Friends of SMU Libraries: The Friends of SMU Libraries is holding their annual dinner and meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, May 6 at Seasons 52, located at Northpark Center. Featured speaker Hugh Aynesworth is a journalist, author and historian and will be presenting his most recent work, Witness to History, a personal retrospective on the JFK assassination 50 years after the event. This event is $45 per person and registration is required.
Beta Test: Visit SMU Guildhall graduate students in the Hughes-Trigg Commons on Tuesday, May 7, to playtest the unique video games they created. Stop in anytime from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
End of 2013 Tate LectureSeason: The final Tate Lecture of the 2012-2013 season is Tuesday, May 7, 2013. The season will close with Álvaro Uribe. As always the Student Forum is at 4:30 p.m. in Hughes-Trigg and the lecture is at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.
Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College, participated in an invited panel discussion, Outside the Silo: The Interdisciplinary Teacher-Scholar, at the annual meetings of the Southern Sociological Society, held March 23-27, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta. He also presented a paper, The Tucson and Norway Massacres: Deconstructing Competing Narratives, in a session on Types of Crime and Victims.
Ron Wetherington, Anthropology, Dedman College, has been selected as a panelist for the Texas Education Agency in the review of proposed new science textbooks for the state. He will assess high school biology texts for 2014 adoption by the state Board of Education. The review runs from May to July 2013.
Shannon Woodruff, a Ph.D. candidate in the research lab of Nicolay Tsarevsky, Chemistry, Dedman College, was one of four national recipients of the Ciba Travel Award in Green Chemistry awarded annually by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The annual award sponsors the participation of high school, undergraduate and graduate students in an ACS technical meeting, conference or training program to expand the students’ education in green chemistry. Woodruff used his award in April to attend the 245th National Meeting of the ACS in New Orleans, where he presented his research on “Well-defined functional epoxide-containing polymers by low-catalyst concentration atom transfer radical polymerization.” Tsarevsky’s lab focuses on the synthesis of polymers with controlled molecular weight and architecture, and precise placement of specific functionalities including biomedical applications such as controlled delivery and imaging.
Marc Christensen, SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Engineering Innovation, has been named dean of the University’s Lyle School of Engineering, effective immediately. He has served as the school’s interim dean since July 2012.
Christensen, 41, has served as interim dean in the Lyle School since July 1, 2012, and assumes the new position immediately.
“Dr. Christensen has been setting a strong example of collaborative leadership, innovative research and commitment to students since he began his career at the Lyle School in 2002,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “That he has become dean in little more than a decade is testament to both his achievements and his high expectations for the Lyle School and for himself. He is well-equipped to lead the Lyle School as it continues its rise to prominence.”
“Marc is highly regarded in the Lyle School, across the campus and in the scientific community,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden. “He is personally immersed in the innovative education style that is the Lyle School’s signature, and has solidified the Lyle School’s academic offerings and research footprint as interim dean. We congratulate him in his new role.“
“I am excited about the opportunity to serve as dean of the Lyle School at this critical juncture,” Christensen said, “and I am proud of the quality of our faculty, the dedication of our staff, and the poise and creativity of our students. SMU-Lyle is making a difference – preparing our students to be innovative leaders, engaging them in our classrooms, our research labs and our community. We will support SMU’s pursuit of excellence in graduate and undergraduate programs while maintaining a strategic focus on the research enterprise, and I look forward to collaborating with the other fine schools across SMU’s campus.”
Christensen received his Bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Cornell University. He received his Master’s degree in electrical engineering and his Ph.D. in electrical computer engineering at George Mason University. He also is a graduate of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education Management Development Program.
Christensen is a recognized leader in mapping photonic technology onto varied applications. In 2007, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) identified him as a “rising star in microsystems research” and selected him to be one of the first DARPA Young Faculty Award recipients.
From 1991-1998, while pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, Christensen was a staff member and technical leader in BDM’s Sensors and Photonics group (now part of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems). In 1997, he co-founded Applied Photonics, a free-space optical interconnection module company.
Joining SMU in 2002, Christensen served as chair of the Electrical Engineering Department from 2007-12.
Christensen has co-authored more than 100 journal and conference papers. He has two patents in the field of free space optical interconnections, one patent pending in the field of integrated photonics, and four pending in the field of computational imaging.
