Eighteen SMU faculty members receive tenure, promotions effective Sept. 1, 2016

For the Record

Eighteen SMU faculty members receive tenure, promotions effective Sept. 1, 2016

Eighteen distinguished SMU faculty members are newly tenured as associate professors or have been promoted to full professorships to begin the 2016-17 academic year.

The following individuals received tenure or promotion effective Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016:

Cox School of Business

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Michael Braun, Marketing

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Heather DeShon, Earth Sciences
  • Scott Norris, Mathematics
  • Rubén Sánchez-Godoy, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
  • Hervé Tchumkam, World Languages and Literatures (French)
  • Nicolay Tsarevsky, Chemistry

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Matthew Hornbach, Earth Sciences
  • Thomas Knock, History
  • Rajani Sudan, English

Dedman School of Law

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • W. Keith Robinson, Law (patent law, intellectual property)
  • David O. Taylor, Law (patent law, patent litigation, federal civil procedure, appellate advocacy, contract law)

Lyle School of Engineering

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Ping (Peggy) Gui, Electrical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Jake Batsell, Journalism
  • Hye Jin Yoon, Advertising

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • H. Clifton Forbis, Music (Voice)
  • Adam Herring, Art History
  • Lisa Pon, Art History

Perkins School of Theology

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Jaime Clark-Soles, Theology (New Testament)
August 8, 2016|For the Record, News|

SMU CUL Dean Gillian McCombs announces her retirement, effective summer 2017

Gillian M. McCombs, Dean and Director, SMU Central University LibrariesGillian McCombs, dean and director of SMU’s Central University Libraries, has announced her retirement from that position effective in summer 2017.

SMU Provost Steven Currall will announce the timeframe for the search for a new permanent dean and director this fall.

McCombs joined SMU in 1998 and guided the University’s central library system through a transformation of resources, facilities and services in response to changing student and faculty needs. One of the most visible examples of her leadership is the Fondren Library Center renovation. The Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room and new Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall opened April 15, marking the completion of the first phase. The final phase includes a Starbucks Café and Collaborative Commons, which will open with a student-centered celebration in September 2016.

> SMU News: SMU celebrates Fondren Library transformation

“Great libraries are the heart of the University, and at the heart of Dean McCombs’ leadership of SMU Central University Libraries has been an unwavering focus on our library users’ evolving needs, particularly those of our students,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “A prime example is the CUL Student Advisory Council she created to provide the student perspective as library staff shapes programs, services and spaces that enhance the user experience and support academic achievement. Gillian has been a passionate advocate for CUL, and we are grateful for her many contributions to the University.”

McCombs oversees 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 – as well as the Fort Burgwin Library at SMU-in-Taos and the SMU-in-Plano Library Resource Room.

“Dean McCombs has had a longstanding and distinguished career leading Central University Libraries at SMU. In addition to being an insightful voice about advancing libraries at SMU, Gillian is a globally recognized intellectual leader about the future of libraries, digitization of documents, and the creative use of library buildings to foster innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall. “One of the crowning achievements of her career was the recent renovation of SMU’s Fondren Library to ensure that it meets the current and future needs of SMU faculty and students. Gillian has been an inspiring leader of the CUL staff, a true academic partner with SMU’s other deans, and an invaluable colleague in advancing SMU.”

Among her SMU career highlights:

  • McCombs led CUL’s observance of the University’s Year of the Library in 2013, joining SMU President R. Gerald Turner in welcoming the acquisition of American explorer John Maley’s travel journal (1808-1812) that represented the libraries’ four-millionth volume. The gift was made by the SMU Board of Trustees in honor of former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush and the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
  • She launched a digital collections initiative, which now numbers 51 collections comprising 50,000 images, documents, videos and other materials from SMU’s special collections, all available to the public online. CUL also scaled up its delivery of e-resources and now provides access to over one million e-books and 75,000 e-journals.
  • As dean and director, she guided CUL’s participation in several major collaborative ventures including the Greater Western Library Alliance’s Occam’s Reader Project, a groundbreaking e-book pilot program; the Association of College and Research Libraries’ three-year research initiative studying the impact of academic libraries on student achievement; and a partnership with the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association to bring George Washington’s personal copy of The Acts of Congress to campus.

