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Student filmmakers show their work at 2010 SFA festival

SMU's SFA Student Film Festival 2010 posterSMU’s best student films of 2009-10 will be on screen and competing for awards during the 2010 Student Filmmakers’ Association Film Festival. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. April 22 at the Magnolia Theater in the West Village, 3699 McKinney Avenue at Lemmon Avenue.

Among the student films on the schedule are “Crazy Pig” and “Split,” which were showcased at the 2010 Dallas International Film Festival earlier in April. The SFA will also screen some of its newest productions. Awards will be given to the best films in 7 different categories.

Both the admission and the food are free.

> RSVP to the SMU Student Film Festival on Facebook

Make a gift by Dec. 31, get a tax deduction (and a pony)

Red Peruna logoReminder: The deadline is Dec. 31 for earning 2009 tax deductions on charitable donations. Don’t forget to make your gift to SMU’s Campaign for Faculty and Staff by New Year’s Eve – and get a pony for the holidays as one of more than 1,200 faculty and staff supporters.

Donors may choose the school, department or program that will benefit from their contribution, and gifts to the President’s Partners program count toward Second Century Campaign goals. Download a pledge form (PDF format), make a contribution or schedule a payroll deduction at the Campaign for Faculty and Staff website.

Visit the Campaign for Faculty and Staff site at
Download a pledge form (PDF format)
Make a contribution online
Schedule a payroll deduction online
Track the progess of your school or department
Find the names of faculty and staff donors on the Red Pony page

By | 2009-12-16T10:33:37+00:00 December 16, 2009|Categories: News, Save the Date|Tags: , , , |

Dealing with seasonal stress

Students in Fondren Science BuildingThe holiday season traditionally brings warm memories, shared friendship and a significant amount of stress for members of a university community. The pressures of exams, travel plans and preparations for family gatherings can overwhelm faculty, staff and students alike – especially new undergraduates facing their first college finals.

The Office of the Provost asks that all SMU community members be aware of signs of stress in themselves and those around them. “In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they enter into their first set of final examinations,” wrote Provost Paul Ludden in an e-mail to SMU faculty and staff dated Nov. 16, 2009.

Any faculty or staff member who has concerns about a student and is not sure what to do is urged to refer to the University publication A Guide For Faculty and Staff for Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress (PDF format) or to contact Dean of Student Life Lisa Webb, 214-768-4564. Students who feel overwhelmed by the stress of the season and finals can get help at the Memorial Health Center.

Faculty and staff members can share information securely and confidentially through the Dean of Students’ Caring Community Connections website (SMU ID and password required for access).

Ludden also encouraged all SMU community members to “reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends at this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill.”

In addition, regular physical exercise at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports can help individuals stay fit for the season while relieving the stress it can bring.

Check in with these campus resources for referral information:

In addition, SMU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a variety of online resources for faculty, staff, students and parents in dealing with stresses ranging from anxiety and trauma to insomnia and homesickness.

By | 2009-12-04T11:40:12+00:00 December 4, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Holiday traditions light up the Hilltop in December

SMU holiday lights

SMU welcomes December 2009 with some of its most beloved annual traditions. Save the dates for these events:

• On Dec. 3, SMU’s Perkins School of Theology celebrates the 50th anniversary of Christmas worship services in Perkins Chapel with readings and music from Perkins professors, students and alumni at two different times: 4 p.m and 8 p.m. This year’s theme of the Magnificat will include three specially commissioned choral pieces offering global perspectives on Mary’s canticle from the Gospel of Luke. Read more.

• The Student Foundation’s 2009 Celebration of Lights begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 on the University’s main quad. More than 100,000 decorative lights will fill the trees, luminarias will line the sidewalks, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner will follow a decades-old tradition of reading the Christmas story from the New Testament. A reception in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons will follow the lighting of the SMU Christmas tree.

• SMU presents its 2009 December Graduation Ceremony at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 in Moody Coliseum. Faculty members will assemble for procession no later than 9:45 a.m. in the Blanton Student Services Building lobby. Prior to the ceremony, a faculty breakfast will begin at 8:45 a.m. in the Blanton Building. RSVP online.

Planning is key to success for students with learning differences

Frustration - Exam questions with broken pencilOne in nine college students have a learning difference such as attention-deficit disorder or dyslexia, according to a recent article in The Washington Post. At SMU about 350 students with learning disabilities are registered with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.

Members of the SMU President’s Advisory Committee on the Needs of Persons with Disabilities agree that planning ahead is key to success. SMU students with learning differences, the faculty who teach them, and the staff who support them share best practices for navigating the most challenging time of the semester. Look below the link for answers to the question: How do you prepare for finals?


