Faculty in the News

SMU Prof. George Holden to speak at congressional briefing on corporal punishment in public schools Nov. 18, 2015

George Holden, SMU Professor of Psychology

George Holden, SMU Professor of Psychology

SMU Professor and Psychology Department Chair George Holden will speak before a congressional briefing titled “Spare the Rod: Protect the Child” from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18 in Washington D.C.

Holden, a leading expert on parenting, discipline and family, will participate in a panel designed to tackle the ongoing phenomena of corporal punishment in schools – which is still legal in 19 states, including Texas, though outlawed in Dallas and the state’s other metropolitan areas.

“There’s very limited research about the impact of corporal punishment in schools, but what research is available is focused on how much it’s used and to whom its used on,” Holden says. “It’s mostly used on minority students and students with disabilities.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, is hosting the briefing, which will be attended by congressional staffers. Hastings’ goal, says Holden, is to introduce a bill that will outlaw corporal punishment and paddling of children in schools.

Holden believes this is the second recent attempt to pass such a bill. In 2011, New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy introduced a bill called the “Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act,” which failed to make it out of committee.

The 19 states where corporal punishment in schools is still legal are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

– Kenny Ryan

SMU dance students and Dallas Chamber Symphony perform live to silent classic Metropolis at Dallas VideoFest Oct. 13, 2015

Metropolis banner - SMU Dance, Dallas Chamber Symphony, Dallas Video Fest

Fourteen SMU dancers, all first-year students, will perform with the Dallas Chamber Symphony during a very special presentation of director Fritz Lang’s 1927 dystopian masterpiece, Metropolis.

During a screening of the 82-minute silent film classic, the students will provide an interactive dance performance choreographed by Associate Professor Christopher Dolder, with a new score by Austin-based film composer Brian Satterwhite performed live by the Dallas Chamber Symphony. The event is part of opening-night festivities for the 2015 Dallas VideoFest and begins Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street, in downtown Dallas.

> Learn more about the Dallas VideoFest at videofest.org

Often named as the first science fiction epic in film history, Metropolis is especially vivid in its portrayal of the disruptive effects of technological innovation and the social and economic stratifications it creates, as well as of civil liberties issues such as free speech, privacy and surveillance.

Metropolis is one of the great achievements of the silent era, a work so audacious in its vision and so angry in its message that it is, if anything, more powerful today than when it was made,” wrote the late Roger Ebert in a 1985 review.

> Learn more about Metropolis at IMDb

“Audiences have always been able to relate to these themes as new advances create new groups of haves and have-nots,” Dolder says. “Even today, 90 years later, they remain fresh and relevant.”

The film’s camera work, design and special effects are still haunting and evocative, and the staging of both crowd scenes and lead actors is “strikingly balletic [in] the repetitive synchronism of the working poor, as well as [its] portrayals of dance and artificial intelligence,” as noted in a Dallas Chamber Symphony release.

These elements and more make Metropolis fertile ground for a multidisciplinary collaboration between high art and high tech, Dolder says. “The trick for us will be to create a cohesive experience, where the new score and the dance element serve and enhance the film without distracting,” he adds.

> Christopher Dolder talks about Metropolis with KERA’s “Art & Seek”

The film’s otherworldly atmosphere is enhanced not only by the music, set and dancers, but also by the strategic projection of video elements from the film, isolated onto the dancers and set, Dolder says. He created and painted the intricate series of risers on which his students will perform – and made a point not to ask for their help, he adds.

“When we started this project, I told them I was going to treat them as professional dancers helping to create a new work,” he says. “In return, I expected them to prepare and conduct themselves in the same way.”

The approach has worked, Dolder says. “These first-year students may be the best class of dancers we’ve had – and we’ve consistently attracted talented, intelligent classes,” he says.

> Metropolis preview by Michael Granberry in The Dallas Morning News

“Each year, we try and accomplish something new, and more daring,” says Richard McKay, the DSC’s artistic director and conductor. “It is our ensemble’s adventurous culture that has motivated [us] to start the season with Metropolis – by far, the most complex and expansive production we have ever created.”

Individual tickets are available for $19-$55 each, $15 for students. VIP tickets can be purchased for $75, which will include a pre-event cocktail reception backstage with the artists, starting at 7 p.m. An after party will be hosted by Proof + Pantry, across the street from the theater, with complimentary appetizers for all patrons who would like to meet the composer and performers. Get tickets and more information online at DCSymphony.org, or call 214-449-1294.

