OE2C: President Turner updates campus on next phase

SMU President R. Gerald Turner updated the campus community on the progress of Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C) in an e-mail and video released on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014:


Today, Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C) is at an important turning point. During the diagnostic phase of the project, we looked deeply into our organization’s data and gathered insights through more than 230 interviews with faculty and staff across campus. Now we are turning our attention to the future with the design phase to make specific plans to improve the way we conduct operations at SMU.

To manage that effort, I’m pleased to announce that Julie Wiksten will be taking on a new role as Associate Vice President for Operational Excellence. Together with project coordinators Bill Detwiler and Julie Forrester, she will oversee the ongoing work of OE2C and make sure that we realize the full savings potential of this project. Read more about her new position and her work at SMU here.

As we close out the diagnostic phase of OE2C and transition to the solutions design phase, I want to share with you a short video that outlines our findings and describes next steps:

Several new items related to our transition to the design phase are now on our website, and I hope you will take time to review them. These include our vision for the ways OE2C initiatives will bolster SMU’s future and a pdf of the slides in the video with some additional details.

We will be moving quickly on our newest initiatives in the weeks to come, so check the OE2C website for updates or subscribe to receive updates as they are posted. We value your input and hope you will continue to provide feedback on specific initiatives and on the project in general via the comments form on the website.

Thank you for your continued support of this initiative. We know it is a challenging and complex undertaking, but one that will greatly strengthen the economic vitality of SMU, significantly support our academic mission and enhance our growing stature as an outstanding academic institution.


> Get the latest updates at smu.edu/OE2C

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Banjos, supercomputers and killer bacteria: TEDxSMU explores ‘Strangely Familiar’ territory Nov. 1, 2014

The 6th annual edition of TEDxSMU returns to Dallas City Performance Hall Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 with year’s theme of “Strangely Familiar.”

Admission to the daylong event includes the popular “after party” where speakers, performers and the audience continue the conversations that started during the program. TEDxSMU tickets are $150 for the entire day and are available from EventBrite.

The program begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m., and includes a light breakfast, lunch, snacks and conversation breaks. Ranging from an analysis of “sexxy fat,” to a banjo player who blames his image problems on the movie “Deliverance,” to the chilling specter of killer bacteria in a post-antibiotic world, this year’s lineup delivers on TED’s theme of “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

“Whatever we thought we were starting with TEDxSMU in 2009, we know now that it has been the catalyst for an entire community of people who are looking for new ways to view the world,” said director Heather Hankamer.  “The salons that we organize throughout the year allow us to keep great conversations going, and our auditions for TEDxSMU and TEDxKids@SMU have taken on a life of their own. The sense of adventure we felt that first year just keeps on going.”

Speakers and performers at TEDxSMU 2014 include:

Deborah CleggDEBORAH CLEGG, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center nutritionist and a former member of the Army team that develops MRE’s (meals ready to eat), has focused her research on the role that sex hormones play in human metabolism. Male and female fat cells are not the same, Clegg says, and her presentation, “Discoveries in Pursuit of ‘Sexxy Fat’ carries the message that sex matters – even when it comes to fat.

JANEIL ENGELSTADTJANEIL ENGELSTADT, a provocative artist whose works turn a spotlight on themes like youth and gang violence, homelessness, peace and ecology, is fully invested in the role of public art as an agent of social change.

Howard GoldthwaiteHOWARD GOLDTHWAITE, Dallas marketing guru, writer and creative strategist, also is a banjo player who says the movie “Deliverance” turned people like him into social outcasts. But his five-string journey has taught him the value of pursuing what you love, even if it’s unpopular. Goldthwaite won his spot on the TEDxSMU stage at the June audition at Live in Deep Ellum.

Greg HarrisGREG HARRIS is the President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. His presentation, “Our Soundtrack,” will share the inside story of the songs and artifacts that define us.

Lawrence HassLARRY HASS is associate dean at the McBride Magic and Mystery School in Las Vegas, as well as a professor of humanities at Austin College in Sherman, Texas.  He loves to talk about the psychology of magic – and how the art of illusion celebrates the impossible, and energizes people to see the world in new ways.

