News

Clinton makes questionable Utah investment as Trump plays delay game

The following is an excerpt from an SMU News release. For the full release READ MORE.

Dedman College expert Matthew Wilson is ready to field questions on the ever changing presidential race.

CLINTON’S UTAH AMBITIONS A QUIXOTIC ADVENTURE

MATTHEW WILSON:
jmwilson@smu.edu

On reports that Clinton has opened a field office in Utah…

  • “She has an outside chance (of winning Utah), but it still seems like a waste of resources. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Utah is a decisive state. If she’s just romping to victory everywhere, she could win Utah, but it would just be icing on the cake – a superfluous and anomalous result that wouldn’t be sustained (by Democrats) in the future. It’s got everything to do with Trump if she wins there and nothing to do with Clinton.”

On whether Clinton can swing the Mormon vote to the Democratic Party…

  • “Mormons have been strongly Republican for quite some time and Utah is usually not competitive, and has not be for decades. There are no trends in the Mormon electorate to suggest it’s becoming more competitive. The only reason anyone thinks it might be this time is because Trump is uniquely repugnant to Mormons. It’s not a thing where an investment of resources would pay dividends in the future.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science. Books published:

  • Politics and Religion in the United States. With Michael Corbett and Julia Corbett-Hemeyer. Routledge Press, 2013.
  • Understanding American Politics. With Stephen Brooks and Douglas L. Koopman. University of Toronto Press, 2013.
  • From Pews to Polling Places: Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic. Georgetown University Press, 2007. Edited volume including authored chapter.

One of the most significant Etruscan discoveries in decades names female goddess Uni

EurekaAlert

Originally Posted: August 24, 2016

Archaeologists translating a very rare inscription on an ancient Etruscan temple stone have discovered the name Uni — an important female goddess.

The discovery indicates that Uni — a divinity of fertility and possibly a mother goddess at this particular place — may have been the titular deity worshipped at the sanctuary of Poggio Colla, a key settlement in Italy for the ancient Etruscan civilization.

The mention is part of a sacred text that is possibly the longest such Etruscan inscription ever discovered on stone, said archaeologist Gregory Warden, professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, main sponsor of the archaeological dig.

Scientists on the research discovered the ancient stone embedded as part of a temple wall at Poggio Colla, a dig where many other Etruscan objects have been found, including a ceramic fragment with the earliest birth scene in European art. That object reinforces the interpretation of a fertility cult at Poggio Colla, Warden said.

Now Etruscan language experts are studying the 500-pound slab — called a stele (STEE-lee) — to translate the text. It’s very rare to identify the god or goddess worshipped at an Etruscan sanctuary.

“The location of its discovery — a place where prestigious offerings were made — and the possible presence in the inscription of the name of Uni, as well as the care of the drafting of the text, which brings to mind the work of a stone carver who faithfully followed a model transmitted by a careful and educated scribe, suggest that the document had a dedicatory character,” said Adriano Maggiani, formerly Professor at the University of Venice and one of the scholars working to decipher the inscription.

“It is also possible that it expresses the laws of the sanctuary — a series of prescriptions related to ceremonies that would have taken place there, perhaps in connection with an altar or some other sacred space,” said Warden, co-director and principal investigator of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project.

Warden said it will be easier to speak with more certainty once the archaeologists are able to completely reconstruct the text, which consists of as many as 120 characters or more. While archaeologists understand how Etruscan grammar works, and know some of its words and alphabet, they expect to discover new words never seen before, particularly since this discovery veers from others in that it’s not a funerary text.

The Mugello Valley archaeologists are announcing discovery of the goddess Uni at an exhibit in Florence on Aug. 27, “Scrittura e culto a Poggio Colla, un santuario etrusco nel Mugello,” and in a forthcoming article in the scholarly journal Etruscan Studies. READ MORE

Tips from a Dedman College pre-health, biology major- 10 Things I Learned My First Year at SMU

SMU New Student Orientation

Originally Posted: August 23, 2016

Jaden Amilibia, one of our Orientation Leaders from Flower Mound, Texas, is a sophomore pre-med biology major in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Jaden is here to wish you a fantastic first week of school AND share with you a few things she learned during her first year in college! 

