Junior Rahfin Faruk receives 2014 Truman Scholarship

SMU junior Rahfin Faruk, 2014 Truman Scholar

SMU junior Rahfin Faruk has been named a 2014 Truman Scholar. The prestigious and highly competitive national scholarship recognizes college students who are “change agents,” with outstanding leadership potential and a commitment to public service careers.

Faruk was one of 59 students, mostly college juniors, from 52 U.S. colleges and universities selected to receive the award, which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study. He is the 14th Truman Scholar at SMU since the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975. He was one of 655 candidates nominated by 293 colleges and universities for one of academia’s most sought-after awards.

Two other SMU juniors also were selected as finalists for the Truman Scholarship: Prithvi Rudrappa, a Dedman College Scholar majoring in biochemistry in Dedman College and finance in Cox School of Business, with a minor in Spanish; and Fantine Giap, a President’s Scholar majoring in biological sciences and minoring in mathematics and psychology in Dedman College.

Faruk, of Richardson, Texas, is an SMU President’s Scholar majoring in economics, political science, public policy and religious studies, with a minor in mathematics, in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He plans to pursue an MBA and a master’s in public policy to work in the social enterprise sector.

“It’s fitting that the Truman Scholarship Foundation honored Rahfin Faruk as a change agent,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden. “Rahfin not only has excelled academically, but he also has applied his knowledge and research skills to important issues facing the North Texas and global community. With his record of servant leadership on campus and in the community, Rahfin is an SMU world changer with big ideas who no doubt will make a significant contribution as a Truman Scholar.”

“As someone who wants to break down sectoral boundaries, I was attracted to the societal impact I could have as a Truman Scholar,” Faruk says. “Truman Scholars are everywhere – in a wide array of sectors and functions – and they are working to serve humanity in better ways.”

In his graduate studies, Faruk intends to focus on improving financial inclusion, the financial system that gives the poor and marginalized access to credit, savings and insurance services. At SMU, Faruk founded a microfinance initiative called Green Riba, which provides zero-interest loans to low-income entrepreneurs in West Dallas. He twice was awarded grants for his organization through Big iDeas at SMU, an undergraduate research program.

“Services many take for granted — a savings account, free check cashing and ATM access — cost the poor disproportionately more money,” Faruk says. “Through my work with my microfinance organization, I came to realize that financial inclusion should have a bigger seat at the political table because it is interconnected to so many other aspects of life, such as health care, education and upward mobility.”

Written by Sarah Hanan

> Read the full story from SMU News

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New SMU ID cards represent new approach to campus security

Designs for new SMU ID cards 2014For the first time in nearly a decade, SMU will issue a new form of ID card for campus access – and users have the option to choose their own best look for the new-look identification.

Students, faculty and staff members may visit IDCard.smu.edu to upload the passport-style photo of their choice – headshot, face forward, solid background – for the new, high-tech ID cards that will be issued during the summer. The deadline for submitting a new photo is Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

If you’re happy with your current photo, you may keep it. Your new ID card will be issued automatically.

The cosmetic changes are being driven by a new approach to building security, says Alison Tweedy, senior director, Campus Services. The University plans to equip campus buildings with proximity readers that activate with a wave or a tap rather than a swipe from an ID card. The new SMU data center and Residential Commons buildings, as well as the renovated Moody Coliseum, already have these readers or will install them before opening.

“That means we have to get the right kind of card into people’s hands,” Tweedy says. The new IDs are equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips about the size of a grain of rice, similar to those used in U.S. passports since 2007. The cards remain the same size and thickness as their non-RFID-equipped counterparts and will still fit into a standard-size card wallet, Tweedy says. “They will also be much more difficult to duplicate than in the past,” she adds.

Additionally, the new IDs will have public safety information printed on the back and distinctive new designs that instantly differentiate student cards from faculty/staff cards. “The new look is really exciting, and it’s a great opportunity for SMU to get its brand out there,” Tweedy says.

The cards will no longer have printed bar codes, but they will still have a magnetic swipe strip for use with meal plans and Pony Express cash.

Campus Services beta-tested the system in December 2013 with ID cards issued for occupants of Moody Coliseum and the data center. “Our goal is to have the new cards in all faculty and staff hands in June,” Tweedy says. Each individual will receive an activation code with the new ID card and must activate them as they would a credit card.

