Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

SMU recognizes outstanding achievement at 2015-16 Hilltop Excellence Awards, 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 2016 Hilltop Excellence Awards Monday, April 18.

> Read the list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2016

On the same day, the University honored its best students at the 19th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Fred Chang, director of SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security, the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security and professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering.

An internationally renowned expert in cyber security and former director of research of the National Security Agency, Chang is also a Senior Fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and a Distinguished Scholar in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin.

The lead inventor on two U.S. patents, Chang has twice served as an expert witness at hearings convened by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. In addition, he has served as a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency and as a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies. Most recently, Chang was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9, 2016.

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Simmons Dean David Chard named president of Wheelock College

David J. ChardDavid J. Chard, the inaugural dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, will become president of Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 1, 2016.

Following a nationwide search, Wheelock’s board of trustees announced today that Chard will be the college’s 14th president, succeeding Jackie Jenkins-Scott, who concludes her presidency at the end of the current academic year.

“Dr. Chard stood out not only for his outstanding leadership at Southern Methodist University, but for his innovative thinking, focus on diversity and inclusion, and lifelong commitment to education,” said Kate Taylor, chair of the Wheelock College Board of Trustees.  Founded in 1888, Wheelock College focuses on preparing students for careers in education, social work and child life.

“David Chard has been the ideal dean to build the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development as a national resource with a particular impact on our community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He has led programs and attracted research funding that will strengthen the quality of education through evidence-based practices. He has made the Simmons school a strategic partner with the community in improving education opportunities for under-served young people. He is a national leader in education. We wish him the best of success at Wheelock.”

Steven Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, will appoint an interim dean prior to Dean Chard’s departure from SMU. An international search for the next dean will take place during the 2016-17 academic year, with a new dean coming aboard ideally by July 1, 2017.

Chard became the school’s first endowed dean in 2007. The school was named that year with a historic $20 million gift to SMU from Harold and Annette Caldwell Simmons ’57 of Dallas. He expanded one department and several programs to five departments: Teaching and Learning, Education Policy and Leadership, Counseling and Dispute Resolution, Applied Physiology and Sport Management and Graduate Liberal Studies. The school now offers a total of 15 graduate degree programs and two undergraduate degree programs.

Under his leadership, the school has grown from 13 full-time faculty members and 42 staff members to 80 full-time faculty members and 86 full-time staff members. Research funding has increased to $36 million since 2007.

Chard oversaw the establishment of the school’s two halls and developed community outreach programs to complement the degree offerings. These include The Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education, the Center on Research and Evaluation, Research in Mathematics Education, college access programs and a family counseling center with two satellite clinics.

“As Wheelock College’s new president, David Chard will bring a new vision, fresh talent and renewed energy to the college,” said Currall. “David will deliver his bold leadership to a college specializing in educational programs that transform lives. He will motivate and guide new generations of professionals who empower others for leadership and impact. All of us at SMU congratulate David and thank him for his exemplary service. Through his leadership of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, David’s impact on SMU and Dallas has been immense and will last for many years to come.”

Known nationally as an education reformer, Chard shaped the school to attract high quality research faculty and deliver evidence-based teaching. He has advocated for Simmons research to be used within the professional fields.

Chard was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences in 2012 and elected chair. The board oversees and directs the work of the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.

He holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon and is a member of the International Academy for Research on Learning Disabilities, president of the Division for Learning Disabilities in the Council for Exceptional Children and a co-founding member of Deans for Impact. He also serves on numerous local and regional boards. Since 1993, his research has been awarded more than $11 million in federal, state or private grants. In 2015, SMU recognized Chard with the “M” Award, the University’s highest commendation.

Prior to SMU, he served as associate dean for curriculum and academic programs and assistant/associate professor of special education at the University of Oregon.

Eleven SMU professors receive 2015-16 Sam Taylor Fellowships

Eleven SMU faculty members have received 2015-16 Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund of the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The Fellowships, funded by income from a portion of Taylor’s estate, award up to $2,000 for full-time faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas. Any full-time faculty member is eligible to apply for the Fellowships, which support research, “advancing the intellectual, social or religious life of Texas and the nation.”

Applications are evaluated on the significance of the project, clarity of the proposal, professional development of the applicant, value of the project to the community or nation and the project’s sensitivity to value questions confronting higher education and society.

