For the Record: May 19, 2011

Texas State Board of Education

For the Record: May 19, 2011

Ron WetheringtonRon Wetherington (top right), Anthropology, Dedman College, has been appointed to the State Textbook Review Panel for Supplemental Science. Wetherington, who also serves as director of the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence, will serve on the review panel for Supplemental Science Biology, which will meet in Austin during the week of June 13-17, 2011.

The review panel will help determine instructional materials to be used by school districts and open-enrollment charter schools for the next several years. Panel members’ responsibilities include reviewing and evaluating instructional materials submitted for the adoption by the State Board of Education; determining the extent to which instructional materials cover the required Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS); and identifying factual errors in the materials.

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College, participated in the Pacific Sociological Association meetings in Seattle, Washington. He critiqued Behind the Backlash: Muslims After 9/11 by Lori Peek in an “Author Meets the Critics” session and organized and moderated two sessions on immigration: “Immigrants and Immigration Policy” and “Latino Immigrants: Human Rights and Economic Issues.” He also presented a paper, “The Blurring of Goffman’s Concepts of Private and Public Pictures on Social Networks,” at the Southern Sociological Society meetings in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jodi Cooley, Physics, Dedman College, has received a 2011 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, sponsored by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). The award provides $10,000 to support her research. Cooley is one of 30 awardees selected nationally this year.

Chef Elias Acosta, SMU Dining Services, by Michael Danser, The Daily CampusElias Acosta (middle right), SMU Dining Services, earned a Gold Medal in the Southwest Regional ARAMARK Culinary Excellence (ACE) Challenge 2011. He won the award for his menu of Pan-Seared Pistachio Crusted Sea Bass with glazed baby carrots and risotto, and a dessert of Handmade Crêpes with Grand Marnier Goat Cheese garnished with figs and fresh mandarin segments. Acosta will be one of three chefs to represent the Southwest Region in the ACE National Competition in July. (Photo by Michael Danser, The Daily Campus.)

Amy Buono, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, has received post-doctoral fellowships from both the Getty Research Institute and the American Association of University Women. She will be in residence during 2011-12 at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, California, completing work on her book manuscript Feather Techné: Tupinambá Interculture in Early Modern Brazil and Europe.

Buono also is completing work on an edited translation of the 1766 illustrated Jesuit medicinal Collecção de varias receitas de segredos particulares des principaes boticas da nossa companhia de Portugal, da India, de Macao e do Brasil, with E. J. Brill Publishers. In Summer 2010 Buono received a residential New World Comparative Studies Summer Fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

Emily George Grubbs, Central University Libraries, will present a gallery talk, “Adventures in the Archives: Discovering the Gigaku Masks,” at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) May 25, 2011. Grubbs, curatorial assistant for the Hamon Arts Library’s Bywaters Special Collections, will discuss her discovery of two rare Japanese masks dating from the 8th to 10th centuries among the artifacts in the Library’s McCord/Renshaw Collection. Her co-presenter is Anne Bromberg, the DMA’s Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art.

Ramsey Kweik and Maria Richards, SMU Geothermal LaboratoryRoberto Tejada, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, will serve as a juror for the National Book Award in 2011-12.

Ramsey Kweik, a geological sciences major and 2011 graduating senior in Dedman College, was named SMU’s 2011 Student Employee of the Year in April. Kweik worked as an assistant in the SMU Geothermal Laboratory for nearly four years. His responsibilities include assisting with research projects from federal and state agencies and private companies, giving presentations as part of the geothermal outreach program, and assisting with coordination of the international Geothermal Energy Utilization Associated with Oil and Gas Development conference hosted by SMU.

In her nomination letter, Geothermal Laboratory Program Coordinator Maria Richards wrote, “I have seen Ramsey demonstrate reliability, quality of work, initiative, a positive attitude and professionalism in all that he contributes to the SMU Geothermal Laboratory. Although he is a student employee, he has become a friend and colleague over the past four years.” (Bottom right, Ramsey Kweik and Maria Richards.)

May 19, 2011|For the Record|

Courtroom-classroom clash revisited in ‘Intelligent Design on Trial’

'Judgment Day' bannerA landmark federal court decision banning the teaching of creationism, and the NOVA film documentary that recounts the case, will be the focus of a series of events at SMU Sept. 24-25.

In 2005, federal Judge John E. Jones III banned the Dover, Pennsylvania, school district from teaching “intelligent design” in the classroom, ruling that the course of study had been introduced by the local school board for religious reasons and did not constitute science.

But the case was far from the final word. Many Americans still question evolution and believe that an alternative should be taught in public schools. In Texas, controversy over the teaching of science continues to roil meetings of the State Board of Education.

Several of the major players in the Dover trial, as well as professionals who later helped analyze its impact through the media, will be featured at SMU through an assortment of lectures, film screenings and panel discussions.

Paula ApsellThe programs begin Sept. 24 with a 10 a.m. reception and 10:30 a.m. lecture at DeGolyer Library, featuring Paula Apsell (right), senior executive producer, and Melanie Wallace, senior series producer of NOVA’s documentary, “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.” Those planning to attend should RSVP to 214-768-3225 or Cynthia Ruppi.

The documentary, “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial,” will be screened at 4 p.m. Sept. 24 in O’Donnell Hall, Owen Arts Center. A panel discussion on legal, ethical and journalistic issues surrounding the making of the film will follow from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Panelists will include Judge Jones, documentary producers Apsell and Wallace, plaintiff’s council Eric Rothschild and Lauri Lebo, author of The Devil in Dover.

On Sept. 25, from 10-11:30 a.m., First Amendment issues will get closer scrutiny in a panel discussion at SMU’s Dedman School of Law. Jones, Rothschild (now in private practice), Liberty Legal Institute attorney Hiram Sasser and Dedman School of Law Professor Lackland Bloom will trade ideas and opinions in Karcher Auditorium, Storey Hall.

The series concludes Sept. 25 with reporter and author Lebo’s lecture from 2-3 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. Lebo will speak on “From Dover to Texas: Reporting on Extremist Views in a Fair and Balanced World” and sign copies of her book, The Devil in Dover.

NOVA Senior Executive Producer Apsell, who received an honorary degree from SMU in 2008, says the documentary underscores not only a historic court case, but also a critical science lesson.

“What happens when half of the population doesn’t accept one of the most fundamental underpinnings of the sciences?” Apsell asks. “Evolution is the absolute bedrock of the biological sciences. It’s essential to medical science, agriculture, and biotechnology. And it’s critical to understanding the natural world around us.”

The events are part of SMU’s yearlong “Darwin’s Evolving Legacy” series. All are free and open to the public.

Read more from SMU News
Visit the “Darwin’s Evolving Legacy” website
Learn more about the documentary at the NOVA homepage
Review Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District at Wikipedia

September 22, 2009|Calendar Highlights, News|
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