With eloquence and swagger, Andrew Delbanco drops his mic on humanities

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: September 25, 2015

Andrew Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Professor and director of American Studies at Columbia University, and has been distinguished for his work in humanities studies. His book “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be” was written up in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Delbanco is a visiting professor that delivered a speech Thursday, Sept.24, in Dedman Life Sciences Building.

He took the classroom, that evening, filled with students and teachers of all ages through the increasingly important question, “What is College for?”

Delbanco shares his historic approach on whether college is a lousy investment or not to a fully packed room, with some standing in the back. In this world of grade inflation and timeliness is college an “expensive dating service for pampered students?”

Grace Hogan is a 24-year-old SMU graduate and teacher at Uplift Heights Preparatory who works with low-income students. Hogan came with her foundations course on the history of higher education. “My students find themselves in a lot of these situations,” she says of the increasingly hostile environment in which kids justify to their parents the need for an education that may leave them in debt.

Delbanco argues for all sides, the institutions-most of which are public and underfunded, as well as the teachers and students. His style of taking concepts apart and arguing for their necessity in education at every level is an effort to cheat death, “to transmit to younger people what we have learned.” READ MORE

EVENT: Should We Trust Science? Perspectives from the History and Philosophy of Science

Event date: October 29, 2015
Event time: 5:30 p.m. reception, 6:00 p.m. lecture

Oreskes headshot sciencectr 2015

Many people are confused about the safety of vaccines, the reality of climate change, and other matters. Doctors tell us that vaccines are safe, and climate change is real, but how do they know that? And how are we to make sense of competing claims? In a recent Presidential Debate, Donald Trump rejected the position of Ben Carson, a doctor, and insisted that vaccines should be more widely spaced. Professor Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University argues that we should trust science, and explains why.

Contact for more information: http://www.smu.edu/Dedman/DCII/Programs/Allman

Businessman’s donation to launch Latino think tank at SMU

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: September 15, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK — Dallas businessman Jorge Baldor said he wants to create a “why not me” effect among a new generation of Hispanics who will take public office and reshape public policy.

Toward that mission, the 59-year-old Cuban-born son of a carpenter and teacher is giving $900,000 over five years to Southern Methodist University for a Latino-focused think tank. The venture will be an academic partnership with SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies and the Latino Center for Leadership Development, a group Baldor created and funded about a year ago.

“America is in the midst of a fundamental, Latino-driven demographic shift,” Baldor said Tuesday in making the announcement at SMU. Already, four out of 10 Texans are Hispanic. Latinos will represent about 30 percent of the nation by 2050, said Baldor, citing the Pew Research Center. READ MORE

Embrey Human Rights Program, World Affairs Council to host McCullough, Kristof

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: Aug 6, 2015

Pulitzer Prize winners David McCullough and Nicholas Kristof are among the headliners who will be speaking this fall on behalf of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.

McCullough, the famed chronicler of American history, will discuss his latest book, The Wright Brothers, at noon Nov. 20 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. McCullough has won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor; two Pulitzers; and the National Book Award, among other honors.

Tickets are $75, and books will be available for purchase.

The council has also secured New York Times columnist and author Kristof as the featured speaker for two programs Sept. 15.

Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, won a Pulitzer for international reporting in 1990 for their coverage of the violence in China’s Tiananmen Square. He was awarded a second Pulitzer for commentary in 2006. He will discuss the philanthropic theme of his latest book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, which he co-wrote with WuDunn.

The Kristof event opens at 6:30 p.m. with a reception at Parish Episcopal School followed by the talk and a book signing. Tickets are $45 and include a copy of A Path Appears.

The program will be hosted in cooperation with the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University and Gendercide Awareness Project.

Earlier that day, Kristof will address a World Affairs Council luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Fort Worth Club, which is presenting the program in partnership with the council. Tickets are $75 and include a copy of A Path Appears.

A speech by a top FBI agent will open the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth’s Saturdays at the Warwick Melrose speaker series on Aug. 15.

Thomas M. Class Sr. is the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas division and a veteran of the agency’s national security efforts. The program begins with registration and continental breakfast at 9:30 a.m. followed by Class’ presentation.

The council will also present espionage writer and former CIA spy Jason Matthews in a program titled “Out of the Secrecy, Into the Novel.” Matthews’ latest thriller, Palace of Treason, is set in contemporary Moscow.

The Sept. 10 event begins with a 6:30 p.m. reception followed by a 7 p.m. program and book signing at The Highland hotel. Tickets are $40.

To buy tickets or join the council, visit dfwworld.org or contact Gail Host at ghost@dfwworld.org or 214-965-8413. READ MORE

Brad Carter, Political Science, to lecture on ‘politics of anger’ at Wilbur Public Library

Dallas Morning News

Wilmer Public Library will host a lecture on Tuesday (8/4/15) about politics as part of its annual summer series.

Brad Carter, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, will talk about what influences people’s views on government and the development of a “politics of anger.” He will explore the history of political parties and how they’ve changed.

