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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Accelerated School Leadership’s Elizabeth Pittman Receives Fulbright

E Pittman Head Shot cropped Elizabeth Pittman, a student in Simmons’ Accelerated School Leadership program, is one of 49 American citizens to receive a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching grant for 2015-16. She will conduct research in New Zealand.

The Fulbright program asks participants to “take courses, lead master classes and seminars, visit local schools, collaborate with each other online and in person, and complete an inquiry project of their own design.” Pittman teaches at H. Grady Spruce High School in Dallas. Read more about the program here.

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Annie Wright Contributes to Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning

8.27.14Portraits12578Annie Wright, director of evaluation for the Center on Research and Evaluation in Simmons, recently published an essay in the Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice (Guilford Press, 2015).

Her essay, “Accountability and SEL Programs: The Getting To Outcomes® Approach,” was co-written with Andrea Lamont, Abraham Wandersman, David Osher,  and Eric S. Gordon. Read more about the book here.

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Simmons Volunteers with Reading Partners for Service Day

16816329180_2f8c51f518_zThanks to Reading Partners Dallas, Simmons faculty and staff spent a morning  tutoring students at J.W. Ray Elementary and Jack Lowe Elementary schools in  Dallas Independent School District.

Dean David Chard created the service day and Reading Partners took on the volunteers to help advance children’s reading skills. See photos here.

Reading Partners is a member of The School Zone, a collaborative partnership of nonprofits and schools in West Dallas. The service day was organized by the Budd Center in Simmons, which manages The School Zone.


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Graduate Student Receives National Bilingual Teacher of the Year Award


Irma De La Guardia

Irma De la Guardia has been named “Teacher of the Year” by the National Association of Bilingual Education.

A third-grade dual-language teacher at DISD’s Withers Elementary School, De La Guardia also pursues a graduate degree in Simmons’ Urban Education Leadership program. Congratulations to her for achieving the national distinction. To listen to a story about what she does in the classroom, click here.

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SMU’s Research Day Yields Prizes for Simmons Students


Jillian Conry, Paul Polanco, Vivianne Mogna, and Madhuri Bhupathi present work on Project ELVA (English Learner Vocabulary Acquisition), research funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and headed up by Dr. Doris Baker, principal investigator.


Mu Huang discusses research on thermoregulatory dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients.

A group of Simmons graduate students presented their work during SMU’s Research Day 2015, with the following winning the Dean’s Award:

Dustin Allen in Aplied Physiology and Wellness for “The Effect of Multiple Sclerosis on Carotid Baroflex Control of the Heart Rate and Blood Pressure.”  Dr. Scott Davis is the advisor.

Mu Huang in Applied Physiology and Wellness for “Thermoregulatory Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis Patients during Moderate Exercise in a Thermoneutral Environment.” Dr. Scott Davis is the advisor.

Jillian Conry, Paul Polanco, Vivianne Mogna, and Madhuri Bhupathi in Teaching and Learning for “Project Elva,” English Language Vocabulary Acquisition. Dr. Doris Baker is the advisor and principal investigator.

Congratulations to them for recognition by the University.

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HPISD Superintendent Joins Education Policy and Leadership Faculty

Orr.Dawson.CURRENTThe Simmons School welcomes Highland Park Independent School District Superintendent Dawson Orr, Ph.D., to the Department of Education Policy and Leadership, where he will serve as clinical professor and chair beginning this fall. He retires from HPISD in August.

Orr brings 25 years of experience as a superintendent that includes oversight of Pampa and Wichita Falls school districts in Texas, and the American School of Laguna Verde in Veracruz, Mexico.

“Dawson Orr’s practical experience and outstanding professional credentials will be helpful to our department as we move forward with research and best practices to prepare future school leaders,” says Dean David J. Chard. “During a comprehensive search for a candidate with expertise in school district leadership and administration, we were pleased to learn of Dr. Orr’s interest, leading to our discussions and his appointment to this important position.”

Orr, who has served on the department’s advisory board, succeeds Lee Alvoid, Ph.D., current chair.

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Simmons Recognizes Three Education Advocates with 2015 Luminary Awards

IMG_1634The Simmons School is pleased to honor President Michael Sorrell, Paul Quinn College; The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children; and Big Brothers Big Sisters for their education advocacy impacting children and youth. They will be recognized with the 2015 Luminary Awards, January 22, on the SMU campus. Created to highlight extraordinary commitment to improving people’s lives through education, the Luminary Awards were launched in 2009.

Read more about this year’s recipients here.

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