Author Archives: Yolette Garcia

About Yolette Garcia


Testing Motion Capture Software for Teaching Math

Assistant Professor Candace Walkington in Teaching and Learning collaborates with SMU Guildhall summer school students to test how motion capture software may help teach math. Walkington is examining how abstract mathematical concepts can be grounded in students’ out-of-school interests, experiences and everyday reasoning practices.

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On Maps and School Demographics

RichardsM.ashxAssistant Professor Meredith Richards  in Education Policy and Leadership provides expertise on new maps that the U.S. Department of Education will release on school attendance boundaries.

In an Education Week article, Richards is quoted about how maps come into play. She conducts research on school inequities using geographic tools to look at gerrymandering and school attendance.  Read article here.

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Recognizing Ill Effects of Solitary Confinement

26312D_140_GilmoreLecturer Betty Gilmore, director of Dispute Resolution in Simmons, was highlighted by The Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow in his appeal to end solitary confinement in prisons.

Gilmore, also a clinical psychologist, recently co-wrote with Nanon Williams The Darkest Hour: Shedding Light on the Impact of Isolation and Death Row in Texas Prisons.

Read story here.

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Helping Set Standards in Principal Preparation

berebitskyAssistant Professor Dan Berebitsky’s work has been cited in the 2015 proposed revisions to the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards from the Council of Chief State School Officers. The standards are used in most states to set the bar for principal certification and preparation.

His article, “A Multilevel Exploratory Study of the Relationship Between Teachers’ Perceptions of Principals’ Instructional Support and Group Norms for Instruction in Elementary Schools,” is part of the selected bibliography focusing on one of the standards for principal behavior.

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Stanford Social Innovation Review Covers Budd Center and CORE’s Work with The School Zone

West DallasA Standford Review article that examines the work of Simmons’ Budd Center and the Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) looks at how “big data” collection makes an impact on The School Zone. The School Zone is a group of 29 nonprofits and 16 public, charter and private schools in West Dallas that supports academic learning in the Pinskton High School feeder pattern.

To read the article, click here.

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Young Leaders in Education Group Recognizes DISD Principal Nakia Douglas


Principal Nakia Douglas receives the 2015 Trailblazer Award from Simmons Development Officer Patti Addington.

Nakia Douglas, principal of DISD’s Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, received the 2015 Trailblazer Award from Simmons’ Young Leaders in Education for boldly leading the district’s only male single-sex school.

The YLE facilitates opportunities for leaders of any age to improve the Dallas educational community by using their time and talent. Proceeds from the award recognition benefits Simmons’ Budd Center and its work in West Dallas.

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SMU Simmons Offers Doctor of Liberal Studies Degree

StudentsWebStarting this fall, SMU Simmons will offer a Doctor of Liberal Studies degree for working professionals who wish to pursue more rigorous studies.

Only one of three such programs in the country, the DLS is designed with individualization for students intent on serving  and leading in  communities. Read more.

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Sarah Feuerbacher Offers Expertise on Parenting Styles

Sarah Feurerbacher, director of Simmons’ Center for Family Counseling, SMU Plano, comments on differing parenting styles in CBS11’s story on “free range” parenting. See story.IMG_1431

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Workable Ideas to Decrease Teacher Shortages in Texas


David J. Chard, dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

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Alex Hales, executive director of Teach for America Dallas-Fort Worth.

In D magazine’s “Learning Curve” blog, Simmons Dean David Chard and Alex Hales, executive director of Teach for America Dallas-Fort Worth, write about how large teacher shortages in Texas need to be addressed seriously. By having institutions such as TFA, the Simmons School, state-wide education colleges, school districts and other teaching organizations tackle the problem together, good results could occur. Read more here.

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Global Health Students Compete to Solve Problems for Dallas Nonprofits

As part of Simmons’ Global Health class taught by Professor Eric Bing, students were asked to compete in teams to examine and solve challenges faced by two of the city’s nonprofits, Resource Center and Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. Two winning teams presented ideas to increase medical care at Brother Bill’s and to extend behavioral health counseling run by Simmons at Resource Center. Students were mentored by consultants in McKenzie & Company, Bain, and the Boston Consultant Group.


Thomas Schmedding, Carrie Perkins, Claire Trotter and Jordan Schimoda came up with the winning proposal for Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, a ministerial organization serving low-income neighborhoods in West Dallas.

Judges for the competition included Marisa Elliott, COO, Resource Center; Suzanne Griffin, executive director, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand; Ameeth Sankaran, investment partner with 2M; Jeremy Smith, executive director, Rainwater Charitable Foundation; and Dean David Chard.

The class is part of Simmons’ Applied Physiology and Wellness Department, and this marks the first Global and Public Health Case Competition for SMU.


Tyler Friske, Yewande Dada, Jessica Chu, Aya Mouhaffel, Michael Iwuoha presented the winning case to help the Resource Center in Dallas, a social service agency for LGBT communities.

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