Two undergraduate students majoring in physics in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences attended the Undergraduate Women in Physics Conference in January in Austin. This trip was funded by the SMU Physics Department, and the conference was funded by the National Science Foundation.
An update from Santiago, a communications major and member of U.S. Military Veterans of SMU: Santiago at the Vietnam Memorial Walking through the Vietnam War Memorial was a humbling experience. Standing there looking at those names, I thought about the issues all troops faced during this time in history. Forced to leave loved ones, being drafted and trained, experiencing war, the loss of life or serious injuries, feeling remorseful for their actions in war, unknowingly dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, not being welcomed back into their country, minorities facing racisms and prejudices, sexism, homophobia, so on and so forth. This moment weighed heavily on my heart. It was a very sobering moment. Then I thought about how wonderful [...]
An update from Kathryn, a sophomore communication studies and public policy major: Before knowing who our president was going to be for the next four years, I began hassling my local congressman, Kevin Brady of Montgomery County, Texas, for tickets to attend the inauguration. The first phone call I made to his 8th Congressional District office was one of the more intimidating things I have done. Clearly his staff is accomplished and intelligent, and the thought of how easily they could reject me was frightening. They took my name and we exchanged a few emails; then I was placed on the list as a potential for a ticket. Coming from a very rural part of Texas, I felt a little more [...]
I have to take the bus to get to school everyday, which is a very pleasant experience since the buses here are very nice, and almost everybody takes the bus to school or work. Boats in Nyhavn Harbor in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since this was the first week I managed to get a little lost one day. I got on the wrong bus assuming it was going in my direction, but when I realized I was in a different part of town I got off at the nearest metro station and started walking around. I came upon these boats lined up in the frozen water along brightly colored buildings, located in Nyhavn Harbour. This is actually the typical postcard [...]
Journalism and communication studies students traveled to Washington as part of Hilltop on the Hill. Read their blog.
An update from Antonea, a junior majoring in communication studies and history: On the eve of the Inauguration, we had the opportunity to see several of the monuments on the National Mall. While extraordinarily relevant to what we would experience in just hours at the Inauguration, what was most prevalent was the underlying theme of civil religion. Unfortunately before this night, I had not been exposed to this idea until Dr. Schill explained the culmination of ideas, values and rituals that coalesced into what has been termed civil religion, or the expressions made by citizens of patriotism. What struck me even more were the depth, sincerity, and grandeur that each monument carried - and while apart they told magnificent stories [...]
An update from Savannah, a junior majoring in communications and history: Savannah and Mary-Ashley at the Capitol When I decided to join this inaugural trip, I did so to be a “part of history.” However, who knows what that means? Was I a part of the 1 million gathered to watch as the president was sworn in for a second time? Yes. But, what does it communicate? That I was a good citizen who cared about the democratic process, or was I a kid who loves losing feeling in her extremities? Well, as a delicate Southern girl who can’t handle anything below 70 degrees, I can say with assurance that it wasn’t the latter. Instead, I stood in [...]
An update from Caroline, a senior communication studies major: I’ve been bit. Since we landed on Saturday afternoon, my condition has worsened and the virus has consumed my whole being. This bug is highly contagious. It lives in the energy of the city, thrives off the ambitions and experiences of its residents and visitors, and continues to spread until you are convinced this is the place you need to be. Before I came on this adventure, I had some inkling that living in D.C. after graduation was possibly something I wanted to do, but I passed off the feeling as a whimsical dream that would probably never come to fruition. However, as soon as I landed I quickly remembered why [...]
An update from Mary-Ashley, a junior communication studies major: Savannah and Mary-Ashley at the National Cathedral Over the course of this Hilltop on the Hill trip to our nation’s capital for the presidential inauguration, I have been struck by the reality of my place in the grand scheme of history. Upon entering the National Cathedral and remembering the past presidents who walked up the same aisle as I did, I gained a measure of perspective about how important humans are capable of being. Yet, no matter how significant they were and continue to be, their lives couldn’t last forever. No matter what great feats these men accomplished, they only existed on this Earth for a short time, yet [...]
An update from Morgan, a sophomore business and communication studies major, and Spanish minor: Since we stepped off the metro from Washington Reagan airport, the Hilltop on the Hill program has been a nonstop whirlwind of meetings with journalists, reporters, lobbyists, and even congressmen. Despite the different career paths of these professionals, one underlying theme remained the same: Washington, D.C., is run by people under 30. SMU alumni and students in D.C. For SMU students looking to move to D.C. upon graduation, this is an exciting fact. SMU prepares students exceptionally well for life in D.C., making the transition from the Hilltop to the Hill easier than one may think. This connection is due in part to the [...]