Celebrate Perunapalooza 2016 on Friday, April 15

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Peruna enjoying his birthday party (2015)

Join SMU’s Student Foundation in celebrating Peruna’s birthday April 15, 2016, from 1 to 4 p.m. on the Dallas Hall Lawn. In true SMU fashion, the springtime festival will overtake the lawn for the big event. Be on the lookout for Perunapalooza party hats! All are invited to celebrate.

For the first time ever, Perunapalooza will incorporate a philanthropic mission into the event to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Attendees are requested to bring SMU gear, video games, make-up kits, toiletries, books, etc. to donate. In exchange for a donation, individuals can receive a free Steel City Pop and a raffle ticket.

>  Enjoy a video of the Centennial Perunapalooza (2015), produced by Student Foundation

11178372_881902018539242_1631057962089382380_n“I am excited to watch everyone come together and enjoy a (hopefully warm) day on Dallas Hall Lawn and celebrate Peruna, SMU, and the school year coming to a close,” said Student Foundation’s Campus Events Chair, Anna Bender. Bender’s committee as well as the rest of Student Foundation have put in months of work to bring this event together to celebrate SMU.

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Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for April 8, 2016

KATIEJUSTINERelay for Life: SMU will celebrate its 13th year of participation in Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society fundraiser where volunteers walk or run for pledged donations, on Bishop Boulevard from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, April 8. The opening ceremony is at 6 p.m., followed by a survivors and caregivers lap around the Boulevard at 6:10 p.m. Luminarias will be lit at 9 p.m. to remember loved ones lost to cancer and support people who are fighting the disease or have fought cancer in the past. Closing ceremonies will take place at 11:45 p.m.

My Barbarian, An Artist Collective: As apart of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, My Barbarian, an LA and New York-based trio whose performances enact historical narratives and rehearse social situations, will give a free lecture on Monday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in Owen Fine Arts Center, room B600. The group draws on performance art, political theater, queer camp, institutional critique, folk plays, musicals and music videos to construct playful performances that encourage both imagination and presence. The lecture was co-organized with Pastelegram and the Visual Arts Center in the Department of Art and Art History at UT Austin.

Double Agency, Photo by Robbie Acklen, 2015 (copywrite) My Barbarian

Double Agency, Photo by Robbie Acklen, 2015 ©My Barbarian

Public intellectuals, a round-table discussion: “Public intellectuals” bring complex ideas to the public sphere, advancing the cause of human knowledge for as wide a public as possible. Join two prominent public intellectuals, anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann and neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni, on Wednesday, April 13 as they share their groundbreaking research and discuss strategies for public engagement and the translation of research for audiences outside the academy. The event will be held in Heroy Hall, room 153 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and is sponsored by the DCII’s Faculty Seminar Beyond Two Cultures: Reconciling Science and Humanities. Click here for more information.

International Film Festival. The 2016 film festival theme focuses on the immigrant experience, including films in Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish. All films will be shown in McCord Auditorium from April 6 to April 22, however, the last movie on April 22 will be shown on the South Quad Lawn of McElvaney Residential Commons.

The festival is sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Lituratures, French Club, Spanish Club, Chinese Area and Italian Club, and the McElvaney Residential Commons. Screenings are free and open to the public. 

> See the full schedule of films here.

 

 

Organ Studio Spring Concert: Organ students of Stefan Engels will present a recital Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 with works from Johann Sebastian Bach’s monumental Clavier-Übung Part III, which is considered to be Bach’s theological testament in organ music. The concert will be held in Caruth Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

> For more information call 214.768.2787

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SMU ready to Relay for Life Friday, April 8, 2016

relayforlife-bigSMU will celebrate its 13th year of Relay for Life on Friday, April 8 from 6 p.m. to midnight.  SMU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate to honor those who have battled cancer and make progress toward finding a cure. Currently, 1,332 participants have signed up for the event and SMU Relay has already raised more than $119,000.

The event kicks off at 6 p.m., Friday, April 8 on Bishop Boulevard, with an opening ceremony followed by a survivors and caregivers lap at 6:10 p.m. Lanterns will be lit at 9 p.m. to remember loved ones lost to cancer, to support people who currently have cancer, and to honor people who fought cancer in the past.

Luminarias can be purchased prior to the event for $10 by contacting Lauren Brandt. Closing ceremonies will take place at 11:45 p.m.

