Dedman College Alumna and Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe on Shifting the Dating World and Never Quitting

LEVO

Originally Posted: July 16, 2015

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Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe has always called the shots. An entrepreneur since she was quite young (she had three companies before she graduated from Southern Methodist University), she was always “eager to start, to create, to do” and definitely be her own boss.

And that she has certainly done. One of the original founders of Tinder, Wolfe ventured out on her own last year to create a more intuitive dating app that put women’s needs (and steamy wants) first. And, no, for all the skeptics out there, she didn’t simply try to recreate Tinder for the ladies. In fact, the 26-year-old originally wanted to create a positive social platform for adolescent girls, but the idea of a women-centric dating app kept nagging at her. READ MORE

Fred Wendorf, Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory Emeritus, archaeology career spanned six decades

Midland Reporter Telegram

Originally Posted: July 15, 2015

Excavator of “Midland Man” site dies at age 90

DALLAS — Noted archaeologist Fred Wendorf — who excavated the so-called “Midland Man” site and who is credited with discoveries in Africa and the American Southwest — died in Dallas Wednesday following a long illness. He was 90.

Wendorf’s career as a field archaeologist spanned six decades and he spent four decades on the faculty of Southern Methodist University. He retired in 2003 as the Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory Emeritus, according to a press release from SMU.

Wendorf was born July 31, 1924, in Terrell, and as a teenager developed an interest in archaeology while roaming the fields of Kaufman County in search of Native American artifacts. He earned a bachelor of arts in anthropology in 1948 from the University of Arizona and a doctorate from Harvard University in 1953. READ MORE

Department of English Alumnus, Matt Alexander, featured in D Magazine

D MAGAZINE

JUNE 2015

Made in Dallas
Fifty years ago, we were the nation’s third-largest garment center. Today, a new generation of entrepreneurs is putting those old sewing machines back to work.

BY DICK REAVIS

Stubble-bearded, self-confident Matt Alexander, a 27-year-old Brit born of a Galveston mother, is on his way to becoming a titan of industry—or else he’s gathering material for a novel about failures in the start-up economy. After graduating with an English degree from SMU in 2010, he for a while held a communications job at Southwest Airlines. Then he founded a business consultancy before he took up daydreaming in the WELD co-op work space. Today he operates a company whose material assets consist of a few Apple laptops. The firm does, however, operate two websites that claim more than 250,000 registered users, and in May it attracted a $300,000 investment from several founders of CIC Partners, the private equity firm co-founded by Mayor Mike Rawlings. READ MORE

NFL player and SMU alum, Kelvin Beachum visits campus over Father’s Day weekend

Kelvin Beachum shared his secrets for success as a college student with a group of SMU alumni, staff, faculty and community members last Friday evening at a reception hosted by Lori and Jon Altschuler. The new father returned to campus to kick off Father’s Day weekend and share his journey from Dedman College student to the NFL. He advised all students, and student athletes in particular to stretch and go beyond their comfort zones by getting involved with leadership opportunities on campus. Prayer, planning, position and “paying it forward” all hold special importance to this dynamic offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The crowd of Beachum fans enjoyed the one-on-one time with Kelvin and the chance to ask about his experiences both at SMU and in the NFL. Click here for recent media coverage on Kelvin Beachum.

Jon Altschuler ’94, Dedman College Executive Board member Lori Altschuler ’92 (hosts of the reception)
Kelvin Beachum with Jon Altschuler ’94, Dedman College Executive Board member
and Lori Altschuler ’92 (hosts of the reception)
Lori White, Vice President for Student Affairs Tony Tillman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention for SMU
Tony Tillman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention for SMU, Kelvin Beachum and Lori White, Vice President for Student Affairs
KBeachumgroup
Group photo with Kelvin Beachum

 

 

 

Alumnus, Asad Rahman, Muslims say recent events should not overshadow diversity in North Texas

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: May 8, 2015

For some North Texas Muslims, Sunday’s attack on Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center was yet another moment to brace against anti-Muslim sentiment expressed either online or in hateful personal encounters.

