Student Foundation hosts ‘Haunted on the Hilltop’ Family Weekend Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2015

Engaged Learning

Student Foundation hosts ‘Haunted on the Hilltop’ Family Weekend Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2015

Athletics Football Family Weekend SMU vs Memphis Boulevard

SMU Mothers’ and Dads’ Clubs

SMU family members from across the country will join their students in celebrating 2015 Family Weekend Oct. 30-Nov. 1. The annual tradition is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee.

For the third year, Student Foundation is partnering with Genesis Women’s Shelter, a Dallas organization devoted to ending domestic violence against women and children. Families and students are encouraged to bring household items to donate. Collection boxes will be available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and at other locations.

Ticket pickup: Tickets ordered in advance can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 30 at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Crossing, and from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Boulevard BBQ.

Family Weekend T-shirts: T-shirts will be sold in limited quantities on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Crossing during ticket pickup. T-shirts are $10.

Parking:  On Saturday, Oct. 31Game Day parking is in effect. Refer to www.smu.edu/athletics for a map.

Below are weekend highlights. Find the full schedule here.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30

Engaged Learning Symposium: Stop by the Hughes-Trigg Student Center between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to listen to students present their achievements in research, service, internships and creative fields.

SMU Abroad ‘Get World Ready’: From 10 to 11 a.m. at the Blanton Building, families can learn about SMU Abroad’s 145 programs around the world.

Family Luncheon: Co-sponsored by Student Foundation and the SMU Mothers’ Club, the family luncheon takes place at noon in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. (Update October 19: Tickets for the Family Luncheon are no longer available; the luncheon has sold out.)

Meadows Opera Theatre Opera Free For All: The Meadows Opera Theatre will be performing an assortment of scenes from opera and musical theatre that delve into family dynamics at 1 p.m. in the Bob Hope Lobby.

Meet the Faculty: From 2 to 3 p.m. family members can meet Cox School of Business faculty in the Fincher Building; Dedman College faculty in the Dallas Hall Atrium; Lyle School of Engineering faculty in Caruth Hall; Meadows School of the Arts faculty at the Owen Fine Arts Center; and Simmons School of Education and Human Development faculty in Room 144 of Simmons Hall.

Big Ideas Pitch Contest: Families are invited to stop by the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum between 2 and 5 p.m. to watch students pitch ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win $1,000.

Panhellenic Recruitment Parent Session: This information session from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater is for parents of women intending to participate in Panhellenic formal recruitment.

Open Houses: Between 3 and 4 p.m., families are invited to the Hegi Family Career Development Center in Hughes-Trigg, Suite 200, and SMU Abroad in the Blanton Building, Room 216.

Association of Black Students Fish Fry: From 5 to 6 p.m. at the Hughes-Trigg Varsity, the Association of Black Students invites families to enjoy homemade fried catfish while participating in games with students, faculty and staff.

Home Away From Home: Parents are invited to tour their student’s Residential Commons from 5 to 6 p.m. and meet the RAs, Faculty-in-Residence and others who work to make the community a home.

Taste of Dallas Dinner: The 9th annual Taste of Dallas Dinner begins at 6 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom.  (Update October 19: Tickets for the Taste of Dallas Dinner are no longer available.)

Meadows Symphony Orchestra – Sleeper, Szymanowski and Verdi: Families are invited to attend this orchestra performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Caruth Auditorium located in the Owen Arts Center. Tickets to the show are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for students, faculty & staff.

Talent Show: The 40th Annual Family Weekend Talent Show begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Tickets remain available for the Family Weekend Talent Show, while they last, at Family Weekend ticket pickup (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Crossing) and at the McFarlin Auditorium Box Office starting at 7 p.m. Oct. 30. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31

Parent Leadership Council Meeting (current PLC Members only): The meeting welcomes parents of current students who support SMU with annual gifts of $2,500 or more. For more information and to learn about joining the PLC, please contact Christi Contreras at cshelton@smu.edu or 214-768-4746.

Boulevard BBQ: Join Student Foundation and the SMU Dads’ Club for this beloved tradition on the South Lawn of Clements Hall from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Enjoy Sonny Bryan’s BBQ before heading to Ford Stadium to watch the Mustangs against Tulsa. (Update October 19: Tickets are no longer available online but will be on sale at the event beginning at noon on the Clements Hall south lawn.)

