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SMU honors outstanding achievement, service at 2016-17 Hilltop Excellence Awards, Honors Convocation

SMU News

Originally Posted: April 18, 2017

SMU faculty, staff, administrators and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation, the “M” Award, at the 2016-17 Hilltop Excellence Awards Monday, April 17.

Earlier in the day, the University honored its best students at the 20th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Jo Guldi, assistant professor of history in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

> Find a complete list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2017

A native Dallasite, Guldi studies the history of Great Britain and the British Empire, landscape history, legal history, property law, infrastructure, digital methods, international development, and agrarian studies. As a digital and data historian, she also oversees the lecture series “Data is Made Up of Stories: University-wide Futures From the Digital Humanities,” offered through the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute. Among other things, the series illustrates how text mining is used across different disciplines – from digital mapping of the transatlantic slave trade to an app that captures the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Guldi is the designer of Paper Machines, a free, open-source software toolkit that allows users to visualize large amounts of text for historical and political analysis over time and space, without requiring special computational resources or technical knowledge. She is the author of Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State (2012, Harvard University Press) and co-author with David Armitage of The History Manifesto (2014, Cambridge University Press), currently being translated for publication in six languages. She graduated from Harvard with an A.B. degree in literature, earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of California-Berkeley and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History at the University of Chicago. She was also a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and served a fellowship in the metaLAB (at) Harvard. Prior to joining SMU, she served as an assistant professor of history at Brown University.

Congratulations to SMU faculty, staff and students who were recognized at the 2017 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 17!

Receiving the “M” Award, SMU’s most prestigious honor, are five faculty and staff members and 10 students (see below) whose contributions to the University are “above and beyond the call of duty.” Faculty and staff recipients include:

Gordon E. Birrell, associate professor of world languages and literatures (German), Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
• Joe Gargiulo, SMU chief information officer
Albert W. Niemi Jr., dean and Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership, Cox School of Business
C. Paul Rogers III, professor and former dean, Dedman School of Law, and faculty representative to the NCAA since 1987
• David Y. Son, professor of chemistry, Dedman College, and faculty-in-residence, Boaz Commons

The Students’ Association Awards recognize faculty, administrators, staff members and trustees for giving unselfishly to the students and the University as a whole. The recipients are:

• Outstanding Administrator – Pamela Anthony, vice president for student affairs (presented posthumously)
• Outstanding Trustee – Bobby B. Lyle ’67, founder, president and CEO, Lyco Holdings, Inc.
• Outstanding Staff Member – Lauren Cove, residential community director, Armstrong Commons

The Willis M. Tate Award, also given by the Students’ Association, was presented to Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program. The award honors an outstanding faculty member who has been involved in student life.

Recipients of the Outstanding Professor Awards presented by the Rotunda yearbook include:

• Heather R. DeShon, associate professor of geophysics, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
• Troy Perkins, associate professor of film and media arts, Meadows School of the Arts
• Andrew Quicksall, associate professor, Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
Ashley Tull, clinical associate professor and program director of the Ed.D. in Higher Education, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Receiving the Extra Mile Awards, presented by Students for New Learning for graciousness and sensitivity to students with learning differences:

• Brita Andercheck, visiting lecturer, Department of Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
• Matthew Lockard, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies, Department of Philosophy, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
David A. Willis, associate professor and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering

The Office of Community Engagement and Leadership’s Outstanding Faculty/Staff Volunteer Award was presented to Linda Evans, lecturer in SMU’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. The award honors exemplary community service outside the University.

Superior students

Student recipients of the “M” Award:

• Hope Anderson
• Vafa Behzadpour
• Aveline Chan
• Dominique Earland
• Jessica Giraudon
• Caroline Gurley
• Clark Holt
• Jessica Mitchell
• Blake Rainey
• José Santoyo

Other students recognized with special awards include:

• Robert Schmidt – James E. Caswell Award, based on contributions to resident student life
• Ucha Abbah – Umphrey Lee Award, based on involvement in the SMU community
• Mattie Casey – Avella Winn Hay Award, based on scholarship, character and contribution to the SMU community

Receiving John L. Freehafer Awards based on recipients’ interest in student life, activities and government are:

• Anna Bender
• Madeleine Case
• Kelsey O’Leary
• Shreya Patel
• Sam Weber
• Tamara Winter

Presidential Awards of Excellence:

• Sylvia de Toledo – Scholar/Athlete Award
• Betsy Ehmcke – Scholar/Leader Award
• Ryan Martin McKee – Scholar/Volunteer Award

SMU Dads’ Club – Outstanding Senior Man Award:

• Austin Flanagan

SMU Mothers’ Club – Outstanding Senior Woman Award:

• Addie White

Office of the Chaplain – Sheri Mooney Memorial Scholarship Award:

• Whitney Babin
• Katheryn Kendrick
• James Thomas Kuchler
• Isaac Oti
• Jimmy Xie

Women and LGBT Center – Emmie V. Baine Legacy Award:

• Emily Tribble

Students receiving the A. Kenneth Pye Outstanding Greek Leader Award:

• Emily Fann
• Biko McMillan
• Reed Namnoum
• Taylor Nickens
• Henry Shepherd