Save the date: SMU Honors Day 2015 is Monday, April 13

faculty recognition

Save the date: SMU Honors Day 2015 is Monday, April 13

SMU Honors Convocation 2013 procession

Honors Convocation 2013. Photo credit: SMU/Kim Ritzenthaler

SMU celebrates high achievement in academics and community life during Honors Day 2015 on Monday, April 13. The 18th Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the 2015 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 2015 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Brian W. Stump, Albritton Professor of Geological Sciences and AAAS Fellow, SMU

Brian Stump, SMU’s Claude C. Albritton Jr. Chair in Geological Sciences

Brian Stump, Claude C. Albritton Jr. Chair in Earth Sciences in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, will be the convocation speaker. An expert in seismic wave propagation and earthquake source theory, Stump has become well known in North Texas for his continuing research on the increasing occurrences of small earthquakes that have shaken the area since 2008.

But his work in detecting ground motion from explosions has for more than 20 years helped the United States government in ensuring that the world’s nuclear powers abide by their agreements related to underground nuclear testing. He served as scientific adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Disarmament from 1994 through 1996 and continues to be called upon frequently to assist the U.S. government in the interpretation of seismic and acoustic data.

In November 2014, Stump was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to his field, particularly in the area of seismic monitoring in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. He is the fifth SMU professor to receive this honor.

Retired and current faculty will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. in the Perkins Administration Building lobby and will process together to McFarlin Auditorium. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony in the Dallas Hall Quadrangle.

Watch SMU’s Honors Convocation via live streaming Monday, April 13 at smu.edu/live

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 2015 Awards Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms. Awards Extravaganza honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Find more information on Honors Convocation: smu.edu/honorsday
Learn more about the Awards Extravaganza from SMU Student Life

Harold Stanley named 2015-16 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

Harold Stanley, SMU Engaged Learning Expo 2013, photo by Kim Leeson

SMU Associate Provost Harold Stanley speaking at the University’s 2013 Engaged Learning Expo. Stanley, the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy in Dedman College, will be a 2015-16 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. Photo credit: SMU/Kim Leeson.

Harold Stanley, Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy and SMU associate provost, has been named a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for the 2015-16 academic year.

Stanley, who was named SMU’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs in late March, joins 12 other outstanding scholars in the liberal arts and sciences from institutions including Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, NYU, UCLA, Penn State, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University and the Institute for Signifying Scriptures.

Past Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars have included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and journalists, and Nobel Prize winners. Stanley is the third SMU faculty member to be selected for the program: Annemarie Weyl Carr, University Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History, participated in 1986-87; and William F. May, Professor Emeritus and Maguire Chair in Ethics, served in 1999-2000.

“It’s an honor to be in such distinguished company and a delight to take part in this exchange of ideas with other colleges and universities,” Stanley said. “I look forward to meeting my hosts and participating in their intellectual lives.”

During the 2015-16 academic year, Stanley will travel to eight institutions that house Phi Beta Kappa chapters, spending two days on each campus. He will meet informally with students and faculty members, participate in classroom discussions and seminars, and give a public lecture open to the academic community and the general public.

Stanley’s research focuses on American government, particularly on Southern and Latino politics as well as presidential elections. He has written three books: Vital Statistics on American Politics, now in its 15th edition (CQ Press); Voter Mobilization and the Politics of Race: The South and Universal Suffrage, 1952-1984 (Praeger, 1987), and Senate vs. Governor, Alabama 1971: Referents for Opposition in a One-Party Legislature (University of Alabama Press, 1975).

He has also published numerous reviews, book chapters and journal articles in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and The Journal of Politics, among others.

A former president of the Southern Political Science Association, Stanley received the 2010 Outstanding Teaching in Political Science Award from Pi Sigma Alpha and the American Political Science Association.

Founded Dec. 5, 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has made it possible for undergraduates to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. The program was created to contribute to intellectual life on campus through an exchange of ideas between Visiting Scholars and resident faculty and students.

> Visit the official Phi Beta Kappa website at pbk.org

April 2, 2015|For the Record, News|

Two world premieres are highlights of Meadows’ 2015 Spring Dance Concert, March 25-29

Photographs from the 2015 Spring Dance Concert Rehearsal, taken by Kim Leeson.

