awards and honors

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.

(more…)

Save the date: SMU Honors Day 2016 is Monday, April 18

Originally published Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

Honors Convocation 2015

Honors Convocation 2015. Photo credit: SMU/Hillsman S. Jackson

SMU holds its annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life during Honors Day 2016Monday, April 18.

> Watch Honors Convocation live on the web: smu.edu/live

The 19th Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the 2016 Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony (formerly the Awards Extravaganza) takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

SMU’s 2016 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Fred Chang, Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security

Fred Chang, 2016 Honors Convocation speaker

This year’s convocation speaker is 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, Chang has made a career spanning academia, the private sector and government service, including a stint as director of research of the National Security Agency. He 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.

Chang is the lead inventor on two U.S. patents and appeared in the televised National Geographic documentary Inside the NSA: America’s Cyber Secrets. He has twice served as an expert witness at hearings convened by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He has been awarded the National Security Agency Director’s Distinguished Service Medal and was the 2014 Information Security Magazine “Security 7” award winner for Education. 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 has been 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.

Find more information on Honors Convocation: smu.edu/honorsday

Retired and current faculty will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. on the third floor of McFarlin Auditorium. The faculty procession will begin at 5:30 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the Main Quad.

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 2016 Hilltop Excellence Awards at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Hilltop Excellence Awards honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

Embrey Human Rights Program selects five SMU students as Community Outreach Fellows

For the second cohort of Community Outreach Fellows (COF), the most prestigious honor the Embrey Human Rights Program (EHRP) offers, only five students were selected. This year-long program offers students the opportunity to serve the Dallas community and develop the skills necessary to make real world change.

After a competitive application process, fellows create a year-long project in conjunction with a local placement organization. They identify relevant community needs, establish feasible goals and objectives and see the project to its end, working around 200 hours over the year. Throughout this time, they receive dual mentorship from the EHRP staff and their placement organization.

The 2015 -16 Community Outreach Fellows are currently finishing up and reflecting on their projects. Here is what they have been working on:

Daryl Parker: Parker is graduating in May with a Master’s degree in human rights and social justice. He is currently working alongside the Innocence Project of Texas (IPTX), to provide free investigative services to indigent defendants in pursuit of post-conviction relief on the grounds of actual innocence. His daily work uncovers prosecutorial misconduct, law enforcement error and the negative role money plays in the criminal justice system. With only a two-person staff to handle numerous time-consuming cases, Parker’s services provide unparalleled support for IPTX. Parker had previously volunteered with the organization as part of the service requirement for Dr. Rick Halperin’s human rights course. He was intrigued by the opportunity because of his background as a former criminal investigator. Once he saw how poorly some of the cases had been handled he was committed to the cause. Since his involvement in the COF program, he has learned that “social justice work is a marathon, not a sprint and it takes a lot of people with the right priorities and resources to effect change.”

Liliana Garcia: Garcia is a junior studying international relations. She is also involved in Kappa Delta Chi sorority, inc. and College Hispanic American Students (CHAS). As a first-generation graduate from a Dallas Independent School District (DISD) school, she was inspired to create workshops to prepare students like herself for college. She knew how hard the college application process was and has since been making it easier for those who are following her. She focuses primarily on first-generation Hispanic students and encourages them to attend four-year universities. She works closely with parents and students from the North Dallas region and Roberto Corona, EHRP Community Outreach Coordinator. As a COF, Garcia has learned how to deal with challenging situations, how to find the resources she needs for her projects and how others (especially those in her cohort) are targeting the various issues in the Dallas community.

Sam Butz: Butz is a junior studying creative advertising and fashion media. She was recently awarded a local silver American Advertising Award for her work in product promotion. She is also a member of SMU’s Division I Swim Team and an Engaged Learning Fellow. She has combined her love for fashion, her interest in human rights, and her participation on a swim team that wears SMU purchased uniforms for this project. For the past year, she has researched and developed campaigns on labor rights surrounding the apparel at SMU. This idea first came to her when she was enrolled in Professor Carina Heckert‘s Health as a Human Rights class, which she signed-up for without any knowledge of or interest in the area. Her semester project was on Alta Garcia, a living-wage garment factory in the Dominican Republic. She researched and visited the factory and quickly realized that there was a void on campus surrounding garment worker’s rights. She saw the fellowship as an opportunity to incite change on campus and bring light to the issues at hand. Through her work she has learned how much time goes into research and changing existing systems and because of that, she has also learned that even a small step of progress is a success.

Sandra Ostad: Ostad is a second-year Masters in Liberal Arts student studying Human Rights and Refugees. After interning in the development department at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of Dallas, Ostad decided to apply for the Community Outreach Fellowship to continue her work with the refugee populations of Dallas. She has been working to connect the IRC with refugee communities and to expand their immigration department. A bulk of her work has been focused on developing and implementing a sustainable citizenship education program to help refugees and legal permanent residents become U.S. citizens. She is also working on building and strengthening the IRC’s relationships with community partners, religious sites and other resettlement organizations in Dallas. These partners can then work alongside the IRC to ensure that refugees know who to turn to for legal advice and assistance. Her time thus far as a fellow has been exceptionally beneficial in helping her grow intellectually and professionally.