SMU vs. Tulsa: The game begins at 3 p.m. at Ford Stadium. Football tickets may be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department website. SMU students attend the game for free with their valid SMU Student ID.

Meadows Museum Special Exhibition Tours: The Meadows Museum will offer one-hour docent-guided tours of the special exhibition Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting, at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The two tours will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays (until 9 p.m. Thursdays), and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. SMU students attend free with a valid SMU ID.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1

CHAS La Familia Luncheon: Families are invited to join the College Hispanic American Students for lunch and entertainment starting at 1 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom.

Meadows Symphony Orchestra – Sleeper, Szymanowski and VerdiFamilies are invited to attend this orchestra performance at 2:30 p.m. in the Caruth Auditorium located in the Owen Arts Center. Tickets to the show are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for students, faculty & staff.

Asian Council Family Laser Tag: Enjoy the classic childhood pastime of laser tag with SMU’s Asian Council starting at 6 p.m. in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. To RSVP, please email Eugene Kim at eskim@smu.edu.

THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

George W. Bush Presidential Center: At the Bush Presidential Center, families can explore the interactive museum galleries, sit in the Oval Office, enjoy the Texas Rose Garden, eat lunch at Café 43, shop in the Museum store and stroll through the 15-acre park filled with native Texas prairie grasses and wildflowers. The Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online; SMU students attend free with a valid SMU ID.

– Milan Khatami

Students show their work during Family Weekend at 2015 Engaged Learning Symposium, Oct. 30

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithThirty students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will talk about their work during Family Weekend at SMU’s Fall 2015 Engaged Learning Symposium. The event takes place 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

Find a complete list of participants at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

Student presenters will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research Fellows and University Honors Richter Research Fellows, as well as two Engaged Learning Fellows. The lineup features the University’s Caswell Undergraduate Leadership Fellows and McNair Scholars.

The Engaged Learning Fellows participating in the fall symposium are on track to graduate in December. Watch for more about the Symposium in a future SMU Forum post.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Learn more about social entrepreneurship at the 2015 SMU Social Innovation Forum Tuesday, April 7

SMU Social Innovation Forum 2015SMU will host an opportunity to learn from and network with experts in social entrepreneurship at its 4th annual Social Innovation Forum and Expo from 2-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 in the Owen Arts Center.

The event, presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Hegi Family Career Development Center, will feature two panel discussions with a dozen experts who are developing solutions to pressing social issues. The panels will be led by Trey Bowles, adjunct lecturer at the Meadows School and co-founder and CEO of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center.

Panelists will include representatives from the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Warby Parker, Hari Mari, Social Impact Architects and other leading Dallas organizations and social entrepreneurs.

The discussions will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall, 2130 Owen Arts Center, followed by a networking reception and Social Impact Expo from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby.

The expo, which is co-sponsored by SMU’s Engaged Learning office, will allow participants to network with panelists, visit with social enterprises, entrepreneurs and nonprofits in the DFW region, sample products, and learn about jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities that have a positive impact on the community. Expo participants include Goodwill Industries, CitySquare Americorps, Akola Project and many others.

Admission is free; advance registration is requested. Social Innovation Forum attendees can register online.

For more information, contact Abigail Smith, 214-768-3425.

April 6, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|

Research: Whale fossil provides key to unlock date of East Africa’s mysterious uplift

A 17 million-year-old Turkana ziphiid beaked whale fossil from the Great Rift Valley, East AfricaPaleontologists have used a fossil from the most precisely dated beaked whale in the world to pinpoint for the first time a date when East Africa’s mysterious elevation began.

The 17 million-year-old fossil is from the Ziphiidae family. It was discovered 740 kilometers inland at a elevation of 620 meters in modern Kenya’s harsh desert region and is the only stranded whale ever found so far inland on the African continent, said SMU vertebrate paleontologist Louis Jacobs.

Uplift associated with the Great Rift Valley of East Africa and the environmental changes it produced have puzzled scientists for decades because the timing and starting elevation have been poorly constrained. Determining ancient land elevation is very difficult, but the whale provides one near sea level.

“It’s rare to get a paleo-elevation,” Jacobs said, noting only one other in East Africa, determined from a lava flow.

At the time the whale was alive, it would have been swimming far inland up a river with a low gradient ranging from 24 to 37 meters over more than 600 to 900 kilometers, said Jacobs. He is co-author of a study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that provides the first constraint on the start of uplift of East African terrain from near sea level.