Throughout her service to SMU, McCombs has published extensively in the areas of organizational culture, technology and digital services, leadership and management, fundraising and historical children’s literature. She has won numerous awards in the library profession and serves on the editorial board of portal: Libraries and the Academy, a research journal focused on the evolving role of academic libraries and librarians.

Her professional affiliations include membership on the Greater Western Library Alliance Board of Directors. She has represented the United States on the International Federation of Libraries Association, Academic Libraries standing committee and has served on numerous committees and advisory boards of the American Library Association. In North Texas she has served on the Dallas Museum of Art’s Libraries, Archives and Imaging Services Committee, the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences Board of Advisors and the Texas Woman’s University School of Library and Information Studies External Constituent Board.

McCombs began her professional career in England as the music librarian at Huddersfield Public Library in her native Yorkshire. Her career in the United States started in Washington, D.C., where she worked at the Landscape Architecture and Garden Library at Dumbarton Oaks, as well as such federal libraries as the National Library of Medicine, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Prior to joining SMU, she served as assistant director of technical services and systems for 16 years at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY), where she earned a master’s degree in public administration.

McCombs received a bachelor’s degree in French and European literature (honors) from the University of Warwick and a master’s degree from the Leeds School of Librarianship in England.

August 2, 2016|For the Record, News|

Provost names Maria Dixon Hall to lead new campus-wide initiative on cultural intelligence

Maria Dixon HallSMU Provost Steve Currall has named Associate Professor of Organizational Communication and Director of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Maria Dixon Hall as Provost’s Senior Advisor for Campus Cultural Intelligence Initiatives effective Monday, Aug. 1, 2016.

Professor Dixon Hall will have strategic oversight of an emerging initiative “designed to ensure that we are cultivating a campus culture involving faculty, staff and students that ensures our students are ready to effectively engage the complex world into which they will graduate,” said Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“The question that guides me in this unique appointment is: Whether in Detroit or Dubai, South Wales or South Dallas, do our classrooms equip our students to effectively communicate and negotiate human difference?” Currall added. “I believe the faculty has an especially vital role in fostering contexts that teach our students how to successfully and respectfully work, collaborate and create solutions regardless of who their partners may be. Professor Dixon Hall is uniquely qualified to lead this exciting initiative.”

“Last year, I promised the SMU community that we would be bold in our efforts to ensure that our campus was welcoming, inclusive and thoughtful about matters of difference. Maria’s appointment allows us to tap into her internationally recognized expertise in cultural intelligence,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “In addition to being an outstanding faculty member in the classroom, she has earned a reputation, through her research and consulting, for moving organizations and institutions beyond the old frameworks of diversity training to intelligent, thoughtful ways of communicating effectively across cultural boundaries. Her work as an organizational scholar and theologian will help us formulate sustainable actions to position SMU as a strategic leader in inclusion and cultural intelligence in higher education by 2025.”

Recognized throughout her SMU career for her teaching and research, Dixon Hall has been honored with the 2005-06 Willis M. Tate award for service to the student body; the 2009 Golden Mustang Award for outstanding teaching and research by junior faculty; the 2010 Rotunda Award for Outstanding Teaching; and the 2011 “M” Award, SMU’s highest award for service to the University. In 2016, she was named an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor by SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence.

“I am deeply honored by this appointment,” Dixon Hall said. “The conversations I’ve had with my colleagues during the past year have demonstrated the commitment our faculty has to ensuring that we are shaping world changers in every sense of the term. The opportunity to lead those conversations in service of a University I love is deeply gratifying. Provost Currall’s innovative structuring of this appointment can only encourage others like myself, who love the classroom, to occasionally step out of it and engage in these types of transformative opportunities on behalf of the University.”

