Travel to Budapest, Hungary

2177_001Event date: October 19, 2014

Event time: 1:00 p.m.

Event Contact: Sherry Aikman

Location: Dallas Hall/ Basement Lounge

Event Description: Travel with the Embrey Human Rights Program to Holocaust Hungary. Find out all about the trip at an Information Session this Sunday!

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School of the Americas Watch


2175_001Event date: October 23, 2014

Event time: 5:00 p.m.

Event Contact: Roberto Corona

Event Description: Travel with the Embrey Human Rights Program to protest the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia on November 21-23, 2014. Attend information session to find out all about the trip and to sign up! Meeting in 109 Clements Hall. READ MORE

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Beyond the Walls – Giving Voice to Life Experiences


Event date: October 18, 2014

Event time: 6:15 p.m.

Event Contact: Sherry Aikman, 8-8347

Event Description: Tells the stories, through community murals, of important issues faced by communities in the West Bank, Northern Ireland, Liberia, El Salvador, Argentina, Australia and the Unitied States. Screening at the Dallas VideoFest – Angelika Theater. READ MORE

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SMU to honor global & local human rights champs at ‘Triumph of the Spirit’ awards event Nov. 12


DALLAS (SMU) — Peruvian champion of indigenous women’s rights Eliana Elias and innovative global-minded local educator Bhavani Parpia will be honored at SMU Nov. 12 as the first two recipients of Embrey Human Rights Program Triumph of the Spirit Awards. The awards carry a combined $30,000 in funding for the recipients made possible by an anonymous supporter of SMU’s undergraduate human rights program. READ MORE

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Social Studies Revised

THINK, KERA. Originally posted: October 6, 2014

Texas is considering new social studies textbooks for public school students for the first time since 2002. This hour, we’ll talk about questions that have arisen about how they teach culture and religion with a pair of SMU professors who testified about the books before the State Board of Education – Kathleen Wellman of the history department and David Brockman, who teaches religious studies. LISTEN

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Engaged Learning Fall Symposium, Oct. 24

Engaged Learning Fall Symposium
Location: HT Forum
Date: Fri, Oct 24
Time: 9 am – 2 pm
contact person: Susan Kress

Come hear the 5 minute student presentations of Engaged Learning Fellows, Caswell Undergraduate Leadership Fellows, Maguire Fellows, McNair Scholars, SRA Fellows and University Honor Program Richter Fellows who are finishing projects in research, service, creative and internship programs during Family Weekend at the Engaged Learning Symposium. Breakfast will be provided. The full line up of projects can be found on the event website:

An open house is to follow at 2-4 pm in Clements Lower Level.

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Undergraduate research is growing at SMU

The Daily Campus: Originally posted on September 18, 2014


Undergraduate research is growing in universities across the country. At SMU, more than 150 undergrads are conducting research on campus.

“What that vies them is a step up to get into grad school or to get that next job,” said Susan Kress, director of Engaged Learning.

Junior Christina Lollar works in a chemistry lab in Dedman Science. She believes her research has helped her learn in the classroom.

“I can’t think about research without thinking about the theory and I can’t think bout the theory without thinking about research now,” Lollar said. “They’re very intertwined worlds, which is great.”

And research is not just limited to the sciences, as some would believe.

“I’m a very storm believer in the notion that research is really across all disciplines,” said Robert Kehoe, director of Undergraduate Research.

Senior Abby Marchessault visited Bali, in Indoesia, to learn how the culture teaches dance.

“Probably one of the things I enjoyed most about it was the whole process of learning something and learning that there even was something to learn that I didn’t know,” Marchessault said.

With over 20 programs available to undergraduates, students have a wealth of research opportunities in any field they may choose.

“There’s not just one good program,” Kehoe said. “At other schools, they’re just like ‘the program.’ I think that students have a lot of opportunities that you wouldn’t have at a lot of other schools.”

To learn about all the research happening on campus, visit the SMU research blog.


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SMU STEMPREP student helps deliver niece at highway rest stop

The following is from the Sept. 30, 2014, edition of The (Wilmington) News Journal. Kennedy Smith has spent the last two summers at SMU as one of 100 seventh and eighth grade students participating in the STEMPREP program.

October 7, 2014

By Terri Sanginiti
The News Journal

WILMINGTON, Del. — Little Karter Zoe Marcus couldn’t wait to get to the hospital.

The baby girl made her dramatic entrance to the world in the front seat of her grandmother’s Lexus about 7:30 a.m. Sunday as her grandmother, Kellie Ann Smith, was barreling up I-95 near Newark toward Christiana Hospital with mother-to-be Kelsey Marcus.

The baby, weighing in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce, was far from impatient. She was actually due on Sept. 20, but wasn’t ready to come out, Smith said.

“We were scheduled to bring her into the hospital at 9 p.m. to be induced,” she said.