Photographs from the 2015 Spring Dance Concert Rehearsal, taken by Kim Leeson.

The Meadows Dance Ensemble in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its 2015 Spring Dance Concert, March 25-29, in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. 

This year’s concert features two world premieres by noted guest choreographers, as well as the revival of an acclaimed work by jazz dance artist and faculty member Danny Buraczeski.

The program opens with the premiere of Darkside by Artist-in-Residence John Selya. Based on the Tom Stoppard BBC radio play with music from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, Selya’s Darkside brings a visual element to what has been a solely auditory work. In addition to teaching and choreographing at universities and dance companies across the nation, Selya is a Tony-nominated dancer and Broadway veteran.

The second performance features faculty member Danny Buraczeski‘s in the revival of his acclaimed 1999 piece Ezekiel’s Wheel. Inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin, Ezekiel’s Wheel is set to a percussive musical score interspersed with passages of Baldwin’s writings.

The program concludes with the premiere of The Hi Betty Cha-Cha by alumnus and founder and director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Joshua Peugh (’06). Featuring five contrasting sections, the work is set to music by Dean Martin, as well as Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Performance take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Available for purchase online, tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, students and staff. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office.

Dedman School of Law honors five as 2015 Distinguished Alumni

Five successful legal, business and public service professionals were honored with the highest awards given by SMU’s Dedman School of Law at its 28th annual Distinguished Law Alumni Awards Thursday, March 19, 2015.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the most prestigious award Dedman Law can bestow upon its alumni. An alumni committee selects recipients who are standouts in their respective fields, and an honorary award given at the invitation-only ceremony also acknowledges exceptional service to the law school.

This year’s awards and recipients were:

Mary Elizabeth Cedillo-PereiraMary Elizabeth Cedillo-Pereira ’99, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Award – “Liz” Cedillo-Pereira is the managing attorney with Cedillo-Pereira and Associates PLLC, an immigration and nationality law practice that represents individuals, families, businesses and government entities. She is board certified in immigration and nationality law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and lectures on immigration law as a faculty member with the UT School of Law Immigration Law conference and the State Bar of Texas Immigration law course. In 2007 she co-founded the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Dallas’ “Know Your Rights” project for detained individuals. She also is a member of AILA’s Military Assistance Program as well as Dream Defenders.

Siriporn ChaiyasutaSiriporn Chaiyasuta ’85, 2015 Distinguished Global Alumni Award – Based in London, Chaiyasuta is general counsel for Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration & Production Limited. She leads a team of more than 50 lawyers and manages Chevron’s legal portfolio for all exploration and production business in the region, harboring the world’s most productive oil and gas basins in 14 countries of the North Sea and Caspian Region of the Middle East, including the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Her many awards and honors include the “Royal Decoration Knight Grand Cross” (First Class) of Direkgunabhon and Thailand’s “In-House Counsel of the Year” Award.

G. Michael GruberG. Michael Gruber ’81, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for Private Practice – “Mike” Gruber is a founding partner of Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank LLP. Primarily a defense attorney, his successes include a $125 million dollar judgment involving Blockbuster in favor of its first major investors, a $30 million dollar verdict against Shell Oil in a fraud case, and a more than $18 million dollar verdict against pharmaceutical company Hoffman-Laroche in one of the largest sexual harassment verdicts in the country. This year, he took the soon-to-be decided Wellness v. Sharif case, on bankruptcy court and federal magistrate jurisdiction, to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has received the Sager Award from The Minority Corporate Counsel Association, which recognizes the Southwest’s most diverse law firms. He has also been named a “Texas Super Lawyer” for more than 10 years and, since 2008, D Magazine has recognized him as a “Best Lawyer in Dallas” for business litigation.

William O. Holston Jr.William O. Holston, Jr., ’81, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service – “Bill” Holston is executive director of Human Rights Initiative (HRI) of North Texas. Before joining HRI in 2012 he volunteered his services for the organization, founded in 2000 to provide legal and support services to refugees and immigrants who have suffered human rights abuses, as well as to advocate for justice and promote international human rights. In 1997, he received the “Outstanding Political Asylum Lawyer Award” from the Dallas Bar Association; in 2002, the “Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award” from the Dallas Bar Association’s Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program; in 2005, the “Angel of Freedom Award” from HRI; and in 2014, the “President’s Award” from the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association.

