Dean David Chard named to national education post

David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of SMU's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentThe U.S. Senate has approved President Barack Obama’s nomination of David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences. The 15-member board oversees and directs the work of the Institute of Education Sciences.

As the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, the institute collects and analyzes education research data and funds researchers nationwide who are working to improve education outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk. In addition, the institute produces the Nation’s Report Card. Chard will serve a three-year term.

“Our nation’s students will be the beneficiaries of Dr. Chard’s service as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Dr. Chard is dedicated to pursuing education reform through research-based programs and practices. We are proud of his work and the fact that his leadership and knowledge will be shared at the highest level of our government.”

“I am honored to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences as a researcher, educator, and a representative of SMU,” Chard said. “I look forward to working with colleagues so we may create a stronger understanding of what educators can do to teach all students, regardless of conditions.”

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SMU’s Alice Kendrick named to Brand USA tourism advisory council

SMU Professor of Advertising Alice KendrickAlice Kendrick, professor in the Temerlin Advertising Institute of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, has been named to the Global Insights Advisory Council for Brand USA (formerly the Corporation for Tourism Promotion).

She is one of three professors nationwide chosen to join the council. The corporation is a public/private marketing entity formed in 2010 to encourage international travel to the United States. Brand USA, working closely with the travel industry, will launch its inaugural global marketing campaign in April 2012.

The Advisory Council, which is composed of travel industry professionals, research specialists, global entrepreneurs and academics, will evaluate the results of the campaign.

“I’ve been doing research about nation branding for about 10 years now, and it’s like a dream come true to be able to serve on the research advisory council for the first U.S. international travel advertising effort,” Kendrick says.

Kendrick was selected to join the council based on her record of academic publishing, especially in the area of advertising and nation branding. She is co-author of a book titled Successful Advertising Research Methods and another titled Advertising’s War on Terrorism: The Story of the U.S. State Department’s Shared Values Initiative, for which she was awarded the Great Minds Research Innovation Award by the Advertising Research Foundation in 2007.

> Learn more about the Brand USA initiative at
> Visit SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute online at

SMU VP Lori White appointed to national sustainability board

Lori White, vice president for student affairs at Southern Methodist University-SMU.Lori White, SMU’s vice president for student affairs, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) – a national organization that provides sustainability resources for campus engagement, education and research, as well as campus operations. She will serve for a term to run through December 2014.

AASHE was founded in 2005 to help coordinate and strengthen campus sustainability efforts at regional and national levels, and to serve as the first North American professional association for those interested in advancing campus sustainability. The organization’s STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) program, for example, is a self-reporting framework that allows colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

AASHE sponsors North America’s largest college sustainability conference every fall, and SMU’s Sustainability Committee traditionally funds attendance for student representatives. AASHE also produces professional development workshops and seminars for faculty and staff.

“What attracts me to AASHE is that they define sustainability in a much broader way than most people do,” White said. “They’re about leaving the world a better place for people tomorrow. Their approach to social justice is about opportunities for the next generation, and I’m committed to the education component of the AASHE program.”

White often has lunch in the dining hall at Umphrey Lee Center, she said, and recently sat with a group of students who identified themselves as environmental representatives (E-Reps) for the campus residence halls.

“They told me about how they had gone to the AASHE national conference in October, and they were excited about what they had seen and learned there,” White said. “Here at SMU we want to work with our students to help them become leaders in their community, in their country and in the world. Getting involved in sustainability will give them an avenue to develop those tools.”

Written by Kimberly Cobb

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Susan Kress becomes SMU Director of Engaged Learning Oct. 1, 2011

Susan Kress, SMU Director of Engaged LearningSusan Kress of the SMU International Center will become the University’s new Director of Engaged Learning effective Oct. 1, 2011. Her office is in the General Education suite in the lower level of Clements Hall, adjacent to the Scholars’ Den honors community commons. She reports to James Quick, Associate Vice President for Research.

Kress has been with SMU since 2008 in her role as Director of Education Abroad. She received her B.F.A. degree from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, and her M.F.A. degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Prior to accepting her position at SMU, she was assistant director of The International Center and coordinator of study abroad and national student exchange at Winthrop University.

Her new position was created to provide institutional support for the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), created as part of SMU’s reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). “Unbridled Learning: Engaged Learning Beyond the Classroom” will allow all SMU undergraduate students to participate in at least one extensive experiential learning activity prior to graduation, according to the plan set forth by SMU’s QEP Committee in January 2011.

The oversight infrastructure will include the Engaged Learning Advisory Committee, as well as community partners and mentors, and a new website to keep track of experiential learning opportunities for students.

> Learn more about the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan

Kress will start by working with Quick to assemble an advisory committee of SMU campus community members, she says. By spring 2012, they hope to have an external advisory committee of community and national leaders and friends of SMU, she adds.

The committees’ advice will help establish priorities for the program, Kress says. “We will focus on bringing together different constituencies and talking to students to find out what they want.”

