite his religious unorthodoxies.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science

    • Can Discuss:

religion and politics
political psychology
voting behavior of religious voters
public opinion and politics

 

Jeffrey-A-Engel

JEFFREY ENGEL:

CRUZ-TRUMP FEUD DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN THE BROMANCE IS OVER

979-450-9437, jaengel@mail.smu.edu

The once-cordial relationship between Cruz and Trump went out the window when Cruz threatened Trump’s lead in Iowa this month, but Engel says the recent animosity between the two doesn’t mean the rivals can’t be friends again in the future.

“We should remember one of the most vicious and heated Republican primaries occurred in 1980 when the two finalists were Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush,” Engel says. “Bush spent a lot of time debunking Regan’s views and even came up with the term, ‘voodoo economics,’ which became the go-to insult for Reaganomics. Despite that, they were able to reconcile at the convention and Bush even served as Reagan’s vice president.”

“The Trump-Cruz rivalry will get a lot uglier before it gets better, but no matter what we see in terms of them tearing each other down for the primary, they could still work together again down the road,” Engel adds.

Engel is director of the SMU Center for Presidential History

          • Can Discuss:

comparison’s to past presidential races
foreign policy
presidential rhetoric

###

Scientific literacy series returns with lecture on 100th anniversary of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

SMU NEWS

DALLAS (SMU) – The Scientific Literacy Series at SMU kicked off last fall with discussions on why learning about science is important and how scientists can better communicate their findings to the public. This spring, the series returns with a lecture commemorating one of the greatest scientific discoveries of modern times: Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

“Without the Theory of General Relativity, GPS devices would be wrong every day by 11 kilometers more than the day before,” says SMU Associate Professor in Physics Stephen Sekula, who will deliver the lecture at 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 4 in the Meadows Museum’s Jones Hall.

“It’s an exciting time today, just as I’m sure it was 100 years ago when the physics of the day failed to explain the world,” Sekula adds. “We’re close to that point again, and that’s exciting.”

Sekula’s lecture is hosted by the Anniversary Series of the Godbey Lectures and the Scientific Literacy Series, which is sponsored by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute (DCII).

“Having Stephen talk about Einstein seemed like a no-brainer, as Einstein is one of the most well-known scientists in the world,” says Caroline Brettell, SMU Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ruth Collins Altshuler Director of the DCII. “People should understand how transformative his theory was at the time he discovered it.”

The event is free and open to the public, though space is limited. RSVP’s are requested at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/godbey-lecture-series-spring-2016-tickets-20759982667. READ MORE

Egypt unveils rare whale fossil museum to boost tourism

Daily Mail

Originally Posted: January 14, 2016

SMU professor Louis Jacobs led a study that discovered dozens of rare “walking whale” fossils in the Sahara desert. “The whales were stranded upriver at a time when east Africa was at sea level and was covered with forest and jungle,” said Jacobs. Now, a $2.17 billion museum has opened onsite to help preserve the rare fossils. READ MORE

Children of Henry L. “Buddy” Gray and Rebecca A. Gray announce planned gift in honor of their parents

SMU News

Originally Posted: January 27, 2016

buddy-gray-135x100

DALLAS (SMU) – A lifelong passion for family, teaching and research was celebrated Jan. 15 when the children of retired SMU faculty member Henry L. “Buddy” Gray and his wife, Rebecca, surprised their parents with a $1.5 million planned gift in their honor.

The gift, made by the Gray’s son, M. Scott Gray ’90, and his partner, Duane Minix, on behalf of all of the Gray’s children, will establish the Henry L. and Rebecca A. Gray Endowed Chair in Statistical Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

“SMU has been my life,” Buddy Gray said at a ceremony in Heroy Hall.

Scott Gray said love for his work defined his father, who frequently exclaimed: “Can you believe we get paid to do this!”

Scott Gray added that Rebecca Gray was an equal partner with his Dad. “Mom gave as much to this institution as Dad.” Scott Gray, who served as student body president while at SMU, maintains fond memories of the University. “When I think of every organization that’s had an impact on my life, SMU is at the top of the list,” he said.

At the ceremony, Robert Gray ’87 read from a letter written by his father to his family 10 years before, which expressed gratitude and appreciation for the support of his wife, Rebecca, and their children while he pursued his professional passion as a mathematical sciences researcher. “Dad was excited about what he was doing every day,” Robert Gray said.

Kelly Gray Doughty thanked her parents and shared several nuggets of advice imparted by her father over the years. Among them: “Practice gratitude every day, because it’s the single most perfect prayer.”

Chair of SMU’s Department of Statistical Sciences Wayne Woodward, a former student of Buddy Gray, praised Gray for his devotion to research and teaching. “As a mentor and role model, I couldn’t have found a better one.”

Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College, thanked the Gray family for their support and service to SMU and Buddy Gray for his contributions to the field of mathematical science, declaring Gray a “true pioneer.”

Buddy Gray worked at SMU from 1973 to 2004 in the Department of Statistical Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics as the C.F. Frensley Professor of Mathematical Sciences from 1973-2004. During that time he also served in several administrative roles, including as dean of Dedman College from 1989-91.

The commitment to fund the Henry L. and Rebecca A. Gray Endowed Chair in Statistical Sciences counts toward SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which concluded on Dec. 31 and raised more than $1 billion to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence, and the campus experience.

“Commitments accomplished through estate and gift planning, such as the bequest intention that will establish this endowment, are vital to our fundraising success,” said Brad Cheves, vice president for development and external affairs. “These planned gifts allow our supporters to plan for their own financial security in a tax effective way, while also providing for their families and the institutions they love.” READ MORE