> Find event information and purchase tickets at the Dallas Chamber Symphony website,

Research: Computer model of key protein helps predict how cancer drugs will work

Drugs important in the battle against cancer behaved according to predictions when tested in a computer-generated model of P-glycoprotein, one of the cell’s key molecular pumps.

The new model allows researchers to dock nearly any drug in the P-gp protein and see how it will actually behave in P-gp’s pump, said Associate Professor John G. Wise, lead author on the journal article announcing the advancement and a faculty member in SMU’s Department of Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

SMU biologists developed the computer generated model to overcome the problem of relying on only static images for the structure of P-gp. The protein is the cellular pump that protects cells by pumping out toxins.

But that’s a problem when P-gp targets chemotherapy drugs as toxic, preventing chemo from killing cancer cells. Scientists are searching for ways to inhibit P-gp’s pumping action.

“The value of this fundamental research is that it generates dynamic mechanisms that let us understand something in biochemistry, in biology,” Wise said. “And by understanding P-gp in such detail, we can now think of ways to better and more specifically inhibit it.”

The SMU researchers tested Tariquidar, a new P-gp inhibitor still in clinical trials. Inhibitors offer hope for stopping P-gp’s rejection of chemotherapeutics by stalling the protein’s pumping action. Pharmacology researchers disagree, however, on where exactly Tariquidar binds in P-gp.

When run through the SMU model, Tariquidar behaved as expected: It wasn’t effectively pumped from the cell and the researchers observed that it prefers to bind high in the protein.

“Now we have more details on how Tariquidar inhibits P-gp, where it inhibits and what it’s actually binding to,” Wise said.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story from the SMU Research blog

New book edited by SMU faculty member Noah Simblist examines artistic response to historical trauma

'Places of a Present Past' edited by SMU Art Chair Noah Simblist, book coverA new book edited by SMU Art Chair Noah Simblist will have its official launch at the 2015 New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, Sept. 18-20.

Places of a Present Past brings together three exhibitions, all showcasing the work of international video artists, that were presented at the Meadows School of the Arts’ Pollock Gallery in 2014. All of them were curated by Simblist and the Pollock Gallery’s 2014 curatorial fellow, Sally Frater. Each shared a common theme: addressing the traces of trauma on particular sites and paying close attention to the lasting impacts of war.

The exhibitions explored in the book include Jin-me Yoon’s Extended Temporalities, which invoked the colonial relationship between Japan and Korea in the first half of the 20th century; the group show Where Are You From?, which included artworks by Aissa Deebi, Kamal Aljafari and Dor Guez recounting the story of the Israeli occupation of Palestine; and the Sarah Morris film 1972, alluding to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, during which 11 Israeli athletes were kidnapped and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group, pointing to the legacy of the Holocaust in Germany and beyond.

SMU Art Chair Noah Simblist

Noah Simblist, chair of SMU’s Division of Art

“The artworks in the book are bound together by a historiographical impulse,” said Simblist, chair and associate professor of art in the Meadows School. “In some sense, these artists act as historians. However, they are less interested in the truth than the way we feel through the legacies of past traumas. They reveal the oblique ways that we repress historical trauma, burying it in the very sites of their origin. Places of a Present Past is filled with an archaeological ethic, metaphorically digging down, both spatially and psychologically, into the depths of transnational grief.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Four named 2015 SMU Ford Research Fellows

SMU Ford Research Fellows 2015

Ping (Peggy) Gui, Robert Howell, Lisa Siraganian and Nathan Cortez were named SMU’s 2015 Ford Research Fellows during the University’s Board of Trustees meeting in May.

Four distinguished SMU professors were named 2015 Ford Research Fellows during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 7.

This year’s recipients are Nathan Cortez, Dedman School of Law; Ping (Peggy) Gui, Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Robert Howell, Philosophy, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; and Lisa Siraganian, English, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from trustee Gerald J. Ford, the fellowships help SMU retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.

(more…)

Three named 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors

Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors 2015-17

Jill DeTemple, Darius Miller and Yildirim Hürmüzlü were named SMU’s 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors during the University’s Board of Trustees meeting in May.

Three of SMU’s best teachers have been named 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors, as announced by the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 7, 2015.

The 2015 honorees are Jill DeTemple, Religious Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Yildirim Hürmüzlü, Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and Darius Miller, Finance, Cox School of Business.

The new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join returning members Jaime Clark-Soles, New Testament, Perkins School of Theology; Michael Lattman, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; and Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards, named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler, recognize SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning.

“These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.”

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

(more…)

James K. Hopkins is inaugural recipient of SMU’s Second Century Faculty Career Achievement Award

Dedman Faculty James K Hopkins PortraitJames K. Hopkins, professor of history and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been named the inaugural recipient of SMU’s Second Century Faculty Career Achievement Award, announced by the Office of the Provost Friday, April 17, 2015.

