SMU Libraries’ 2014 Food for Fines program continues through Friday, Dec. 19

food-fines-195x300SMU’s Central University Libraries (CUL) is giving students, faculty and staff members with overdue charges an opportunity to help the community while saving some cash.

During the 2014 Food for Fines program, CUL will accept food donations for the North Texas Food Bank in return for waiving library fines.

For every donation of a can or package of nonperishable food, SMU faculty, staff members and students will receive a $2 credit toward fines for overdue materials from Fondren Library Center and the Hamon Arts Library.

To collect your credits, just bring food donations to either of these libraries through Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. All SMU community members are welcome to participate – even if you have no library fines to cancel.

Waiver credits do not apply to lost book replacement charges or processing fees. Credit only applies to overdue book fines currently assessed; no future credit can be applied. Overdue fines cannot be waived if they have already been sent to the Bursar’s Office for collection.

Visit Central University Libraries online
Learn more about the North Texas Food Bank

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SMU receives national award for outstanding participation in National Night Out 2014

National Night Out logoFor the second year in a row, SMU has received national recognition for exemplary efforts in crime, drug and violence prevention through its participation in National Night Out.

The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) chose the University as a National Award Winner for outstanding participation in the 31st Annual National Night Out in October 2014. SMU was named an award winner in Category 10, Neighborhoods/Communities. Other honorees in the category included the University of Texas, UT-Arlington, UT-Dallas, Texas A&M, and military installations including Fort Campbell, Fort Drum, Fort Hood, Fort Meade and Hickam Air Force Base.

SMU Police Lt. Enrique Jemmott received notice of the commendation in a letter from the NATW’s national project coordinator, Matt A. Peskin.

This year’s event involved 38.5 million people in more than 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide, according to NATW.

> See the full list of National Night Out 2014 honorees

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Calendar Highlights: The end of Fall 2014 at a glance

As Fall Semester 2014 comes to an end, here are some important dates to keep in mind:

  • Dec. 8: Last day of instruction
  • Dec. 9-11: Reading days
  • Dec. 11-17: Examinations
  • Dec. 18: Residence halls close at 10 a.m. for Winter Break

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.43.54 PM

December Commencement

  • The 2014 December Commencement is Saturday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. Gerald J. Ford will be the speaker. Ford was a member of the 1966 class, graduating from Dedman College with a degree in economics. He then went on to study at Dedman School of Law concluding his SMU career in 1969. Today Ford is the chairman of the board and the principal shareholder of both the Diamond A Ford Corporation and the Hilltop Holdings Inc., a Texas-based diversified financial holding company. He has supported the Dallas community by serving as the former director of Children’s Medical Foundation and Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas. Ford and his wife Kelli O. Ford have generously donated to expand computing and interdisciplinary research throughout the University.
  • Faculty: Prior to commencement there is a faculty breakfast in the Miller Champions Club of Moody Coliseum at 8:45 a.m. Retired and current faculty must be in the lobby of the Blanton building by 9:45 in academic dress.
  • Guests: Tickets are not needed to attend December Commencement. The doors to Moody Coliseum open at 8:30 a.m. and guests are encouraged to be seated by 9:45 a.m.
  • If you are unable to attend December Commencement, you can livestream the ceremony.

A quick look at 2015:

  • Jan. 5: First day of Jan Term (Plano and Taos)
  • Jan. 11: Residence halls open at 9 a.m.
  • Jan. 16: First day of Spring 2015 classes
  • Jan. 19: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. University closed.
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Sports: Chad Morris introduced as new SMU head football coach

morrisFootball: Former Clemson offensive coordinator and Texas high school football coach Chad Morris was introduced as the new head football coach at SMU at a press conference on Monday, Dec. 1. Morris was named AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year and one of five finalists for National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by 247Sports.com in 2013, and the National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Rivals.com in 2011. Morris served as a head coach on the Texas high school level for 16 years, posting a 169-38 record overall and winning back-to-back undefeated state championships in his final two seasons at Lake Travis. In all, Morris took six of his teams to Texas State Championship Games, with three of those teams capturing state titles, and earned Coach of the Year honors 11 times.

