University Honors Program

Take a closer look at student innovation during the 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, Friday, Sept. 23

engaged-learning-logo-300Make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The two events take place Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum, as part of SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend.

Find the complete symposium line-up at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

> See the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

SMU Big iDeas logo, blue background-400From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Save the date: Engaged Learning Symposium, Big iDeas Pitch Contest scheduled for SMU Family Weekend, Sept. 23, 2016

SMU Big iDeas and Engaged Learning students in front of Dallas HallSave the date for SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend, and make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The events take place 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. SMU Engaged Learning will post a complete schedule in the coming weeks.

Find more information at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Share the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

Watch for more about the Symposium and Pitch Contest in a future SMU Forum post.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Students show their work during Family Weekend at 2015 Engaged Learning Symposium, Oct. 30

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithThirty students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will talk about their work during Family Weekend at SMU’s Fall 2015 Engaged Learning Symposium. The event takes place 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

Find a complete list of participants at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

Student presenters will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research Fellows and University Honors Richter Research Fellows, as well as two Engaged Learning Fellows. The lineup features the University’s Caswell Undergraduate Leadership Fellows and McNair Scholars.

The Engaged Learning Fellows participating in the fall symposium are on track to graduate in December. Watch for more about the Symposium in a future SMU Forum post.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

2014 Engaged Learning Symposium showcases SMU student projects Friday, Oct. 24

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithTwenty-five students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will talk about their work during Family Weekend at SMU’s Fall 2014 Engaged Learning Symposium. The event takes place 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

Student presenters will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research Fellows and University Honors Richter Research Fellows, as well as two Engaged Learning Fellows.

In addition, this year’s lineup features the University’s Caswell Undergraduate Leadership Fellows and McNair Scholars.

Watch for a complete list of participants at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

The Engaged Learning Fellows participating in the fall symposium are on track to graduate in December.

For the second year in a row, this annual fall event will take place during SMU Family Weekend, which provides unique opportunities for parents to see the scope of their students’ achievements, says Director Susan Kress.

“As opportunities for undergraduate research and community service across the campus grow, we are delighted to host students engaged in high-level activities at the fall symposium,” she adds.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Students show their work in Fall 2013 Engaged Learning Symposium

Engaged Learning Week 2013, Michael Tran, photo by Clayton T. Smith

Michael Tran ’13, now an SMU master’s degree candidate in mathematics, presented his project during Engaged Learning Week in January. Students in programs from across campus will participate in the Engaged Learning Symposium during Family Weekend 2013. Photo by Clayton T. Smith.

Twenty-two students in research, service and internship programs from across campus will show their work during Family Weekend at SMU’s Fall 2013 Engaged Learning Symposium. The event takes place 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

Student presenters include Maguire and Irby Family Public Service Interns, Summer Research Fellows and University Honors Richter Research Fellows, as well as students taking part in Engaged Learning projects (now known as Engaged Learning Fellows).

Their investigations range from biometric applications for cloud computing, to second-language learning to improve self-esteem, to how Russia recycles.

Engaged Learning Fellows participating in the fall symposium are on track to graduate in December.

For its second fall symposium, the Office of Engaged Learning wanted to include student engagement that happens across campus programs, says Director Susan Kress. “We are delighted that our colleagues in the Maguire, Honors and Undergraduate Research programs have accepted our invitation to host their students’ summer work.”

Kress believes the symposium’s audiences, ranging from SMU faculty members to parents of undergraduates, “will appreciate the variety of presentations packed into one event,” she says. “And how lucky are we that it falls on Family Weekend?”

> Find a full schedule at the Engaged Learning website

Robert J. Norrell joins SMU experts for Common Reading discussion

Cover of 'Dreams From My Father' by Barack ObamaAuthor and historian Robert J. Norrell, professor of history and Bernadotte Schmitt Chair of Excellence at the University of Tennessee, will join SMU experts in a panel discussion of the University’s 2009 Common Reading at 4 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

Three SMU professors, all from Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, will participate in the discussion of Barack Obama’s 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance:

  • Angela Ards, assistant professor of English
  • Kenneth Hamilton, associate professor of history
  • Harold Stanley, Geurin-Pettus Professor of American Politics and Political Economy

Norrell writes about race relations and southern history and is the author of The House I Live In: Race in the American Century (2005, Oxford University Press). His book Reaping the Whirlwind: The Civil Rights Movement in Tuskegee won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 1986.

The event is sponsored by the Gartner Honors Lecture Series, the University Honors Program and the Office of the Provost. For more information, visit SMU Central University Libraries’ Common Reading homepage.

Nineteen students awarded Richter Research Fellowships

Nineteen SMU Honors students have been awarded 2009-10 Richter Research Fellowships through the University Honors Program to conduct independent research around the globe this summer. The undergraduates’ research topics range from child obesity in Australia to nonprofits in the Republic of Zambia.

For the second year, grants also have been awarded to Honors students for independent study at SMU-in-Taos.

