Pavlakis Featured in Podcast About Policies Affecting Education of Homeless Students

Assistant Professor Alexandra Pavlakis looks at how education and social policies impact homeless students in a podcast conversation, We Talk Different, produced by Ashley Irons, Ryan Holmes, and Elijah Misigaro in Dallas. The full episode can be heard here.

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Celebrating Upward Bound’s Success on Campus for Half a Century

Upward Bound, the federally funded college access program created in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson, has had significant impact on high school students aspiring to go to college. SMU and Simmons have hosted the program for 50 years, and now 98 percent of its students move on to earn their higher education degrees.  See media coverage.

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Harris Provides Expertise on Tenure to Chronicle of Higher Ed

The Chronicle of Higher Education asked Associate Professor Michael Harris to review tenure policies of Concord University for firing a tenured professor.

Harris, who studies tenure, concluded that the university’s policies undermine faculty power to make decisions. Read more.


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Simmons Highlights for 2017-2018

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NSF Grant to Walkington Supports Helping Students Entering STEM

Associate Professor Candace Walkington received a 3-year, $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in partnership with Assistments and North Central Texas College to research ways to support students in foundational mathematics classes, with the goal to increase and diversify the STEM pipeline

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Locomotor Performance Lab Hosts “Science in the City”

Professor Peter Weyand and his research team opened their Locomotor Performance Lab in Simmons for a public demonstration on how human speed is measured.

The event was part of Science in the City, a Dallas Morning News engagement program with its subscribers. SMU was the site for part two of the event that included collaboration with walkSTEM for a campus tour. Read more.

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With NSF Grant, Wilhelm and Norris Collaborate To Broaden Math Teacher Pipeline

SMU Simmons, Dr. Annie Wilhelm


Simmons Assistant Professor Annie Wilhelm and Dedman College’s Associate Professor Scott Norris received a $100,273 Noyce Capacity Building grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the math teacher pipeline. The focus will be on secondary math teachers for placement in the Dallas Independent School District.

Dedman College, Dr. Scott Norris

Wilhelm and Norris will be working in partnership with the Dallas County Community College District to create a dual-enrollment recruitment program that prepares student scholars for dual degrees in Mathematics and Educational Studies at SMU.

The project includes collaboration with staff from the Budd Center, a unit of SMU’s Simmons School that brings West Dallas nonprofits and schools together to provide neighborhood children the educational, social and emotional tools they need to break the cycle of poverty.

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Project ELVA Video Highlighted on 2018 STEM For All Website

Doris Baker, associate professor in Teaching and Learning, has one of her research projects featured in STEM for All, a National Science Foundation supported website. A video of her Project ELVA (English Language Vocabulary Acquisition) explains the benefits of using an intelligent design tutoring system to guide the instruction and provide prompts to support student language development in science.

Project ELVA was awarded $1,499,586 from the Institute of Education Science, 8/1/2014 to 7/31/2017. Baker’s co-principal investigators were Simmons Professor Stephanie Al Otaiba; Ron Cole and Wayne Ward (Boulder Language Technologies). Doctoral students Jillian Conry and Paul Polanco also assisted.

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Bing to Deliver Commencement Address at Wheelock College

Eric G. Bing, Simmons professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, will give the 2018 commencement address at Wheelock College in Boston, MA, May 18. Bing also is the founding director of the Institute for Leadership Impact and the Center for Global Health Impact at SMU.

The address is part of the 130th commencement at the college, which be the final graduation ceremony. Wheelock is merging with Boston University and becomes the new Wheelock College of Education and Human Development academic unit, June 1.

In addition, Bing will receive an honorary degree along with three other education leaders:

  • Evelyn B. Hausslein, Founding Director of SUPPORTbrokers and co-founder of Wheelock’s Child Life program
  • Toby Congleton Milner ’70, Founder of the Lillydale Literacy Project in South Africa
  • Dr. Pedro A. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.


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Four Applied Physiology Undergraduates Sweep Honors

Amanda Woodruff, Madeline Wainman, and Sydney Lyng (L to R) conduct research on concussions and blood flow with their mentor, Assistant Professor Sushmita Purkayastha.

Madeline Wainman, Sydney Lyng, and Kelly Lenz, students in Applied Physiology and Health Management, were recognized for their research abstract poster presentations at the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference in Austin this spring. Wainman, Lyng, and Lenz won first, second, and third places respectively for their work. Their mentors in Simmons are Sushmita Purkayastha, Ph.D. and Scott Davis, Ph.D.

Other recognitions were given by the department during SMU’s Honor Convocation to Amanda Woodruff, who received the APHM Departmental Distinction Award, and to Wainman and Lenz, who were awarded with APHM Departmental Honors.

All of them presented their research posters at SMU Research Day.

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