News

Dedman College 2016 Election Experts

SMU NEWS

Need insightful perspectives and accurate interpretations of all things election relation? See Dedman College experts below:

POLITICS

Jeffrey A. Engel

Jeffrey A. Engel, Director of the Center for Presidential History
He is an award-winning American history scholar and an expert on the U.S. presidency and American diplomatic history. He has authored or edited six books, including Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War

Cal-Jillson-lg

Cal Jillson, Professor of Political Science
One of the nation’s foremost political experts, he regularly provides journalists thoughtful insight on Texas and U.S. politics. He is the author of the political classic Pursuing the American Dream, as well as Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy and American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change

Joshua-Rovner

Joshua Rovner, Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics & National Security Policy
He writes extensively on strategy and security. His recent book, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence, is a wide-ranging study about how leaders use and misuse intelligence. His research interests also include international relations theory, nuclear weapons, grand strategy, and U.S. defense policy.

Matthew-Wilson-lg

Matthew Wilson, Associate Professor of Political Science
He specializes in religion and politics, as well as public opinion, elections and political psychology.

ECONOMY and UNEMPLOYMENT

Tom-Fomby-lg

Tom Fomby, Professor of Economics
He can discuss the Texas economy vs. the rest of the nation, what the unemployment rate means for Texas and political promises about the economy.

IMMIGRATION

Pia-Orrenius

Pia Orrenius, Fellow at SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies
A senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, her research focuses on the border region and the causes and consequences of Mexico–U.S. migration, illegal immigration, and U.S. immigration policy. She is the author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization.

READ MORE

Global ranking places SMU among top 15 percent of universities worldwide

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: July 19, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) — The Center for World University Rankings once again this year placed SMU among the top 15 percent of 1,000 universities ranked worldwide.

SMU ranked No. 142 overall and No. 27 in the alumni employment category, which is assessed by the number of alumni who have held CEO positions since 2011 at the world’s top 2,000 public companies that are listed on the Forbes Global 2000 list.

The Center for World University Rankings, which ranked SMU No. 142 last year as well, analyzes the world’s top 1,000 universities (from 25,000 worldwide) based on eight factors, including quality of education, alumni employment and quality of faculty, related to the size of the school.

In addition to the strength of its alumni employment ranking, other key factors reflected positively on SMU including its quality of education, measured by the number of alumni who have won major international awards, and the quality of its faculty, which was determined also by the number of major international awards received. Faculty also were measured by publications, influence, citations, broad impact and patents. FULL RANKINGS

David Meltzer, Anthropology, mammoth mystery solved

Smithsonian Magazine

Originally Posted: August 3, 2016

Until recently, Alaska’s St. Paul Island was home to a mystery of mammoth proportions. Today the largest animals living on this 42-square mile speck of earth are a few reindeer, but once, St. Paul was woolly mammoth territory. For more than 4,000 years after the mainland mammoths of Asia and North American were wiped out by environmental change and human hunting, this barren turf served as one of the species’ last holdouts.

Only one group of mammoths lived longer than those of St. Paul: the mammoths of Wrangel Island, a 2,900-square mile island located in the Arctic Ocean, which managed to survive until about 4,000 years ago. In this case, scientists suspect we played a hand in the tenacious beasts’ demise. Archaeological evidence suggests that human hunters helped pushed already vulnerable populations over the edge.

But the mammoths of St. Paul never encountered humans, meaning they were shielded from one of the main destructive forces that likely killed their kin. So how did they meet their final end some 5,600 years ago?

Scientists finally think they have the answer. This week, an interdisciplinary team of researchers reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the mammoths essentially died of thirst. Using mammoth remains and radiocarbon dating, researchers found that dwindling freshwater due to climate change caused populations to dry up. Their results—which also show that the St. Paul mammoths persisted for longer than originally thought, until about 5,600 years ago—pinpoints a specific mechanism that may threaten other coastal and island populations facing climate change today.

Scientists had known previously that climate change must have played a role in the St. Paul mammoth extinction, but they had few clues as to the specifics. “This is an excellent piece of research, well-evidenced and well-argued,” says David Meltzer, an archaeologist at Southern Methodist University who was not involved in the study. “It’s just the sort of species- and region-specific work that needs to be done to fully understand the causes of extinction for this and other animals in the past.” READ MORE

Joe Kobylka, Political Science, participated as a distinguished scholar in a history conference for public school teachers in Houston

Your Houston News

Originally Posted: August 3, 2016

Two Spring ISD teachers were selected to attend “America from Jefferson to Jackson,” a professional development institute sponsored by Humanities Texas and the University of Houston.

