SMU Founders’ Day 2014 celebration to include historic faculty salute and photo

Year of the Faculty logoFull-time SMU faculty members and faculty emeriti have an opportunity to be part of a historic Centennial salute on Friday, April 11, 2014.

They are invited to join Board of Trustees Chair Caren Prothro, President and Mrs. R. Gerald Turner and Provost and Mrs. Paul Ludden for a group photo at 4:30 p.m. in Moody Coliseum. The photo will be used in the University’s official Centennial history; business attire is required. Shuttle transportation will run to Moody Coliseum beginning at 3:45 p.m.

After the photo session, full-time and emeritus faculty members are invited to participate in the Centennial Faculty Reception at 5 p.m. and the President’s Briefing and Centennial Faculty Salute at 6 p.m.

Find more information at smu.edu/rsvp/facultysalute.

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SMU celebrates Founders’ Day Weekend 2014

TEDxSMUSMU celebrates 2014 Founders’ Day Weekend April 10-13 with a new, TEDx-powered edition of its popular academic spotlight events.

Inside SMU Powered by TEDxSMU features SMU faculty members, students and alumni in TED-style talks on topics ranging from the importance of failure to the power of kindness. Registration takes places noon-1 p.m. Friday, April 11, with sessions scheduled 1-5 p.m. that afternoon.

> Find a full list of Inside SMU Powered by TEDxSMU speakers

Friday activities also include the 2014 SMU President’s Briefing and Centennial Faculty Salute, in which President R. Gerald Turner presents an insider’s view of the University’s progress.

For the day’s final event, the SMU community will  join in the beloved student tradition of Sing Song. This year’s show, “Pop Icons,” begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Saturday, April 12 is Community Day at SMU. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors can participate in special events at Meadows Museum, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and the Bush Presidential Center Native Texas Park.

> Read the full schedule of Community Day at SMU events

Designated as the third Friday in April each year, the day recognizes “the visionary institutions, organizations and individuals that founded the University on April 17, 1911,” according to the SMU 100 website.

The University marked the 100-year anniversary of its founding in 1911 and will mark the centennial of its opening in 1915 during The Second Century Celebration.

Find a complete schedule at the Founders’ Day Weekend homepage
Learn more about the SMU Centennial at the Second Century Celebration website
Relive memories of the first Founders’ Day Weekend with this SMU News video video

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SMU celebrates human rights heroes and the anniversary of its Civil Rights Pilgrimage on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jerry Mitchell and Joanne Bland

Civil rights icons Jerry Mitchell and Joanne Bland hold a conversation at SMU as part of the University’s 10th anniversary celebration of its Civil Rights Pilgrimage program. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

SMU celebrates civil and human rights at two events on Thursday, April 10 – awarding the Robert O. Cooper Peace and Justice Fellowship to a veteran of the civil rights movement and the William K. McElvaney Peace and Justice Award to an SMU student, as well as marking the 10th anniversary of the University’s annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage (CRP).

The CRP anniversary celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. The program, which is free and open to the public, will feature a conversation between civil rights activist and “Bloody Sunday” survivor Joanne Bland and Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell’s work has been instrumental in the cold-case convictions of men responsible for some of the most heinous crimes of the civil rights era, including the assassination of NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers in 1963 and the firebombing death of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer in 1966.

Earlier in the day, Bland received the Robert O. Cooper Peace and Justice Fellowship at an event hosted by SMU’s Office of the Chaplain. At the same ceremony, SMU student Melissa Maguire received the William K. McElvaney Peace and Justice Award.

Bland has been actively involved in the civil rights movement since 1961, when as an 8-year-old child she attended a voting rights meeting presided over by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. She joined other children and teenagers in the civil rights movement as a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. She was only 11 on March 7, 1965, when she was severely beaten and driven back across the Edmund Pettus Bridge by police determined to stop a group making a voting rights march from Selma to the state capital in Montgomery.

Bland is co-founder and director of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, and is well known to SMU civil rights pilgrims who meet with her as they travel across the south every spring to learn about the tragedies and triumphs of the American civil rights movement. An Army veteran, Bland has told her personal story at conferences and workshops across the country, including at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Melissa Maguire

Melissa Maguire

Melissa Maguire received the McElvaney Award for her personal commitment and leadership to the causes of human rights, human welfare and social justice. She was a student coordinator for the 2014 SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage, co-chaired the presentation of The Vagina Monologues in February by SMU’s Women’s Interest Network, and has travelled to Holocaust sites in Poland with SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program.

