An update from Jamie, a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps and a second-year student majoring in accounting in the Cox School of Business. Jamie observed the residential commons model in Oxford first-hand. When I got on the 7-hour flight to London, I had no idea what to expect. I’d never been on a trip where the entire purpose was to observe your surroundings and learn from other people. (Actually, I’ve never been abroad before, either.) Vacations are all about relaxation or sightseeing. Study abroad is for actual classes and internships. Some trips are to visit old friends, or to make new ones. This trip was merely for comparison and social research. And the scariest part was that it [...]
An update from Ann Batenburg, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Virginia-Snider Residential Commons: Week 1, August 12: First Impressions The Boulevard is my front lawn. Before I completely moved in, I quickly decided that I am never leaving. Virginia-Snider Residential Commons I feel like I’ve moved into a fancy hotel. My apartment in the residence hall, carved out of the space in which several student rooms used to be, is swanky by my standards: beautiful hardwood floors, granite countertops, a larger kitchen and pantry than my cooking skills deserve, top of the line appliances and cabinetry, two bedrooms, and 2.5 baths in roughly 1,400 square feet of space. I am swimming in luxury. One of the resident [...]
An update from Essette, who earned a degree in human rights in May: Living in the Service House has helped reinforce my commitment to community service because I’m constantly surrounded by people who have a drive to help others. When you are with people who desire to impact the world, it inspires your own dreams of making a difference, even in the smallest of ways. I’ve loved hearing about all of my housemates’ experiences; their passion for service is both moving and admirable. During the spring 2013 semester, I spent a lot of time volunteering at a Dallas nursing home. While I initially assumed that this would not be the most exciting of services, after the first day I knew [...]
The students in the Cultural Formations/Religious Studies course Latino/Latina Religions are conducting research on the history of the Jubilee Park & Community Center and its surrounding neighborhood. The center, near the Fair Park area of Dallas, was founded by Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in 1997 and serves a diverse population. Through their research, students hope to learn more about the ways religious organizations impact local communities, and about the changing landscapes that have formed Dallas over the years. At the culmination of the project in December, students will present their findings in a presentation at the center, www.jubileecenter.org
On September 22, 2012, Asian Studies in SMU's Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences (smu.edu/asianstudies) and the North Texas nonprofit SARII (www.sarii.org) presented the 7th Annual South Asia Conference at SMU. The conference – Cities, Courts and Saints: Muslim Cultures of South Asia – brought together six leading specialists of Indo-Muslim history and culture. Since the arrival of Islam in South Asia, Muslim communities thrived in cities, giving them a unique shape with new forms of courtly and spiritual life. The scholars presented new perspectives on the way Muslim traditions contributed to forms of religious life, social etiquette, music and art of the Indian subcontinent. The conference, which is free and open to the community, was co-sponsored this year by the Clements Department of History and the Department of Religious Studies.
During Fall Break 2011, SMU students spent four days with SMU Catholic Campus Ministry in Vickery Meadow, an area of Dallas just five miles north of campus that is home to many refugee families.
Aden is a junior majoring in accounting in the Cox School of Business and markets and culture in Dedman College. For summer 2011, she was named a Maguire & Irby Family Foundation Public Service Summer Intern by the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility at SMU. Aden is interning at DFW International Community Alliance.
As part of SMU’s first Engineering & Humanity Week in April, students will live, cook their meals and sleep in temporary shelters designed to house people living in extreme poverty or displaced by war and natural disasters. Students, faculty and local members of the community will build the “Living Village” on the SMU campus lawn, showcasing structures ranging from standard-issue United Nations tents to the experimental EcoDome (sandbag shelter), which uses wire to stabilize walls constructed of long, earth-filled tubes.
During fall 2010, students in the class Latino/Latina Religions are documenting the history of St. Mary’s College for Women and Pre-GED school at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Episcopal Cathedral in Dallas, which is experiencing a surge in Latino parishioners. Through work in the archives, interviews with Pre-GED School students and volunteers, and ethnographic work with the parish, the class will produce a history of the church and its programs that will enable the congregation to better understand its multicultural make-up, the historic trends that led to this make-up, and the relationship between the church, its programs and the surrounding community.
Jessica is working for the National Center for Policy Analysis’ debate institute, “Debate Central.” The NCPA will be holding a debate camp in Amman, Jordan, along with General Tommy Franks, The King’s Academy and Oklahoma Christian University’s Institute for Leadership and Liberty. Jessica travels to Jordan in July to instruct debate and public speaking with the camp, as well as educate the students there on the debate topic, which addresses the Middle East peace process. Jessica also is serving as managing editor of the White Rock Lake Weekly, a Dallas-area newspaper whose editor-in-chief is an SMU graduate