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SMU names Stephanie L. Knight dean of Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Stephanie L. KnightStephanie L. Knight, a nationally recognized education leader, researcher and professor, has been named dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. The current associate dean and professor of education in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University will assume her new duties at SMU on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017.

“Stephanie Knight’s impressive background of scholarly excellence and outreach to the education community will enable her to deliver visionary leadership to propel the Simmons School toward even greater visibility and impact,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Stephanie will continue to amplify the school’s commitment to evidence-based scholarship, external research funding and the preparation of exemplary professionals in education and human development. Her history of partnerships with urban and suburban schools equips her to further elevate the school’s contributions to K-12 education in the North Texas region and beyond. Furthermore, Stephanie is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the SMU campus to advance interdisciplinary academic programs and initiatives.”

“Dr. Knight is joining a dynamic school, which will continue its trajectory as an innovative leader in education research and practice under her leadership,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “She understands that education is key to change, from lifting individuals from poverty to opening minds to new understanding, and that will strengthen SMU’s impact on individuals, schools and the world.”

Knight began her education career as a classroom teacher of Spanish and French in Texas, Saudi Arabia and Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston before beginning a 20-year tenure at Texas A&M University, where she was professor of educational psychology and teaching, learning and culture. In addition, she held the Houston Endowment, Inc. Chair in Urban Education at Texas A&M, received the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was named a University Faculty Fellow. Knight joined Pennsylvania State University in 2009 as professor of educational psychology, where she taught courses in educational psychology and effective learning. In 2013 she became associate dean at Penn State, leading the College of Education’s undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Her scholarly interests demonstrate a dedication to bringing the results of evidence-based research to the K-12 classroom. Her research into relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes; teacher professional development, and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes has been published in hundreds of professional journal articles, book chapters and books and presented at numerous professional conferences.

In addition, Knight has directed university and national research centers, including serving as associate director of research into practice for the National Science Foundation Information Technology in Science Center for Teaching and Learning, and director of evaluation and assessment for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement in Washington, D.C.  She recently concluded five years as co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education and also served from 2004 to 2006 as co-editor of the Teaching, Learning and Human Development section of the American Educational Research Journal. She currently serves as associate editor of the Review of Educational Research.

“Dr. Stephanie Knight stood out from a large pool of highly qualified candidates due to both her administrative experience and her tenure at tier-one research universities,” said Marc Christensen, chair of the Simmons School dean search committee, and dean and Lyle Professor of Innovation in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. “I look forward to working with her on the Council of Deans to advance the University’s academic and research missions.”

Knight earned her B.A. in romance languages and literature at the University of Kentucky, where she was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa; her master’s degree and certification in secondary teaching at Lehigh University; and her Ed.D. in educational curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston.

“I am honored, and very excited, to have the opportunity to serve as the next dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development,” she said. “Simmons has already established an impressive foundation in its first decade, and I look forward to working with the very talented and productive faculty, staff and students in the school to further their ongoing mission of excellence in research, teaching and community outreach. SMU provides an ideal context for the success of this mission: Location in a dynamic urban context; commitment to academic excellence; support for interdisciplinary approaches that encourage innovation; and a climate of collaboration across and within units that enhances the process and outcomes of our very important work in education and human development. I look forward to becoming an integral member of the SMU and Simmons community.”

— Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

2017-04-25T14:57:13+00:00 April 25, 2017|For the Record, News|

Elizabeth Killingsworth named interim dean and director of SMU’s Central University Libraries

Elizabeth KillingsworthElizabeth Killingsworth, director of SMU’s Fondren Library Center and head of Research Services, has been named interim dean and director of Central University Libraries (CUL). Killingsworth, an expert on teaching with technology and a longtime advocate for information literacy, will begin her new duties effective July 1, 2017, as the University begins a national search for a permanent dean.

“The breadth and depth of Elizabeth Killingsworth’s experience equips her to be the ideal leader for Central University Libraries during the next academic year,” said Steven C. Currall, University provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She has the respect of SMU’s faculty and staff, and, importantly, librarians from across the SMU campus. She has both wisdom about operational matters regarding delivery of library services and ambition to ensure that CUL is progressive and innovative in its evolution to become a library system for the 21st century. I have every confidence in Elizabeth’s leadership during the interim period as we search for a permanent dean and director of CUL. I am grateful to her for assuming this important campus leadership role.”

