Mark Chancey

Mark Chancey receives Texas Freedom Network activism award

Mark ChanceyMark Chancey, associate professor and chair of religious studies in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received the 2008 Samantha Smoot Activist Award from the Texas Freedom Network (TFN). Chancey will receive the award at a ceremony in Austin Oct. 4.

TFN presents the award each year to “an individual or individuals who exemplify our mission and work to change the political landscape through grassroots advocacy.”

An expert on archaeology and the Bible, as well as the political and social history of Palestine during the Roman period, Chancey also researches current issues surrounding religion in public education. In collaboration with the TFN Education Fund, he wrote two groundbreaking reports about public school Bible courses, revealing numerous problems that posed potential threats to religious freedom in public schools. The reports spurred national debate about the difficulties of teaching Bible courses in a neutral and nondevotional manner.

“[Chancey’s] research and personal testimony at the Texas Legislature and State Board of Education influenced education policy in tangible and positive ways,” TFN states in its award citation. “Texas public school students would almost certainly be exposed to more and more deeply flawed and unconstitutional Bible courses in their schools if not for Dr. Chancey’s tireless advocacy.”

Faculty in the News: Summer 2008

VOTE buttonsCal Jillson, Political Science, provided expertise for several Election 2008 stories during the summer, discussing:

  • the significance of Hillary Clinton’s prime-time speech placement at the Democratic National Convention in The Canadian Press Aug. 24, 2008
  • the drama viewers won’t see at the major parties’ political conventions in The Arizona Republic Aug. 18, 2008
  • the “mixed bag” for students and universities resulting from the new Higher Education Act in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Aug. 10, 2008, as well as Texas’ fund-raising importance to both major political parties in the paper’s July 28, 2008 edition
  • the reasons why John Cornyn’s campaign press releases are aimed at his Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate rather than at his Democratic opponent, Rick Noriega, in The Houston Chronicle Aug. 4, 2008
  • Texas Democrats’ hopes that Barack Obama’s candidacy can help the state party rebound in the Associated Press July 17, 2008, as well as the lack of a “quick fix” for the foreclosure crisis, now matter who is elected president, with the wire service for its July 5, 2008 edition
  • how the gay-marriage issue will play out in the presidential campaign in Reuters June 19, 2008
  • the differences in style and substance between Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama in Singapore’s The Electric New Paper June 15, 2008

Gas pumpBruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, spoke with several media outlets during Summer 2008 about soaring fuel prices and other energy issues, including:

Peter Weyand, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, discussed Usain Bolt’s Olympic sprinting performance, and the possibility of humans someday running as fast as the fastest four-legged animals, with The Times of India Aug. 20, 2008.

Suku Nair, Computer Science and Engineering, talked about growing concerns for the security of wireless technology with Fox 4 News Aug. 17, 2008.

SMU Olympic swimmerDave Wollman, Track and Field/Cross Country, shared tips on how to train like an Olympian with The Dallas Morning News Aug. 12, 2008.

Fred Moss, Law, discussed recent developments in the Dallas City Hall corruption case with CBS 11 News Aug. 13, 2008. He talked about the merits of hate-crime charges being filed against a man accused of committing random shootings in four Dallas suburbs with The Dallas Morning News July 9, 2008. In addition, he discussed the issues involved in using DNA testing to exonerate those who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes with Reuters July 2, 2008.

Van Kemper, Anthropology, spoke with The Dallas Morning News Aug. 12, 2008, about how the proposed renaming of historic Ross Avenue has put the Dallas City Council in a no-win situation.

Mike Davis, Finance, discussed why the Consumer Price Index may not match a family’s reality with The Dallas Morning News Aug. 4, 2008.

Linda Eads, Law, talked about the merits of searching a defense attorney’s office in a Frisco, Texas murder-for-hire case with The Dallas Morning News July 27, 2008.

Edward Fox, Marketing, discussed the implications of the Minyard supermarket chain’s sale of 37 Carnival stores, along with the Carnival brand itself, with The Dallas Morning News July 24, 2008. He also talked about Wal-Mart’s plans to dramatically scale down a proposed new store in Austin with The Austin American-Statesman June 24, 2008.

Planet EarthMaria Richards, Earth Sciences, discussed geothermal energy as the “lost” component of the alternative-energy push with U.S. News & World Report July 21, 2008.

Patricia Mathes, Institute for Reading Research, talked about North Texas students’ struggles with the written portion of the TAKS test with The Dallas Morning News July 20, 2008.

Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, discussed a decision by the State Board of Education to allow elective Bible courses in Texas high schools with The Dallas Morning News July 11, 2008.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, discussed whether Karl Rove’s criticism of Mitt Romney is aimed at helping Romney become John McCain’s running mate with Salt Lake City’s Deseret News July 16, 2008. He also talked about why both Barack Obama and John McCain need the abortion issue with Reuters May 28, 2008.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, discussed the shortcomings of the new North Texas clean-air plan with the Dallas Business Journal July 11, 2008.

Geoff Orsak, Engineering Dean, provided expertise for a Robert Miller column on how North Texas engineering schools are meeting the demand for engineers with state-of-the-art programs and facilities. The column appeared in The Dallas Morning News June 29, 2008.

Alan Brown, Psychology, discussed his research, which may reveal the secret to winning game shows, with Psychology Today for its July/August 2008 issue.

Dan Howard, Marketing, provided expertise for a story on how frugal spenders can buck an economic downturn that appeared in The Arizona Republic Aug. 8, 2008. He talked about how rising ticket prices will affect the future of the airline industry in The Dallas Morning News June 23, 2008. In addition, he discussed how General Motors’ possible discontinuation of the Hummer reflects the restructuring of the North American automotive industry with The Ottawa Citizen June 14, 2008.

