staff news

Save the date: The 2015 SMU Staff Association President’s Picnic takes place Thursday, May 21

The SMU Staff Association and President R. Gerald Turner invite all University staff members to the 2015 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The traditional post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, May 21 on the south lawn of Clements Hall.

This year’s event will include a commemorative Centennial photo, to be taken at 11:15 a.m., and special T-shirts exclusively for Centennial photo participants. Register online at smu.edu/picnic to ask for your T-shirt size. For more information, contact Staff Association President Kristi Kaiser Trail, 214-768-8283.

> Visit the SMU Staff Association online: smu.edu/staffassociation

SMU continues its Centennial celebration during 2015 Founders’ Day Weekend April 16-18

R. Gerald Turner, President's Briefing, SMU Founders' Day 2012

R. Gerald Turner gives the President’s Briefing at SMU Founders’ Day 2012. The University celebrates the 2015 event from April 16-18.

The SMU community celebrates its fifth Founders’ Day Weekend with football, faculty talks, a President’s briefing, and a tribute to Meadows Museum’s 50th anniversary. The festivities take place April 16-18, 2015 around the main campus.

The weekend begins Thursday, April 16 with the annual Golden Mustang reunion as the University welcomes back alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago. It continues on Friday, April 17, with the extremely popular Inside SMU Powered by TEDxSMU, featuring thought-provoking presentations by faculty, alumni and students.

Also on Friday, SMU President R. Gerald Turner offers perspective on the University’s progress during the President’s Briefing at 7 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. In addition, the SMU Program Council presents the newest edition of a beloved tradition, Sing Song: EARTH, at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Saturday, April 18 is SMU Community Day. This year features exhibitions and family activities at the Meadows Museum’s “Passport to Spain” plus spring football and opportunities to meet Head Coach Chad Morris and current and former SMU players at the Mustang Fan Fair.

The Meadows Museum 50th anniversary celebration includes programs and exhibitions documenting the history of the Museum and a special preview of the Abelló Collection, one of the world’s most renowned private collections that will be seen for the first time in the United States at the Meadows.

This year’s event  marks the final Founders’ Day Weekend of The Second Century Celebration. Designated as the third Friday in April each year, Founders’ Day recognizes “the visionary institutions, organizations and individuals that founded the University on April 17, 1911,” according to the SMU 100 website.

> Find a complete schedule at the SMU Founders’ Day website: smu.edu/foundersday

SMU Relay For Life 2015 exceeds fund-raising goal

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SMU Relay for Life 2015, April 10-11, raises approximately $176,400 benefitting the American Cancer Society.

SMU held its 12th annual Relay for Life on Saturday, April 10-11, from 6:30 p.m.-11:30 a.m. During the overnight fundraising walk, tables and tents filled the Boulevard as more than 1,500 students and community members came out to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer.

The event raised approximately $176,400 benefitting the American Cancer Society, well exceeding the goal of $158,000. Two standouts in the fundraising efforts were the SMU Kappa Alpha Theta team and SMU senior Katie Schaible.

The Thetas topped the leader board for team fundraising this year, collecting more than $38,761. After a junior in the SMU Theta pledge class was diagnosed with cancer during the Fall 2014 term, the Relay for Life movement became the perfect platform for the sorority to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The entire chapter actively came together to support her, raise funds and bring awareness to the fight.

SMU senior Katie Schaible raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during her four years

SMU senior Katie Schaible raised more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during her four years at SMU.

For her fourth consecutive year, Katie Schaible made the individual fundraiser leader board. Schaible truly embodies the spirit of Relay for Life. After losing her father to melanoma at the age of 14, Schaible joined Relay for Life during her freshmen year and has raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society since.

Prior to the on-campus event, SMU Relay For Life won the title of number one college Relay in an online event on February 23-25, 2015. Competing against the top 25 American Cancer Society college Relays for Life, SMU Relay for Life took the top spot raising $45,534. Collectively the online event raised $315,654 benefiting the American Cancer Society.

“The SMU community rose to new heights with the unbelievable success they had during the Number One Relay Challenge,” said Rebecca Wood, staff partner for the Relay. “I am so proud of the student-led committee and the community as a whole.”

For more information or to donate to the cause, visit the SMU Relay For Life webpage or the SMU Relay For Life Facebook page.

