Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

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

2015-12-18T16:48:58+00:00 December 18, 2015|For the Record, News|

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

2015-11-11T15:19:24+00:00 November 11, 2015|Faculty in the News, News, Research|

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
2015-05-13T14:53:45+00:00 May 13, 2015|For the Record, News|

Twelve SMU professors receive emeritus status in 2014-15

Twelve distinguished faculty members with 440 years of combined service to SMU will retire with emeritus status as the 2014-15 academic year ends. The professors, and their dates of service:

Christine Buchanan, Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1977-2015

Bradley Kent Carter, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1970-2015

Anthony Cortese, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1989-2015

Gail Daly, Professor Emerita of Law, Dedman School of Law, 1990-2015

Deborah Diffily, Professor Emerita of Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, 2000-2015

 Richard Haberman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1978-2015

 James K. Hopkins, Professor Emeritus of History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1974-2015

 Roger Kerin, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Cox School of Business, 1973-2015

 Larry Palmer, Professor Emeritus of Music, Meadows School of the Arts, 1970-2015

 John Ubelaker, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1968-2015

 Ben Wallace, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1969-2015

 P. Gregory Warden, Professor Emeritus of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, 1982-2015

2015-05-20T17:12:24+00:00 May 12, 2015|For the Record, News|

SMU hosts 2015 Honorary Degree Symposia Friday, May 15

Three international leaders who will receive honorary degrees at SMU’s 100th May Commencement will participate in symposia on the main campus Friday, May 15. All symposia are free and open to the public.

The symposia will feature 2015 honorees Meave Leakey, a renowned anthropologist whose research in Africa has revealed important clues to humans’ earliest ancestors; Irene Hirano Inouye, who helped build the Japanese American National Museum and is founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council; and Helen LaKelly Hunt, a donor-activist, author and SMU alumna whose life focus has been to empower women and educate people about the value of healthy, intimate relationships. All three will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16.

> The history of honorary degrees at SMU, including honorees by name, year and degree

Meave Leakey

“Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley:
A Symposium Honoring Meave Leakey”
Friday, May 15, 2-4 p.m.
McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall

Leakey, one of the world’s most distinguished paleoanthropologists, is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya, director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi, and research professor in anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York. In 2002 she was named a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Leakey is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London.

David Pilbeam, curator of paleontology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, will moderate the symposium.

Leakey will speak on “Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley.” Also presenting will be Frank Brown, dean and distinguished professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah, who will speak on “Time and the Physical Framework in the Turkana Basin, Kenya;” and Kay Behrensmeyer, curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, who will speak on “Faunal Context of Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley.” Thure Cerling, Distinguished Professor of Geology and Geophysics and Biology at the University of Utah, will speak on “Floral Context of Human Evolution – as Represented by Geochemical Signatures;” and Bonnie Jacobs, professor of earth sciences in SMU’s Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, will speak on “Floral Context of Human Evolution – as Represented by Plant Fossils.”

Irene Hirano Inouye

“Celebrating the American Experience and U.S.-Japan Relations:
Irene Hirano Inouye, Her Life, Works and Achievements”
Friday, May 15
Reception, 3-3:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion and Remarks, 3:30-5 p.m.
Hillcrest Appellate Courtroom and Classroom, Underwood Law Library 

Inouye is a leader in international relations who, while still in her 20s, began tailoring her career toward service as director of a Los Angeles medical clinic providing affordable care for poor and uninsured women. She helped build the Japanese American National Museum, which opened in 1992, and became the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council in 2008.

Panel participants are Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, U.S. Navy (ret.), Tower Center senior fellow and former commander of the Pacific Fleet; Anny Wong, research fellow in the Tower Center and a member of the board of the Japan-America Society of Dallas-Fort Worth; and moderator Hiroki Takeuchi, associate professor and director of the Tower Center’s Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia. Inouye will deliver closing remarks and will be available for questions.

The symposium is free, but registration is required; email the Tower Center to RSVP. More information is available at the Tower Center website.

Helen LaKelly Hunt

“A Revolutionary Approach to Conflict Resolution:
A Symposium Honoring Helen LaKelly Hunt”
Friday, May 15
Panel presentation 10:30 a.m.-noon, Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum
Lunch and remarks, noon-1:30 p.m., Jones Room, Meadows Museum 

Hunt is a donor-activist, author and SMU alumna who has been recognized for both her work for healthy marriages and family and her efforts in helping to build the global women’s funding movement. She is the founder of The Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports women’s social, political, economic and spiritual empowerment. Hunt has helped establish several other organizations, including Dallas Women’s Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions. Her books include Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance, as well as seven books on intimate relationships and parenting co-authored with her husband, Harville Hendrix.

Hunt and Hendrix will discuss the new science of relationships with panelists David Chard, dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentRita Kirk, director of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public ResponsibilityLorelei Simpson Rowe, associate professor and graduate program co-director in SMU’s Department of Psychology and an expert in couples relationships; and Michelle Kinder, executive director of the Momentous Institute.

Please RSVP for the lunch to Family Wellness Dallas.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Learn more about SMU’s Commencement ceremonies, events and traditions at smu.edu/commencement

2015-05-14T14:36:22+00:00 May 1, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|
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