student news

SMU names new members, officers of Board of Trustees

Three new officers and three new trustees were named to SMU’s Board of Trustees during the board’s spring meeting May 4, 2018. The Board also passed a resolution to honor two former members as trustees emeriti.

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84 has been elected as chair, David B. Miller ’72, ’73 was elected as vice-chair, and Kelly Hoglund Compton ’79 was elected as secretary. Officers are elected for one-year terms and are eligible for re-election up to four consecutive terms in any respective office.

The new officers will begin their one-year terms on June 1, 2018, and preside over the Sept. 14, 2018 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

“It’s a great honor to serve as chair of the SMU Board of Trustees,” Dedman said. “As both SMU and Dallas grow in stature and importance, the board is ready to guide the continued quest of the University to become one of the nation’s finest comprehensive research universities and a home of world-changing research, student development and community impact. ”

New trustee Bradley W. Brookshire ’76 will fill the vacancy left by the death of longtime SMU trustee Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48. The Board’s new ex officio faculty representative is Faculty Senate President Dayna Oscherwitz, French area chair in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Ben Manthey ’09, ’19 will serve as ex officio student trustee.

Concluding their board service are Paul Krueger, past-president of the SMU Faculty Senate and professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and student trustee Andrew B. Udofa ’18.

The SMU Board of Trustees also passed a resolution naming Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99 and Alan D. Feld ’57, ’60 as trustees emeriti. They are the first former University trustees to receive that designation since Milledge A. Hart, III, became SMU’s ninth trustee emeritus in 2013. For extraordinary service and leadership, former members of the SMU Board may be named emeritus members. With the addition of these two former trustees, only 11 individuals have been named trustees emeriti in the history of the University.

“I am grateful to our new trustees emeriti and new Board of Trustees officers for the important wisdom and insight they bring to the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “I am also grateful to the new and current board members whose enterprising spirit will lead the charge as this vibrant community enters an exciting new era.”

The 42-member board sets policies governing the operation of SMU.

Meadows Theatre presents The Rep: Three Contemporary Plays April 26-May 6, 2018

For its final event of the 2017-18 academic year, the SMU Meadows Division of Theatre presents three contemporary American plays that will take turns sharing the black-box stage. The Rep: Three Contemporary American Plays Performed in Rotation runs April 26-May 6 on varying dates and times.

All three plays, all directed by students, will be performed in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center, on the SMU campus.

The plays, authors, dates, times and synopses:

Bethany by Laura Marks: Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 29 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m.

At the height of the foreclosure crisis, single mother Crystal loses more than her house. She struggles to stay positive – with plenty of help from a roommate with conspiracy theories, a motivational speaker with a secret, and her colleagues at the local Saturn dealership. But optimism is no match for a bad economy, and before long Crystal’s desperate quest to regain what she’s lost turns into the fight of her life. This darkly comic thriller explores just how far we’ll go to get back what’s ours.

Stupid F—ing Bird by Aaron Posner: Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, May 2 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 5 at 2 and 8 p.m.

An aspiring director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art and growing up can be. In this irreverent, contemporary and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, and the search for the true meaning of it all.

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl: Saturday, April 28 at 2 and 8 p.m.; Thursday, May 3 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m.

In Eurydice, playwright Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. Ruhl has won the MacArthur “Genius” Award and is a Tony Award nominee and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Tickets are $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

— Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Learn more about The Rep at the Meadows School of the Arts website

Enjoy a gallery of images from BethanyEuridyce and Stupid F—ing Bird below.

Six speakers seek audience: Watch (and vote on) TEDxSMU student auditions Thursday, April 26, 2018

TEDxSMU logo

Six SMU students will vie for a speaking spot at the next TEDxSMU conference – and you can help select the winner.

Join the University community on Thursday, April 26, 2018 to hear students speak on topics ranging from innovation to infinity, and vote for the winner. This event is free and open to the entire SMU community.

The speakers and their topics are:

  • Melanie Calzada: Challenging the Idiom: The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree
  • Kathryn Chavez: Define Yourself
  • Chelsea Dobbin: How Singing With People Changes Your Brain
  • Mason Mason: The Audacity of Innovation
  • Seifey Mohammad: The Essence of Infinity
  • Matthew Sipes: inspirED Teaching

The event is free and open to the public and runs from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons. Food will be served at 5:30 p.m.; talks begin at 6.