David Meltzer, Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in its class of 2013. He joins Scurlock University Professor of Human Values Charles Curran (class of 2010) as the second SMU faculty member to be elected to the Academy.
SMU anthropologist David Meltzer joins John Glenn, Martin Amis, Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen and other renowned leaders in various fields as a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The class of 2013 will be inducted at a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The new fellows and foreign honorary members — representing the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector — join one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies.
“I’m thrilled, honored and — after looking at when the American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded and by whom, and who has been elected to membership over the years — more than a bit humbled by it all,” says Meltzer, the Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.
Meltzer researches the origins, antiquity, and adaptations of the first Americans – Paleoindians – who colonized the North American continent at the end of the Ice Age. He focuses on how these hunter-gatherers met the challenges of moving across and adapting to the vast, ecologically diverse landscape of Late Glacial North America during a time of significant climate change.
Meltzer is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Charles Curran, SMU’s Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010.
Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
Members of the Academy’s 2013 class include winners of the Nobel Prize; National Medal of Science; the Lasker Award; the Pulitzer and the Shaw prizes; the Fields Medal; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; the Kennedy Center Honors; and Grammy, Emmy, Academy, and Tony awards.
SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning has selected 51 undergraduates from throughout the University to take on self-designed projects in research, civic engagement, creative work and internships in 2013-14.
The students will participate through the SMU Engaged Learning initiative and will work with 39 different faculty and staff mentors in 12 countries to complete their projects.
The University community will have the opportunity to meet the 2013-14 Engaged Learners for pizza and discussion of their projects at the 2013 Engaged Learning Meet-Up, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.
The new Engaged Learning cohort represents another significant increase in the total number of participating students. Thirty-seven undergraduates undertook Unbridled Projects during 2012-13; three conducted projects during the program’s first year in 2011-12.
The Office of Engaged Learning provides institutional support for SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), created as part of the University’s reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). “Engaged Learning Beyond the Classroom” allows all SMU undergraduate students to participate in at least one extensive experiential learning activity prior to graduation.
A full list of students pursuing 2013-14 Unbridled Projects appears below the link.
SMU is preparing to celebrate the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and welcome the worldwide visitors who will attend dedication events on campus April 24-26, 2013. The Bush Center, located on a 23-acre site on the east side of campus, houses the Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. The Library and Museum will open to the public Wednesday, May 1.
Information about parking, road closures and campus events April 24-26 is available at smu.edu/bushcenter.
Due to space limitations, attendance at the dedication ceremony planned by the Bush Center Thursday, April 25 is by invitation only. The invited guests expected to attend include President Barack Obama and former presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, along with other government officials from the administration of George W. Bush.
The ceremony will be streamed at BushCenter.org. Residents of University Park and Highland Park also can view the ceremonies on SMU-TV, Channel 19.
Although dedication events will bring a large number of special visitors to campus, SMU will remain open so that teaching will continue uninterrupted. To accommodate class attendance, alternative transportation and parking plans are available at smu.edu/wheretopark. Faculty, staff and students with parking questions may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-768-7275.
“While classes will continue as normal, the entire SMU family should expect that our routines will be altered temporarily,” said Brad Cheves, vice president for development and external affairs. “We are honored to be serving in a hospitality role for this once-in-a-lifetime event and to welcoming visitors to campus who ordinarily would not become familiar with SMU. We are looking forward to showing what makes our University special and a fitting location for the historical resources of the Bush Presidential Center.”
Events for students, faculty and staff include:
April 25: Watch a simulcast of the Dedication Ceremony
The SMU community will have the opportunity to watch a simulcast of the formal dedication ceremony at McFarlin Auditorium (SMU ID required). Doors open at 9 a.m. Faculty, staff and students should register here. An outdoor Jumbotron north of University Boulevard, near the Dedman Life Sciences Building and the Late Fountain, also will show the proceedings. Faculty, staff and students also may watch the dedication at 9 a.m. CDT online at bushcenter.org or on Park Cities Cable Channel 19.
April 25: SMU Boulevard Block Party
During the evening of April 25, students, faculty and staff have been invited to attend the SMU Boulevard Block Party and Lighting of Freedom Hall. If you registered for the block party, you must pick up your tickets in advance at the Hughes-Trigg Mane Desk at any of the times noted below. The first 500 students to pick up their tickets will receive commemorative Croakies; the first 1,000 people to pick up their tickets will receive a commemorative T-shirt.