“My first reaction was ‘Crap. Here we go again,’” said Carole Sturm, 50, of Arlington, who converted to Islam in college.

But among the more than 150,000 Muslims who live in the area, many say such encounters are not a part of daily life.

“My experience has been that in Texas, we are incredibly diverse and that diversity is for the most part either celebrated or just very much accepted,” said Amir Omar, 43, a former Richardson City Council member who may have been the state’s first Muslim elected official in 2009. READ MORE

SMU Magazine: Dedman College Alumnus Leandre Johns ’02 Talks Uber Career And Detours Along The Way

By: Patricia Ward

Originally Posted: May 4, 2015
Dedman Alumni Leandre Johns ConversationA passion for innovation drives Leandre Johns ’02, general manager of Uber Technologies for North and West Texas. Johns returned to the Hilltop to discuss his trajectory from SMU student to tech executive in a conversation with Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, April 28.

Johns, a native of Garland, Texas, was a Hunt Leadership Scholar and active in the campus community while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SMU. He encouraged students in the audience at Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible while they are undergraduates.

“Test yourself. Make the most of it. Get involved,” he said. Learning to deal with so many different personalities in a variety of situations as a student “made me a more dynamic person.”

While at SMU, he thought he had his future mapped out. During an SMU Abroad semester in Copenhagen, he was involved in children’s cancer research, which shaped the next phase of his education. He graduated from SMU determined to help cure cancer and pursued a master’s degree in public health at the University of Chicago. As a graduate student, he interned for UnitedHealthcare, then spent three years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago as a healthcare and financial consultant. READ MORE

Markets and Culture & Sociology Gathering for Students and Alumni

When: Tuesday, March 3rd, 5:00-6:30
Where: Dallas Hall, Room 115

Markets and Culture and Sociology alumni from various career paths will share their insight and perspectives on the job search and how they have been able to leverage their SMU academic and extracurricular experience in their careers. Come as you are and connect with people who were once in your shoes and are eager to be a resource and support to you.

Dedman College alum Craig Pearson is Texas’ first state seismologist

Texas Tribune

Posted: Feb. 6, 2015

For State’s Seismologist, Quakes Will Be the Easy Part
by Jim Malewitz

David Craig Pearson remembers the first time he felt the earth tremble beneath his feet. Mother Nature wasn’t to blame. The U.S. military was.

Pearson stood on the White Sands Missile Range, a sprawling base in south-central New Mexico, on that day some three decades ago. Federal Department of Defense workers fired off a weapons test. Pearson, then a wide-eyed doctoral student, recorded the earthquake it triggered.

“Since then, I was hooked,” he said in an interview. READ MORE

Dedman College alumna Brittany Merrill Underwood talks about the Akola Project, a nonprofit she founded

Dallas Business Journal

Originally Posted: December 18, 2014

Brittany Merrill Underwood was working at a boarding school in Uganda one summer when she met Sarah.

Sarah was raising 24 children she had taken in off the street. She was using all of her savings to spare the children from a poor Ugandan orphanage. Underwood said the story touched her in a way that she will never forget.
Months later, Underwood broke her hip while studying abroad. While she was on bed rest, she couldn’t get her mind off Sarah. When Underwood recovered, she decided to find a way to help Sarah and her family. Watch Video

Underwood has a B.A. degree from SMU with a major in journalism and a minor in political science. Read More about Brittany Merrill Underwood

 

Gartner Lecture Series: NoViolet Bulawayo, Sept. 15

EVENT: Sept. 15. 5pm. Umphrey Lee Center, Mack Ballroom

Gartner Lecture Series: NoViolet Bulawayo. SMU alumni and author of this year’s common reading book, We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo (Elizabeth Tshele, M.A. ’07), will discuss her remarkable coming-of-age story and share her experience of leaving her home country of Zimbabwe to pursue the American dream. For more information.