Robert Mallory, who teaches U.S. History at Dekaney High School, and Crystal Parliament, who teachers U.S. History at Bailey Middle School, were among of 54 Texas public school teachers invited to attend the Houston institute, which took place from June 6-9.

The program consisted of three days of dynamic presentations and small-group seminars, studying central topics in early American history, including the development of political parties; Thomas Jefferson’s, James Madison’s, and Andrew Jackson’s presidencies; the Marshall court; slavery; the American economy in the 1820s and 1830s; the Monroe Doctrine; the displacement of Native Americans and the rise of sectionalism.

Daniel Walker Howe, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian emeritus of the University of California, Los Angeles, delivered the institute’s keynote presentation on economic issues of the 1820s.

Other faculty included Denver Brunsman of George Washington University; Jesus de la Teja of Texas State University; Daniel Feller of the University of Tennessee; Todd Kerstetter of Texas Christian University; Angela Pully Hudson of Texas A&M University; Joseph F. Kobylka of Southern Methodist University; Nikki Taylor of Texas Southern University; Jennifer Weber of the University of Kansas and Jeremy Bailey, Matthew Clavin, and Eric Walther of the University of Houston.

“I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of life in the early nineteenth century through the office of the President. The valuable information I gained will be passed to my students and colleagues,” said Parliament.

Mallory stated that he will “use the information learned at the institute to go past just the TEKS” with his students, which will “help them have a true understanding of history.”

“Humanities Texas was pleased to cosponsor ‘America from Jefferson to Jackson,’” said Executive Director Michael L. Gillette. “Giving talented teachers the opportunity to interact with their peers and leading scholars will enable them to engage students with exciting new perspectives on our nation’s history.”

“America from Jefferson to Jackson” was made possible with support from the State of Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Howe’s lecture was supported by a generous grant from the Pulitzer Centennial Campfire Initiatives.

Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.

For more information about Humanities Texas, visit www.humanitiestexas.org. For information about the University of Houston, visit www.uh.edu.

Tower Center for Political Studies, Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center name new executive director, Luisa Del Rosal

SMU News

Originally Posted: August 10, 2016

Luisa-Del-RosalThe Tower Center for Political Studies and the recently announced Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center found a new executive director in a familiar face at SMU – Luisa Del Rosal, currently the director of strategy and international affairs with the Cox School of Business’ Latino Leadership Initiative.

“The centers will help shape important regional and national conversations on topics such as education, trade and energy – topics that impact our communities every day,” Del Rosal says. “As research policy centers, they’ll be places not of rhetoric, but of facts and idea sharing. The unique missions of each will influence policy questions and carry out the critical goals of engaging and mentoring the students who will become our next generation of leaders.”

Del Rosal will assume her new leadership role at the helm of the two centers on Aug. 10.

“I am honored to return to the Tower Center for Political Studies as its executive director and to serve as the founding executive director of the newly established Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center,” Del Rosal says. “Leading these centers enables me to contribute to the regional, national and global reach of SMU.”

In this new position, Del Rosal will have strategic and operational responsibility for both centers, including staff oversight, programming strategy and execution, board coordination and ensuring all activities are aligned with the centers’ missions.

“Luisa will add a great deal to the knowledge base of those two centers,” says Thomas DiPiero, Dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “She has tremendous international experience, she’s worked a great deal with people in public policy and in Mexico, and she has the diplomaticskill setthat will allow the two centers to thrive under her leadership.”

The primary mission of the Tower Center is to promote the study of politics and international affairs and to stimulate an interest in ethical public service among undergraduates.

Announced earlier this year, the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center is an action-oriented, research policy center looking to understand and explore the dynamic political, cultural, economic and business relationship between Texas and Mexico. The center focuses on the following key areas of research and policy: border issues, energy, human capital and education, immigration and trade.

“Luisa del Rosal is a leader in higher education with the ideal background and combination of skills to build the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center,” says Jim Hollifield, director of the Tower Center. “An SMU graduate and dual national, Luisa has a deep and intuitive understanding of the vital relationship between Texas and Mexico in all of its dimensions and complexities. We are delighted that she has returned to the Tower Center and Dedman College to assume this critical leadership role.”