In his honor, the James K. Hopkins SMU Second Century Faculty Career Achievement Scholarship has been created and will be awarded to a student in SMU’s fall 2015 entering class.

In addition, he has received the 2015 SMU Faculty Club Mentor Supereminens Award, recognizing “exceptional mentoring of the University’s faculty and students.”

“Professor Hopkins’ achievements exemplify a career of outstanding accomplishment in scholarship, teaching and sustained commitment to the University,” the award citation reads. “[H]is academic merits are complemented by a career of service to furthering SMU’s engagement in world-changing issues.”

“I simply cannot imagine a more deserving recipient of this award than Jim Hopkins, who is nothing less than a University treasure,” says Andrew Graybill, professor and chair of the William P. Clements Department of History and co-director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. “Across a career spanning more than four decades, Jim has served his students, the SMU community and the world beyond our campus borders with extraordinary grace and commitment. It is so fitting that an incoming student will receive a scholarship in Jim’s name, so that his legacy will continue.”

Hopkins joined SMU in 1974 and for several years served as director of undergraduate studies in the Department of History. He also served as associate dean for general education in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He chaired the Clements Department of History from 2001 to 2007. As president of the Faculty Senate, he served as a member of SMU’s Board of Trustees. In 2011, during the 100th-anniversary year of the University’s founding, he chaired the SMU Centennial Academic Symposium, “The University and the City.”

An early advocate of education beyond the campus, Hopkins co-founded SMU’s Inter-Community Experience (ICE) Program combining learning with service. Deeply involved in study abroad, he was founding director of SMU-in-Oxford and also served as director of SMU-in-Britain.

In 2001 Hopkins became one of the first recipients of the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award and a member of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Other University honors include the “M” Award, SMU’s most prestigious award for outstanding service; the Phi Beta Kappa Perrine Prize for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship; four Rotunda Outstanding Professor Awards; the United Methodist Church Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award; Faculty Volunteer of the Year Award for “exemplary leadership in the greater Dallas community”; and on four occasions the Willis M. Tate Award for contributions to student life. He received the Distinguished University Citizen Award in 2005 and is a five-time recipient of the HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award, given by student staff members in SMU Residence Life and Student Housing. He has been a long-time adviser to the University’s President’s Scholars Program.

Hopkins teaches courses on modern Britain and European social and intellectual history, modern European history, women in European history, and service learning related to Dallas. From his course on the social history of atomic energy, he wrote and narrated a film used for an academic orientation, “The University and the Fate of the Earth.” The film received a Silver Award from the New York International Film and TV Festival. During the 1996-97 academic year, he served as the first Public Scholar with SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center  for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

Hopkins’ publications include two books examining the ideas of ordinary men and women in times of political crisis, A Woman to Deliver Her People: Joanna Southcott and English Millenarianism in an Age of Revolution and Into the Heart of the Fire: The British in the Spanish Civil War. The latter received a 1999 Godbey Authors’ Award as an outstanding book written by an SMU faculty member. For the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute, he developed a popular course on Los Alamos and the Manhattan nuclear bomb project.

Hopkins received his B.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma and was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Cambridge University. He earned his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. He will retire in May as professor emeritus of history.

Two world premieres are highlights of Meadows’ 2015 Spring Dance Concert, March 25-29

Photographs from the 2015 Spring Dance Concert Rehearsal, taken by Kim Leeson.

Photographs from the 2015 Spring Dance Concert Rehearsal, taken by Kim Leeson.

The Meadows Dance Ensemble in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its 2015 Spring Dance Concert, March 25-29, in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. 

This year’s concert features two world premieres by noted guest choreographers, as well as the revival of an acclaimed work by jazz dance artist and faculty member Danny Buraczeski.

The program opens with the premiere of Darkside by Artist-in-Residence John Selya. Based on the Tom Stoppard BBC radio play with music from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, Selya’s Darkside brings a visual element to what has been a solely auditory work. In addition to teaching and choreographing at universities and dance companies across the nation, Selya is a Tony-nominated dancer and Broadway veteran.

The second performance features faculty member Danny Buraczeski‘s in the revival of his acclaimed 1999 piece Ezekiel’s Wheel. Inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin, Ezekiel’s Wheel is set to a percussive musical score interspersed with passages of Baldwin’s writings.

The program concludes with the premiere of The Hi Betty Cha-Cha by alumnus and founder and director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Joshua Peugh (’06). Featuring five contrasting sections, the work is set to music by Dean Martin, as well as Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Performance take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Available for purchase online, tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, students and staff. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office.