Maguire is an SMU senior majoring in English, Spanish and human rights with minors in women and gender studies, history and psychology. She is a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, the Women’s Interest Network and Order of Omega. Upon graduation, Maguire plans to enter the non-profit sector.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

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Calendar Highlights: April 9, 2014

2014 Meadows at Meyerson conductor Paul Phillips (c/o SMU Meadows)

2014 Meadows at Meyerson conductor Paul Phillips (c/o SMU Meadows)

“Meadows at the Meyerson” gala: SMU Meadows presents their 21st annual benefit concert Wednesday, April 9 at 8 p.m. in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The concert will feature the Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honor noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe. The evening includes three Italian-themed works: The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giochino Rossi, Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 and Church Windows (1926) by Ottorino Respighi. Tickets are $15 for faculty, staff and students with proceeds providing scholarships for the Meadows Scholars program. Please call 214-768-2787 for tickets.

Founders’ Day Weekend: SMU will celebrate Founders’ Day Weekend 2014 April 10-13. The celebration is in conjunction of the University’s centennial celebration of the Year of the Faculty, and events have been planned accordingly.

  • Thursday, April 10: Founders’ Day Weekend kicks off with the Golden Mustangs Reunion at 10:30 a.m. Classes 1963 and earlier are invited to attend. There is also a Hunt Leadership Scholars 20-year Reunion hosted by President R. Gerald Turner.
  • Friday, April 11: Friday’s events revolve around SMU’s campus and outstanding leaders. Highlights include a TEDxSMU event at 1 p.m., SMU President’s Briefing and Centennial Faculty Salute at 6 p.m. and Program Council’s Sing Song at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 12: Saturday’s focus is on SMU and the Dallas community. There are open house events at the George W. Bush Presidential Center and Meadows Museum. SMU will also celebrate Earth Day with Barefoot on the Boulevard.

World Music Ensemble: The Meadows World Music Ensemble is having their spring concert on Sunday, April 13 at 8 p.m. The ensemble produces music with exotic instruments and traditional orchestra to create a unique sound. The concert is in the Greer Garson Theatre of Owen Arts Center and is free of charge.

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Noted brain researcher Santosh D’Mello joins SMU as Biological Sciences chair

Santosh D’Mello

Santosh D’Mello, a respected scientist whose research is centered on understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating neurodegeneration, has joined SMU as professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, effective Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

D’Mello comes to SMU from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he was a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. He is a longtime partner in research with SMU Professor of Chemistry Edward Biehl.

In December 2010, D’Mello and Biehl published in The Journal of Neuroscience Research their discovery of a family of small molecules that shows promise in protecting brain cells against nerve-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.

“Professor D’Mello brings broad experience and an excellent record as a researcher and teacher to SMU,” said Dedman College Dean Bill Tsutsui.  “His focus on building meaningful collaborations and his ambitious vision for the future of the Department of Biological Sciences impressed all of us on campus.”

D’Mello received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989 and joined the faculty at UTD in 1998. Funding for his research has included support from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the Whitehall Foundation.

“Neurodegenerative diseases, which include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and Huntington’s disease, are characterized by the slow but relentless loss of brain cells,” D’Mello said.  “There are no effective drugs or other therapeutic approaches to treat or prevent these progressive and fatal diseases. The goal of my lab is to understand neurodegeneration at the molecular level so that effective therapies can be developed.”

D’Mello said he was drawn to SMU because of the University’s strengths in several areas of the arts, humanities, and sciences. “I was particularly attracted by the collegial and talented faculty in the biology department, their keen interest in solving important biological problems, and their strong commitment to the teaching and training of students,” D’Mello said.

“I am honored to be named Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and am very excited about the opportunity,” D’Mello said.  “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students to build a strong multidisciplinary and collaborative research department with cutting-edge research performed by bright, talented, and motivated undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.”

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

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Law Professor Chris Jenks receives 2014-15 Fulbright Grant

Chris Jenks, SMU Dedman School of LawChris Jenks, an assistant professor in SMU’s Dedman School of Law, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars Grant to spend six months in Australia researching how emerging technologies impact accountability in armed conflict.

Jenks, who joined the Dedman Law faculty in 2012, teaches and writes on the law of armed conflict and criminal justice. He also is director of the law school’s Criminal Justice Clinic. Beginning in January 2015, he will work in Melbourne at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law (APCML), a collaborative initiative between the Australian Department of Defense and Melbourne Law School.