AARO students will receive new cards in July; all students enrolled for the Fall 2014 term will have new cards before the start of the academic year.

More on the new ID cards and campus security features will appear in future SMU Forum posts.

> Upload your photo at IDCard.smu.edu

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SMU Summer Studies offers options in Dallas, Taos and abroad

SMU Summer Studies popsicle logoSMU Summer Studies has announced a slate of more than 400 courses for the University’s 2014 summer terms. Summer courses allows students to make progress on their degrees, change or add majors or minors, and add value to their education with smaller courses that cost less than regular-term courses.

The schedule includes:

MayTerm on the Dallas campus: MayTerm offers 27 courses May 15-30, allowing students to earn three hours of credit in fewer than three weeks. The course schedule is now onlineInitial applications are due Thursday, April 17. Students may apply for MayTerm online.

Summer on the Dallas campus: The full Summer Term runs June 2-Aug. 5; Summer I courses are June 2-July 1; Summer II courses are July 7-Aug. 5. Financial aid, campus housing and meal plans are available. SMU Summer Term course schedules and other information are online.

SMU-in-Taos: Northern New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains provide a spectacular backdrop for classes in art, archaeology, biology, business, history, marketing and more. The May Term at SMU-in-Taos is May 14-31; the June Term is June 4-July 3; the Mini June Term is June 4-21; and the August Term is Aug. 5-22. The SMU-in-Taos summer schedule is now online.

SMU Abroad:  SMU offers a number of summer learning, service and internship opportunities in locales ranging from Paris to Bali.

Written by Sarah Hanan

> More information online at smu.edu/summer

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Three cheers: SMU Honors Day 2014 is Monday, April 21

Photo from SMU Honors Convocation 2013 by Kim RitzenthalerEvery third Monday in April, SMU takes a day to celebrate the high achievements of students, faculty and staff members in two different ceremonies.

This year’s Honors Convocation and Awards Extravaganza take place on the afternoon and evening of Monday, April 21, 2014.

2014 Honors Convocation award recipients (coming soon)

Eric Bing will deliver the address during the 17th Honors Convocation – celebrating academic achievement at the University and department levels – at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Bing is professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He has a concurrent appointment with the George W. Bush Institute as senior fellow and director of global health.

Bing has developed and managed global health programs in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, including HIV prevention, care and treatment programs in Rwanda, Angola, Nigeria, Namibia, Belize and Jamaica. At the Bush Institute, he has initiated worldwide health initiatives, including serving as co-leader of the Institute’s Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership, an $85 million public-private program designed to combat cervical and breast cancer in Africa and Latin America. In addition, he has published more than 90 articles and abstracts. His book, Pharmacy on a Bicycle: Innovative Solutions in Global Health and Poverty, was released in May 2013.

Retired and current faculty will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. in the Perkins Administration Building lobby and will process together to McFarlin Auditorium. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony in the Dallas Hall Quadrangle.

Watch Honors Convocation via live streaming Monday, April 21 at smu.edu/live

Participating faculty members may RSVP online. Faculty members with questions regarding the procession can send an e-mail to ceremonies@smu.edu or call 214-768-3417.

Later, the University presents several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2014 Awards Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms. SMU Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios will speak at the event. Awards Extravaganza honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Photo from Honors Convocation 2013 by Kim Ritzenthaler

Find more information on Honors Convocation at the Registrar’s website
Learn more about the Awards Extravaganza from SMU Student Life

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SMU Libraries host 2014 CUL Cookout April 15-16

CUL Cookout 2014As part of their annual celebration of National Library Week, SMU’s Central University Libraries and Office of Information Technology will serve lunch and share information at the 7th annual CUL Cookout April 15-16, 2014.

All-beef hot dogs, veggie dogs, popcorn, cookies and other goodies are on the menu 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the west side of Fondren Library Center, while supplies last.

CUL organizes the popular annual event to spread word on how University librarians can help with projects, papers and research. The Cox Business Library and OIT will also share the latest information about their resources and services.

>  Read more about the 7th Annual Cookout at the CUL News blog

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SMU Relay for Life 2014 exceeds fund-raising goal

SMU held its 11th annual Relay For Life Saturday, April 5 from noon-midnight. The theme of this year’s event, “Fight Back on the Boulevard,” played off the University’s renowned Boulevard parties before football games. The SMU RFL board wanted the event “to reflect the culture and community of SMU,” said Event Chair Liz Blumberg.

