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SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards take place Monday, April 17

Honors Convocation 2016SMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards, Monday, April 17.

The 20th annual Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

> Coming April 17: Watch Honors Convocation live on the web at smu.edu/live

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

> Read the full list of SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

The University will present several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2017 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

Follow SMU Student Activities @SMUStuAct for live updates from the ceremony, and share your Twitter and Instagram posts from the Hilltop Excellence Awards with the #HilltopExcellence hashtag.

> Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

Jo GuldiThis year’s convocation speaker is Jo Guldi, assistant professor of history in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. A native Dallasite, Guldi studies the history of Great Britain and the British Empire, landscape history, legal history, property law, infrastructure, digital methods, international development, and agrarian studies. As a digital and data historian, she also oversees the lecture series “Data is Made Up of Stories: University-wide Futures From the Digital Humanities,” offered through the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute. Among other things, the series illustrates how text mining is used across different disciplines – from digital mapping of the transatlantic slave trade to an app that captures the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

2017-04-11T10:48:40+00:00 April 11, 2017|News|

SMU Founders’ Day Weekend 2017 in photos

From Perunapalooza to Pony Preview, from Meadows Museum Family Day to the Luck of the Loydians Residential Commons celebration, and from the Red-Blue Scrimmage to Mustang Fan Fair, SMU Founders’ Day Weekend was packed with activities for the entire community. Take a look back with these photos by Kim Leeson and Guy Rogers III.

2017-04-11T10:18:26+00:00 April 11, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

SMU to celebrate Founders’ Day April 6-9

The SMU campus will buzz with activity Founders’ Day Weekend, April 6-9, as alumni, students and friends celebrate the 1915 founding of SMU.

Find detailed information on all Founders’ Day Weekend activities at http://www.smu.edu/Events/FoundersDay.

The community is invited to join the celebration at several public events including Meadows Museum family day, the Mustang spring football game, and performances of the spring dance concert. The George W. Bush Presidential Center also will offer guided bluebonnet tours of the Native Texas Park on the grounds of the center.


2017-04-06T11:26:38+00:00 April 6, 2017|News|

Matthew B. Myers to lead SMU Cox School of Business

Matthew B. Myers, a global marketing and strategy expert with special expertise in cross-border business relationships and Latin American economies, has been named dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business. He will assume his new duties on August 1, at which point Albert W. Niemi Jr., who has been dean of the school since 1997, will transition to full-time teaching.

Matt Myers
Matthew B. Myers

“As the new dean of the Cox School of Business, Matt Myers brings extraordinary energy for outreach to the regional, national, and global business community,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The range of his previous administrative and professorial experiences also equips him to lead the school toward even greater faculty research excellence, as well as innovative educational programs for Cox undergraduates, graduate students and working executives. Furthermore, Matt is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the SMU campus to advance interdisciplinary academic programs and initiatives.”

“The Cox School of Business and its international academic reputation will be in good hands with Matt Myers,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His expertise in global trends, particularly in cross-border and Spanish-language markets, will be invaluable to our faculty and students – especially as programs such as the Cox School’s Latino Leadership Initiative and the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center in Dedman College continue to evolve. In addition, his vision and leadership as a fundraiser will help secure the ongoing health of these centers of excellence, as well as the promise of innovations to come.”


2017-04-06T11:25:22+00:00 April 6, 2017|News|

Mustang Minute: Tour the Spring Career and Internship Fair

Follow SMU senior economics major and student athlete Jeremy White as he networks and explores job opportunities at the SMU Spring Career and Internship Fair in this Mustang Minute! video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.

Sponsored by the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center, the fall and spring fairs bring top employers and recruiters to SMU.

2017-03-30T14:31:46+00:00 March 30, 2017|Career Learning, News, Photo and Video Gallery|

Human Rights students visit German Holocaust sites

SMU students Shivani Burra, left, and Narcey Negrete lead a tribute at the Bullenhuser Damm Memorial Garden in Hamburg, noting that 1.5 million children were killed during the Holocaust.

