Weather: SMU and SMU-in-Plano closed Monday, Feb. 23, 2015

SMU and SMU-in-Plano are closed Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, due to inclement weather.

The University continues to monitor the weather and will post updates at smu.edu and on Twitter and Facebook.

Dining services will be available even when the University closes because of inclement weather. For information about hours of operation for SMU Dining Services, please visit smudining.com or facebook.com/smudining.

In addition, Fondren Library expects to be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. when the University closes for inclement weather. Please check for any schedule changes on the Central University Libraries homepage at smu.edu/cul.

> Learn more about SMU’s Inclement Weather Policy at smu.edu/weather

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Keep up with campus alerts during inclement weather

Snow day at Dallas Hall, SMUEven when it’s unseasonably warm, Texas weather can change in an instant. When conditions warrant closing or delays, SMU has procedures in place to ensure that students, faculty and staff know where to go for information.

As soon as a decision is made, the following steps are taken to notify the University community:

  • An e-mail message will be sent to all students, faculty and staff.
  • A recorded message will be available at 214-SMU-INFO (214-768-4636). Please do not call the SMU Police Department.
  • Closing announcements will be posted on the SMU website, via SMU’s Twitter feed at twitter.com/smu and at facebook.com/smudallas.

The Office of News and Communications will attempt to contact the news media by 6 a.m. if day classes must be cancelled. If it becomes necessary to cancel evening classes or events, News and Communications will attempt to contact the news media by 4 p.m.

Separate decisions regarding closings or cancellations will be made for the Plano and Taos campuses. Those campuses are not automatically affected when the main campus is closed, or they may be closed when the main campus is not, depending on local conditions.

SMU cannot guarantee that local media will announce closing information promptly or fully. Therefore, confirm information from non-SMU sources against official University communications. Individual schools, colleges and departments are not authorized to make their own decisions on closings, delayed openings or cancellation of classes.

The University maintains a webpage devoted to weather policy at smu.edu/weather. Check it frequently for the most current information, including inclement weather plans for Dining Services and SMU libraries.

Visit SMU’s Inclement Weather Policy page

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Four student projects win recognition (and $5,000) in SMU’s 2015 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition

Four student teams combined winning pitches with solid business plans to earn $5,000 startup grants for their projects through SMU’s Big iDeas program on Jan. 30, 2015.

The four winning teams were chosen from a business plan competition featuring the winners of the Big iDeas Pitch Competition, which took place in October.

Beyond US logoThe projects were judged by a panel of volunteers from Executives in Action, a Dallas-area organization that helps strengthen North Texas nonprofits by matching them with senior-level executives for pro bono consulting services. The winners:

Beyond US Clothing (Hunter Rice and J.P. Buxbaum) – a for-profit clothing company that partners with charities to help underprivileged children in the United States by offering unique T-shirt designs for each partnership and donating a portion of the sales to charities with a focus on children and education.

Biolum Sciences logoBiolum Sciences (Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar and Jack Reynolds) – A smartphone-based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the United States.

Helpple logoHelpple (Austin Wells and Irisa Ona) – an app that connects people who need help with people who are offering to help, ranging from tutoring to moving furniture to getting volunteers.

Out & About (Renita Thapa, Sam Hubbard and Raz Friman) – an app that promotes local businesses and organizations by showing its users what is going on in the community for easy planning, exploring and getting to know the area.

Out and About logo“The world needs big thinkers to address global challenges. It needs innovators to create solutions. It needs risk-takers to turn solutions into sustainable businesses. And at SMU, Big iDeas makes this happen,” said Engaged Learning Director Susan Kress, whose office also oversees Big iDeas.

The students will spend the next nine months developing their projects. They will present results in October 2015 at Big iDeas Demo Day for a chance to win another $5,000 to continue their work.

Visit SMU’s Big iDeas website at smu.edu/bigideas

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Calendar Highlights: Feb. 18, 2015

Emanuel Cleaver II

Emanuel Cleaver II visits Perkins Chapel as a guest preacher on Thursday,, Feb. 19th.

The Cultural Realities of Cancer: Visiting SMU under the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Deborah O. Erwin, Director of the Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, will explore “The Cultural Realities of Cancer” and how individuals are impacted by this diagnosis. This free event will take place in the McCord Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. For more information, email Pamela Hogan.