Monday, April 22: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 23: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 24: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 25: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
April 29: SMU Day at the Bush Presidential Center
April 29 is a special preview day at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum for SMU faculty, staff and students. All available spaces have been taken. Visit smu.edu/smuday for more information.
Please note that SMU IDs are needed for SMU students, faculty and staff to enter events during the week of the Bush Center dedication.
The 43rd president of the United States was the unadvertised guest of honor Friday, April 19, 2013 at an outdoor ceremony welcoming the George W. Bush Presidential Center to campus. More than 3,000 SMU alumni, students, faculty and staff cheered and waved as Bush strode to the speaker’s platform and later expressed his thanks to the University.
“Laura, SMU class of 1968, and I are thrilled with our association with Southern Methodist University,” Bush said. “We had high expectations about the collaborative effort and the joint programs. Those expectations have been exceeded in a very short period of time.”
A $1 million gift from Linda and William Custard of Dallas will establish and endow the position of Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. An additional $1 million from The Meadows Foundation will add to the endowment of the position.
Mark Roglán, who has served as director of the Meadows Museum since 2006, will be the first holder of the position of the Custard Director of the Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts. As the chair of the Meadows Museum Advisory Board since 2009, Linda Custard has worked closely with Roglán in development and expansion of Museum programs.
The Centennial designation is a special gift category during SMU’s 100th anniversary commemoration, 2011-15. Centennial endowments include operational funding to support the immediate needs of a scholarship or academic position while the principal of the endowment matures.
“We are deeply grateful to Linda and Bill Custard for their generosity in establishing this endowed position for the Meadows Museum and Meadows School,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Linda Custard has provided dedicated leadership on the SMU Board of Trustees and the Leadership Council of the Second Century Campaign. This endowed Centennial chair supports one of the campaign’s highest priorities. It brings the total of SMU’s endowed academic positions to 93 toward a goal of 100.”
“Mark Roglán has enhanced the Meadows Museum’s international stature with important new programs, such as a partnership with the Prado Museum in Madrid,” said Linda Custard. “I have been privileged to assist him in implementing some of his exciting plans for the Museum. Bill and I are pleased that we can endow the Museum directorship and delighted that Mark will be the first person to hold the position.”
All three of the first Faculty in Residence – informally dubbed “the Founding FiRs” by Residence Life and Student Housing staff members – have had formative roles in the early stages of the program, says Jeff Grim, assistant director of residence life.
Fontenot has spent three non-continuous years since 2009-10 living in a student residence hall as part of SMU’s Engineering Learning Community. Much of Tunks’ service as associate provost from 1998-2006 and from 2007-2011 focused on how to integrate students’ academic and social lives more closely, from which the Residential Commons program took root. (He returned to full-time teaching as a professor of music in Meadows School of the Arts in 2012.) Krout helped design the Faculty in Residence position and has served on several subcommittees for the new program; he will move into the renovated Mary Hay Hall this summer.
“It is an incredibly exciting time to be at SMU as the new Residential Commons begin to take shape both physically and philosophically,” says Krout, professor of music therapy in Meadows School of the Arts. “SMU is a very special place for students, staff and faculty, and I feel that the University’s vision, mission, and goals will all come together in a unique and synergistic way through this initiative.”
Each commons will represent in a microcosm the diversity of the entire SMU community, Krout says. “It will be a positive challenge for each FiR to work with students and staff in their Residential Commons to embrace diversity of all kinds. These will be truly integrated academic and residential communities – environments that can become dynamic forces in student academic achievement, personal development, engagement and social life.”
Fontenot, Krout and Tunks will focus on identifying opportunities for students and faculty to interact outside the classroom. The FiRs’ goal will be to “emphasize a culture of mentorship, intellectual discourse, and community that is cultivated in all aspects of the collegiate experience inside and outside of the classroom,” according to the Residential Commons website.
“Supporting students through the formative college years is very important to me,” says Fontenot, senior lecturer in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, Lyle School of Engineering. “The barriers that exist between faculty and students are too high, and any activity that can break them down gets my attention. In my opinion, being a Faculty in Residence is one of the most important and significant ways to break down these walls.”