Killingsworth joined SMU in 2013 as head of Research Services in Fondren Library. She became Fondren Library director and head of Research Services in January 2015. In those roles, Killingsworth oversees all public services at SMU’s largest library — with a general collection of nearly two million volumes covering the humanities, social sciences, business, education, science and engineering, as well as a selective depository of government documents and an extensive map collection. She guides the Information Literacy Program, Access Services (circulation, interlibrary loan/document delivery, and stacks management), the Marketing Team, the User Experience Team, the Initiative for Spatial Literacy, and the library’s web presence.

She also led Fondren Library public services through a major 16-month building renovation. Killingsworth kept all library services running throughout a project that culminated in the opening of the Starbucks Café and Collaborative Commons, as well as the renovated Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall, Gillian M. McCombs Special Collections Reading Room, and more than a dozen renovated classrooms, conference rooms and offices.

As interim dean, Killingsworth, who will not be a candidate for the permanent deanship, will oversee three libraries on the main campus – Fondren Library Center, including the Norwick Center for Digital Services; DeGolyer Library, SMU’s principal repository for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, and the history of science and technology; and the Hamon Arts Library in Meadows School of the Arts. In addition, she will lead the Fort Burgwin Library at SMU-in-Taos and the SMU-in-Plano Library Resource Room.

Killingsworth has more than 27 years of experience as a professional librarian. She began her career as a medical librarian at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Hartford Hospital, before joining the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando as Health Sciences Librarian. She co-authored UCF’s successful Quality Enhancement Plan proposal on information fluency and became the first head of Information Literacy and Outreach at the university’s John C. Hitt Library.

While at UCF, she co-led a team to create 14 online Information Literacy Modules, built within an authenticated system with assessment components for each module. In addition, she was appointed Senior Faculty Fellow to the UCF provost and worked on the university’s strategic planning team.

Killingsworth’s research and scholarly activities focus on information literacy and the impact and interplay of online components to increase student learning, as well as analysis of legislation that impacts reading in early childhood. Her current work centers on textual analysis and comparison of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and NCLB (No Child Left Behind).

She has written and presented extensively on research techniques and evaluation, teaching with technology, and the acquisition and support of information fluency. Her work has been published in Childhood Education, the Journal of Academic Librarianship and the Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences, among others.

Among her professional honors, Killingsworth received the Dean’s Eureka Award and the CUL Team Award in 2016, as well as UCF’s Excellence in Librarianship Award in 2005. She was elected Vice President and President of the Florida Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries and was elected Region 3 Director of the Florida Library Association Executive Board.

Killingsworth graduated with a B.S. degree in political science from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1987. She earned her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of North Texas in 1989.

2017-04-25T14:59:56+00:00 April 24, 2017|For the Record, News|

SMU’s Center for Presidential History to host panel on Trump’s first 100 days Thursday, April 27, 2017

White House, line drawingSMU’s Center for Presidential History will look back at the victories, defeats and head-scratchers from President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office during a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, 2017 in the Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

The panel will feature perspectives from SMU faculty members specializing in history and communications, as well as from the CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the deputy editorial page editor of The Dallas Morning News.

A light coffee will precede the event at 6:30 p.m. The event is free; RSVPs are required. Free passes will be emailed to registered guests before the event. Seating is limited, and not guaranteed.

> RSVP for “Assessing Trump’s First 100 Days” at Eventbrite

“The first 100 days is crucial for setting the tone of a presidency,” said Center for Presidential History Director Jeffrey Engel. “You shouldn’t look so much to measure accomplishments, but rather style and efficiency, which is all the more intriguing when we have an administration with historically limited levels of experience.”

> See video from the SMU CPH’s March 2017 event, “Hope or Alarm in the Age of Trump”

The panelists include:

 — Kenny Ryan

> Visit SMU’s Center for Presidential History online: smu.edu/cph

2017-04-25T15:00:36+00:00 April 20, 2017|Calendar Highlights, News|

NCAA, Olympic diving coach Jim Stillson to retire after 33 years at SMU

Jim Stillson, AAC Diving Coach of the Year 2017

SMU’s Jim Stillson with the American Athletic Conference’s 2017 Diving Coach of the Year Award. Stillson has announced his retirement after 33 years with SMU.