Jessica Dixon, Law, discussed the “puzzling” actions of Texas Child Protective Services in the case of the FDLS polygamist cult with The Dallas Morning News June 18, 2008.

Oil derrickFrank Lloyd, Cox Executive Education, discussed the importance of capable leadership in the global petroleum industry with The Earth Times June 18, 2008.

Robin Lovin, Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed the changing relationship between religion and politics in an essay published in Religion and Ethics Newsweekly June 12, 2008.

Joseph Dancy, Law, discussed how landowners can test the mineral-rights market through an eBay auction with Platts June 3, 2008

Ron Moss, Admissions, discussed the effects of intense college admission competition among the 2008 high school graduating class with WFAA Channel 8 June 3, 2008.

Tune In: Common roots of Christianity and Judaism

Mark ChanceyReligious Studies Chair Mark Chancey (left) was the featured speaker for Temple Emanu-El’s annual adult education course, this year titled “The New Testament: First Century Jews, First Century Christians.” Now, Temple Emanu-El has graciously provided audio files of Chancey’s lectures for online listening and downloading. Click here for more. audio

Men’s Basketball Coach Matt Doherty will appear in the opening-week broadcast of ABC’s “Road to March Madness,” which airs at 2 p.m. CT Feb. 2. Doherty will appear in the network’s New York studio with Bonnie Bernstein and Tom Brennan. Part of the feature was also shot on campus inside Moody Coliseum and during practice at the new Crum Basketball Center. The show will air each Saturday before ABC’s coverage of NCAA basketball. Read more.

Fox Broadcasting’s “So You Think You Can Dance” held its first round of auditions in SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium Jan. 17-19, 2008. More than 400 contestants lined up at 5 a.m. for their chance to strut their stuff in front of Judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Adam Shankman, and show host Cat Deeley. You’ll have to wait until later this spring to see who made the cut for the show’s fourth season, but in the meantime check out this slideshow. photo

By | 2008-01-31T13:44:48+00:00 January 31, 2008|Categories: Tune In|Tags: , , , , |

Faculty in the News: Jan. 18, 2008

SMU faculty stayed busy over the holidays as they shared their expertise with the press and the public. Here’s a short summary of faculty media appearances during Winter Break:

Caroling on the SMU quadPeter Raad, Hart eCenter, was named one of the gaming industry’s “Top 25 People of 2007” by Next Generation Dec. 19, 2007.

Michael Hawn, Sacred Music, spoke on the declining tradition of Christmas caroling in USA Today Dec. 17, 2007.

Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, discussed interfaith understanding and his role as featured speaker in Temple Emanu-El’s annual adult education course with The Dallas Morning News Jan. 5, 2008.

Daniel Howard, Marketing, talked about how 2007 recalls have boosted demand for U.S.-made toys in The Oregonian Dec. 25, 2007.

Mike Davis, Finance, discussed Texas’ pursuit of energy diversity in The Killeen Daily Herald Dec. 31, 2007. He also spoke about the impact of the housing slump on real estate agents with the Dallas Business Journal Oct. 16, 2007

Debate tracking on CNNRita Kirk and Dan Schill, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, tracked Iowa debate viewers’ real-time responses during a Democratic presidential debate in a project undertaken with CNN. Kirk and Schill tracked viewer responses during a debate that took place Dec. 13, 2007.

Matthew Wilson and Cal Jillson, Political Science, talked about differences in state and national political polling with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Dec. 29, 2007. Jillson also discussed New Jersey’s vote to abolish the death penalty with Reuters Dec. 14, 2007.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, discussed what the U.S. Congress’ energy bill compromise means for North Texas pollution control with The Dallas Morning News Dec. 14, 2007.

Rick Halperin, History, discussed the phenomenon of European women befriending Texas death-row inmates with The Seattle Times Oct. 16, 2007. In addition, he coauthored an op-ed urging repeal of the death penalty that appeared in The Houston Chronicle Dec. 22, 2007.

For the Record: Nov. 15, 2007

Ed Fox, Marketing, helped design a survey of major grocery chains in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for The Dallas Morning News. He is featured in an article on the survey’s results that appeared in the Morning News Nov. 11, 2007.

John Attanasio, Law Dean, discussed the mission of the law school in an article on the growing number of Christian-based law schools in the Houston Chronicle Nov. 9, 2007.

Elaine Heath, Theology, and Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, have received Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Heath’s Fellowship will support her research on emerging neo-monastic communities in the United States, which will result in a book to be published next year. Chancey’s Fellowship will support travel to archaeological sites in Galilee and the Golan Heights to research his upcoming book on the archaeology of Palestine in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, from Alexander the Great through Constantine.

George Martinez, Law, discussed an Irving, Texas lawsuit to force the adoption of single-member City Council districts and what it may mean for minority representation with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Nov. 8, 2007.

Dennis Cordell, History, was lauded for receiving SMU’s 2006-07 Faculty/Staff Volunteer of the Year award in the Summer/Fall 2007 issue of LifeLines, the newsletter of AIDS Arms Inc. He is chair of the agency’s Program Services committee, which oversees programs including operation of its medical and legal clinic, maintenance of testing and counseling centers, and partnerships with Latino and black community services.

Tihda VongkothSenior music major Tihda Vongkoth (right) has won the 2007 Keroupe Zildjian Concert Percussion Scholarship. College undergraduate percussionists worldwide participated in the competition, sponsored annually by the Zildjian Company, a renowned maker of cymbals and percussion instruments. Vongkoth is a student of Douglas Howard, Kalman Cherry and Drew Lang; she performs with the Meadows Percussion Ensemble, the Meadows Symphony Orchestra and the Meadows Wind Ensemble. Read more.

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