Congratulations to Psychology graduate students Margaret Sala and Rose Ashraf

Margaret Sala has been awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship. This is a three year award and very competitive.

Rose Ashraf won the award for best graduate student paper at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Human Development held in Denver on March 17-19.

 

Grad student discovers river in Peru so hot it boils animals alive

Tech Insider

Originally Posted: February 22, 2016

Deep in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, an anomalous and perplexing natural wonder lies: A raging river that boils.

Once just the stuff of folklore, geophysicist Andrés Ruzo, a PhD student at Southern Methodist University, set out to find the legendary waterway himself.

He not only found it, but he confirmed that it does, in fact, surge at a scalding 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

“It feels like I’m in a sauna inside a toaster oven,” Ruzo said sitting on the bank of the river in his new book, The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon. (Ruzo also discussed his quest to understand its puzzling features in a recent TED talk.) READ MORE

Anthropology Graduate Student Shay Cannedy and four of her peers to organize SMU’s first Refugee and Forced Migration Symposium

SMU NEWS
Originally Posted: January 20, 2016

DALLAS (SMU)Whether the topic is immigrants from Mexico or refugees from Syria, much of public opinion on these complex issues appears driven by emotion rather than fact. That’s what prompted SMU Anthropology Graduate Student Shay Cannedy and four of her peers to organize SMU’s first Refugee and Forced Migration Symposium, which will feature a renowned refugee expert and a Syrian refugee living in Dallas.

David W Haines

The symposium, “Whose Protection? Interrogating Displacement and the Limits of Humanitarian Welcome,” is open to the public Thursday and Friday, Jan. 28-29, in room 144 of Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall on SMU’s campus.

Delivering the symposium’s keynote address is George Mason University Professor David Haines, a renowned expert on refugee resettlement in the United States. Haines’ lecture, “Remembering refugees,” will be presented at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28 in Simmons 144, following a 30-minute reception that starts at 5 p.m.

The symposium will continue from 3-5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, also in Simmons 144, with remarks from Syrian refugee Ghada Mukdad and presentations from SMU graduate students.

Mukdad, who was stranded in the U.S. when the outbreak of civil war prevented her from returning home in 2012, will speak about the conflict in Syria and her own legal struggles to gain official refugee status. Ghada is the founder of the Zain Foundation, a global human rights advocacy group, and an advisory board member of the Syrian Civil Coalition, which advocates for the victims of Syria’s refugee crisis.

Cannedy and fellow graduate students Katherine Fox, Sara Mosher, Ashvina Patel and Carrie Perkins will each present a lecture based on their own research into refugee issues around the world, ranging from Thailand to San Francisco

“Given current large-scale refugee movements in Europe and the Syrian refugee controversies in Texas, we thought a symposium would be a good way to open discussion on the topic and bring forth something from our own research,” Cannedy says. “A lot of countries are rethinking their migration policies and how we treat asylum seekers, so it’s on the forefront of people’s minds right now.”

Find details on the Jan. 29 portion of the symposium here. RSVPs for both days of the symposium are requested at scannedy@mail.smu.edu.

“Forced migration movements are global,” Cannedy says. “People seeking protection don’t only arrive on the doorstep of the U.S., but are also handled by developing countries.” By examining global trends in how various nations react to migration and refugee challenges, Cannedy believes the United States can develop a strategy that works best for its own concerns and needs.

“Some people view refugees and migrants as more of a security issue than a human rights issue,” Cannedy says. “But the new Canadian administration, for example, emphasizes making a compassionate welcome rather than closing borders, so we’ll be talking about how different migration policies impact the lives of people who come into contact with them.” READ MORE

History Ph.D. writes about the history of Latino conservatism

News Taco

Originally Posted: December 17, 2015

By Aaron Sanchez, Commentary & Cuentos

Aaron E. Sanchez is the editor of Commentary and Cuentos, a blog focused on issues of race, politics, and popular culture from a Latino perspective. The posts place these issues in historical, cultural, and intellectual context to better understand our present. Aaron received his Ph.D. in history from Southern Methodist University. He is a happy husband, proud father, and an avid runner.