Emanuel Cleaver II: Sponsored by the Perkins School of Theology Black Seminarians Association, U.S. Representative and United Methodist clergyman Emanuel Cleaver II will visit the Perkins Chapel as a guest preacher on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 11:30 a.m., during the regular worship service. Celebrating Black History Month, the theme for this worship service is “We’ve Come This Far by Faith and We Won’t Stop Now!” For more information about the chapel service and Rev. Cleaver’s visit, email Ailey Pope, the chair of the Black Seminarians Association at Perkins.  

Godbey Lecture Series: In honor of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the Godbey Lecture Series presents “Perspectives on Magna Carta” featuring three SMU professors as they illuminate the history and contribution of the document. The SMU professors include; Jeremy Q. Adams, Professor of History, Joshua Tate, Associate Professor of Law, and Ada-Maria Kuskowski, Assistant Professor of History. The event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 19, 5:30 p.m. in the Gene and Jerry Jones Great Hall, Meadows Museum. While the lecture is free and open to the public, guests are asked to please register online. For more information, visit the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute webpage or email Elizabeth Fieldling. 

Meadows Virtuosi Players: SMU Meadows School of the Arts presents “Meadows Virtuosi Players” on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m., in the Caruth Auditorium. Formed in 2012, the Meadows Virtuosi Players concert series features select Meadows student musicians performing side-by-side with their faculty colleagues. This Saturday, directors Andrés Diaz and Matt Albert will be joined by Meadows voice faculty member Camille King. For more information, call 214.768.2787.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Tate Lecture Series: SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series presents Doris Kearns Goodwin, on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, best-selling author and presidential historian. While The Anita and Truman Arnold Lecture is already sold out, SMU students, faculty and staff are welcome to participate in the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. 

Research Day 2015: On Wednesday, Feb. 25, SMU graduate and undergraduate students are invited and encouraged to present results of ongoing and completed SMU-based research. Guests are welcomed to meet over 160 students engaged in research, and discover opportunities for future collaboration and entrepreneurship. The event will take place in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Promenade Ballroom, from 2-5 p.m. For additional information, view the 2015 Research Day Catalog or email Sarah Sage. 

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Sports: Mustang swimming and diving teams head for AAC Championships Feb. 18-21, 2015

SMU's guard Gabrielle Wilkins (3) shoots against Tulsa at Moody Coliseum.  Photo by Vladimir Cherry.

SMU guard Gabrielle Wilkins (3) shoots against Tulsa at Moody Coliseum. Photo by Vladimir Cherry.

Men’s Basketball: The Mustangs defeated the defending national champion UConn Huskies 73-55 on Saturday, Feb. 14 before a crowd of 7,395, the largest in the history of Moody Coliseum. Markus Kennedy and Yanick Moreira scored 13 points apiece, in addition to several dunks that helped build a big first-half lead in SMU’s win. The Mustangs’ next game will be against Temple on Thursday, Feb. 19 at Moody Coliseum.

Women’s Basketball: Despite a career-high of 19 points from Gabrielle Wilkins, the Mustangs fell to Tulsa 72-59 on Saturday, Feb. 14 at Moody Coliseum. SMU donned pink uniforms in the annual Play 4Kay game, an initiative across women’s basketball to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. The Mustangs will head to Greenville, North Carolina, for a matchup with East Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.

Men’s Soccer: SMU Men’s Soccer team recently announced a five-match spring schedule. The schedule is highlighted by three home dates and features MLS, USL Pro and NPSL competition. The Mustangs begin matches on Saturday, Feb. 21, when they travel to Austin to take on the Austin Aztex of the USL Pro.

Men’s Swimming & Diving: Seeking their 42nd conference championship, SMU’s Men’s Swimming & Diving team heads to Greensboro, North Carolina, on Feb. 18-21 for the American Athletic Conference Championship. The Mustangs will compete against Cincinnati, Connecticut and East Carolina. Live video of the meet will be available online on the American Digital Network. For more information on the conference championship, visit The American’s Championship Central. 

SMU Women's Swimming & Diving Team

SMU Women’s Swimming & Diving Team at The American Athletic Conference Championship.