SMU Relay has always exceeded expectations. Last year, they set a goal to raise $158,000 last year and surpassed it by almost $20,000. They also placed first in the Number One Relay Challenge last year. We are excited to see what the final numbers for this year are!

smu-relay-for-life-300“I am so passionate about Relay for Life because too many of my loved ones have been affected by this disease. I am also passionate about Relay because I truly believe that one day the world will be cancer-free. Every dollar that is raised for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society gets us one step and one day closer to that world,” said Katie Meier, Relay co-chair.

Visit SMU’s Relay for Life page for more information, as well as to see lists of all the registered participants, teams, money raised and events.

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Save the date: Just in Time Career Fair scheduled for April 12, 2016

careerfairMark your calendars for the last Career Fair Event of the school year, sponsored by the Hegi Family Career Development Center. The event will take place on Tuesday, April 12 from 3-5 p.m. in  the Hughes-Trigg Ballrooms.

This event is the last in a set of career fairs offered to SMU students this academic year. At the events, students will be able to network with employers who are recruiting students for both their full-time and internship opportunities.

Just like the previous fairs, students should come prepared with resumes printed and research completed. In the meantime, students are encourage to utilize the services offered at the Hegi Center that will help prepare them for the event.

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Save the date: SMU’s 2016 President’s Picnic is Wednesday, May 18

presidents-picnic-2016The SMU Staff Association and President R. Gerald Turner invite all University staff members to the 2016 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, May 18 on the Clements Hall south lawn.

This year’s event will include the announcement of the 2015 President’s Staff Recognition Award winners, who were originally scheduled to be named at the postponed Staff Association Assembly and Recognition Ceremony in March.

For more information, contact Staff Association President Tim Norris, 214-768-4959.

> Visit the SMU Staff Association online: smu.edu/staffassociation

 

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Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for April 1, 2016

ArtStrong: Armstrong Commons is hosting its first annual arts festival, ArtStrong. On Saturday, April 2 from 1 to 6 p.m on the Boulevard, ArtStrong will feature performances from student performers including the Belle Tones and the Meadows Jazz Orchestra Combo. ArtStrong will also be displaying student artwork around the Boulevard and having art workshops throughout the day. Workshops will include sculpting, iPhone photography tips and DIY t-shirt cutting. Food options will include Tiff’s Treats, Raising Cane’s, and Steel City Pops. 

The Social Costs of War: Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming. In an effort to raise awareness of the social costs of war since the attacks on September 11, 2001, a panel of Dallas experts in veteran advocacy, brain trauma studies, and a combat veteran will present 10 minute talks in Hamon Arts Library at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5. Discussions will be moderated by the Director of the Anxiety and Depression Research Center in the Dedman College at SMU, Alicia Meuret and visual artist, Scott Gleeson ‘09. The lecture is free and open to the public.

http://www.meadowsmuseumdallas.org/images/collections/acquisitions/Castelucho/Marie_Cronin_large.jpg

Portrait of Marie Cronin, c. 1906, by Claudio Castelucho

Art in Focus Gallery Talk: Meadows Museum curator Nicole Atzbach presents the third offering in the Meadows Museum’s new series of short, public Art in Focus gallery talks, discussing the Portrait of Marie Cronin, c. 1906, by Claudio Castelucho. The talk is free for SMU students, faculty and staff and will be held in the Meadows Museum on Wednesday, April 6 at 12:15 p.m. No RSVP required.

New Visions, New Voices: Meadow’s spring playwriting festival, now in its 22nd season, presents one performance each of a variety of full-length plays written by graduating theatre students. Directors include faculty members and  alumni who are active in local theatre. The plays are presented as staged readings, without costumes or sets, bringing the writers’ raw stories, characters and language to the audience without filter. Each performance will be followed by an audience discussion session with the playwright, director and actors. Plays include, Tough Love, Filth, Finale, Siren’s Song, Knew You and Tiber. The plays are free and open to the public and will all be held in the Greer Garson Theatre – Owen Arts Center from Tuesday, March 29 – Sunday, April 3. Click here for more information on individual play times

Let the Dead Bury Their Dead: As apart of the Gilbert Lecture Series, the Department of English presents Randall Kenan, author of Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, A Visitation of Spirits and Walking on Water. The event is free and and open to the public and will take place on Thursday, April 7 in Hyer Hall, room 0100. A 6 p.m. reception will precede the 6:30 p.m. reading.