The hire was a nice pick-me-up after a loss to in-state rival Houston on Friday, Nov. 28. Sophomore Matt Davis threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Gaines to give the Mustangs a 9-7 lead and hopes of picking up their first win. NCAA Football: Houston vs. SMUCougars running back Kenneth Farrow ran for two touchdowns, and quarterback Greg Ward Jr. added another to put Houston back on top 28-9 at the end of the third quarter. Davis had 145 yards passing for SMU, and led the Mustangs with 70 yards rushing on 20 carries. SMU will have one final shot for a win in their season finale on the road against Connecticut on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 11:00 a.m. CT. The game will air on CBS Sports Network.

heiseVolleyball: It was a weekend of broken records, as SMU won a program-record 15th match at home, defeating Tulsa 3-1 on Wednesday, Nov. 26. Sophomore Janelle Giordano scored a match-high 12 kills, and junior Cailin Bula and sophomore Kristen Stehling each added 11 kills. Sopomore Morgan Heise finished with 22 digs. The Mustangs set another record for overall victories in a season, winning their 26th in a 3-0 sweep at East Carolina on Friday, Nov. 28.

Heise made program history by breaking the record for digs in a season after tallying 11 in the match, bringing her season total to 626. She passed Sydney Stewart who had 625 during the 2011 season. Senior Caroline Young led all attackers with 15 kills, in addition to 10 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. She was also named Libero of the Year in the American Athletic Conference, and was one of four Mustangs named to the all-conference team. Young and Avery Acker joined Heise on the first-team, and Giordano earned second-team honors.

yanickMen’s Basketball: Senior Yanick Moreira led SMU with 20 points and 10 rebounds in a wire-to-wire 78-72 loss to No. 25 Arkansas on Tuesday, Nov. 25. It was a game of runs as the Mustangs had an 18-6 run that pulled them within six, but then the Razorbacks responded with an 11-2 run of their own. SMU rallied again from 19 down to make the score 73-68 with 37 seconds remaining, nicmoorebut Arkansas held off the comeback.

The Mustangs bounced back the following night with a 72-59 win over Texas Southern. Junior Nic Moore scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 3-0f-4 from beyond the arc. Moore continued his hot streak in a 63-51 victory over Monmouth on Sunday, Nov. 30, scoring 18 of the team’s first 22 points and finishing with 23 points total. Moore was named to the watch list for the 2015 Naismith Award, given to the top men’s basketball player. Moore and SMU improved their record to 4-3 on the season, and are back in action at 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 5 against Wyoming in Moody Coliseum. The game will be televised on ESPNews.

brameWomen’s Basketball: Freshmen Alicia Froling and Taylor Brame recorded their first career double-doubles, and junior Destynee Hives-McCray recorded her third double-double of the season in a commanding 77-46 win over Florida A&M on Friday, Nov. 28 to advance to the championship of the SMU Thanksgiving Classic. Hives-McCray finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.  Froling added 14 points and 10 boards, while Brame posted 11 points and 13 rebounds.hivesmccray

USC edged the Mustangs, 64-57, in the championship on Saturday, Nov. 29. Junior forward Destynee Hives-McCray scored eight points and grabbed 13 boards, earning all-tournament honors. A night after holding Florida A&M to 19.1 percent shooting, the Mustangs limited the Trojans to just 23.5% from the field in the first half. However, USC came alive in the second half, scoring 46 of their 64 points after the break. SMU’s bounced back with a 62-55 win against North Texas on Wednesday, Dec. 3 for their eighth win in nine years over the Metroplex rivals. Gabrielle Wilkins paced the Mustangs’ scoring with 15 points. SMU squares off with Arizona State on the road on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 4:00 p.m. CT.

burnettMen’s Swimming and Diving: Senior diver Devin Burnett was named the American Athletic Conference’s Diver of the Week for the second consecutive week on Tuesday, Nov. 25. The reigning conference diver of the year was honored last week for his dominating performance against TCU. This week, he was honored for third-place finishes in the one-meter, three-meter and platform dives at the Art Adamson Invitational.

