Paige Ware named dean <em>ad interim</em> of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Paige Ware named dean ad interim of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Paige WarePaige Ware, an award-winning scholar, teacher and researcher, has been named interim dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, effective June 30, 2016.

“I am delighted that Professor Paige Ware has accepted my offer to become Dean ad interim,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “An extraordinarily accomplished scholar, teacher, and department chair in the Simmons School, Paige is the ideal person to leverage and continue the momentum of the School.  As I consulted widely with members of the School’s community, I repeatedly heard descriptions of the deep respect and affection that Simmons School faculty and staff have for Paige.  I am confident that she will provide inspired leadership of the School.”

Professor Ware joined the SMU faculty in 2003. As chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning in the Simmons School, she designs and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in education research, diverse learners, literacy, educational psychology, and teacher preparation for working with English-language learners.

She served as director of the Simmons School’s Ph.D. Program in Education and Human Development from 2011-14.

“I feel honored at this opportunity to work with my colleagues, both across the University as well as with our many Simmons partners in the greater Dallas area,” Ware said. “I have deep respect for the types of initiatives that the faculty, staff and students in the Simmons School have developed in their research, teaching, service, and community partnerships. I hope to help sustain and extend this extraordinary growth as we continue to build on the support we receive from the SMU community, our alumni and our area partners.”

Ware’s research focuses on the use of multimedia technologies for fostering language and literacy growth among adolescents, as well as on the use of Internet-based communication for promoting intercultural awareness. Her work has been funded by the International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF), Proyecto de Innovación Docente (Project for Innovative Teaching), the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition, and a National Academy of Education/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship. She also was awarded a Ford Research Fellowship established by SMU trustee Gerald J. Ford.

“Paige Ware is the ideal educator to serve as interim dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “She has demonstrated scholarly and administrative leadership that will ensure a seamless progression of achievement for the Simmons School. She has helped make the Simmons School a pioneer in evidence-based education initiatives, nationally significant research and outreach to local school districts and communities. Under her guidance, the Simmons School will continue its trajectory of outstanding achievement and impact.”

Ware received B.A. degrees in English with a linguistics emphasis and German from the University of Kentucky-Lexington in 1994. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in education, language, literacy and culture from the University of California-Berkeley in 1999 and 2003, respectively. Fluent in German and Spanish, Ware was a Fulbright Scholar Teaching Fellow in Germany before moving to Spain, where she taught in a bilingual Spanish-English elementary program.

She is co-author of a technology standards book for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and has written or co-written dozens of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She is a frequent speaker on technology as an acquisition tool for language and culture and on writing development in adolescent learners.

Ware is an internationally recognized reviewer for peer-reviewed journals and publishers, including Language Learning & Technology, Modern Language Journal, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, the American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Literacy Research, Cambridge University Press, and SAGE Publications.

At programs sponsored by the SMU Center for Teaching Excellence, she mentors faculty colleagues and makes presentations as an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and member of the University’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Ware also received the Distinguished University Citizen Award for service and activities that benefit SMU’s students and academic mission. In 2013, she was chosen as keynote speaker for the all-University Honors Convocation.

Ware replaces Leon Simmons Dean David J. Chard, who will become president of Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 1, 2016.

April 25, 2016|For the Record, News|

SMU recognizes outstanding achievement at 2015-16 Hilltop Excellence Awards, Honors Convocation

2013 laurelsSMU faculty, staff, administrators and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation, the “M” Award, at the 2016 Hilltop Excellence Awards Monday, April 18.

> Read the list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2016

On the same day, the University honored its best students at the 19th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Fred Chang, director of SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security, the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security and professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering.

An internationally renowned expert in cyber security and former director of research of the National Security Agency, Chang is also a Senior Fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and a Distinguished Scholar in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin.

The lead inventor on two U.S. patents, Chang has twice served as an expert witness at hearings convened by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. In addition, he has served as a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency and as a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies. Most recently, Chang was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9, 2016.


April 19, 2016|For the Record, News|

Simmons Dean David Chard named president of Wheelock College

David J. ChardDavid J. Chard, the inaugural dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, will become president of Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 1, 2016.

Following a nationwide search, Wheelock’s board of trustees announced today that Chard will be the college’s 14th president, succeeding Jackie Jenkins-Scott, who concludes her presidency at the end of the current academic year.

“Dr. Chard stood out not only for his outstanding leadership at Southern Methodist University, but for his innovative thinking, focus on diversity and inclusion, and lifelong commitment to education,” said Kate Taylor, chair of the Wheelock College Board of Trustees.  Founded in 1888, Wheelock College focuses on preparing students for careers in education, social work and child life.

“David Chard has been the ideal dean to build the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development as a national resource with a particular impact on our community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He has led programs and attracted research funding that will strengthen the quality of education through evidence-based practices. He has made the Simmons school a strategic partner with the community in improving education opportunities for under-served young people. He is a national leader in education. We wish him the best of success at Wheelock.”

Steven Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, will appoint an interim dean prior to Dean Chard’s departure from SMU. An international search for the next dean will take place during the 2016-17 academic year, with a new dean coming aboard ideally by July 1, 2017.

Chard became the school’s first endowed dean in 2007. The school was named that year with a historic $20 million gift to SMU from Harold and Annette Caldwell Simmons ’57 of Dallas. He expanded one department and several programs to five departments: Teaching and Learning, Education Policy and Leadership, Counseling and Dispute Resolution, Applied Physiology and Sport Management and Graduate Liberal Studies. The school now offers a total of 15 graduate degree programs and two undergraduate degree programs.

Under his leadership, the school has grown from 13 full-time faculty members and 42 staff members to 80 full-time faculty members and 86 full-time staff members. Research funding has increased to $36 million since 2007.

