SMU in Brussels

When I started my first semester at SMU, there were two things that topped my list of “Things I Must Accomplish In College.” Yes, I wanted to discover my career path and have the best four years of my life; but without exception, I was determined to study abroad and learn another language. Thanks to the French Department here at SMU, I’m currently spending a semester in Brussels, Belgium and having the best experience of my life.

Here in Brussels, I’m a student with a program called Internships in Francophone Europe (IFE). Available in Brussels, Paris, and Strasbourg, IFE is a fairly small program that focuses on cultural integration, and fortunately for me, it also has a great relationship with the French Department here at SMU. This semester-long program consists of 5 weeks of courses that are all taught in French, one week of vacation time to travel, and then an interest-specific internship that continues until the end of the semester. Each student is also required to write a 30 page research paper in French which, contrary to my initial belief, is actually much more fun (did I just say “fun” with “research paper?”) than it might sound. I’m currently half-way finished with my internship with the Brussels branch of the International Federation for Human Rights where I work with communications between human rights organizations and the European Union.

Outside of the Belgian Federal Parliament (I'm second row, on the right)

Outside of Parliament (I’m second row, on the right)

Throughout the 3 months that I’ve spent in Europe, I’ve visited 7 countries, immensely improved my second language of French only to begin to learn another (Dutch), and eaten more Belgian waffles and fries than I care to admit. Aside from the numbers, however, I’ve learned more about myself and the world than I ever thought possible. I’ve always known that studying abroad would be an incredible experience, but I never expected it to change me as much as it has.

Even though I often find myself missing Dallas Hall Lawn and the incredible people that I left at SMU, I’m always grateful for this opportunity that SMU has provided for me. Aside from receiving academic credits from the other side of the world, I’m receiving an experience of a lifetime that I know will help me change the world.

By Katie Maiers

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Sopranos Anonymous

This coming Friday, I have the opportunity to partake in something completely unconventional and absolutely awesome. I will be performing in an operetta written and directed by one of SMU’s very own Vocal Performance Graduate students. She presented her piece of work to the Opera Director within Meadows, and he has allowed her to cast it, direct it, and now we will be performing it! The performance is free and is located in the Meadows lobby. It’s quite the perfect opportunity both for the student body to enjoy a musical work of art that is accessible to them as well as for us to perform for our peers. The operetta incorporates several very well known arias and musical theater pieces. It’s entitled “Sopranos Anonymous” because it is set up as a support group for the typical soprano ‘diva.’

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It is not often that you get to play into the stereotypes of your major in front of an audience in a completely ironic and comedic work of art. It is extraordinary fun and great exposure and experience for us young singers. I am proud to be performing in one of my friend’s own works of art, and am more thankful every day to Meadows and SMU for opportunities like this one.

By Shannon Conboy

Posted in Campus Life, Meadows School of the Arts | Leave a comment

ESPN College Game Day

This past month, College Game Day came to SMU, and it was one of the best days for SMU basketball. The day started at 8AM bright and early on a Saturday when they aired the show at our very own Moody Coliseum. As soon as I arrived, we were given free grilled cheese (who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese), and I got to take a picture with our live mascot Peruna. They also handed out tons of spirit items such as game day hats and posters.

ESPN Game day

Then SMU and its biggest fans filled the coliseum to support our basketball team. T-shirts were thrown throughout the whole event, and I actually caught one, which was a first for me. The day continued with a half court shot contest where an SMU student won $18,000 right at the buzzard. It is the second time this season that State Farm has given out $18,000.

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The day continued with the big game that night against UCONN. SMU basketball ended up winning 73-55 making the college game day one for the books.

GAme day 2

By Kelsey Buttrell

Posted in Ambassadors, Athletics, Campus Life, Spirit and Traditions | Leave a comment

A New Era For SMU Football

On December 1st, 2014, Chad Morris was named the new SMU Head Football Coach. Coach Morris comes to the Hilltop after five seasons as the offensive coordinator for Clemson. Morris brings a new level of excitement to the team, something we haven’t seen in a while. In just 64 days, Coach Morris and his staff were able to attract a strong initial recruiting class of 22 Texas guys. I can’t even begin to imagine what he will be able to do with an entire year of recruiting. There are however a few things everyone should know about Coach Morris and his staff before our first football game at home against Baylor on September 4th, so here they are:

Athletics Football Head Coach Chad Morris Announcement

1. Everything is fast paced. Have you seen #Tempo or the amount of Red Bull Coach Morris drinks?
2. “You never answer the phone on the first ring and you never show anybody that you’re tired” – Coach Morris
3. This coaching staff knows that there are a lot of players within a $10 tank of gas so they want to keep recruiting within Texas and especially within DFW.
4. Coach Morris has a “you’ve got to kill me to beat me attitude” and is ready to overcome in obstacles or challenges that are put in his way.
5. Lastly, Coach Morris WILL turn this football program around. He hasn’t taken a break from recruiting or working on the playbook since he arrived on campus. Coach Morris said it best himself, “You’re going to see an exciting brand of football. We’re going to be on of the biggest turnarounds in college football before this is over with.”

