Author Archives: Yolette Garcia

About Yolette Garcia


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.

Posted in Applied Physiology, Featured News, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Education Policy, Featured Research, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Education Research, Featured Research, General News & Announcements, Videos | Leave a comment

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.


Posted in Featured News, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Applied Physiology, Featured News, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment

Doris Baker and Candace Walkington Earn Tenure

Dr. Doris Baker

Congratulations to Doris Luft Baker, Ph.D., and Candace Walkington, Ph.D. upon receiving tenure. Both teach and conduct research in the Department of Teaching and Learning, and contribute to the Simmons School in strong ways.

Baker directs the Master of Bilingual Education program. She is engaged in developing and evaluating instructional tools and assessments in English and Spanish designed to improve and monitor the academic performance of English learners.

Dr. Candace Walkington

Walkington specializes in mathematics education. Her research examines how abstract mathematical ideas can become connected to students’ concrete, everyday experiences such that they become more understandable.

Please join the Simmons School in celebrating these newly tenured professors.


Posted in Featured News, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment

Publication Features Collaboration by Wilhelm, Rouse, and Jones

Three Simmons faculty members, Annie Garrison Wilhelm, Amy Gillespie Rouse, and Francesca Jones examine how classroom obervations are conducted and rated in Exploring Differences in Measurement and Reporting of Classroom Observation Inter-Rater Reliability.  

Their article was published in Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, an online peer-reviewed electornic journal.

Posted in Education Research, Featured Research, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment

Simmons Hosts Paving the Way to Equity Conference at Bush Center

In our continued commitment to educational equity, the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU invites you to our second annual conference on race and equity: Paving the Way to Inclusion: Visualizing Equity in Education.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. William Tate, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Washington University in St. Louis.  See agenda.

Posted in Education Policy, Education Research, Featured News, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment

Simmons Celebrates 2018 Luminary Award Honorees

Luminary Award 2018 participants: (left to right) SMU President R. Gerald Turner; Stephanie Knight, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development; Claire Emanuelson, 2018 chair of the Crystal Charity Ball; Pam Perella, 2017 chair of the Crystal Charity Ball; Jennifer Emmett, senior vice president of Kids Media Content at National Geographic; Cece Cox, CEO of Resource Center; Richard Collins, CEO of Istation

Three organizations dedicated to positive change and enlightened education were honored in March with Luminary Awards from SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Organizations include North Texas honoree, the Crystal Charity Ball; regional honoree, the Resource Center, and national honoree, the National Geographic Society and National Geographic Kids.

“The Simmons School is proud to honor the contributions of three organizations working tirelessly to advance education and human development for children and families,” says Stephanie Knight, dean of the Simmons School. “These organizations use the power of learning and leadership to change lives.”

Since 1952 the Crystal Charity Ball has provided $145 million to more than 150 Dallas County nonprofit agencies that serve children. Members raise funds for the beneficiaries selected each year to help underserved children in the areas of health, education, social services and the arts. The organization consists of 100 women volunteers who raise funds, research potential beneficiaries and serve as advocates for children.

Regional Luminary honoree, the Resource Center, has provided support to North Texas lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning communities since 1983. Located in Dallas, the agency provides critical assistance to low-income people living with HIV, including a food pantry, dental, health and social services. In partnership with the Simmons Center for Family Counseling at SMU, the Resource Center also provides affordable, LGBTQ-specialized mental health counseling for youth and adults. Its staff of 59, supported by 1,200 volunteers, serves more than 60,000 people each year.

The National Luminary honoree, the National Geographic Society and National Geographic Kids, brings geography, social studies and science to life through exploration, education and storytelling. Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring and protecting Earth. It funds research and conservation projects around the world as well as educational initiatives. The National Geographic Kids team creates materials for K-12 educators as well as magazines, books, games, films, websites and events that engage children in exploration and discovery.

The Luminary Award was created in 2009 by the Simmons School to honor individuals and organizations that have shown an extraordinary commitment to improving people’s lives through education. The award is given annually to a local, regional and national recipient. Special thanks to IStation and other 2018 sponsors.


Posted in Featured News, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment

Prestigious Hyer Society Inducts Two Simmons Students

Amanda Woodruff

Amanda Woodruff, an Applied Physiology and Health Management major, and Alexandra Rutherford, a Psychology major with an Educational Studies minor, have been inducted into SMU’s Hyer Society. The society recognizes intellectually gifted undergraduates who distinguish themselves with high achievement.

Woodruff is a senior interning with Assistant Professor Sushmita Purkayastha’s Cerebrovascular Research Lab and plans to attend graduate school to become a physician assistant.

Rutherford also is a senior and the Hyer Society recognized her with the University Achievement Award. She is completing a research project with the SMU Family Research Center and plans to pursue a career in educational psychology.

Simmons congratulates both of them for their distinctions.

Posted in Applied Physiology, Featured News, General News & Announcements | Leave a comment