Kevin JudiceKEVIN JUDICE’s topic is a warning: “Life in the Post-Antibiotic Era is Going to Suck.” Founder of K2 Therapeutics, Judice pursues medical treatments for antibiotic resistant superbugs.  The discovery of antibiotics resulted in a huge increase in human lifespan, he says, but their over-use has put us in on the road to a future where minor scrapes and sore throats may be deadly.

Alexander McLeanALEXANDER MCLEAN is the founder of the Africa Prisons Project, a Uganda-based organization working to improve the lives of men, women, and children living in African prisons. People consigned to prisons are not lost causes, McLean believes, and will speak about the transformations he has seen through his work in African prisons over the last decade.

Maurizio PorfiniMEGNA MURALI, a sophomore at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, knows quite a bit about the intersection of cultures and will share it through a demonstration of the similarities between Indian Kathak and Spanish Flamenco dance.

Satya NittaSATYA NITTA works with Watson, the famous IBM supercomputer, as manager of the Emerging Technologies Research Group at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center. His talk will focus on the extraordinary opportunity to transform learning that he sees at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive computing.

Kelly StoetzelKELLY STOETZEL is director of content for TED and the longtime host of TEDxSMU with slam poet Rives. This proud SMU alumna will tell you she has best job in the world, and her talk will lift the curtain on how the development of TEDxKids@SMU as a “why not” enterprise has blossomed into a global series of events designed to bring ideas worth sharing to youngsters.

See the full list of speakers coming to TEDxSMU at tedxsmu.org/tedxsmu-2014. Keep up with TEDxSMU at facebook.com/TEDxSMU and on Twitter @TEDxSMU.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

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Calendar Highlights: Oct. 29, 2014

Unknown1Pumpkins and Professors: SMU Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences presents Pumpkins and Professors Wednesday, Oct. 29, 4:30-6:30 p.m., in the Scholar’s Den of Clements Hall Basement. This is an opportunity for faculty and staff to come together outside the classroom for a spooky evening of coffee and conversation. Professors are welcome to bring their families and students are encouraged to bring their friends. For more information, contact Aubrey Richardson.

From Curanderos to Heart Surgeons and Back Again: Health, Healing and Resiliency in the Hispanic Southwest: In celebration of the SMU Department of Anthropology’s 50th anniversary, SMU distinguished alumni Robert T. Trotter will discuss the practice of curanderismoCuranderismo is part of a historically and culturally important health care system deeply rooted in native Mexican healing techniques. The lecture will take place Wednesday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m., in McCord Auditorium. To RSVP, please contact Pamela Hogan.

US Congressman Pete Sessions: SMU College Republicans presents US Congressman Pete Sessions Wednesday, Oct. 29, 6 p.m., in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom. Sessions will speak to students about current events and issues. For more information, contact Cole Chandler.

Meadows Jazz Orchestra Brown Bag Concert: Meadows School of the Arts presents a lively noontime concert by Meadows Jazz Orchestra directed by Dylan Smith. The concert will take place Thursday, Oct. 30, 12:45 p.m., in the Tubman Atrium of the Owen Arts Center. For more information, contact Dylan Smith.

WNSoFF4XBig iDeas Pitch Contest: In search of the next big student innovation, SMU Big iDeas will host The Big iDeas Pitch Contest Friday, Oct. 31, 3-5 p.m., at the CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower. The contest is an open event for undergraduates with big ideas on how they can make a positive impact in the world. For more information, contact Big iDeas via email or phone 214.768.4788.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: As part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Meadows School of the Arts presents Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus. Focusing on African American identity through cultural and political movements, Cyrus’s work explores events such as the Jazz Age of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and their consequent appropriation by mainstream culture. The lecture will take place Monday, Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m., in the Owen Arts Center, B600. For additional information, call 214.768.1222.

Peace, Politics & Plutonium: The Hillel of Dallas and SMU Jewish Studies present a lunch and lecture with Gil Hoffman as he offers an insider’s look at mayhem in the Middle East. The event takes place Wednesday, Nov. 5, 11:55 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., in Heroy Hall, Room 153. To RSVP, please contact SMU Jewish Studies by Oct. 31.

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SMU’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education names Leanne Ketterlin-Geller director of K-12 STEM Initiatives

Leanne Ketterlin-GellerSMU’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education has named Associate Professor Leanne Ketterlin-Geller as its new director of K-12 STEM Initiatives.