Vanna Ngo: Ngo is a Masters students studying Human Rights and Social Justice. She is working on introducing a restorative justice program into Residence Life and Student Conduct. These measures would work alongside regular adjudication methods and be offered when a student is deemed eligible for participation in a facilitated dialogue. She has worked with the University of Michigan and University of Oregon to develop a training manual. She is now working with SMU’s Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for implementation. She has been able to learn how over 30 colleges and universities in the U.S. have created restorative justice programs of their own and have been successful. She has been inspired by restorative justice programs ability to give victims a voice and to foster a greater sense of community and healing. Ngo also co-founded the non-profit, Peace is Possible, where in conjunction with EHRP they hold a Peace Day Conference each year on the UN declared International Day of Peace.

EHRP Assistant Director Brad Klein has worked closely with this year’s COFs and they’ve each looked to him for motivation and advice through the process. “I am impressed and inspired by this year’s Community Outreach Fellowship projects,” says Klein. Each fellow started one year ago with an idea of how to address a human rights problem. With hard work, determination, and passion, those ideas developed into practical strategies for change. Along the way, the fellows were supported by professionals on campus and in the community who graciously shared time and expertise. All the projects – whether focused on wrongful convictions, migrant education, worker rights, refugee support, or restorative justice – have impacted the SMU and Dallas communities in positive ways.”

Applications for the 2016-17 program are due by April 15. All SMU students who will be enrolled in courses during the fellowship are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the COF website or contact Klein.

President Turner honored with 2016 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award by Methodist Health System Foundation

R. Gerald TurnerSMU President R. Gerald Turner has won the 2016 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award, an annual recognition offered by the Methodist Health System’s philanthropic arm.

Turner is being honored for his work in launching a $1 billion gift campaign for the university, making it just one of 34 in the nation to reach that landmark. The Folsom award is named after the former Dallas mayor and recognizes an individual who has had a major impact in the community. Turner has served on the boards of the American Council on Education and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He is a co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and has served on the board of the Methodist Health System Foundation for years.

> Learn about past winners of the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award

“We are very pleased to honor Dr. Turner with this prominent award. As the leader of my alma mater and a longtime Methodist supporter and board member, there is no one who understands the Methodist mission and values better than Dr.Turner,” said April Box, Methodist Health System Foundation President and CEO.

Turner will receive the award at the annual Folsom Event in October at the Hilton Anatole. Over the past 10 years, the event has helped generate more than $14 million to go toward offsetting Methodist’s costs of care. The system provided north of $110 million in unreimbursed charity care in 2015 alone.

Fred Chang elected to National Academy of Engineering

Fred Chang, Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber SecurityFred Chang, director of SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security and former director of research for the National Security Agency, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Chang and other new members will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9, 2016.

The U.S. National Academy of Engineering is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that supports engineering leadership. Its mission is to advance the wellbeing of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshaling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.

“I feel incredibly honored to be elected into the National Academy of Engineering,” Chang said. “The level of innovation and accomplishment achieved by its members is inspiring, and I take great pride in joining them. I am grateful to many, many colleagues who have worked with me and helped me over the course of my career, including those at SMU.

“This recognition further motivates me to continue pursuing the challenge of securing cyberspace,” Chang said. “It means continuing the important research we are doing at SMU, to help advance the science of cyber security, and training a workforce of skilled cyber defenders.”

Chang joined SMU in September 2013 as Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security, computer science and engineering professor and Senior Fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College. The Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security was launched in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering in January 2014, with Chang named as its director.

“Being inducted into the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest honors a professor can achieve,” said Lyle School Dean Marc Christensen. “We are so pleased that Professor Chang is being recognized as one of the brightest minds of our generation at a time when his expertise in cyber security is so critical to our nation’s future.”

Chang is the second Lyle School professor to be named to the NAE. Delores Etter, the founding director of the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education in the Lyle School, a Caruth Professor of Engineering Education, a distinguished fellow in the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security and a senior fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies was elected to the NAE in 2000.

In addition to his positions at SMU, Chang is a distinguished scholar in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Chang has been professor and AT&T Distinguished Chair in Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio and he was at the University of Texas at Austin as an associate dean in the College of Natural Sciences and director of the Center for Information Assurance and Security. Additionally, Chang’s career spans service in the private sector and in government including as the former Director of Research at the National Security Agency.

Chang has been awarded the National Security Agency Director’s Distinguished Service Medal and was the 2014 Information Security Magazine ‘Security 7’ award winner for Education. 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. He has also served as a member of the National Academies Committee on Responding to Section 5(d) of Presidential Policy Directive 28: The Feasibility of Software to Provide Alternatives to Bulk Signals Intelligence Collection.