Spring practice begins after spring break. I can’t wait to see all the hard work that these players and coaches have put in this off-season in the weight room and on the field pay off. It’s a new era of Pony Football and I hope you all will be there to support Coach Morris and our SMU football team this fall!

SMU Football Schedule

Check out www.ponyuptempo.com and use the hashtag #PonyUpTempo on social media throughout the season to track SMU’s success!

By Sarah Woodruff

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A Passion Rediscovered

When I was 6 years old, my mom bought my twin sister and me our first Dixie Chicks CD. She used to travel for work a few times a month, and one of the weeks that she was away, my dad helped my sister and I learn to sing the song “Long Time Gone” together. After a whole week of practicing, we performed it for my mom, and that performance was the beginning of my passion for music and – more specifically – for singing. My sister and I started singing everywhere we went: Christmas parties, the streets of downtown Dallas, the French Quarter in New Orleans, Times Square (right next to the “Naked Cowboy”!), and pretty much anywhere we could get the attention of a few people and sing for them. As I grew up, I got so distracted with preparing for college and doing homework and filling out applications that I stopped focusing on music. My junior year of high school, I started a local indie-rock band with my best friends, and we started playing at benefit concerts and coffee shops, and all of a sudden, I fell in love with singing and performing again.

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But wait – what does any of this have to do with SMU?

Well, fast forward to college. Life gets busy again, band members scatter amongst different universities, and I forget, once again, to pursue what makes me feel the most alive. Thankfully, though, SMU helped me to remember.

At SMU, during Family Weekend every year, we have a talent show with acts ranging from singing to dancing to beat-boxing. The new drummer in my band and I got together and decided to audition with one of our original songs. We made it through auditions and we were able to actually perform at the talent show. It was absolutely exhilarating. If you’ve never performed something personal and precious on stage for your peers and family members, you might not know how nerve-wracking, yet rewarding it feels, and words could never do this feeling justice. But because of the opportunities that SMU provides for its students to really engage in what they love, I got to experience this feeling once again.

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In addition to the Family Weekend Talent Show, I was given another opportunity to perform the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with one of my best friends at Celebration of Lights, one of SMU’s most notable traditions that takes place in early December every year and involves hot chocolate, live music, and Christmas lights. Once again, SMU afforded me the opportunity to show an audience what I love and what keeps me excited about life. I’m not a music major, and I could probably never be at the talent level of the students in Meadows School of the Arts, but I still get to live out my passion for music on a large scale because of SMU.

So, I might not be singing Dixie Chicks songs anymore, but I’m constantly reminded to pursue that 6-year-old’s dream here at SMU, 14 years after it all started.

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By Jacqui Jacoby

Posted in Ambassadors, Campus Life, Life Around Dallas, Spirit and Traditions | Leave a comment

Making an Impact at SMU

At the end of last semester I had the incredible opportunity to attend the annual Net Impact Conference in Minneapolis with students and business professionals from all across the country. SMU sent 5 students to the conference to explore fields such as corporate social impact, entrepreneurship, clean energy, international development, impact investing, and many more. After realizing my personal interest in pursuing a career that incorporates business and sustainability, this conference was the perfect way for me to explore opportunities with businesses nationwide as well as network with potential employers and fellow peers with similar interests.

Nikki

Going to the conference opened my eyes to how many sustainability issues our global population is facing, but at the same time I was motivated to further educate myself about these issues and learn what I can do to help. We all come to college looking for ways that we can make an impact on the world through our careers, but one of my favorite things about SMU is the amount of opportunities there are provided for students to explore whatever they’re passionate about! This conference was just one opportunity SMU has given me to think outside the box and expose myself to tons of unique careers and prospects in order to determine what I’m most interested in. The SMU network is incredibly far-reaching and even all the way up in Minneapolis, I ran into the Executive Director of Philanthropy for AT&T who recognized me from an event she had spoken at on campus – a true testament to the positive reputation SMU has nationwide!

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By Nikki Carenza

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Dogs of SMU

My family has had a dog for my entire life. Whenever we moved (which was 6 times), our dog, Coco the Chocolate Labrador came with. So when I came to SMU, I was very sad to leave my dog. However, I didn’t really dwell on it when I was packing up my bags.

I quickly found out that I really missed having a pet to play with! However, when I moved into Loyd Residential Commons this year, I found out that I could add a new addition to my pet family; Buster and Winston. Our FIR (Faculty in Residence) Professor Fontenot has two Shih Tzu puppies who happen to be brothers! Better yet, we have opportunities as Loyd Residents to play with the puppies every week at Professor Fontenot’s “Breakfast Crew” events every Sunday at 8:30, and can sign up to go walk the dogs around campus!

