Paul Phillips to serve as guest conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra March 20-22, 2014

Meadows Symphony Orchestra conductor Paul PhillipsMeadows Symphony Orchestra conductor Paul Phillips ’74 will step in for Dallas Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jaap van Zweden and serve as guest conductor of the DSO on March 20, 21 and 22.

Under Phillips’ baton, the DSO and guest pianist Anna Fedorova will perform the stirring Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2; Shostakovich’s Five Fragments; and Aaron Copland’s Third Symphony.

Tickets are available online for the March 20, 21 and 22 DSO performances with Paul Phillips as guest conductor. For more information, call 214-692-0203.

> Find the event at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra homepage

Phillips, the Martha Raley Peak Endowed Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Music, was originally scheduled to conduct the MSO on Wednesday, March 19 in Caruth Auditorium. Instead, he will be at the Meyerson Symphony Center rehearsing with the DSO. Taking Phillips’ place on the Meadows conductor platform that night will be Michelle Merrill, a former student of Phillips’ who was the only American among the four winners of the 2012 International Conductors Workshop and Competition. She has conducted such orchestras as the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Round Rock Symphony and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic.

With guest cellist Christopher Adkins (a Meadows faculty member and principal cellist for the DSO), the MSO will present Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, a Hebraic rhapsody exploring the lamentations and trials of King Solomon. The ensemble will also perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, a piece originally composed in 1936 but not performed publicly until 1961 due to threat of repercussion by Stalin, who denounced Shostakovich as a creator of “chaos instead of music.” The concert takes place at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center.

Tickets are available online for the Meadows Symphony Orchestra performance and cost $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information, call the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

> Read the full story from SMU News

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SMU mourns death of Law Professor Sarah McQuillen-Tran

Sarah McQuillen-TranSarah McQuillen-Tran didn’t let a second battle with leukemia keep her from her class in property law. During Fall 2012 mid-terms, she taught 80 first-year SMU law students via Skype from her hospital bed in Baylor University Medical Center.

The University community is invited to a service celebrating her life at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 15, 2014 at Highland Park United Methodist Church. A potluck lunch will follow the service.

Tran, an assistant professor in SMU’s Dedman School of Law, died Friday, Feb. 28 at the age of 34. The family requests that memorials be made to the Tran Children Development Fund.

> Texas Lawyer: SMU property law professor teaches from hospital bed

Born in Leidschedam, Holland, Sarah went to school in England and Saudi Arabia, and attended high school in the United States and Philippines. After graduating from high school, she spent a year volunteering in the Philippines, India and Nepal before matriculating at the University of California-Berkeley. After graduating from Berkeley with a degree in civil engineering, she and her college sweetheart, Thuan Tran, joined the Peace Corps and served in Guinea, West Africa. They were married in Oakland, California in 2004.

After graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, Tran clerked for The Hon. Timothy Belcher Dyk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She also worked for the Energy Group at the Jones Day law firm.

Tran joined the SMU law faculty in January 2011 as an assistant professor specializing in intellectual property and regulatory and environmental law. A nationally recognized legal scholar, she published articles in several leading U.S. law journals. During the 2012-13 academic year, she served as a Fellow in SMU’s Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute.

Sarah is survived by her husband, Thuan, and their two children, FarrahSophia and Jimi Owen; her mother, Jacqueline Conci, and husband Michael Conci, of Auburn, California; and her father, Roland McQuillen, and wife Gabrielle Kelly-McQuillen, of Ireland. She is also survived by her brother Paul and his partner, Heather; her brother Mark; and her sister, Kathy, and husband Mo and their daughter.

> Read more from the SMU Dedman School of Law website

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SMU Dean José Bowen named president of Goucher College

Jose Bowen

José Antonio Bowen, dean of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts for the past eight years, will become president of Goucher College in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, Maryland, on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.