Prior to working for the Cox School, Luisa was director of programs and external relations for the Tower Center. READ MORE

Three Dedman College faculty members present at conference on history of conflict

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: August 11, 2016

Texas, United States and global perspectives on conflict will be the topics of the second annual New History at Old Red Conference for teachers Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Old Red Museum in Dallas.

“The topic of conflict is extremely relevant in today’s intense geopolitical climate,” says Brooke Creek, education and programs director at the Old Red Museum. “Understanding how the past dealt with unprecedented issues impacting our society allows us to focus on creating a better future. This conference will provide educators with an interesting and factual foundation from noted scholars to structure their lesson plans in the classroom.”

Cohosting the conference are SMU, the Texas Historical Commission and Humanities Texas with additional support from Dallas Independent School District’s Region 10 Education Service Center.

Conference participants can choose to hear three of six speakers presenting during the morning session, and a catered lunch will be provided to all participants. The afternoon breakout sessions will provide teachers with lesson plans, materials and strategies to help them make history come alive for students at all grade levels. Participating organizations include the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the El Paso Holocaust Museum and the Museum of South Texas History. Teachers attending both sessions may earn 6 Continuing Professional Education Credits.

history

Topics and speakers include:

The First American Civil War
Edward Countryman
University Distinguished Professor, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, SMU.

Myth, Memory and Monument: Rethinking the Texas Revolution
Sam Haynes
Director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and Professor of History at University of Texas at Arlington.

The Other Texas Revolution: A Forgotten Borderlands Revolt in the Early Twentieth Century
Benjamin Johnson
Assistant Professor in History at Loyola University Chicago.

Overcoming Apartheid
Jilly E. Kelly
Assistant Professor of African history and South African history, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, SMU.

First World War and the Making of the Modern Middle East
Sabri Ates
Associate Professor of History (modern Middle East), Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, SMU.

Home Away from Home: American Women and Military Entertainment
Kara Dixon Vuic
Associate Professor and Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in 20th Century America, TCU.

Conference participants also will have access to the Old Red Museum’s temporary exhibit, Dallas on the Home Front, which examines the everyday lives of women and men on the home front during World War II. The exhibit runs through September 30, 2016.

Registration, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch, parking, materials and access to the exhibit area, is $25 and can be made a http://www.oldred.org/. For additional information, call Brooke Creek at 214-757-1927 orbrookec@oldred.org.

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The mission of the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture is to inspire and educate people with the rich cultural, economic, political and social history of the Dallas County area, showcasing the main cultures that, together, have formed the Dallas of today.  The museum, located at 100 S. Houston in downtown Dallas, is housed in the historic red sandstone Dallas County Courthouse.

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

‘My Passion, My Philanthropy:’ Lauren Embrey on Giving Bold and ‘Now’

Lauren Embrey

Photo credit: Ginny Martin

By: Lauren Embrey

DALLAS (WOMENSENEWS)—“There is no such thing as a lesser person.” That is the motto of the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University, and something I innately knew from birth.When I was young, I wanted to drive a moped, but was told I couldn’t “because I was a girl.” I did not understand this. When I was a few years older, I was asked to train for the Olympics in swimming, but my mother’s response was, “Why would you want green hair and big shoulders?” I didn’t understand that either.

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

Human Rights, Rwanda (Summer 2016)

SMU Adventures

robyn-600x400A 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

SMU students earn fellowships to conduct research during summer of 2016

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: August 10, 2016

For five SMU students, the summer of 2016 wasn’t a walk on the beach. It was an international research adventure instead.

Benjamin Chi, Abigail Hawthorne, Sara Jendrusch, Katherine Logsdon and Yasaman Sahba traveled far and wide this summer conducting research on topics ranging from diabetes in China to performance anxiety among musicians thanks to prestigious Richter Research Fellowships earned through SMU’s University Honors Program. In conducting their research, they joined fellow students Preksha Chowdhary and Anthony Jeffries, who embarked on their projects earlier this year as SMU’s 2016 Richter Research Fellows.

SMU is one of only 12 universities that offer the competitive fellowships, which are supported by the Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Funds. To qualify for a Richter grant, a student needs to be an honors student in good standing.

