Super students take the spotlight during Engaged Learning Week

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithSMU’s Engaged Learning Week puts student achievement front and center with an expanded schedule for 2015 – including a business plan competition among the winners in the Fall 2014 Big iDeas Pitch Competition.

Other activities include open houses, exhibitions, performances and presentations from the University’s 2014-15 Engaged Learning Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Jan. 26-30 and is designed to help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week will begin with the Lucky Cup, a free party taking place 4:30-6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26 in Café 100, Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Hosted by Engaged Learning students and staff, the festivities will include exhibitions and live performances by Engaged Learning seniors – as well as free hot drinks, contests, prizes, photos with Peruna, and celebrity baristas.

SMU Engaged Learning logoThe week’s centerpiece events take place Tuesday-Thursday, Jan. 27-29, as graduating Engaged Learning Fellows present their projects. The Engaged Learning Symposium is scheduled for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. each day in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

This year, for the first time, student presentations will be grouped by type, with creative projects leading off on Tuesday, and research and service highlighted on Wednesday and Thursday. The new grouping is designed to make it easier for all undergraduates to schedule their attendance and to support and network with classmates who share similar interests.

Symposium attendees are invited to drop in for any and all of the presentations. Each will be followed by a Q&A, in which the student presenters have the opportunity to talk informally with the audience.

On Friday, Jan. 30SMU Engaged Learning hosts Big iDeas Demo Day noon-5 p.m. in The CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower, East Campus. The schedule includes a free buffet lunch and the Big iDeas Pitch Competition Winners Fair from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Expressway Tower lobby. Later, the Pitch Competition winners will vie to receive up to $5,000 in project funding in the Business Plan Competition, 2-5 p.m. in The CUBE. Their proposals will be judged by a panel of experts from Executives in Action.

Find a full schedule at the SMU Engaged Learning Week homepage
Check the 2015 schedule of Engaged Learning students and presentations

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SMU Flu Advisory Update

We are in the midst of flu season, and cases have been reported at SMU.

The flu spreads easily and can impact the campus. We need your help to prevent cases of flu from spreading.  It is important for all students, faculty and staff to take the following precautions:

  • Be aware of flu symptoms, including fever with cough or sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If you have flu symptoms, stay at home and avoid contact with others.  Do not return to class or work until you no longer have fever 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. In case of emergency, call 911 or visit a hospital emergency room. For information about weekend and after-hours options near campus, click here. The Health Center is open Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; call 214-768-2141.
  • Students with the flu should email their professors as soon as possible and let them know they have the flu, or they may call the Office of the Dean of Student Life for assistance at 214-768-4564.
  • Resident students who have flu symptoms may order meals for pickup. Those picking up the meals must have the ill student’s SMU ID card. For meal pickup at Umphrey Lee, contact Tammie Henderson (214-802-8973 or tammieh@smu.edu). For meal pickup at Arnold Dining Commons, contact Shawna Bass at 214-768-2391 or bass-shawna@aramark.com.
  • 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 complications should call the Health Center at 214-768-2141.

To avoid the flu:

  • 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 when coughing or sneezing with either a disposable tissue or a sleeve, 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.

Get a Flu Shot

SMU offers free flu shots for all SMU students, as well as benefit eligible faculty, staff, retirees and retiree spouses, while supplies last.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that people who have not yet gotten the flu shot do so, with flu activity high across most of the country. While the CDC reports that the flu vaccine is not as effective this year against some viruses, it advises that getting vaccinated can prevent some infections and reduce the severity of illness.

Flu shots are available at the Health Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Please bring your SMU ID to the Health Center.