Chard oversaw the establishment of the school’s two halls and developed community outreach programs to complement the degree offerings. These include The Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education, the Center on Research and Evaluation, Research in Mathematics Education, college access programs and a family counseling center with two satellite clinics.

“As Wheelock College’s new president, David Chard will bring a new vision, fresh talent and renewed energy to the college,” said Currall. “David will deliver his bold leadership to a college specializing in educational programs that transform lives. He will motivate and guide new generations of professionals who empower others for leadership and impact. All of us at SMU congratulate David and thank him for his exemplary service. Through his leadership of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, David’s impact on SMU and Dallas has been immense and will last for many years to come.”

Known nationally as an education reformer, Chard shaped the school to attract high quality research faculty and deliver evidence-based teaching. He has advocated for Simmons research to be used within the professional fields.

Chard was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences in 2012 and elected chair. The board oversees and directs the work of the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.

He holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon and is a member of the International Academy for Research on Learning Disabilities, president of the Division for Learning Disabilities in the Council for Exceptional Children and a co-founding member of Deans for Impact. He also serves on numerous local and regional boards. Since 1993, his research has been awarded more than $11 million in federal, state or private grants. In 2015, SMU recognized Chard with the “M” Award, the University’s highest commendation.

Prior to SMU, he served as associate dean for curriculum and academic programs and assistant/associate professor of special education at the University of Oregon.

March 21, 2016|For the Record, News|

Eleven SMU professors receive 2015-16 Sam Taylor Fellowships

Eleven SMU faculty members have received 2015-16 Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund of the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The Fellowships, funded by income from a portion of Taylor’s estate, award up to $2,000 for full-time faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas. Any full-time faculty member is eligible to apply for the Fellowships, which support research, “advancing the intellectual, social or religious life of Texas and the nation.”

Applications are evaluated on the significance of the project, clarity of the proposal, professional development of the applicant, value of the project to the community or nation and the project’s sensitivity to value questions confronting higher education and society.

The winning professors for this academic year, and their projects:

• Karisa Cloward, Political Science, Dedman College, for field research on NGOs in Kenya

Anna Kim, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, for analysis of effectiveness of narrative advertising

Stephanie Langin-Hooper, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, for reproduction of museum artifacts in an upcoming article on Babylonian figurines

Karen Lupo, Anthropology, Dedman College, to collect sediment cores in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a study of the central African rainforest

Jamal Mohamed, Music, Meadows School of the Arts, for travel to Indonesia to study Gamelan music of west Java

Sid Muralidharan, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, to collect survey data to study effectiveness of environmental advertising

Alexandra Pavlakis, Education Policy and Leadership, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, for a research study in a Dallas after-school center for homeless students

Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Anthropology, Dedman College, for travel to Japan for a study on food safety after Fukushima

Hervé Tchumkam, World Languages and Literatures (French and Francophone Studies), Dedman College, for travel to research Cameroonian deaths and disappearances

Roberto Vega, Physics, Dedman College, to support collaborative research on high-energy physics

HyeJin Yoon, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, for a survey to analyze effectiveness of health public-service advertising

December 18, 2015|For the Record, News|

Research: SMU study shows intensive (and immediate) intervention is crucial in helping struggling readers succeed

SMU reading researcher Stephanie Al Otaiba

SMU reading researcher Stephanie Al Otaiba

Instructors who give struggling readers intensive and immediate help will enjoy “significantly” improved learning outcomes over those who adhere to the traditional “fail first” model, according to a new study by SMU researchers.

The study found that reading skills improve very little when schools follow current standard practice of waiting for struggling readers to fail before providing them with additional help. In contrast, a dynamic intervention in which at-risk readers received the most intensive help immediately enabled these students to significantly outperform their peers who had to wait for additional help, says the study’s lead author, SMU’s Stephanie Al Otaiba.

“We studied how well struggling readers respond to generally effective standard protocols of intervention to help them improve. We found that how those interventions are provided within a school — how immediately they are provided — makes an important difference,” says Al Otaiba, professor of teaching and learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Proficient reading is critical, and early intervention is imperative, says co-author and academic skills measurement expert Paul Yovanoff, also a professor of teaching and learning in the Simmons School. About 40 percent of U.S. children in fourth grade do not read at a proficient level, Yovanoff adds.

“We’re not talking about a small group of children,” he says. “We’re talking about a large group. And the number is higher in urban areas and higher among minority students. How can these kids grow up and participate in society as moms and dads in the economy unless they’re literate? Reading is a bottleneck for their success in school and in life.”

A wait-to-fail system can be the unintended consequence of response to intervention as it’s currently practiced in U.S. schools, the researchers say. “If you have to wait a certain time to demonstrate that you need more help, then it’s a wait-to-fail system,” Yovanoff says. “Good teaching would collect frequent information about the student’s performance and adjust help appropriately.”

The study, initiated in 2011, followed 522 first-grade public school students for three years through third grade. At the start of the study, the children were young beginning readers with the poorest initial reading skills, who were struggling and at risk for developing reading disabilities.

“We contrasted the multi-tier model with what we call a dynamic model, where we gave kids with the weakest initial skills the strongest intervention right away,” Al Otaiba says. “The kids in the dynamic system outperformed the kids who got help later.”

The researchers followed up on the students in third grade, and found that those that had received the immediate intensive intervention continued to outperform the children who had to wait, Al Otaiba says.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. The study’s co-author is Jeanne Wanzek of the Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University.

The researchers reported the findings in their article “Response to Intervention” in the European Scientific Journal.

— Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research website

November 11, 2015|Faculty in the News, News, Research|
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