Joseph W. McKnightJoseph W. McKnight, 2015 Honorary Alumnus Award – “Joe” McKnight, Professor Emeritus of Law and Larry and Jane Harlan Faculty Fellow Emeritus at SMU Dedman School of Law, has made historic contributions to legal scholarship and law reform in Texas. Before joining the law faculty at SMU in 1955, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas before serving as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he received a B.A. degree, a B.C.L. degree, and an M.A. degree. Professor McKnight would later receive his LL.M. degree from Columbia University. McKnight is a nationally recognized authority on legal history and family and marital property law. He and co-author, W.A. Reppy, Jr., have produced ten editions of their 1983 casebook, Texas Matrimonial Property Law, and McKnight was general editor and author of Creditor’s Rights in Texas.

Additionally, McKnight directed the Texas Family Code project, helping achieve significant reform, and was the principal drafter of the Texas Matrimonial Property Act, recognizing property rights of married women. He also has been a major drafter of other important Texas statutes.

During the past six decades, McKnight established and contributed to an invaluable collection of rare legal books at SMU Dedman Law. The collection is one of the largest of its kind in the nation, with the collection’s oldest book published in 1481.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

March 20, 2015|For the Record, News|

Calendar Highlights: March 18, 2015

Who-We-Be-coverExamining Race: Presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, American Book Award winner Jeff Chang will give a lecture on his latest work, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, on  Wednesday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

NCAA Tournament: Seeded sixth, the SMU Men’s Basketball team will face UCLA on Thursday, March 19 in Louisville in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1993. Tip-off time is set for 2:10 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on truTV. On campus in the Arnold Dining Commons, SMU Dining Services invites members of the University community to a watch party at 2 p.m.; hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza and popcorn will be served. Admission is free for students with meal plans, $5 for all others. For complete NCAA Tournament coverage, visit the Mustang NCAA Tournament Central 2015 webpage. 

Armenian Genocide Centennial Remembrance: SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Programs hosts Peter Balakian as he discusses cultural destruction and the Armenian Genocide on Thursday, March 19, at 8:30 p.m., in McCord Auditorium. Sponsored by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of DFW, the lecture is free and open to the public.

litfest-1

SMU LitFest: Featuring an array of readings, receptions and book signings celebrating the creative work of poets, novelists and students, SMU’s LitFest 2015 begins Thursday, March 19 and will continue through Sunday, March 21. Sponsored by SMU’s Department of English, most events will be free and open to the public. For a complete schedule, visit the SMU LitFest 2015 webpage.

Tate-Willson Lecture: J. Cheryl Exum, professor emerita of biblical studies at the University of Sheffield and a director of Sheffield Phoenix Press, will visit SMU’s Perkins School of Theology as a guest speaker for the 2015-16 Tate-Willson Lectures. Exploring this year’s theme “The Bible and the Arts,” Exum will present a lecture on “Why Bible Readers Should Visit the Art Gallery.” The lecture will take place on Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m., in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. For additional information about the 2015 Tate-Willson Lectures, contact the GPRS via email.

Dr. Michio Kaku

Dr. Michio Kaku visits SMU as a guest speaker for the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 24.

Tate Lecture Series: SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series presents Michio Kaku on Tuesday, March 24. Currently working to complete Einstein’s unified field theory, Dr. Kaku is a theoretical physicist, best selling author, acclaimed public speaker, renowned futurist and popularizer of science. The Tate Lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m., in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom, with the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum, followed by The Oncor Lecture at 8 p.m., in McFarlin Auditorium. For more information, visit the Tate Series webpage. 

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: SMU Meadows School of the Arts hosts Emily Jacir as part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m., in O’Donnell Hall. Including a range of diverse media and strategies, Jacir creates works about transformation, questions of translation, resistance and the logic of the archive. The lecture is free and open to the public.

March 18, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date, Sports|
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