 

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Eight SMU students selected to attend 2016 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting at UC-Berkeley April 1-3

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoEight SMU students will share their work on issues affecting their communities and the world during the 9th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at the University of California-Berkeley April 1-3, 2016.

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will host the CGI U gathering. The 2016 agenda will include sessions on topics ranging from invention and innovation, to designing projects to mitigate unintended consequences, to student-led high school education reform.

The event will bring together more than 1,100 college students with innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to address challenges facing their campuses and communities in CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

Keep up with Clinton Global Initiative University news on Facebook: facebook.com/cgiuniversity

The SMU students who will attend the meeting, and a brief description of their CGI U Commitments to Action:

  • Cristina Barrera – Food Guardian will consult with local Dallas businesses and institutions to eliminate commercial food waste through source reduction, donations of excess food, and composting food waste.
  • Jake Brudish – Hoops H2O will host competitive basketball tournaments to raise money to aid in the creation of improved water wells in the Republic of South Sudan.
  • Priya Chowdhary – The Nari Project distributes crisis kits to domestic abuse victims as they transition from critical situations to places of safety, and this year Nari is expanding operations to India.
  • Sasha Mohammed – Life Spark, a smaller apparatus that works in combination with a mobile application, will serve as a more accessible form of the automatic external defibrillator.
  • Hena Rafiq – Generation NOW: Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration is a program developed to help the children of incarcerated or formerly incarcerated mothers.
  • Angelica Reisch – Catalyst Arts Movement is a Dallas-based project to support and fund artists who create community engagement through art.
  • Thomas Schmedding – Innovating Health Safety Net Solutions in Means-Tested Areas is conducting research on innovative solutions for affordable health coverage for mothers and infants in Uganda and Dallas.
  • Devon Skerritt – The Possibility Project teaches young people (K-12) skills of social entrepreneurship through training, networking, and experiences that prepare aspiring first generation Dallas students for next generation careers.

Priya Chowdhary was also selected to be a part of the Clinton Global Initiative LEAD Program. The LEAD program provides the added opportunity to engage with the Clinton Global Initiative and includes invitations to the CGI, CGI U, and LEAD annual meetings. Priya will be mentored by Khaliya Aga Khan, a distinguished philanthropist, venture capitalist, and advocate for social change.

> Follow CGI U on Twitter @CGIU

Student attendees have the opportunity to attend plenary and working sessions, as well as other special events covering topics across CGI U’s five focus areas. In addition, they network with their peers, build skills, and identify potential partnerships. Special guests join every CGI U meeting to help student participants gain the skills and knowledge needed to take action on their commitments.

During the last day of the meeting, the students will take part in a Day of Action in the Berkeley community.

SMU Forum: SMU renews membership in the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

SMU is a member of the CGI University Network of 70 U.S. colleges and universities that provide support and mentorship for students’ projects. The Office of Engaged Learning is the University’s sponsoring department.

Find more information at the Clinton Global Initiative University homepage

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Embrey Human Rights Program selects five SMU students as Community Outreach Fellows

For the second cohort of Community Outreach Fellows (COF), the most prestigious honor the Embrey Human Rights Program (EHRP) offers, only five students were selected. This year-long program offers students the opportunity to serve the Dallas community and develop the skills necessary to make real world change.

After a competitive application process, fellows create a year-long project in conjunction with a local placement organization. They identify relevant community needs, establish feasible goals and objectives and see the project to its end, working around 200 hours over the year. Throughout this time, they receive dual mentorship from the EHRP staff and their placement organization.

The 2015 -16 Community Outreach Fellows are currently finishing up and reflecting on their projects. Here is what they have been working on:

Daryl Parker: Parker is graduating in May with a Master’s degree in human rights and social justice. He is currently working alongside the Innocence Project of Texas (IPTX), to provide free investigative services to indigent defendants in pursuit of post-conviction relief on the grounds of actual innocence. His daily work uncovers prosecutorial misconduct, law enforcement error and the negative role money plays in the criminal justice system. With only a two-person staff to handle numerous time-consuming cases, Parker’s services provide unparalleled support for IPTX. Parker had previously volunteered with the organization as part of the service requirement for Dr. Rick Halperin’s human rights course. He was intrigued by the opportunity because of his background as a former criminal investigator. Once he saw how poorly some of the cases had been handled he was committed to the cause. Since his involvement in the COF program, he has learned that “social justice work is a marathon, not a sprint and it takes a lot of people with the right priorities and resources to effect change.”

