What we know about Hope Hicks, SMU grad and Donald Trump’s secretive press secretary

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: June 21, 2016

Donald Trump’s press secretary hasn’t shared much information about herself, and she’s rarely, if ever, available for comment.

But this week,  the public learned  more about Hope Hicks when GQ and Marie Claire magazines published pieces about the Southern Methodist University alum.

Since her graduation from SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in 2010, Hicks, 27, has skyrocketed to the top of the Trump universe. The Connecticut native comes from a family of well-connected public relations experts.

Hicks routinely declines interview requests, unlike Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, whose social media presence rivals that of Trump himself. READ MORE

Meet Hope Hicks, Dedman College Alumna and Donald Trump Communications Director

Marie Claire

Originally Posted: June 7, 2016

In Donald Trump’s inner circle on the campaign trail, there’s just one woman: Hope Hicks, 27, his communications director and the only woman who travels full-time with the Republican front-runner.

Hicks has played an integral role in Trump’s unprecedented rise in the 2016 election. As Trump tweets about the controversies du jour with abandon, delivers unscripted soliloquies at campaign stops, and is a near-constant presence on cable news, Hicks is behind the scenes, juggling the moving parts of the rapid news cycle.

In 2012, after a successful teen modeling career and graduating from Southern Methodist University, the Connecticut native got her first taste of the Trump life working on the hotel and golf divisions of his company for New York public relations firm Hiltzik Strategies. The Trump Organization brought her in-house as the director of communications in 2014, and the following year, she got the surprise of a lifetime when The Donald asked her to join his budding campaign. Here, in her first-ever interview in her current role, she shares what it’s like to work for the unconventional candidate.  READ MORE

Tim Cassedy, English, creates Shakespeare-inspired card game Bards Dispense Profanity

Mental Floss

Originally Posted: May 19, 2016

If you’re a recovering English major with a debauched mind, then bawdy, literary-inspired word prompt games are likely more your speed than Apples to Apples. That’s why there’s Bards Dispense Profanity

The Shakespeare-themed group party activity contains 100 “mock-serious” prompts and 375 answers copied word-for-word from Shakespeare’s works. Each player receives seven quote cards, which they use to anonymously finish an open-ended prompt. A “Profanity Judge” chooses the best (read: the dirtiest and/or most hilarious) one. Then the next player serves as arbitrator and the process begins anew. READ MORE

English professor establishes Kimbilio to provide networking, educational and professional advancement opportunities for emerging African-American writers.

Detroit News

Originally Posted: May 10, 2016

Author Desiree Cooper says newcomers to the annual Kimbilio Fiction retreat for African-American writers “talk like they’ve been on a lifeboat and they’re just trying to hold on until they can find that place that keeps them safe.”

David Haynes, a novelist and professor of English at Dallas’ Southern Methodist University, established Kimbilio in 2013 as a means of providing networking, educational and professional advancement opportunities for emerging African-American writers. The organization has since amassed a network of 60 fellows; held three writers’ retreats in Taos, New Mexico, and initiated a nationwide series of reading events featuring its fellows. Kimbilio’s next reading event will be Wednesday at Pages Bookshop, featuring fellows Cooper, Angela Flournoy and Cole Lavalais.

Haynes says the organization’s name was derived from a Swahili word meaning “safe haven.”

“For so many writers of color, traditional retreats or traditional M.F.A. programs or various other support networks have not always been welcoming and safe places,” Haynes says. “That’s been one of the real drivers behind creating spaces where we can grow and learn as a community, and really develop important and necessary mutual support networks.” READ MORE

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.”

Decorated Poet Dora Malech to perform poetry reading, give Q&A at SMU

SMU News

Originally Posted: March 11, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Dora Malech, a widely published and highly decorated poet currently on faculty at Johns Hopkins University, will perform a poetry reading and engage in a question-and-answer session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, in room 131 of the Dedman Life Science building at SMU.

