Chaplain’s Office

Students and stress: How to help during 2013 holidays, exams

SMU students in Fondren Science BuildingAs SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons, SMU Provost Paul Ludden is asking that all University community members watch for signs of stress in themselves and in students.

“We ask each of you to be aware of signs of stress in yourself and those around you. In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they are experiencing their first set of final exams,” wrote Provost Ludden in an e-mail message dated Friday, Dec. 6, 2012.

He also asked faculty and staff members to “reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends at this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill.”

The message included helpful tips and University resources for staying healthy and safe. In addition, Ludden urged faculty and staff members to visit SMU’s Caring Community Connections homepage for information on identifying and helping students who may be in crisis.

Advice and resources for a safer and more stress-free season follow under the cut.

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Students and holiday stress: Coping and helping

Students in Dallas Hall RotundaAs SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons, the Office of Student Affairs is asking that all University community members be aware of signs of stress in themselves and those around them.

“The holiday season brings with it a combination of special events and sources of stress – exams, final papers and other projects. At this time in particular, I want to remind you of SMU resources to help you with everything from tutoring and test preparation to coping with anxiety and caring for your health and safety,” wrote Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White in an e-mail message to students dated Nov. 28, 2012.

The message included helpful tips and University resources for staying healthy and safe. In addition, White urged students to visit SMU’s Live Responsibly homepage for additional information.

Advice and resources for a safer and more stress-free season follow under the jump.

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Chaplain’s Office presents 2012 Peace & Justice honors April 25

Rev. Bruce Buchanan, recipient of SMU's 2012 Robert O. Cooper Peace and Justice FellowshipRev. Bruce Buchanan, associate pastor of community ministries in Dallas’ First Presbyterian Church, will receive SMU’s 2012 Robert O. Cooper Peace and Justice Fellowship during an 11:30 a.m. lunch and reception Wednesday, April 25, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

He will deliver the Cooper Fellowship Lecture, “The Art of Turning Corners,” at noon.

Rev. Buchanan is responsible for program and policy design and oversight for First Presbyterian’s downtown social ministries, including The Stewpot. He oversees the daily operation of the soup kitchen for the homeless, as well as the church’s community casework services and its year-round educational programs for inner-city children, including a college scholarship incentive program. He has overseen the development of a dental and a medical clinic, supported the creation of an arts program, and developed the annual Stewpot Talent Show.

His service to Dallas and North Texas includes work with The Homeless Consortium for the City of Dallas, the Texas Homeless Network, Interfaith Community Ministries Network, Dallas Area Service to the Homeless, and Shelter Ministries of Dallas.

Rev. Buchanan received a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and B.A. degrees in history and political science from Wagner College, both in New York City.

SMU senior Shirin Tavakoli, recipient of the 2012 McElvaney Peace and Justice AwardSMU senior Shirin Tavakoli will receive the 2012 William K. McElvaney Peace and Justice Award during the event. Tavakoli, who majors in political science, international studies and human rights with a minor in history, helped establish a campus chapter of the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA evidence and reforming public policy to prevent future injustice. The Tower Center Undergraduate Research Fellow’s human rights work includes participation and leadership with the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage and the University’s Amnesty International chapter.

The Robert O. Cooper Peace and Justice Fellowship was founded in 1992 upon Cooper’s retirement as SMU Associate Chaplain. It was created with gifts from Cooper’s friends, co-workers in the chaplaincy, The Dallas Peace Center and Northaven United Methodist Church.

The William K. McElvaney Peace and Justice Award was established in 1993 by friends of McElvaney to honor his lifelong commitment to peace, justice and civil rights on the occasion of his retirement from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. The award recognizes the peace and justice work of one or more SMU students and provides a stipend to be used in the advancement of peace and justice activities.

> Visit SMU’s Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life online

Chaplain Rankin to deliver 2012 Willson Lecture March 28

Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, SMU chaplainRev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, SMU chaplain, will speak on “Imagining a 21st-Century University” as the next event in the 2012 Willson Lecture Series Wednesday, March 28.

The noon lecture in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum is preceded by a reception at 11:30 a.m. A light lunch will be provided.

The Willson Lecture Fund was established in 1957 to fund a lecture during SMU’s Religious Emphasis week. The Willson Lecture Series is sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life and focuses on issues of religion and faith. For more information, contact Katie Lewis, 214-768-4502.

Living the dream: SMU celebrates MLK Day 2012 all week

SMU Celebrates Dream WeekSMU celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Dream Week 2012 Jan. 16-19. Sponsored by the University’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the annual observance features a variety of activities throughout the week, including opportunities for community service and a commemorative walk.

This year’s schedule includes the traditional Day of Service Monday, Jan. 16, with volunteer projects taking place at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas LIFE and the Genesis Women’s Shelter Thrift Store.

The Dream Week kickoff event is scheduled for noon-2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons. Featured speakers are Dennis Simon, Political Science, and Rick Halperin, Human Rights Education.

The University’s annual Unity Walk will take place at noon Wednesday, Jan. 18, starting at the Main Quad flagpole. SMU President R. Gerald Turner will offer remarks. That evening at 7:30 p.m., the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives will present a screening of Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders in the Hughes-Trigg Forum. The award-winning documentary examines the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi in the 1950s and ’60s from the point of view of the women who lived it and helped lead it.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, the Willson Lecture Series of SMU’s Office of the Chaplain presents Daniel White Hodge speaking on “The Hostile Gospel: Seeking the Theological Sensibilities Within Hip-Hop Culture.” The lecture takes place in the Hughes-Trigg Forum followed by a brown-bag discussion at 11:30 a.m. in Hughes-Trigg Promenades A and B.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at SMU, March 17, 1966This week, SMU also recalls Dr. King’s speech to a standing-room-only crowd in McFarlin Auditorium on March 17, 1966. SMU News offers these related links:

> More information from SMU News

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