News

SMU to offer new training on harassment and discrimination prevention

SMU is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including sexual misconduct and sexual assault. In keeping with this commitment, the University has made arrangements for employees to participate in a new automated training program called “Harassment and Discrimination Prevention.”

The program outlines the current law on discrimination, the University’s policies and procedures for reporting discrimination, and recommendations for prevention.  The new tutorial updates and combines two tutorials that previously were offered, “Stop Harassment and Discrimination” and “Eliminating Campus Sexual Violence.”

All employees will be required to complete “Harassment and Discrimination Prevention” every three years.  Employees will be notified of their assignment date by email from SMU’s training vendor with instructions on how to access the tutorial online.  Employees will have 90 days from date of assignment to complete the course.  The non-supervisor version of the program takes approximately 60 minutes to complete while the supervisor version takes approximately 90 minutes.  The self-paced module may be paused and restarted until completion.

Questions about this tutorial may be directed to the Department of Human Resources (HR) at DevelopU@smu.edu. Questions about SMU’s nondiscrimination policies and procedures can be directed to the Office of Institutional Access and Equity (IAE) at accessequity@smu.edu.

By | 2018-02-20T17:04:32+00:00 February 20, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Cecil and Ida Green Chair Ronald A. Rohrer named to The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas

Ronald A. Rohrer

Inventor and scholar Ronald A. Rohrer, the Cecil & Ida Green Chair and Professor of Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, has been named to The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST). The nonprofit organization, founded in 2004, brings together the state’s top scientific, academic and corporate minds to support research in Texas.

The organization builds a stronger identity for Texas as an important destination and hub of achievement in these fields. Members of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and the state’s nine Nobel Laureates comprise its 270 members. The group has 18 member institutions, including SMU, across Texas.

Rohrer joins three other distinguished SMU faculty members in TAMEST — Fred Chang, executive director of the Lyle School’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security; Delores Etter, founding director of the Lyle School’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education and electrical engineering professor emeritus; and David Meltzer, Henderson-Morrison Chair and professor of prehistory in anthropology in Dedman College.

Considered one of the preeminent researchers in electronic design automation, Rohrer’s contributions to improving integrated circuit (IC) production have spanned over 50 years. Rohrer realized early on that circuit simulation was crucial to IC design for progress in size reduction and complexity. Among his achievements was introducing a sequence of circuit simulation courses at the University of California, Berkeley, that evolved into the SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) tool, now considered the industry standard for IC design simulation. At Carnegie Mellon University, Rohrer introduced the Asymptotic Waveform Evaluation (AWE) algorithm, which enabled highly efficient timing simulations of ICs containing large numbers of parasitic elements.

“The appointment of Ron Rohrer into TAMEST will increase the visibility of Lyle’s outstanding faculty members,” said Marc P. Christensen, dean of the Lyle School of Engineering.  “Through TAMEST, Rohrer will share his vast knowledge and inspire additional collaborative research relationships with other outstanding Texas professors and universities. This will elevate SMU and the state as a leading center of scholarship and innovation.”

Once an SMU electrical engineering professor back in the late 70’s, Rohrer rejoined the Lyle School as a faculty member in 2017. He is professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon and Rohrer’s career has included roles in academia, industrial management, venture capital, and start-up companies.

“I’ve stayed close to industry to be a practicing engineer and close to academia to conduct deeper research on hard problems,” said Rohrer.

According to Rohrer, one pressing problem is analog integrated circuit design automation, also the name of the project-based research course he’s currently teaching.  “In the analog domain, it’s hard to design a 20-transistor circuit.  My goal is to make analog integrated circuit design more accessible to students and industry, especially for our local corporate partners,” he said. “I want to get the ball rolling so younger engineers can keep it moving toward a complete solution.”

Along with his membership in TAMEST and the National Academy of Engineering, Rohrer is an IEEE Life Fellow. His professional service includes several other prominent positions with IEEE, AIEE, and U.S. government committees.

Rohrer is the author and co-author of five textbooks and more than 100 technical papers as well as the holder of six patents. He has received 11 major awards, including the IEEE Education Medal and the NEC C&C Prize.

