Student work takes center stage at 2014 Research Day Feb. 26

graduate studies

Student work takes center stage at 2014 Research Day Feb. 26

Research Day at SMUSMU graduate students, and select undergraduates, from a wide variety of disciplines will share their work as part of the University’s 2014 Research Day. All SMU faculty, staff members and students are invited to visit the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms from 2-4:30 p.m Wednesday, Feb. 26, to meet the student researchers and discuss their results.

Awards will be presented from 4:30-5 p.m., and refreshments will be served throughout the event.

> See a list of participating student researchers and their projects from SMU News
Visit SMU Graduate Studies online

February 20, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News|

Calendar Highlights: Feb. 12, 2014

Stanton Sharp Lecture: Mark Hunter, associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Human Geography at the University of Toronto-Scarborough, will give the 2014 Stanton Sharp Lecture Wednesday, Feb. 12. Hunter will speak on the AIDS epidemic in South Africa and how that has transformed gender intimacy over time. Hunter released a book on his research, Love in the Time of AIDS, which received the 2010 C. Wright Mills Award and 2010 Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology. The night begins with a reception at 6 and lecture at 6:30, both in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

A heart for veterans: The U.S. Military Veterans of SMU have something sweet for the University community. The student organization will sell Sprinkles cupcakes for their Valentine’s Day fundraiser from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at the flagpole. Get there early for the best selection!

SMU's Meadows Symphony OrchestraMSO student concert: Conducting graduate student Daniel Peterson leads the Meadows Symphony Orchestra in concert on Friday, Feb. 14 and Sunday, Feb. 16. The program will feature solos by Sami Eudi (flute) and Scott Leger (horn), winners of the Meadows Undergraduate Concerto Competition. Friday’s concert is at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s at 3 p.m.; both are in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for faculty, staff and students.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 12, 2014|Calendar Highlights|

Research: To spank or not to spank? SMU studies show research can change minds about corporal punishment

Some parents who spank their children believe it’s an effective form of discipline. But decades of studies have found that spanking is linked to short- and long-term child behavior problems.

Is there any way to get parents to change their minds and stop spanking? Child psychologist George Holden, a professor in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, wanted to see if parents’ positive views toward spanking could be reversed if they were made aware of the research.

Holden and three colleagues in the Department of Psychology used a simple, fast, inexpensive method to briefly expose subjects to short research summaries that detailed spanking’s negative impact. With Professor Alan Brown, Assistant Professor Austin Baldwin and graduate student Kathryn Croft Caderao, he carried out two studies: one with non-parents and one with parents. They found that attitudes were significantly altered.

“Parents spank with good intentions – they believe it will promote good behavior, and they don’t intend to harm the child. But research increasingly indicates that spanking is actually a harmful practice,” said Holden, lead author on the study. “These studies demonstrate that a brief exposure to research findings can reduce positive corporal punishment attitudes in parents and non-parents.”

The findings, “Research findings can change attitudes about corporal punishment,” have been published in the international journal Child Abuse & Neglect. The researchers believe the study is the first of its kind to find that brief exposure to spanking research can alter people’s views toward spanking. Previous studies in the field have relied on more intensive, time-consuming and costly methods to attempt to change attitudes toward spanking.

Research has found that parents who spank believe spanking can make children behave or respect them. That belief drives parental behavior, more so than their level of anger, the seriousness of the child’s misbehavior or the parent’s perceived intent of the child’s misbehavior.

In the first SMU study, the subjects were 118 non-parent college students divided into two groups: one that actively processed web-based information about spanking research; and one that passively read web summaries.

The summary consisted of several sentences describing the link between spanking and short- and long-term child behavior problems, including aggressive and delinquent acts, poor quality of parent-child relationships and an increased risk of child physical abuse.

The majority of the participants in the study, 74.6 percent, thought less favorably of spanking after reading the summary. Unexpectedly, the researchers said, attitude change was significant for both active and passive participants.

A second study replicated the first study, but with 263 parent participants, predominantly white mothers. The researchers suspected parents might be more resistant to change their attitudes. Parents already have established disciplinary practices, are more invested in their current practices and have sought advice from trusted individuals.

But the results indicated otherwise. After reading brief research statements on the web, 46.7 percent of the parents changed their attitudes and expressed less approval of spanking.

“If we can educate people about this issue of corporal punishment, these studies show that we can in a very quick way begin changing attitudes,” said Holden.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

February 4, 2014|Research|

The Guildhall at SMU scores in Animation Career Review rankings

The Guildhall at SMUThe Guildhall at SMU,. Southern Methodist University’s master’s-level game design program, has earned high national and international rankings from Animation Career Review.

The Review ranks The Guildhall as one of the top 10 animation and game-design schools in the Southwest. Other schools to make the list include Brigham Young, UT-Austin and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

The Review cites The Guildhall’s partnerships with SMU undergraduate tracks in Lyle School of Engineering and Meadows School of the Arts among its attractive features, noting that The Guildhall’s Master of Interactive Technology program “has produced hundreds of successful graduates, employed at more than 140 video game studios around the world.”

In addition, the Review ranks The Guildhall in the top 100 (#76) among game animation programs worldwide. This ranking is especially noteworthy because The Guildhall’s four areas of study – Art Creation, Level Design, Production and Software Development – do not include an animation specialization.

> The Guildhall hosts 2013 Fall Exhibition Dec. 20

Animation Career Review launched in 2011 to provide “the most comprehensive … information for aspiring animation and game design professionals,” according to its mission statement. In creating its 2013 regional rankings, the Review considered more than 400 U.S. schools that offer programs geared towards animation or game design. Their ranking criteria include academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty, value as it relates to tuition, and geographic location.

The Guildhall at SMU is celebrating its 10th anniversary throughout 2013-14 with everything from a virtual yearbook to a brand-new career portal for its alumni. Additional details and upcoming events will be posted to The Guildhall website and Facebook.

When The Guildhall opened its doors in 2003, “The Tonight Show” had a field day.

“At Southern Methodist University they have opened a college of video games. It’s a school where the students can specialize in video games. Finally — a degree more useless than political science,” Jay Leno joked.

Since then, The Guildhall has proven the complexity and value of the education it provides.

“At our 10-year milestone, we have successfully answered the initial critics. A master’s degree in game development is not a passing fad,” he said. “And the growth in gaming and gamification will provide many more creative opportunities for our students, faculty and alumni.”

> Visit The Guildhall at SMU online

December 20, 2013|For the Record, News|

For the Record: Nov. 26, 2013

Book cover of 'The Millennial Sovereign' by A. Azfar Moin, SMUAzfar Moin, William P. Clements Department of History, Dedman College, has won two major awards this fall for his first book. The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam (Columbia University Press) earned the American Academy of Religion’s 2013 award for Best First Book in the History of Religions. It also received the 2013 John F. Richards Prize, awarded annually by the American Historical Association, as the most distinguished work of scholarship on South Asian history published in English. This prize will be awarded during a ceremony at the Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in January 2014.

santiago-canon-valencia-solo-cdSantiago Cañón Valencia, a graduate student in the Division of Music, Meadows School of the Arts, released a new performance CD, Solo, in March 2013. The Strad magazine has praised the 18-year-old Colombian’s “technically flawless” and “simply tremendous” playing, calling the CD “one of the most persuasive programmes of solo cello music … to date.” He is a Performer’s Diploma candidate in cello under the instruction of Meadows professor and international concert artist Andrés Díaz.

November 26, 2013|Faculty in the News, For the Record|
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