Get ‘Wild About SMU’ for Family Weekend 2017, Sept. 22-24

Family Weekend 2017 Wild About SMU

SMU family members from across the country will get “Wild About SMU” during 2017 Family Weekend, coordinated by the Student Foundation’s Family Weekend Committee. The festivities take place Sept. 22-24.

Student research, creativity and innovation take the spotlight during the Fall 2017 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 22 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. Engaged Learning Fellows show their work 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and Pitch Contest teams will hold forth from 2-5 p.m. for the opportunity to win $1,000 in seed money for their projects.

Find the full schedule for 2017 SMU Family Weekend

Events include the traditional Game Day Barbecue, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 on the Clements Hall South Lawn. Faculty and staff members can claim four free football tickets for the 6 p.m. SMU-Arkansas State at the Ford Stadium ticket window with SMU ID. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department website.


SMU Gives Back 2017 flyerClear bag policy at Ford Stadium:
The only bags permitted on Game Day are those made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches; one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar), or small clutch bags (about the size of a hand) with or without a strap. See the complete list of SMU Ford Stadium Game Day policies.

SMU Gives Back: This year, the Student Foundation is partnering with Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, which supports the health and well-being of seriously ill or injured children receiving treatment in the Dallas area, as well as their families. Throughout SMU Family Weekend, University community members can eat and shop at a variety of local partner businesses – just mention that you are with SMU, and  part of your purchase will directly benefit Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.

Parking: On Friday, Sept. 22, Game Day parking is in effect. Please plan to move your car if you usually park near Ford Stadium. Refer to SMUMustangs.com/gameday for a parking map.

By | 2017-09-21T16:23:09+00:00 September 21, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News|

Celebrate student innovation at the 2017 Engaged Learning Fall Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, Friday, Sept. 22

engaged-learning-logo-300Outstanding students will show their work and market their startup concepts during the Fall 2017 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The two events take place Friday, Sept. 22 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum, as part of SMU’s 2017 Family Weekend.

Check out the complete EL Symposium line-up

During the Symposium, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

> See how the Big iDeas Pitch Contest works

SMU Big iDeas logo, blue background-400From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early 2018.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

By | 2017-09-21T16:21:05+00:00 September 21, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU panel discusses the future of affordable housing in Dallas, Sept. 21, 2017

Dallas skylineDallas’ economy is booming, yet home prices and rents are rising beyond the means of many residents. How can the city tackle this challenge, yet continue to promote economic growth?

Local experts will discuss the path forward in “How Will Dallas Address the Issue of Affordable Housing?,” presented by SMU Reads and the Folsom Institute for Real Estate in SMU’s Cox School of Business. The event takes place 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 in the University’s Collins Executive Education Center.

The panelists include:

The discussion will be moderated by Nicole Stockdale, deputy editorial page editor of The Dallas Morning News. The event is free; advance registration is recommended.

Are you attending? Share your thoughts on social media with the #SMUServes hashtag.

> Register to attend “How Will Dallas Address the Issue of Affordable Housing?” at Eventbrite

Staff Celebration and Convocation scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017

The SMU Staff Association, in collaboration with the Office of Operational Excellence, has created a new Staff Celebration and Convocation program honoring SMU staff excellence. The ceremony is for all SMU staff members and will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 in McFarlin Auditorium.

President R. Gerald Turner will give his traditional State of SMU address as the keynote during the event. University Registrar John Hall, SMU’s longest-serving staff member, will be the featured speaker.

Staff members who have achieved 25 years of service to SMU will be honored, as well as the 2017 Presidential and Loretta Hawkins Award recipients. The ceremony with also recognize staff members who have continued their SMU service beyond 25 years, and previous Presidential and Loretta Hawkins Award recipients.

A reception with light refreshments will precede the ceremony at 10 a.m. For more information, visit the SMU Staff Association website.

By | 2017-09-14T14:09:28+00:00 September 14, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

PwC SMU Athletic Forum continues 2017 season with Charles Barkley Wednesday, Sept. 20

Charles BarkleyThe PwC SMU Athletic Forum continues its 26th season with Basketball Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA All-Star Charles Barkley. The event takes place Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.

An All-American center at Auburn, Barkley was drafted as a junior by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984. He was selected to the All-NBA First Team five times, appeared in 11 NBA All-Star Games and was named All-Star MVP in 1991. He was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1993 and was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during the league’s 50th anniversary in 1996.

Barkley also competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and won two gold medals as a member of Team USA. Since retiring as a player, Barkley has built successful careers as an author and television NBA analyst.

All Forum luncheons begin at noon at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway near downtown Dallas. Single tickets are $75. Proceeds from PwC SMU Athletic Forum events are used to support University athletic scholarships and operating initiatives.