During his years as a self-described “guinea pig” for the Faculty in Residence concept, Fontenot has had the opportunity “to more fully understand the life of an SMU undergraduate, the multitude of directions in which they are pulled, and the amazing amount of drive, passion and dedication they bring to this campus,” he says.
“Good teaching is as much about knowing who you are teaching as it is about what you are teaching,” Fontenot adds. “An awareness of life outside the classroom has made me a better teacher inside the classroom. My hope is that by continuing to participate as a Faculty in Residence, I can help more students recognize the benefit of reaching out to their professors on a regular basis.”
A committee of faculty, staff and students met for more than a year to benchmark residential college programs at institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis, Vanderbilt, the University of Pennsylvania, Rice, Baylor and the University of Chicago, Grim says. The Faculty in Residence position description was one result of that work.
Each of the 11 Residential Commons will have one Faculty in Residence. As the programs expands, other faculty members will serve as Faculty Affiliates. In these positions, professors will have opportunities to dine with students and be part of Residential Commons life while living off campus.
The new residential quad currently under construction in the southeast campus provides important support for the program, but the Residential Commons concept “is actually a transformation of our entire residence life experience,” Grim says. During the summers of 2013 and 2014, the University will renovate existing halls to create faculty apartments and expanded RLSH staff apartments. In addition, “every hall will have classroom space either in or around it,” Grim says. The Residential Commons program will be ready to launch in August 2014.
“Students can go to many other schools where they can interact with faculty informally and integrate their academic and social lives together,” Grim says. By providing such an experience, SMU “will be able to recruit and retain students who are interested in developing a life of the mind in their residence halls.”
The program will also help the University “create a kind of blended idea of what it means to learn in college, inside and outside the classroom, and integrate these two ideas into a more seamless learning environment,” Grim says. “I think the Residential Commons as a whole will help establish more of a connection to the campus early in our students’ time with us, and the faculty will help create that.”
There are benefits for the participating faculty as well, Grim notes. “They’ll get to mentor and connect with students both within and outside their discipline. Some of the faculty we work with don’t get to interact with a broad range of undergraduates because they teach only upper-level courses. Through the Residential Commons, they’ll get to work with students who have many different experiences, interests and backgrounds.”
Each hall’s live-in residential community director (RCD) will continue to hold responsibilities such as selecting staff, supervising emergency response and creating programming. As part of the Residential Commons “they’ll also be working hand in hand with a faculty member to create an academically focused social community,” Grim says. “The RCDs and the faculty will be partners in creating a seamless learning environment.” Upper-class student resident assistants will also work closely with faculty in this effort, he adds.
Grim expects the eight remaining FiRs to be named by the end of the Spring 2013 term. Faculty members have applied from six of SMU’s seven schools, he adds.
“Most of the FiRs will not be in place until Fall 2014, but we’ll spend this next year developing programs and building relationships so that come 2014, it’s a seamless and easy transition,” Grim says. The Faculty Affiliate pilot program is scheduled to be in place in time for the 2013-14 academic year.
In addition, a group of first- and second-year students called the Residential Commons Student Leadership Corps “will help lead us into the future and discover what we want the Residential Commons to be going forward,” Grim says.
Texas colleges and universities are required to comply with the law laid out in Senate Bill 1414 relating to abuse-prevention training for employees who work with campus programs for minors, which took effect Sept. 1, 2011. For the first phase of training, an SMU task force spent five months identifying the University populations that work directly with minor children, says Jeff Strese, executive director of human resources.
All SMU camp operators, coordinators, and employees who work with minors completed a version of the program by June 1, 2012, Strese adds. In addition to the training in Blackboard, the SMU Police Department has completed DCAC’s first-responder training, which is recognized for its collaborative and child-centered approach to protection of minors, says Associate Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Anita Ingram.
Phase Two of the training rollout is currently in progress for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff, as well as student workers. The deadline for completion is Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The third phase will include training for temporary employees, including adjunct faculty.
The University has committed to exceeding state standards for compliance, said President Turner in a video introduction to the program. Turner and the President’s Executive Council have already completed the program.
Log in to Blackboard at courses.smu.edu with your 8-digit SMU ID and e-mail password. Find the training program on the right side of the page under My Courses (HRPPM-01: SMU Program for the Protection of Minors).