Buster wants to play!

Buster wants to play!

I have found out that it isn’t just my Residential Commons that has a dog, many of the SMU Commons’ FIR’s are following in Fontenot’s footsteps. Almost every Residential Commons has a Common Dog, and they are around for any SMU student to play with.

As I have attended more events in my Commons, I have found out how thankful I am that SMU Professors understand how much dogs mean to us! I am so excited to watch Buster and Winston grow, and I can’t wait to come back and see them when I’m an Alum!

(PS. The dogs in the Commons are hypoallergenic so everyone can join in on the puppy loving!)

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The Method to my Madness

Dallas coffee shop, Method: Caffeination and Fare, has become a second home to me and immediately came to mind when I was tasked with finding a client for a news writing class’ semester-long project. The young, energetic owner Louie Corwin and his staff of expert baristas were already familiar faces, and I was excited for the opportunity to bring them publicity.

Over the span of this semester, I am volunteering to create a media kit, consisting of items such as a backgrounder, news story and press release for the coffee shop. From the project’s writing and publishing side to the shop’s main focus—the “method” behind coffee making, I am eager for all that I will learn. Already, I have had the chance to interview Corwin and have attended one of Method’s occasional, weekend brewing classes where I learned to brew my own cup of pour over coffee. DSC_0155

In pursuing this assignment and working to get my writing published in local papers, I am so grateful to SMU for affording me engaging, real world experiences that push me to learn beyond the classroom. Because of SMU, I am not just another statistic or name muttered during roll call but rather a “World Changer.”

By Austin Whittle

Posted in Ambassadors, Careers, Life Around Dallas | Leave a comment

Career Center Help Leads To Internships

It was a busy fall semester full of football games, boulevards, tests, quizzes, RC banquets and deadlines for summer internships. I spent just about every Saturday in September applying for summer internships online and through the Cox Career Center Luckily by the end of the semester I had a bit of good news.

I was invited to interview with four of my top choice firms for a summer internship in New York, NY, Chicago, IL or San Francisco, CA. I immediately had to schedule some interview prep in the Cox Career Center. I met with my career counselor about 7-8 times before I flew out for my first round on interviews in New York, NY.
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New York was amazing and the prep I had done in the career center more than prepared me for the Wall Street Style interviews. I was able to network with students across the country, visit the city, and dine with associates and managing directors from various departments within the firm. I interviews in January and thought it was incredibly cold, until I flew out to Chicago and realized just how windy, the Windy City really is.

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Walking around in -15 degrees Fahrenheit (with wind chill) was something this Louisiana boy had never done before. I stayed in Chicago for three days and really utilized my mock case preparation I received from the career center. The cases we reviewed at Cox was very similar to what I encountered in Chicago, however, the weather was not.

All in all, it was a very interesting journey. Earlier this semester, I planned on going abroad for the summer to Bali, but now it looks like I will be working stateside, which I couldn’t be any happier about. The Cox Career Center went above and beyond in training and preparing me and i couldn’t be anymore grateful.

By Kaleb Lee

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D-Town Dining

Being from Dallas is excellent if you, like me, love food. Having the most restaurants per
capita in the entire United States ensures that every meal eaten off campus is not just a meal,
but an experience. The variety in cuisines and atmospheres in Dallas’ plethora of restaurants
make it the perfect place to live for a college foodie. When I arrived at SMU last year I made it
my mission to try as many places as possible before I graduate. So far I’d say I’ve done pretty
well.

I’m a burgers and fries girl, so my quest for the perfect burger started just about the day I
moved in. Myself and my neighbor decided to check out The Porch, an up-and-coming,
self-described “down home” diner with a modern vibe. The burger I had there – complete
with bleu cheese and bacon – was incredible. Since then I’ve tried Grub Burger Bar, Hopdoddy’s,
East Hampton Sandwich Co., and Lark in the Park in Klyde Warren Park, among others.
They’ve all been fantastic, and that list will only grow as I branch out even further!
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I’ve always been somewhat of a picky eater so getting me to try something new is kind of
like trying to get your cat to sit still for a bath. This year however, I’ve really tried to expand my
food horizons. To my surprise, the world hasn’t ended. I really enjoy Start, a restaurant
specializing in organic food off of Greenville Ave, and Rise No. 1, a restaurant that serves
soufflés – exclusively. Trying different foods offers a new dining experience; sometimes it’s
great, sometimes it’s not so great, but learning what you like and don’t like is half the battle of
becoming a foodie. image1

If one of the things you’re looking for in a city is a place with a vast array of restaurants to choose from, Dallas definitely is for you. From nationwide favorites like Pei Wei and Chipotle to local gems like Campisi’s and Mr. Mesero, Dallas offers a unique dining experience for you no matter what
your preferences are. My advice to SMU students, visitors and residents of Dallas is to take
full advantage of the restaurant scene here. Dallas dining is spectacular!

By Tammy Winters

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