Liliana Garcia: Garcia is a junior studying international relations. She is also involved in Kappa Delta Chi sorority, inc. and College Hispanic American Students (CHAS). As a first-generation graduate from a Dallas Independent School District (DISD) school, she was inspired to create workshops to prepare students like herself for college. She knew how hard the college application process was and has since been making it easier for those who are following her. She focuses primarily on first-generation Hispanic students and encourages them to attend four-year universities. She works closely with parents and students from the North Dallas region and Roberto Corona, EHRP Community Outreach Coordinator. As a COF, Garcia has learned how to deal with challenging situations, how to find the resources she needs for her projects and how others (especially those in her cohort) are targeting the various issues in the Dallas community.

Sam Butz: Butz is a junior studying creative advertising and fashion media. She was recently awarded a local silver American Advertising Award for her work in product promotion. She is also a member of SMU’s Division I Swim Team and an Engaged Learning Fellow. She has combined her love for fashion, her interest in human rights, and her participation on a swim team that wears SMU purchased uniforms for this project. For the past year, she has researched and developed campaigns on labor rights surrounding the apparel at SMU. This idea first came to her when she was enrolled in Professor Carina Heckert‘s Health as a Human Rights class, which she signed-up for without any knowledge of or interest in the area. Her semester project was on Alta Garcia, a living-wage garment factory in the Dominican Republic. She researched and visited the factory and quickly realized that there was a void on campus surrounding garment worker’s rights. She saw the fellowship as an opportunity to incite change on campus and bring light to the issues at hand. Through her work she has learned how much time goes into research and changing existing systems and because of that, she has also learned that even a small step of progress is a success.

Sandra Ostad: Ostad is a second-year Masters in Liberal Arts student studying Human Rights and Refugees. After interning in the development department at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of Dallas, Ostad decided to apply for the Community Outreach Fellowship to continue her work with the refugee populations of Dallas. She has been working to connect the IRC with refugee communities and to expand their immigration department. A bulk of her work has been focused on developing and implementing a sustainable citizenship education program to help refugees and legal permanent residents become U.S. citizens. She is also working on building and strengthening the IRC’s relationships with community partners, religious sites and other resettlement organizations in Dallas. These partners can then work alongside the IRC to ensure that refugees know who to turn to for legal advice and assistance. Her time thus far as a fellow has been exceptionally beneficial in helping her grow intellectually and professionally.

Vanna Ngo: Ngo is a Masters students studying Human Rights and Social Justice. She is working on introducing a restorative justice program into Residence Life and Student Conduct. These measures would work alongside regular adjudication methods and be offered when a student is deemed eligible for participation in a facilitated dialogue. She has worked with the University of Michigan and University of Oregon to develop a training manual. She is now working with SMU’s Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for implementation. She has been able to learn how over 30 colleges and universities in the U.S. have created restorative justice programs of their own and have been successful. She has been inspired by restorative justice programs ability to give victims a voice and to foster a greater sense of community and healing. Ngo also co-founded the non-profit, Peace is Possible, where in conjunction with EHRP they hold a Peace Day Conference each year on the UN declared International Day of Peace.

EHRP Assistant Director Brad Klein has worked closely with this year’s COFs and they’ve each looked to him for motivation and advice through the process. “I am impressed and inspired by this year’s Community Outreach Fellowship projects,” says Klein. Each fellow started one year ago with an idea of how to address a human rights problem. With hard work, determination, and passion, those ideas developed into practical strategies for change. Along the way, the fellows were supported by professionals on campus and in the community who graciously shared time and expertise. All the projects – whether focused on wrongful convictions, migrant education, worker rights, refugee support, or restorative justice – have impacted the SMU and Dallas communities in positive ways.”

Applications for the 2016-17 program are due by April 15. All SMU students who will be enrolled in courses during the fellowship are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the COF website or contact Klein.

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Meadow’s 2016 Spring Dance Concert showcases another world premiere

Spring-DanceThe Meadows Dance Ensemble in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its 2016 Spring Dance Concert March 31-April 3 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. The ensemble will perform one world premiere and two enchanting ballets, creating an awe-inspiring evening for the audience.