Following a nationwide search, the trustees of Goucher announced on Tuesday, March 12 that Bowen will be their university’s 11th president, succeeding Sanford J. Ungar, who is stepping down. Goucher is a private, coed liberal arts college with approximately 1,500 undergraduates.

“We deeply appreciate the leadership of José Bowen as dean of Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. He has demonstrated outstanding leadership in developing innovative programs to support teaching, advance research and make an arts education an avenue for greater community impact and career opportunities beyond the traditional pathways of success,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He has worked collaboratively to expand interdisciplinary programs not only within the Meadows School, but also in cooperation with the other six schools of the University. With his broad background and perspectives in the arts, humanities and sciences, he is an ideal choice to lead Goucher College as president.”

Bowen joined the Meadows School as dean in July 2006 after serving as dean of the School of Fine Arts and professor of music at Miami University in Ohio.

Under his leadership, the Meadows School has established the National Center for Arts Research, a first-of-its-kind center that analyzes the largest database of arts research ever assembled and makes its findings available to arts leaders, researchers and the general public; the Meadows Scholars program, which enables Meadows to offer scholarships that attract the most talented and academically successful students in the arts and communications nationwide; and the Meadows Prize, an arts residency awarded to up to two pioneering artists and scholars each year who are active in a discipline represented by one of the academic units within the Meadows School.

The school also has recruited top international faculty – such as former Yale School of Drama dean Stan Wojewodski as chair of theatre; Metropolitan Opera star Clifton Forbis as director of voice; and award-winning Artists-in-Residence Will Power (theatre) and Matt Albert (chamber music). The Meadows School has launched under Bowen’s leadership new curriculum in emerging fields such as arts entrepreneurship, art and urbanism, fashion media and creative computation, as well as a new Ph.D. in art history.

“It is no surprise that Jose Bowen’s creative, academic and administrative achievements have moved him into the top ranks of educational leadership,” said Paul Ludden, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He has strengthened important relationships with funding organizations, individual donors, and new community partners. He has become a national figure in the conversation about teaching methodologies and faculty-student interactions. He leaves us well positioned to attract another outstanding dean. We will miss Jose and his wife, Kimberly, but wish them the best of success at Goucher College.”

> Read more from SMU News

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SMU’s Dedman School of Law rises in 2015 U.S. News rankings

SMU Law QuadSMU’s Dedman School of Law rose in the ranks of both the nation’s top law schools and best part-time J.D. programs in the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, which was published online on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

Among 194 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association, the Dedman School of Law ranks 42nd, an increase of six points from last year’s ranking of 48th. The ranking again places Dedman Law in the first tier of law schools in the guide’s “best schools of law” category. In Texas, SMU is one of only two law schools in the first tier.

> Visit U.S. News’ rankings online at usnews.com/grad

Among 83 part-time J.D. programs, Dedman Law ranks 7th, an increase of 8 points from last year’s ranking of 15th.

Recently, The National Law Journal ranked Dedman Law 26th among law schools based on the percentage of 2013 graduates placed in NLJ 250 firms – the nation’s largest firms.

“SMU Dedman School of Law continues to provide a legal education of the highest quality,” said SMU Dedman School of Law Dean ad interim Julie Forrester.  “I would like to recognize the efforts of our career services staff for the tremendous job they do in helping our students find excellent employment opportunities and the efforts of our admissions staff for continuing to enroll outstanding students.”

> Read more from SMU News

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Spring forward: Daylight Saving Time 2014 begins Sunday, March 9

Stock photo of a clock face with hands approaching 12U.S. Daylight Saving Time is here again: The time shift begins this Sunday, March 9, 2014, at 2 a.m. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour, and check your computer and other electronic devices to be sure they’re displaying the correct time.

Get computer help from the Office of Information Technology

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Seven SMU students to attend 2014 Clinton Global Initiative University annual meeting March 21-23

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoSeven SMU students will share their research, goals and commitment to global issues during the 7th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at Arizona State University in Phoenix March 21-23, 2014.