SMU RFL kicked off at noon with a speech from SMU Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios. Despite the overcast weather, students and community members came out to the Boulevard for food, bounce houses and laps – all in the name of fundraising.

The event raised more than $152,000 for the American Cancer Society, well exceeding the goal of $145,000 set by the RFL board. Two standouts in the fundraising efforts were the SMU Kappa Alpha Theta team and SMU student Katie Schaible.

The Thetas were the #2 team for fundraising this year, collecting more than $20,000 as a team. In addition, Theta team member Paulena Johnson made the individual fundraiser leader board during the Collegiate Relay prior to the event. A senior in the SMU Theta pledge class was diagnosed with cancer during the Fall 2013 term. The entire chapter came together to support her, raise funds and bring awareness to the fight.

Katie Schaible also made the individual fundraiser leader board for the Collegiate Relay, helping to secure SMU’s top spot out of 25 college relays in the country. Schaible did more than raise over $30,000: She served as the Teams Director on the SMU RFL board for the second year in a row. “Without the learning curve that comes with stepping into a new position, I was able to improve the recruitment and development process,” she said.

Schaible truly embodies the spirit of Relay. She lost her father to melanoma cancer when she was 14 years old and, following her sister’s example at Texas A&M, she joined Relay when she came to SMU.

“Relay has served as grief counseling for me – I am overcoming my sadness and anger about cancer by fighting back against it,” she said. During her freshman year, Schaible raised around $26,000, her sophomore year $22,000 and this year $32,000. She hopes by the time she graduates that she will have raised $100,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Relay For Life hosted another successful event that brought the whole community together. With more than 1,200 participants and 56 teams registered, this is an event that puts classifications aside and brings the community together to fight back.

Photo 1: C/O SMU RFL Instagram & Photo 2: C/O SMU Theta Instagram

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Three SMU history scholars receive 2013-14 book prizes

Three SMU history scholars recently won prestigious awards for books honed during their time at the University.

“These recognitions confirm that the Clements Department of History – through its graduate program and research institute ­– continues to lead the way in producing first-rate scholarship on Texas, the American Southwest, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands,” says Andrew Graybill, associate professor and director of SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

Raul CoronadoRaúl Coronado’s book A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture (Harvard University Press, 2013) won the Texas State Historical Association’s Kate Broocks Bates Award for Best Historical Research and second prize from the Texas Institute of Letters’ Ramirez Prize for Best Scholarly Book. Coronado completed his Ph.D. in modern thought and literature in 2004 at Stanford University. He was a William P. Clements Fellow in 2009-10 and is associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of California-Berkeley.

Jason MellardJason Mellard’s Progressive Country: How the 1970s Transformed the Texan in Popular Culture (University of Texas Press, 2013) won the Texas State Historical Association’s 2013 Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize for Best Book on Texas History. He completed his Ph.D. in American studies at the University of Texas-Austin in 2009 and was a 2010-11 Clements Fellow. He is currently the assistant director at the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Alicia DeweyPh.D. graduate Alicia Dewey won the Robert A. Calvert Book Prize for the best manuscript on the history of the American South, West or Southwest submitted in 2013 to Texas A&M University Press. Her book, Pesos and Dollars: Entrepreneurs in the Texas-Mexico Borderlands, 1880-1940, is scheduled for publication in summer 2014. Dewey earned her Ph.D in history at SMU in 2007 and is currently an associate professor of history at Biola University in La Mirada, California.

Established in fall 1996, the Clements Center in SMU’s Dedman College is internationally known as an incubator for research and writing and an organizer of public programming, all related to the American Southwest.

The center annually provides post-doctoral fellowships for scholars studying the American Southwest and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, allowing them to focus on additional research and to further develop manuscripts, leading to publication by prestigious presses in cooperation with the Center.

Fellowships to emerging and senior scholars have resulted in 38 books published by 17 major university presses. Nine more Clements Center Fellows have publications forthcoming.

Written by Devean Owens ’14

> Read more from SMU News

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SMU Founders’ Day 2014 celebration to include historic faculty salute and photo

Year of the Faculty logoFull-time SMU faculty members and faculty emeriti have an opportunity to be part of a historic Centennial salute on Friday, April 11, 2014.