“The whale was stranded up river at a time when east Africa was at sea level and was covered with forest and jungle,” Jacobs said. “As that part of the continent rose up, that caused the climate to become drier and drier. So over millions of years, forest gave way to grasslands. Primates evolved to adapt to grasslands and dry country. And that’s when – in human evolution – the primates started to walk upright.”

Identified as a Turkana ziphiid, the whale would have lived in the open ocean, like its modern beaked cousins. Ziphiids, still one of the ocean’s top predators, are the deepest diving air-breathing mammals alive, plunging to nearly 10,000 feet to feed, primarily on squid.

In contrast to most whale fossils, which have been discovered in marine rocks, Kenya’s beached whale was found in river deposits, known as fluvial sediments, said Jacobs, a professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The whale, probably disoriented, swam into the river and could not change its course, continuing well inland.

“You don’t usually find whales so far inland,” Jacobs said. “Many of the known beaked whale fossils are dredged by fishermen from the bottom of the sea.”

The beaked whale fossil was discovered in 1964 by J.G. Mead in what is now the Turkana region of northwest Kenya. Mead, an undergraduate student at Yale University at the time, made a career at the Smithsonian Institution, from which he recently retired. Over the years, the Kenya whale fossil went missing in storage.

Jacobs, who was at one time head of the Division of Paleontology for the National Museums of Kenya, spent 30 years trying to locate the fossil. His effort paid off in 2011, when he rediscovered it at Harvard University and returned it to the National Museums of Kenya.

The fossil is only a small portion of the whale, which Mead originally estimated was 7 meters long during its life. Mead unearthed the beak portion of the skull, 2.6 feet long and 1.8 feet wide, specifically the maxillae and premaxillae, the bones that form the upper jaw and palate.

The researchers reported their findings in “A 17-My-old whale constrains onset of uplift and climate change in east Africa” online at the PNAS web site. Besides Jacobs, other authors from SMU are Andrew Lin, Michael Polcyn, Dale Winkler and Matthew Clemens.

From other institutions, authors are Henry Wichura and Manfred R. Strecker, University of Potsdam, and Fredrick K. Manthi, National Museums of Kenya.

Funding for the research came from SMU’s Institute for the Study of Earth and Man and the SMU Engaged Learning program.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story from the SMU Research blog

March 19, 2015|For the Record, News, Research|

Super students and Big iDeas take the spotlight during SMU’s 2015 Engaged Learning Week, Jan. 26-30

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithSMU’s Engaged Learning Week puts student achievement front and center with an expanded schedule for 2015 – including a business plan competition among the winners in the Fall 2014 Big iDeas Pitch Competition.

Other activities include open houses, exhibitions, performances and presentations from the University’s 2014-15 Engaged Learning Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Jan. 26-30 and is designed to help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week will begin with the Lucky Cup, a free party taking place 4:30-6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26 in Café 100, Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Hosted by Engaged Learning students and staff, the festivities will include exhibitions and live performances by Engaged Learning seniors – as well as free hot drinks, contests, prizes, photos with Peruna, and celebrity baristas.

SMU Engaged Learning logoThe week’s centerpiece events take place Tuesday-Thursday, Jan. 27-29, as graduating Engaged Learning Fellows present their projects. The Engaged Learning Symposium is scheduled for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. each day in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

This year, for the first time, student presentations will be grouped by type, with creative projects leading off on Tuesday, and research and service highlighted on Wednesday and Thursday. The new grouping is designed to make it easier for all undergraduates to schedule their attendance and to support and network with classmates who share similar interests.

Symposium attendees are invited to drop in for any and all of the presentations. Each will be followed by a Q&A, in which the student presenters have the opportunity to talk informally with the audience.

On Friday, Jan. 30, SMU Engaged Learning hosts Big iDeas Demo Day noon-5 p.m. in The CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower, East Campus. The schedule includes a free buffet lunch and the Big iDeas Pitch Competition Winners Fair from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Expressway Tower lobby. Later, the Pitch Competition winners will vie to receive up to $5,000 in project funding in the Business Plan Competition, 2-5 p.m. in The CUBE. Their proposals will be judged by a panel of experts from Executives in Action.

Find a full schedule at the SMU Engaged Learning Week homepage
Check the 2015 schedule of Engaged Learning students and presentations

January 26, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|
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