fellowships

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.

OE2C: SMU to use savings to fund new Ph.D. fellowships initiative

Dallas Hall steps from a 3rd-story windowSMU is taking steps to increase the number of Ph.D. students on campus by creating a new University-wide fellowship program, announced by the University’s OE2C initiative:

Using funds saved as a result of the OE2C initiative, new graduate fellowships will be awarded this spring to up to 15 high-achieving Ph.D. students in a variety of SMU’s 22 doctoral programs.

Faculty graduate advisors across SMU were invited to submit up to two nominees for the new fellowship. The nominations were reviewed by the SMU University Research Council, a committee of faculty members drawn from disciplines across SMU; the council meets three times a year to vet nominees for SMU Ford Fellowships and other grants.

According to Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies James Quick, increasing the number of Ph.D. students will provide benefits to the University as a whole.

“We want to have outstanding faculty to provide better education to undergraduates as well as graduate students, “ says Quick. “We want to have outstanding grad students because they add to the educational experience of the undergraduates. They are intermediate in their career development between faculty and undergraduates and are role models. If the grad student is also functioning as a teaching assistant, they add to the faculty member’s ability to teach.

“The new University-wide Fellowship program will enrich an outstanding Ph.D. program, and outstanding students coming to SMU enriches the atmosphere.”

The move to build up SMU’s doctoral programs was encouraged by the SMU Faculty Senate, which, in its resolution of December 4, 2013, urged SMU to create University-wide fellowships for doctoral students, saying they “play a crucial role in engaging and interfacing with undergraduate students in faculty research projects that in turn helps us recruit high quality undergraduates and raise the academic quality of the incoming class … and … [that] doctoral students are the future leaders of research, innovation and scientific progress, of creative enterprise and arts, and of great scholarship, all of which are some of the longest lasting contributions and legacies that SMU can make to the local economy and community. …”

The Faculty Senate followed up with a resolution on April 2, 2014, requesting that the SMU administration devote “… a substantial and appropriate portion of any savings or additional revenue resulting from Project SMU” toward recruitment and retention of high- quality faculty; investment in research infrastructure, university libraries and doctoral programs; increasing the number of laboratory and teaching assistants to improve the quality of undergraduate education; and University-wide fellowships to attract high-quality graduate students.

The new University-wide Fellowship program fund is expected to grow over time, starting with $150,000 for the program’s first year. The inaugural selected Fellows will receive up to $10,000 in addition to teaching or research assistantships offered by their department.

Quick expects the first award recipients to be announced after April 15.

SMU-record 14 professors receive 2014-15 Sam Taylor Fellowships

UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry logoFourteen SMU faculty members – a University-record number – have received 2014-15 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:

Edward Countryman, History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, for research at the Canadian National Archives for his book on Joseph Brant and colonial America.

Johan Elverskog, Religious Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, to work in the Getty Museum’s archives for his book on the history of Buddhist influence in art.

Kathleen Gallagher, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Meadows School of the Arts, to conduct interviews in Puerto Rico regarding non-profit organization life cycles.

Adam Herring, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, to include color plates in his monograph on Inca artworks.

Peter Kupfer, Music History, Meadows School of the Arts, to survey how viewers understand cultural meanings of classical music used in advertising.

Rita Linjuan Men, Communication Studies, Meadows School of the Arts, to collect survey data for analysis of transparency in organizations’ social media communications.

Rebekah Miles, Perkins School of Theology, for archival research and interviews regarding Ursula Niebuhr’s works.

Brian Molanphy, Art, Meadows School of the Arts, to support his Spring 2015 artist residency at l’Ecole de céramique de Provence in France.

Lisa Pon, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, for inclusion of illustrations in her forthcoming book.

Christopher Roos, Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, to support collaborative research in Tasmania.

Brett Story, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, for load-testing materials to study collapse resistance in buildings.

Peng Tao, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, for software to study protein-folding and unfolded protein response.

Jenia Turner, Dedman School of Law, to survey prosecutors and defense attorneys nationally regarding the U.S. criminal justice system.

Hye Jin Yoon, Temerlin Advertising Institute, Meadows School of the Arts, for a survey regarding efficacy of advertising appeals to individualism versus collectivism.

Ten SMU professors receive 2013-14 Sam Taylor Fellowships

Ten SMU faculty members have received 2013-14 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:

• Tim Cassedy, English, Dedman College, for research at the Library of Congress for his book Language Makes the Difference, a history of ideas about language and identity at the turn of the 19th century.

• Michael Chmielewski, Psychology, Dedman College, to study the appropriateness of commonly used psychological tests and measures for diverse populations.

• Michael Corris, Art, Meadows School of the Arts, for interviews and illustration reproductions for his book The Armchair in the Studio: The Engagement of Art and Philosophy Since the 1960s.

• Benard Cummings, Theatre, Meadows School of the Arts, for a theatre adaptation of Babette’s Feast set during the Civil War.

• Kate Engel, Religious Studies, Dedman College, for archival research in Great Britain and Germany on international Protestantism at the time of the American Revolution.