At the APCML, Jenks will work closely with Bruce Oswald and Tim McCormack, two of the world’s foremost experts on international humanitarian law. McCormack, the founding director of the APCML, also serves as Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

“The APCML is the only entity in the world applying a systematic and holistic approach to technology and the law of armed conflict,” Jenks says. “It’s the best place in the world  to study the subject. I’m very excited by and for this opportunity.”

Jenks explains his Fulbright research: “Right now if there’s an air strike and civilians are killed, the law of armed conflict and state practice provide a framework through which we can determine when someone is criminally liable. But when the air strike is autonomous, or it is a cyber attack, who’s to blame? The commander? The software designer? A civilian programmer who may have entered the wrong line of code two years prior? We need to think more about and address such issues before they inevitably arise,” he says.

An internationally respected expert on the law of armed conflict, Jenks is co-author of a law of armed conflict textbook and co-editor of a forthcoming war crimes casebook. He served as a peer reviewer of The Tallinn Manual on the international law applicable to cyber warfare and the U.S. Army’s field manual on the law of land warfare. He has published articles on drones, child soldiers, extraordinary rendition, law of war-based detention, targeting and government contractors.

Jenks came to SMU following a 20-year career as an officer in the U.S. Army. In 2003, he was the lead prosecutor in the Army’s first counterterrorism case. In 2004, he deployed to Mosul, Iraq and served as chief legal advisor on investigations and as prosecutor for crimes against the civilian population, detainee abuse and friendly-fire incidents. Rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel, Jenks worked as the deputy chief of the U.S. Army’s litigation division, as an attorney adviser at the Department of State and the United Nations, and as chief of the International Law Branch of the Office of The Judge Advocate General in the Pentagon.

Jenks has received the Valorous Unit Award, the Bronze Star, and the Expert Infantryman and Parachutist Badges. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the University of Arizona College of Law, the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, and Georgetown University Law School.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

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SMU Relay For Life team wins top place for cancer fund-raising, event returns to campus April 5, 2014

SMU Relay For Life 2014 graphicSMU’s Relay For Life team won first place among the top 25 collegiate relay teams by raising more than $29,000 in pledges in a 72-hour fundraising event to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Following up on the pledges, SMU will hold its 11th annual Relay For Life walk-and-run event from noon-midnightSaturday, April 5.

>  Learn more about SMU Relay For Life on Facebook

Relay For Life is designed to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local campus, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path.

SMU won the #1 Relay Challenge March 3-5, where the top 25 collegiate relay teams from 2013 competed in an online challenge to see who could raise the most Relay for Life pledge money in a 72-hour period.

“The campus-wide effort behind our victory in the #1 Relay competition was truly humbling,” said Liz Blumberg, SMU Relay For Life event chair. “We could not be more proud of the SMU community and the compassion, commitment and generosity displayed over a whirlwind 72 hours.”

Register for or donate to an event at relayforlife.org

SMU Relay For Life took top honors after defeating defending champion Virginia Tech by a more than $7,000 margin by combining social media outreach, phone campaigns and emailing.  The University of Georgia came in second and Virginia Tech placed third.

Campus festivities kick off at noon Saturday, April 5, with an opening ceremony followed by a survivors and caregivers lap at 12:15 p.m. Lanterns will be lit at 8:30 p.m. in memory of or to honor a person with cancer, with each luminaria personalized with a name, photo, message or drawing. Luminarias can be purchased prior to the event for $10.

Closing ceremonies will take place at 11:30 p.m.

Relay for Life began in Tacoma, Washington, with the initiative of one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt. In May 1985 he ran a track for 24 hours and, with the support of his friends, family and the community, raised $27,000. Relay for Life is now the largest nonprofit activity in the world. It takes place in more than 20 countries and has raised more than $4 billion to fight cancer.

Written by Christina Voss

> Visit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event finder

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SMU meets Minnesota in 2014 NIT championship game tonight at 6 p.m. CT in Madison Square Garden

SMU Men's Basketball during the shootaround in Madison Square Garden, NIT 2014SMU will take on Minnesota in the 2014 National Invitation Tournament Championship at 6 p.m. CT Thursday, April 3, in Madison Square Garden, New York City. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Both programs received No. 1 seeds in their respective regions. SMU is 4-2 all-time in the NIT, including this year’s victories over UC Irvine (68-54 on March 19), LSU (80-67 on March 24), California (67-65 on March 26) and Clemson (65-59 on April 1) en route to the program’s first national tournament final.