No means no: SMU study shows that teen girls report less sexual victimization after virtual-reality assertiveness training

Stock photo of two people holding handsTeen girls were less likely to report being sexually victimized after learning to assertively resist unwanted sexual overtures and practicing resistance in a realistic virtual environment, according to a new SMU-led study.

The effects persisted over a three-month period following the training, says clinical psychologist Lorelei Simpson Rowe, lead author on the pilot study and an associate professor of psychology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The research also found that those girls who had previously experienced dating violence reported lower levels of psychological aggression and psychological distress after completing the program, relative to girls in a comparison group.

“The virtual simulations allowed girls to practice being assertive in a realistic environment. The intent of the program is for the learning opportunity to increase the likelihood that they will use the skills in real life,” said Simpson Rowe, who also serves as graduate program co-director in the Department of Psychology. “Research has shown that skills are more likely to generalize if they are practiced in a realistic environment, so we used virtual reality to increase the realism.”

The training program, called “My Voice, My Choice,” emphasizes that victims do not invite sexual violence and that they have the right to stand up for themselves because violent or coercive behavior is never OK.

“It is very promising that learning resistance skills and practicing them in virtual simulations of coercive interactions could reduce the risk for later sexual victimization,” said Simpson Rowe.

She cautioned, however, that the research is preliminary and based on a small sample: 42 in the “My Voice, My Choice” condition and 36 in a control condition. Future research is needed to establish the benefits of the program across different age groups and populations, for example, college versus high school students.

The study’s strengths included its randomized controlled design and a high participant retention rate among the 78 teen girls in the study.

The virtual-reality simulation component of “My Voice, My Choice” utilizes a software program developed by study co-authors Ernest N. Jouriles and Renee McDonald in conjunction with the game design program in The Guildhall at SMU. Jouriles and McDonald are clinical psychologists in the SMU Psychology Department. Jouriles is professor and chair. McDonald is a professor and associate dean of research and academic affairs in Dedman College.

“One advantage the virtual simulations offer is the ability to actually observe whether, and how, the girls are using the skills in coercive situations that feel very real,” McDonald said. “This provides girls with opportunities for immediate feedback and accelerated learning, and for facilitators to easily spot areas in need of further strengthening. The value of this advantage can’t be overstated.”

One question that remains for future research is whether the practice in virtual simulations was the operative factor that reduced sexual victimization, Simpson Rowe said.

“We need to determine if practice in a virtual setting is the key factor in making the intervention effective, or if other factors, such as being encouraged to stand up for themselves, led to the outcomes,” she said.

The researchers reported their findings, “Reducing Sexual Victimization among Adolescent Girls: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of My Voice, My Choice,” in the journal Behavior Therapy. The article has been published online in advance of print.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story from the SMU Research blog

Faculty in the News: January 2015

Ben Voth

Ben Both, Director of Debate & Associate Professor of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs

Andrea Meltzer, Psychology, Dedman School of Humanities and Sciences, was featured on the Science Codex for her self-image research. Meltzer conducted three independent studies, resulting in the conclusion that woman’s body image is strongly linked to their perception of what they believe men prefer. The Science Codex article appeared on Jan. 13, 2015.

Ben Voth, director of debate and associate professor, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Meadows School of the Arts, published a KERA article entitled “What ‘The Great Debater’ James Farmer Can Teach Us Today,” in which he explored the role of Texas native James Farmer Jr. and his contribution to the American civil rights movement. The article was published on Jan. 12, 2015.

Jonathan Norton, Pony Express(ions) Stay Play Editor, Meadows School of the Arts, was listed as No. 20 in a recent Dallas Observer article exploring “100 Dallas Creatives.” The article appeared on Jan. 9, 2015.

Heather DeShon, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, was featured in a NBC National News video exploring if earthquakes are becoming a new trend in Texas. The video aired on Jan. 8, 2015.

Heather DeShon

Heather DeShon, Geophysics Associate Professor, Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences

Brian Stump, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, was featured in a National Geographic article examining the causes of the recent North Texas earthquakes. The article was published on Jan. 7, 2015.

Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, provided commentary on a National Journal article discussing low gas prices and a possible federal gas tax hike. The article was published on Jan. 5, 2015.

Chuck Dannis, Real Estate, Risk Management and Business Law, Cox School of Business, was published in D Magazine‘s article “Disrupting Estate Coverage in Dallas” in an exclusive section entitled “The Future of Real Estate (the Good  and the Bad).”

 

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