Students choose top professors in 2009 HOPE Awards

Wayne Shaw, 2009 HOPE Professor of the YearStudent staff members in SMU’s Department of Residence Life and Student Housing honored 55 University educators at the 2009 HOPE Awards Banquet in November. HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award recipients are named through student staff member nominations as professors who “have made a significant impact to our academic education both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Wayne Shaw, Helmut Sohmen Distinguished Professor of Corporate Governance in the Cox School of Business, was honored as 2009 Professor of the Year. Three Dedman College professors – Mark Chancey, Religious Studies; Michael Lusztig, Political Science; and Tom Stone, English – were honored as Distinguished Professors, denoting that they have been recognized as HOPE Professors during at least 5 of the 12 years in which the honor has existed.

Read the complete list of honorees under the link below. Above, Professor of the Year Wayne Shaw (right in photo) with HOPE Committee member Ty Krueger, Fine Arts Community hall director.


January 2010 to mark debut of SMU J-Term in Plano

SMU J-Term logoBeginning Jan. 5-14, 2010, SMU will offer an expanded January interterm called J-Term. The concentrated program of study allows students to complete one three-credit-hour course within eight class days spread over a two-week period.

For the J-Term’s inaugural outing, classes will be held Jan. 5-8 (Tuesday-Friday) and Jan. 11-14 (Monday-Thursday). The schedule provides six hours of instruction per day for a total of 48 contact hours, including time for exams. Available courses feature offerings from Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and Meadows School of the Arts (including the Temerlin Advertising Institute).

The daily schedule includes a break for meals. Most classes meet during the morning and afternoon from 8:45 a.m.-noon and from 1:15-4:30 p.m. Four afternoon/evening classes are available and will meet 1:15-4:30 p.m. and 5:45-9 p.m.

Students participating in J-Term will be responsible for their own housing. The SMU-in-Plano campus has no residence halls, and those at the University’s main campus are closed during that period.

J-Term 2010 courses are not available for registration through Access.SMU. To enroll, students should meet with an adviser to select appropriate courses and to complete an application. The application must be received in Enrollment Services by 4 p.m. Dec. 10, 2009 (Reading Day).

For more information about J-Term 2010, contact Kate Livingston, SMU-in-Plano campus director, 972-473-3401.

Visit the SMU J-Term homepage
Learn more about SMU-in-Plano

By | 2009-11-13T14:30:13+00:00 November 13, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Seasonal flu shots for fall 2009 now available on campus

(Originally published Sept. 18, 2009 – updated Sept. 22, 2009.)

Stock shot of single-use syringeThe fall 2009 vaccine for protection against seasonal flu is now available on campus, and the first flu shot clinic for faculty and staff members is scheduled for 2-7 p.m. Sept. 24 in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

Flu shot clinics for students begin Sept. 21.

Cases of novel H1N1 flu continue to be seen on the SMU campus and throughout the country. A vaccine for novel H1N1 is currently in production, and the SMU Memorial Health Center plans to have it available later this fall.

The timing and duration of seasonal flu outbreaks can vary. Spread of seasonal flu can begin as early as October and occur as late as March. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each flu season. The seasonal flu vaccine administered in January 2009 will not provide protection for the upcoming flu season.

The University pays the cost of flu shots for benefit-eligible employees, retirees and retiree spouses. Employee spouses may purchase shots for $25. The cost for students insured with Aetna student insurance program is $5.

In addition, faculty and staff members can get free flu shots from a primary-care doctor with no deductible and no office visit co-pay. Vaccines are covered under the $500 Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO preventive care benefit when submitted as a claim for “routine immunization.” Vaccines are also covered under the Aetna HMO preventive care benefit.

To shorten your wait at the University flu clinics, take these steps in advance:

Find more information and a complete flu shot clinic schedule at
Learn more about flu at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

By | 2009-09-22T11:30:49+00:00 September 22, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

For the Record: Sept. 3, 2009

Michael Clarke, International Center, has received a Fulbright Grant to participate in the 2009 Seminar for U.S. Administrators in International Education, to be conducted by the Fulbright Commission in Berlin in October. Only 24 individuals have received Fulbright Grants to participate in the Berlin Seminar.

Beth Newman, English, Dedman College, published “The Vulgarity of Elegance: Social Mobility, Middle-Class Diction, and the Victorian Novel” in Victorian Vulgarity: Taste in Verbal and Visual Culture, edited for Ashgate Press by Susan Bernstein and Elsie Michie. During the summer, she participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar on the Decadent 1890s at UCLA’s Clark Library.

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College, published a review of The World of Mexican Migrants: The Rock and the Hard Place by Judith Adler Hellman in The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, 2009, Volume 6, Number 2:616-17.

For the second year in a row, an SMU data-mining team has placed as one of the top three in the nation in the SAS Data Mining Shootout cosponsored by SAS, Dow and Central Michigan University Research Corporation. The order of finish will be announced at the 2009 SAS Data Mining Conference Oct. 27 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Dedman College Economics graduate students Michael Fulmer, Jingjing Ye and Steven Gregory – along with their faculty sponsor, Tom Fomby – will receive all-expense-paid trips to the conference and the award ceremony. In total, 47 U.S. universities and colleges registered, and 28 provided a final submission for judging.

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