Dallas-SMU.jpg Eleven student teams presented their proposals to investigate important Dallas issues such as immigration, energy and education during the Big iDeas Symposium on Monday, April 12 at Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

Big iDeas, an undergraduate research program sponsored by the Provost’s Office, awarded grants of up to $5,000 to the interdisciplinary teams. The students will report on their progress to the SMU community during a fall symposium.

“The winning proposals demonstrate our undergraduates’ energy and enthusiasm to address the complex problems facing North Texas,” Provost Paul Ludden says. “These Big iDeas projects are building strong ties between our campus community and home base of Dallas.”

This year’s winners include:

“On the Road Toward Greater Mental Health,” which seeks to increase mental health services in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood of Dallas; presented by sophomore Saira Husain and junior Jasia Mahdi.

“Penguins Preventing Pregnancy,” a proposal by Kappa Delta Chi sorority to address teen pregnancy through mentoring in partnership with the Hispanic Youth Symposium; presented by junior Maillil Acosta, junior Laura Baez and senior Mayra Mendoza.

“Boxed In,” a film project to raise awareness of undocumented students in college; presented by junior Daniela Balderas, junior Erik Burgos-Soto and first-year Leticia Tudon.

“Building Bonds to Establish Financial Stability,” which seeks to address family budgeting and debt through counseling; presented by sophomores Jose Campos and Filip Lorinc.

“Solar Energy on Campus,” an investigation of the feasibility of using solar energy to generate electricity and heat SMU’s buildings and water; presented by sophomore Huanlu Chen.

“Health Literacy Dallas,” a continuation of a project launched in 2009 to examine communication between patients and health care providers; presented by sophomores Matthew Gayer and M.C. Corey.

Liz.jpg “Redefining Intelligence: A New Look at Learning Differences,” which organized an April campus seminar about learning differences featuring students, teachers and films; presented by senior Elizabeth Johnston (in photo, left).

“Art for Darfur: Community Canvases,” the April auction launched by SMU students in 2007 was expanded to include artwork from Dallas schoolchildren; presented by sophomore Adriana Martinez.

“Tale of One City,” which seeks to create dialogue through a literary magazine featuring submissions from Dallas County high school students; presented by junior Rebecca Quinn.

“Go Green, Get Lean,” a proposal to turn the energy created by students at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports into electricity; presented by sophomore Kyle Trobough.

“The Long Term Sustainability of Education,” which seeks to examine how educational nonprofits can grow and become financially self-sustaining; presented by juniors Caitlin Lester and Alexandria Davis.