SMU Rises into Top 50 of Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Colleges

Dallas Hall

SMU ranks No. 46 in Kiplinger’s new listing of the best values among private U.S. colleges. SMU’s ranking is up 23 places from 2012. The Kiplinger rankings are based on the cost to attend school, the financial aid available, student indebtedness, admission rate and yield, graduation rates and the academic support available to students.

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Family Weekend 2013: The Video Highlights

At Family Weekend 2013 Oct. 4-6, SMU families celebrated longtime Hilltop traditions. With a theme of “SMU: Where Dreams Come True,” the weekend included Residential Commons tours, a luncheon sponsored by the Mothers’ Club and Student Foundation, and a Dads’ Club brunch and Boulevarding before the Mustangs took on Rutgers.

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Annual Clery Act Report Now Available Online

SMU students on McFarlin Auditorium steps at duskSMU is committed to fostering a secure learning and working environment for our campus community.  As part of that commitment, the SMU Police Department prepares and distributes an annual security report (pdf) for the University’s main campus, the SMU-in-Plano campus and the SMU-in-Taos campus.

This report is published in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and its accompanying regulations also require that institutions issue an annual fire report, which is included in the security report.

Read SMU’s Annual Security Report (pdf)

The SMU report covers three calendar years, including incidents occurring on its campuses, at public areas adjacent to campuses and at certain non-campus facilities, including Greek houses and remote classrooms.  Information also is gathered from the University Park Police DepartmentHighland Park Police DepartmentDallas Police DepartmentPlano Police DepartmentTaos County Sheriff’s Department in New Mexico and University officials with significant responsibility for students and campus activities.

In addition, the report contains policies and procedures for enhancing campus security and individual safety, including the Giddy UpSafe Rides, Security Escort and awareness programs; methods by which the campus is alerted to crimes; the anonymous reporting system; and assistance for victims of sex offenses.

If you would like a paper copy of the University’s annual security report, please contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail Officer Linda Perez.

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University Appoints New SMU Abroad Director

Portraits 9.20.135056

Dr. Catherine Winnie

As the new director of SMU Abroad, Catherine Hutchison Winnie brings to the University expertise in developing diverse global experiences for students, including programs for research, internships and service abroad.

Winnie, who began her appointment at the start of the fall term, comes to SMU from Harvard University, where she most recently served as director of the Office of International Education at Harvard College. Winnie holds a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Swarthmore College.

“Students and faculty at SMU interested in study abroad will find Cathy Winnie’s know-how and enthusiasm contagious and empowering,” says Associate Provost Harold W. Stanley, who oversees the Office of Education Abroad. “Such interest is increasingly central to SMU’s mission. SMU’s Centennial Strategic Plan includes the goal of increasing participation in study abroad, and in the University Curriculum faculty adopted a global engagement requirement for all undergraduates. Dr. Winnie brings an impressive record of enhancing study abroad and is the right person at the right time to help SMU fulfill its goals.”

Winnie is responsible for overseeing SMU Abroad’s 148 summer, semester and yearlong study abroad programs in 50 countries. More than 500 students participate every year in SMU Abroad programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, South America and Australia.

“This is an exciting time to be at SMU and to be part of its mission to shape world changers,” Winnie says. “SMU has a strong commitment to a global education both here in Dallas and abroad that helps students succeed in our increasingly interdependent world. The direct global experiences offered by SMU Abroad are not only enriching students’ education, but also building bridges between communities.”

Winnie says she is looking forward to partnering with students, faculty and staff to explore their international goals and help them open doors abroad. “Some students may benefit from a semester or year of coursework at a foreign university, while others may choose an international internship, service work or independent research,” she says. “In all cases, they are gaining new perspectives on problem-solving, leadership and culture, as well as important life skills such as adaptability. When students bring this knowledge back home to SMU and Dallas, our entire community benefits.”

