A new study by SMU researchers identifies the nuts and bolts of a chemical bond in a key protein, unlocking the mystery of how plants tell time so they know when to bloom, metabolize nutrients and perform other functions. The findings pave the way for an array of agricultural and horticultural developments.
“Thinking of my grandmother’s battle with breast cancer reminds me that my research has a real purpose: to benefit the millions of women around the world who might one day find themselves in her situation.”
Elizabeth Holzhall Richard credits one of her Dedman School of Law professors with urging her to take the Foreign Service exam, the first step in her long and lauded career in the United States diplomatic corps. In her 30 years of service, she has held posts in some of the world’s hot spots, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. She grew up in Hammond, Indiana, and was interviewed by the Northwest Indiana Times for a story published on June 21.
AT&T executive Brooks McCorcle ’82 specializes in “breaking glass,” and in the spring, she invited a group from SMU to join her.
Teaching children who were struggling to read launched Stephanie Al Otaiba on an investigation of early literacy intervention that continues almost two decades later as a professor in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Delores Etter’s future path was not as clear. Etter, a professor in the Lyle School of Engineering, grappled with the relevance of her mathematical expertise outside the realm of higher education until she discovered the link through electrical engineering and digital signal processing research. Robert Lawson, a professor in the Cox School of Business, recognized the value of computer muscle as he sought to move to a different plane the debate about the merits of free-market versus interventionist economic systems. The data-driven evaluations of international economies that Lawson has been instrumental in developing are intended to remove conjecture and rewire the discussion along empirical bases. In contrast, subjective observations and human foibles lie at the heart of historian Sherry L. Smith’s inquiries. An early interest in Native American culture and treaty rights motivated Smith, a professor in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, to delve into the power of perception in shaping much of our nation’s history involving American Indians. While their explorations may not intersect, these faculty members share intellectual curiosity, the courage to test the status quo and a desire to teach and guide students. Following, they trace the roots of their interests and [...]
Mihan House McKenna ’05, a research geophysicist with the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL) at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Miss., is the recipient of the 2013 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Researcher of the Year Award. Mihan House McKenna '05 McKenna received her doctorate in geophysics from SMU’s Huffington Department of Earth Sciences and now holds the position of research faculty member. She maintains an interest in applied research and academics at SMU through her joint supervision of graduate students and service on dissertation committees, according to Brian Stump, Claude C. Albritton Professor of Earth Sciences, who supervised McKenna’s thesis research. McKenna’s achievement comes as no surprise to Stump. “She reaches out to understand a variety of technologies, and then finds innovative ways to apply them,” he says. After earning her doctorate, McKenna joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to pursue infrasound research. Infrasound refers to sound that is below the frequency band audible to the human ear and can travel great distances. Scientists measure low-frequency acoustic waves as they move through the atmosphere to monitor many different types of natural and man-made events. Such events can range from shallow earthquakes to volcanic eruptions to nuclear explosions to meteorites passing through the atmosphere. Infrasound study also plays a role in many other research spheres, from cardiology to animal communication. McKenna’s current investigations apply infrasound [...]
Epidemiology and economics merged in a groundbreaking analysis of West Nile Virus data by SMU alumnus Robert Ware Haley ’67, M.D., and Tom Fomby, SMU Professor of Economics. Medical researcher Robert Haley '67, M.D., (left) and SMU economist Tom Fomby joined forces with Dallas County health officials on a groundbreaking study of data collected during the nation's largest outbreak of West Nile Virus, which occurred in Dallas County in 2012. The interdisciplinary University-community research collaboration reveals several key findings about West Nile outbreaks and points to the use of a mosquito vector index rating system to trigger early intervention. Those results are published in the July 17 issue of JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), the prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal. Haley, Chief of Epidemiology and Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Fomby, Director of the Richard B. Johnson Center for Economic Studies in Dedman College, joined forces with Wendy Chung, Chief Epidemiologist for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, and her colleagues, Christen Buseman, Sibeso Joyner and Sonya Hughes, in the study. James Luby, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and a longtime research collaborator with Haley, is also an author. >Read more about their West Nile research A senior author of the journal article, Haley calls the research a “stone soup” project, referring to the folk tale that demonstrates how cooperative efforts benefit the [...]
William Tsutsui has been dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences since July 2010 but already he has made news. Tsutsui was blogging about his experiences with the Japanese American Leadership Delegation that was visiting Tokyo when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan March 11. His interviews and SMU Adventures blog provided media outlets (from The New York Times and NBC Nightly News to CNN and The Dallas Morning News) with an eyewitness account of the natural disaster’s impact on Japan. In fact, Tsutsui’s quote comparing the movement of downtown skyscrapers to “trees swaying in the breeze” was the Times’ quote of the day March 12. He also has spoken to numerous student groups on the subject. Tsutsui, a specialist in modern Japanese business and economic history, joined SMU from the University of Kansas, where he served as associate dean for international studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, professor of history and director of the Kansas Consortium for Teaching About Asia. He received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Princeton University, a Master of Letters in modern Japanese history from Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies. As dean of the largest of SMU’s seven schools, Tsutsui has been promoting the benefits of a liberal arts education to numerous alumni and SMU constituents and [...]