• Blake Hackler, Theatre, Meadows School of the Arts, to take part in advanced training with the SITI Theatre ensemble and conduct research on embodied actor training methodologies.

• Andrea Meltzer, Psychology, Dedman College,  for a study of newlywed couples and weight-maintenance motivations.

• Lisa Pon, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, to support reproduction of images for her upcoming book on the Madonna of the Fire.

• Candace Walkington, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, to build a website containing mathematics problems that are personalized to middle and high school students’ interests.

• Eric White, Special Collections, Bridwell Library, to complete the first comprehensive documentary history of every surviving copy of the Gutenberg Bible, encompassing their discovery, changing ownership and rise in cultural significance.

Research: Five professors named 2012 Ford Research Fellows

SMU's 2012 Ford Research Fellows with President R. Gerald Turner - Jingbo Ye, Dinesh Rajan, Paul Krueger, William Abraham and Lisa Pon

SMU's 2012 Ford Research Fellows were honored by the Board of Trustees during its May meeting. Left to right: President R. Gerald Turner, Jingbo Ye, Dinesh Rajan, Paul Krueger, William Abraham and Lisa Pon.

Five outstanding SMU researchers have been named as the University’s 2012 Ford Research Fellows.

This year’s recipients are William Abraham, Wesley Studies, Perkins School of Theology; Paul Krueger, Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Lisa Pon, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts; Dinesh Rajan, Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and Jingbo Ye, Physics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

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

Learn more about the new Fellows under the link.

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Research Spotlight: Four professors named 2011 Ford Research Fellows

SMU's 2011 Ford Research FellowsFour outstanding SMU researchers have been named as the University’s 2011 Ford Research Fellows. This year’s recipients are Johan Elverskog, Religious Studies, Dedman College; Thomas Hagstrom, Mathematics, Dedman College; Neil Tabor, Earth Sciences, Dedman College; and Sze-kar Wan, New Testament, Perkins School of Theology.

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

Above, the new Ford Research Fellows were honored by the SMU Board of Trustees during its May meeting (left to right): Sze-kar Wan, Thomas Hagstrom, Johan Elverskog and Neil Tabor.

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For the Record: March 19, 2010

Peter Moore, ad interim dean of Dedman College and professor of mathematics, has been elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa by the SMU (Gamma of Texas) chapter of the honor society, which recognizes and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Moore is the first administrator to be so honored in SMU chapter history. He was chosen for the distinction because of “his firm commitment to liberal studies and scholarship, the values crucial to intellectual life in academe,” says Associate Professor of English Bonnie Wheeler, a member of Phi Beta Kappa’s national nominating committee.

Isaac Mbiti, Economics, Dedman College, has been named a Martin Luther King Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the 2010-11 academic year and will teach and conduct research through the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab in MIT’s Economics Department. The lab seeks to change the way public policy is made by determining the most cost-effective approaches for tackling poverty.

Angela Ards, English, Dedman College, has been named a 2010-11 Fellow to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Fellowship will allow her to research and write, with access to the Harvard and Radcliffe library resources, and to exchange ideas with a multidisciplinary community of Fellows from the humanities, the social sciences and the creative arts.

SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility has announced the recipients of its 2010-11 Maguire Teaching Fellow Awards. Soraya Gollop, Philosophy, Dedman College, will design a course tentatively entitled “Medical Ethics.” Thomas Siems, Engineering Management, Information and Systems, Lyle School of Engineering, will design a course entitled “Ethics in Engineering.” The Maguire Center offers one or more $3,000 grants every year to professors who develop a new course relating to ethics, or who add an ethical dimension to an existing course.

Former Fellow Hämäläinen receives Clements Book Prize Nov. 3

 Pekka HamalainenFormer Clements Center Fellow Pekka Hämäläinen will receive SMU’s William P. Clements Prize for Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America during ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in SMU’s DeGolyer Library.

His award-winning book, The Comanche Empire (Yale University Press, 2008), is about the nation-changing power of the Comanche Indians. He honed the work during his 2001-02 fellowship in Dedman College’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

The $2,500 Clements Book Prize honors fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The competition is open to any nonfiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present.

'The Comanche Empire' book coverHämäläinen is the second former Clements Center Fellow to win the Clements Book Prize. Juliana Barr received the honor in 2008 for Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands (University of North Carolina Press, 2007).

The Comanche Empire is a landmark study that will make readers see the history of southwestern America in an entirely new way,” said David Weber, Robert and Nancy Dedman Professor of History and director of the Clements Center. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry has called The Comanche Empire “cutting-edge revisionist western history in every way.” The book has received numerous other awards, including a 2009 Bancroft Prize awarded by Columbia University.

McMurtry wrote in the New York Review of Books that Hämäläinen’s work spelled out a convincing argument that Comanche power is the missing link in the historical sequence that led to Spain’s failure to colonize the interior of North America and, ultimately, the decay of Mexican power in what is now the American Southwest. Citing Hämäläinen’s description of the political, economic and social organization of the Comanches, McMurtry wrote, “Blink a time or two and the reader might forget that the book at hand is about Comanches, rather than Microsoft.”