Research: SMU study finds that charismatic women inspire women students to pursue male-dominated careers

A low-budget field experiment to tackle the lack of women in the male-dominated field of economics has been surprisingly effective, says the study’s author, an assistant professor of economics in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Top female college students were inspired to pursue a major in economics when exposed very briefly to charismatic, successful women in the field, according to SMU economist Danila Serra. The results suggest that exposing young women to an inspiring female role model succeeds due to the mix of both information and pure inspiration, Serra said.

SMU economist Danila Serra

Danila Serra

“The specific women who came and talked to the students were key to the success of the intervention,” she said. “It was a factor of how charismatic and enthusiastic they were about their careers and of how interesting their jobs looked to young women.”

Given the simplicity and low cost of the intervention, similar experiments could be easily conducted in other male-dominated or female-dominated fields of study to enhance gender diversity.

Serra’s results showed that among female students exposed to the enthusiastic mentors, there was a 12 percentage-point increase in the number of female students enrolling in the upper-level Intermediate Microeconomics course the following year — a 100% increase, or doubling, for that demographic.

Not surprisingly, given that the intervention was targeted to female students, Serra found that the role model visits had no impact on male students.

But astonishingly it had the greatest impact on high-achieving female students.

“If we restrict the analysis to the top female students, the students with a GPA of 3.7 or higher, the impact is remarkable — it is a 26 percentage points increase,” Serra said. “So this intervention was especially impactful on the top female students who perhaps were not thinking about majoring in economics.”

The results were surprising to Serra, who teaches the upper-level class Behavioral and Experimental Economics. Serra’s research relies on laboratory and field experiments, a relatively new methodology in the field of economics. She launched and is co-leader of the Laboratory for Research in Experimental Economics at SMU.

“I didn’t think such limited exposure would have such a large impact,” Serra said. “So this is telling me that one of the reasons we see so few women in certain fields is that these fields have been male-dominated for so long. This implies that it is very difficult for a young woman to come into contact with a woman in the field who has an interesting job in the eyes of young women and is enthusiastic about her major and her work. Young men, on the other hand, have these interactions all the time because there are so many male economics majors out there.”

— Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

Save the date: Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad to speak at 2018 SMU Women’s Symposium on Wednesday, March 7

Ibtihaj Muhammad, Stars and Stripes

U.S. saber fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympic Games, will deliver the Emmie V. Baine Lecture during the 53rd SMU Women’s Symposium. The all-day event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

Muhammad was a member of the U.S. national fencing team that won gold in the 2014 World Championships and at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games. She earned a bronze medal in women’s team saber at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first female Muslin-American athlete to medal in Olympic competition. She will speak during the lunchtime session on the Symposium’s 2018 theme, “Hit Like a Girl.”

> Follow Ibtihaj Muhammad on Twitter: @IbtihajMuhammad

During the 2016 Olympics, Muhammad became an international symbol of diversity and tolerance. In 2017, she also inspired Mattel’s first hijab-wearing Barbie, designed in her image. The doll, which is part of the Barbie “Sheroes” collection, comes dressed in fencing gear as well as a headscarf. It will go on sale later this year.

A native of Maplewood, New Jersey, Muhammad holds bachelor’s degrees in international relations and African and African-American studies from Duke University. She is a member of the Peter Westbrook Foundation fencing club, founded by the five-time U.S. Olympic Team member and 1984 men’s individual saber bronze medalist who was the first African-American to win a national fencing title.

> Find a complete 2018 Women’s Symposium schedule here

The SMU Women’s Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary, attracts hundreds of attendees each year. One of the longest-running events of its kind, the symposium features workshops, lectures and networking sessions designed to broaden and amplify women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

The event is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Hughes-Trigg Student Center. SMU faculty, staff and students receive discounted registration. Sign-up is requested by Thursday, March 1, 2018.

> Register online at smu.edu/womsym

SMU Debate wins 2018 Texas state championship

SMU Debate at the 2018 TIFA State Championships - Darcy Wyatt, Chip Myers, Dr. Ben Voth, Matthew Lucci, Maggie Cook-Allen

Four SMU debaters brought home multiple awards, including a team title, at the 2018 TIFA State Championships. Left to right: Darcy Wyatt, Chip Myers, Dr. Ben Voth (SMU Debate director), Matthew Lucci, Maggie Cook-Allen.