SMU Diving Coach Jim Stillson, a three-time NCAA Coach of the Year and 16-time conference Coach of the Year, has announced his retirement after 33 seasons on the Hilltop.

As head of the Mustang men’s and women’s programs, Stillson coached four individuals to eight NCAA Championships and 20 student-athletes to 71 All-America honors. He has also mentored three NCAA Divers of the Year and 10 U.S. National Champions. Overall, 21 of Stillson’s SMU divers have won 89 conference championships.

“We want to thank Coach Stillson for his years of service and his outstanding contributions to the successes of our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Rick Hart. “He is a legend in his field and has set the standard for SMU Diving. He has positioned us to compete for championships for years to come. We look forward to having him back on campus this fall when we open our new natatorium and having him join us to celebrate the future championships our divers will win because of the foundation he has laid.”

On the international level, Stillson has coached three Olympians to four appearances, including SMU alumnus Scott Donie (USA), who competed at the 1992 and 1996 Games, winning silver in 1992. Stillson also mentored 1996 Olympians Ali Al-Hasan (Kuwait) and Tony Iglesias (Bolivia).

In 1989, Stillson was named the NCAA Men’s Diving Coach of the Year and, in 1990 and 1995, the NCAA Women’s Diving Coach of the Year. Stillson served as one of the U.S. Diving National Team coaches from 1987-91 and again in 1997, leading the team at events in countries such as Europe, Australia, China and the Soviet Union. In addition, he was selected as a team leader for the USA Diving team at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Stillson’s honors include the 1999 U.S. Olympic Committee Diving Coach of the Year award and the 1992 Mike Malone Memorial Award, given for outstanding contributions to diving by the national governing body of the sport. In 2015, he was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame with the Paragon Award, which is presented annually to individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to aquatics.

> Read the full story from SMU Athletics

2017-04-25T15:02:37+00:00 April 20, 2017|For the Record, News, Sports|

Four honorary degree recipients to participate in public symposia during SMU Commencement Week 2017

SMU will award honorary degrees to four prestigious leaders in science, theology and the arts at the All-University Commencement Ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 20, in Moody Coliseum.

Francis S. Collins, Francis Halzen, Nancy Nasher and E.P. Sanders each will be celebrated in the days leading to the ceremony with symposia and speaking engagements, summarized below:

Francis S. CollinsFrancis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has been director of the National Institutes of Health since 2009, overseeing the work of the largest institutional supporter of biomedical research in the world. But he may be best known for leading the Human Genome Project, a 13-year international effort to map and sequence the 3 billion letters in human DNA.

As NIH director, he has helped launch major research initiatives to advance the use of precision medicine for more tailored healthcare, to increase our understanding of the neural networks of the brain to improve treatments for brain diseases, and to identify areas of cancer research that are most ripe for acceleration to improve cancer prevention and treatment. His personal research efforts led to the isolation of the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.

As an innovative evolutionary geneticist and a devout Christian, Collins also has gained fame for his writings on the integration of logic and belief.

Collins received his Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from Yale University, and his M.D. degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. As an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Collins was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007 from President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Science in 2009.

For his dramatic successes as a gene hunter, his support for biomedical research on a vast scale, and his leadership of one of the most significant scientific undertaking in modern history – the Human Genome Project – Collins will receive the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, from SMU.

Collins also will deliver the commencement address.

A symposium focused on Collins’ life and work is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, May 19, in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center. Collins will join these panel members in discussing:

  • Emerging advances in biomedical research, with Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Pia Vogel, professor of biological sciences, SMU
  • Innovation and translational science, with Steven C. Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs, SMU

Francis HalzenFrancis Halzen’s contributions to the study of particle astrophysics might be compared to the influence of astronomer Galileo Galilei’s 17th-century perfection of the telescope: Both enabled unprecedented closer observation of the Universe. Halzen’s vision, initiative and leadership have led to the development and construction of the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory, where he is principle investigator, and where the first ultra-high-energy neutrinos were detected in 2013.

