Cross-Disciplinary Team of Dedman College and Cox Students Competes April 16-18 at Richest and Largest Student Startup Competition

Biolum-Resized-Version 2Congratulations to Edward Allegra! His startup team, BioLum Sciences has been accepted to compete in the world famous Rice Business Plan Competition this weekend, April 16-18. The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. BioLum will compete with over 40 teams from around the world for more than $1 million in cash and prizes. This is the 15th year for the competition.

Read more about the competing teams:

About BioLum Sciences:
Biolum Sciences is a smartphone-based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the United States. Watch the BioLum 60 second pitch. Comprised of undergraduates, Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar and Jack Reynolds, BioLum Sciences is a Big iDeas start-up that has raised approximately 50K through competitions to date.

Harold Stanley named 2015-16 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

Harold Stanley, Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy and SMU associate provost, has been named a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for the 2015-16 academic year.

Stanley, who was named SMU’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs in late March, joins 12 other outstanding scholars in the liberal arts and sciences from institutions including Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, NYU, UCLA, Penn State, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University and the Institute for Signifying Scriptures. READ MORE

Tim Cassedy Receives NEH Grant for Ambitious Study

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            
March 24, 2015

Once completed, Dr. Cassedy’s project will be “essential reading for anyone
in early American studies.”


Dallas (SMU) – Dr. Tim Cassedy, assistant professor of English, has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for his study of linguistic consciousness and awareness among English speakers from 1775 to 1825. Cassedy is one of the 233 prestigious humanities projects receiving the reported $17.9 million in awards and offers made by the NEH in December.

“It is my great pleasure to announce the latest round of NEH grant awards,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “NEH grants play a critical role in making the insights afforded by the humanities available to all to help us better understand ourselves, our culture, our society.”

Cassedy’s project argues that English speakers had strong opinions about language and believed that a person’s accent and vocabulary revealed his or her true character. At times, Americans even thought of themselves as English speakers first and American citizens second — part of what Cassedy describes as “a forgotten turning point in the history of Western identity.”

Cassedy recounts an incident in which an elderly farmer, asleep in his bed in Connecticut in 1788, suddenly cried out in the middle of the night: “Why do C-O-U-G-H stand for K-O-F?” Cassedy’s book is about a time when language problems seemed so urgent that they tormented people in their dreams.

Rave reviews from NEH panelists regarding Dr. Cassedy’s project:

“Cassedy proposes an ambitious project which, when completed, will be essential reading for anyone in early American studies. This is just the sort of project to which the NEH should lend its full support.”

“The book concerns a broad, hitherto under-examined and inadequately theorized subject which will make a significant contribution to the humanities.”

“It is a very strong and promising project, using fascinating sources and bringing an equally fascinating diversity of theoretical knowledge to bear. The argument itself is also likely to be significant in understanding the rhetoric of a period that did much to bring the modern world into being.”




Named in 1981 after SMU alumni Robert H. Dedman Sr. and his wife, Nancy McMillan Dedman, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is the oldest and largest academic unit at SMU. Students in Dedman College have the advantage of exploring more than 38 undergraduate majors, 56 minors, 17 master’s programs and 14 doctoral degrees offered in 16 academic departments spanning the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, statistics and interdisciplinary studies.


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:


Congratulations to the 2015 Research Day Award Winners

Congratulations to all the Dedman College students who received 2015 Research Day awards.

The goal of Research Day  is 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.

See the full list of Research Day Winners, 2015

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Four Sociology majors inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

The Department of Sociology congratulates Marlon Carbajal, Erica Renstrom, Aubrey Richardson, and Kristen Yule for their academic accomplishments over the last four years. All four were inducted into Phi Betta Kappa honor society on March 1, 2015.

Willard Speigelman, English, Receives SMU’s Literati Award

Park Cities People

Originally Posted: March 6, 2015

One of my all-time favorite professors, Willard Spiegelman, will receive the sixth annual SMU Literati Award.

That’s an award specifically for people who have “used the written word to advance the ideals of creativity, conviction, innovation, and scholarship.”

Past recipients include Laura Bush in 2011 and SMU’s Marshall Terry in 2012 — of whom our old Bradford Pearson was a fan.

Seriously, this man is a living legend. He’s appeared in The New York Times Magazine. He’s written a book on life’s simple pleasures. He’s given a TEDxSMU talk. He is my absolute living, breathing hero. I feel like I owe my entire professional career to him, but that’s another story.

If you’d like to witness Spiegelman’s honor yourself, reserve your seat at the Tables of Content dinner, benefiting the SMU libraries, at 6 p.m. on March 28. Nancy Dedman is the honorary chair.

The setup is quite interesting — you are assigned a table at which there is a “host” with the intent to foster lots of intellectual and philosophical discussion. Tickets start at $150.

Ezra Greenspan, English professor, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award

Dallas Morning News Arts Blog

Originally Posted: Jan. 20, 2015

Ezra Greenspan, a professor at Southern Methodist University, has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award in biography for William Wells Brown: An African American Life.

He’ll be competing against another author with Dallas ties, S.C. Gwynne, a former Dallas Morning News writer nominated for his book about Stonewall Jackson, Rebel Yell.

Roz Chast, who is not from Dallas but will be speaking at Arts and Letters Live on Jan. 28, was nominated for autobiography.


Rick Halperin, Embrey Human Rights, nice profile about the work of the program’s first Triumph of the Spirit award recipient

FW Weekly

Originally Posted: December 17, 2014

An HEB teacher’s programs and charity work are helping students and teachers on several continents.

Bhavani Parpia’s trip to India in 2011 changed her life and affected many thousands of students and educators around the world.

As the international business program coordinator for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district, Parpia had received a federal grant to take 17 area educators to study development in her home country. Visiting an AIDS orphanage, she asked a question of her lunch companion, a young boy with HIV.

“Like any adult, sometimes you ask children ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ ” she said. “His response was, ‘I don’t know if I will live to be an adult.’ That answer just stumped me. I was appalled at myself for asking.” READ MORE

Zhong Lu, Earth Sciences, part of a research team whose principle won a Science of Risk award from Lloyd’s

A research paper published earlier this year in Nature Communications has been awarded a Science of Risk prize by Lloyd’s at a ceremony last week [27 November].


The research, led by Dr Juliet Biggs of the University of Bristol, looked at satellite imagery data for 500 volcanoes worldwide, monitoring which volcanoes were deforming to establish statistical evidence of their eruption potential.

Further testing of this link could eventually develop into a forecast system for all volcanoes, including those that are remote and inaccessible.

Volcanic deformation can be caused by magma moving or pressuring underground. Magma rising towards the surface could be a sign of an imminent eruption. On the other hand, many other factors influence volcano deformation and, even if magma is rising, it may stop short, rather than erupting.

Dr Juliet Biggs and colleagues in the School of Earth Sciences: Dr Susanna Ebmeier, Professor Willy Aspinall, and Professor Stephen Sparks, collaborated with fellow academics Dr Matthew Pritchard from Cornell University, Dr Tamsin Mather from the University of Oxford and Dr Zhong Lu from Southern Methodist University. READ FULL PRESS RELEASE


Sam Ross Sloan Selected as Peruna Professor

1417462023Congratulations to Lecturer of English, Sam Ross Sloan!

In this the Year of the Faculty, SMU students voted for professors they feel are exceptional and inspiring. The winners were honored with a surprise visit from our beloved mascot Peruna in recognition of their outstanding work. Watch the Video.