Dedman College students receive prestigious national fellowships and awards

Congratulations to the Dedman College students awarded prestigious national fellowships and awards during the 2014-15 academic year, including Fulbright Grants and a fellowship to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. These students include:

Fulbright Scholar:

Whitney Goodwin
Michaela Wallerstedt
Kandi Doming

Institute for Responsible Citizenship Scholar:

Garrett Fisher

Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Presidential Fellow:

Tracy Nelson

National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Nicole Hartman



Biology major accepted to Harvard Medical School

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: May 5, 2015

Senior Janice Kim presented her dissertation, “p53-Dependent survival signaling may promote oncogene-activation during viral carcinogenesis,” in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Departmental Distinction Program on May 1.

Kim has been working on her thesis for about three and a half years. She chose her topic during the start of her first year after attending a meeting at the premed office.

“All the professors came, talked about their research and gave you a feel for the opportunities undergraduates could take,” Kim said. “I chose the professor I liked the best and that was Dr. Harrod.”

Robert Harrod, Ph.D, teaches biological sciences at SMU. His research interests include molecular biology, pathogenesis of human retroviruses and mechanisms of viral carcinogenesis.

Kim further explains why she chose Dr. Harrod out of all the other biology research professors.

“I liked his field of research about leukemia and more specifically how leukemia develops,” Kim said. “I approached him fall semester freshman year, introduced myself and said I was interested in researching with him.”

Most professors usually select upperclassmen to work with in their specified field of research. However, Harrod acknowledged her interest despite her younger age.

“After I expressed my interest, I wasn’t expecting anything because they usually take upperclassmen,” Kim said. “But he said ‘okay, why don’t you start now?’ I started spring semester and I’ve been with him ever since.”

Over three years later, her undergraduate research is complete. In layman’s terms, Kim summarizes her dissertation:

“My dissertation is about how a virus Dr. Harrod is studying, human leukemia t-cell virus type 1, causes leukemia,” Kim said. “The proteins of that virus, like p30 and p53, deregulate, or cause the over expression of cellular proteins to go awry in the pathway, and that leads to adult T-cell leukemia lymphoma.”

Kim credits part of her success to Dr. Harrod. She says he pushed her to do things beyond the limit, like applying for the Hamilton scholarship to further her undergraduate research.

“I love Dr. Harrod as my mentor; he’s always been there for me if I had questions and I could always go to him for anything,” Kim said. “He’s been a very supportive mentor and the best kind of mentor you can have as a research professor.”

Harrod filled out one of her recommendation letters when she applied for medical school. Kim applied to multiple schools in Texas and out-of-state schools like Harvard.

Kim has been accepted to Harvard Medical School and will start graduate school in the coming fall semester. She said she chose the school because she was interested in their diversity of experiences and soft-science research, like biomedical anthropology, which is her minor. If she chooses to get her M.D. PhD in biomedical anthropology, she hopes to pursue a career in global health.

“I’m really interested in Global Health and I can credit part of that to Dr. Bing who teaches global health class here at SMU,” Kim said. “In five years I can see myself still learning and eventually take my skills and apply them- go abroad and see from start to finish the development of global health in an area.”

Kim says her acceptance to Harvard Medical School has not changed her persona in any way.

“You’re not going to change because of some physical validation or from getting accepted into a certain school- you’re going to still be the same person and have the same capabilities as you did before,” Kim said.

Kim will graduate this May. As her journey at SMU comes to a close, she sums up her undergraduate experience.

“I would like to thank everyone who’s impacted me: my family, my friends and my mentors: Dr. Harrod, Dr. Bing, Dr. Smith-Morris,” Kim said. “I realized in college I learned a lot in the classroom, but also through outside experiences, and I’m glad I found that at SMU.” READ MORE

David Haynes, English, one of three fiction jury members, asked by Pulitzer Prize Board to submit a fourth nominee

Wall Street Journal

Originally Posted: April 21, 2015

Pulitzers Added a Fourth Novel to Find Fiction Winner

Board asked jury to submit another book before selecting ‘All the Light We Cannot See’

The Pulitzer Prize Board this year asked its fiction jury to submit a belated, fourth nominee, in contrast to its handling of the selection for 2012, when no fiction prize was awarded.

On Monday the fiction award went to Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See,” published by Scribner. The other finalists were “Let Me Be Frank With You,” by Richard Ford; “The Moor’s Account,” by Laila Lalami; and “Lovely, Dark, Deep,” by Joyce Carol Oates.
In a typical year, a three-person jury of literary experts recommends three novels or short-story collections to the board for consideration. In November, this year’s jury did just that.

But as the Pulitzer board was reading those three finalists over the winter, “there was some worry expressed among board members” and the board asked the jury to submit a fourth finalist, the prize administrator, Mike Pride, said in an interview Tuesday. READ MORE

Dr. James K. Hopkins, History, Receives Inaugural SMU Second Century Faculty Career Award

Congratulations to Dr. Hopkins, Professor of History, Clements Department of History and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, on receiving the first SMU Second Century Faculty Career Achievement Award. Professor Hopkins’ achievements exemplify a career of outstanding accomplishments in scholarship, teaching and sustained commitment to the University.

Read the official SMU press release.

Read more about Dr. Hopkins.


Biology student Courtney A. Follit wins P.E.O. scholar award

Congratulations Courtney A. Follit,  Ph.D. student in molecular and cellular biology. She is one of 85 doctoral students nationwide selected to receive a $15,000 scholar award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was sponsored by Chapter CQ of Dallas.

Courtney is the daughter of Jane and Robert Follit of Rockville, Maryland. She is a 2012 graduate of SMU, where she was the recipient of Distinguished Scholar and Rotunda scholarships, among many other honors. READ MORE

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) were established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing doctoral-level degrees at an accredited college or university.

The P.E.O. Sisterhood, founded Jan. 21, 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is a philanthropic educational organization interested in bringing increased opportunities for higher education to women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.

Brian Stump, Earth Sciences, key speaker at the 18th Honors Convocation

Outstanding achievement honored at SMU’s 2014-15 Awards Extravaganza, Honors Convocation.

Dedman College faculty, staff and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation, the “M” Award, at the 2015 Awards Extravaganza Monday, April 13.

> Read the list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2015

On the same day, the University honored its best students at the 18th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Brian Stump, Claude C. Albritton Jr. Chair in Geological Sciences in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

An expert in seismic wave propagation and earthquake source theory, Stump has become well known in North Texas for his continuing research on the increasing occurrences of small earthquakes that have shaken the area since 2008. In November 2014, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to his field, particularly in the area of seismic monitoring in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. READ MORE

Congratulations to Dedman College faculty, staff and students who were recognized at the 2015 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 13.

Receiving the “M” Award, SMU’s most prestigious honor. Recipients include:

• Jill DeTemple, associate professor of religious studies
• Elizabeth Wheaton, senior lecturer in economics

The Willis M. Tate Award honors an outstanding faculty member who has been involved in student life. Recipients include:

• Jodi Cooley, associate professor of physics
• Stephen Sekula, assistant professor of physics
• Willard Spiegelman, Dwaine E. Hughes Jr. Distinguished Chair in English
• Brian Zoltowski, assistant professor of chemistry

Receiving the Extra Mile Awards, presented by Students for New Learning for graciousness and sensitivity to students with learning differences:

• Ian Harris, associate professor of statistical science

Read the full list of award winners.

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: