For the Record

Three faculty members honored with 2018 Tunks Distinguished University Citizen Awards

Three faculty members were honored with SMU’s 2018 Thomas W. Tunks Distinguished University Citizen Award at the Faculty Breakfast held Saturday, May 19 before Commencement. This year’s recipients are:

  • Alan Brown, Psychology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Linda Eads, Dedman School of Law
  • Pia Vogel, Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Science

The award, given by the Office of the Provost, honors three faculty members each year for service and activities that benefit students and the University’s academic mission and “who have demonstrated outstanding citizenship through dedicated service to the University and its governance.”

Formerly the Distinguished University Citizen Award, the honor was renamed in 2014 for Tunks, a professor of music education, former associate provost and founding Faculty-in-Residence in the University’s Residential Commons.

Four outstanding SMU scholars named 2018 Ford Research Fellows

Four SMU professors received 2018 Ford Research Fellowships during the University’s Board of Trustees Meeting in May. Pictured left to right: SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Adam Herring, Klaus Desmet, Elfi Kraka, MinJun Kim, and SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. Photo credit: SMU | Allison Slomowitz

Four distinguished SMU professors were honored for their scholarship as 2018 Ford Research Fellows. The awards were presented during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 8.

This year’s recipients are Klaus Desmet, Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Adam Herring, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts; MinJun Kim, Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and Elfi Kraka, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Klaus Desmet is the Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor and professor of economics in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. His research focuses on international trade, regional and urban economics, macroeconomics, and political economy. In April, he was appointed as a research associate in the International Trade & Investment and Political Economy program of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – a prestigious national think tank that brings together researchers in economic policy and empirical economic analysis.

Adam Herring is the Emily Rich Summers Endowed Professor, chair and director of graduate studies in the Division of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts. Dr. Herring is a specialist in the art of the pre-Columbian Americas, with research interests that include visual theory and semiotics, anthropological and materialist critique of visual experience, and the history of the discipline. A 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, Dr. Herring has also received fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Huntington Library.

MinJun Kim is the Robert C. Womack Chair in Mechanical Engineering in Lyle School of Engineering. He works in three unified subject areas: micro- and nanorobotics, single-cell and single-molecule biophysics, and transport phenomena. His research applies to a range of nano- and microfabrication techniques that are capable of producing small-scale functional materials and devices. These “microbots” create the possibility of exploring biology where fundamental processes take place, such as epigenetic and genetic control of single cells.

Elfi Kraka is professor and chair in the Department of Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and an expert in computational chemistry, quantum mechanics, and drug discovery. As head of SMU’s Computational and Theoretical Chemistry (CATCO) Lab, she researches computer-assisted drug design as a tool for reducing the time needed to develop new pharmaceuticals. She also investigates and develops new quantum chemical methods, the mechanism of chemical reactions with the Unified Reaction Valley Approach (URVA), and the structure and stability of van der Waals complexes.

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

Nineteen SMU faculty members retire with emeritus status in 2017-18

Nineteen distinguished faculty members with a combined total of nearly 620 years of SMU service retired with emeritus status in the 2017-18 academic year.

The professors, and their dates of service:

Cox School of Business

  • William B. Brueggeman, Professor Emeritus, Real Estate, Risk Management and Business Law, 1978-2018
  • James C. Collins Jr., Professor Emeritus, Information Technology and Operations Management, 1964-2017
  • Ellen F. Jackofsky, Associate Professor Emerita, Management and Organizations, 1982-2018
  • Robert W. Rasberry, Assistant Professor Emeritus, Management and Organizations, 1974-2018
  • James Smith, Professor Emeritus, Finance, 1995-2018
  • Rex Thompson, Professor Emeritus, Finance, 1988-2018

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Alan S. Brown, Professor Emeritus, Psychology, 1974-2018
  • Louis L. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus, Paleontology, 1983-2018
  • Francisco Morán, Professor Emeritus, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish), 2003-2018
  • Wayne A. Woodward, Professor Emeritus, Statistical Science, 1981-2017

Dedman School of Law

  • Maureen N. Armour, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1989-2018
  • William J. Bridge, Associate Professor Emeritus, Law, 1977-2018
  • Linda S. Eads, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1986-2018
  • Victoria Palacios, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1991-2018

Lyle School of Engineering

  • William Milton (Milt) Gosney Jr., Professor Emeritus, Electrical Engineering, 1986-2017
  • David W. Matula, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and Engineering, 1974-2017

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Daniel (Danny) Buraczeski, Professor Emeritus, Dance, 2006-2018
  • Mary Vernon, Professor Emerita, Art, 1987-2018

Perkins School of Theology

  • William B. Lawrence, Professor Emeritus, American Church History, 2002-2018

Holly Jeffcoat named dean of SMU Libraries

Holly Jeffcoat

University of Connecticut Associate Dean of Libraries Holly Jeffcoat, a leader in the use of technology in instruction and library services, has been selected as the next dean of SMU Libraries. She will assume her new duties Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

“Holly Jeffcoat has deep leadership skills, as well as broad administrative experience in the library system of a highly ranked research institution,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. “She will lead SMU Libraries in forging a collective vision in line with SMU’s goals for even greater academic quality.”