> Learn more about the PwC SMU Athletic Forum online: smu.edu/athleticforum

By | 2017-09-13T12:56:34+00:00 September 13, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News|

Tate Distinguished Lecture Series kicks off 2017-18 season Tuesday, Sept. 26

SMU Tate microphoneSMU’s 36th season of the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series features an international affairs discussion with two prominent experts on emerging threats; a TED Prize-winning archaeologist who uses satellite imagery to uncover lost sites; the founder and president of the world’s largest political risk consultancy firm; and an evening with an Oscar-winning actor and crusader against childhood hunger.

All lectures take place at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Each lecturer will also participate in a free SMU Tate Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the event; faculty, staff members and students are welcome to attend.

The upcoming season at a glance:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 26 – Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass and CNN international affairs expert Fareed Zakaria, joined by returning moderator David Gergen, former presidential advisor and CNN senior political analyst
  • Tuesday, Oct. 24 – Amanda Lindhout, freelance journalist, survivor of 460 days as a hostage in Somalia, author of the best-selling memoir A House in the Sky, and founder of the Global Enrichment Foundation (GEF), dedicating to empowering citizens of conflict-ridden countries
  • Tuesday, Nov. 28 – Sarah Parcak, archaeologist and anthropologist renowned for her innovative use of satellite imagery to locate archaeological sites, and recipient of a 2016 TED Prize that funded GlobalXplorer, an online portal for crowdsourcing satellite imagery analysis
  • Tuesday, Jan. 30 – Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group, the world’s largest political risk consultancy firm, and leading expert on how political risk affects policy decisions
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27 – Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, one of the world’s largest nonprofit foundations with an endowment of $12.4 billion and a mission to “advance human welfare”
  • Tuesday, March 20 – Retired General David Petraeus, 37-year U.S. Army veteran and one of the most decorated military officers in U.S. history, former commander of coalition forces during the Iraq War and of United States Central Command, and former director of the CIA
  • Tuesday, April 10 – Shawn Achor, native Texan, best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage and Before
    Happiness, and leading expert on the connection between happiness and success
  • Tuesday, May 1 – Jeff Bridges, seven-time Oscar nominee and Academy Award winner for Crazy Heart, and  national spokesman for the Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry campaign that works to end childhood hunger in America

For more information, visit the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series website.

By | 2017-09-13T12:42:35+00:00 September 13, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News|Tags: , , |

Tune In: Be ready for National Preparedness Month

What can you do to secure your classroom or campus office in an emergency? September is National Preparedness Month, and Myles Taylor of SMU News has created a video to help the SMU community be ready for the unexpected.

Get a head start on knowing what to do if you must shelter in place, lock down or evacuate – and don’t forget your cellphone. It could become your lifeline. Click the YouTube screen to see more, or visit this link to watch “Your Classroom, Your Safety” in a new window. video

By | 2017-09-12T16:50:51+00:00 September 12, 2017|Categories: Tune In|Tags: , , , , |

President Turner issues SMU statement on DACA program

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has issued a statement regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including a number of University resources for students needing support.

The Trump Administration announced its intention to end the DACA program in six months. Congressional action will be required to set a new policy regarding childhood arrivals – undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors by their parents.

President Turner shared this message via e-mail dated Friday, Sept. 8, 2017:

Dear SMU community,

The federal government announced this week that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will end in six months, unless Congress takes action. DACA offers temporary legal protection to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Nearly 200,000 young people in Texas are enrolled in DACA, including valued members of our campus community.

SMU joins universities across the country that are deeply concerned by the uncertainty of this situation. While debate on this issue continues, SMU’s mission remains unchanged. We seek to recruit, retain and graduate academically and creatively gifted students from diverse backgrounds, and we seek to provide these students with the opportunity to become society’s innovators, leaders and informed citizens. We know that all SMU students and graduates have within themselves the ability to be world changers who make significant contributions to our increasingly global society.

SMU will watch closely as Congress considers this issue. We are focused on supporting students and maintaining a welcoming, respectful environment in which all can pursue their academic goals. In addition, SMU will continue to act in accordance with University policies and state and federal laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of students’ records and information.

Any student needing support may contact Student Affairs’ Caring Community Connections program online. Faculty, staff, family members and other students also may submit any concerns about students’ well-being to this program.

Additional SMU resources include:

·         Office of International Student & Scholar Services, 214-768-4475

·         Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, 214-768-4580

·         Confidential counselors at Counseling Services, 214-768-2277, and the Chaplain’s Office, 214-768-4502

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has frequently asked questions about this week’s decision online.

We will continue to carefully monitor this important issue. I ask all campus community members to continue your important work of shaping and becoming world changers in an environment that emphasizes individual dignity and worth.

Sincerely,

R. Gerald Turner
President

By | 2017-09-08T14:26:00+00:00 September 8, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

SMU Meadows’ Ignite/Arts and Cara Mía Theatre Co. explore lives of DREAMers in Deferred Action Sept. 14-17, 2017

Rehearsal still photo from Deferred ActionSMU Meadows School of the Arts’ Ignite/Arts Dallas initiative, with co-presenter Cara Mía Theatre Co., will launch a touring version of an acclaimed play on the urgent topic of immigration and the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program, originally produced and premiered at Dallas Theater Center in 2016.