Nomination deadline for Staff Recognition, Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Awards extended to Feb. 6, 2015

UPDATE: The SMU Staff Association has announced an extension of the deadline for staff award nominations to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.

Originally published Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.

Loretta O'Reilly Hawkins

Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins

The SMU Staff Association is accepting nominations for the 2014 Presidential Staff Recognition Awards and Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.

The Presidential Staff Recognition Awards “recognize the contribution and excellence of staff employees to SMU,” and the nomination and selection process is managed by the Department of Human Resources.

The awards will be presented at the 2015 Staff Recognition Ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, March 5. Each Presidential award includes a $1,000 cash prize, and each carries unique criteria:

  • The Gretchen C. Voight New Employee Excellence Award, given to a staff member who has been with SMU for 1 to 3 consecutive years.
  • The Continuing Excellence Award, given to a staff member who has been with the University for 4 or more consecutive years.
  • The Outstanding Leadership Award, given to a staff member who supervises 1 or more benefit-eligible employees and who “demonstrates exceptional leadership ability within his or her unit or across the University.”
  • The Innovation Award, given to a staff member whose “creative, innovative ideas … significantly improve a work process or system or greatly increase the efficiency of an operation or unit.”

> Review the criteria for the Presidential Staff Recognition Awards

The Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award is presented by the SMU Staff Association to permanent full-time employees “who have exemplified the qualities and characteristics of Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins as a member of the University community by demonstrating integrity, productivity and devotion to SMU and family.”

The award was endowed by Dallas E. Hawkins II to honor his mother and her life as well as to benefit the university she served as a staff member from 1924 to 1961.

> Learn more about Loretta and about the award bearing her name

Hawkins Award nominees must have been permanent, full-time SMU staff employees for at least 5 five years as of the month of the nomination deadline and be in good standing with the University. The award includes a cash prize of $1,500.

Students, supervisors, employees, co-workers and colleagues are welcome to submit nominations for all awards. Honorees will be named at the 2013 Staff Recognition Ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Find lists of past Presidential and Hawkins award winners

Send Presidential Staff Recognition Award nominations to SMU Human Resources, to the attention of Rebecca Sampson, SMU Box 232. Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award nominations may be sent to Staff Association President Darrah Rippy, SMU Box 181. Mark all nomination materials confidential.

Download Presidential Award criteria and nomination forms from SMU Human Resources
Find Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award criteria and nomination forms at the Staff Association homepage

Sports: Chad Morris introduced as new SMU head football coach

morrisFootball: Former Clemson offensive coordinator and Texas high school football coach Chad Morris was introduced as the new head football coach at SMU at a press conference on Monday, Dec. 1. Morris was named AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year and one of five finalists for National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by 247Sports.com in 2013, and the National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Rivals.com in 2011. Morris served as a head coach on the Texas high school level for 16 years, posting a 169-38 record overall and winning back-to-back undefeated state championships in his final two seasons at Lake Travis. In all, Morris took six of his teams to Texas State Championship Games, with three of those teams capturing state titles, and earned Coach of the Year honors 11 times.

The hire was a nice pick-me-up after a loss to in-state rival Houston on Friday, Nov. 28. Sophomore Matt Davis threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Gaines to give the Mustangs a 9-7 lead and hopes of picking up their first win. NCAA Football: Houston vs. SMUCougars running back Kenneth Farrow ran for two touchdowns, and quarterback Greg Ward Jr. added another to put Houston back on top 28-9 at the end of the third quarter. Davis had 145 yards passing for SMU, and led the Mustangs with 70 yards rushing on 20 carries. SMU will have one final shot for a win in their season finale on the road against Connecticut on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 11:00 a.m. CT. The game will air on CBS Sports Network.

heiseVolleyball: It was a weekend of broken records, as SMU won a program-record 15th match at home, defeating Tulsa 3-1 on Wednesday, Nov. 26. Sophomore Janelle Giordano scored a match-high 12 kills, and junior Cailin Bula and sophomore Kristen Stehling each added 11 kills. Sopomore Morgan Heise finished with 22 digs. The Mustangs set another record for overall victories in a season, winning their 26th in a 3-0 sweep at East Carolina on Friday, Nov. 28.