Women’s Swimming & Diving: The SMU Women’s Swimming & Diving team will travel to Greensboro, North Carolina, Feb. 18-21, to compete in the American Athletic Conference Championship. At last season’s event, the Mustangs took second posting a pair of top individual finishes and a pair of relay wins.

Men’s Tennis: The SMU Men’s Tennis team continued their impressive start to the 2015 season, beating both Nebraska and Ouachita Baptist on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Ann and Brad Brookshire Family Pavillon. The Mustangs are now 9-1 on the season. Next, SMU will play its first road match at Arkansas on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Dasha Sharapova

SMU Sophomore, Dasha Sharapova.

Women’s Tennis: Pushing its record to a perfect 5-0 this season, the SMU Women’s Tennis team notched two wins on Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Ann and Brad Brookshire Family Pavillon. The Mustangs open conference play next weekend, Feb. 21-22, with a pair of home matches.

Women’s Track & Field: The SMU Women’s Track & Field team concluded action at the competitive Tyson Invitational hosted by the University of Arkansas on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Junior Holly Archer headlined SMU’s weekend, winning the 3,000-meter run (9:31:56) and adding a fourth-place finish in the mile (4:48:37). Up next for the Mustangs is the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship on Feb. 27-28 at the New Balance Track & Field Center in New York City. For more information on the conference championship meet, visit The American website. 

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Calendar Highlights: Feb. 12, 2015

10868212_10152652457101981_2527087539809194370_n“The Search for Humanity:” As part of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts Friday Morning Lecture Series, Dr. Luis Martin, Professor Emeritus of History, will present a lecture entitled “The Search for Humanity” on Friday, Feb. 13 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bob Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum. For more information, call 214.768.7787. 

Museum Friday Gallery Talk: The SMU Meadows Museum hosts the Museum Friday Gallery Talk featuring “Joaquin Mir’s Allegory” on Friday, Feb. 13 at 12:15 p.m. Free to SMU students, faculty and staff, the Meadows Museum Gallery Talks feature art research and perspectives from local guest speakers and students. For more information, call 214.768.4677.

ESPN GameDay: ESPN College GameDay Covered by State Farm will make its first visit to SMU’s Moody Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 14, prior to SMU’s home game against defending national champion Connecticut at 8 p.m. For additional information, visit the SMU Mustangs Men’s Basketball webpage.

Native American, Grammy Award-Winning singer songwriter Joanne Shenandoah.

Native American, Grammy Award-Winning singer songwriter Joanne Shenandoah.

Joanne Shenandoah: Sponsored by SMU’s Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, Grammy Award-winning singer songwriter Joanne Shenandoah will perform a free concert on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater. For more information and to register, visit the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute webpage. 

Stagger LeeThe Dallas Theater Center production of SMU Artist-in-Residence Will Power‘s new musical Stagger Lee will come to an end on Sunday, Feb. 15. Originally premiering in January as part of Will Power’s Meadows Prize residency, Stagger Lee was partially developed in workshops in collaboration with the Meadows School of the Arts. Tickets for Stagger Lee are available for purchase online. 

Coping with Immigration in Germany: From Ignorance to Acceptance?: SMU Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences presents Uwe Hunger in a lecture entitled “Coping with Immigration in Germany: From Ignorance to Acceptance?” on Monday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. in the Tower Center Boardroom, Carr Collins #227. Hunger is an Associate Professor of Political Science from Muenster University in Germany. While this is a free event open to SMU students, faculty and staff, guests are encouraged to RSVP via email to the Tower Center. 

Faculty Chamber Music Recital: SMU Meadows School of the Arts presents Liudmila Georgievskaya in the Faculty Chamber Music Recital on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m., in Caruth Auditorium. Acclaimed pianists Georgievskaya and Thomas Schwan will give a two-piano recital with Otto Singer’s rarely performed transcriptions of two of Mozarts great works, the Symphonies No. 40 and 41. For more information, call 214.768.2787.

logoFrom Columns to Characters: The Presidency and Press in the Digital Age: Scholars and journalists experienced in the effects of today’s digital reality will visit SMU to examine the evolving nature of the presidency and the press in all-day conference on Tuesday, Feb. 17. While the conference is free and open to the public, guests are encouraged to register online. For more information regarding the conference and conference participants, click here.

