Dedman College Alumnus William C. Roberts, MD, Earns Lifetime Achievement Award From American College of Cardiology

SMU Magazine

Originally Posted: March 22, 2016

Bill Roberts photo

Physician William C. Roberts ’54, executive director of the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute (BHVI), has been awarded the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for his contributions to the cardiovascular profession.

The award, which is the highest recognition bestowed by the ACC, honors Roberts’ outstanding work in cardiac pathology. Roberts will receive the award at the American College of Cardiology’s 65th Annual Scientific Session and Expo on April 4 in Chicago. The ACC was founded in 1949 and has more than 49,000 members worldwide.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award from my peers,” Roberts says. “I am proud and pleased that the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute has played a major role in my career and research done particularly after coming to Dallas made this award possible.”

The award also recognizes him as a role model through his service, research and teaching.

“Dr. William Roberts has made lasting contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine through dedication to his patients, practice and colleagues,” says ACC President Kim Allan Williams, MD, FACC. “It is an honor to be able to recognize Dr. Roberts with the Lifetime Achievement Award and celebrate his contributions to and achievements in cardiology.”

Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree in English from SMU in 1954, which has served him well as editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Cardiology and Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings. He has published more than 1,600 peer-reviewed articles and served on the editorial boards of nearly three dozen cardiology publications.

“Bill has, indeed, experienced a lifetime of achievement as the most important and accomplished cardiovascular pathologist of his era, as a teacher of incalculable numbers of cardiologists including at the annual Williamsburg Conference on Heart Disease for more than 40 years, and as the successful editor of The American Journal of Cardiology for 34 years,” says Barry Maron MD, director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.

Roberts also serves as dean of the A. Webb Roberts Center for Continuing Medical Education.

“It is a rarity to have the opportunity to work closely with such a stellar cardiac pathologist who is also an exemplary clinical research investigator and who is truly known to be the ‘father of cardiovascular pathology,’” says Kevin Wheelan, MD, chief of medical staff, Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, Dallas. “To work with him on a daily basis is an honor. Dr. Roberts’ contributions to the cardiology world have been far-reaching.”

Marc Silver, MD, chief of the division of medical services and clinical professor of medicine at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL, said, “This award is so richly deserved. Perhaps no one more than my parents taught me so much over my entire career. He remains one of the most receptive and nimble minds in medicine. He has mentored and trained much of the current leadership in cardiovascular disease in America.”

Barry Maron MD, director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, said, “No one in cardiovascular medicine is more deserving of this lifetime achievement award. Bill has indeed experienced a lifetime of achievement as the most important and accomplished cardiovascular pathologist of his era, as a teacher of incalculable numbers of cardiologists including at the annual Williamsburg Conference on Heart Disease for more than 40 years, and as the successful editor of The American Journal of Cardiology for 34 years.”

Congratulations Dedman College Dean’s Research Council Award Recipients

March 18, 2016

Dallas Hall4

Congratulations to the the recipients of this year’s Dean’s Research Council grants. The Dean’s Research Council provides competitively awarded seed funding for faculty research and allows them to compete for larger grants and fellowships outside SMU.


Peng Tao

Department of Chemistry
Extending the Protein Evolution Paradigm to Combat Antibiotic Drug Resistance

Karen Lupo
Department of Anthropology
Exposing the Myth of the Pristine Rain Forest: Building the Case for the Cultural Landscapes in the Tropical Forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Jingbo Ye
Department of Physics
Developing an Integrated Circuit that Drives Arrays with Ultra Low Power


