Analyzing the Trump Apology

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John Potter

When Clinical Assistant Professor John Potter teaches his dispute resolution and conflict management classes, he instructs how an apology can work or fail.

During the campaign, Republican presidential nominee Trump issued a videotaped apology for vulgar comments he made about women in a 2005 tape.  That prompted radio producer and SMU alumnus Josh Hart to invite Potter, his former professor, to do a broadcast analysis of Donald Trump’s apology on 1190 AM. You can hear the analysis  here.


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IES Awards Professor Al Otaiba with $1.6 Million Grant

IMG_0057Simmons Professor Stephanie Al Otaiba (principal investigator) and her colleagues in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Jill Allor and Paul Yovanoff, and Akihito Kamata, director of the Center for Research and Evaluation, have received a $1.6 million federal grant to study reading interventions.

The grant comes from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and explores the relationship between schools’ Response to Intervention (RTI) implementation and teachers’ RTI knowledge and student outcomes.

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Associate Dean Hernandez Offers Insights on Developing Latino Superintendents

Hernandez_684Associate Dean Frank Hernandez provided his expertise on Latinos and school leadership for KERA radio’s story on Latino superintendents in Texas.

Eight of Texas’ largest cities have Latinos leading public schools. Hernandez believes the creation of superintendent leadership academies can lead to the development of more Latinos.

The story is part of a statewide public radio series on education.

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Denisa Gándara Elected to Higher Education Board

gandara_denisaAssistant Professor Denisa Gándara is a new member-at-large board representative for the Council for Public Policy in Higher Education. The council is part of the Association For The Study of Higher Education, and its purpose is “to promote research on, and to advance understanding of, the processes and impacts of public policy in U.S. higher education, as well as to help inform decision making in the public policy arena.”

Gándara joined the Department of Education Policy and Leadership in 2015.

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New Study Looks At Brain Blood Flow For Potential Diagnosis of Concussions

Simmons Faculty and Staff PortraitsAssistant Professor Sushmita Purkayastha, Dept. of Applied Physiology and Wellness, is part of a research team conducting a new study to find indicators that can  diagnose whether an athlete has suffered a concussion.

Purkayastha is using transcranial Doppler ultrasound to examine college athletes and measure blood vessel function in the brain, looking for tell-tale signs related to blood flow that help diagnose concussion.

She is collaborating with the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at UT Southwestern in a pilot study funded by Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair. Read more.

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Brian Fennig Rates High with Students

FennigBFor a second year in a row, Wellness professor Brian Fennig, receives a top national ranking by students in Rate My Professors, an online site. He is no. 4 on the Highest Rated University Professors of 2015-16   list . Students voting for him describe him as inspirational and respected. Congratulations to him!

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Richards Tracks Displaced Students from Houston School Closures and Examines Impact

RichardsM.ashxAssistant Professor Meredith Richards is working with Rice University’s Houston Education Research Consortium on a study that shows poor Black students were greatly impacted when displaced from Houston ISD schools that closed.  Although Black students comprise 27 percent of the school district’s students, 43 percent were affected by school closures.

Richards is faculty member in Education Policy and Leadership. In this study she is co-author with lead, Kori Stroub, a researcher from the Rice consortium. Read more  here.  To listen to Richards on Houston Public Media, click here.

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Scientific American Features Peter Weyand’s Work on Sprinters’ speeds

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With Olympic games taking place in August, Scientific American looks at Professor Peter Weyand’s research on the biomechanics of sprinting and how these athletes achieve incredible speed.

The article depicts how Weyand and his team at the Locomotor Performance Lab study the stride of Olympian Mike Rodgers. Read more from SMU Research. The full story is available from Scientific American behind a paywall.

Dr. Weyand holds the Glenn Simmons Endowed Professorship in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He also directs the Locomotor Performance Lab at SMU.

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Letter from the Dean

Dear Simmons Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni,
The tragic events that unfolded in our city recently have left us with loss and sorrow, and as we reflect on what has happened, let us acknowledge the importance of community and the strength it brings. We see efforts across our city that allow us to stand together and heal, and for that we are grateful.
At this time, I wish to express my confidence in SMU and the Simmons School to do what we do best: To be a site where ideas and challenges can be examined, and solutions can be formulated. Simmons is a place that respects the human experience. With great care, we train our students to excel in the fields of education, counseling, dispute resolution, interdisciplinary studies, health and wellness. And our students give back. Naturally we are proud of their work with children, families, and institutions.
I am committed for us to continue the trajectory we began in the spring—namely to bring about more dialog about our role in academia by looking at diversity and the people we serve. We will count on each other to elevate our potential and contribute to the good of the whole. Our intellectual aim, as we like to say, is to change minds, but we also know that changed hearts are just as powerful.
Thank you for everything you do, and even though the days ahead may be a struggle, President Gerald Turner reminds us in his message to SMU that we must move forward by learning and listening. I know we will.
Warm regards,
Paige Ware, Ph.D.
Leon Simmons Endowed Dean ad interim


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Taking A Look at Exits by College Presidents

Michel Harris

Associate Professor Michael Harris

Michael Harris, associate professor in Education Policy and Leadership, responds to the latest exit by a college president, Baylor’s Ken Starr, in an op-ed piece for the Texas Tribune. He and co-author Molly Ellis  see trends in presidents’ departures. Their research shows one in 10 who leave office are forced out. Read more.


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