SMU Debate brought only four team members to the state championships, but that was all they needed. The team brought home multiple awards in the 2018 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) state championships, held at Blinn College in Bryan over the Feb. 3-4 weekend.

Competing against 13 other Texas universities and colleges, they took home top speaker, top scoring school and top novice debater, among other honors, in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) division. SMU competed exclusively in IPDA-format events; the tournament also featured competition in Parliamentary and Lincoln Douglas divisions.

> Follow SMU Debate on Facebook

Some of the highlights:

  • Matthew Lucci (B.S. Mechanical Engineering ’18) won top speaker and was undefeated through all seven rounds of debate.
  • Lucci and Maggie Cook-Allen (B.A. Political Science, B.A. Philosophy ’21) defeated rivals from Texas A&M and Tyler Junior College to claim first and second place for SMU in the open division tournament. “Open division” is open to varsity, junior varsity or novice competitors. The four SMU debaters are junior varsity or novice.
  • Mark “Chip” Myers (B.A. History ’21) won top novice IPDA debater.
  • Darcy Wyatt (B.S. Biochemistry ’21) was the 8th-rated debater in the state of Texas in IPDA.
  • SMU had three of the top eight debaters in the quarterfinals, more than any other school at the tournament.
  • The University also took first place in the IPDA sweepstakes awards.
  • In addition to placing first in the state in the category of International Public Debate, SMU placed fifth in overall speech and debate awards.

The debate team’s director is Ben Voth, speech associate professor in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. Assistant coaches include Keith Milstead and Ross Sloan. The program is funded and sponsored by the Meadows School and the SMU Vice President of Student Affairs.

> Read the full story at the SMU Meadows website

Meadows Opera Theatre presents Händel’s Alcina Feb. 8-11, 2018

Scene from 'Alcina' photographed by Kim Leeson

Meadows Opera Theatre presents Georg Friedrich Händel’s Alcina Feb. 8-11, 2018. Photo credit: Kim Leeson

The enchantress Alcina has conjured a magical island from the souls of her former lovers. There she lures unsuspecting men, only to turn them into wild animals and inanimate objects when she tires of them. When she traps the knight Ruggiero, his fiancée, Bradamante – who is herself a knight, disguised as her own brother – comes to the rescue.

The resulting tangle of romantic conflicts and deceptions, and the complexities of how human beings suffer in love, form the story of Georg Friedrich Händel’s 1735 masterpiece, Alcina.

Meadows Opera Theatre, directed by Hank Hammett and conducted by Paul Phillips, will present the Baroque opera as its Spring Term production. The show runs Feb. 8-11, 2018, in the Bob Hope Theatre. Ticket are $8 each for SMU students, faculty and staff.

> Buy tickets for Alcina online at Vendini

Händel wrote the opera seria, which takes its setting and many of its characters from the epic poem Orlando furioso by Ludovico Arioso, for his debut season at the Theatre Royal in London’s Covent Garden. Dame Joan Sutherland performed the title role for the Dallas Opera in a November 1960 production by Franco Zeffirelli.

Meadows Opera Theatre will sing the performance in Italian with English projected titles.

> See a gallery of can’t-miss photos by Kim Leeson at the Meadows School of the Arts website

Deadline to participate in SMU CUL survey is Thursday, March 1, 2018

Students Studying in Fondren Library CenterAttention SMU faculty members: Central University Libraries is seeking your input on the journals and publications you consider essential to your teaching and research.

CUL is preparing its annual budget and wants to identify the most used, most cited, and most valued content among its subscription services. Take their survey and let them know which journals and resources are most important to your work.

The survey is open through Thursday, March 1, 2018.

> Take the SMU CUL Library Plan Survey online

Students present world-changing concepts in 2018 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition and Student Start-Up Fair Friday, Feb. 9

SMU Big iDeas logo, blue background-400SMU student teams will present world-changing business concepts to compete for thousands of dollars in start-up money in SMU’s 2018 Big iDeas Demo Day and Business Plan Competition. The action begins Friday, Feb. 9, in Fondren Library Center.

First up will be the Business Plan Competition from 9-11 a.m. in the Texana Room, Fondren Library. Winners of the 2017 Big iDeas Pitch Contest will present their plans for businesses that bring value to society, for profit or not-for-profit. Competing teams can win $5,000 in start-up money.