Phillipe Chuard
Department of Philosophy
Time Consciousness: The Lockean View



Congratulations to the newest Phi Beta Kappa Inductees


Rianna Airitam, Lindsey Anderson, Jeremy Arata, Alicia Arnold, Antonia Brito, Laura Buckley, Ida Bustnes, Christy Carlson, Emily Dombrowski, Hannah Duke, Kayley El-Arab, Jennifer Foster, Brooke Fothergill,Alexis Gambino, Wilson Gomez,Simina Grecu, Sami Hawwa, Estelle Hernandez, Haley High, Eugene Kim, Conner Kline, Sophie Kramer, Olivia Leonard, Austin McGinnis, Colleen McKenzie, Briana Monsalve, Alexander Munoz, Tracy Nelson, Iqra Parupia, Samantha Perry, Divya Pranav, Hena Rafiq, Anika Reza, Annika Rieger, Amy Roesler, Daniel Rostro, Tyrell Russell, Ankit Sharma, Dana Sherman, Sarah Siddiqui, Kaycee Smith, Kelsey Smith, Megan Sunderland, Kyle Swartz, Shannon Swisher, Ziyi Tang, Christianne Teague, Averi White


Hope Anderson, Madison Gafford, Anthony Jeffries, Benjamin Joseph, Uma Lad, Niccolo Lazzara, Madeline Madrazo, Kaitlyn Montan, Patricia Nance, Olivia Nguyen, Kelsey O’Leary, Manuel Rangel, Matthew Reitz, Haley Stutts, Courtney Tibbetts

Sociology alumna awarded Dedman Law Distinguished Alumni

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In early February, A. Shonn Evans Brown was honored as one of five Dedman Law Distinguished Alumni of 2016. She gives back regularly to SMU by meeting with current sociology undergraduate students as well as serving as a mentor to Dedman law school students. We are honored to have her in our community of active alumni.

Congratulations to the Dedman College Research Day Winners

SMU graduate and undergraduate students presented results of ongoing and completed SMU-based research on February 10. Dedman College students received an impressive 20 awards.

Research Day aims to foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community.

CLICK HERE for a full list of Research Day winners


Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

SMU News

Originally Posted: December 11, 2015

As tribute to 30 years of teaching at SMU and five-plus decades of social activism, the Dallas Peace & Justice Center has awarded Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin with a Lifetime Achievement Award.


During his acceptance speech at a celebration dinner Dec. 3, Halperin turned the spotlight from himself to others, asking 10 SMU students in attendance to stand. “I want to show you the face of the future,” Halperin said of the human rights majors and minors. “This is what hope looks like.”

Since joining SMU in 1985, the popular teacher has taught an estimated 5,000 students in history courses, as well as human rights classes that began in 1990.

Philanthropist sisters and SMU alumnae Lauren and Gayle Embrey were inspired to fund the Embrey Human Rights Program in 2006, with Halperin at the helm, after Lauren took one of Halperin’s master’s-level human rights classes and a Holocaust study trip he led to Poland. (Halperin has been offering the immersive trip to the SMU community since 1996.)

Over the last nine years the Embrey Human Rights Program has hosted numerous eye-opening public events devoted to issues of social justice. It also has sponsored travel opportunities that regularly introduce students to struggling countries ranging from Rwanda to Cambodia — and this summer led a 10-day American West trip to address past and present struggles faced by our own nation’s “too often-forgotten indigenous people.”

The program also has continually developed a compelling mix of human rights courses. An expansion of interdisciplinary classes allowed SMU to begin offering a human rights minor in 2007, followed by a Master of Liberal Studies degree in Human Rights and Social Justice two years later.

In the year ahead (2016), the Embrey Human Rights Program will celebrate its tenth year and 20th anniversary for Halperin-guided trips to Poland.

But for Halperin, here’s the biggest accomplishment: SMU is the only university in the South – and one of just seven in the U.S. – to offer an undergraduate degree in human rights.

Since SMU first began offering a bachelor of arts in human rights in 2012, about 50 students have earned the degree, one allowing them to recognize and resolve vital human rights issues in fields ranging from international law to medicine. Increasingly, more SMU students are eager to follow suit: Nearly two dozen are expected to earn the degree in May 2016.

Beyond his work at SMU, Halperin has held numerous leadership positions in human rights and social justice organizations. During his more than 40-year affiliation with Amnesty International USA, he has served as chair of its board of directors three times. He also has served on the boards of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Center for Survivors of Torture, the International Rescue Committee and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. He has participated in a U.N. human rights delegation that inspected Irish prison conditions in Dublin and Belfast as well as in delegations monitoring human rights in El Salvador and Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza.