The concert’s highlights will include the world premiere of a newly envisioned version of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1945), choreographed by Claudia Lavista and Victor Manuel Ruiz, artistic directors of the acclaimed Delfos Danza Contemporanea in Mazatlán, Mexico.

The program also showcases the Martha Graham masterpiece Appalachian Spring (1944), set to Aaron Copland‘s original score. The ensemble will also perform Tchaikovsky’s Pas de Deux by George Balanchine, an eight-minute display of ballet bravura and technique set to music the composer belatedly created for Act III of Swan Lake.

Meadows dancers will present encores of Firebird Suite and Appalachian Spring, accompanied by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, at the Meadows at the Winspear annual gala concert on May 11.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for students, faculty and staff and can be purchased online. For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

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New Visions, New Voices 2016 showcases student work, alumni involvement March 30-April 3

Rehearsal for New Visions, New Voices new play festival at SMU 2016

Rehearsal for the 2016 New Visions, New Voices Play Festival

Now in its 22nd season, the New Visions, New Voices play writing festival brings the raw stories, language and characters of graduating SMU Meadows theatre students to the stage.

The full-length plays written by students are presented as staged readings, without costumes or sets. The students are partnered with either an alumnus or a Meadows faculty member who directs the student’s play and provides mentorship. Each performance is followed up with a discussion between the audience, playwright, director and actors.

All performances will take place in the Greer Garson Theatre at the Owens Art Center from March 30 to April 3, 2016.

Students involved in the production learn an invaluable set of skills while seeing their own writing come to life. “One of the most important things New Visions has helped me develop is creative discipline. If I wish to be a creative professional, I can’t just make things when inspiration strikes. I need to show up every day, and be there waiting for inspiration when it finally decides to show up,” says Jeremy Arata, whose piece will be showcased on Sunday, April 3.

Here is this year’s dynamic line-up:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 – 8:00 p.m.Tough Love by Holly Settoon, Directed by Jacob Nice ’15

The play looks at the lives of three young people who meet in a teen detention center somewhere in the American heartland, all of whom are struggling to survive the boredom, emptiness and anarchy of their time in the system.

Thursday, March 31, 2016 – 8:00 p.m.: Filth by Isaac Young, Directed by Alia Tavakolian ’12

In a tiny Virginia town, a young woman struggles to keep the family farm afloat. But between the memories that haunt her and the introverted ways that make her unable to keep a job in town, she’s going to lose everything. That is, until a man needs her farm for his low-budget porn films – and offers to make her a star. Based on an unbelievable true story, the play is a tale of survival in the face of tragedy. Adult language and situations; not suitable for children and pre-teens.

Friday, April 1, 2016 – 8:00 p.m.: Finale by Dylan Guerra, Directed by Samantha Rios ’13

If they can survive the Dolphin Apocalypse, how bad can graduation be? When the seam of the universe opens, four best friends and one uninvited guest find themselves sucked into an alternate world on the eve of their college graduation. Secret loves are revealed, lies are uncovered, milkshakes are shaken and tickets to the Sunday Church Carnival are sold. Will they make it home in time to graduate, or will they become insignificant casualties in the bloody uprising by man’s favorite mammal? Adult language and substances.

Saturday, April 2, 2016 – 2:00 p.m.: Siren’s Song by Sasha Davis, Directed by Kristen Kelso ’14

Eager to escape the ghettos of Detroit, Wren studies to get into any college far away. When tragedy destroys her plans for a future with Thomas, she disappears into her grief for a decade, until awkward, funny Arthur drops into her life. The play considers the questions of lost love, new love, and self-love: which one is the hardest to accept?

Saturday, April 2, 2016 – 8:00 p.m.: Knew You by Laura Dupper, Directed by Jenna Hannum ’15

What is love? What makes it spark between one couple, and fade between another? In Knew You, James and Ellie ask the questions people have been asking for centuries. They fall in love as they interview friends and dissect classic romances for a school project. But as they fall out of love, will they find the answers they need or will love stay as elusive and enigmatic as ever?

Sunday, April 3, 2016 – 2:00 p.m.: Tiber by Jeremy Arata, Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Sara Romersberger

At a minor way-station in space, seven strangers find themselves gathered on the 25th anniversary of the Ceasefire. Old wounds and new griefs arise as former enemies and feuding family members confront one another. When the life and communication systems fail, everyone’s lives are threatened. The group will have to pull together – but can they forgive to survive?

Tickets are free for each showing. For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

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