Equestrian: Senior Emma Roberts and sophomore Sylvia de Toledo were named United Equestrian Riders of the Month for November. Both riders won their head-to-head matchups in November road meets against New Mexico State and South Dakota State. Roberts earned the accolade for equitation over fences. De Toledo’s second Rider of the Month honor is for equitation on the flat.

Rowing: Head rowing coach Doug Wright has announced the hiring of Paige Love as an assistant coach for the program. Love spent the last seven years coaching at White Rock Lake for Dallas United Crew, the largest juniors club rowing program in Texas. During her time at DUC, she helped double the size of their high school competitive rowing program, and coached boats that were competitive in the region and regularly qualified boats to compete at Youth Nationals. She’s had more than 30 graduating student-athletes continue to row in college.

A standout collegiate student-athlete, Love was born and raised in Dallas and received her bachelor’s degree in journalism, focusing on strategic communications, from the University of Kansas. While at KU, Love rowed for the Division I rowing program from 2002-06.

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Attention authors: Tell SMU News about your new books

loving-u-book-cover-150Faculty, staff, students and alumni: Did you publish a general-interest book in 2014? SMU News is seeking information on your publications for possible inclusion in its end-of-year holiday book list.

Director of Online Communications Gary Shultz has made it easy: Just fill out this web form and click. Include your name and title, e-mail address, the title of your new book, month and year of its publication, and a brief description. Please include a web address where News and Communications can find more information. The deadline is Friday, Dec. 12, 2014.

After you send in your information, please email a high-resolution copy of your book cover to SMU Books.

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SMU to break ground on Dr. Bob Smith Health Center on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014

Artist's rendering of the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center at SMU

On Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, SMU will break ground for the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, a 33,000-square-foot center designed to provide comprehensive outpatient health care to more than 11,000 SMU students throughout each school year.

A $5 million gift from the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation funded the new building named for the late Dr. Bob Smith ’44, ’46, long-time Dallas pediatrician and SMU alumnus. The funding will enable center staff to increase promotion of student wellness through health education, medical services and counseling and psychiatric services.

“From caring for some of Dallas’ youngest patients to establishing medical care facilities for patients of all ages, Dr. Bob Smith demonstrated his devotion to health care in Dallas his entire life,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This gift to name the health center honors Dr. Smith’s love of his alma mater and supports good health for all SMU students.”

The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is scheduled for completion in spring of 2016.

The new two-story building is designed to provide outpatient medical care for students, including laboratory, radiology and pharmacy services. Students will receive care from the center’s full and part-time physicians as well as from part-time specialists in dermatology, gynecology and sports medicine in ten newly equipped exam rooms with private waiting areas. The medical care area of the facility also will include two new consultation rooms for physician-patient meetings, two rooms for patient observation and a treatment room. In addition, the expanded space includes offices for the addition of dental services at the center, as well as space for extended evening and weekend hours for student care.

“The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center will provide medical and mental health care with a focus on promoting wellness and sound health decision-making,” said Lori White, SMU vice president for Student Affairs. “Research shows that there is an important link between a student’s wellness and the ability to thrive academically. Encouraging students to make healthy lifestyle decisions while in college will provide them with a firm foundation for enjoying a healthy life post-college.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

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SMU seismologist Brian Stump named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Brian W. Stump, Albritton Professor of Geological Sciences and AAAS Fellow, SMUSMU seismologist Brian Stump has been named an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow for distinguished contributions to his field, particularly in the area of seismic monitoring in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Stump, Albritton Chair of Geological Sciences in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences of SMU’s Dedman College, is the fifth SMU professor to be recognized as an AAAS Fellow.

