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.

Dedman College students and professors offer tips on how to pursue two degrees at once and still have a life

SMU Meadows School of the Arts

Thinking of Double-Majoring?
How to pursue two degrees at once and still have a life
Originally Published: February 12, 2015

Whether to position themselves better for choice careers or to blend multiple interests, increasing numbers of SMU students are double-majoring. Their combinations of degrees are as varied as the students themselves: dance and economics; film and accounting; journalism and human rights; and more.

Thanks to recent changes to SMU’s University Curriculum (“UC”) – core courses that all SMU undergraduates must complete – certain courses can now count toward more than one degree’s requirements, making the path to double degrees wider.

But though the path is wider, it isn’t necessarily easier. To help students figure out how to double-major and still have a life, ten current double-major students from Meadows School of the Arts give their top five tips on getting ready, keeping it together and managing the delicate balance between studies, sleep and social life. READ MORE

Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry, good and the bad about blue light


The Bright Side And Dark Side Of Blue Light


Light is necessary for life on earth, but scientists believe that too much of a certain wavelength can cause everything from crop diseases to changes in the migratory patterns of animals. SMU professor Brian Zoltowski is working to unravel the mystery of blue light in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. LISTEN HERE

Brian D. Zoltowski, Chemistry, Study funded by NIH is decoding blue light’s mysterious ability to alter body’s natural clock

Blue light from artificial lighting and electronic devices knocks circadian rhythms off-kilter, resulting in health problems, sleep, cancer development, mood disorders, drug addiction, crop disease and even confused migratory animals

Arabidopsis thaliana is a small flowering plant that is widely used as a model organism in plant biology.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health is unraveling the mystery of how blue light from residential and commercial lighting, electronic devices and outdoor lights can throw off-kilter the natural body clock of humans, plants and animals, leading to disease.


Exposure to blue light is on the increase, says chemist Brian D. Zoltowski, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, who leads the study, “Protein : Protein interaction networks in the circadian clock.”

At the right time of day, blue light is a good thing. It talks to our 24-hour circadian clock, telling our bodies, for example, when to wake up, eat and carry out specific metabolic functions.

In plants, blue light signals them to leaf out, grow, blossom and bloom. In animals, it aids migratory patterns, sleep and wake cycles, regulation of metabolism, as well as mood and the immune system.

But too much blue light — especially at the wrong time — throws biological signaling out of whack.

“As a society, we are using more technology, and there’s increasing evidence that artificial light has had a negative consequence on our health,” said Zoltowski, an assistant professor in SMU’s Department of Chemistry. READ MORE

Graduate Student, Shannon Woodruff Selected as Semifinalist in Chemistry Champions Contest

Shannon Woodruff, graduate student at SMU has been named by The American Chemical Society (ACS) as a semifinalists in its Chemistry Champions contest. The contest aims to find and train promising science communicators—perhaps even find the Carl Sagan of chemistry. Undergraduate, graduate, and early career chemists and chemical engineers entered the contest by submitting 2-3 minute videos describing their work and why they wanted to be the Chemistry Champion. The semifinalists were selected by a panel of 11 judges from 27 video applicants. READ MORE HERE


CATCO’s Austin Symposium

Event: 25th Austin Symposium on Molecular Structure and Dynamics at Dallas, March 1-4, 2014

ASMD@D 2014 will begin on Saturday, March 1. There will be more than 100 plenary and invited lectures and two poster sessions in the time from Saturday to Tuesday evening. The Symposium Banquet with lecture and presentation of the ASMD@D prices will take place at SMU.

ASMD@D 2014 will be organized in the spirit of previous symposia and it will be a special celebration of the 25th anniversary:

  • Listen and discuss
  • Meet international experts
  • No parallel sessions
  • A place where important interdisciplinary work can start
  • A place where new positions can be found

Learn more about 2014 featured speakers. Among the speakers is Nobel laureate Sir Harold W. Kroto, who shares the 1996 chemistry prize. Read his bio here


Chemistry Department Announces Spring Seminar Series

earthinflaskFebruary 7 at 3:00 p.m. in FOSC 152: Dr. Bruce Lipshutz

March 21 at 3:00 p.m. in FOSC 152:  Dr. Erik Berda

March 28 at 3:00 p.m. in FOSC 152: Dr. Junmei Wang

April 11 at 3:00 p.m. in FOSC 152: Dr. Jin Wang

April 25 at 3:00 p.m. in FOSC 152: Dr. Roberto Bogomolni

For More Information

Dr. Abhijeet Bapat selected as finalist for the DSM Science and Technology Award, Americas 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Abhijeet Bapat.  Dr. Bapat was recently selected as one of the four finalists for the DSM Science and Technology Award, Americas 2013. The four finalists were invited to present their graduate research at a special award symposium at the Fall 2013 American Chemical Society meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

Here is a link to the DSM press release about the event.

Dr. Bapat is a graduate of the SMU Chemistry Doctoral Program and is currently a Polymer Research Scientist at Alcon Laboratories Inc.