  1. You WILL feel homesick, at one point or another.

It’s a natural feeling. You convinced yourself that after you graduated high school, you would NEVER come back or miss home and that you couldn’t wait to leave the nest. But like all of us, one day you’ll be talking to your parents or even a best friend, and you’ll want that sense of comfort in your everyday life again. It is totally okay!

2. Get out of your comfort zone.

Go out. Get involved. Explore campus with people or by yourself. Just like you, everyone is learning new things about college and are all displaced in some way or another. Don’t sit on the fence and be reluctant to try something. Who knows? You might just meet your new best friend, or find that one club that you absolutely LOVE.  

3.  LEARN. TIME. MANAGEMENT.

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You know that triangle telling you that you can only choose 2 of 3 aspects of college life? The one between sleep, a social life, and your grades? Yeah, wrong. Learning to manage your time efficiently will help you discover more free time to hang out with friends a little longer, or even dare say, time for a nap. Go to the ALEC for a “Semester At A Glance” page, invest in a durable planner, or learn how to wing it because you do not want to be cramming 3 chapters, 10 or more lectures, and 3 weeks of notes two nights before the exam.  

4. 8ams aren’t the end of the world… and neither are Bs.

We all have that one class that challenges us, both mentally and physically. Even though you may feel constantly defeated by the class, don’t let one subpar grade stop you from fulfilling your goals. Your entire life is not going to be altered and your goals are still attainable. Don’t forget that you are trying, and it’s perfectly acceptable to experience failure every once in a while to keep yourself on track. 

 5. Your “roomie” doesn’t have to be your “froomie”.

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You’re living with someone you’ve probably never met before, so it’s natural to not always get along. With any gamble in life, you might luck out, or you might have to completely switch roommates by the end of the first semester.

 

6. Explore food options on and off campus

The dining halls are wonderful- but there are a ton of options in the Dallas area that are a $5 Uber away from campus! Velvet Taco, Villa-O, Torchy’s, and Café Brazil, just to name a few, are all student favorites if you’re interested! 

7.It’s OK to say no sometimes (or most of the time).

We get it. It’s college. You want to go out and enjoy your weekend, or even each night of the week. We’ve all been there. But it is SO IMPORTANT to say “no” at times. Believe it or not, skipping your 8am the next morning has consequences. Even if your professor doesn’t take attendance, going to class is more beneficial in the long run, and might even be the difference of a half-grade. 

8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

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GO TO OFFICE HOURS. This cannot be stressed enough. Your professors are there to help you, and are more inclined to do so if they see your face in their office enough.

9. Being undecided is fine, and so is switching your major!

Not everyone knows what he or she wants to major in when they’re 18. Sometimes, neither do 19 or 20-year-olds. It’s normal, and it’s likely that you’ll meet someone that completely changed their minds once they started taking pre-requisite classes.  

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10. College is a bigger world than high school, and it’s wonderful.

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You’re going to meet some fantastic people, some people you might not click with at first and learn so much about yourself in a few just a few short months.  Be free, open, and learn. And we promise you, it’s going to be great!

PONY UP! 

Class of 2020: 23 countries, 44 states, 387 SMU legacies, ages 16-45, top SAT scores in SMU history

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: August 23, 2016

Fun Facts about the class of 2020.

