Dedman College alumnus and Jaguars Tackle, Kelvin Beachum is featured in a new NFL video airing for Hispanic Heritage Month

NFL

Originally Posted: September 16, 2016

Dedman College alumnus and Jaguars Tackle, Kelvin Beachum is featured in a new NFL video airing for Hispanic Heritage Month. Kelvin is doing some excellent work on and off the field. WATCH

http://www.nfl.com/videos/hispanic-heritage-month/0ap3000000702735/Hispanic-Heritage-Month-Kelvin-Beachum

SMU-trained physicist who bolstered Big Bang theory dies at 84

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: August 31, 2016

James Cronin, a Southern Methodist University graduate who shared a Nobel Prize for explaining why the universe survived the Big Bang, died last Thursday in St. Paul, Minn. He was 84.

His death was confirmed by the University of Chicago, where he was a professor emeritus. No cause was given.

In 1964, Cronin and Val Fitch of Princeton University were conducting experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island involving matter and antimatter: particles that have the same mass but hold opposite (though equal) charges, either positive or negative, compelling them to destroy each other on contact.

The researchers found that for all their similarities, the particles obeyed slightly different laws of physics: that there was, as Cronin put it, “a fundamental asymmetry between matter and antimatter.”

This contradicted a bedrock scientific principle known as charge-parity invariance, which had assumed that the same laws of physics would apply if the charges of particles were reversed from positive to negative or vice versa.

The finding, known as the Fitch-Cronin effect, bolstered the Big Bang theory, mainly by explaining why the matter and antimatter produced by the explosion did not annihilate each other, leaving nothing but light instead of a residue that evolved into stars, planets and people.

“We now believe this tiny difference led to us,” Michael S. Turner, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, said last year after Fitch died at 91.

James Watson Cronin was born in Chicago on Sept. 29, 1931. His father, also named James, met Cronin’s mother, the former Dorothy Watson, in a Greek class at Northwestern University. The elder James Cronin became a professor of Latin and Greek at SMU.

Cronin’s infatuation with physics began in high school. He graduated in 1951 from SMU, where he majored in physics and mathematics. He received a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago, where he studied under Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller and Murray Gell-Mann. His thesis was on experimental nuclear physics.

Cronin’s first wife, the former Annette Martin, died in 2005. He is survived by their children, Emily Grothe and Daniel Cronin; his second wife, the former Carol Champlin McDonald; and six grandchildren.

After collaborating with Cronin at Brookhaven, Fitch, the son of a Nebraska rancher, recruited him to Princeton. Cronin was lured back to the University of Chicago in 1971, attracted in part by one of the world’s most powerful particle accelerators, which was being built at what is now known as the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, operated by the university in partnership with a consortium of other educational institutions. He was offered a post teaching physics, astronomy and astrophysics.

Cronin and Fitch were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1980. But Cronin acknowledged that they had not completely solved a riddle of the universe.

“We know that improvements in detector technology and quality of accelerators will permit even more sensitive experiments in the coming decades,” he said at the time. “We are hopeful, then, that at some epoch, perhaps distant, this cryptic message from nature will be deciphered.”

Working with Fitch and using instruments they had devised, Cronin conducted his groundbreaking experiments when he was in his early 30s, less than a decade after he had received his doctorate. Why did it take the Nobel Committee 16 years to recognize their achievement?

“I don’t think that people recognized that this had something to do with one of the most fundamental aspects of nature, with the origin of the universe,” Cronin said in the 2006 book Candid Science VI: More Conversations With Famous Scientists, by Istvan Hargittai and Magdolna Hargittai. “I think that it took a while to realize this.”

He added: “For me, this was actually a good thing. I was much too young at that time to deal with such a thing as the Nobel Prize.” READ MORE

SMU alumnus Tim Seibles named Virginia’s poet laureate

Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Originally Posted: August 23, 2016

Tim Seibles, professor of English at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, was named poet laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia by Governor Terry McAuliffe. Professor Seibles teaches in the master of fine arts in creative writing program at Old Dominion.

Professor Seibles joined the faculty at Old Dominion University in 1995. He was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012 for his collection Fast Animal (Etruscan Press, 2012).