Twenty-eight members of the SMU and DFW community traveled throughout Germany during Spring Break to study the Holocaust. “In confronting historical sites of unmitigated, premeditated terror, we’ll come to grips with historical memory as it applies not only in Germany, but also in our own country,” says Rick Halperin, director of the trip’s sponsor, SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program.

Read updates from the students on the SMU Adventures blog.

2017-03-21T09:21:38+00:00 March 21, 2017|News|

Students design solar-charging station in round-the-clock contest

While many of their fellow students were sleeping in over winter break, 17 SMU students came back to school in January before classes resumed for a “no grades” design project that delivered a design solution they called “ModPod” for sponsoring partners at Better Block Foundation and Good Faith Energy.

The challenge was to design a flat-pack (think about what comes in an assemble-it-yourself box from IKEA) solar charging station that urban dwellers can use for mobile devices like cell phones and laptops.  Better Block Foundation uses a human-centered approach to offer consulting, tools and support for the prototyping of initiatives that can help develop more livable neighborhoods, so designing for them means coming up with simple designs that can work on sidewalks and in parks.  Good Faith Energy is a North Texas solar energy provider, and the company donated $500 to help cover students’ costs.

As the clock begins to tick, students in these Immersive Design Challenges start brainstorming, designing, building small models and learning to “fail forward.”  No worries, though, because learning and adapting from mistakes is part of the process where participants quickly adjust and repeat rapid prototypes to overcome obstacles and drive toward better solutions.

Students self-sort into teams that focus on what they can best contribute – from computer-aided design, to physical construction with traditional power tools, to operation of a 3-D printer, to making the final presentations that “sell” the design to the sponsors.  It is this divide-and-conquer approach that draws SMU students from programs and majors all over campus.

The final design that emerged from the January competition is a curvy plywood design that can be snapped together and function as a vertical piece, or a horizontal unit that can be used as a bench. Modular additions can be snapped on to allow the mounting of solar panels, a battery pack, power outlet, even a method for locking your bike and phone. You can watch a time-lapse video of the students assembling the prototype.

ModPod now becomes part of Better Block Foundation’s wikiblock, an open-source toolkit of designs for urban furniture-like benches, planters and bus stops that are available for free download.   The common denominator for all of the wikiblock designs is that parts are crafted out of plywood cut with a computer-assisted router, and most can be assembled without glue or nails “to make a block better.”

“Dream it. Print it.  Build it. Live it.”  That’s the wikiblock mantra.

Immersive Design Challenges are hosted throughout the year in the Deason Innovation Gym, nicknamed “the DIG,” in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.  These competitions are a big draw for engineering students, of course, but are open to students from all majors and minors, resulting in the kind of inter-disciplinary teams that successful businesses have learned are the best incubators for good ideas.

Students have to apply for a spot on the team.  They don’t earn any class credit, and the participants have to be willing to give up a holiday or between-semesters break to get uninterrupted access to the DIG. They work round-the-clock (sleeping bags, junk food, lots of Red Bull) to design, prototype and build solutions to design challenges that come to the University from real-world businesses and non-profits.

So, you have to ask, why do it?   For SMU first-year computer engineering student Sunjoli Aggarwal, getting to spend more time in the DIG was the big draw.  She’d taken a class in fall 2016 that allowed her to spend a little time working in the big makerspace on the ground level of Caruth Hall, but not nearly enough.

“I felt that everyone in the DIG was extraordinarily skilled and always seemed to know exactly what they were working on, and so I wanted to reach a point where I felt comfortable going to the DIG,” Sunjoli explained.  The application form for the Immersive Design Competition emphasized that no previous experience with DIG tools was necessary, so she took a leap of faith and signed up to participate.

“The experience was amazing! The most fun times were when some of us would stay at the DIG until midnight, blasting music, working hard, and having fun out of our excitement about the project,” Sunjoli said.  Getting to meet and work with their business partners from Good Faith Energy and Better Block Foundation made the whole experience even better, she said, because they were working for a purpose.

Sunjoli found that her presentation skills were valuable to the team, and you can see how she explained part of the project to an audience that included sponsors Better Block Foundation and Good Faith Energy on the last day of the competition.

What happens next?