The coming presidential election has brought Latinos into the spotlight. Primarily, Democratic presidential hopefuls have reached out to the community, hiring key immigration activists and political actors. Yet, it is the Republican Party that has brought forward two Latino presidential candidates, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. But how did a party known most recently for its anti-immigrant stance produce the first two Latino presidential candidates? Many have wondered about how Latinos could be conservatives or if Latino conservatism is an oxymoron. United Farm Worker Union (UFW) co-founder Dolores Huerta even called them “sellouts,” a term with a long history associated with elected Latino officials. Luis Valdez, founder of Teatro Campesino, a Chicano theater troupe associated with the UFW, wrote a 1967 play called “Los Vendidos” aimed at Mexican-American appointees of Ronald Reagan, who was then governor of California. READ MORE

Anthropology Ph.D. candidate Kerri Brown receives prestigious Fulbright-Hays grant

SMU

Originally Posted: Nov. 12, 2015

SMU anthropology Ph.D. candidate Kerri Brown recently received a Fulbright-Hays international education fellowship to support 18 months of research in Brazil. Brown leaves for Rio de Janeiro in January to continue work on her dissertation about public policy related to traditional medicinal plants in Brazil.

In Brazil, home to nearly one-fourth of the world’s plant species, many groups within the country have long relied on medicinal plants for basic health care. Pharmaceutical companies also use South American plants to create medications such as quinine for malaria and beta blockers for cardiovascular disease. But local groups’ knowledge of the natural world and pharmaceutical companies’ desire to better understand and export untapped resources has created a conflict resulting in international regulation, Brown says.

“I am interested in how international policy affects various communities’ uses of medicinal plants,” Brown says. “The regulation of medicinal plants is often a point of conversation for larger issues in Latin America, such as deforestation, biopiracy and the rights of marginalized people.”

Brown first became interested in Brazil as an undergraduate at the University of Texas in Austin. A psychology and anthropology major, she studied abroad in Rio de Janeiro and volunteered at Criola, an organization that seeks to empower Afro-Brazilian girls and women to become agents of change. At Criola she became interested in women’s access to health care and use of traditional medicine.

As part of her fellowship, Brown will spend nine months in Rio de Janeiro and then travel to Oriximiná, a small town in the Amazon, to continue her research.

“The Fulbright-Hays fellowship will give me so much flexibility,” Brown says. “It will enable me to travel, attend regional conferences and meet with other researchers in Brazil.”

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded $4.4 million in Fulbright-Hays grants aimed at increasing understanding between the United States and the rest of the world. Brown is one of 86 scholars nationwide to receive funding through the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad project.

Substance Over Buzz? A working paper by a group of DCII graduate fellows on interdisciplinary job ad analysis suggests some jobs aren’t truly interdisciplinary.

Inside Higher Ed

Originally Posted: October 27, 2015

Is true interdisciplinary work becoming more common, or is it simply a buzzword — or, perhaps worse, a trumped-up name for flexible academic labor? That’s what a group of graduate students at Southern Methodist University wanted to know, so they took what data were available to them — job ads — and analyzed them for possible answers.
They determined that ads for interdisciplinary academic jobs privilege teaching over interdisciplinary expertise, and that the jobs that appear truly interdisciplinary tend to be at institutions that have dedicated centers for such work. READ MORE

Follow Christopher Kiahtipes, Ph.D. candidate in anthropology, on SMU Adventures blog

SMU Adventures

Updated: July 6, 2015

Christopher Kiahtipes is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. His work includes reconstructing past environments in tropical Central Africa to better understand the links between culture, ecology and climate. He is spending part of the summer in Europe to present his research at the 8th International Workshop on African Archaeobotany (IWAA) in Italy and to visit libraries and botanical collections at the University of Montpellier in France. READ MORE

 

SMU Adventures: Katherine, Maguire Fellow and Medical Anthropology grad student in San Francisco

Originally posted: June 25, 2015

Katherine is a graduate student in the medical anthropology program. She was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellowship for summer 2015 from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU for her research on struggles for LGBTQ immigrants in the San Francisco Bay area. READ MORE