NPR: How Domestic Violence In One Home Affects Every Child In A Class


Originally Posted: September 26, 2016

NPR journalist Gabrielle Emanuel covered the research of SMU government policy expert Elira Kuka for an All Things Considered segment on NPR as part of its series on “The Mental Health Crisis In Our Schools.” The segment examined the impact on an entire school classroom when one student is victimized by domestic violence at home.

Kuka, an assistant professor in the SMU Department of Economics, and her colleagues found that new data shows violence in the home hinders the academic performance not only of the student who is abused, but also of their classmates, too.

Kuka’s research focus is on understanding how government policy affects individual behavior and well-being, the extent to which it provides social insurance during times of need, and its effectiveness in alleviation of poverty and inequality.

Her current research topics include the potential benefits of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, the protective power of the U.S. safety net during recessions and various issues in academic achievement. READ MORE

Dedman College 2016 Election Experts


Need insightful perspectives and accurate interpretations of all things election relation? See Dedman College experts below:


Jeffrey A. Engel

Jeffrey A. Engel, Director of the Center for Presidential History
He is an award-winning American history scholar and an expert on the U.S. presidency and American diplomatic history. He has authored or edited six books, including Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War


Cal Jillson, Professor of Political Science
One of the nation’s foremost political experts, he regularly provides journalists thoughtful insight on Texas and U.S. politics. He is the author of the political classic Pursuing the American Dream, as well as Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy and American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change


Joshua Rovner, Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics & National Security Policy
He writes extensively on strategy and security. His recent book, Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence, is a wide-ranging study about how leaders use and misuse intelligence. His research interests also include international relations theory, nuclear weapons, grand strategy, and U.S. defense policy.


Matthew Wilson, Associate Professor of Political Science
He specializes in religion and politics, as well as public opinion, elections and political psychology.



Tom Fomby, Professor of Economics
He can discuss the Texas economy vs. the rest of the nation, what the unemployment rate means for Texas and political promises about the economy.



Pia Orrenius, Fellow at SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies
A senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, her research focuses on the border region and the causes and consequences of Mexico–U.S. migration, illegal immigration, and U.S. immigration policy. She is the author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization.


Graduating entrepreneur ready to take Biolum mobile asthma management device to next level

SMU News

Originally Posted: May 12, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Edward Allegra started his SMU journey as a biology major, thinking he wanted to become a physician. But during his sophomore year, when he began attending meetings of the SMU Entrepreneurship Club, everything changed.

Edward Allegra won the first annual Global Student Entrepreneur Award.
Medical school is no longer in the picture, but Allegra will be graduating from SMU May 14 with degrees in biology and economics, already hard at work marketing a mobile health device for asthma diagnosis and management he developed with a team of SMU students. The imaging system can signal the presence and severity of an asthma attack by detecting and quantifying the disease biomarkers in exhaled breath. The BioLum Sciences (Allegra’s company) app allows users to test their symptoms, monitor daily progress, and understand the cause of their asthma. READ MORE

The Department of Economics will host conference April 29 and 30 in honor of Professor Shlomo Weber


Shlomo Weber, Dedman Economics Faculty
Shlomo Weber, Dedman Economics Faculty

The Department of Economics will host a conference in honor of Professor Shlomo Weber to recognize his contributions to economics research and to the lives of the many collaborators and colleagues he has worked with throughout his academic career. The one and a half day conference will begin at 1:30pm on Friday, April 29th and concluding at 5pm on Saturday, April 30th.


During the conference, the 2007 Nobel Laureate, Eric Stark Maskin from Harvard University will speak about “Elections and Strategic Voting: Condorcet and Borda.” Professor Maskin is an American economist recognized with Leonid Hurwicz and Roger Myerson “for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory.” Maskin’s lecture will be on Saturday, April 30 from 10:30-11:30 in Dedman Life Sciences Building, room 131.

In addition to Professor Maskin, the following is the list of distinguished invited speakers for the conference:

  • Michael Alexeev (Indiana University)
  • Alberto Bisin (New York University)
  • Rajat Deb (Southern Methodist University)
  • Klaus Desmet (Southern Methodist University)
  • Paul Dower (Florida International University)
  • Joan Esteban (Institut d’Analisi Economica (CSIC) and Barcelona GSE)
  • Piero Gottardi (University of Venice and European University Institute)
  • Hideo Konishi (Boston College), Eric Maskin (Harvard University)
  • Michel Le Breton (Toulouse School of Economics)
  • Juan D. Moreno-Ternero (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
  • Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
  • Hans Wiesmeth (Technische Universität Dresden)
  • Eyal Winter (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Detailed information about this conference can be found on

SMU recognizes outstanding achievement at 2015-16 Hilltop Excellence Awards, Honors Convocation

Congratulations to the Dedman College faculty and students who were recognized at the 2016 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 18.