A faculty member in education policy and leadership and director of research in mathematics education in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Ketterlin-Geller will bring a cross-disciplinary focus to her new role with the Institute, housed in the University’s Lyle School of Engineering.

Ketterlin-Geller is an expert in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, and her research focuses on mathematics education through instructional leadership principles and practices. Her new position will include working with the Caruth Institute’s Infinity Project, developing partnerships with area schools, working with Lyle engineering programs geared toward middle and high school students, and working with departments and faculty members to match their engineering expertise to K-12 outreach opportunities.

Ketterlin-Geller will work closely with Delores Etter, executive director of the Caruth Institute and TI Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education, as well as other faculty members from both schools to advance the K-12 STEM initiatives of the Institute.

“Professor Ketterlin-Geller’s extensive experience as a leader in STEM and K-12 education will bring much needed expertise in addressing the critical mission of the Caruth Institute,” Etter said. “Her role within the Simmons School of Education and Human Development will strengthen the necessary collaboration between our two schools.”

“The work that Dr. Ketterlin-Geller will direct is essential to our goal to increase the number and diversity of students with both the enthusiasm and knowledge to pursue the engineering careers that are necessary for the U.S. to compete in a global economy,” said Lyle Dean Marc Christensen. “This appointment demonstrates our commitment to the emerging collaborations between the Simmons School of Education and the Lyle School of Engineering. We look forward to what we can achieve together.”

“Through these Caruth Institute initiatives students will see the power of math in daily life – and engineering is where we really see this at work,” said Ketterlin-Geller. “We hope to develop engaging and interesting programs for both teachers and students that will help all students develop both confidence and competence in STEM fields. This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity to work across disciplines to help foster innovation in K-12 STEM education.”

A former high school science teacher, Ketterlin-Geller has served as principal investigator for federal, state, and locally funded research grants emphasizing the development of instructional materials and formative assessment procedures in mathematics. Much of her research is focused on supporting algebra readiness in elementary and middle school mathematics. She works closely with teachers and administrators to understand the application of measurement and assessment principles for making decisions in school settings. She publishes and delivers presentations on mathematics education, measurement and assessment as well as special education.

Ketterlin-Geller and Simmons School Dean David Chard are part of the national research team working on the George W. Bush Institute’s education initiative, Middle School Matters.

> Read the full story from SMU News

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Big iDeas looks for the next big student innovation at the 2014 Pitch Contest Friday, Oct. 31

Big-iDeasWant to see what SMU’s most innovative students are up to? Take a break from Halloween activities and stop by The Big iDeas Pitch Contest on Friday, Oct. 31, 3-5 p.m., at the CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower. 

The contest is an open event for undergraduates with big ideas on how they can make a positive impact in the world. After developing ideas in teams, students pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are “the big ones” based on what is realistic and can be developed in the next three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 to develop prototypes or pilots in preparation for Demo Day in late January 2015.

Click here for the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules

Launched by SMU Provost Paul Ludden in 2008, Big iDeas inspires and empowers students to not only dream up big ideas, but to make them real. Past winners include:

  • WNSoFF4XFACT: Free Admissions Consulting Team, a non-profit that gives low-income students access to free, individualized mentoring and advice targeting every component of the college application process.
  • Oasis Express, a weekend shuttle service designed to give on-campus students easy access to local, fresh food from SMU to White Rock Lake Farmer’s Market.
  • Reading for a Reason, an annual on-campus read-a-thon that promotes literacy in young children.

For more information contact SMU Big iDeas via email or phone. 214-768-4788.

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Research: Learning algebra from Instagram

Stock photo of a student working a math problem on a blackboardCan students learn algebra from Instagram and video games?

SMU teaching researcher Candace Walkington thinks so. And her new study, funded by the National Academy of Education, will test the idea.

“In previous work, I found that students draw upon rich algebraic ways of reasoning when pursuing their out-of-school interests in areas like sports, social networking and video games,” says Walkington, an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “Making connections to these topics in algebra class can improve long-term understanding of algebraic ideas.”

The new study asks pre-algebra middle school students in the Dallas Independent School District to author their own algebra stories based on their personal interests. They will describe how linear relationships approximate what they encounter in their everyday lives, such as how they accumulate followers on Instagram or score points in a video game over time, says Walkington, whose research focus is evidence-based effective teaching. About 200 pre-algebra students in eight classrooms at DISD schools are participating in the study.