They are invited to join Board of Trustees Chair Caren Prothro, President and Mrs. R. Gerald Turner and Provost and Mrs. Paul Ludden for a group photo at 4:30 p.m. in Moody Coliseum. The photo will be used in the University’s official Centennial history; business attire is required. Shuttle transportation will run to Moody Coliseum beginning at 3:45 p.m.

After the photo session, full-time and emeritus faculty members are invited to participate in the Centennial Faculty Reception at 5 p.m. and the President’s Briefing and Centennial Faculty Salute at 6 p.m.

Find more information at smu.edu/rsvp/facultysalute.

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SMU celebrates Founders’ Day Weekend 2014

TEDxSMUSMU celebrates 2014 Founders’ Day Weekend April 10-13 with a new, TEDx-powered edition of its popular academic spotlight events.

Inside SMU Powered by TEDxSMU features SMU faculty members, students and alumni in TED-style talks on topics ranging from the importance of failure to the power of kindness. Registration takes places noon-1 p.m. Friday, April 11, with sessions scheduled 1-5 p.m. that afternoon.

> Find a full list of Inside SMU Powered by TEDxSMU speakers

Friday activities also include the 2014 SMU President’s Briefing and Centennial Faculty Salute, in which President R. Gerald Turner presents an insider’s view of the University’s progress.

For the day’s final event, the SMU community will  join in the beloved student tradition of Sing Song. This year’s show, “Pop Icons,” begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Saturday, April 12 is Community Day at SMU. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors can participate in special events at Meadows Museum, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and the Bush Presidential Center Native Texas Park.

> Read the full schedule of Community Day at SMU events

Designated as the third Friday in April each year, the day recognizes “the visionary institutions, organizations and individuals that founded the University on April 17, 1911,” according to the SMU 100 website.

The University marked the 100-year anniversary of its founding in 1911 and will mark the centennial of its opening in 1915 during The Second Century Celebration.

Find a complete schedule at the Founders’ Day Weekend homepage
Learn more about the SMU Centennial at the Second Century Celebration website
Relive memories of the first Founders’ Day Weekend with this SMU News video video

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SMU celebrates human rights heroes and the anniversary of its Civil Rights Pilgrimage on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jerry Mitchell and Joanne Bland

Civil rights icons Jerry Mitchell and Joanne Bland hold a conversation at SMU as part of the University’s 10th anniversary celebration of its Civil Rights Pilgrimage program. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

SMU celebrates civil and human rights at two events on Thursday, April 10 – awarding the Robert O. Cooper Peace and Justice Fellowship to a veteran of the civil rights movement and the William K. McElvaney Peace and Justice Award to an SMU student, as well as marking the 10th anniversary of the University’s annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage (CRP).

The CRP anniversary celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. The program, which is free and open to the public, will feature a conversation between civil rights activist and “Bloody Sunday” survivor Joanne Bland and Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell’s work has been instrumental in the cold-case convictions of men responsible for some of the most heinous crimes of the civil rights era, including the assassination of NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers in 1963 and the firebombing death of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer in 1966.

Earlier in the day, Bland received the Robert O. Cooper Peace and Justice Fellowship at an event hosted by SMU’s Office of the Chaplain. At the same ceremony, SMU student Melissa Maguire received the William K. McElvaney Peace and Justice Award.

Bland has been actively involved in the civil rights movement since 1961, when as an 8-year-old child she attended a voting rights meeting presided over by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. She joined other children and teenagers in the civil rights movement as a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. She was only 11 on March 7, 1965, when she was severely beaten and driven back across the Edmund Pettus Bridge by police determined to stop a group making a voting rights march from Selma to the state capital in Montgomery.

Bland is co-founder and director of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, and is well known to SMU civil rights pilgrims who meet with her as they travel across the south every spring to learn about the tragedies and triumphs of the American civil rights movement. An Army veteran, Bland has told her personal story at conferences and workshops across the country, including at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Melissa Maguire

Melissa Maguire

Melissa Maguire received the McElvaney Award for her personal commitment and leadership to the causes of human rights, human welfare and social justice. She was a student coordinator for the 2014 SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage, co-chaired the presentation of The Vagina Monologues in February by SMU’s Women’s Interest Network, and has travelled to Holocaust sites in Poland with SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program.

Maguire is an SMU senior majoring in English, Spanish and human rights with minors in women and gender studies, history and psychology. She is a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, the Women’s Interest Network and Order of Omega. Upon graduation, Maguire plans to enter the non-profit sector.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

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