More info:  www.smu.edu/flu

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Calendar Highlights: The Spring 2015 term at a glance

Dallas Hall steps from a 3rd-story windowWelcome back! SMU’s 2015 Spring Term begins Friday, Jan. 16 – a few important dates at a glance:

  • Friday, Jan. 16: First day of classes for the 2015 Spring Term
  • Monday, Jan. 19: Martin Luther King Day (University closed). SMU celebrates MLK Day of Service 8 a.m.-1 p.m. – learn more at smu.edu/volunteer
  • Monday-Sunday, March 9-15: Spring Break
  • Friday, April 3: Good Friday (University closed)
  • Monday, April 13: Honors Convocation and Awards Extravaganza
  • Friday, April 17: Founders’ Day
  • Monday, May 4: Last day of classes for Spring 2015
  • Tuesday, May 5: Reading Day
  • Wednesday-Tuesday, May 6-12: Final examinations (no exams scheduled on Sunday)
  • Friday, May 15: Baccalaureate
  • Saturday, May 16: All-University Commencement and school/department diploma ceremonies
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SMU Urges Flu Shots and Other Preventive Measures

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

Potentially severe flu season

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, cases of influenza are expected to increase across the country. Because flu can spread by contact with people who are ill, we recommend that if your student has not yet had a flu shot this fall at the SMU Health Center, that he or she do so at a local pharmacy, clinic or physician’s office to allow time to develop protection against the flu.

National data indicate that this year’s vaccine may be somewhat less effective than in previous years, but getting vaccinated continues to offer the best protection against the flu, according to the CDC.

Where to obtain a flu shot

Students who are remaining on or near campus during winter break can obtain a flu shot at local healthcare providers including QuestCare, 3414 Milton in Snider Plaza, open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 214-368-4822. QuestCare will be closed December 24-25. For other options near campus, click here.

The SMU Health Center will reopen after winter break with special operating hours January 5, 7 and 9. On those days, medical services, including flu shots, will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; call 214-768-2141. Flu shots are available at no cost to SMU students, while supplies last. No appointment is needed; students should bring their SMU ID to the Health Center.

The SMU Pharmacy also will offer services January 5, 7 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), students should call 214-768-2277 and an emergency contact number will be provided 24/7. In case of a health emergency, students should call 911.

The Health Center resumes normal operating hours January 12, with flu shots and other services available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

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Mustang Minute: Celebration of Lights 2014

Relive this year’s Celebration of Lights in a Mustang Minute video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.

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SMU adds online course option for Jan Term 2015

SMU’s Jan Term – previously known as the J Term – is expanding again, adding its first online course offering to the dozens available at the SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos campuses. The 2015 Jan Term is scheduled for Jan. 5-14.

The January interterm session’s first online offering will be “Introduction to
Markets and Culture” (SOCI 2377), taught by Debra Branch of the Department of Sociology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

> Course description for “Introduction to Markets and Culture” online

In addition, continuing SMU students who live on the main campus may remain in their current campus housing during Jan Term 2015 at no additional charge. Students must register with Residence Life and Student Housing by 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8 if they plan to stay in their current campus residence during Jan Term.

In another new program enhancement, Jan Term courses are now available for registration through My.SMU. Students should meet with an adviser to select appropriate courses before they enroll.

The accelerated interterm session offers more than 50 courses at a reduced tuition rate; students can complete one three-credit-hour course in eight concentrated days. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Jan Term (short for January Term) allows students to complete one three-credit-hour course at a discounted tuition rate before the start of the spring semester. For Jan Term 2015, regular undergraduate students will pay a reduced tuition rate of $1,211 per credit hour ($3,633 per course). To avoid a late fee, payment is due by Friday, Dec. 19. Parking is free on the SMU-in-Plano campus, and no decal is required.

Watch a video about Jan Term from SMU News’ Myles Taylor

The Jan Term program allows students to use the time between the fall and spring terms to focus on a course of interest or stay on track for graduation. Students also can fulfill General Education or University Curriculum requirements.

This year’s offerings include courses from the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts and Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Students participating in Jan Term at SMU-in-Plano will be responsible for their own housing; discounted hotel rooms are available at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott-Plano, about a mile from the Plano campus. Shuttle service is also available. Information about housing at SMU-in-Taos during Jan Term is available here.

For more information, e-mail the SMU Jan Term program or call 214-768-3657.