Hämäläinen, a native of Finland, received his Ph.D. in general history at the University of Helsinki and has been associate professor of history at the University of California-Santa Barbara since 2004. He notes in the acknowledgment section of The Comanche Empire that the book would not exist without the counsel and encouragement of Weber and the Clements Center manuscript workshop that brought together prominent scholars to discuss his project.

Read more from SMU News
Visit the Clements Center for Southwest Studies online

Nineteen students awarded Richter Research Fellowships

Nineteen SMU Honors students have been awarded 2009-10 Richter Research Fellowships through the University Honors Program to conduct independent research around the globe this summer. The undergraduates’ research topics range from child obesity in Australia to nonprofits in the Republic of Zambia.

For the second year, grants also have been awarded to Honors students for independent study at SMU-in-Taos.

“The Richter fellowships represent an important opportunity for Honors students to pursue topics that interest them – inside or outside their primary majors,” says David Doyle, director of the University Honors Program and assistant dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “Upon returning from one to three months of focused research, our Richter University Honors Scholars write and submit scholarly articles to academic journals and magazines.”

SMU is one of only 12 universities that offer the competitive fellowships, which are supported by the Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Funds.

This year’s winners:

Ashley Bruckbauer, a senior majoring in art history and advertising, will study the influence of foreign teachers in Nanjing, China.

Andrew Coit, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in Spanish and music, and Erica Ritz of Minneapolis, a sophomore majoring in international studies and art history with a minor in Italian, will travel to London and Greece to examine the controversy surrounding the ownership of cultural artifacts such as the Elgin Marbles.

Vivian Costandy, a junior majoring in international studies and English with a minor in Spanish, will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to investigate the fallout of the “dirty war” resulting from the 1976 military coup.

William Elder, a junior majoring in history and German with minors in classical studies and Latin, will investigate early military history in Osnabruck, Germany, and Cambridge, England.

P.J. Gardner, a junior majoring in political science, will remain in Dallas to continue researching and writing his senior thesis on expansionism and American politics.

Steve Hader, a senior majoring in finance, Spanish and Latin American studies, will investigate the e-commerce environment in Madrid, Spain.

Victoria Kean, a junior majoring in marketing with minors in German and Chinese, will study the effects of the Holocaust on the Jewish people in the German state of Thuringia.

Kate Kirk, a junior majoring in finance and economics with a minor in international studies, will analyze nonprofit organizations in the Republic of Zambia in Africa to determine their effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.

Drake Konow, a sophomore majoring in foreign languages and religious studies with a minor in human rights, will explore religion and the impact of monastic life on life and culture in the south of France.

Patrick Littlefield, a junior majoring in religious studies and psychology, will study the Emerging Church movement in London. The worldwide movement seeks to adapt Christianity to a postmodern world.

Preston Kyle Osborn, a sophomore majoring in political science and accounting, will explore the nature and volume of crime in early modern England through the SMU-in-Oxford program.

Rebecca Quinn, a junior majoring in Spanish, French and art history, will travel to Barcelona, Spain, to examine the relationship between nationalized Catholicism and church architecture from the 1940s to 1960s during Francisco Franco’s regime.

Astrud Villareal, a junior majoring in biology with minors in chemistry and international studies, will study the child obesity epidemic and its human rights implications in Australia.

In addition, five Honors students received Taos Richter fellowships to pursue research in June at SMU’s New Mexico campus. They are:

  • Alexandra Davis, a sophomore majoring in art history
  • Kyle Hobratschk, a junior majoring in art and creative advertising
  • Jacqueline Wilcher, a sophomore majoring in business
  • Caroline French, a senior majoring in dance and business
  • Thomas (Drew) Washington, a senior majoring in economics

For the Record: May 7, 2009

Jim Copeland, former SMU athletics director, will be inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall Of Fame as part of its 2009 class, the organization announced May 5. Copeland will be among eight administrators joining the Hall. He retired from SMU in May 2006 after 12 years with the University and was the Mustangs’ second longest-serving A.D. (Madison “Matty” Bell served 18 years in the position from 1947-64). Read more.

SMU Fulbright Fellow Kylie QuaveKylie Quave (top right), a graduate student in archaeology in Dedman College, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship to conduct archaeological fieldwork and research in southeastern Peru, the heart of the ancient Inca empire. During the 10-month fellowship beginning in August 2009, she intends to excavate residences on the estate of 16th-century emperor Huayna Capac. She hopes to shed light on the Inca elites who lived there and supervised the estate’s daily operations, immigrant laborers and land, which had been appropriated by the nobility. Read more.

SMU Presidential Fellow Cody MeadorCody Meador (lower right), a junior political science major in Dedman College, has been named a 2009-10 Presidential Fellow by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington, D.C. She is one of 85 students from across the country to receive the honor. She will have the opportunity to interact with high-level government officials involved in the policy-making process and will develop and present a research paper on the consequences of presidential action and inaction on global environmental treaties. Read more.

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