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will host the CGI U gathering. The 2014 agenda was announced earlier this year.

The event will bring together more than 1,000 college students with innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to address challenges facing their campuses and communities in areas such as 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 work:

  • Rahfin Faruk is expanding Green Riba, an e-commerce and traditional microfinance storefront, to connect West Dallas and SMU-based artists to larger, national markets.
  • Adam Goff and Thomas Schmedding – through their microfinance loan project, PropeLend Economic Empowerment Ventures – will harness public support for economic development by empowering impoverished residents of developing nations to seek loans for entrepreneurship.
  • Jonathan Hess will start Veterans Day Nonprofit, whose purpose is to hold an annual Veterans Day celebration in Dallas to mark their contribution to the Dallas community, raise funds for veterans’ initiatives, and inform the community about Veterans Day and contemporary veterans’ issues.
  • Asia Rodgers will use art therapy to help victims of human trafficking gain confidence in themselves. She will provide access to art classes and events where victims will be able to showcase their creative work.
  • Trisha St. Fleur will partner with Projects Abroad to establish an interactive health education program and to allocate resources geared to women in Ghana.
  • Ashley Wali is completing the last stage of her research on what she has named The Nari Project. She will evaluate the psychological and physiological effects of the crisis kits that she provided to battered women in Dallas, Texas and Comilla, Bangladesh. She will also use her findings to conduct seminars that spread awareness about domestic violence.

Four other SMU students were approved but are not attending in 2014:

  • Joshua Bakarich
  • Joseph DiMarco
  • Daisuke Takeda
  • William Timmerman Wooten

SMU Forum: SMU joins the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

As a member of the CGI University Network of more than 50 colleges and universities that support and mentor Commitments to Action, SMU pledged $10,000 towards student projects as well as travel to the annual meeting.

Find a complete schedule at the Clinton Global Initiative University homepage

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SMU Meadows and Dallas Chamber Symphony host international piano competition, March 12-15, 2014

Dallas Chamber Symphony logoEighteen young pianists from around the globe will come to Dallas March 12-15, 2014, to participate in the second annual Dallas Chamber Symphony International Piano Competition. The event, a community partnership between the Dallas Chamber Symphony and SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, will be hosted in SMU’s Owen Arts Center.

The event will consist of three rounds of competition before a distinguished international jury panel, as well as master classes and private lessons from renowned SMU faculty. Twelve pianists have been selected for the master classes taught by Joaquín Achúcarro, professor of piano and Joel Estes Tate Chair, and Carol Leone, associate professor and co-chair of the keyboard department.

The first place winner will receive $1,500 and will perform his or her winning concerto with the Dallas Chamber Symphony this fall at Dallas City Performance Hall. Second and third place winners receive $1,000 and $500, respectively.

Stock photo of a grand pianoThe pianists chosen by audition for the quarter-finals are from China, Cuba, Russia, South Korea, Thailand and the U.S.  Two are SMU Meadows graduate students: Lizhen Wu (China) and Dario Martin (Cuba), both of whom are studying with Achúcarro.

All of the finalists are professional or pre-professional pianists under age 25, and most have won multiple competitions in their home countries and elsewhere.

The international panel of judges includes South African native Petronel Malan, a concert and recording artist, Grammy nominee and winner of multiple gold medals at international piano competitions; Roger Lord, first prize winner of the major Canadian competitions, international performer and currently professor of piano at the Université de Moncton in Canada; and Deniz Gelenbe, a native of Turkey, hailed by critics in France as one of the world’s best chamber musicians, an international master instructor and adjudicator, and currently head of piano and organ at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.

All competition rounds and master classes are open to the public; admission is free, but tickets must be reserved in advance.