Based on results from earlier research, Walkington hypothesizes that authoring the stories will elicit students’ interest in the content to be learned by drawing on their knowledge about home and community.

Algebra is a gatekeeper to many careers and to higher-level mathematics, making it critical for students to master, Walkington says – but students struggle to understand the abstract representations.

“Students often can’t see the connection between their world and algebra,” she says. “Exploring ways to connect math to their lives, experiences and knowledge is critical for making it accessible and captivating. That’s especially true when considering students from diverse backgrounds.”

A pilot version of the study begins in spring 2015. The full study starts in fall 2015.

Walkington was awarded the grant as part of the Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the National Academy of Education. The $55,000 grant supports early career scholars working in critical areas of education research.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

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Sports: Rachel Nicol posts nation’s fastest breaststroke time, named AAC Women’s Swimmer of the Week

nicolWomen’s Swimming and Diving: Senior Rachel Nicol and sophomore Tara-Lynn Nicholas swept the breaststroke heats to help lead the women’s swimming and diving team to a third-place finish at the 21st annual SMU Classic on Saturday, Oct. 18 in Lewisville, Texas. Nicol received the season’s first American Athletic Conference Women’s Swimmer of the Week after posting the nation’s top time in the 100-yard breaststroke, winning the event with a time of 1:00:18. She also won the 200-yard heat with a time of 2:10.11, which is good for second in the nation. . The Mustangs also closed the event with a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay. SMU closes out the month against Rice on Friday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. CT at the Mansfield Natatorium.

Men’s Soccer: The men’s soccer team dropped their first American Athletic Conference match of the season in a 1-0 loss to Tulsa on Wednesday, Oct. 22. The Golden Hurricanes scored early, leaving SMU with plenty of time to equalize the game, but the  Mustangs could not capitalize. Freshman goalkeeper Michael Nelson made a season-high eight saves. SMU continues their road trip in Storrs, Connecticut against UConn on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. CT.

bryceclarkFreshman Bryce Clark (pictured right) and junior Idrissa Camara (pictured below) earned league honors for their efforts in an exciting, 2-2 draw between No. 21 SMU and No. 24 South Florida at Westcott Field on Saturday, Oct. 18. Clark was named Rookie of the Week, and Camara landed a spot on the Weekly Honor Roll. soccerThe Mustangs had to come from behind on two occasions after sophomore USF midfielder Marcus Epps netted two goals in the 21st and 63rd minutes. SMU was silenced until the 61st minute, when Clark scored the equalizer on a 30-yard free kick. The Mustangs, who outshot the Bulls 11-2 in the second half, scored on another free kick off the head of Camara. He leads the team with six goals this season. Neither squad was able to find the golden goal in overtime, and both left the field with a point in the standings.

dishkova,vernerWomen’s Tennis: Junior Hristina Dishkova and senior Holly Verner (both pictured left) had their run at the ITA Texas Regional end in the semifinals of the doubles draw on Sunday, Oct. 19, as they fell to TCU’s Seda Arantekin and Stefanie Tan; 6-4, 6-2. Dishkova, junior Vaszilisza Bulgakova and sophomore Dasha Sharapova all had their singles runs end in the round of 32. The Mustangs will return to action on Friday, Oct. 31 at the Houston Invitational.

kasjievsMen’s Tennis: Senior Arturs Kazijevs (pictured right) and junior Nate Lammons each won two matches at the USTA-ITA Texas Regional Championships on Sunday, Oct. 19 in College Station, Texas. Kazijevs began the tournament as the No. 9 seed, and reached the round of 16 before his tournament run ended in a three-set loss to Texas Tech’s Felipe Soares. The Mustangs compete again in the Larry Easley Memorial Classic in Las Vegas that begins on Saturday, Nov. 1.