Continue reading

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SMU Scientists Celebrate Nobel Prize for Higgs Discovery

Particle collision from the ATLAS ExperimentSMU’s experimental physics group played a pivotal role in discovering the Higgs boson — the particle that proves the theory for which two scientists have received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences today awarded the Nobel Prize to theorists Peter W. Higgs and François Englert to recognize their work developing the theory of what is now known as the Higgs field, which gives elementary particles mass. U.S. scientists played a significant role in advancing the theory and in discovering the particle that proves the existence of the Higgs field, the Higgs boson.

The Nobel citation recognizes Higgs and Englert “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.”

“A scientist may test out a thousand different ideas over the course of a career. If you’re fortunate, you get to experiment with one that works,” says SMU physicist Ryszard Stroynowski, a principal investigator in the search for the Higgs boson. As the leader of an SMU Department of Physics team working on the experiment, Stroynowski served as U.S. coordinator for the ATLAS Experiment’s Liquid Argon Calorimeter, which measures energy from the particles created by proton collisions.

The University’s experimental physics group has been involved since 1994 and is a major contributor to the research, the heart of which is the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator on the border with Switzerland and France.

Preliminary discovery results were announced July 4, 2012 at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland, and at the International Conference of High Energy Physics in Melbourne, Australia. Continue reading

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Life in the New Residential Commons

SMU Provost Paul Ludden has announced the appointment of eight new Faculty in Residence (FiRs) selected in the Spring 2013 semester. The new FiRs join the three “founding FiRs” as the first full cohort to become part of the University’s new Residential Commons (RC).

Faculty in Residence are chosen in a competitive selection process. When the Commons program launches in Fall 2014, each FiR will live in a residence hall and work with student leaders and Student Affairs staff to shape the Residential Commons experience.

> Watch Faculty in Residence Ann Batenburg describe the Residential Commons on WFAA-TV news. video
> Read the Residential Commons blog, with updates from students in the Residential Commons Leadership Corps and Faculty in Residence.
> SMU Forum: Three SMU professors named first Faculty in Residence

Four FiRs have moved into residence halls a year early as part of the Residential Commons transition process: Ann Batenburg, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development; Mark Fontenot, Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Robert Krout, Music Therapy, Meadows School of the Arts; and Charles Wuest, English, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The full list of faculty members who have been appointed for a 3-4 year term, and the halls where they will take up residence:

  • Ann Batenburg, Teaching and Learning – Virginia-Snider RC *
  • Martin Camp, School of Law – Residential Commons 4 (under construction)
  • Miroslava Detcheva, Spanish – McElvaney RC
  • Mark Fontenot, Computer Science and Engineering – Loyd RC (under construction) *†
  • Mark Kerins, Film and Media Arts – Morrison-McGinnis RC
  • Rita Kirk, Communication Studies – Armstrong RC (under construction)
  • Robert Krout, Music Therapy – Mary Hay/Peyton/Shuttles RC *†
  • Will Power, Theatre – Residential Commons 1 (under construction)
  • David Son, Chemistry – Boaz RC
  • Tom Tunks, Music – Residential Commons 3 (under construction) *†
  • Elizabeth Wheaton, Economics – Cockrell-McIntosh RC

* Living in residence during the 2013-14 academic year
† One of SMU’s three original Faculty in Residence, the “Founding FiRs

SMU's southeast campus residential complex

Artist’s rendering of SMU’s southeast campus residential complex, which will help support the University’s Residential Commons experience.

Along with the 11 FiRs, 23 Faculty Affiliates were selected and have been working in every residence hall on campus since the beginning of the year. For more information on participating in the Faculty Affiliate program, contact Jeff Grim, Residence Life and Student Housing.

> Learn more at the SMU Residential Commons website:

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Family Weekend 2013: ‘Where Dreams Come True’

Screen shot 2013-09-30 at 1.33.06 PM Family Weekend 2013, set for Oct. 4-6, provides SMU families with new and old ways to celebrate a longtime Hilltop tradition. The weekend includes Engaged Learning presentations, Residential Commons tours and a 5K race, in addition to Boulevarding before the Mustangs take on Rutgers.