> Read the full story from SMU News

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SMU Lyle to offer first-of-its-kind graduate degree in datacenter systems engineering

Stock photo of an engineer in a datacenter's server farmSMU’s Lyle School of Engineering has created a new Master of Science in datacenter systems engineering, the first of its kind in the United States. The first students in this multidisciplinary program will be admitted for the Fall 2014 term.

The program is open to full-time and part-time graduate students, and is available on the Dallas campus as well as through the Lyle School’s distance education program. Enrollment is expected from current professionals in industry and government, as well as undergraduates in engineering, science, mathematics and business preparing to enter the field for the first time.

At least four million workers currently are associated with datacenter operations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and the number is expected to increase by 800,000 in 2016, and by an additional 2 million by 2018.  Approximately 70 percent of these workers will have Bachelor’s degrees or higher.

“Our society has become intimately linked to a variety of digital networks including social media, search engines, e-commerce, gaming and big data,” said Lyle Dean Marc Christensen. “Data center design is a fascinating challenge due to the millions of dollars lost per second of outage. The proper management and design of these datacenters require a diverse combination of highly specialized skills, and SMU Lyle is uniquely positioned to offer a degree that will connect all the needed technical disciplines.”

The new degree is built around five core courses that address the industry broadly, while offering elective specializations in three technical areas:

  • Facilities, infrastructure and subsystems
  • Datasystems engineering and analytics
  • Computer networks, virtualization, security and cloud computing

The program is directed toward preparing professionals for a leadership role in the field, whether specifically as a technical contributor or more broadly in management. The degree is designed to build a solid foundation for continued professional growth consistent with modern datacenter engineering practices and the changes that lie ahead for the industry.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

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Pamela Patton wins 2014 Eleanor Tufts Book Award

Pamela Patton, Chair, Division of Art History, SMU Meadows School of the ArtsPamela Patton, associate professor and chair of art history SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, has won the 2014 Eleanor Tufts Book Award from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies. Her 2013 book, Art of Estrangement: Redefining Jews in Reconquest Spain, was the unanimous choice for the national honor.

The Tufts Award was established in memory of noted Spanish art expert Eleanor Tufts, who taught at SMU from 1974 until her passing in 1991. The award honors a distinguished book, written in English, on the history of art or architecture in Iberia.

Book cover, 'Art of Estrangement: Redefining Jews in Reconquest Spain' by Pamela PattonThe judging committee wrote, “Patton’s engaging text examines the varied meanings of representations of Jews in the visual culture of the Reconquista. Original in its conception and compelling in its arguments, this book traces the ways in which the image of Spain’s Jews as ‘the other’ was transfigured by the cultural, political and religious agendas of its Christian rulers.… This publication met and surpassed the stipulated award criteria of ‘originality of conception, thoroughness of research, rigor of argument, brilliance of insight, significance of findings, and clarity of expression.’

“In sum, the book’s broad scope of inquiry and sophisticated interdisciplinary approach that draws on history, religion, and cultural studies make a significant and original contribution to the study of medieval Spanish art and Iberian studies as a whole. Its lucid and elegant prose made it a pleasure to read.”

Patton said she was greatly honored by the award, especially because she has a personal connection to Eleanor Tufts. “Just before she passed away, she was part of the committee that brought me to SMU as a Haakon Pre-Doctoral Fellow,” said Patton. “When I was subsequently hired as faculty, I took on several of her courses. So it’s a lovely bit of karma for me.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

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SMU’s 2014 Staff Recognition Ceremony is Thursday, March 6

SMU Staff Recognition Ceremony 2014 invitationThe SMU Staff Association presents its 13th annual Staff Association Assembly and Recognition Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 6, 2014 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. A reception precedes the event at 10 a.m.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will give his annual State of SMU speech, as well as the ceremony’s keynote address.

Winners of the 2014 Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award and Presidential Recognition Awards will be honored during the event. The event also honors staff members who are celebrating their 25th anniversary with the University.

>  Learn more at the Staff Association homepage

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