> Support the Mustangs on Twitter: #PonyUp

SMU has 27 wins, the second-most in program history, and the most since the Mustangs recorded 28 wins in the 1987-88 season. The Mustangs went 18-1 at home this season, including 12-1 inside Moody Coliseum, and broke their single-season attendance record, setting the new mark at 107,412 (previous record was 101,296 in 1984-85).

The Mustangs are 7th in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (1st in the American), holding opponents to 38.3%. The Mustang defense is allowing just 62.2 points per game, 24th in the NCAA (3rd in the American). SMU has held 29 of its last 45 (23 of 36 this year) opponents under 40% shooting. SMU has outrebounded 25 of 36 opponents this season.

> Find photos, tweets, watch party information and more at SMU News

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Arts and civic leader Bess Enloe to be honored in 2014 “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert on Wednesday, April 9

noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe

Bess Enloe will be honored in the 2014 “Meadows at the Meyerson” benefit concert, presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its 21st annual benefit concert, “The 2014 Meadows at the Meyerson,” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street in Dallas.

Held each spring, the concert features the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honors a community leader. This year’s honoree is noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe. The 2014 event chairs are Janie and Paul Cooke, and the honorary chair is Dr. Bobby Lyle.

Under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony will perform three Italian-themed works. The concert opens with the short overture to the enduringly popular opera The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giochino Rossini (1813). It will be followed by Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”), which was inspired by the composer’s grand tour of Europe from 1829 to 1831.

After intermission, the symphony will perform Church Windows (1926) by Ottorino Respighi, one of the most popular modern Italian composers. Each of the work’s four movements evokes religious events portrayed in church windows throughout Italy, including “The Flight into Egypt,” “St. Michael the Archangel,” “The Matins of St. Clare” and “St. Gregory the Great.”

> VIDEO: MSO Director Paul Phillips on preparing for “Meadows at the Meyerson” video

Dallas Arts Week 2014 logo“The Meadows at the Meyerson” is part of 2014 Dallas Arts Week, April 5-13, which includes numerous other SMU events. More information about Dallas Arts Week is available on its Facebook page and at Dallas Arts News.

> Find more SMU Dallas Arts Week 2014 events

“The Meadows at the Meyerson is the perfect demonstration of our values as an arts organization in Dallas: We take one of the country’s finest student orchestras into the heart of our city and raise money for scholarships to bring even more talented students from around the world to Dallas,” said Meadows Dean José Bowen. “There is no one better to celebrate for this event than Bess Enloe, who has been a champion for arts and cultural excellence in our city.

“A number of these smart-artists, our ‘smartists,’ have chosen to stay in Dallas after they graduate, building on Dallas’s momentum as one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the U.S.”

Event honoree Bess Enloe has been an energetic leader and supporter of numerous Dallas arts groups through the years. A graduate of SMU, she served as chair of the executive board of the Meadows School of the Arts from 2010 to 2013. She is a life trustee of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, where she was also the founding president, and a life trustee of the Dallas Theater Center. Ms. Enloe has received several awards in recognition of her work, including the TACA Silver Cup Award in 1993, the TITAS Award for Excellence in Arts Leadership in 2007, and the Dallas Historical Society’s Award for Excellence in Community Service – Arts Leadership in 2009.

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For tickets, contact the Meadows Box Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Read the full story from SMU News

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FAA Deputy Administrator Michael G. Whitaker to deliver keynote at 2014 SMU Air Law Symposium, April 3-4

2014 SMU Air Law SymposiumFederal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Michael G. Whitaker will be keynote speaker at the 48th annual SMU Air Law Symposium sponsored by the University’s Dedman School of Law and Journal of Air Law and Commerce. The two-day event will be at the Omni Mandalay Hotel Las Colinas.

More than 500 aviation lawyers and industry experts are expected to attend the symposium, the world’s oldest and largest annual aviation law conference.

Discussions on how current issues are changing the aviation landscape will include:

  • Recent Developments in Aviation Law
    Jared L. Watkins, Kreindler & Kreindler LLP
    Thursday, 8:45 a.m.
  • Delivering the Benefits of NextGen Now
    Michael G. Whitaker, FAA
    Thursday, 1:05 p.m.
  • Drones: The Good, the Bad, and What About the Ethics?
    Elaine D. Solomon, Blank Rome LLP
    Thursday, 3:25 p.m.
  • Recent Developments in Professional Responsibility: 10 Ethics Opinions in 30 Minutes
    William J. Bridge, SMU Dedman School of Law
    Friday, 1:55 p.m.

For a complete schedule and registration details, visit the SMU Law Review website. For more information, call (214) 768-2570.

Written by Denise Gee

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