“Dora Malech is one of the most exciting young poets writing in America,” says SMU Associate Professor of English Greg Brownderville. “She’s only in her mid 30s and already in a tenure track position for a prestigious seminar at John Hopkins University. She’s won virtually every award a poet of her age could conceivably win and she’s a very good performer of her poetry. She also has a delightful personality that will come through during the banter between reading her poems.”

Malech has published two collections of poetry, Shore Ordered Ocean, in 2009, and Say so, in 2011. Her poems have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Poetry and Best New Poets, and she’s received a Truman Capote Fellowship and a Frederick M. Clapp Poetry Writing Fellowship from Yale, among other honors.

“She writes poems in which there is this big heart yearning for contact or connection in a modern environment where connection is hard to come by,” Brownderville says. “She has a poem in which a woman is in a train station secretly saying a prayer within the privacy of her own mind, blessing every man she sees in the station. And you get the sense the speaker would love to meet the people she’s praying for, but she’s in a train station and everyone is going to another destination and nobody knows anybody. So there’s this transitory anonymity that everybody is having to deal with as a condition of their lives.”

The event is free and open to the public. READ MORE

Former Poet Laureate Kay Ryan headed to SMU Feb. 25

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: January 21, 2016

Southern Methodist University is bringing former U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan to campus next month.

Ryan served as laureate from 2008 through 2010, then won the  Pulitzer Prize and a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship grant.

She’ll speak at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Dedman Life Sciences Building Room 131, 6501 Airline Court, following a 6 p.m. reception.  Sponsors are SMU English Professor Willard Spiegelman, the SMU Department of English and the Gilbert Lecture Series. READ MORE

David Haynes, English, Kimbilio Nurtures Black Writers

Poets and Writers

Originally Posted: February 10, 2016

While Cave Canem’s annual retreat for African American poets has been changing the literary landscape for the past twenty years, the writing community has lacked a similar resource for African American fiction writers. That is, it did until 2013, when writers David Haynes and Sanderia Smith launched the Kimbilio Retreat. Now in its third year, the retreat is held annually in Taos, New Mexico, and is dedicated to supporting and empowering black fiction writers from America and the greater African diaspora. READ MORE

English professor’s poem about SMU’s Dallas Hall published in Thomas Jefferson-inspired anthology

SMU News

Originally Posted: February 11, 2016

Fresh off contributing to SMU being named The Most Beautiful Campus in America by the Huffington Post, SMU’s campus centerpiece, Dallas Hall, has inspired a homespun poem that was published Tuesday alongside the works of Pulitzer prize winners in the poetry anthology Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poets on Jefferson (University of Virginia Press).

That’s Jefferson as in Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States.

What’s the connection between Dallas Hall and one of America’s founding fathers? It doesn’t take Nicholas Cage and a map hidden on the back of the Declaration of Independence to find out.

“When the founders of SMU went to Chicago to find an architect for their first building, they said they wanted Dallas Hall to look like The Rotunda at the University of Virginia (which was designed by Jefferson), but of course bigger,” says SMU Hughes Professor in English Willard Spiegelman. The author of the Dallas Hall-inspired poem explains, “My first thought was, ‘Jefferson went to the prairie.’”

The poem, titled Prairie Rotunda, is one of 50 poems featured in Monticello in Mind. READ MORE

Willard Spiegelman, Hughes Professor of English, amid Pulitzer prize-winners in new anthology of poems inspired by Thomas Jefferson

University of Virginia Press:

get-img“In Monticello in Mind, poet Lisa Russ Spaar collects fifty contemporary poems–most original to this anthology–that engage the complex legacy of Thomas Jefferson and his plantation home at Monticello. The anthology features a roster of poets both emerging and established–including Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Claudia Emerson, Terrance Hayes, Robert Hass, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Tretheway, Charles Wright” and Willard Spieglman. His poem “Prairie Rotunda” was written about SMU’s most iconic buiding, Dallas Hall. READ MORE