> Visit TEDxSMU online: tedxsmu.org

SMU honors outstanding achievement, community service at 2017-18 Hilltop Excellence Awards and Honors Convocation

Laurel wreath stock photo - Hilltop Excellence AwardsSMU faculty, staff, administrators and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation – the “M” Award – at the 2017-18 Hilltop Excellence Awards Monday, April 16.

Earlier in the day, the University honored its best students at the 21st annual Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Maria Dixon Hall, senior adviser to the SMU Provost, associate professor in the Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, and adjunct associate professor of homiletics in Perkins School of Theology.

> Find a complete list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2018

Appointed in August 2016 as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Cultural Intelligence, Dixon Hall is charged with oversight of the University’s efforts to ensure that all members of the SMU community are equipped to effectively create, collaborate, and work on solutions to change the world. In this role, she is responsible for development and implementation of the University’s new cultural intelligence curriculum and training program.

As director of mustangconsulting, Dixon Hall heads a staff of some of SMU’s best and brightest communication students. The group serves a global client list that includes corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Carry the Load (Atlanta/Dallas).

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

(more…)

SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert honors Danny Buraczeski through April 8, 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, part of a seven-work tribute to the retiring SMU professor in the Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert. All photos: Paul Phillips

The SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert honors retiring jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski with a retrospective of seven of his works. The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

> SMU Forum: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski

The concert programs include the following works, to be performed on the days listed:

Program A, to be performed April 4, 5 and 7, opens with In the City (2013), based on “Three Dance Episodes” from the popular Leonard Bernstein musical On the Town. Inspired by the urban rhythms and textures of Bernstein’s music, the work features 15 dancers celebrating youth, optimism and the vibrant new energy that the Dallas Arts District has brought to the city.

It’s followed by Scene Unseen (1998), set to music by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, featuring a duet with alumni Albert Drake, a founding member of Bruce Wood Dance Project, and Adrián Aguirre, a current member of the company.

Song Awakened (2001) follows, a work set to the songs of the late Cesária Évora, a noted singer of Creole-Portuguese soul music. The work, which debuted to critical acclaim at New York’s Joyce Theater, will be performed by eight Zenon Dance Company members.

The next piece, Points on a Curve (1998), is danced to music by Ornette Coleman; The New York Times said the low-key choreography evoked the music “in often witty and thought-provoking ways.”

Program A concludes with Swing Concerto (1994), an athletic and ebullient exploration of the relationship between two musical traditions: European klezmer music and the American swing of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. The piece synthesizes the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of swing era movement. The Times wrote, “Swing Concerto is Mr. Buraczeski’s choreography at its most inventive, perceptive best.”

Program B, to be performed April 6 and 8, opens with the aforementioned In the City, followed by Merry Go Round (1989), set to music by Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band and featuring Zenon company dancers Scott Mettille and Sarah Steichen Stiles.

Next is Points on a Curve (noted above).

The final work in Program B will vary. On April 6, it will be Ezekiel’s Wheel (1999), a piece for eight dancers that was inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. The work, exploring the themes of recognition, responsibility and redemption, will be performed by Zenon Dance Company. Commissioned when Buraczeski was artistic director of the acclaimed Minneapolis-based JAZZDANCE, Ezekiel’s Wheel was praised by The Times as “a balm for the soul in troubled times.”

On April 8, the concert program will conclude with the aforementioned Swing Concerto.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff. Buy your tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Buy Meadows Spring Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini

Enjoy a gallery of can’t-miss photos from Swing Concerto, Points On a Curve and In the City, all by Paul Phillips.