Professor Seibles is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He taught for 10 years in the Dallas public school system before earning a master of fine arts degree in creative writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. READ MORE

James Cronin, Nobel laureate who overturned long-accepted beliefs about the fundamental symmetry of laws of physics , dies at 84

Washington Post

Originally Posted: August 28, 2016

James W. Cronin, who shared the Nobel Prize in physics for discovering a startling breakdown in what was assumed to be the immutable symmetry of physical law, thereby helping to explain the behavior and evolution of the universe as a whole, died Aug. 25 in St. Paul, Minn. He was 84.

Dr. Cronin’s death was announced by the University of Chicago, where he was a professor emeritus of physics as well as of astronomy and astrophysics. No cause was reported.

Through the study of the decay of a single subatomic particle, Dr. Cronin and a colleague, Val Logsdon Fitch of Princeton University, made it possible for inferences to be drawn about the laws of nature on a scale as vast as the entire universe, in all its unfathomable immensity and multibillion-year duration. The two shared the 1980 Nobel Prize.

Scientists had assumed a symmetry between the particles making up matter and what theory described as their oppositely charged counterparts. These counterparts formed what is known as antimatter.

In addition, it had been assumed that the laws of nature were, in the terms of science, “invariant under time reversal.” This meant essentially that physics would be the same whether time flowed forward or backward, a concept as intriguing as it is foreign to experience. READ MORE

Nobel laureate and SMU alumnus James Cronin dies

Physics World

Originally Posted: August 27, 2016

American nuclear-physicist James Cronin, who shared the 1980 Nobel Prize for Physics with Val Fitch, died on 25 August, at the age of 84.

James CroninCronin and Fitch – who died in February last year – were awarded the prize for their 1964 discovery that decaying subatomic particles called K mesons violate a fundamental principle in physics known as “CP symmetry.” The research pointed towards a clear distinction between matter and antimatter, helping to explain the dominance of the former over the latter in our universe today.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on 29 September 1931, Cronin completed his BS in 1951 at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where his father taught Latin and Greek. Cronin moved to the University of Chicago, where he graduated with a PhD in physics in 1955. While there, Cronin benefited from being taught by stalwarts of the field, including Enrico Fermi, Maria Mayer and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.

After his doctorate, Cronin worked as an assistant physicist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) until 1958, when he joined the faculty at Princeton University, where he remained until 1971. He then returned to the University of Chicago to become professor of physics. Cronin met Fitch during his time at BNL and it was Fitch who brought him to Princeton. While there, the duo aimed to verify CP symmetry using BNL’s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) by showing that two different particles did not decay into the same products. READ MORE

Dedman College alumnus and photographer Stuart Palley shares his tips on how to create beautiful images once darkness falls.

Time

Originally Posted: August 10, 2016

SMU alumnus and photographer Stuart Palley shares his tips on how to create beautiful images once darkness falls. Palley graduated in 2011 with a double major in History and Finance and minors in Human Rights and Photography. Read more

~In our latest How to Photograph series, TIME asked award-winning photographer Stuart Palley to share his tips and tricks to create beautiful night-time imagery.

Palley has mastered the art and technical skills of photographing at night and is known for his compelling and breathtaking photos of wildfires and his magical images of the the night sky. “Ninety percent of it is preparation and 10% of it is the actual execution,” he says.

Watch this TIME video to see which apps Palley uses to plan his shoots, tips on how to work in darkness, what equipment to invest in and how you can play with different light sources to achieve the best results. READ MORE

SMU Alumna: Hope Hicks Is Everything Her Boss Donald Trump Is Not

Town and Country

Originally Posted: August 8, 2016

She’s a spokeswoman who rarely speaks. A political novice helping run one of the most rambunctious, unpredictable presidential campaigns in history. A former model who is almost never 
in front of a camera. In any other election year a 27­-year­-old who hadn’t so much as volunteered on a political campaign would not be controlling communications in a presidential contest. But this isn’t any other year.

Meet Hope Hicks, one of the unlikeliest breakout stars of the 2016 campaign. If proximity is power—and in presidential politics it is—Hicks is one of the most powerful people in America. When Donald Trump is on his luxury airplane, she’s the one sitting next to him.

Although Hicks’s parents met while working on Capitol Hill—her mother for a Tennessee Democrat, her father for a Connecticut Republican—politics was not at the forefront of her childhood. She grew up in Greenwich in a tight-­knit family. She was a swimmer
 at Greenwich Country Club and co­-captained the lacrosse team at Greenwich High. At age 11 she and her older sister were hired to model for Ralph Lauren. Soon she was in the pages of national magazines and had a cameo on the soap opera Guiding Light. She became the face of the Hourglass Adventures, a series of novels for preteen girls featuring a 10­-year-­old who travels back in time. (The books have online activities that still feature Hicks; they allow users to dress her up in period costumes from 1889 Paris and 1870 Berlin.)