Heise made program history by breaking the record for digs in a season after tallying 11 in the match, bringing her season total to 626. She passed Sydney Stewart who had 625 during the 2011 season. Senior Caroline Young led all attackers with 15 kills, in addition to 10 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. She was also named Libero of the Year in the American Athletic Conference, and was one of four Mustangs named to the all-conference team. Young and Avery Acker joined Heise on the first-team, and Giordano earned second-team honors.

yanickMen’s Basketball: Senior Yanick Moreira led SMU with 20 points and 10 rebounds in a wire-to-wire 78-72 loss to No. 25 Arkansas on Tuesday, Nov. 25. It was a game of runs as the Mustangs had an 18-6 run that pulled them within six, but then the Razorbacks responded with an 11-2 run of their own. SMU rallied again from 19 down to make the score 73-68 with 37 seconds remaining, nicmoorebut Arkansas held off the comeback.

The Mustangs bounced back the following night with a 72-59 win over Texas Southern. Junior Nic Moore scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 3-0f-4 from beyond the arc. Moore continued his hot streak in a 63-51 victory over Monmouth on Sunday, Nov. 30, scoring 18 of the team’s first 22 points and finishing with 23 points total. Moore was named to the watch list for the 2015 Naismith Award, given to the top men’s basketball player. Moore and SMU improved their record to 4-3 on the season, and are back in action at 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 5 against Wyoming in Moody Coliseum. The game will be televised on ESPNews.

brameWomen’s Basketball: Freshmen Alicia Froling and Taylor Brame recorded their first career double-doubles, and junior Destynee Hives-McCray recorded her third double-double of the season in a commanding 77-46 win over Florida A&M on Friday, Nov. 28 to advance to the championship of the SMU Thanksgiving Classic. Hives-McCray finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.  Froling added 14 points and 10 boards, while Brame posted 11 points and 13 rebounds.hivesmccray

USC edged the Mustangs, 64-57, in the championship on Saturday, Nov. 29. Junior forward Destynee Hives-McCray scored eight points and grabbed 13 boards, earning all-tournament honors. A night after holding Florida A&M to 19.1 percent shooting, the Mustangs limited the Trojans to just 23.5% from the field in the first half. However, USC came alive in the second half, scoring 46 of their 64 points after the break. SMU’s bounced back with a 62-55 win against North Texas on Wednesday, Dec. 3 for their eighth win in nine years over the Metroplex rivals. Gabrielle Wilkins paced the Mustangs’ scoring with 15 points. SMU squares off with Arizona State on the road on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 4:00 p.m. CT.

burnettMen’s Swimming and Diving: Senior diver Devin Burnett was named the American Athletic Conference’s Diver of the Week for the second consecutive week on Tuesday, Nov. 25. The reigning conference diver of the year was honored last week for his dominating performance against TCU. This week, he was honored for third-place finishes in the one-meter, three-meter and platform dives at the Art Adamson Invitational.

Equestrian: Senior Emma Roberts and sophomore Sylvia de Toledo were named United Equestrian Riders of the Month for November. Both riders won their head-to-head matchups in November road meets against New Mexico State and South Dakota State. Roberts earned the accolade for equitation over fences. De Toledo’s second Rider of the Month honor is for equitation on the flat.

Rowing: Head rowing coach Doug Wright has announced the hiring of Paige Love as an assistant coach for the program. Love spent the last seven years coaching at White Rock Lake for Dallas United Crew, the largest juniors club rowing program in Texas. During her time at DUC, she helped double the size of their high school competitive rowing program, and coached boats that were competitive in the region and regularly qualified boats to compete at Youth Nationals. She’s had more than 30 graduating student-athletes continue to row in college.

A standout collegiate student-athlete, Love was born and raised in Dallas and received her bachelor’s degree in journalism, focusing on strategic communications, from the University of Kansas. While at KU, Love rowed for the Division I rowing program from 2002-06.

SMU faculty, staff to join Interfaith Housing Coalition for 2014 Stampede of Service Nov. 7

Interfaith Housing Coalition Dallas logoTo kick off the weekend that precedes Homecoming 2014, SMU faculty and staff members will participate in a volunteer day as part of the University’s annual Stampede of Service.

Volunteers will meet at United Way partner agency Interfaith Housing Coalition (IHC) from 8:30 a.m.-noon Friday, Nov. 7. The SMU group will help perform move-in preparation in IHC apartments for working poor families transitioning out of homelessness.

To volunteer, sign up online through SMU’s United Way Day of Impact page. Watch SMU Forum for more information about Stampede of Service 2014.