The top 15 will be announced at the Student Start-Up Fair, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Starbucks and Collaborative Commons in Fondren Library Center.

Big iDeas supports student innovation and entrepreneurship by providing support for forward-thinking ideas that are viable, sustainable and provide value to society. The program is open to undergraduates of all majors. Students work in teams with one member serving as the principal investigator. The PI must be an SMU undergraduate for the duration of the funding phase.

Demo Day and the Business Plan Competition are hosted by SMU Engaged Learning. For more information, contact Mona Alluri, 214-768-3225.

> Visit the SMU Big iDeas homepage: smu.edu/bigideas

SMU Football prospect class grows to 19 during National Signing Day 2018

National Signing Day 2018

Head Coach Sonny Dykes and the SMU football program announced the addition of 12 student-athletes to the 2018 Mustang class on National Signing Day 2018, Wednesday, Feb. 7. The 12 players join seven previous signees who committed to the program on Early Signing Day, Dec. 20, 2017.

The class includes five junior-college transfers in addition to 14 prep players. Sixteen of the student-athletes hail from Texas. Two come to the Hilltop from Louisiana and one from Washington, D.C.

The Mustangs open 2018 spring practice on Wednesday, March 21, and will host their annual spring scrimmage at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Saturday, April 14.

The 2018 season will be Dykes’ first as SMU head coach. In the home opener, the Mustangs will face the TCU Horned Frogs in the Battle for the Iron Skillet on Friday, Sept. 7. The team will play one other home game in September, a non-conference tilt with the Houston Baptist Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 22.

The Mustangs open their season on the road at the North Texas Mean Green Saturday, Sept. 1. They will also play a non-conference game against the perennially ranked Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, Sept. 15, in Ann Arbor.

Visit SMUMustangs.com/tickets for season ticket information.

> Find the full roster of 2018 Mustang football signees at Signing Day Central

Gail O. Turner named 2018 Maura Award winner by Dallas Women’s Foundation

Gail O. TurnerDallas Women’s Foundation (DWF) has named Gail O. Turner as one of four recipients of its 2018 Maura Women Helping Women Award. The winners will be honored at the Leadership Forum & Awards Dinner, presented by AT&T, on Thursday, April 19, at the Omni Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar Street.

The Maura Awards recognize “leaders who have positively impacted the lives of women and girls in the North Texas area,” according to a DWF press release announcing the honors. Tickets to the dinner start at $350; sponsorships are also available. Learn more at the Dallas Women’s Foundation website.

Gail Turner, the wife of SMU President R. Gerald Turner, is a founding member and former board chair of New Friends New Life (NFNL), a Dallas organization that serves women and children who have been victimized by trafficking. She has worked with NFNL successfully to lobby the Texas Legislature on laws that help victims of human trafficking. She also serves on the board of Shelter Ministries of Dallas, comprised of Austin Street Center, which assists 400 homeless people each night, and Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support.

As “First Lady of SMU,” Gail Turner also serves on the boards of the Meadows School of the Arts and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

“It is a great honor for Dallas Women’s Foundation to recognize … extraordinary leaders whose example and service to women and girls are literally awe-inspiring,” said Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Dallas Women’s Foundation president and chief executive officer.

Mrs. Turner’s fellow Maura Award honorees include Arcilia C. Acosta, president and CEO of CARCON Industries and founder and CEO of STL Engineers; Jocelyn D. Kidd, DDS, a Dallas dentist and mentor to young women in STEM fields; and Dr. Cynthia Mickens Ross, creator of the Path~Way to Purpose® program and senior pastor of Path~Way to Life Center of Hope Church in Hutchins, Texas.

Two women under 40 will receive Young Leader Awards, presented by Capital One: Vanessa Bouché, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science at TCU and a principal investigator on several federally funded human trafficking projects from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Agency for International Development; and Brooke López, a recent UT-Dallas graduate and founder of the nonprofit Students of Change.

Dallas Women’s Foundation is the largest regional women’s fund in the world. It is a trusted leader in advancing positive social and economic change for women and girls. Since 1985, DWF has granted more than $37.6 million to help create opportunities and solve issues for women and girls.

> Visit Dallas Women’s Foundation online: dallaswomensfdn.org

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