SMU President R. Gerald Turner lauded Jeffcoat’s strategic vision.

“Holly is wonderfully forward-thinking in her understanding of the role of technology in libraries now and in the future,” Turner said.

As associate dean of UConn Library, Jeffcoat leads core library operations that include access services, administration, marketing, development, facilities, finance, human resources, information technology and strategic planning. She oversees a $22 million budget, and leads the Library’s five-year, $20 million master plan renovation effort.

She is a key contributor to One UConn Library, an endeavor that ultimately will align systems across all UConn libraries. She also serves as interim leader of the strategic library areas of research, teaching, service and outreach. Previously at UConn, she served as the interim vice provost (the head UConn librarian), the assistant vice provost, and as the associate university librarian of planning, finance and assessment.

“It is an honor and privilege to join the SMU community as the new dean of SMU Libraries,” Jeffcoat said. “This is an exciting time of change and growth in academic research libraries and at SMU. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with world-changing faculty, students, staff, and the broader SMU community to create a shared 21st-century vision for SMU Libraries built upon the existing strengths of dedicated library professionals, outstanding special collections, and inspiring facilities.”

Prior to an international search for a new dean, Currall convened a task force to review existing university library organizational structures and processes, and to make recommendations for a new structure favorable to coordination among the libraries, and conducive to future strategic planning. A new unified organization model will take effect when Jeffcoat begins her new post.

As SMU Libraries dean, Jeffcoat will oversee DeGolyer Library, SMU’s principal repository for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, science and technology; Fondren Library Center, including the Norwick Center for Digital Services; the Hamon Arts Library; Bridwell Library, which supports theological education and scholarship; the Business Library; and human resources needs for the libraries. She will serve as ex officio member of the SMU Libraries Executive Board and the Friends of the SMU Libraries.

“Holly understands modern research libraries from the ground up and across all disciplines,” said Thomas DiPiero, dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, who chaired the 15-member search committee. “Her terrific strategic planning experience will help her lead collaborations across SMU Libraries.”

Prior to UConn, Jeffcoat held positions at the University of New Mexico College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences as well as the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center. Her library leadership career began in Galápagos, Ecuador, as the director of the Charles Darwin Research Station. Jeffcoat has published and presented on translational science support, use of virtual reality in education, collection development in health sciences, and numerous scholarly communication topics.

Jeffcoat is a founding creator of BLC Leads, a Boston-based leadership program for mid-career librarians, and serves as a program mentor. She is a 2018-19 fellow in the prestigious Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Library Leadership Fellows program.

She earned B.A. degree in psychology from Greensboro College, where she minored in sociology and French. She earned an M.S. degree in sociology from Utah State University, and an M.A. degree in library and information sciences from the University of Arizona.

Currall thanked Elizabeth Killingsworth, who has served as interim dean since July 2017, for her leadership. “Elizabeth guided us through this period of transition extremely well,” he said. “She’s a wonderful asset to SMU Libraries and the University.”

23 SMU professors receive tenure, promotions for 2018-19 academic year

Twenty-three exemplary SMU faculty members will begin the 2018-19 academic year newly tenured as associate professor or promoted to full professor.

The following individuals have received tenure or promotion effective Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018:

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Doris Baker, Teaching and Learning
  • Candace Walkington, Teaching and Learning

Cox School of Business

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Stacey Jacobsen, Finance

Recommended for tenure (associate professorship previously awarded):

  • Chotibhak Jotikasthira, Finance

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Edward Fox, Marketing

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Andrea Barreiro, Mathematics
  • Michael Chmielewski, Psychology
  • Maxime Foerster, World Languages and Literatures (French)
  • Jo Guldi, History
  • Jill Kelly, History
  • James Lake, Economics
  • Alexander Lippert, Chemistry
  • Omar Ozak, Economics
  • Danila Serra, Economics

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Jeffrey Engel, History
  • Kenneth Hamilton, History
  • Luigi Manzetti, Political Science
  • Alicia Meuret, Psychology

Dedman School of Law

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • James Coleman, Law (energy law)

Lyle School of Engineering

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Khaled Abdelghany, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Sidharth Muralidharan, Advertising

Perkins School of Theology

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • James Kang Hoon Lee, History of Early Christianity

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Roy Heller, Old Testament
By | 2018-05-23T16:58:21+00:00 May 23, 2018|Categories: For the Record, News|Tags: , |

Four outstanding educators named 2018-20 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors

Four top teachers have been named SMU’s 2018-20 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors, as announced by the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 3, 2018.

This year’s honorees are Maribeth Kuenzi, Management, Cox School of Business; Owen Lynch, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Meadows School of the Arts; Meghan Ryan, Torts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Dedman School of Law; and Brandilyn Stigler, Mathematics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join active returning members W. Keith Robinson, Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation, Dedman School of Law; Stephen Sekula, Physics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Kumar Venkataraman, Finance, Cox School of Business; and Kathleen Wellman, History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards, named for the late Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48, 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.