He is the lead inventor on two U.S. patents (U.S. patent numbers 7272645 and 7633951), and he appeared in the televised National Geographic documentary, Inside the NSA: America’s Cyber Secrets. He has twice served as a cyber security expert witness at hearings convened by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Dr. Chang received his B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Oregon. He has also completed the Program for Senior Executives at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chang joins the National Academy of Engineering with 79 other new U.S. members and 22 new international members, bringing the group’s total membership to 2,275 U.S. members and 232 foreign members. Membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature, and to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

Sports: SMU Athletics celebrates a successful Fall 2015

Undefeated SMU: The SMU Mustangs are 16-0, marking the 2nd longest winning streak in school history. They rank third in Division I and first in the American Athletic Conference. With 14 games left in the season, the finish line comes March 6 at Cincinnati.

Avery Acker

SMU volleyball player Avery Acker named CoSida Academic All-American of the Year: Senior setter Avery Acker has left a legacy at SMU both on and off the volleyball court. She was named the Academic All-American of the Year by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Acker posted a 3.95 GPA in accounting with minors in chemistry and biology, and has been accepted into medical school. The Poth native led the Mustangs to a program-record 27 wins and the school’s first conference championship, going 17-3 in the American Athletic Conference and 27-6 overall to advance to the NCAA Championship. She was also named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week in September 2015 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, becoming the first SMU player and first member of the American Athletic Conference to earn the honor.

Jackie Galloway to compete in 2016 Rio Olympics: CompeScreen Shot 2016-01-15 at 1.32.55 PMting in taekwondo, SMU sophomore Jackie Galloway has qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Galloway has established herself as one of the country’s top taekwondo athletes, especially this season. She is majoring in mechanical engineering and was on the Division I rowing team for SMU.

SMU Men’s Tennis debuts at No. 46 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Rankings: The SMU men’s tennis team is one of the most improved teams out of the toScreen Shot 2016-01-15 at 2.21.52 PMp 100 from last year’s rankings – debuting at No. 46 in the ITA Rankings. The Mustangs are also represented twice in the singles poll and once in the doubles polls. Junior Hunter Johnson and senior Nate Lammons represent the Mustangs in the singles poll as the 32nd and 44th best player in the nation, respectively. The twosome of Lammons and junior Arkadijs Slobodkins crack the top 20 in the doubles poll at No. 16. The Mustangs will open their dual match play Saturday, Jan. 23 against UCLA.

 

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

Tune In: SMU students impress with the best in 2015 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

Two SMU teams were among the five student firms selected to present their concepts in McCord Auditorium Monday, Nov. 16. The students competed for the 2015 regional Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, sponsored by the international Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The GSEA is a global competition for student entrepreneurs who actively run a business.

Both SMU teams are past winners of the University’s Big iDeas Pitch Contest. Eddie Allegra, Miguel QuimbarJack Reynolds and BioLum Sciences won in 2014 with their smartphone-based asthma detection system. The Fiddler rooftop wind turbine designed by Jonah KirbyCameron Buller, Alec Siems, Brendan Celii and Luke Oglesbee came up victorious in the 2015 competition.

The BioLum team, winners of Monday night’s GSEA contest, have already aced a string of competitions that include the RECESS Festival 2015 Pitch Competition in Los Angeles and SMU’s 2015 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition. They now proceed to the U.S. national competition in Miami; a victory there will mean a trip to Bangkok, Thailand for the GSEA Global Finals.

But Allegra, who has a personal history of living with asthma, hasn’t let the accolades obscure a higher purpose: “I want someone to come up to me and tell me how much better their life is because of what I’ve done,” he tells Myles Taylor of SMU News in this video.

Click the YouTube screen, or visit this link to watch the Global Student Entrepreneur Award video in a new windowvideo

> Read more about SMU’s Global Student Entrepreneur Award regional winners

SMU mathematics professor Alejandro Aceves elected Optical Society Fellow

Alejandro AcevesAlejandro Aceves, professor of mathematics in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been elected as a fellow of The Optical Society for his pioneering contributions in the areas of optical gap solitons, spatiotemporal localization in optical array systems and UV filamentation.

Before joining SMU in fall 2008, Aceves spent 19 years as a professor of mathematics and statistics at the University of New Mexico, the last four years as department chair. He earned an M.A. from the California Institute of Technology in 1983 and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1988, both in applied mathematics.

His research interests include nonlinear optics, nonlinear wave propagation, soliton theory, dynamical systems and modeling in epidemiology. Aceves is also the founder of AcevCo Research, a research consulting company.

The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional association in optics and photonics, home to accomplished science, engineering and business leaders from all over the world.

Four named 2015 SMU Ford Research Fellows

SMU Ford Research Fellows 2015

Ping (Peggy) Gui, Robert Howell, Lisa Siraganian and Nathan Cortez were named SMU’s 2015 Ford Research Fellows during the University’s Board of Trustees meeting in May.

Four distinguished SMU professors were named 2015 Ford Research Fellows during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 7.

This year’s recipients are Nathan Cortez, Dedman School of Law; Ping (Peggy) Gui, Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Robert Howell, Philosophy, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; and Lisa Siraganian, English, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from trustee Gerald J. Ford, the fellowships help SMU retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.

(more…)

Load More Posts