New students at SMU hail from across the United States and the world and bring talents ranging from art to robotics to entrepreneurship. Byron Lewis, dean of undergraduate admission and executive director of enrollment services ad interim, shared these facts about the incoming class August 21 at SMU’s Convocation ceremony. The demand for an SMU degree continues to rise as demonstrated by a record setting pool of 16,000 applications for first-year and transfer admission. READ MORE

  • On average, the class of 2020 has the highest academic profile ever of an entering class at SMU.
  • Students hail from 44 states, led by Texas, California, Florida, Connecticut, Georgia, and Missouri; and 23 countries led by China, Mexico, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, the UK and France.
  • Students represent 853 different high schools and 99 different colleges and universities worldwide.
  • Eighty-two entering students represent SMU as NCAA Division 1 athletes.
  • Collectively, new students have taken 7,003 AP courses and 2,112 IB courses.
  • For the second year in a row, SMU has defied national higher education trends by welcoming slightly more men than women in the first-year class – 51percent men and 49 percent women.
  • The age range for the entering class is from16 to 45.
  • 387 students are continuing the Mustang tradition in their families as legacy students.
  • Classmates include Girls and Boys Staters, student body presidents, Eagle Scouts, Girl Scout Gold Award winners, yearbook editors, drum majors, sports captains, three-sport athletes, founders, innovators, entrepreneurs and some of the most talented visual and performing artists in the world.
  • Six new Mustangs have served the cause of freedom and their country across the globe as members of the U.S. military.

And students’ individual stories are phenomenal:

  • Thomas did medical mission trips to Haiti,
  • Ryan studied in Brussels
  • Aarthi interned at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Chengrui competed in Los Angeles at the World VEX Robotics Championship
  • Dylan was crowned Miss DC Teen USA
  • Kaleigh toured China while playing the French horn in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • Matea and Jonathan (incoming Mustang swimmers) just competed in the Rio Olympics
  • Tanner studied in Paris during his junior year in high school
  • Grace is a world champion rock climber who has competed all around the world
  • Alicia did a language immersion program in Seville, Spain during her sophomore year
  • Allyson created the CraftyAllyson YouTube channel with more than 19,000 subscribers
  • Thomas is a state champion diver
  • Adam did research at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman
  • Tannah was president of the human rights forum at her school
  • Hunter founded Kids4Kids, a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $70,000 for scholarships for students who have overcome childhood cancer.

“For these students, a world of opportunities at SMU awaits,” Lewis says.

Welcome to the Class of 2020

SMU News

Originally Posted: August 22, 2016

Following you will find Class of 2020 PhotoMaking the Class of 2020 PhotoOpening Convocation scenesOpening Convocation speechCamp Corral scenes“Discover Dallas” scenes“Discover Dallas” StorifyCorral Kick-OffMove-In video and scenes, and AARO.

SMU Class of 2020 Photo

SMU Class of 2020

SMU Clements Center awards top book prize Sept. 27

SMU News

Originally Posted: August 15, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies will present its annual book prize on Tuesday, Sept. 27, to historian Andrew J. Torget forSeeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

The David J. Weber-William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America honors both the Center’s founding director and founding benefactor.

Torget, a former Clements Fellow, will be honored Sept. 27 at a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by a 6 p.m. lecture and book-signing at McCord Auditorium in Dallas Hall, 3225 University, SMU. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To register, call 214-768-3684 or click here.

Andrew TorgetIn Seeds of Empire, Torget, associate professor of history at the University of North Texas, explores the roles that cotton and slavery played in fomenting the Texas Revolution, which was in part a reaction against abolitionists in the Mexican government, and in shaping Texas’ borderlands into the first fully-committed slaveholders’ republic in North America.

In selecting the book from a large field of entries, judges wrote: “Torget’s deep archival work brings a fresh perspective to the conflicts over slavery in Texas on the eve of the Civil War. The book’s most notable accomplishment is the emphasis on cotton and slavery as a world-wide system that bound Texas history to larger economic and political forces in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. He challenges the traditional interpretation that the westward movement in the early nineteenth century was primarily motivated by ideologies of racial supremacy that characterized Manifest Destiny. Instead, Torget demonstrates that, although westering Americans felt superior to the people whose lands they invaded, they mainly migrated to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the trans-Atlantic cotton economy that the Mexican government had established by offering them free land.”