 

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No means no: SMU study shows that teen girls report less sexual victimization after virtual-reality assertiveness training

Stock photo of two people holding handsTeen girls were less likely to report being sexually victimized after learning to assertively resist unwanted sexual overtures and practicing resistance in a realistic virtual environment, according to a new SMU-led study.

The effects persisted over a three-month period following the training, says clinical psychologist Lorelei Simpson Rowe, lead author on the pilot study and an associate professor of psychology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The research also found that those girls who had previously experienced dating violence reported lower levels of psychological aggression and psychological distress after completing the program, relative to girls in a comparison group.

“The virtual simulations allowed girls to practice being assertive in a realistic environment. The intent of the program is for the learning opportunity to increase the likelihood that they will use the skills in real life,” said Simpson Rowe, who also serves as graduate program co-director in the Department of Psychology. “Research has shown that skills are more likely to generalize if they are practiced in a realistic environment, so we used virtual reality to increase the realism.”

The training program, called “My Voice, My Choice,” emphasizes that victims do not invite sexual violence and that they have the right to stand up for themselves because violent or coercive behavior is never OK.

“It is very promising that learning resistance skills and practicing them in virtual simulations of coercive interactions could reduce the risk for later sexual victimization,” said Simpson Rowe.

She cautioned, however, that the research is preliminary and based on a small sample: 42 in the “My Voice, My Choice” condition and 36 in a control condition. Future research is needed to establish the benefits of the program across different age groups and populations, for example, college versus high school students.

The study’s strengths included its randomized controlled design and a high participant retention rate among the 78 teen girls in the study.

The virtual-reality simulation component of “My Voice, My Choice” utilizes a software program developed by study co-authors Ernest N. Jouriles and Renee McDonald in conjunction with the game design program in The Guildhall at SMU. Jouriles and McDonald are clinical psychologists in the SMU Psychology Department. Jouriles is professor and chair. McDonald is a professor and associate dean of research and academic affairs in Dedman College.

“One advantage the virtual simulations offer is the ability to actually observe whether, and how, the girls are using the skills in coercive situations that feel very real,” McDonald said. “This provides girls with opportunities for immediate feedback and accelerated learning, and for facilitators to easily spot areas in need of further strengthening. The value of this advantage can’t be overstated.”

One question that remains for future research is whether the practice in virtual simulations was the operative factor that reduced sexual victimization, Simpson Rowe said.

“We need to determine if practice in a virtual setting is the key factor in making the intervention effective, or if other factors, such as being encouraged to stand up for themselves, led to the outcomes,” she said.

The researchers reported their findings, “Reducing Sexual Victimization among Adolescent Girls: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of My Voice, My Choice,” in the journal Behavior Therapy. The article has been published online in advance of print.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story from the SMU Research blog

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Artist collective Complex Movements, Public Theater’s Lear deBessonet win 2015 Meadows Prize

Artist collective Complex Movements, photo by Vanessa Miller

The artist collective Complex Movements is a recipient of SMU’s 6th annual Meadows Prize arts residency. Photo credit: Vanessa Miller

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has announced the recipients of its 6th annual Meadows Prize arts residency: the Detroit-based artist collective Complex Movements and Lear deBessonet, director of The Public Theater’s Public Works program in New York City.

The Meadows Prize is awarded to pioneering artists and creative professionals who are active in one or more disciplines represented by the academic units within the Meadows School.

Complex Movements is a Detroit-based artist collective developing interactive performance work that draws connections between complex science and social justice movements to support the transformation of communities. The group is comprised of graphic designer/fine artist Wesley Taylor; music producer/filmmaker Waajeed; lyricist/organizer Invincible; and multimedia artist/performance systems architect Carlos Garcia. Their work draws on multiple disciplines, including community organizing, design, music, architecture, storytelling, multimedia art and theater.

For their Meadows Prize project, Complex Movements will collaborate with the Dallas community and the Meadows School on a week-long residency in February, and return in October for a four-week engagement of Beware of the Dandelions in Dallas’s Fair Park.

Beware of the Dandelions is a performance-based installation that also functions as a workshop space and a visual arts exhibition. Participant activity occurs inside a 400-square-foot polyhedron pod structure designed in collaboration with Detroit-based architect Aaron Jones to create an immersive visual and sound experience. Through community collaboration and the interdisciplinary nature of the installation, Complex Movements seeks to raise the visibility of local issues and social justice-based art and activism.