> Learn more from the Jan Term homepage at smu.edu/janterm

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SMU to break ground on Dr. Bob Smith Health Center

bob-smith-health-center-renderingSMU will break ground Dec. 5 on the new Dr. Bob Smith Health Center, a 33,000-square-foot center designed to provide comprehensive outpatient health care to more than 11,000 SMU students on an ongoing basis throughout each school year. A $5 million gift from the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation funded the new building named for Dr. Bob Smith, long-time Dallas pediatrician and SMU alumnus. The funding will enable center staff to increase promotion of student wellness through health education, medical services and counseling and psychiatric services.

“From caring for some of Dallas’s youngest patients to establishing medical care facilities for patients of all ages, Dr. Bob Smith demonstrated his devotion to health care in Dallas his entire life,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This gift to name the health center honors Dr. Smith’s love of his alma mater and supports good health for all SMU students.”

The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is scheduled for completion in spring of 2016.

The new two-story building is designed to provide outpatient medical care for students, including laboratory, radiology and pharmacy services. Students will receive care from the center’s full and part-time physicians as well as from part-time specialists in dermatology, gynecology and sports medicine in ten newly equipped exam rooms with private waiting areas. The medical care area of the facility also will include two new consultation rooms for physician-patient meetings, two rooms for patient observation and a treatment room. In addition, the expanded space includes offices for the addition of dental services at the center, as well as space for extended evening and weekend hours for student care.

“The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center will provide medical and mental health care with a focus on promoting wellness and sound health decision-making,” said Lori White, SMU vice president for Student Affairs. “Research shows that there is an important link between a student’s wellness and the ability to thrive academically. Encouraging students to make healthy lifestyle decisions while in college will provide them with a firm foundation for enjoying a healthy life post-college.”

Read more from SMU News.

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Chad Morris named head football coach at SMU

Chad Morris has been named the Head Football Coach at SMU, Director of Athletics Rick Hart announced Monday, December 1. Morris arrives on the Hilltop after five seasons as an offensive coordinator on the collegiate level and 16 seasons as a Texas high school coach.

“I’m excited about the future of SMU football, and my family is thrilled to be back in the state of Texas,” said Morris. “I want to thank Dr. (R. Gerald) Turner, Rick Hart and the search committee for this opportunity. I have to say it was a difficult decision to leave my fellow coaches and our student-athletes at Clemson. I want to thank them for buying into our vision and helping us build something special. I would especially like to thank Coach (Dabo) Swinney. It was a great experience and something I’ll always remember.

“I only left that great situation because I knew what we could accomplish at SMU. I grew up watching SMU football. I know the history and I know we can be great again. I look forward to working with our student-athletes and staff, as well as my friends and former colleagues, the Texas high school coaches, as we work towards winning championships here on the Hilltop. I can’t wait to get started.”

Read more from SMU News.

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Celebration of Lights set for December 1

A scene from SMU's 2010 Celebration of Lights

SMU kicks off the 2014 holiday season with the post-Thanksgiving observance of one of the University’s most beloved annual traditions. Celebration of Lights 2014 is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 1, on the Main Quad.

The celebration features than 100,000 decorative lights, luminarias lining the sidewalks, musicians performing songs of the season, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas story from the New Testament. Refreshments will be served.

Check out slideshows and video of past Celebration of Lights ceremonies, courtesy of SMU News. Photos

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Update: Missing Student Found Unharmed

Update: 1:45 p.m. November 20:

SMU student Connor Burrell, who had been reported missing Nov. 19, was found unharmed by Dallas Police, working with SMU Police, at about 1:15 p.m. today, Nov. 20, near Mockingbird Station in Dallas. SMU is grateful to members of the SMU and Dallas communities who provided assistance in locating our student.

Connor Burrell

November 19, 2014:

SMU Police are seeking help in locating SMU student Connor Burrell (see his photo below), who was last seen about 2:30 p.m. Nov. 18 on a sidewalk on the north side of North Park Mall in Dallas.

Burrell, a 21-year-old white male, is 5-feet, 11-inches tall, weighs 190 pounds, has brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a white hoodie, khaki pants and was carrying a dark-colored jacket or sweater. He may have been wearing a white baseball cap.

If you have information about Burrell, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3388.

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