Twelve SMU professors receive <em>emeritus</em> status in 2014-15

Deborah Diffily

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

May 12, 2015|For the Record, News|

Research: After-school programs improve academic achievement

Stock photo of child writing in a notebookSchool-age children who participate in structured after-school activities improve their academic achievement, according to new research by SMU faculty members.

The study by researchers in the University’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development measured academic performance of students enrolled in Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas.

“Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas and other structured programs are really having a positive impact,” said Ken Springer, an associate professor. “We believe that the homework support the clubs consistently provide students may be a key factor. Now we plan to extend the study and take into account more variables.”

The study looked at data on 719 students in second through eighth grade who participated in after-school activities at one of 12 clubs during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Among elementary and middle-school children who participated frequently in club activities, the researchers saw grades improve from the start of the year to the end of the year. That was especially true for elementary students. The researchers also saw improved school attendance for both age groups.

Among elementary students who participated in a greater variety of activities, the researchers observed that the students’ grade point averages improved, “but only among elementary students, and only when program participation was substantial,” said the authors.

After-school care activities can provide a child with a sense of success, even if that child isn’t necessarily successful in the classroom, said Deborah Diffily, co-author on the study and an associate professor in Simmons.

“For children who live in poverty — often those who attend Boys and Girls Clubs — the clubs can ameliorate the pressures of poverty, such as living in an overcrowded apartment or a lack of after-school snacks,” Diffily said.

The authors reported their findings in “The Relationship Between Intensity and Breadth of After-School Program Participation and Academic Achievement: Evidence from a Short-Term Longitudinal Study,” in the Journal of Community Psychology.

About 15 percent of American students participate in some sort of structured, supervised program outside of school, say the authors. Another 30 percent would participate if quality programming were available, they report.

“After-school programs are increasingly viewed as a means of supporting children’s physical, academic, social and behavioral development,” according to Springer and Diffily. Increasingly, federal funding is tied to empirical evidence that proves programs are beneficial.

Within the scientific literature, the psychological and social benefits of programs are well-documented, the authors said. Benefits observed include better social skills, greater motivation, better classroom behavior, higher self-esteem and lower rates of criminal activity.

However, evidence of any academic benefits is mixed. Some studies show benefits for grades or achievement test scores, while others don’t, said the authors. Those discrepancies have been attributed to variations in study methodologies. Rarely have studies considered intensity and breadth, as in the current study.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

October 10, 2012|Research|

Calendar Highlights: March 29, 2011

Margaret Spellings and Geoffrey CanadaTate Series focuses on the future of education: A discussion of the future viability of American education will be the focus of the next 2010-11 Tate Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, March 29. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Harlem Children’s Zone founder and CEO Geoffrey Canada will discuss “How Will We Teach America’s Children?” at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Moderator for the event will be Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor of The Dallas Morning News. Spellings was the U.S. Secretary of Education from 2005-09 and led the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. She is president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company and a leading national expert in public policy. In 2009, SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development recognized her contributions to education with the Simmons Luminary Award. The Harlem Children’s Zone was featured in the 2010 film “Waiting for ‘Superman’.” Through this program, Canada has dedicated the past 20 years to helping impoverished, at-risk youth to rise above their circumstances. The Zone Project today covers a 100-block area of Harlem and serves 10,000 children and their families through in-school and after-school programs, social services and community-building programs. The evening lecture is sold out, but the speakers will answer questions from the SMU community and local high school students during the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Tate Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Admission to the Student Forum is free. For more information, call Program Services at 214-768-8283 (214-SMU-TATE).

In addition, the Simmons School will present a free screening of “Waiting for ‘Superman'” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 31, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with panelists Charles Glover, executive director of Teach for America, Dallas; Israel Cordero, principal of the Dallas Independent School District’s W.W. Samuell High School; and Deborah Diffily, Simmons faculty member. The discussion will be moderated by Lee Alvoid, chair of Simmons’ Education Policy and Leadership Department. Refreshments will be provided. Cosponsored by the SMU Program Council, Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. and SMU Colony.

Main cast of 'Indigenes'French Film Festival continues: The 15th-anniversary celebration of SMU’s French Film Festival continues through April 9, 2011. Among the upcoming screenings is Daratt (2006) on Friday, April 1. Written and directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and winner of a Grand Special Jury Prize (UNESCO Award) at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, the film deals with themes of family, vengeance and redemption in the aftermath of the devastating civil war in Chad. The festival continues Wednesday, April 6, with Indigènes (Days of Glory, 2006). César and Lumière award-winning cowriter and director Rachid Bouchareb tells the stories of four North African recruits who fight to liberate France during World War II, as well as for equal treatment in the French military and society. All screenings are at 7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater, and all films will be shown in French with English subtitles. Admission is free and open to the public. These films are intended for an adult audience and may contain sexual content, nudity and violence. Sponsored by the SMU French Club, the SMU Students’ Association and the Tournées Festival. For more information and a complete schedule, visit the 2011 French Film Festival homepage.
(Right, Roschdy Zem, Samy Naceri, Jamel Debbouze and Sami Bouajila in Indigènes.)

March 29, 2011|Calendar Highlights|
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