All of the weekend’s events are about welcoming families to the Hilltop, says Will Slack, chair of the Student Foundation committee that is responsible for planning Family Weekend. “This is a time for parents to see their child’s accomplishments while exploring additional opportunities SMU offers,” Slack says. “Parents are a key factor in the success of their students and the University.”

The theme of the weekend is “SMU: Where Dreams Come True.” “SMU offers students an unparalleled experience and countless opportunities,” Slack says. “It is the hope of Student Foundation that you will see the ways in which our University makes student dreams a reality.”

Student Foundation compiled a guide for the weekend, including many new events. Pick up your Family Weekend pre-purchased tickets and T-shirts at the Hughes-Trigg Crossing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. After 4 p.m., tickets can be picked up at the Hughes-Trigg Mane Desk. If available, extra tickets and T-shirts also will be on sale at the Mane Desk.

Below are weekend highlights:

Friday, Oct. 4:

  • Engaged Learning Student Presentations, a new event, are set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Students will present on their research, civic engagement, internship and creative experiences around the world.
  • Hardhat tours of SMU’s new Residential Commons, set to open in 2014, will be given at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Pre-ordered tickets are free of charge but required.
  • The Annual Family Luncheon, co-sponsored by the Student Foundation and the SMU Mothers’ Club, will be in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom at noon. Pre-purchased tickets are required.
  • Attend classes with your student throughout the day, or from 2 to 3 p.m. you can meet Cox School of Business faculty in the Collins Center’s Palmer Conference Center; Dedman College faculty in the Dallas Hall Rotunda; Lyle School of Engineering faculty at Caruth Hall’s Palmer Conference Center; and Meadows School of the Arts faculty in Taubman Atrium.
  • Stop by the Hegi Family Career Development Center from 2 to 3 p.m. to meet career counselors and students, and discuss career planning.
  • Engaged Learning is hosting a Family Weekend Open House from 2 to 4 p.m. in Clements Hall G13. Learn how SMU is shaping world changers through student-developed and -executed projects.
  • Visit Central University Libraries’ Fondren Library Center from 2 to 4 p.m. to gain perspectives on the 21st-century library, 100 years after SMU’s first librarian was hired.
  • The Association of Black Students and National Pan-Hellenic Council invite families to the Annual Fish Fry Social from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Varsity. Call 214-768-4583 to learn more.
  • The 7th annual Taste of Dallas Dinner begins at 6 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Tickets, which are required, are $30.
  • The 38th Annual Talent Show follows at 8 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium. Tickets to the show are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Saturday, Oct. 5:

  • If you haven’t done so already, pick up tickets from 8 a.m. until noon at the Hughes-Trigg Mane Desk.
  • The annual Boulevard BBQ is now the Boulevard Brunch, co-sponsored by the Student Foundation and Dads’ Club, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The menu includes made-to-order breakfast burritos, hash browns, cinnamon rolls and coffee.
  • After Boulevarding, head to Ford Stadium for the football game against Rutgers. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. with coverage from ESPNews.
  • Take Meadows Museum guided tours at 2 and 3 p.m. and see masterpieces by El Greco, Miro and Picasso.

Sunday, Oct. 6:

  • The Kappa Alpha Theta chapter of SMU presents Theta Cats Making Tracks 5Ka new Family Weekend event. Join the sorority at 8:30 a.m. at Moody Coliseum for a one-mile fun run or 5k to raise money for its national philanthropy CASA: Court-Appointed Special Advocates.
  • SMU celebrates Catholic Mass at 9 a.m. and All-University Worship at 11 a.m. at Perkins Chapel.
  • The College Hispanic American Students Familia Luncheon, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom, features lunch and entertainment. Call 214-768-4586 to learn more.
  • The Meadows Museum is open from 12-5 p.m. free of charge for all families and students.
  • The Asian Council Parents’ Dinner, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom, features dinner and entertainment. Call 214-768-4586 to learn more.