> Learn more about SMU service opportunities at smu.edu/volunteer

Staff Association presents 2014 Variety Show Tuesday, Oct. 28

SMUSA Variety Show 2014The SMU Staff Association (SMUSA) presents its 2014 Staff Variety Show on Tuesday, Oct. 28, and seats are still available. Hosted by the award-winning Jenna Skyy, the luncheon and performances begin at noon in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

The luncheon costs $9.99 per person and features turkey and Havarti sandwiches, house-made parmesan chips, fruit salad, lemon bars, iced tea and coffee. SMUSA is accepting luncheon RSVPs and online payment at this link.

A separate online RSVP link is available for attendees who prefer to pay with cash or check, or who plan to attend the show but not the luncheon.

> Check out the SMU Staff Association’s calendar of events online

Sports: Men’s Soccer makes return to NSCAA/Continental Tire Division I Coaches Poll

Screen shot 2014-10-15 at 10.19.02 AMMen’s Soccer: The men’s soccer team continued their last-minute heroics when first-year defender Bryce Clark scored his first career goal with 19 seconds left in overtime to lift his team over Temple 2-1 on Saturday, Oct. 11 in Philadelphia. The win completed a 2-0 week for the Mustangs that landed SMU in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Coaches Poll for the first time since 2012, checking in at No. 21.

Clark and fellow freshman defender Jared Rice were honored by the conference as Defensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively. The two were pivotal on both sides of the field, helping the Mustangs to a shutout and a 0.47 goals-against-average last week. clarkandriceRice tallied two saves in the Memphis game, and Clark scored the winner against Temple.

Playing in their first game as a ranked team in two years, the No. 21 Mustangs blanked Central Arkansas 7-0 on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Westcott Field. Six different Mustangs scored as they tallied the most goals in a game since a 8-0 win over Centenary in 2006. SMU will try to hold on to its top spot in the American Athletic Conference when they face No. 24 USF on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m. CT at Westcott Field.

Screen shot 2014-10-17 at 9.49.33 AMMen’s Basketball: The men’s basketball team came in at No. 22 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Top 25, announced on Thursday, Oct. 16. The Mustangs will face three preseason top-25 teams in the 2014-2015 campaign: No. 13 Gonzaga (Nov. 17), No. 15 Connecticut (Feb. 14 & March 1) and No. 23 Michigan (Dec. 20). The season begins at Moody Coliseum on Nov. 14 when SMU hosts Lamar.

Women’s Tennis: The women’s tennis team went undefeated and claimed seven championships at the Collin College Fall Open in Plano, Texas on Oct. 10 and 11. Sophomore Mary Wright tallied three singles wins over the weekend and leads the Mustangs with eight wins this season.

Juniors Vaszilisza Bulgakova and Hristina Dishkova and sophomore Dasha Sharapova all advanced to the round of 32 in singles at the USTA-ITA Regional Championships on Thursday, Oct. 16 in Waco, Texas. The round of 32 begins Friday, Oct. 17.

Football: SMU looks to pick up its first victory of the 2014 season against Cincinnati on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 2:30 p.m. CT at Ford Stadium. The Mustangs are coming off a 45-24 loss to East Carolina, in which they set offensive season-highs in total offense (390), passing yards (339), touchdowns (3) and first downs (20). When the two teams met last November, SMU’s comeback fell short in a 28-25 loss in Cincinnati.

SMU Athletics is launching an “Oktoberfest” ticket package for the next two home games that includes a ticket to either the Cincinnati game or the Memphis game on Saturday, Oct. 25, a sausage on a stick and a t-shirt for just $20. Fans can purchase the package here. All ticket packages for the final four home games are available at SMUTickets.com.

Ray SchoenkeFormer SMU offensive lineman Ray Schoenke was chosen for induction into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, the selection committee announced Wednesday, Oct. 8. The 2015 Enshrinement Weekend will take place Jan. 23-24, 2015 in Oahu, Hawaii. A Wahiawa, Hawaii native, Schoenke was a football letter winner from 1960-62 and earned First-Team All-Southwest Conference and Academic All-American honors in 1962. He participated in the 1961 East-West Shrine Game and the 1962 Hula Bowl before being drafted in the 11th round by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1963 NFL Draft. Schoenke bounced around a couple of teams before a 10-year stint with the Washington Redskins. In 2002, he was named one of the top 100 players in Redskins history.