Save the date: SMU Research Day 2018 scheduled for March 28-29

This story was originally published Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

Research Day 2017SMU Research Day is growing so much that in 2018 it will take two days to share the experience. Save the dates for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 28-29, in Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

March 28 is devoted to the Poster Session, which is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. in the Promenade Ballroom. SMU graduate students and a select cohort of undergraduates will present results of ongoing and completed University-based research. The session aims to “foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community,” according to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

New this year: the Three Minute Thesis Competition, which will take place 9 a.m.-noon on March 29. The 3MT competition format, developed by the University of Queensland, gives graduate students 180 seconds in which to explain their work, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. It is designed to help students cultivate, integrate and hone their academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

> Visit the SMU Research Day homepage

2018 SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage will travel under a new name, with a new endowment from Kelvin Beachum Jr. ’11, ’12

Kelvin Beachum Jr. on the field

New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum Jr. ’11, ’12 has made an endowment and naming gift to the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage. The SMU alumnus is a former Pilgrimage  participant.

When the 2018 Civil Rights Pilgrimage leaves SMU on Friday, March 9, it will do so with a new name and a new endowment. The Dennis Simon Endowed Civil Rights Pilgrimage has received a $100,000 endowment gift from New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum Jr. ’11, ’12.

Beachum and his wife, Jessica, visited campus to celebrate the gift on Thursday, March 8, 2018. The gift renames the pilgrimage the Dennis Simon Endowed Civil Rights Pilgrimage in honor of the SMU political science professor who led the program from 2008 to 2015. Dr. Simon died in February 2017.

An NFL athlete since 2012, Beachum devotes his off-the-field efforts to providing opportunities for students, particularly for minority youth. Since 2012, Beachum also has supported the pilgrimage that was so meaningful to him by funding scholarships and paying for meals for participants.

“Dr. Simon’s empathy and sympathy for those who went through the civil rights era was palpable,” Beachum said. “His urgency for students to know what happened then and how it has affected our current society always resonated with me.”

> Learn more about the Dennis Simmon Endowed Civil Rights Pilgrimage from the Chaplain’s Office

Under Simon’s leadership, the trip featured stops at meaningful sites in the civil rights movement, such as Little Rock High School, the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s parsonage in Montgomery, Alabama. History came alive at each spot thanks to Simon’s friendships with original participants he called civil rights “foot soldiers,” who shared their recollections with students.

Dennis Simon, SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage

The late Dennis Simon (front row, second from right) led the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage from 2008 to 2016 – combining an existing Chaplain’s Office program with his own class, “The Politics and Legacies of the Civil Rights Movement.”

“We had a chance to meet members of the Little Rock 9, the African American students who integrated Little Rock High School in 1957,” Beachum remembers. “We stepped inside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which was bombed in 1963 by members of the Ku Klux Klan. We walked over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, site of the 1965 Bloody Sunday march. I literally followed in the footsteps of some very important and impactful agents for change and progress, some of whom gave their life.”

— Written by Nancy George

Read the full story from SMU News

35 outstanding teachers honored with 2017-18 HOPE Professors Awards

Alice Kendrick and Tiffany Giraudon, HOPE Awards 2018

Alice Kendrick (left) accepts the 2017-18 HOPE Professor of the Year Award from advertising major Tiffany Giraudon.

SMU’s Department of Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) honored 35 outstanding professors at the 2017-18 HOPE Awards Banquet Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Alice Kendrick, Marriott Family Endowed Professor of Advertising in Meadows School of the Arts, was recognized as 2017-18 Professor of the Year.

HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award recipients are named through RLSH student staff member nominations as professors who “have made a significant impact to our academic education both inside and outside of the classroom.”

The complete list of 2017-18 HOPE Award honorees:

Cox School of Business

  • Barry Bryan, Accounting
  • Jay Carson, Management and Organizations
  • Liliana Hickman-Riggs, Accounting +

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Stephanie Amsel, English (Discernment and Discourse)
  • Joan Arbery, English (Discernment and Discourse)
  • Sarah Bogard, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
  • Richard Bozorth, English
  • Teresa Brentegani, World Languages and Literatures (Italian)
  • Alejandro D’Brot, Biological Sciences
  • LeeAnn Derdeyn, English (Discernment and Discourse)
  • Jill DeTemple, Religious Studies
  • Kirsten Egerstrom, Philosophy
  • Xiao Hu, World Languages and Literatures (Chinese)
  • Bruce Levy, English (Discernment and Discourse) *
  • Leticia Trevino McDoniel, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
  • Daniel Moss, English
  • Michael Saliba, Economics
  • Ross Sloan, English (Discernment and Discourse)
  • Teresa Strecker, Biological Sciences
  • Thierry Tirado, World Languages and Literatures (French)
  • Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry *

Lyle School of Engineering

  • Elena Borzova, Mechanical Engineering
  • Frank Coyle, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Rachel Goodman, Engineering Management, Information and Systems
  • Yildirim Hürmüzlü, Mechanical Engineering
  • Andrew Quicksall, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Peter Raad, Mechanical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Willie Baronet, Advertising
  • Sandra Duhé, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
  • Alice Kendrick, Advertising (HOPE Professor of the Year) *
  • Troy Perkins, Film and Media Arts
  • Lauren Smart, Journalism

Perkins School of Theology

  • Tamara Lewis, History of Christianity
  • Stephen Long, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

  • Kelyn Rola, Wellness +

+ Nominated by more than one student

* HOPE Distinguished Professor, indicating the faculty member has been nominated in five or more years

SMU Debate wins 2018 Texas state championship

SMU Debate at the 2018 TIFA State Championships - Darcy Wyatt, Chip Myers, Dr. Ben Voth, Matthew Lucci, Maggie Cook-Allen

Four SMU debaters brought home multiple awards, including a team title, at the 2018 TIFA State Championships. Left to right: Darcy Wyatt, Chip Myers, Dr. Ben Voth (SMU Debate director), Matthew Lucci, Maggie Cook-Allen.

SMU Debate brought only four team members to the state championships, but that was all they needed. The team brought home multiple awards in the 2018 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) state championships, held at Blinn College in Bryan over the Feb. 3-4 weekend.

Competing against 13 other Texas universities and colleges, they took home top speaker, top scoring school and top novice debater, among other honors, in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) division. SMU competed exclusively in IPDA-format events; the tournament also featured competition in Parliamentary and Lincoln Douglas divisions.

> Follow SMU Debate on Facebook

Some of the highlights:

  • Matthew Lucci (B.S. Mechanical Engineering ’18) won top speaker and was undefeated through all seven rounds of debate.
  • Lucci and Maggie Cook-Allen (B.A. Political Science, B.A. Philosophy ’21) defeated rivals from Texas A&M and Tyler Junior College to claim first and second place for SMU in the open division tournament. “Open division” is open to varsity, junior varsity or novice competitors. The four SMU debaters are junior varsity or novice.
  • Mark “Chip” Myers (B.A. History ’21) won top novice IPDA debater.
  • Darcy Wyatt (B.S. Biochemistry ’21) was the 8th-rated debater in the state of Texas in IPDA.
  • SMU had three of the top eight debaters in the quarterfinals, more than any other school at the tournament.
  • The University also took first place in the IPDA sweepstakes awards.
  • In addition to placing first in the state in the category of International Public Debate, SMU placed fifth in overall speech and debate awards.

The debate team’s director is Ben Voth, speech associate professor in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. Assistant coaches include Keith Milstead and Ross Sloan. The program is funded and sponsored by the Meadows School and the SMU Vice President of Student Affairs.

> Read the full story at the SMU Meadows website

Save the date: SMU Engaged Learning Week is Feb. 6-8, 2018

SMU Engaged Learning logoSMU celebrates student innovation during 2018 Engaged Learning Week Feb. 6-8, showcasing achievement in undergraduate research, community service, professional internships and creative projects.

The schedule includes the following sessions:

Tuesday, Feb. 6

  • 10 a.m. Creative Project Panels
  • Noon Lunch Seminar – Projecto PaleoAngola: A Paleontological Exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution with senior Engaged Learning Fellow Myria Perez and faculty mentor Louis Jacobs

Wednesday, Feb. 7

  • 10 a.m. Natural Science Research Panels
  • 2 p.m. Film: Particle Fever, with moderated Q&A by the Department of Physics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Thursday, Feb. 8

  • 10 a.m. Research Across Disciplines Panels
  • 11:30 a.m. Service Project Panels
  • 12:30 p.m. Engineering Solutions Panels

> Find a full schedule of student presentations at the Engaged Learning homepage

Visit the SMU Engaged Learning website: smu.edu/engagedlearning

Load More Posts