After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 2010, Hicks moved to New York and started working at the public relations firm Hilzik Strategies. Her clients included the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump. Last year, as Donald considered a presidential bid, he plucked Hicks to be one of his first aides. READ MORE

Acker The American Nominee For NCAA Woman Of The Year

SMU Athletics

Originally Posted: July 27, 2016

Avery Acker graduated in December with a degree in accounting and minors in chemistry and biological sciences. She will begin medical school this month. Congratulations!

INDIANAPOLIS (SMU/NCAA) – SMU setter Avery Acker has been named the American Athletic Conference nominee for the Woman of the Year award, NCAA officials announced Wednesday. Acker, who graduated in December and begins medical school in August, led the NCAA in assists per set while directing the Mustangs to the conference championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Poth, Texas, native, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America selection and 2015 Academic All-American of the Year, led the Mustangs to a program-best 27 wins and the school’s first conference championship in 2015. SMU finished with a 27-6 mark overall and 17-3 record in conference play to earn The American’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Acker led the NCAA with 12.45 assists per set, while also setting an SMU and American single-season record with 1,482 assists.
A three-year starter and three-time captain, Acker was named The American Player of the Year and earned Setter of the Year honors for the second time in her career last fall. She also earned AVCA honorable mention All-America honors and AVCA All-Southeast Region accolades for the third straight year.

Acker finished with a 3.941 grade-point average as an accounting major with a minor in chemistry and biological sciences and graduated in December summa cum laude. She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership and participates in community service projects at the Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas.

There are 141 conference nominees across all three NCAA divisions. The NCAA Woman of the Year program honors the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three divisions. To be eligible, nominees must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have completed eligibility in her primary sport.

Eligible female student-athletes are nominated by their member school. Each conference office then reviews the nominations from its member schools and submits its conference nominee to the NCAA. The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee selects the Top 30 – 10 from each division and then three finalists from each division. The Committee on Women’s Athletics selects the winner from the Top 9.  All 30 Woman of the Year honorees will be recognized, and the 2016 Woman of the Year announced, at an awards dinner at the Westin Indianapolis on Sunday, October 16, 2016.

Meet the Scientist: Eveline Kuchmak, an SMU alumna and current Manager of Temporary Exhibitions at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Rock Report

Originally Posted: July 18, 2016

Meet: Eveline Kuchmak

Another Southern Methodist University alumna (Pony Up!), Eveline graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Economic Sociology. Growing up she “lived for trips to art and science museums, space camp, Pony Club veterinary workshops, and the latest issue of National Geographic.” She was homeschooled for much of her childhood and her parents always made sure she had a healthy dose of curiosity. After graduation, she attended archaeological field school in New Mexico which only reinforced her desire to discover new things and share these experiences. This path has led her to a career inspiring others through science museums.

She began working at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in education and public programs; however, at the beginning of this year she transitioned into her new role as Manager of Temporary Exhibits. READ MORE

 

SMU alumnus John Culberson, saving NASA is the new space rescue mission

Houston Chronicle

Originally Posted: July 6, 2016

Adrift- Part 7
The new space rescue mission: Saving NASA

The legendary Christopher Columbus Kraft, who lived up to his namesake by leading NASA to the moon, has grown old.

Severe lines crease his face, and Kraft’s fingers have gnarled. Earlier this year, just before his 90th birthday, sciatica forced him to adopt a cane and, more gallingly, to give up golf.

Still, he can accept what time has done to him. It’s harder to make peace with what’s become of NASA.

In the 1960s, President Kennedy gave Kraft, the agency’s first flight director, and NASA’s other leaders a blank check and told them to boldly go. They did. The Apollo guys chomped cigars and called the shots.

Those in charge today no longer sit behind flight control consoles, conquering space. They’re at desks in Washington, D.C., politicians and bureaucrats who micromanage the agency’s budget and repeatedly move the goalposts.

Kraft feels his modern-day counterparts at Johnson Space Center have been “victimized.”

“They’ve been forced to accept a lot of things they know damn well won’t work.” READ MORE