> Learn about Dr. Stump’s work at the SMU Research blog

“Dr. Stump is a scientist of the first rank and brings the results of his outstanding research into the classroom, where his students benefit from his example and insights as a scholar,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He richly deserves the AAAS recognition by his peers and we are proud that he calls SMU home.”

“Brian’s work has been seminal in scientists’ ability to rapidly and accurately discern the difference between an earthquake, a conventional explosion (such as might occur in a mining accident) and a nuclear test,” said James Quick, SMU vice president for research and dean of graduate studies. “His research is tremendously important to all of us, and yet he is equally committed to teaching and serving as a mentor to young faculty.”

> SMU News: SMU-UT study shows “plausible” connection between DFW quakes and saltwater injection well

Stump is well known regionally for his continued work researching the increase of small earthquakes that have been occurring in North Texas since 2008. But his work in detecting ground motion from explosions has for more than 20 years proved invaluable to the United States government in ensuring that the world’s nuclear powers abide by their agreements related to underground nuclear testing. He served as scientific adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Disarmament from 1994 through 1996 and continues to be called upon frequently to assist the U.S. government in the interpretation of seismic and acoustic data.

“I’m humbled by the recognition by the AAAS that science impacts the society in which we live,” Stump said. “I really believe that. And the work we’ve done at SMU on inducted seismicity in North Texas has that same blend of real science and societal impact.”

> Brian Stump on CBS-11 News: Report looks at drilling wastewater and North Texas earthquakes

For the last five years Stump has chaired the Air Force Technical Applications Center Seismic Review Panel, which provides a review of federally funded efforts in nuclear monitoring. He served as a committee member on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Seismology and Continental Dynamics from 2007 through 2012, and recently completed a term as board chair for Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), a consortium of more than 100 universities funded by the National Science Foundation.

Stump joined SMU in 1983 from the Seismology Section of the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. He graduated summa cum laude from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon with a bachelor of arts in physics in 1974, received a master of arts from the University of California-Berkeley in 1975 and received his Ph.D. in geophysics from UC-Berkeley in 1979 after completing a thesis titled Investigation of Seismic Sources by the Linear Inversion of Seismograms.

SMU faculty previously named as AAAS Fellows:

  • Volcanologist and research dean James Quick, who was named a Fellow in 2013
  • Environmental biochemistry scholar Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs and a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, who was named a Fellow in 2003
  • Anthropologist David Meltzer, Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory in the Department of Anthropology who was named a Fellow in 1998
  • James E. Brooks, provost emeritus and professor emeritus in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, who was named a Fellow in 1966.

The AAAS Fellows program began in 1874. AAAS members may be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections, by three Fellows, or by the association’s chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and forwards a final list to the AAAS Council, which votes on the final list of Fellows.

> Read more from SMU News

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Research: Blue-light blues – SMU study shows how artificial lighting can interfere with health, sleep, even animal migration

A NASA image of Earth’s city lights using data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.

An image of Earth’s city lights using data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. (Credit: NASA)

An SMU study funded by the National Institutes of Health is unraveling the mystery of how blue light from residential and commercial lighting, electronic devices and outdoor lights can interfere with the natural body clocks of humans, plants and animals – and the negative consequences it can bring.

Exposure to blue light is on the increase, says SMU chemist Brian Zoltowski, who leads the study, “Protein : Protein interaction networks in the circadian clock.”

At the right time of day, blue light is a good thing. It talks to our 24-hour circadian clock, telling our bodies, for example, when to wake up, eat and carry out specific metabolic functions. In plants, blue light signals them to leaf out, grow, blossom and bloom. In animals, it aids migratory patterns, sleep and wake cycles, regulation of metabolism, as well as mood and the immune system.

But too much blue light — especially at the wrong time — throws biological signaling out of whack.

“As a society, we are using more technology, and there’s increasing evidence that artificial light has had a negative consequence on our health,” said Zoltowski, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

“Our study uses physical techniques and chemical approaches to probe an inherently biological problem,” he said. “We want to understand the chemical basis for how organisms use light as an environmental cue to regulate growth and development.”