But Marcus, 21, woke up early Sunday in a lot of pain. Then her water broke.

“We were able to get her in the car and got her down 896 when Kelsey said she felt the baby’s head coming out,” Smith said. “We weren’t sure if it was the baby, or if she was just scared.”

As Smith entered northbound I-95 from Del. 896, Kelsey told her that she was trying not to push, “‘but I have to,'” Smith said.

Marcus was in the frontseat and her younger sister Kennedy was in the backseat coaching Marcus and calming Smith as she drove.

“Everyone was going crazy, so someone had to stay calm and keep everything together,” Kennedy said. “Ten minutes after my sister’s water broke, the baby came.”

Kellie Smith said Kennedy called 911 and they pulled over into the Delaware Welcome Center on I-95. By that time, the baby was fully delivered.

“Once the head came out, Kelsey pulled the rest of the baby out,” Smith said.

Dispatchers at the 911 center walked Kennedy through the next process of tying off the baby’s umbilical cord and wiping the baby’s mouth.

Fortunately, Kelsey had brought her hospital bag and her sister grabbed the necessary items.

Kennedy used her own shoelace and did as she was told by dispatchers to go 6 inches down and tie it off, Smith said. In the event she wasn’t wearing shoes with laces, Kennedy said she was prepared to use the string from her hooded sweatshirt.

After the hectic childbirth, the two sisters talked to the new arrival and cuddled her.

County paramedics then arrived, assessed the infant and mother, and took them to Christiana Hospital, agency spokesman Sgt. Michael McColley said.

“We don’t know what we would have done if Kennedy wasn’t in the car keeping us calm,” Smith said. “It was scary.”

Kennedy Smith, 14, who attends Appoquinimink High School, was nominated for homecoming queen the night before, then slept on the floor in Marcus’s room after her sister said she wasn’t feeling well.

“It’s all just settling in,” Smith said of her younger daughter. “She’s a little exhausted … she did a lot of work.”

Kennedy, an honor student, has plans to enter the medical field. This summer, she studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is scheduled to study next summer at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I’m very protective of my niece,” Kennedy said. “The baby has the cutest chubby cheeks and a full head of hair.” READ MORE

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Faith Nibbs, resettlement experiences of Hmong refugees in Texas and Germany

The process of integrating immigrant newcomers, particularly refugees, is complex and involves many possible approaches. Integration, as perceived and driven by national agendas, may not be felt or experienced in the same way by refugees. The concept of belonging offers a way to think about how those who are displaced understand being “in the right place,” “members,” or “fitting in” to new social spaces as well as their interactions with new, diverse groups of people. From this lens we can consider if refugee belonging is more successful in a major city where resettlement agencies and refugees themselves have access to more resources and opportunities or in a village where face-to-face relationships predominate. Is integration more effective in contexts that offer more hands-on assistance or in those that are more laissez faire? A case study of two little-known resettled Hmong populations that originated from the same refugee group 30 years ago offers insight into these questions. The resettled Hmong originally came from the hills of Laos near the Plain of Jars where a clandestine conflict against communist forces took place during the Vietnam War. The Laotian Hmong were shuffled into Thai refugee camps with up to 140,000 other Hmong and Vietnamese and were eventually split and in 1979 resettled to communities with markedly different approaches to welcoming them—Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, in the United States, and Gammertingen, in Germany. This article, drawn from the book Belonging: The Social Dynamics of Fitting In as Experienced by Hmong Refugees in Germany and Texas, explores the integration of these particular Laotian Hmong refugee groups, and what it means to belong in the United States and Germany. READ MORE

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Associate Professor of History & Director of the Center for Presidential History on Secret Service Changes

(CNN) — Some people are wondering about the capability of the Secret Service after it was revealed that Omar Gonzalez, the fence jumper who breached White House security two weeks ago, made it much farther into the house than previously reported, running through the first floor before he was apprehended outside the Green Room.

The details of Gonzalez’s intrusion, coupled with a new report on Tuesday that an armed security contractor was allowed to get into an elevator with the President on a recent trip to the Centers for Disease Control, plus a report that it took the Secret Service four days to learn that seven bullets had hit the White House’s residence area in 2011 and a string of other blunders in recent years (such as a couple crashing a state dinner and a prostitution scandal in Colombia), have put the Secret Service under a harsh light.
The problems plaguing the Secret Service go beyond PR embarrassments, and changes seem inevitable. But despite the cries of reform, significant alterations to the way the agency functions will be difficult and ultimately may not even be known to the public.

A change at the top

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson’s future is uncertain. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama has confidence in Pierson, whom he appointed in 2013. But the fervor surrounding this incident doesn’t bode well for Pierson, the agency’s first female director.

“When you lie, and when you obfuscate and when you cover up, especially in the 21st century, that’s an offense you can’t walk back from,” said Jeffrey Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University and a Secret Service expert. “That’s really the kiss of death for any leader.” READ MORE

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