For the Record: April 28, 2014

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, participated in the 2014 Pacific Sociological Association annual meetings in Portland, Oregon, serving as moderator and discussant for two sessions on the sociology of religion: “Secularization of Society” and “Research-in-Progress.”

 

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SMU names three honorary degree recipients for 2014

Three outstanding individuals, including a current and a former SMU professor, will receive honorary degrees at the University’s 99th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 17, in Moody Coliseum.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson and Methodist historian Richard P. Heitzenrater will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. SMU law professor Joseph W. McKnight will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Each of the honorary degree recipients will be featured in symposia scheduled for Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16. All are free and open to the public.

SMU expects to award more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to students at May Commencement.

“Conferring honorary degrees is an important and time-honored Commencement tradition,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This year’s recipients’ achievements are outstanding examples of what we hope our students will strive to accomplish when pursuing their professional endeavors.”

Journalist and author Isabel WilkersonWhile writing for The New York Times, Wilkerson became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism and the first African-American, male or female, to win the Pulitzer for individual reporting. Her award-winning book, The Warmth of Other Suns, is a definitive history of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to urban centers in the North and West. For her achievements as a journalist and contributions to understanding of the African-American experience, SMU will confer upon Wilkerson the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Methodist historian and theologian Richard P. HeitzenraterHeitzenrater is recognized as the world’s leading authority on John Wesley and early Methodism. His book,Wesley and the People Called Methodists, has been translated into seven languages. He served on the faculty of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology for 16 years and in 2010 retired from the faculty of Duke University Divinity School. He is best known for breaking the secret code of Wesley’s personal diaries, making them available to the world. For his scholarly achievements and his service to SMU, the University will confer upon Heitzenrater the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

SMU Law Professor Joseph W. McKnightMcKnight has made historic contributions to scholarship in legal history and to law reform in Texas. He retires this year from SMU’s law faculty after serving for six decades. The author of six books, he directed the Texas Family Code project, which achieved important reforms, and was principal drafter of the Texas Matrimonial Property Act, recognizing property rights of married women. For his dedicated service to SMU, his distinguished scholarship and his leadership in the legal community, the University will confer upon McKnight the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

The honorary degree symposia

• McKnight will be featured in a symposium from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, May 15, in the Underwood Law Library. “A Celebration of Joseph Webb McKnight, his Contributions to Texas Law, to Legal History, and to the SMU Dedman School of Law” will include speakers Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht; Chief Justice for the Fifth District Court of Appeals Linda B. ThomasJosiah M. Daniel, III, Esq., of the law firm of Vinson & Elkins; Professor Joshua C. Tate of the SMU Dedman School of Law; and Peter Winship, the James Cleo Thompson, Sr. Professor of Law in the Dedman School of Law. Dedman Law Interim Dean Julie Forrester will serve as emcee for the event.

• Wilkerson will participate in a symposium from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Friday, May 16, in the Pavilion of Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall. The symposium, “Literature for Real: Journalism, the American Canon, and the Evolving American South,” will include keynote speaker Farah Jasmine Griffin, professor of English/Comparative Literature/African American Studies, Columbia University, and author of Who Set You Flowin’? and Harlem Nocturne. A discussion will include remarks from Wilkerson and feature panelists Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly and author of The Beautiful StruggleBrittney Cooper, assistant professor of women’s and gender and Africana studies, Rutgers University, and columnist for Salon.com; Daina Ramey Berry, associate professor of history, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is RipeWalton Muyumba, associate professor of English at the University of North Texas and author of The Shadow and the Act: Black Intellectual Practice, Jazz Improvisation, and Philosophical Pragmatism; and moderator Karen Thomas, SMU professor of practice in journalism and Dallas Morning News writer.

• Heitzenrater will be featured in a symposium at 3 p.m., Friday, May 16, in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. The symposium, “Grace Works: Reflections on Divine Grace, Human Works, and John Wesley – Celebrating the Scholarly Contributions of Richard P. Heitzenrater,” will include remarks by SMU Perkins School of Theology Dean William B. Lawrence and will feature panelists Ted A. Campbell, associate professor of Church History, Perkins School of Theology, and an ordained United Methodist minister and clergy member of the Texas Annual Conference; Sharon Grant, adjunct faculty in the Religion and Philosophy Department at University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, and an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; Tamara Lewis, instructor in Church History, Perkins School of Theology, and an ordained United Methodist minister and clergy member of the Tennessee Annual Conference; and Andrew C. Thompson, assistant professor of Historical Theology & Wesleyan Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary and an ordained United Methodist minister and clergy member of the Arkansas Annual Conference. Heitzenrater will bring a response to the panel. In addition, an exhibition honoring Heitzenrater will be featured in the Entry Hall of Bridwell Library.