In addition to the weekend’s events, Student Foundation is partnering with MilVets of SMU and the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility to present the first Family Weekend community service event, SMU Families Giving Back. Families are asked to drop off care package items or purchase care packages for sale Friday at Hughes-Trigg Crossing. On Saturday, care package items can be dropped off at the Hughes-Trigg Mane Desk or at the MilVets tent on the Boulevard.

Screen shot 2013-09-30 at 1.15.16 PM

Stay updated with everything Family Weekend by connecting with Student Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

- Kelsey Reynolds and Courtney Ziluca

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Students to Present Research at Engaged Learning Symposium

Engaged Learning Week 2013, Michael Tran, photo by Clayton T. Smith

Michael Tran ’13, now an SMU master’s degree candidate in mathematics, presents his project during Engaged Learning Week in January. Students in programs from across campus will participate in the Engaged Learning Symposium during Family Weekend 2013. Photo by Clayton T. Smith.

Twenty-two students in research, service and internship programs from across campus will show their work during Family Weekend at SMU’s Fall 2013 Engaged Learning Symposium. The event takes place 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

Student presenters include Maguire and Irby Family Public Service Interns, Summer Research Fellows and University Honors Richter Research Fellows, as well as students taking part in Engaged Learning projects (now known as Engaged Learning Fellows).

Their investigations range from biometric applications for cloud computing, to second-language learning to improve self-esteem, to how Russia recycles.

Engaged Learning Fellows participating in the fall symposium are on track to graduate in December.

For its second fall symposium, the Office of Engaged Learning wanted to include student engagement that happens across campus programs, says Director Susan Kress. “We are delighted that our colleagues in the Maguire, Honors and Undergraduate Research programs have accepted our invitation to host their students’ summer work.”

Kress believes the symposium’s audiences, ranging from SMU faculty members to parents of undergraduates, “will appreciate the variety of presentations packed into one event,” she says. “And how lucky are we that it falls on Family Weekend?”

> Find a full schedule at the Engaged Learning website

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Tune In: Experiencing SMU Game Day ‘Down On The Boulevard’

SMU celebrated its 13th year of The Boulevard during the season-opening football game against Texas Tech Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. A new video by Myles Taylor of SMU News captures the fun, spirit and pageantry of the University’s pre-game festivities – which Southern Living magazine named one of “The South’s Best Tailgates” in 2012.

Click the YouTube screen to enjoy the video, or click here to watch “SMU Boulevard” in a new windowvideo


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DMN Editorial Praises SMU’s Academic Rise, Increasing Diversity

Dallas Hall, SMUSMU received high praise for its increasing diversity and academic excellence in an editorial published in The Dallas Morning News’ Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 edition.

The paper describes the entering-class average SAT score of 1302 as “part of SMU’s sometimes-overlooked academic rise. The school also now has 96 endowed professorships, which represents about 13 percent of tenured faculty. Those 96 chairs are up from 62 endowed positions only five years ago.”

In the wake of the announcement of a new $1 billion goal for The Second Century Campaign, the opinion piece zeroes in on ways in which Dallas will benefit if SMU reaches its campaign targets – especially in the area of scholarships.

“Scholarship funds can be hard to secure, especially when contributors want to donate in such a way that they can put their name on a building. But scholarship funds are critical as SMU actively diversifies its enrollment,” the op-ed states. “The campus has been seen as an outpost of well-heeled, well-connected families. But the truth is, SMU’s enrollment today is 25 percent minority, up sharply from even a decade ago. Financial aid will let SMU keep broadening its reach.

“SMU wants to continue evolving into, as its motto proclaims, a school of world changers. Funds for scholarships can help make that a reality.”

Read the full op-ed and find more story links at SMU News

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