Volleyball: Senior Caroline Young (pictured left) showed that she has returned to form with her second double-double in as many games in a 3-0 win over East Carolina at Moody Coliseum on Sunday, Oct. 19. Young recorded 11 kills and 10 digs just two weeks after an ankle injury removed her from a match against Memphis. youngJunior Abbey Bybel finished the match with 10 kills and 12 digs, posting her ninth double-double of the season, and junior Avery Acker tallied 38 assists and a team-high 13 digs for her team-best 15th double-double of the year. SMU is now 16-4 on the year, with an impressive 10-1 record at home. The Mustangs begin a four-match road trip against Temple on Friday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. CT in Philadelphia.

souzaCross Country: The cross country team finished 23rd in a highly competitive 38-school field at the Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, Oct. 17. The race featured 22 teams ranked in the latest USTFCCCA poll. Sophomore Agnes Sjöström (20:29) and junior Shanoah Souza (20:46; pictured left) both recorded personal best times and finished in the top 60 of the 265-runner field. The Mustangs finished ahead of four ranked teams including No. 23 Providence, the defending national champions. SMU takes a week off before the American Athletic Conference Championships on Friday, Oct. 31 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Mustangs seek their fourth consecutive conference title and their sixth of the past seven years.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Southern MethodistFootball: SMU dropped its sixth straight game in a 41-3 loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats at Ford Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 18. The 0-6 start is the program’s worst since they went 1-11 in 2008. Cody Rademacher’s 29-yard field goal late in the first quarter cut the Cincinnati lead to 6-3, but SMU surrendered 22 points in the second quarter. The Mustangs host the Memphis Tigers on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. CT as part of SMU Family Weekend. The game will air on ESPNews.

JACOBSWomen’s Soccer: Missed opportunities plagued the women’s soccer team in a 2-0 loss to East Carolina on Sunday, Oct. 19 in Greenville, North Carolina. Sophomore Kelsey Gorney’s shot in the 20th minute missed wide, followed by a shot ripped by midfielder Paige Jacobs (pictured left) from 25 yards out in the 28th minute that deflected off the crossbar. In the 42nd minute, freshman Diana Kay Manley, who made her first appearance of the year, fired a shot towards the upper right corner, but Pirates goalkeeper Erika Lenns made a diving, one-handed save.

The problems continued in a 2-1 loss to Tulsa at Westcott Field on Thursday, Oct. 23. Senior Olivia Elliott, playing forward for the first time this season, sent in a threatening cross in the fifth minute that barely missed the outstretched foot of Gorney. Elliot also missed wide right on two shots in the 11th and 12th minutes. Down 2-0 in the 84th minute, Elliot finally found the back of the net on a header. SMU pressured in the final minutes, but could not level the score. The Mustangs host Memphis in their season finale on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. CT.

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$1.5 million gift establishes SMU endowed chair in the legal rights and protection of children

Jack D. Knox

Jack D. Knox ’60, ’63

A $1.5 million gift from North Texas business leader Jack D. Knox ’60 ’63 will establish a new endowed professorship in SMU’s Dedman School of Law.

The Jack Knox Chair in the Rights and Protection of Children will support teaching, research and publishing on legal issues related to protecting the welfare and legal rights of children.

“Jack Knox’s gift will enable the law school to further its teaching and scholarship on children’s rights,” said SMU Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law Jennifer M. Collins. Dean Collins joined the Law School in July 2014 as an academic leader and nationally recognized scholar on the intersection of family and criminal law. “Endowment gifts like this provide critical support for our commitment to excellence in the classroom and continued cutting-edge, impactful work by our faculty.”

“We are deeply grateful to Mr. Knox for his gift, which not only will make a difference in the lives of children but also will advance the academic offerings of one of the nation’s top law schools,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Our law graduates will be more aware of the important social and personal issues affecting children and will be trained in protecting their legal rights.”

Knox, a native of Weatherford, Texas, received a B.A. degree in English from SMU in 1960 and a J.D. degree from what is now Dedman School of Law in 1963. In 2011, Knox was honored with the Robert G. Storey Award for Distinguished Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by the Law School. He is general partner of Six Flags Over Texas Fund Ltd., a private limited investment group overseeing real estate assets of Six Flags Over Texas. He also is owner of Café Pacific Restaurants Inc., parent company of the popular restaurant, which has been based in Dallas’ Highland Park Village for 34 years.

“It’s an honor to help my alma mater empower the next generation of legal professionals by providing them with a strong understanding of what the issues are and the knowledge and drive to develop better laws and policies to protect children’s welfare and rights,” Knox said.