Dixon Hall will return to research and teaching once the initiative is complete, at which time the University leadership will unveil a long-term plan to sustain the cultural intelligence programs she will develop.

Professor Dixon Hall joined the SMU faculty in 2004. As Director of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, she oversees curriculum and assessment for the Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication program.

She also serves as the director of Mustang Consulting, an in-house firm staffed by top communication students, whose global client list includes Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Lifeworks (Austin). The firm’s research has been featured in The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, The Franchise Times, and Restaurant Nation.

Dixon Hall’s research and professional consulting is focused on the implications of identity, power and organizational culture on the strategic communication of religious and non-profit organizations. Dixon Hall serves on the editorial boards and as a reviewer for both her field’s national and international publication outlets, as well as their academic conferences. Her work appears in the discipline’s top journals, including Management Communication Quarterly, The Journal of Communication and Religion, Business Communication Quarterly and Southern Journal of Communication.

Dixon Hall maintains an active speaking schedule and is a frequent contributor to national media outlets such as TIME Magazine and CNN on issues of race and education. Her examination of the University of Oklahoma’s failures in dealing with race, “Transformation 101,” became one of 2015’s most viral blog posts. A probationary deacon in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, she is also a frequent contributor to the United Methodist Reporter and The Religious News Service.

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University. She received her Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2004.

July 22, 2016|For the Record, News|

Ebonii Nelson named Interim Assistant Provost of Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention

Ebonii Nelson, SMU Interim Assistant ProvostSMU Provost Steve Currall has named Ebonii Nelson as Interim Assistant Provost of Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention effective July 1, 2016. Nelson previously served as Assistant Director of Student Success at SMU.

In her duties as interim assistant provost, Nelson will further propel SMU’s initiatives focused on student success, retention and outreach to at-risk students.

“Ebonii Nelson’s skills and experience are ideally suited to continue advancing SMU’s commitment to students’ academic success,” said Dr. Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “As an SMU alumna, and former Assistant Director of Student Success at SMU, Ebonii has deep knowledge of the innovative programs that the University has developed to ensure that our students flourish in the classroom and make timely progress toward completion of their degrees. I have every confidence that Ebonii will be an outstanding steward of SMU’s commitment to academic achievement of our students.”

The Assistant Provost of Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention oversees one of SMU’s signature programs to support and retain students, the Rotunda Academic Scholars Program. The office provides targeted academic advising, weekly review sessions in key gateway courses, peer counseling and mentoring, collaborative learning workshops and extracurricular learning enhancement experiences involving service and civic engagement to enhance Scholars’ overall marketability for “world-changing” careers.

“As SMU continues to prioritize student retention and overall success, I am enthusiastic and privileged to join Provost Currall and his team to further strengthen this important work,” said Nelson. “I believe my knowledge of SMU culture as an alumna, and previous experience as a professional in both student affairs and academic affairs, will equip me to maintain and enhance the campus relationships, policies and practices that support our amazing students.”

Nelson previously served as an academic adviser with the University Advising Center, where she developed the Peer Academic Leader Program and supported the men’s and women’s basketball and swimming and diving teams. She has held previous positions at the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Gainesville State College, Texas Woman’s University and the University of Georgia.

Nelson graduated from SMU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in Spanish, sociology and women’s studies. She earned a master’s degree in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia and is currently earning a master’s in counseling at SMU.

July 11, 2016|For the Record, News|

Four SMU faculty members retire with emeritus status in 2015-16

Four distinguished SMU faculty members retired with emeritus status in the 2015-16 academic year. The professors, and their dates of service:

Timothy W. Crusius, Professor Emeritus of English, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1990-2016

John A. Mears, Professor Emeritus of History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1967-2016

Stephen A. Szygenda, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, 2000-2016

 Shlomo Weber, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1993-2016

June 22, 2016|For the Record, News|
Load More Posts