> Read more about the 2018-20 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors at the SMU CTE homepage

SMU names new members, officers of Board of Trustees

Three new officers and three new trustees were named to SMU’s Board of Trustees during the board’s spring meeting May 4, 2018. The Board also passed a resolution to honor two former members as trustees emeriti.

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84 has been elected as chair, David B. Miller ’72, ’73 was elected as vice-chair, and Kelly Hoglund Compton ’79 was elected as secretary. Officers are elected for one-year terms and are eligible for re-election up to four consecutive terms in any respective office.

The new officers will begin their one-year terms on June 1, 2018, and preside over the Sept. 14, 2018 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

“It’s a great honor to serve as chair of the SMU Board of Trustees,” Dedman said. “As both SMU and Dallas grow in stature and importance, the board is ready to guide the continued quest of the University to become one of the nation’s finest comprehensive research universities and a home of world-changing research, student development and community impact. ”

New trustee Bradley W. Brookshire ’76 will fill the vacancy left by the death of longtime SMU trustee Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48. The Board’s new ex officio faculty representative is Faculty Senate President Dayna Oscherwitz, French area chair in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Ben Manthey ’09, ’19 will serve as ex officio student trustee.

Concluding their board service are Paul Krueger, past-president of the SMU Faculty Senate and professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and student trustee Andrew B. Udofa ’18.

The SMU Board of Trustees also passed a resolution naming Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99 and Alan D. Feld ’57, ’60 as trustees emeriti. They are the first former University trustees to receive that designation since Milledge A. Hart, III, became SMU’s ninth trustee emeritus in 2013. For extraordinary service and leadership, former members of the SMU Board may be named emeritus members. With the addition of these two former trustees, only 11 individuals have been named trustees emeriti in the history of the University.

“I am grateful to our new trustees emeriti and new Board of Trustees officers for the important wisdom and insight they bring to the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “I am also grateful to the new and current board members whose enterprising spirit will lead the charge as this vibrant community enters an exciting new era.”

The 42-member board sets policies governing the operation of SMU.

For the Record: Spring Term 2018

Klaus Desmet, Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor in Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been appointed Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in the International Trade & Investment and Political Economy program. It is a major recognition honoring senior scholars who have made deep impact in their fields, says Economics Chair Santanu Roy: “The NBER is the most prestigious national think tank that brings together researchers in economic policy and empirical economic analysis.”

Bonnie Wheeler, Associate Professor of English and Director of Medieval Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, won the 2018 Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies, presented by the Medieval Academy of America. “Professor Wheeler has been a powerful shaping force in our discipline for the past thirty years,” reads her award citation. “Inspiring and cultivating young scholars, fostering their intellectual growth and mentoring their professional possibilities, she is an award-winning teacher and galvanizing mentor…. Her service has been boundless and has reshaped the field in countless and powerful ways.”

SMU Faculty Senate names 2018 winners of Outstanding Staff Awards

The SMU Faculty Senate honored five exemplary staff members with 2018 Faculty Senate Outstanding Staff Awards during the Senate’s last meeting of the 2017-18 academic year on Wednesday, May 2.

All winners are nominated by SMU faculty members, and the awards are presented each academic year at the Faculty Senate’s final meeting in May. The recognition is “a measure not just of jobs well done, but also of the personal contributions the individuals have made to the web of interconnections that make up SMU,” according to the Faculty Senate’s website.

This year’s winners:

  • Kathryn Canterbury, Grants and Research, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Chuck Donaldson, Academic Services, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Melissa Emmert, Department of Political Science, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Dee Powell, Dean’s Office, Cox School of Business
  • Janet Stephens, Academic Services, Meadows School of the Arts

In addition to the glass trophies presented to each honoree, they received gifts ranging from season tickets to art books to museum memberships, donated by SMU AthleticsBarnes & Noble (SMU Bookstore), SMU Dining Services, Meadows Museum and the Meadows School of the Arts.

SMU honors outstanding achievement, community service at 2017-18 Hilltop Excellence Awards and Honors Convocation

Laurel wreath stock photo - Hilltop Excellence AwardsSMU faculty, staff, administrators and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation – the “M” Award – at the 2017-18 Hilltop Excellence Awards Monday, April 16.

Earlier in the day, the University honored its best students at the 21st annual Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Maria Dixon Hall, senior adviser to the SMU Provost, associate professor in the Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, and adjunct associate professor of homiletics in Perkins School of Theology.

> Find a complete list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2018

Appointed in August 2016 as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Cultural Intelligence, Dixon Hall is charged with oversight of the University’s efforts to ensure that all members of the SMU community are equipped to effectively create, collaborate, and work on solutions to change the world. In this role, she is responsible for development and implementation of the University’s new cultural intelligence curriculum and training program.

As director of mustangconsulting, Dixon Hall heads a staff of some of SMU’s best and brightest communication students. The group serves a global client list that includes corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Carry the Load (Atlanta/Dallas).

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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