Deferred Action by David Lozano and Lee Trull will begin its tour in North Texas with four performances at the Meadows School’s Bob Hope Theatre, Sept. 14-17. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff, and are available online at caramiatheatre.org.

Tickets will also be available through the Cara Mía box office in the Hope Theatre lobby one hour before each performance.

The play’s central character is Javier Mejía, one of the immigrants known as DREAMers who arrived in the United States as an undocumented minor. Now, after years in the States, he finds himself caught in the tangle of existing immigration laws, new presidential policies and the harsh reality of living in the shadows. Javier hopes that temporary administrative mechanisms like Deferred Action will be the answer to his dilemma. But will hope be snatched away? Can politicians who say they are the DREAMers’ friends be trusted?

Co-author Lozano is Cara Mía executive artistic director, and Trull serves as Dallas Theater Center’s director of new play development. The touring version is directed by Lozano and features Cara Mía actors and other local and national professional performers.

Subsequent performancers are scheduled at the University of North Texas in Denton, the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, Talento Bilingüe de Houston and the Encuentro de las Americas International Theatre Festival in Los Angeles. The touring production, the first ever undertaken by Cara Mía, was commissioned by Ignite/Arts Dallas and is sponsored by the Dallas-based Latino Center for Leadership Development.

On Saturday, Sept. 16 at 4:30 p.m., a free Community Conversation event will be held in the Bob Hope Theatre to discuss issues raised in the play. The event, sponsored by the Embrey Family Foundation, will feature a panel and open discussion with members of Cara Mía Theatre about the lives of DREAMers, immigration reform, and current national, state and local policies surrounding undocumented immigrants. Attendees are invited to stay afterward for a complimentary meal provided by Chipotle.

Admission to the Community Conversation is free, and no reservations are required.

> Read the full story at the SMU Meadows School of the Arts website

Research: SMU scientists help solve the mystery of climate and leaf size

Conifer needlesWhy is a banana leaf a million times bigger than a common heather leaf? Why are leaves generally much larger in tropical jungles than in temperate forests and deserts? The textbooks say it’s a balance between water availability and overheating – but researchers have found that it’s not that simple.

SMU paleobotanist Bonnie F. Jacobs has contributed work to a major new study that provides scientists with a new tool for understanding both ancient and future climate by looking at the size of plant leaves.

The study, published in the Sept. 1, 2017 issue of Science, was led by Associate Professor Ian Wright from Macquarie University, Australia. The study’s findings reveal that in much of the world the key factor limiting the size of a plant’s leaves is the temperature at night and the risk of frost damage to leaves.

Jacobs said the implications of the study are significant for enabling scientists to either predict modern leaf size in the distant future, or to understand the climate for a locality as it may have been in the past.

“This research provides scientists with another tool for predicting future changes in vegetation, given climate change, and for describing ancient climate given fossil leaves,” said Jacobs, a professor in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

“Now we can reliably use this as another way to look at future climate models for a specific location and predict the size of plant leaves,” she said. “Or, if we’re trying to understand what the climate was for a prehistoric site tens of millions of years ago, we can look at the plant fossils discovered in that location and describe what the climate most likely was at that time.”

Wright, Jacobs and 15 colleagues from Australia, the U.K., Canada, Argentina, the United States, Estonia, Spain and China analyzed leaves from more than 7,600 species, then pooled and analyzed the data with new theory to create a series of equations that can predict the maximum viable leaf size anywhere in the world based on the risk of daytime overheating and night-time freezing.

The researchers will use these findings to create more accurate vegetation models. This will be used by governments to predict how vegetation will change locally and globally under climate change, and to plan for adaptation.

“The conventional explanation was that water availability and overheating were the two major limits to leaf size. But the data didn’t fit,” says Wright. “For example the tropics are both wet and hot, and leaves in cooler parts of the world are unlikely to overheat.”

“Our team worked both ends of the problem – observation and theory,” he says. “We used big data – measurements made on tens of thousands of leaves. By sampling across all continents, climate zones and plant types we were able to show that simple ‘rules’ seemingly operate across the world’s plant species, rules that were not apparent from previous, more limited analyses.”

Jacobs contributed an extensive leaf database she compiled about 20 years ago, funded by a National Science Foundation grant. She analyzed the leaf characteristics of 880 species of modern tropical African plants, which occurred in various combinations among 30 plant communities. Jacobs measured leaves of the plant specimens at the Missouri Botanical Garden Herbarium, one of the largest archives of pressed dried plant specimens from around the world.

She looked at all aspects of leaf shape and climate, ranging from seasonal and annual rainfall and temperature for each locale, as well as leaf shape, size, tip, base, among others. Using statistical analyses to plot the variables, she found the most prominent relationship between leaf shape and climate was that size increases with rainfall amount. Wet sites had species with larger leaves than dry sites.

Her Africa database was added to those of many other scientists who have compiled similar data for other localities around the world.

— Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story from the SMU Research blog

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