A Note From Our Faculty-in-Residence

Dear MHPS students,

Welcome to SMU!!! Most of you are freshmen and new to SMU and Mary Hay Peyton Shuttles Commons, and I am sure you have already gotten a lot of advice from your parents.

As a parent who just sent my son off to college, I know the feeling: your parents are proud of you and they want you to succeed in college.

Thus they have no doubt already sent you off to SMU with a lot of good advice; namely, the “don’ts”: don’t sleep too late, don’t play video games all night, don’t miss class, don’t drink too much…

As a faculty member I would like to sound a little more optimistic and tell you that it is really easy to succeed in college. What you need to do is be engaged, which should make everything more fun.

Otherwise, if I can give you one piece of advice as a faculty member, it would be: go to class, no matter what; moreover, do the readings, be prepared. And while there, ask questions, talk to your professors. If you are too shy to ask questions in class, go to their office hours. For me, that is my favorite part, because that informal setting is when students get to know me and I get to know them much better.

As a Faculty-in-Residence at MHPS I would also like to invite and encourage you to be involved in our Commons’ activities. Come over to my apartment for Sunday Night Snacks; visit the Fort Worth Modern Museum and the Japanese Garden with us on September 10; come and explore Dallas downtown on October 29; stop by and talk to me.

My husband Johan, who is also an SMU professor, and I are always happy to talk to you. We are a great resource for all kinds of academic advice. And last but not least, our dog Ziggy loves company and is always grateful if someone pets him or gives him a walk. Here is a picture of him… (Look at those eyes!)



Have a great academic year,

Liljana Elverskog




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Welcome Home Mustangs!

MHPS Pro Staff

Why hello there! Our names are Madyson Smith, Rena Gore, and Liljana Elverskog (left to right). We, the MHPS Professional Staff or “Pro Staff,” along with the RA Student Staff, would like to send a warm welcome to our new students in Mary Hay Peyton Shuttles (MHPS) Residential Commons at SMU. We are SO GLAD you are finally joining our MHPS family here.

To welcome you in properly, we’re inviting you to our first Commons-wide event of the year: Home Sweet SMU, on Wednesday, August 17 at 9:15 p.m. After you’ve spent the day moving in and getting settled, you’ll get the chance to kick back and enjoy some yummy Pokey O’s. And if you don’t yet know what that is, you’ll find out soon enough.

The event will be very casual and will be a great chance to meet your hall neighbors, greet your RAs, reconnect with old friends, and say hi to us “Pro-Staff” people. We encourage every MHPS Mustang to show up, because Home Sweet SMU is truly sweet.

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Twas The Friday before Finals…

and all through the RC’s, students were studying and trying to get their degrees…

Next week is finals week, are you ready?? Here are some tips on how to stay motivated during your finals week. Good luck!



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Study Hacks Part 2

Hey Family,

Finals are almost here, make sure you are getting enough sleep while you prepare for the close of the semester!

sleepin college

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Study Hacks: Back to the Basics

The semester is coming to a close, and you cannot afford to mentally to check out! Here is a great infographic reinforcing good study habits. It’s time to buckle down once again. Here’s to the home stretch:


Be strong and study hard!

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MHPS Presents: A Spring Wellness Series

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Volunteer Opportunities

Happy Tuesday, MHPS! Take a look at the many volunteer opportunities available for you!


Remember- to find other great volunteer opportunities other than those listed below, please visit www.smu.edu/volunteer to search an online database of Dallas area volunteer positions or find out about other campus volunteer programs in CEL.

Non- Profit Organization: Achievement Center of Texas
For individuals or groups
The Achievement Center of Texas was started by a group of parents frustrated by their inability to find suitable day care for their children with disabilities. Beginning with a dream and $800 raised from a parking lot sale, this group formed their own day care center. The facility offers students greater opportunities to develop their strengths and talents, make and maintain friendships, and use up-to-date equipment and modern technology. The center serves over 140 students a day. The next event is the Special Arts Festival with over 55 art activities going on around the auditorium, and your help is needed!
Date: March 19th
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Spring Creek Church Auditorium
Contact: Marilynne Serie, 972 414-7700, mserie@act77.org

Non-Profit Organization: Wilkinson Center
For individuals or groups
The Wilkinson Center mission is to transform the lives of Dallas families by providing pathways to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect. The missions is fulfilled by helping families face critical life challenges including food insecurity, lack of education, economic instability, unemployment and underemployment. Individuals are needed to help shoppers at the food pantry, assist with the early childhood program afternoon classes (preschool 3-4 year olds). There’s a curriculum/structure along with intentional playtime, and help with citizenship tests: going over questions, practicing the verbal part of the test. The Wilkinson Center has a partnership with the North Texas Food Bank (they get most of their food from them) where groups can help offset their handling fee. Groups can go volunteer at NTFB on behalf of the Wilkinson Center, then the Wilkinson Center will get credited for it and not have to pay their full food handling fee to NTFB! Sign up for this and more opportunities on the website under the “Get Involved” tab.
Time: Varies
Contact: Adrienne O’Connor, Adrienne_oconnor@wilkinsoncenter.org , 972-284-0301