Women’s Swimming and Diving: The Mustangs return to the pool to host the 21st annual SMU Classic at the Westside Natatorium in Lewisville, Texas on Friday, Oct. 17 and Saturday, Oct. 18. SMU’s competition includes four top-25 finishers from the 2014 NCAA Championship: USC (5th), Louisville (15th), NC State (16th) and Miami (21st). The Mustangs finished 20th at the NCAA Championship and second in the American Athletic Conference behind Louisville.

Volleyball: The bright side of SMU’s 3-1 road loss to Tulsa on Wednesday, Oct. 17 was senior Caroline Young’s return to the front row. Young posted her fourth double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs. With the loss, the Mustangs’ record falls to 15-4 and 4-3 in the American Athletic Conference. SMU hosts East Carolina on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 1:00 p.m. CT in Moody Coliseum.

hegartyFreshman Katie Hegarty started for Young in the front row in a 3-1 win over Houston on Friday, Oct. 10 and recorded 11 kills and hit .300 in her first start. Young played only the back row after an ankle injury took her out of a match against Memphis and recorded nine digs and three aces. Abbey Bybel led the Mustangs with 13 kills.

seifertThe Mustangs capped off the weekend with a 3-2 win over Tulane on Sunday, Oct. 12 in Moody Coliseum. The win was the 300th victory for coach Lisa Seifert. Bybel and Hegarty led the team in kills with 14 and 11, respectively.

Women’s Golf: Junior Jenny Haglund’s 3rd top-10 finish of the year helped the Mustangs to a 4th-place finish at the Betsy Rawls Invitational at the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin, Texas. She finished 5-over for the tournament and tied with four others for 6th place. UNLV and Tulane shared the tournament title at 31-over. Baylor trailed by three strokes at +34, and SMU followed in 4th at +36. The Mustangs begin their final fall tournament on Sunday, Oct. 26 at the Briggs Ranch Golf Club for the UTSA-hosted Alamo Invitational.

Women’s Soccer: The women’s soccer team was defeated 3-1 by UConn on Sunday, Oct. 12 at Westcott Field. The Mustangs sported pink jerseys for their annual “Kick For A Cure” game in support of breast cancer awareness. SMU got out to an early lead when sophomore Kelsey Gorney netted her first goal of the season in the 11th minute. The Huskies scored the equalizer in the 24th minute, and found the back of the net twice more before halftime.

SMU’s slump continued, dropping their fifth decision in six matches in a 1-0 loss to Cincinnati on Thursday, Oct. 16. An early second-half goal in the 47th minute was all the Bearcats needed. The Mustangs attack picked up in the second half, but they could not find the back of the net. SMU continues their road trip to Greenville, North Carolina to take on East Carolina on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 1:00 p.m. CT.

Faculty Senate honors five with 2014 Outstanding Staff Awards

SMU’s Faculty Senate honored five outstanding staff members with 2014 Faculty Senate Outstanding Staff Awards during its last meeting of the academic year on Wednesday, April 30.

In addition to the award, each honoree received a tote bag containing items ranging from gift certificates to performance passes to SMU Basketball T-shirts. The gifts were donated by SMU Athletics, the SMU Bookstore, SMU Dining Services, Meadows Museum and Meadows Theatre.

This year’s winners:

  • Sandra Blackstone, Finance, Cox School of Business
  • Amy Dahmann, Temerlin Advertising Institute, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Judy Gibbons, Intern Program, Perkins School of Theology
  • Cliff Gould, Parking Services, Parking and ID Card Services
  • Pam Henderson, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Meadows School of the Arts

Photos of each winner with Faculty Senate President Santanu Roy have been posted to the Faculty Senate website’s Awards and Recognitions Archive.

Time to celebrate at the 2014 President’s Picnic Friday, May 23

2014 SMU Staff Appreciation Day and President's Picnic - imageSMU staff members will unofficially kick off the Memorial Day 2014 weekend with a party Friday, May 23, on the south lawn of Clements Hall. The SMU Staff Association (SMUSA) and President R. Gerald Turner host the 2014 President’s Picnic 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

The traditional post-Commencement celebration features picnic food favorites and several prize contests. Food will be served 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. All SMU staff members are invited to attend.

Visit the SMU Staff Association online at smu.edu/smusa

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