> More about Beware of the Dandelions from Emergence Media

Lear deBessonet, photo credit Matthew Murphy

Lear deBessonet will visit SMU in spring 2015 as part of her Meadows Prize arts residency. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Lear deBessonet is director of Public Works – a major initiative of The Public Theater that engages the people of New York as theater creators as well as spectators. Working with community partner organizations in all areas of the city, Public Works invites members of diverse communities to participate in theater workshops, attend classes and productions, and become involved in the daily life of The Public.

Under deBessonet’s leadership, Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is by and of the people. For her Meadows Prize project, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native will spearhead a new co-production between the Meadows School and the Dallas Theater Center of The Tempest, to be developed for spring 2017.

Lear’s first visit to Dallas will be in spring 2015. This co-production marks a new form and scale for a Meadows Prize project and will engage hundreds of volunteers, community partners from across Dallas, and the institutional collaboration and alignment between SMU, The Public Theater and the Dallas Theater Center.

> The New York Times: Lear deBessonet Puts Her Stamp on The Winter’s Tale

“We’re very excited to welcome Complex Movements and Lear deBessonet to the Meadows School as our sixth-year recipients of the Meadows Prize,” said Meadows Dean Sam Holland. “Both help us advance important elements of the vision for the Meadows School – to allow our students to interact with artists at the top of their fields and to integrate the Meadows School more deeply into our community.”

Inaugurated in October 2009, the Meadows Prize is presented annually to up to two pioneering artists. It includes support for a residency in Dallas, in addition to a $25,000 stipend. In return, recipients are expected to interact in a substantive way with Meadows students and collaborating arts organizations, and to leave a lasting legacy in Dallas, such as a work of art that remains in the community, a composition or piece of dramatic writing that would be performed locally, or a new way of teaching in a particular discipline.

> Read the full story from the Meadows School of the Arts website

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Cox MBA Finance Program ranked in top 10 globally for 2015

The SMU Cox School of Business graduate finance program is ranked No. 10 in the newly released Financial Times Global MBA 2015 rankings.

Cox is the only business school in Texas to make it into the publication’s specialty rankings this year. The publication bases its top 10 finance program and other specialty findings on feedback provided by MBA alumni three years after graduation.

Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University“We are very encouraged that our alumni highly rank the Cox experience three years after graduation,” said Kumar Venkataraman, Finance Department chair and James M. Collins Chair in Finance. “It is a testament to the rigorous, applied finance curriculum that helps solve real world problems.”

For the 2015 rankings, the publication surveyed Class of 2011 alumni from 159 schools in the spring and summer of 2014. At least 20 percent of each school’s alumni were required to respond, with at least 20 fully completed responses, in order for a school to be ranked. The Financial Times reports it had an overall response rate of 40 percent for the 2015 rankings survey.

In addition to gathering input for its specialty rankings, the Financial Times weighs alumni feedback with data submitted by business schools to evaluate full-time MBA programs from around the world. Since the 2013 rankings, the SMU Cox Full-Time MBA program rose 22 places in this year’s survey, coming in at No. 39 among business schools in the United States and No. 76 globally out of 159 schools that submitted data.

The Financial Times, based in London, is a leading news provider to the global business community. The paper’s business education team conducts Global MBA and Global Executive MBA (EMBA) rankings surveys annually. In the Financial Times’ EMBA rankings released in October 2014, the SMU Cox EMBA program ranked No. 15 among business schools in the U.S. and No. 63 among global business schools.

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SMUSA loves Seuss: 2015 Valentine’s Day Luncheon celebrates the good Doctor on Friday, Feb. 13

SMUSA Seuss Valentine luncheonThe SMU Staff Association will share its love for all things Seuss at its annual Valentine’s Day Luncheon. The event takes place noon-1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center.

The event also celebrates the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. In honor of the beloved children’s author, SMUSA urges attendees to bring a new children’s book for donation to a DISD elementary school library.

Lunch tickets are $15 per person and may be reserved online with and without an electronic payment.

> Buy a ticket for the SMUSA Valentine’s Luncheon with a credit card

> RSVP for all others

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