Take a break and enjoy the spring weather with fellow SMU employees during a popcorn-and-pop pop-up on the Laura Lee Blanton Building second-floor terrace. The SMU Staff Association will be serving popcorn and soft drinks from 1:30-3 p.m. today, Friday, March 31, 2017.
The refreshments are free and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cardiologist John F. Harper ’68 can still vividly remember waking in the middle of the night to the sound of his father crying out in pain.
It was 1964 and Harper was 17 years old – just a year shy of starting college at SMU. But he was as frightened as a small child that night when he peeked through a cracked-open bedroom into the hallway of his West Texas home. A physician named Bruce Hay was arriving at 3 a.m., impeccably dressed in a three-piece suit, his black doctor’s bag in hand, to offer his father aid.
Harper’s father was a bear of a man, a former basketball player named Frank who was his son’s hero. The doctor walked up to Harper’s father, put a hand on his shoulder and said, “Frank, it’s OK. I’m here now, and I’ll stay until you’re better.”
And then he did. The doctor tended to Harper’s dad, answered his mother’s concerns, and even reassured the young man who was watching from a bedroom door.
That’s the kind of personal touch Harper says is often missing from medicine these days. The key to getting it back, he says, may be literature. That’s why he’s hosting the 7th annual Literature + Medicine Conference from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 1, 2017 in SMU’s Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.
“Science has become so complex and hard to keep up with that it’s a legitimate thing to say you don’t have time to be empathetic, but it’s important to try,” says Harper, the Ewton Chair of Cardiology at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. “My argument is that you need good science to be a good doctor, but you also need a compassionate side. The best medicine is science and compassion intersecting at the patient.
“We’re trying to get young physicians, medical students and premedical students to understand that literature can affect the way they approach patients in a positive fashion.”
Though members of the public are welcome to attend the Literature + Medicine Conference, it’s those young physicians and medical students who are the primary audience of the annual event. The conference will feature a series of breakout sessions on topics like “Antidotes to Clinical Burnout: Creative Reading and Writing Foster Physician Satisfaction” and “How Poetry Can Heal the Healers.”
The results of the conference’s annual writing contests will also be revealed, with a cash prize on the line for the winners.
Attendance is $40; the fee is waived for medical residents, students and medical house officers.
SMU theatre students in rehearsal for New Visions, New Voices 2017. The festival of student playwriting features full-length works by graduating seniors in Meadows School of the Arts.
SMU theatre students put their best work forward during the Meadows School of the Arts’ 23rd annual New Visions, New Voices playwriting festival. Performances will take place March 29-April 2, 2017 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Produced by Associate Professor and Head of Theatre Studies Gretchen Smith, the festival features graduating theatre students each presenting a staged reading of one of their full-length plays .
Featured works and their showtimes include:
Black and White by Reece Graham, Wednesday, March 29, 8 p.m.
Nihilistsmas by Alec Petsche, Thursday, March 30, 8 p.m.
Bodies by Joanna Coogan, Friday, March 31, 8 p.m.
Bathtub Love by Marcus Pinon, Saturday, April 1, 2 p.m.
Casserole by Hunter McConnell, Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m.
Perambulatory: Preambleastory by Haley Nelson, Sunday, April 2, 2 p.m.
All performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Meadows Box Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).
SMU graduate students, and select undergraduates, from a wide variety of disciplines share their work today as part of the University’s 2017 Research Day. All SMU faculty, staff members and students are invited to the Promenade Ballroom in Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom on Tuesday, March 28, to meet the student researchers and discuss their results.
The event takes place from 2-5 p.m, and awards will be presented at the end.
“I’m [here] because of J. Erik Jonsson”: Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown shared a personal story of how the iconic Dallas mayor impacted his family’s lives as he accepted the Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility March 21, 2017.
A version of this story was originally posted Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, and updated Monday, March 20, 2017.
“Chief David Brown has demonstrated by his words and his actions all of the leadership qualities we had in mind when the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award was created,” said Bobby Lyle, SMU trustee and Maguire Ethics Center board member. “He has led our community with courage and integrity during our brightest days and our darkest hours. He has set standards for public and community service that we would all do well to emulate. I can think of no one more deserving of this prestigious award that bears the name of one of Dallas’ most admired leaders.”
Brown, a Dallas native who was born and raised in South Oak Cliff, is a 33-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department and the department’s longest-serving chief in modern times. He was sworn in as Dallas’ 28th police chief in May 2010, commanding a department with more than 4,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $426 million dollars. Brown has announced he will retire Oct. 4, 2016.
Building and maintaining strong, transparent relationships with the community has been Brown’s focus since he took the top position. During his tenure, Brown transitioned the department to a community-policing focused organization and implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety. He also expanded several community outreach programs and youth centered programs.
Brown implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety during interactions, and emphasized the importance of de-escalation training for his officers. Under Brown’s leadership, the Dallas Police Department reduced the use of deadly force by more than 40 percent and reduced excessive force complaints by more than 80 percent.
“This award recognizes those who face hard decisions and whose mettle is tested,” said Rita Kirk, Maguire Center director. “Chief Brown personifies the struggle of leaders trying to do the right thing during periods of intense pressure. Our community is stronger because of his leadership, particularly in the wake of recent events. His actions during those days not only reflected the character of our community to other cities around the world who watched, but also left us united, stronger, and more hopeful that we will overcome any obstacle to make this a better city for all our citizens.”
Brown is the 20th recipient of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award. Past honorees include Terry J. Flowers, Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.