Better Block Foundation will upload the cutting guides and assembly instructions for the plywood pieces to its wikiblock to make the plans available, open-source, for communities to use for streetscape improvement projects.  Some of the students who are interested in the solar component of the design will move forward with its development with Good Faith Energy, and hopefully a manufacturing partner, to make a marketable and publicly accessible, plug-and-play solar generator.

The next Immersive Design Challenge in the Deason Innovation Gym is expected at the end of the spring 2017 semester.

– By Kim Cobb

2017-02-28T11:28:24+00:00 February 28, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

SMU defeats Cincinnati at Moody Coliseum

The 25th-ranked Mustangs took a slight lead in the American Athletic Conference standings with their 60-51 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday, February 12.

  • Watch a video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor featuring the record crowd at Moody Coliseum.
  • Also, SMU announces the 2017 football schedule: Mark your calendars, including for Family Weekend 2017, when SMU will take on Arkansas State on September 23.
2017-02-14T17:09:14+00:00 February 13, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

Taking precautions against the flu

SMU health officials remind students, faculty and staff to take precautions against the flu and help prevent its spread by getting a flu shot.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that people who have not yet gotten a flu shot do so, with flu activity increasing across the country and expected to continue in coming weeks. The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is seeing an increase in students exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

Free flu shots, while supplies last, are available to SMU students at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Students should bring their SMU ID to the Health Center.

Additional precautions

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces such as door handles. Cover your mouth with either a disposable tissue or a sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and avoid touching your face. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Get plenty of rest to keep the immune system working at its best.
  • Be aware of flu symptoms. Flu symptoms include fever with cough or sore throat, and sometimes runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea.

What to do if sick with the flu

  • Stay home and limit contact with others until you no longer have a fever (a temperature of less than 100.5 F) for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Seek medical attention if experiencing acute symptoms such as body aches, cough or a fever of more than 100.5 F.
  • Students with the flu should email their professors as soon as possible and let them know they have the flu.
  • If symptoms get worse after you have been on medication for three or four days, return to your healthcare provider to make sure you have not developed a secondary infection.
  • Those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, or those who experience complications should call the Health Center at 214-768-2141.

To order meals for pickup by a friend

Resident students who have flu-like symptoms may order meals by phone from Arnold Dining Commons or Lee at the Umphrey Lee Center and have a friend pick up the meals from the location. Students who are ill may order food off the menu of the day, including soup.

Students should provide their name and ID number when calling. The meals will be deducted from their meal plan.

To order a meal, please call:

  • Arnold Dining Commons: Matt Thompson, 803-235-6881
  • Lee: Thomas Hermanson, 214-768-3922

If unable to reach either number, call Jonathan Tyson, 214-213-3340.

For more information about the flu

  • Contact the Health Center, 214-768-2141
  • Visit smu.edu/flu


2017-01-25T15:19:07+00:00 January 25, 2017|Health and Safety, News|

SMU mourns the death of Vice President for Student Affairs

Pamela D. Anthony, SMU vice president for student affairs, died Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, surrounded by family members, friends and colleagues in Dallas after a battle with cancer.

Remembering Pamela D. Anthony

Arrangements for funeral and campus memorial services are pending with the family.

“Dr. Anthony was a leader in the field of student affairs who devoted her career to students’ well-being and academic and personal growth,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “At SMU, she served as a mentor to many while focusing on students’ campus life and educational experiences, including in the areas of health and wellness, multicultural affairs and residential life. We grieve this profound loss of a friend and colleague, and we offer our condolences and prayers to Dr. Anthony’s family and loved ones.”

Dr. Anthony became vice president for student affairs at SMU on February 1, 2016. She oversaw areas including the Office of the Dean of Student Life; Residence Life; women’s, LGBT, multicultural, volunteer and leadership programs; student activities; student conduct; campus ministries; health and wellness programs; career services; the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. In fall 2016 she led the dedication and opening of the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center.

In a May interview, Dr. Anthony said, “When I think about this work, I feel very called to work with students, to develop students and to make sure that they’re having a good experience in college.”


2017-01-23T09:43:56+00:00 January 19, 2017|News|
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