Finalists for the Weber-Clements Book Prize are Emily Lutenski for West of Harlem: African American Writers and the Borderlands; and former Clements Fellow John Weber for From South Texas to the Nation: The Exploitation of Mexican Labor in the Twentieth Century.

This is the eighth major book prize Seeds of Empire has won.

The $2,500 Weber-Clements Book Prize, administered by the Western History Association, honors fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The competition is open to any nonfiction book, including biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or present. The William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies is affiliated with the Department of History within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The center was created to promote research, publishing, teaching and public programming in a variety of fields related to the American Southwest.  READ MORE

Calendar Highlights: Back to school in brief, Fall 2016

Dallas Hall at SMU

Welcome to the 2016-17 academic year! Here are a few Fall 2016 dates to remember:

  • Opening Convocation and Common Reading discussion: Sunday, Aug. 21
  • First day of classes: Monday, Aug. 22
  • General Faculty Meeting: Wednesday, Aug. 24
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 5 (University offices closed)
  • First Faculty Senate Meeting of 2016-17: Wednesday, Sept. 7
  • Family Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Sept. 23-24
  • Fall Break: Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 10-11
  • Homecoming Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 4-5
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 24-25 (University offices closed, no classes on Wednesday, Nov. 23)
  • Last day of classes: Monday, Dec. 5
  • Reading days: Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 6-7
  • Final exams: Thursday-Wednesday, Dec. 8-14 (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
  • December Commencement Convocation: Saturday, Dec. 17 (official close of term and date for conferral of degrees)
  • Christmas/Winter Break: Friday, Dec. 23, 2016-Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 (University offices closed)

READ MORE

Trump smartly ditches Manafort. Is this the pivot?

SMU NEWS

The following is an excerpt from an SMU news release.

CUTTING TIES INSULATES TRUMP, BUT MORE IS NEEDED

Matthew WilsonMATTHEW WILSON:
jmwilson@smu.edu

Friday’s announcement that Trump had accepted the resignation of former campaign chair Paul Manafort was a wise move, says Wilson, but more action than that will be needed to turn the election around.

“Bringing Manafort on board has not seemed to fix any of the Trump campaign’s problems. It’s bad optics for a campaign that emphasizes themes of patriotism, nationalism and American pride to have a guy so deeply involved in Russian and Russian-allied dictators in such a prominent role,” Wilson says “Cutting ties now, from Trump’s standpoint, should make the story go away, but Trump has many other things to worry about.”

Wilson points out that Trump made a smart follow-up move by travelling to the flooded regions of Louisiana, which could indicate his new advisors are getting their unruly candidate pointed in the right direction.

“The fact that Trump perceives this is a major disaster and that people down there could use some support and attention – that speaks well for him and that’s a real contrast from Obama vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard,” Wilson say. “If his new team advised him to do that … It shows him being thoughtful, empathetic, presidential.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science. He can discuss:

  • religion and politics
  • political psychology
  • voting behavior of religious voters
  • public opinion and politics

Dedman College alumnus and photographer Stuart Palley shares his tips on how to create beautiful images once darkness falls.

Time

Originally Posted: August 10, 2016

SMU alumnus and photographer Stuart Palley shares his tips on how to create beautiful images once darkness falls. Palley graduated in 2011 with a double major in History and Finance and minors in Human Rights and Photography. Read more

~In our latest How to Photograph series, TIME asked award-winning photographer Stuart Palley to share his tips and tricks to create beautiful night-time imagery.

Palley has mastered the art and technical skills of photographing at night and is known for his compelling and breathtaking photos of wildfires and his magical images of the the night sky. “Ninety percent of it is preparation and 10% of it is the actual execution,” he says.

Watch this TIME video to see which apps Palley uses to plan his shoots, tips on how to work in darkness, what equipment to invest in and how you can play with different light sources to achieve the best results. READ MORE