Robin Lovin

Faculty in the News: Winter Break 2008-09

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, provided expertise for several political stories, including:

  • how Republicans in Congress may be playing a high-risk game by snubbing Barack Obama, who has publicly sought their support, in Forbes magazine, Jan. 29, 2009
  • how a new bill that would boost health care coverage for children would cost and benefit Texans, in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 15, 2009
  • the continuing influence of West Texas in the state legislature as Tom Craddick is replaced as speaker, in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Jan. 3, 2009
  • Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, and the Illinois governor’s scandal, in The Washington Examiner, Dec. 28, 2008

Dennis Simon, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about the challenges Barack Obama will face as president, including the challenge of expectations, with The Austin American-Statesman Jan. 18, 2009.

Kathleen Cooper, Tower Center for Political Studies, Dedman College, discussed how Texas will be affected as investments based on high oil prices fall on hard times in an op-ed published in The Houston Chronicle, Jan. 10, 2009.

Robin Lovin, Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed whether there is a place for “divine certainty” in the White House in The Dallas Morning News‘ Texas Faith blog Jan. 27, 2009. He also wrote about President Obama and the nature of historical moments for National Public Radio website Jan. 21, 2009.

SMU Theology Dean William LawrenceWilliam Lawrence, Dean, Perkins School of Theology, talked about the often unusual relationship between presidents and preachers in a commentary on 90.1 KERA-FM Radio Jan. 16, 2009 (listen online or download) audio. He also discussed “firsts and lasts” in American political discourse in a KERA commentary broadcast on Dec. 19, 2008 (listen online or download) audio.

Mike Davis, Finance, Cox School of Business, discussed why most individuals have zero comprehension of $1 trillion, and how to make the amount easier to understand, with The Dallas Morning News Jan. 29, 2009.

Ravi Batra, Economics, Dedman College, discussed the current state of the country and its economy in a feature profile published in The Fort Worth Weekly Dec. 16, 2008.

Karen Thomas, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, wrote about the changes already begun because of President Obama in an article published in The Dallas Morning News Jan. 20, 2009.

Tony Pederson, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, provided expertise for a Jan. 4, 2009 Associated Press article on how former competitors in the news business are forging content-sharing deals to mitigate staff cuts and other losses. The article ran in several newspapers in early January, including The Chicago Tribune.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, talked about Amway’s effort to revive its own brand with The Houston Chronicle Dec. 25, 2008.

SMU Education Dean David ChardDavid Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, wrote an op-ed about the banning of the book ttyl by the Round Rock (TX) Independent School District. The opinion piece was published in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Jan. 13, 2009.

Hal Barkley, Counseling, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, talked about how to cope with families and stress during the holidays with The Dallas Morning News Dec. 22, 2008.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed potential hazards in Houston’s air with The Houston Chronicle Jan. 12, 2009.

David Blackwell, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, discussed how power from underground “hot rocks” could become the “killer app” of the energy industry with The Christian Science Monitor Dec. 31, 2008.

Faculty in the News: Oct. 17, 2008

William Lawrence, Theology Dean, and Matthew Wilson, Political Science, contributed to “When Moral Principles Clash With Economic Needs” for The Dallas Morning News‘ “Texas Faith” blog Oct. 6, 2008.

Bruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, talked about the possibility of OPEC reducing oil production to offset recent price declines with USA Today Oct. 10, 2008. He also discussed the drop in gas prices and whether it will last with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Oct. 11, 2008.

Robin Lovin, Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed the ethical and practical issues involved with charging admission to large traveling worship services such as those of Joel Osteen with The Dallas Morning News Oct. 11, 2008.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, discussed recent scrutiny of the amount of air pollution produced by natural gas extraction in the Barnett Shale field with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Oct. 12, 2008.

Kumar Venkataraman, Finance, spoke on the link between financial markets and “the real economy” – consumer and business spending – with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Oct. 14, 2008.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, discussed the possibility of Democrats retaking a majority in the Texas House with The Houston Chronicle Oct. 15, 2008.

Rita Kirk and Dan Schill, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, discussed their viewer response research – conducted live for CNN throughout the four 2008 presidential and vice-presidential debates – with The Dallas Morning News Oct. 15, 2008. A replay of the final debate, with a full transcript and moment-to-moment results, is available online at

Lovin discusses three faces of politics at Maguire Public Scholar Lecture

SMU’s Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics Robin Lovin told a full audience that there’s nothing new in American history about religious groups using politics as a tool for social transformation. “The abolition of slavery, temperance campaigns, the civil rights movement and a whole variety of antiwar movements all have had their roots in religion,” he said during his 2008 Maguire Public Scholar Lecture Sept. 24. The lecture is presented by SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

“It is in some ways a peculiarly American idea, with a characteristically American confidence that good intentions and good organization inevitably lead to good results.”

He also urged listeners to consider the intersection of religion and politics in terms of temptation, tool and task, no matter what their religious preference.

“In some ways we all share the problems that Christian history has created for American religious life, and there will be no solutions to these problems unless all the communities that now make up our commonwealth can find their own ways to participate,” he said.


Tune In: A guided tour of a scientific wonder

Fred Olness at CERNA large team from SMU’s Physics Department is among the thousands of international participants collaborating on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. Take a look at their work in a video hosted by Fred Olness (right), physics professor in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. video

Robin Lovin, Maguire Professor of Ethics; Matthew Wilson, Political Science; and William Lawrence, Theology Dean, are featured panelists in Texas Faith, a new blog hosted by The Dallas Morning News. The weekly feature is an ongoing discussion of religion, politics and culture that draws upon the expertise of clergy, laity and academics in Texas. Visit the blog and subscribe to its newsfeed.

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 19, 2008

Wanda SykesIn McFarlin Auditorium:

  • Sept. 26: TITAS presents comedienne and actress Wanda Sykes (right) at 8 p.m. For ticket information, call 214-528-5576.

Five years of fun and games: The Guildhall at SMU celebrates its 5th anniversary with a block party for the general public and game-industry professionals noon-3 p.m. Sept. 20 at SMU-in-Legacy. Faculty, staff, students and alumni are invited for fun, food and games for all ages (plus a bounce house and slide for the kids).

Collegium da Vinci Public Lecture: Dramatic images from the Hubble Space Telescope shine when Mario Livio, senior astrophysicist of the Space Telescope Science Institute, presents “The World According to the Hubble Space Telescope” in Collegium da Vinci’s 2008 Allman Family Public Lecture. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center. Admission is free. RSVP to 8-1177 or

Maguire Public Scholar Lecture: Can American religion develop a realistic appreciation of politics on its own terms? Robin Lovin, SMU’s Maguire Chair in Ethics, discusses “Politics in Religious Perspective: Temptation, Tool or Task” at noon Sept. 24 in the Umphrey Lee Center Ballroom. The event begins with a reception at 11:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public. RSVP to Jo Ann Gonzales, 8-4255.

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