The winning professors for this academic year, and their projects:

• Karisa Cloward, Political Science, Dedman College, for field research on NGOs in Kenya

Anna Kim, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, for analysis of effectiveness of narrative advertising

Stephanie Langin-Hooper, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, for reproduction of museum artifacts in an upcoming article on Babylonian figurines

Karen Lupo, Anthropology, Dedman College, to collect sediment cores in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a study of the central African rainforest

Jamal Mohamed, Music, Meadows School of the Arts, for travel to Indonesia to study Gamelan music of west Java

Sid Muralidharan, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, to collect survey data to study effectiveness of environmental advertising

Alexandra Pavlakis, Education Policy and Leadership, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, for a research study in a Dallas after-school center for homeless students

Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Anthropology, Dedman College, for travel to Japan for a study on food safety after Fukushima

Hervé Tchumkam, World Languages and Literatures (French and Francophone Studies), Dedman College, for travel to research Cameroonian deaths and disappearances

Roberto Vega, Physics, Dedman College, to support collaborative research on high-energy physics

HyeJin Yoon, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, for a survey to analyze effectiveness of health public-service advertising

Research: SMU study shows intensive (and immediate) intervention is crucial in helping struggling readers succeed

SMU reading researcher Stephanie Al Otaiba

SMU reading researcher Stephanie Al Otaiba

Instructors who give struggling readers intensive and immediate help will enjoy “significantly” improved learning outcomes over those who adhere to the traditional “fail first” model, according to a new study by SMU researchers.

The study found that reading skills improve very little when schools follow current standard practice of waiting for struggling readers to fail before providing them with additional help. In contrast, a dynamic intervention in which at-risk readers received the most intensive help immediately enabled these students to significantly outperform their peers who had to wait for additional help, says the study’s lead author, SMU’s Stephanie Al Otaiba.

“We studied how well struggling readers respond to generally effective standard protocols of intervention to help them improve. We found that how those interventions are provided within a school — how immediately they are provided — makes an important difference,” says Al Otaiba, professor of teaching and learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Proficient reading is critical, and early intervention is imperative, says co-author and academic skills measurement expert Paul Yovanoff, also a professor of teaching and learning in the Simmons School. About 40 percent of U.S. children in fourth grade do not read at a proficient level, Yovanoff adds.

“We’re not talking about a small group of children,” he says. “We’re talking about a large group. And the number is higher in urban areas and higher among minority students. How can these kids grow up and participate in society as moms and dads in the economy unless they’re literate? Reading is a bottleneck for their success in school and in life.”

A wait-to-fail system can be the unintended consequence of response to intervention as it’s currently practiced in U.S. schools, the researchers say. “If you have to wait a certain time to demonstrate that you need more help, then it’s a wait-to-fail system,” Yovanoff says. “Good teaching would collect frequent information about the student’s performance and adjust help appropriately.”

The study, initiated in 2011, followed 522 first-grade public school students for three years through third grade. At the start of the study, the children were young beginning readers with the poorest initial reading skills, who were struggling and at risk for developing reading disabilities.

“We contrasted the multi-tier model with what we call a dynamic model, where we gave kids with the weakest initial skills the strongest intervention right away,” Al Otaiba says. “The kids in the dynamic system outperformed the kids who got help later.”

The researchers followed up on the students in third grade, and found that those that had received the immediate intensive intervention continued to outperform the children who had to wait, Al Otaiba says.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. The study’s co-author is Jeanne Wanzek of the Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University.

The researchers reported the findings in their article “Response to Intervention” in the European Scientific Journal.

— Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research website

31 SMU professors receive tenure, promotions effective in 2015-16

Thirty-one SMU faculty members are newly tenured as associate professors or have been promoted to full professorships to begin the 2015-16 academic year.

The following individuals received tenure or promotion effective Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015:

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Angela Ards, English
  • Greg Brownderville, English
  • Justin Fisher, Philosophy
  • Matthew Keller, Sociology
  • Matthew Lockard, Philosophy
  • Daniel Moss, English
  • Nia Parson, Anthropology
  • Christopher Roos, Anthropology
  • Stephen Sekula, Physics
  • Alicia Zuese, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Thomas Coan, Physics
  • Darryl Dickson-Carr, English
  • Robert Kehoe, Physics
  • Francisco Morán, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
  • Tony Ng, Statistical Science
  • Sherry Wang, Statistical Science

Dedman School of Law

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Jessica Dixon Weaver, Law (family law, child protection, professional responsibility)

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Anthony Colangelo, Law (conflict of laws, civil procedure, U.S. foreign relations law, private and public international law)
  • Nathan Cortez, Law (health law, administrative law, FDA law)

Lyle School of Engineering

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Joe Camp, Electrical Engineering
  • Jennifer Dworak, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Andrew Quicksall, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Recommended for tenure (associate professorship previously awarded):

  • Edmond Richer, Mechanical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Christopher Dolder, Dance

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Sean Griffin, Film and Media Arts

Perkins School of Theology

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Ted Campbell, Church History

Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Scott Davis, Applied Physiology and Wellness

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Education Policy and Leadership
  • Lynn Romejko Jacobs, Applied Physiology and Wellness
  • Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning
  • Peter Weyand, Applied Physiology and Wellness
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