SMU Magazine

SMU Magazine is updated monthly on this website and the print edition is published each spring and fall.

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About Patricia Ward


SMU and LIFT team up to reduce adult illiteracy in Dallas

Game artist Jackie Gan-Glatz ’05 knows how confusing it can be to try to piece together unfamiliar words into an intelligible sentence. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she spoke only her parents’ native language until she started preschool. Although she mastered English quickly, she occasionally experiences linguistic hiccups. “I might use an English word a bit differently or think of a phrase in Chinese before it comes to me in English,” she explains. She draws on her own language acquisition journey to understand the challenges faced by the adult learners testing Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis. Gan-Glatz and other SMU video game developers and education experts created the puzzle-solving app in collaboration with Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT), a nonprofit service provider for low-literate adults in Dallas. The engaging game with an educational mission earned the SMU/LIFT team, People ForWords, a place among the eight semifinalists chosen from 109 international teams competing for the $7 million Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The first-of-its-kind global competition aims to transform the lives of adult learners reading English at or below a third-grade level. Adult illiteracy has been described as a “crisis hiding in plain sight.” Low literacy is linked to high rates of poverty, high health care costs and low labor productivity. According to the American Journal of Public Health and the National [...]

2018-03-09T16:34:26+00:00 February 14, 2018|

Army chaplain Jeff Matsler ’93 helps veterans work through ‘moral injury’

For more than a decade, U.S. Army Major Jeff Matsler ’93, a chaplain and bioethicist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, has made it his mission to study “moral injury.” Members of the armed forces return from war not only psychologically and emotionally battered but also spiritually injured. “Soldiers on the front line need to hear the message of forgiveness and redemption,” he says.

2018-03-02T12:48:40+00:00 February 13, 2018|

A seat at Regina Taylor’s table

SMU alumna Regina Taylor ’81 planned a career in journalism before she fell in love with acting as a student at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. While collecting a trove of acting accolades, she never stopped putting pen to paper.

2018-03-20T11:12:28+00:00 January 8, 2018|

A Founders’ Day salute to the Bush Center

Celebrate the fifth anniversary of the George W. Bush Presidential Center during Founders’ Day Weekend, April 20–22. Highlights include a sold-out address by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the Bush Center’s Forum on Leadership; Family Day at the Meadows Museum, featuring family-friendly art activities; and Sing Song, the annual student musical competition

2018-03-01T15:20:32+00:00 February 27, 2018|

Bringing fresh water to a Bolivian village

Spencer Meyer ’19 was on top of the world over winter break – at least that’s what it felt like at 13,000 feet on the Bolivian altiplano. He and other members of SMU’s Engineers Without Borders continued work on a project to bring clean water to a remote Bolivian village. Mustangs Give Back support will help them complete water towers, piping and a tap system.

2018-03-02T10:22:54+00:00 February 27, 2018|

Michael Bloomberg receives Medal of Freedom

The businessman, philanthropist, author and former New York City mayor was honored for “extraordinary contributions for the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity.”

2018-03-01T09:06:25+00:00 February 27, 2018|

Stirring winds of change in professional hockey

Tom Dundon ’93 helped turn Topgolf into a millennial magnet, and as the new majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes professional hockey team, he’ll apply his brand of secret sauce to fire up fans.

2018-02-28T11:26:33+00:00 February 27, 2018|

Crunching data and crushing cancer

Tests on three drug-like compounds, discovered computationally via SMU’s supercomputer, confirm their ability to bolster the effectiveness of chemotherapy in treating some of the most commonly aggressive cancers.

2018-02-27T10:36:34+00:00 February 27, 2018|

Meet a master of turning lemons into lemonade

SMU basketball forward Akoy Agau ’18 fled war-torn Sudan with his family and learned English with Harry Potter’s help. Despite serious shoulder injuries that quashed pro dreams, he still considers himself lucky.

2018-02-27T11:21:42+00:00 February 27, 2018|
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SMU Magazine

SMU Magazine is updated monthly on this website and the print edition is published each spring and fall.

Browse the Archives