Halzen’s work in particle physics detection has taken the study of neutrinos beyond the Milky Way galaxy and into deep space, leading to new understanding of astronomical phenomena including black holes, supernovas and galaxy formation.

Halzen is the Hilldale and Gregory Breit Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the director of the Institute for Particle Physics Research. He received the 2015 Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize from the European Physical Society, the 2015 Balzan Prize and the 2014 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award. Halzen received Master’s and Ph.D. degrees, as well as an agrégé de l’enseignement supérieur (a qualification for teaching in higher education) from the University of Louvain in Belgium.

For his pioneering efforts toward construction of the IceCube observatory and his extraordinary role in opening a new observational window on the universe, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Halzen will give a public lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, in Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium. A reception will precede the lecture at 5 p.m. in Dallas Hall rotunda. Organizers are offering a special welcome to students from Adamson High School’s “Living Physicist Program” and area high school teachers and students who participate in the QuarkNet program.

Nancy A. NasherNancy A. Nasher, a business leader, lawyer and philanthropist, has dedicated her professional and personal life to the betterment of Dallas. She holds degrees from Princeton University and Duke University School of Law. As president and co-owner of NorthPark Center, a premier shopping destination noted for excellence in retail and architectural design, Ms. Nasher has seamlessly integrated art into public spaces. Her vision of public engagement with the arts as embodied in NorthPark Center, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and her contributions to local arts organizations has been transformative for Dallas, and continues through her deep support and advocacy for all facets of the Dallas arts community. She serves on the executive boards of The Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Nasher Sculpture Center, and is the founder’s chair of the Business Council for the Arts.

Additional board leadership positions include the Dallas Museum of Art, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Meadows School of the Arts, the National Center for Arts Research, the Dallas Mayor’s Business/Arts Initiative, the University of North Texas School of Visual Arts, the Princeton University Art Museum Board of Advisors, the Duke University Board of Trustees, and Ms. Nasher is the Chair of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University Board of Visitors.

Her numerous honors include the 2017 TACA Silver Cup Award for her dedication to arts support. In 2015, Socrates Sculpture Park in New York honored Ms. Nasher for advancing the practice of sculpture. For her dedication to public engagement with the arts, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer the degree Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.

“A Conversation with Nancy Nasher,” is scheduled for 1-2:30 p.m. Friday, May 19, in Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center.

Ed E.P. SandersE.P. Sanders, a 1962 alumnus of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, is an internationally respected New Testament scholar responsible for major contributions to studies of Jesus and the Apostle Paul and their relationships to the Judaism of their day. He is credited with prompting the re-evaluation of prejudicial views of Judaism that often characterized earlier biblical scholarship, resulting in improved Jewish-Christian relations.

Sanders is the author of 14 books and numerous monographs that have been translated into 11 languages. His monograph, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977), received a National Religious Book Award, and his Jesus and Judaism (1985) won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Wesleyan University, a Bachelor of Divinity from SMU Perkins School of Theology, and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary.

Sanders held an endowed chair in religion at Duke University until he retired in 2005. He also held faculty positions at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and at the University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sanders has received honorary doctorates from the University of Oxford and the University of Helsinki.

For his contributions to biblical scholarship, the understanding of Jewish and Christian origins, and Jewish-Christian relations, SMU is honored to confer the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Sanders will be honored with a symposium focused on his work from 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, May 19, in Perkins Chapel. Moderator for “Comparing Early Judaism and Early Christianity: The Scholarship of E. P. Sanders,” will be Mark Chancey, professor of religious studies in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Panelists will include:

  • Craig C. Hill, dean and professor of New Testament, Perkins School of Theology, SMU
  • David P. Moessner, Bradford Chair of Religion, Department of Religion, TCU
  • Beverly Gaventa Roberts, Distinguished Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Department of Religion, Baylor University and Helen H.P. Manson Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis Emerita, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Sze-kar Wan, Professor of New Testament, Perkins School of Theology, SMU
2017-04-25T15:03:49+00:00 April 20, 2017|For the Record, News|
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