Save the Date

Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winner Evicted will be SMU’s 2017 Common Reading

'Evicted' cover, Matthew DesmondIn 2017, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing. Eviction, once a rare, last-resort scenario, has become an ordinary occurrence, especially for single mothers.

Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Matthew Desmond went into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to learn the stories of families struggling to keep even meager shelter. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book that resulted – Evicted: Poverty and Profit In the American City – is SMU’s 2017 Common Reading.

Significantly, one of the families Desmond profiles includes a landlord and her husband, writes Peter K. Moore, SMU associate provost for curricular innovation and policy. “Discussing the great difficulties the poor face just to keep a roof over their heads, it would have been easy to demonize the landlords, but Desmond shows their struggles as well — providing real nuance and a window into the issue’s complexities.

“Ideally, this work will reveal to our students how much some people struggle to stay afloat financially — introducing them to the fact that those living near the poverty line typically spend up to 50 percent and in some cases 90 percent of their income on a decent and safe place to live,” Moore added.

> Follow Matthew Desmond on Twitter: @just_shelter

In a Washington Post review, Carlos Lozada wrote, “In this astonishing feat of ethnography, Desmond immerses himself in the lives of Milwaukee families caught in the cycle of chronic eviction. In spare and penetrating prose, [he] chronicles the economic and psychological toll of living in substandard housing, and the eviscerating impact of constantly moving between homes and shelters. With Evicted, Desmond has made it impossible to consider poverty without grappling with the role of housing.”

“Written with the vividness of a novel, [Evicted] offers a dark mirror of middle-class America’s obsession with real estate, laying bare the workings of the low end of the market, where evictions have become just another part of an often lucrative business model,” wrote Jennifer Schuessler in The New York Times.

The annual book discussion with faculty, staff members and new SMU students will take place on Sunday, Aug. 20, before Opening Convocation.

In addition, Desmond will visit the University Thursday, August 24, for a 6 p.m. lecture in McFarlin Auditorium, with a Q&A session and book-signing afterward.

> Learn more at the SMU Reads website: smu.edu/smureads

Summer means fun: 2017 SMU camp sign-ups now open

Stock art of 'summer camp' spelled out in chalk surrounded by kids' handsSummer break is here, and SMU has a full slate of 2017 camps for kids and teens. Campers will have the opportunity to participate in athletics, learn with LEGO® and explore interests in everything from art and engineering to sports, languages and game design. Many programs offer discounts for SMU faculty and staff members.

Camps are held on SMU’s main campus as well as at SMU-in-Plano through the SMU Summer Youth Program. Start dates range from early June to early August, and many camps fill up fast. Check the camp websites for full information, including availability, requirements and deadlines.

> Find SMU camps for 2017 at the SMU News homepage

Ticket discounts (and free hats) for SMU Day at the Texas Rangers, Sunday, June 4, 2017

SMU-themed Rangers capJoin your fellow SMU community members as Women’s Basketball Coach Travis Mays throws out the first pitch on SMU Day at the Texas Rangers, Sunday, June 4, 2017. The Rangers take on the Houston Astros in Globe Life Park at 2:05 p.m., and Mustangs receive a special discount on tickets.

In addition, the first 1,000 SMU fans to show their special event ticket at the designated cap redemption area on game day will receive a limited edition SMU-themed Rangers hat.

Here’s how to take advantage of this special promotion:

  1. Purchase your ticket(s) through the “Buy Tickets” link at texasrangers.com/smu. Only tickets purchased through the “Buy Tickets” link will be eligible for the SMU-themed Rangers cap.
  2. Arrive at Globe Life Park early on Sunday, June 4. Gates open at 12:30 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans to line up at area inside the Southwest Airlines Third Base Gate will receive a SMU-themed Rangers hat.
  3. Enter through any entrance and head to the area inside the Southwest Airlines Third Base gate to get your cap.

To purchase 20 or more tickets, please contact Jeremy Christopher at the Texas Rangers, 817-273-5173.

By | 2017-06-01T15:33:38+00:00 June 1, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Save the date to celebrate: SMU’s 2017 President’s Picnic is Wednesday, May 24

President's Picnic 2017The SMU Staff Association (SMUSA) and President R. Gerald Turner invite all University staff members to the 2017 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, May 24 on the Clements Hall South Lawn.

This year’s edition of the annual event features food, games, popcorn, and a photo booth.

All SMU staff members with 25 years or more of service are asked to stop by the Staff Association table.

> Visit the SMU Staff Association online: smu.edu/smusa

SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards take place Monday, April 17

Honors Convocation 2016SMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence AwardsMonday, April 17.

The 20th annual Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

> Coming April 17: Watch Honors Convocation live on the web at smu.edu/live

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

Read the full list of SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Jo GuldiThis year’s convocation speaker is Jo Guldi, assistant professor of history in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. 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.

Find more information on Honors Convocation

Retired and current faculty members will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. on the third floor of McFarlin Auditorium. The faculty procession will begin at 5:30 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the Main Quad.

Participating faculty members may RSVP online by Thursday, April 13, 2017. Faculty members with questions regarding the procession can e-mail ceremonies@smu.edu or call 214-768-3417.

Later, the University will present several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2017 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Hilltop Excellence Awards honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Follow SMU Student Activities @SMUStuAct for live updates from the ceremony, and share your Twitter and Instagram posts from the Hilltop Excellence Awards with the #HilltopExcellence hashtag.

Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

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