Recipients of the Outstanding Professor Awards presented by the Rotunda yearbook include:

B. Sunday Eiselt, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies, Department of Anthropology
Laurence Winnie, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies, William P. Clements Department of History

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

Sheri Kunovich, associate professor, Department of Sociology
• Laurie Nuchereno, adjunct lecturer, Department of Economics

For the full list of faculty, staff and student award recipients click here.



#MustangsGiveBack is March 24! Support a Dedman College project and make a real difference for students

What will you support at SMU? Make a gift on March 24, 2016 and be a part of Mustangs Give Back, our one-day giving challenge.

Below is a list of Dedman College projects:

DedmanFund-300x200-11. Support Dedman College Scholars for a semester. 

Help us fund one semester for a Dedman College Scholar student next year! CLICK HERE


DallasBusTour1-600x4002. Introduce new students to Dallas

Introduce new SMU students to Dallas with a day-long bus tour of the city’s historic sites. CLICK HERE


Dedman3-300x2003. Create a new section of microeconomics

Fund a new section of this always-oversubscribed course, allowing students to take it when it best fits their schedules. CLICK HERE


Dedman2-300x2004. Support Minds, Brains and Robotics

This will provide funding for Minds, Brains and Robotics, a popular course in philosophy. CLICK HERE


Dedman4-300x2005. Create a new course in digital humanities

Help SMU create a new course in Digital Humanities. CLICK HERE


Dedman1-300x2006. Support the One-Day Jewish University

Provide classroom materials for guest lecturers for the annual SMU One-Day Jewish University. CLICK HERE


CivilRights1-300x2007. Send students on a journey into history

Provide partial scholarships for 8 students to experience the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. CLICK HERE


SupremeCourt-300x2008. Support Supreme Court scholarships

D.C. bound! Send 5 students with Professor Kobylka to learn about the Supreme Court. CLICK HERE


Refrigerator1-300x2009. Replace the rusty refrigerator

Help us retire the rusty old refrigerator in Dr. Son’s Chemistry lab. CLICK HERE


SchweitzerFellows-300x20010. Fund orientation for Schweitzer Fellows

Help us fund the overnight leadership orientation program for 10-15 graduate fellows. CLICK HERE


SantosRodriguez-300x20011. Fund a new human rights scholarship

Raise one semester’s worth of funds for a compelling new scholarship honoring Santos Rodriguez. CLICK HERE

A 22-Year-Old SMU Student Is Aiming To Change The Way Asthma Is Managed

D Healthcare Daily

Originally Posted: February 26, 2016

Managing asthma can be time consuming and painful. You’re subject to allergy tests and X-Rays. Your lung capacity is measured by blowing into a spirometer, a small device that looks something like a breathalyzer. After your lungs swell and become inflamed, the symptoms are diagnosed through another series of invasive tests known as bronchoprovocation.

Edward Allegra, a 22-year-old senior at Southern Methodist University, wants to ease that process. Allegra has launched a company named BioLum Sciences and has developed a smartphone-enabled device that targets a chemical in a user’s breath sample. The concentration of said chemical can tip off the presence and severity of asthma without all the previous tests. The results can then be shared with a doctor.

“I need to make this become a reality. I want someone to come to me and say how much better their life is because of what I’ve done here,” says Allegra. “I think that’s the end goal.” READ MORE

Dedman student sits on SMU panel: Strategies for Advancing Entrepreneurship

Dedman College student Edward Allegra along with representatives from seven SMU schools participated in an expert panel discussing strategies for advancing entrepreneurship. The event was hosted by Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

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Dedman College student pitches mobile app at 2016 Dallas Festival of Ideas

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: February 20, 2016

Three SMU seniors participated in the Dallas Festival of Ideas’ Entrepreneurial Forum Saturday, where each pitched their Big iDeas to a crowd of Dallasites in the hopes of winning several entrepreneurial prizes.

The theme of this year’s festival was “The United City,” which aimed to “help shape the city of the future by igniting, uniting and energizing the people of Dallas through the power of ideas.” The pitch contest was in partnership with the Arts Entrepreneurship Program at the Meadows School of the Arts

Each student had three minutes to pitch and three minutes for questions. The winner was chosen using what Susan Kress, the executive director for Engaged Learning at SMU, called “the old-school clap-o-meter.”

Eddie Allegra pitched Biolum, a mobile app that uses Bluetooth technologies to scale user’s exhaled breath and determine the severity of asthma systems; Roberto Hernandez pitched Mexican Bingo, an iOS and Android app that turns the traditional Mexican Bingo game into a digital format; and Jonah Kirby pitched Fiddler, a rooftop wind turbine system that creates battery power on a digital grid. READ MORE