“My research this summer has been a life-changing experience for me,” says Richter fellow Hawthorne.   “Mental health – and opinions of self-worth often so closely connected to professional artists’ careers – is rarely discussed, and I am hoping my research will help to change some of the negative stigmas associated with experiences of anxiety.”

Details about each student’s project can be viewed below:

Benjamin Chi in Harbin, China

“Diabetes among Rural Immigrants moving to Chinese Cities”

During the summer of 2016 Chi traveled to Harbin, China, to conduct original research on diabetes in China, where it is reaching epidemic proportions. The problem appears especially acute among the migrant populations who have moved in great numbers from the country’s rural villages to its largest cities, such as Harbin. Mentored by a medical professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chi observed patients at a medical clinic and conducted interviews and surveys in a search for causes of the spread of diabetes. With this original research Chi had the chance to contribute significantly to the study of diabetes and its potential causes.

Abigail Hawthorne in Durango, Colorado

“Performance Anxiety among Classical Music Players”

Abigail traveled to a summer music festival to interview classical music performers and gauge their level of performance anxiety. Combining her double majors of music and psychology, this project allowed her to investigate an issue that she herself has often struggled with. In addition to the qualitative interviews, Abigail also distributed a set of written questions so she could develop preliminary quantitative data as well. With the mentoring of her professor in the Psychology Department, Abigail intends to seek publication for the final results of this study.

Sara Jendrusch in London,

Prostitution in the United Kingdom & the United States: A Comparative Study”

Sara traveled to London to further her research into prostitution in modern society. Having pursued the American half of her comparative study here in Dallas, Sara volunteered in a handful of British shelters that assist women and men seeking to leave prostitution. She also conducted informal interviews with current prostitutes as well. Her research project asked the question: What is the life of a prostitute like today in these two countries? Are conditions better or worse than in past historical periods? And how has an increase in human trafficking world-wide impacted prostitution?

Katherine Logsdon in Amsterdam, Netherlands

“Pain in Childbirth: Exploring Pain Management Techniques and Perceptions of Childbirth Pains in Dutch Women”

Katherine traveled to Amsterdam this summer for her second trip studying the Dutch society where almost 50 percent of children are still born at home using traditional childbirth techniques. Despite its status as a highly industrialized and western society, the Netherlands has chosen not to turn to the modern methods used in the United States and other industrialized societies, where the vast majority of births are performed in hospitals. Katherine’s work contrasts the pain management techniques used in more traditional midwife practices with those employed in American hospitals. Her field work included shadowing four Dutch midwives as well as conducting numerous interviews with their patients. Katherine has now been at work on this project for three years and the final product will serve as her Honors or Distinction thesis in her health and society major. Katherine also is working with her faculty mentor, Professor Carolyn Smith-Morris, to submit an article for publication in a scholarly journal.

Yasaman Sahba in Llojlla Grande, Bolivia

“Rural Electrification in Bolivia”

Yasaman traveled to the small village of Llojlla Grande in Bolivia, where the country’s government and international NGOs are involved in a project to establish dependable and affordable electrical service. Bolivia is a rich area for this work, as it is currently sponsoring a number of such efforts throughout the country, mostly in rural areas. Yasaman will not only work as a volunteer on this project, but will observe and record her own notes on the relative success of the project – or lack thereof – for the local population.   

Anthony Jeffries in Washington, D.C.

“A Tragedy of Timing: An Examination of the Chief Justiceship of Roger Brooke Taney”

Pursuing an Honors or Distinction thesis in History, Anthony used his Richter Fellowship funding to travel to the Library of Congress, and the National Archives to research the decisions of Chief Justice Roger Taney – author of the now-infamous Dred Scott Decision of 1854 – that helped push the United States toward the Civil War six years later. Preliminary work and secondary source readings have led Anthony to the conclusion that Taney is not simply the notorious figure we remember him as today, but was rather a victim of his time. Anthony concluded few justices could have weathered the difficulties Taney faced.

Preksha Chowdhary in Rajasthan, India

“Information and Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence”

Preksha worked with Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, to put together generic care packets for abused women in an Indian city. Then, working within two local shelters for victims of domestic violence, Preksha interviewed a series of women who found themselves forced to leave their families to seek safety from abuse. The primary focus of the research is to determine how and when a woman decides that violence can no longer be endured. With an eye toward possible preventative strategies in the future, Preksha gathered as much pertinent information on these vulnerable women as possible. READ MORE