SMU announces five 2016 Ford Research Fellows

Mark Chancey

SMU announces five 2016 Ford Research Fellows

SMU Ford Research Fellows, 2016

Meghan Ryan, Ali Beskok, Frederick Chang, Jodi Cooley-Sekula and Mark Chancey (with SMU Provost Steven Currall) were honored as SMU’s 2016 Ford Research Fellows during the Board of Trustees meeting in May. Photo: SMU/Hillsman S. Jackson

Five distinguished SMU professors received awards for their scholarship and support for their research when there were named 2016 Ford Research Fellows during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 5.

This year’s recipients are Ali Beskok, Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Frederick Chang, Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Jodi Cooley-Sekula, Physics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; and Meghan Ryan, Dedman School of Law.

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

(more…)

June 3, 2016|For the Record, News, Research|

Research: Texas public-school Bible courses skirt state law

Stock photo of open BibleMost of the 60 public school districts in Texas that offer courses on the Bible aren’t meeting a 2007 state law mandating that those courses be fair as well as academically and legally sound, according to a new study by SMU religious studies expert Mark Chancey.

The study uncovered bias, factual errors and insufficient curriculum standards in Texas public school Bible courses. The report “Reading, Writing & Religion II” was carried out for the Austin-based education watchdog group Texas Freedom Network (TFN).

Chancey, a religious studies professor in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, recommends the Texas State Board of Education develop Bible course curriculum standards and the Texas Education Agency be allowed funds for a teacher training program. Chancey has devoted considerable attention to the constitutional, political and academic issues raised by religion courses in public schools.

“If public schools are going to have courses on the Bible, those courses need to be just as academically rigorous as courses in history, English, and math, not less rigorous. Some schools’ courses seemed more intent on promoting religious belief than religious literacy,” said Chancey, who reviewed tens of thousands of pages of material from Texas school districts.

“When public schools teach about religion, it’s essential that they do so in a way that does not promote some people’s religious beliefs over others,” he said. “Students and the Bible deserve our very best efforts, and at this point, as a state we’re not giving them that.”

Unable to lawfully insert creation science into science classes, some schools inserted it into Bible classes, Chancey said.

His research found, for example, that courses in several districts included efforts to reconcile a literalistic reading of the Genesis creation story with modern science. Some suggested that assuming lengthy gaps of time between each of the six days of creation explained why scientists believed the earth is so old. Several courses implied that belief in evolution was incompatible with being religious.

“One course’s materials even included a religious tract claiming that NASA had discovered a missing day in time that corresponded to the story of the sun standing still in the biblical book of Joshua,” Chancey said. “The first time I heard this claim, I did what any reasonable person would do: I called NASA. I knew that this story was an urban legend, of course, and NASA was able to direct me to a web page discrediting it.”

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from the SMU Research blog

 

February 5, 2013|Research|

Faculty in the News: Nov. 16, 2010

Henry Arthur McArdle, 'The Battle of San JacintoEric White, curator at SMU’s Bridwell Library, discussed James G. Pepper’s work creating a hand-lettered, hand-illustrated Bible with The United Methodist Church’s Interpreter Magazine. The article appeared in the November-December 2010 edition.

Sam Ratcliffe, head of special collections in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, talked with The Houston Chronicle about the recent discovery of a smaller version of Texas artist Henry Arthur McArdle’s famed painting The Battle of San Jacinto (right) – a canvas previously thought to have been destroyed in a 1918 house fire. The article appeared in the paper’s Nov. 8, 2010 edition.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Sarah Palin’s visit to Dallas and its potential impact on other politicians’ aspirations with The Dallas Morning News Nov. 10, 2010.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about how – and whether – President Obama can adapt to the new political realities of Washington with The Christian Science Monitor Nov. 6, 2010. In addition, he discussed the 2010 midterm elections with The Houston Chronicle and USA Today in articles that appeared Nov. 3, 2010.

Peter Raad on 'Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman'Peter Raad (right), Executive Director, The Guildhall at SMU, discussed the future landscape of video games on the nationally syndicated PBS series “Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman.” The show aired Nov. 4, 2010. Watch it online. video

Dennis Simon, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Democratic successes in Dallas County elections despite Republican dominance of national races with The Dallas Morning News Nov. 3, 2010.

Anastasia Suen, Creative Writing, Continuing and Professional Studies, was featured in an article on the “Frisco Reads” program that appeared in The South Lake Times Oct. 27, 2010.

Bruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, talked with The Wall Street Journal about how cement used in oil drilling is prone to failure. The article appeared in the Oct. 30, 2010 edition.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, discussed Halloween sales of candy, costumes and decorations as a barometer for general economic recovery with The Dallas Business Journal Oct. 29, 2010.

Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, Dedman College, talked about a Bible-based history curriculum being sought by a member of Louisiana’s Caddo Parish School Board with The Shreveport Times Nov. 2, 2010.

November 16, 2010|Faculty in the News|

Faculty in the News: Oct. 12, 2010

Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, wrote about reasons for delaying the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas rules in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Oct. 6, 2010.

Linda Eads, Dedman School of Law, discussed the State Bar of Texas’ proposed “sex with clients” rule for an article published in The Dallas Morning News Oct. 4, 2010.

Rick Halperin, Embrey Human Rights Program, Dedman College, wrote a column in opposition to the death penalty that was published in The Dallas Morning News Oct. 6, 2010.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, discussed the race for Texas governor and the controversy over the distribution of money from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund with The Houston Chronicle Oct. 4, 2010.

Metin Eren, a graduate student in archaeology in Dedman College, was featured in a story on how scientists are rethinking theories on the intelligence of Neanderthals that appeared in The Washington Post Oct. 5, 2010.

Mark Chancey on MSNBCMark Chancey (right), Religious Studies, Dedman College, and the Rev. Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas talked about the debate over how Islam is characterized in Texas textbooks with MSNBC News Sept. 24, 2010. video

David Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, talked about education schools and the role they play in producing strong teachers with The Dallas Morning News Oct. 3, 2010.

Jeff Bellin, Dedman School of Law, talked with Reuters about a court hearing into the 2004 Texas execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for the arson murders of his three young daughters. The article was released Oct. 2, 2010, and appeared in numerous publications, including The Chicago Tribune.

October 12, 2010|Faculty in the News|
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