The Jack Knox Chair counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, and advances the campaign’s goal to reach 110 endowed faculty positions. To date the campaign has raised more than $902 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

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Gerald J. Ford to speak at SMU’s 2014 December Commencement on Dec. 20

Blue mortarboards at SMU December Commencement 2013. Photo by Guy RogersThe SMU community will celebrate the graduation of more than 600 students at its 2014 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 20. Entrepreneur and SMU Trustee Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69 will give the address.

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum with a student and faculty procession. Doors to the staging area in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports open at 8:30 a.m., when formal portrait sessions will begin. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m.; doors close at 9:40 a.m.

Prior to the ceremony, there will be a faculty breakfast at 8:45 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club, Moody Coliseum. The Champions Club is located inside the new wing of Moody on Binkley Avenue. The faculty should assemble in academic dress no later than 9:45 a.m. in the Champions Club. RSVP for the Faculty Breakfast online or call 214-768-3417.

> Complete information for December Commencement candidates, guests and faculty from the SMU Registrar

The December Commencement Convocation is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. No honor ribbons or other decorations or adornments may be worn to this ceremony, including messages or images on mortarboards.

Find complete rules for regalia at the University Registrar’s homepage

Gerald J. Ford

Gerald J. Ford

Gerald J. Ford is chairman of the board and principal shareholder of both the Diamond A Ford Corporation and Hilltop Holdings Inc., a Texas-based diversified financial holding company. He also is the co-managing member and principal investor in Ford Financial Fund II LP, a private equity firm.

Ford also is an owner of thoroughbred horse breeding and racing operations in Kentucky and California, and a working ranch in New Mexico. He is the former chairman of the board, CEO, and a principal shareholder of Golden State Bancorp Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, California Federal Bank FSB, a Federal Savings Bank that merged with Citigroup in 2002.

In October 2013, Ford and his wife, Kelli O. Ford, and The Gerald J. Ford Family Foundation committed $15 million as the lead gift to construct an SMU research center. The new state-of-the-art building will support research facilitated by SMU’s high-performance computing capabilities, among other projects. Previously, Ford has provided gifts for Gerald J. Ford Stadium, the Circle of Champions Centennial Challenge, and the Gerald J. Ford Research Fellows Program, which annually honors outstanding faculty members with funding to support their research and creative endeavors.

He is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and a former Board chair, a member of the Executive Board of Dedman School of Law, a member of the Campaign Leadership Council and currently is the convening co-chair of SMU’s Second Century Campaign.

Ford earned a B.A. degree in economics from Dedman College in 1966 and a J.D. degree from what is now the Dedman School of Law in 1969. He was honored with SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and the Mustang Award in 1997 recognizing significant philanthropic contributions to the University. He received the Dedman School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002.

Learn more about Gerald J. Ford

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus. Find more information for students and guests at SMU’s December Commencement homepage: smu.edu/DecemberCommencement.

Faculty participation information
Complete instructions for candidates
Information for guests, including maps, travel discounts and more
Information for guests with disabilities
December Commencement simulcast and photo information

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Faculty in the News: Oct. 7-20, 2014

George Holden, SMU Professor of Psychology

George Holden, SMU professor of psychology

George Holden, Psychology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, was featured in The Christian Science Monitor in an article examining corporal punishment. The article appeared on Oct. 20, 2014.

Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, published a news article regarding Canada’s recent increase in oil exports to the Star-Telegram. The article appeared Oct. 16, 2014.

Benjamin Phrampus, Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, discussed the possible relation of gas explosions and the Bermuda Triangle with LifeScience. The article appeared on Oct. 14, 2014.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, provided commentary for The New York Times in an article entitled “An Ad With a Wheelchair Shakes Up the Texas Governor’s Race.” The article appeared Oct. 13, 2014.

Bruce Bullock, Director of the Maguire Energy Institute, SMU

Bruce Bullock, director of SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute

Will Power, Theatre Artist-in-Residence, Meadows School of the Arts, received 11 AUDELCO nominations for his production Fetch Clay, Make Man. As part of the New York Theatre Workshop, Power’s production tells the story of Cassius Clay as the heavyweight boxing champion forms an unlikely friendship during the days leading up to one his most anticipated fights. News of Power’s nominations were features on Backstage Pass with Lia Chang on Oct. 12, 2014.

Bruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, was featured in an article in The New York Times discussing the technology of liquid gas. The article was published on Oct. 7, 2014.

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