Halperin holds a Ph.D. in Southern U.S. history from Auburn University; a M.A. in Southern U.S. history from Southern Methodist University; and a B.A. in U.S. history from George Washington University. READ MORE

Avery Acker named the Academic All-American of the Year


Congratulations to senior setter Avery Acker. She was named the Academic All-American of the Year, College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Thursday. Acker earned the academic equivalent of a National Player of the Year award with a 3.95 GPA in accounting with minors in chemistry and biology, and has been accepted into medical school. READ MORE

Congratulations Harold Stanley, a distinguished member of the Political Science faculty, recently named Vice President for Executive Affairs


Originally Posted: December 8, 2015

Academic leader and political science scholar Harold W. Stanley has been named SMU’s vice president for executive affairs, effective Feb. 1, 2016. Stanley has been serving as vice president for academic affairs and provost ad interim since June. He previously served as an SMU associate provost.

In his new role he will work with SMU President R. Gerald Turner on strategic planning, campus master planning and a variety of other University matters. He replaces Thomas E. Barry, who has served in the position since 1995. Barry has announced his retirement from that position, effective Dec. 31.

“Harold Stanley’s service in the Office of the Provost has provided him with deep knowledge of the University and its operations,” Turner said. “He has served on committees focusing on the curriculum, honors program and the Second Century Campaign. As a distinguished member of the Political Science faculty, he brings a strong understanding of the University’s mission of teaching, research and service. I am delighted that an accomplished academic administrator from within the SMU community is ready to step into this important role.”

As an associate provost, Stanley oversaw SMU’s international study, research and internship programs in its International Center; teaching, research and other activities at the University’s New Mexico campus, SMU-in-Taos; student academic services in the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center and the Loyd Center for the Academic Development of Student Athletes; and the University’s most prestigious scholarship for exceptional students, the President’s Scholars program.

Stanley came to SMU in 2003 as the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. READ MORE

SMU teams win second place and honorable mention in SAS Analytics Shootout Competition


Originally Posted: December 4, 2015

National data mining competition features analytical and problem-solving skills


A team of eight SMU students has been awarded second place and another team of five students received honorable mention in the annual SAS Analytics Shootout competition. The data mining competition winners were announced at the annual SAS Analytics Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For the ninth straight year, SAS and the Institute for Health and Business Insight partnered to provide student and faculty teams with an opportunity to apply analytical skills and solve a real-world problem during the Analytics Shootout. This year’s problem dealt with predicting both electrical energy production from renewable sources and energy consumption of buildings in a city.

The problem statement for the 2015 SAS Data Mining competition was posted online for all competing teams in January and solutions were due by June 3, 2015.

“This is a brutal competition. For SMU to have two teams that finished this high is a very noteworthy accomplishment,” said Thomas Fomby, economics professor and faculty sponsor to one of the competing SMU teams.

The second place SMU team consisted of eight PhD and Master’s level students from the Department of Statistical Science in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, including Dateng Li, Ryan McShane, Andrew Mitzel, Qian Wang, Lu Wang, team captain Li Xue (Lily), Rui Yang, and Zhengyang Zhou. Faculty members Tony Ng, Alan Elliott, and Jim Hess coached the team.

The honorable mention team consisted of five students, including Igor Zhadan, Hao Li, Kuangli Xie, Taghreed Alghamdi, and Ali Almadan. Economics professor Thomas Fomby coached the team. READ MORE

Embrey Human Rights Program Director honored for human rights work

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: December 2, 2015

Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights program, is being recognized by the Dallas Peace and Justice Center on Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Annual Peace and Justice Maker Awards Dinner. He will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work defending people’s rights to dignity and life by opposing torture and the death penalty.

Halperin is “a recognized international authority on the death penalty, genocide, slavery, human trafficking, torture and human rights,” according to the SMU website. He has also been involved with the boards of directors for organizations such as the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the Center for Survivors of Torture and the International Rescue Committee.

The Annual Peace and Justice Maker Awards Dinner will be at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel on Central Expressway. Tickets to the dinner are $75 each and a sponsored table sells for $1,000. The event begins at 7 p.m. and will include dinner, live music, and auctions. READ MORE