Non-Profit Organization: Rosemont Elementary School in DISD
For individuals
Currently looking for students interested in 3 different volunteer opportunities with grades 3-5. The following opportunities are: Homework Club- In need of approximately 4-8 volunteers to assist, Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30pm- 4:30pm, with homework help and completion, Saturday tutoring- In need of at least 10 volunteers to provide students with tutoring, from 9am- 11:30am, and the Mentorship program- At least 10 volunteers needed. Schedule varies based on volunteer availability. Required to interact at least once a week with their assigned mentee.
For those interested in volunteering, please send a response with name, contact information, and volunteer opportunity of your choice prior to March 11th. Locations vary.
Contact: Raven Alston, ralston.cis@gmail.com

Non-Profit Organization: Vickery Meadow Learning Center
For individuals or groups
VMLC serves 1,200 adults and 330 young children annually by teaching English literacy skills at no charge in low income, highly diverse neighborhoods. VMLC’s spring semester classes are starting on openings are available for fulltime teachers, substitutes, computer lab assistants and test/survey administrators.
Time/Date: 2 hrs/week, dates vary
Contact: Leala Rosen, 214-265-5057×110

Non-Profit Organization: The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center
For Individual or groups
Since 2008, The Bridge has been a strong partner for the City of Dallas, working hard to provide necessary services to people experiencing homelessness. The Bridge has made great strides by getting people the care they need. Thousands have received not only short-term services, but also transitioned to long-term income and/or housing.
Volunteer opportunities and days/times are list below:
Library Volunteers needed 7 days a week (8:30am-11:30am, 1:30pm-4:30pm, 6pm-9pm)
Reception Desk Volunteers needed M-F (11:30am-1:30pm)
Intake Engagement Volunteers needed M-F (11am-2pm)
Music Therapy volunteers needed Tues & Thurs (1:30pm-3:45pm)
Bingo Night volunteers needed on the 1st Tuesday of every month (7pm-8pm)
Art Class volunteers needed Wednesdays from 1-3pm
Contact: Christine Heskes, cheskes@bridgenorthtexas.org

Volunteer- Day Chair
Non-Profit Organization: Skill QUEST, Inc.
For Individuals
Skill QUEST, Inc. lifts heads of households from minimum wages to middle income wages of at least $18 per hour into growth sector careers. Career counseling/case management averages from a year to three years for participants to transition out of poverty into middle skill career. Recruiting volunteers to greet candidates at social service agency with light recordkeeping. Day Chair will assist or lead candidates through intake process. Day Chair training in methods and operations of Skill QUEST can be completed in an eight hour day, with lunch break, or over two half day sessions. Operating sites include Dallas County Community College District campuses, and partner agency locations in Plano and McKinney.
Date: Weekdays
Location: 2922 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Building A, Suite 118, Dallas, 75215
Time: 9am – 5pm or half days, 9am-Noon or 1pm-4pm.
Contact: Reginald Grant, RGrant@skillquestntx.org or (214) 421-3555

Non-Profit Organization: [DallasHolocaustMuseum.org]Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance
For individuals or groups
Looking for engaged and enthusiastic volunteers at the Museum. Volunteer Roles are in collections/archives, development, docent program (lead group tours of permanent and special exhibits (includes school groups and adult groups). This program requires 9 3-hour training sessions with training available each spring and fall. Please contact Charlotte Decoster, Assistant Director of Education, at cdecoster@dallasholocaustmuseum.org for more information.) education, special events, front desk management, and marketing.
Time/Date: Varies
Contact: Annie Black, ablack@dallasholocaustmuseum.org

Non-Profit Organization: Dallas Public Library
The Mission of the Dallas Public Library is to link resources and customers to enhance lives. The Library is committed to inform, entertain, enrich, and to foster the self-learning process by facilitating access to its collections, services, and facilities to all members of the community. Volunteers will conduct storytimes, craft activities and other library and literacy-related activities with children 3-8 years old while the children’s parents attend an adult literacy class at Dallas Public Library locations. Special training provided.
Where: Bachman Lake Branch Library, 9480 Webb Chapel Rd, Dallas, TX 75220
Time/ Date: Fridays- March 4th, 25th, April 8th, 22nd, May 6th, 20th all from 12:00 pm-2:30 pm
Contact: Angie Bartula, angela.bartula@dallascityhall.com

Non-Profit Organization: New Horizons
For individuals
New Horizons is a faith-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping at-risk children and teens who are growing up in an environment of poverty, academic failure, and hopelessness. Mentors work with elementary aged students to provide individual homework assistance, academic remediation, and development of reading skills. Mentors also provide much needed encouragement, support, and care to our kids.
Time: Weekly Monday-Thursday from 3:00-5:00 PM at Titche Elementary.
Contact: Seth Henderson, seth@newhorizonsofntx.org

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Cool Event–Check it out!

William Smith Flyer

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Commons Dinner–Next Tuesday


Tuesdays are the perfect day for a good taco. Maybe it’s the alliteration, maybe it’s realizing that’s it’s no longer Monday – whatever the reason, tacos were crafted for Tuesdays. Mary Hay/Peyton/Shuttles have decided to bring the deliciousness of the commons dinner IN the commons. That’s right! We’ll be serving up yummy tacos, 6pm in the Mary Hay Lounge. But you MUST MUST MUST RSVP to assure your taco! No RSVP = No taco (Sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/9NINY44eqr)


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Need a Job? Check out the SMU Career Fair


See more here: http://www.smu.edu/StudentAffairs/Career/CareerFair

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