The event is free and open to the public. It will be at 7 p.m. at Gilliam Memorial Public Library, 205 E. Belt Line Road. READ MORE

NFL player and SMU alum, Kelvin Beachum visits campus over Father’s Day weekend

Kelvin Beachum shared his secrets for success as a college student with a group of SMU alumni, staff, faculty and community members last Friday evening at a reception hosted by Lori and Jon Altschuler. The new father returned to campus to kick off Father’s Day weekend and share his journey from Dedman College student to the NFL. He advised all students, and student athletes in particular to stretch and go beyond their comfort zones by getting involved with leadership opportunities on campus. Prayer, planning, position and “paying it forward” all hold special importance to this dynamic offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The crowd of Beachum fans enjoyed the one-on-one time with Kelvin and the chance to ask about his experiences both at SMU and in the NFL. Click here for recent media coverage on Kelvin Beachum.

Jon Altschuler ’94, Dedman College Executive Board member Lori Altschuler ’92 (hosts of the reception)
Kelvin Beachum with Jon Altschuler ’94, Dedman College Executive Board member
and Lori Altschuler ’92 (hosts of the reception)
Lori White, Vice President for Student Affairs Tony Tillman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention for SMU
Tony Tillman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention for SMU, Kelvin Beachum and Lori White, Vice President for Student Affairs
Group photo with Kelvin Beachum




10-day SMU trip reveals Wild West myths that obscure ‘theft, deception & genocide’ for Native Americans

DALLAS (SMU) — Thirteen SMU students, faculty and staff members are traveling the American West to better understand past and present struggles of our country’s “too often-forgotten indigenous people,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin, who is leading the June 2-12 trip.

During the 10-day journey through Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, the group will visit Native American sites of what Halperin describes as “brutal military and socio-economic strife as well as cultural resilience,” including the Pine Ridge Reservation and Wounded Knee area of South Dakota and the Battle of Little Bighorn site in Montana.

“Native American justice is perhaps the most fundamental – and most overlooked – human rights issue in the United States,” adds Embrey Human Rights Assistant Director Brad Klein. “This trip will raise awareness of how myths about the taming of the ‘Wild West’ obscure a history of theft, deception and genocide.”

Trip participants also will see how Native Americans are still fighting to better their communities and build a better world for the next generation, Klein says. READ MORE

Joseph F. Kobylka, Political Science, “The Law, the Constitution, and Obergefell v. Hodges.”

7 p.m.
June 4, 2015
Dedman Life Sciences Building
Harold Jeskey Lecture Hall, Room 131


Joseph F. Kobylka, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Undergraduate Studies will discuss the impact of the pending case and imminent decision being made by the Supreme Court for same sex couples in Texas and around the nation. Following his presentation, he will take questions from the audience and lead discussion. Professor Kobylka teaches a course on the Supreme Court titled “Law, Politics, and the Supreme Court.” Over spring break earlier this year he took his students to Washington DC to visit the Supreme Court.

SMU conference to promote technology, economics of geothermal production in oil and gas fields

Originally Posted: May 15, 2015

Southern Methodist University’s renowned Geothermal Laboratory will host its seventh international energy conference and workshop on the SMU campus May 19-20. The conference is designed to promote transition of oil and gas fields to electricity-producing geothermal systems by harnessing waste heat and fluids from both active and abandoned fields.

More than 200 professionals – ranging from members of the oil and gas service industry, reservoir engineers, to geothermal energy entrepreneurs, to lawyers – are expected to attend “Power Plays: Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields” Topics of discussion will include:

  • Power generation from flare gas
  • Power generation from waste-heat and geothermal fluids
  • Research updates on induced seismicity, as well as onshore and offshore thermal maturation
  • Play Fairway Analysis – a subsurface mapping technique used to identify prospective geothermal resources
  • Technology updates.

Researchers from SMU’s Huffington Department of Earth Sciences will present results from their Fall 2014 Eastern North American Margin Community Seismic Experiment (ENAM CSE) research. In addition, equipment such as one-well systems, desalination and other new technologies will be explored. Registration remains open and walk-up attendees will be accommodated.

SMU has been at the forefront of geothermal energy research for more than 45 years, and the Geothermal Laboratory’s mapping of North American geothermal resources is considered the baseline for U.S. geothermal energy exploration. Geothermal Laboratory Coordinator Maria Richards and Emeritus Professor David Blackwell have seen interest in geothermal energy wax and wane with the price of oil and natural gas.

But Richards believes current low oil prices will drive more interest in geothermal development, encouraging oil and gas producers to use geothermal production from existing oil and gas fields as they try to keep them cost-effective for petroleum production at 2015 prices.

The technology that will be examined at the conference is relatively straight-forward: Sedimentary basins drilled for oil and gas production leave behind reservoir pathways that can later be used for heat extraction. Fluids moving through those hot reservoir pathways capture heat, which at the surface can be turned into electricity, or used downhole to replace pumping needs. In addition, the existing surface equipment used in active oil and gas fields generates heat, which also can be tapped to produce electricity and mitigate the cost of production.

“Oil and gas drilling rig counts are down,” Richards said. “The industry has tightened its work force and honed its expertise. The opportunity to produce a new revenue stream during an economically challenging period, through the addition of relatively simple technology at the wellhead, may be the best chance we’ve had in years to gain operators’ attention.”

Featured speakers include Jim Wicklund, managing director for equity research at Credit Suisse, who will speak on “Volatile Economics in the Oil Field,” and Holly Thomas and Tim Reinhardt from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office. STW Water Process & Technology, a water reclamation and oilfield services company, will have desalination equipment on-site for attendees to understand size and scaling capacity of water purification for oil field operators.

More information: