Michael Molina, AIA, NCARB, named SMU Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management and Chief Architect

Michael Molina head shotMichael Molina, an architect and construction professional with more than 13 years of experience in university campus planning and design, has been named SMU’s Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management and Chief Architect. He will begin his new duties on Monday, April 2, 2018.

“Michael received overwhelming positive feedback from all who met with him during his SMU visit. His approach to customer service and his transparent communication style will serve our campus well,” said Chris Casey Regis, SMU vice president for business and finance. “His technical knowledge and professional background were impressive and will allow the Facilities team to better serve the SMU community.”

“As a native of the Dallas area, I am excited to return to my roots and pursue this new adventure,” said Molina. “I am humbled and honored to be selected for this role and work alongside SMU’s progressive leadership team. I look forward to playing a part in the continuum of the campus’ aesthetically iconic Collegiate Georgian architectural heritage.”

As vice chancellor of facilities planning and construction in the Texas Tech University (TTU) System, Molina leads a 40-person multidisciplinary team and oversees an annual $385 million capital improvement portfolio that includes partnering, program development, design and construction.

During his tenure, he has established definitive guidelines for integrating Texas Tech University’s signature Spanish Renaissance architectural style into all new facility programming and planning. In addition, he administered to completion more than 70 projects at all four TTU System component universities for a total capital improvement portfolio exceeding $1.1 billion.

Molina initiated more connectivity between the TTU System and the local and national design and construction industry, which gave the system a broader pool of professional partners and a more competitive cost-avoidance strategy — resulting in more than $22 million in savings being returned to the TTU System’s component institutions: TTU, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. He also established industry feedback events with the national design and builders’ communities.

Previously, Molina served TTU and TTUHSC as an architect and project manager in their facilities planning and construction and project engineering offices. He managed Lubbock-based and statewide campus projects from design to completion and coordinated staff safety training as acting safety officer. He served on TTU’s Physical Plant Safety Committee and received the university’s Superior Achievement Award in 1996 and its Chancellor’s Award of Excellence in 1998.

“Michael Molina has served the Texas Tech University System with utmost professionalism for nearly eight years,” said TTU System Chancellor Robert Duncan. “Michael’s leadership is transformative; he has moved us into a historic period of capital construction across our universities and instituted processes and plans that will ensure our long-term success. The more than 70 projects completed during his tenure are a testament to the impactful legacy he leaves behind. Michael will be missed greatly by all of us at the system, but I know he will continue to make us proud at SMU.”

From 1998 to 2009, Molina served as vice president, facilities design and development, with United Supermarkets, Ltd., in Lubbock. He managed a 25-person team as well as a statewide multi-brand facilities portfolio and a $17 million annual budget. He also coordinated a strategic, $750 million 10-year growth plan that included real estate acquisition, budget development, and project management from conceptual design through construction completion.

In addition, Molina has served as CEO/owner of JDMA Architects, Inc., and investor/partner in M3d Construct, LLC, both based in Lubbock and operating in multi-state regions. His responsibilities included cost modeling; fiscal strategy; design process and quality assurance development; client relations; and team leadership and training.

Molina earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree in design and city planning from Texas Tech in 1991. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and has served on the Lubbock Chapter Executive Board and as editor of the chapter’s newsletter. He is also a member of the Texas Society of Architects (TSA), National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and Association of University Architects (AUA).

His community involvement includes service as a coach for Little League Baseball, Lubbock Youth Football and youth soccer. He has served as a member of the Louise Hopkins Center of the Arts (LHUCA) Board, Covenant Medical Group Heart Health Board and the Lubbock Municipal Arts Committee, as well as Lubbock Habitat for Humanity. As a member of Lakeridge United Methodist Church, he served as a youth bible study leader and on the Building Committee, as well as Board of Trustees chair. He has also served as president of the Board of Trustees of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

Ford Foundation president Darren Walker to speak in SMU’s 2017-18 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, Feb. 27

Darren Walker, president, Ford FoundationDarren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation and one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, will deliver The Oncor Lecture in SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

As president of the nation’s second largest philanthropic fund, Walker has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. He led the philanthropy committee to bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historical bankruptcy.

Prior to joining Ford, Walker was vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed the Rebuild New Orleans initiative after Hurricane Katrina. In the 1990s, as COO of Harlem’s largest community development organization, the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Walker oversaw a comprehensive revitalization program of central Harlem, including over 1,000 new units of housing. He also had a 10-year career in international law and finance at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and UBS.

> Follow Darren Walker on Twitter: @darrenwalker

In addition, Walker is a member of the Commission on the Future of Rikers Island and chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance. He also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet, High Line, Arcus Foundation and PepsiCo. In 2016, TIME magazine featured him on its annual list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of 10 honorary degrees and university awards.

Walker was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, which recognized him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009.

> Visit the Ford Foundation online: fordfoundation.org

All SMU community members are invited to the free Tate Lecture Series Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for Darren Walker to #TateTalk.

The evening lecture is sold out. Students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible free seating at the evening lecture. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

Emily Lawler, whose reporting shed light on USA Gymnastics sex-abuse scandal, to speak at SMU Thursday, March 1, 2018

Emily LawlerJournalist Emily Lawler has spent more than a year reporting on a decades-spanning sex-abuse scandal involving a Michigan State University sports-medicine specialist. On Thursday, March 1, 2018, she will visit SMU to discuss the story that has made global headlines and helped spark the #MeToo movement.

Lawler, capitol and business reporter with the MLive Media Group in Lansing, has written extensively about the sexual assault and child-pornography charges surrounding former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, including his trial and conviction. She continues to follow the story and its implications for journalism, political and public affairs, and public relations.

She will speak at 5:30 p.m. March 1 in 241 Umphrey Lee Center and will be available for questions and answers until 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Sandra Duhé, Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Meadows School of the Arts.

Save the date: SMU Research Day 2018 scheduled for March 28-29

Research Day 2017SMU Research Day is growing so much that in 2018 it will take two days to share the experience. Save the dates for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 28-29, in Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

March 28 is devoted to the Poster Session, which is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. in the Promenade Ballroom. SMU graduate students and a select cohort of undergraduates will present results of ongoing and completed University-based research. The session aims to “foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community,” according to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

New this year: the Three Minute Thesis Competition, which will take place 9 a.m.-noon on March 29. The 3MT competition format, developed by the University of Queensland, gives graduate students 180 seconds in which to explain their work, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. It is designed to help students cultivate, integrate and hone their academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

> Visit the SMU Research Day homepage

Judy Norsigian, author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, to speak at SMU Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

Judy Norsigian of Our Bodies Ourselves, Boston MA 11.5.06

Judy Norsigian, author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, will speak at SMU in Dallas Feb. 22, 2018.

Women’s health advocate Judy Norsigian, author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, will speak at SMU on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in a free lecture open to the public.

Our Bodies, Ourselves, first published in 1970, prompted dramatic changes in the treatment of women’s health issues. Journalist Lee Cullum will moderate a discussion of the book’s long history and its continuing relevance.

Norsigian will speak at 3:30 p.m. in the Great Hall in Prothro Hall of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. Reservations are requested at smuourbodiesourselves@eventbrite.com.

The Library of Congress in 2012 named Our Bodies, Ourselves to its list of 88 books that shaped America. Norsigian was author and editor for each of the nine editions of the landmark book on sexuality and reproductive health. A new and revised edition published by Simon & Schuster in 2011 received critical acclaim, including being named one of the best consumer health books of that year by Library Journal.

Norsigian served from 2001 to 2015 as executive director of Our Bodies Ourselves, a nonprofit, public interest organization that develops and promotes evidence-based information on girls’ and women’s reproductive health and sexuality. She continues to advise the Boston-based organization.

1973 cover, 'Our Bodies, Ourselves'

A 1973 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, the landmark book on women’s health and sexuality first published in 1970.

“No American woman has been more persistently involved in making available women’s health information,” says Bonnie Wheeler, SMU professor of English. “For the past 50 years Judy Norsigian has been a powerful advocate for women.”

> Visit Our Bodies Ourselves online: ourbodiesourselves.org

The first edition of the book, a 195-page book printed on newsprint and bound by staples, was the result of a discussion at a 1969 women’s liberation conference at Emmanuel College in Boston. The book was republished in 1971, becoming an underground success with its radical context challenging the medical community to change and improve women’s health care.

In 1972, the authors incorporated as the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective (now called Our Bodies Ourselves) to negotiate the first commercial version, which was published by Simon & Schuster. Since then, nine editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves have been published in 30 languages.

The event is sponsored by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute and the New Feminist Discourses and Social Change research cluster.

— Written by Nancy George

By | 2018-02-22T12:21:59+00:00 February 22, 2018|Categories: Calendar Highlights, 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.

— Written by Kimberly Cobb

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 Muslim-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 Rio 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

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