SMU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brian Zoltowski

SMU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brian Zoltowski

Zoltowski’s lab was awarded $320,500 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health to continue its research on the impact of blue light. They are studying a small flowering plant native to Europe and Asia, Arabidopsis thaliana – a popular model organism in plant biology and genetics, Zoltowski says.

Although signaling pathways differ in organisms such as Arabidopsis when compared to animals, the flower still serves an important research purpose. How the signaling networks are interconnected is similar in both animals and Arabidopsis. That allows researchers to use simpler genetic models to provide insight into how similar networks are controlled in more complicated species like humans.

In humans, the protein melanopsin absorbs blue light and sends signals to photoreceptor cells in our eyes. In plants and animals, the protein cryptochrome performs similar signaling.

Much is known already about the way blue light and other light wavelengths, such as red and UV light, trigger biological functions through proteins that interact with our circadian clock. But the exact mechanism in that chemical signaling process remains a mystery.

“Light is energy, and that energy can be absorbed by melanopsin proteins that act as a switch that basically activates everything downstream,” Zoltowski said.

Melanopsin is a little-understood photoreceptor protein with the singular job of measuring time of day. When light enters the eye, melanopsin proteins within unique cells in the retina absorb the wavelength as a photon and convert it to energy. That activates cells found only in the eye — called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglian cells, of which there are only about 160 in our body. The cells signal the suprachiasmatic nucleus region of the brain.

“We keep a master clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus — it controls our circadian rhythms,” he said. “But we also have other time pieces in our body; think of them as watches, and they keep getting reset by the blue light that strikes the master clock, generating chemical signals.”

The switch activates many biological functions, including metabolism, sleep, cancer development, drug addiction and mood disorders, to name a few.

“There’s a very small molecule that absorbs the light, acting like a spring, pushing out the protein and changing its shape, sending the signal. We want to understand the energy absorption by the small molecule and what that does biologically.”

The answer can lead to new ways to target diabetes, sleep disorders and cancer development, for example.

“If we understand how all these pathways work,” he said, “we can design newer, better, more efficacious drugs to help people.”

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

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SMU Woman’s Club raises scholarship funds with cookbook project; recipes accepted until Dec. 15, 2014

Stock photo of gingerbread manThe SMU Woman’s Club is seeking festive and favorite recipes from all over the University community for a cookbook project to benefit its scholarship fund.

All recipes are welcome, including side dishes, main courses, desserts, sweets, food gifts, game-day snacks, kosher and ethnic treats, and vegetarian recipes, says Kathy Barry, Woman’s Club president. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Dec. 15, 2014.

The cookbook is scheduled for publication in October 2015; ordering information will be available in the spring. All proceeds benefit the SMU Woman’s Club Scholarship Fund, which helps support a female University student in need of financial assistance.

Over the past two years, the Woman’s Club has provided a total of $16,800 in monetary support, Barry says – including funding for a young woman from a family of four children who were all paying their own way through school. “She told us that without this support, she could not have stayed at SMU,” Barry adds.

For more information, or to send in your favorite recipe, email Kathy Barry.

Visit the SMU Woman’s Club online

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Extra discounts at the SMU Bookstore during 2014 Faculty and Staff Appreciation Days Dec. 3-5

Stock photo of a wrapped holiday giftSave money on your holiday shopping at the SMU Bookstore during 2014 Faculty and Staff Appreciation Days. From Wednesday, Dec. 3 through Friday, Dec. 5, present your faculty/staff SMU ID at the cash register to receive an extra 15% off all regular-price items – a 25% total discount – and an extra 50% off clearance stock.

Some exclusions apply, including textbooks and tablets. The extra discount is also not applicable to other discounts and promotions. No discounts are available on gift cards.

Visit on Wednesday, Dec. 3 from 5-7 p.m. to enjoy coffee, cookies and live holiday music during the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Days kick-off. For more information, call the SMU Bookstore at 214-768-2435.

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