Scholar Spotlight | A Student’s Push to Make SMU’s Campus Stronger

scholar spotlight david shirzad
David Shirzad at a meeting with the Tower Scholars Program in Washington D.C.

HCM Tower Scholar and Student Body President David Shirzad has dedicated his time at SMU to making the school a better place. He’s been a Peruna handler, a member of the Mob (a group of high-spirited students guaranteed tickets to men’s basketball games), a student representative to the Board of Trustees and more. His latest mission is to give students more opportunities to have their voices heard. For this month’s Scholar Spotlight we talked to David about his time at SMU and what advice he has for younger and incoming scholars. Continue reading Scholar Spotlight | A Student’s Push to Make SMU’s Campus Stronger

Recap | Economic Impact of the Republican Tax Bill

economic impact republican tax bill
SMU’s Thomas Osang listens to Ryan Bourne from the Cato Institute present at the SMU Tower Center March 6.

President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, into law in December. It was the greatest one-time reduction in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 21 percent, in U.S. history.

Cato Institute’s Ryan Bourne visited the SMU Tower Center to discuss the economic implications of the bill. Bourne examined the impact through three inter-linked lenses: the direct financial impact on families, the impact on economic efficiency and growth, and the impact on the federal debt burden.

Continue reading Recap | Economic Impact of the Republican Tax Bill

Tower Center Experts Weigh in on Texas Primaries

Tower Center Senior Fellows Matthew Wilson and Harold Clarke commented on the record-breaking Democratic turnout in the Texas primary March 6.

“Tuesday’s results are a cautionary result for everybody,” Wilson said in the Dallas Observer. He cautioned against generalizing about the results.

“There are still more Republican voters than Democrats,” Clarke said in the Caller Times. “I think that’s sort of a reality check for the Democrats about the hill they have to climb in Texas.”

Postdoctoral Fellow Danielle Lemi Published in Du Bois Review

Our Postdoctoral Fellow in Latino Public Policy Danielle Lemi had her work “Are Asian Americans who have Interracial Relationships Politically Distinct?” coauthored with Augustine Kposowa published by the Cambridge University Press’ Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. Lemi and Kposowa found that those with interracial partners are less likely to favor co-ethnic candidates, and are more likely to be concerned about race issues.

Read their full report.

Recap | America’s Next War and How to Prevent It

recap america's next warPaul B. Stares, director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations, presented ideas from his new book in a talk at the Tower Center “America’s Next War and How to Prevent It.”

Stares argues that there’s been a reversal of post-Cold War trends. Growing friction among great power countries and increasing organized violence in unstable regions of the world make the case that the United States is facing a growing risk of conflict.

Continue reading Recap | America’s Next War and How to Prevent It

Cal Jillson on the Democratic Surge in Texas Primaries

Tower Center Associate Cal Jillson was quoted in an NPR article discussing the rise of the Democratic vote in Texas primaries this past week.

“It’s one word — enthusiasm. In a midterm election like this, what you normally expect to see is the Republicans’ primary turnout might be twice what the Democratic turnout is, so to have the Democrats even with, and even slightly ahead, of Republicans in this midterm election is really extraordinary,” Jillson said.

Read the article here.

Students Interview Ambassador Swanee Hunt

Students Interview Ambassador Swanee Hunt
Swanee Hunt answers questions from HCM Tower Scholars before her Tower Center lecture Feb. 19.

Three Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars interviewed former Ambassador Swanee Hunt about issues facing women and starting a career in D.C. before her talk at the Tower Center Feb. 19, “Rwandan Women Rising.”

HCM Tower Scholar Morgan Peterson: 64% of Rwanda’s National Parliament is made up of women. How can that model of representation be implemented all across the world?

Continue reading Students Interview Ambassador Swanee Hunt

Alexander Betts: Don’t Make African Nations Borrow Money to Support Refugees

Tower Center Fellow Alexander Betts wrote an op-ed for Foreign Policy, “Don’t Make African Nations Borrow Money to Support Refugees.”  The United Nations offered to loan Tanzania $1 million to support refugees, but Tanzania rejected the offer saying rich countries need to donate money, not lend it to be helpful. Betts argues that the West needs to find an alternative solution to support refugees than to have already poor countries borrow from the World Bank.

“Tanzania’s announcement is a reminder that if the refugee system is to be sustainable, distant donor states must listen more attentively to the concerns of host countries,” Betts wrote.

Read his argument here.

Matthew Wilson: Ted Cruz Should Run Scared

Tower Center Senior Fellow Matthew Wilson was interviewed by Fox news about the rise of Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke and his senate campaign. Wilson believes incumbent Senator Ted Cruz has a strong base in Texas, but also that Cruz is wise to be wary of O’Rourke.

“I think Cruz should run scared, because any smart incumbent should run scared and never take anything for granted,” Wilson said.

You can watch the full video highlight produced by SMU here.

Tower Scholar Starts His Own Political Consulting Firm

Last year Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar Zach Miller started his own political consulting firm, Atlas Consulting LLC. He’s now using the SMU network to launch himself deep into Dallas politics, already working as a finance director for an aspiring Texas senator.

Zach’s story was featured in SMU News. Read it here.