> Read the full story from SMU News

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Meadows Theatre presents three spring plays in ‘The Rep’ April 22-May 4, 2014

sasha-davis-susana-batres-marisol-the-rep-spring-2014

Sasha Davis (B.F.A. ’16) and Susana Batres (M.F.A. ’14) in Marisol by José Rivera – one of three plays to be performed in repertory rotation by SMU Meadows Theatre in April and May 2014.

In a nod to repertory theatre, SMU Meadows Theatre will present three contemporary American plays – produced, directed and acted by students – on a two-week rotation from Tuesday, April 22 to Sunday, May 4, 2014.

The program, collectively called The Rep, will include the following individual productions. All will be performed in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center, and tickets are $5 for students and $7 for SMU faculty and staff. Visit the link at each play’s name to buy tickets online through Vendini:

This, Melissa James Gibson

• The first production follows four friends in their late 30s as they experience love, loss, remorse and doubt. The confusion of the characters is executed with “wit and melancholy comedy” to create a play that explores middle age.

Middletown, Will Eno

• Play number two was inspired by Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. The inhabitants of Middletown are extremely candid with their deepest fears and secrets. The thought-provoking script examines the anxieties we face through vignettes exploring the beauty and horror of life.

Marisol, José Rivera

• The final play follows Marisol, living in New York City, and how a subway attack changes the course of her life. The work explores a parallel universe where social injustices are brought to light through a world revolution.

The schedule of performances:

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 12.09.24 PM

Find complete cast and crew lists under the link.

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SMU hails outstanding achievement at 2013-14 Awards Extravaganza, Honors Convocation

2013 laurelsSMU faculty, staff, administrators and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation, the “M” Award, at the 2014 Awards Extravaganza Monday, April 21.

> See images from Honors Convocation 2014 at SMU News

On the same day, the University honored its best students at the 17th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Eric Bing, 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.

Bing, who holds a concurrent appointment with the George W. Bush Institute as senior fellow and director of global health, 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.

Find a list of University, school and departmental awards from Honors Convocation 2014

See the Awards Extravaganza 2014 winners list under the link.

Continue reading

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SMU OIT issues advice on Heartbleed bug

Heartbleed graphicThe Heartbleed bug made big news in mid-April 2014 as an online security vulnerability with potentially devastating consequences.

SMU’s Office of Information Technology has issued advice on protecting yourself against Heartbleed, detailed in this e-mail message dated Wednesday, April 16, 2014:

By now you’ve probably heard about the internet bug known as Heartbleed. This security vulnerability has impacted a large number of online sites potentially exposing password information. OIT has been diligent in assessing and addressing SMU provided services as soon as the software patches were released.

Due to the potential risk that existed with this vulnerability, we are encouraging the campus community to take the following steps to ensure the protection of their accounts and data:

  1. Reset your SMU password by visiting smu.edu/password. If you know your current SMU password, click on CHANGE. If you do not know your password, click Reset. Once you have set a new password, update any mobile devices that may also be configured for email or wireless access using that account.
  2. Apple iOS devices: If you previously installed the Cisco AnyConnect client on your Apple iPad or iPhone, please visit the app store and download the latest version of the client. The previous version was impacted by this security flaw. Several other applications that you may have downloaded from the app store are releasing updates to address this flaw. We recommended applying these updates as well.
  3. Android devices: Please check the software version that your device is running. If it is on version 4.1.1, it is vulnerable. Check for updates to the OS which will be released by your cell phone vendor. Several other applications that you may have downloaded from the Playstore are releasing updates to address this flaw. We recommended applying these updates as well.
  4. External sites: The following external sites have recommended a password change: Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Etsy, Fandango, Android/Google apps, Hulu, Instagram, Pinterest, Steam, Stripe, TurboTax, Tumblr, Prezi, and Yahoo. This is not a comprehensive list! Please check with each website on which you currently have an account to review their recommendations.
  5. Be on guard against phishing attempts! With so many sites encouraging users to change their passwords, we anticipate an increase in phishing emails. Please visit the websites directly to access any password reset utilities rather than clicking on links in an e-mail.

Password Security Tips

Although it is inconvenient to change all of your online passwords, we strongly encourage you to do so to protect your information. The following are a few password tips to remember as you update your accounts:

  • Do not use personal information in your passwords such as birthdate, zip code, name, pet names, etc.
  • Do not use the same password for all of your accounts.
  • Select a strong password using capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Select a password that is easy to remember (so you don’t have to write it down) but make sure it is difficult for anyone else to guess!

> Get help and find more information at smu.edu/oit

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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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