“The Richter fellowships represent an important opportunity for Honors students to pursue topics that interest them – inside or outside their primary majors,” says David Doyle, director of the University Honors Program and assistant dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “Upon returning from one to three months of focused research, our Richter University Honors Scholars write and submit scholarly articles to academic journals and magazines.”

SMU is one of only 12 universities that offer the competitive fellowships, which are supported by the Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Funds.

This year’s winners:

Ashley Bruckbauer, a senior majoring in art history and advertising, will study the influence of foreign teachers in Nanjing, China.

Andrew Coit, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in Spanish and music, and Erica Ritz of Minneapolis, a sophomore majoring in international studies and art history with a minor in Italian, will travel to London and Greece to examine the controversy surrounding the ownership of cultural artifacts such as the Elgin Marbles.

Vivian Costandy, a junior majoring in international studies and English with a minor in Spanish, will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to investigate the fallout of the “dirty war” resulting from the 1976 military coup.

William Elder, a junior majoring in history and German with minors in classical studies and Latin, will investigate early military history in Osnabruck, Germany, and Cambridge, England.

P.J. Gardner, a junior majoring in political science, will remain in Dallas to continue researching and writing his senior thesis on expansionism and American politics.

Steve Hader, a senior majoring in finance, Spanish and Latin American studies, will investigate the e-commerce environment in Madrid, Spain.

Victoria Kean, a junior majoring in marketing with minors in German and Chinese, will study the effects of the Holocaust on the Jewish people in the German state of Thuringia.

Kate Kirk, a junior majoring in finance and economics with a minor in international studies, will analyze nonprofit organizations in the Republic of Zambia in Africa to determine their effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.

Drake Konow, a sophomore majoring in foreign languages and religious studies with a minor in human rights, will explore religion and the impact of monastic life on life and culture in the south of France.

Patrick Littlefield, a junior majoring in religious studies and psychology, will study the Emerging Church movement in London. The worldwide movement seeks to adapt Christianity to a postmodern world.

Preston Kyle Osborn, a sophomore majoring in political science and accounting, will explore the nature and volume of crime in early modern England through the SMU-in-Oxford program.

Rebecca Quinn, a junior majoring in Spanish, French and art history, will travel to Barcelona, Spain, to examine the relationship between nationalized Catholicism and church architecture from the 1940s to 1960s during Francisco Franco’s regime.

Astrud Villareal, a junior majoring in biology with minors in chemistry and international studies, will study the child obesity epidemic and its human rights implications in Australia.

In addition, five Honors students received Taos Richter fellowships to pursue research in June at SMU’s New Mexico campus. They are:

  • Alexandra Davis, a sophomore majoring in art history
  • Kyle Hobratschk, a junior majoring in art and creative advertising
  • Jacqueline Wilcher, a sophomore majoring in business
  • Caroline French, a senior majoring in dance and business
  • Thomas (Drew) Washington, a senior majoring in economics

Calendar Highlights: Feb. 9, 2009

Book cover of Matthew Pearl's 'The Dante Club'Fact and fiction: Novelist Matthew Pearl (The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow) discusses the process of turning real life into fiction for a popular audience at 4 p.m. Feb. 9 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of the SMU Bookstore. Presented by the University Honors Program and the Gartner Honors Lecture Series. For more information, contact David Doyle.

Love is in the air: The Hughes-Trigg Student Center presents its annual Valentine’s Vendor Fair 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Commons and Crossing. Shop for a loved one (or for yourself) among gifts ranging from jewelry, cosmetics and fashion to flowers, candy, candles and more. For more information, contact Mariana Sullivan, 214-768-4498.

Well versed: History Professor Joan Shelley Rubin of the University of Rochester, author of Songs of Ourselves: The Uses of Poetry in America and The Making of Middlebrow Culture, speaks on “Poetry in Practice: American Readers and the Uses of Verse, 1880-1950” Feb. 12 in DeGolyer Library. A reception begins at 6 p.m. in the Texana Room, with the lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the Stanley Marcus Reading Room. Presented by the Gilbert Lecture Series of the Department of English, Dedman College.

Honoring Ebby: Dallas real estate pioneer Ebby Halliday will be honored on the publication of her new biography, Ebby Halliday: The First Lady of Real Estate, with a reception 2-4 p.m. Feb. 15 in DeGolyer Library. Books will be available for purchase. RSVP to Betty Friedrich, 214-768-3231.

Bettye LaVetteIn McFarlin Auditorium:

Feb. 13: TITAS presents soul singer Bettye LaVette, who performed at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors and at the Lincoln Memorial Concert during President Obama’s inaugural celebration, at 8 p.m. Order tickets online or contact the TITAS box office at 214-528-5576.

Common Reading committee seeks suggestions

With the fifth anniversary of SMU’s Common Reading Experience approaching in 2008-09, the Common Reading Selection Committee is looking for the book (or play, or monograph) that the class of 2012 will discuss as part of their introduction to college-level reading. The SMU and Dallas communities, including alumni and nonprofit leaders, gathered to discuss the 2007-08 Common Reading, Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good, in the Hughes-Trigg Theater Aug. 30. Read more.

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