Kress sees the Office of Engaged Learning as serving as “an umbrella that will bring together the people behind the myriad experiential learning activities already happening on campus, making it easy for students to know where to go to practice the knowledge and skills they are learning in the classroom in a real-world context,” she says. “Students, based on their needs and interests, are already asking for it. A big part of my job is to establish the business practices needed for a coordinated and exciting program that underscores the value of active learning as a distinctive component of a SMU education.

“The University is looking at the next 100 years. As we go forward, this engaged learning will be part and parcel of the academic experience, not something separate.”

> Visit SMU’s “Unbridled Learning” homepage

SMU names Wes K. Waggoner Dean of Undergraduate Admission

SMU Dean of Undergraduate Admission Wes K. WaggonerWes K. Waggoner, whose university admissions experience spans 20 years, is SMU’s new dean of undergraduate admission and executive director of enrollment services. Waggoner will begin his duties at SMU Oct. 17, 2011. He was chosen after a national search.

“Wes stood out for his experience with financial aid, marketing, search strategies and leadership ability,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden. “He is passionate about taking SMU to the next level, and he has the intellectual and professional skills to help us reach our goals.”

Waggoner currently serves as the associate dean and director of freshman admission at TCU. Previously, he held admissions roles at the University of Tulsa, Tulane University, Fort Worth Country Day School and The Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Tulane University and an M.B.A. with a concentration in not-for-profit management from the University of Dallas.

At SMU, he will report to Stephanie Dupaul, associate vice president for enrollment management. Dupaul said Waggoner’s background and personality made him a good fit for SMU.

“I hoped we would find someone who would bring expertise, intelligence and creativity to SMU. Wes brings these strength, and more,” Dupaul said. “He has demonstrated his skills in developing comprehensive recruiting plans, redesigning processes, and mentoring a professional team of admissions professionals. He is passionate about SMU and excited about the path the university is on as we implement a new curriculum, develop our residential commons, and continue to expand our academic research. Wes will use his many strengths to tell the SMU story – a story 100 years in the making but also a story that is just beginning.”

Waggoner is a nationally known leader in the admission profession, having served as chair of the Professional Development Committee for the National Association of College Admission Counselors, chair of the Admissions Practices Committee for the Texas Association of College Admission Counselors (TACAC), instructor for the TACAC Summer Institute, chair of the Higher Education Curriculum committee for the Admission and College Counseling Institute, and as a member of The College Board‘s SAT Advisory Committee and the SAT Score Choice Task Force.

> Get the full story from SMU News

Linda Eads becomes SMU Associate Provost July 1, 2011

SMU Associate Provost Linda EadsLinda Eads, associate professor in SMU’s Dedman School of Law and immediate past president of the Faculty Senate, has accepted a position as the University’s Associate Provost. She will begin her new duties July 1, 2011.

“Professor Eads is an outstanding scholar, an award-winning teacher, and during this past year she has exhibited remarkable leadership as President of the Faculty Senate,” wrote SMU Provost Paul Ludden in an e-mail to the faculty announcing the appointment, dated May 16.

A nationally renowned legal scholar, Professor Eads has been named to the American Law Institute and is recognized as one of Texas’ top lawyers. As associate provost, she will oversee academic affairs in the Provost’s Office and serve as the Director of the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program.

Eads also joins the Provost’s Office leadership team, which includes Associate Provost Harold Stanley, Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies James Quick, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Stephanie Dupaul, Assistant Provost Tony Tillman, and Senior Program Specialist Lisa O’Donnell.

Effective at the end of the Spring 2011 semester, previously serving Associate Provosts Ellen Jackofsky and Ellen Pryor returned to the faculties of Cox School of Business and Dedman School of Law, respectively. The Provost’s Office has created two blogs where SMU community members can express thanks for their service and best wishes for their future teaching endeavors.

Ellen Jackofsky:
Ellen Pryor:

Charles Wood elected president-elect of the American Theological Society

Charles M. Wood, SMU's Lehman Professor of Christian DoctrineCharles M. Wood, Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, has been elected vice-president and president-elect of the American Theological Society. The ATS, which celebrates its centenary in 2012, is the oldest theological society in the United States. Wood will serve as vice-president in 2011-12 and president in 2012-13.

“Professor Wood’s election is a truly prestigious honor,” said Perkins Dean William Lawrence. “The decision by the Society to select him as its President recognizes his career of contributions to systematic theology. He is only the second person in the history of SMU to be chosen for this honor.”

According to Professor Peter Slater, a past president of the ATS, “Membership in the American Theological Society is by election only of no more than one hundred active members … who are recognized by their peers for their contributions to ongoing research into issues of concern to systematic theologians.”

A native of Colorado, Wood received his B.A. degree from the University of Denver, the Th.M. from Boston University School of Theology, and the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. A clergy member of the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, he served pastoral appointments in Colorado and Wyoming before joining the Perkins faculty in 1976. In addition to his faculty appointment at Perkins, Wood served as the school’s associate dean for Academic Affairs from 1990 to 1993 and as director of SMU’s Graduate Program in Religious Studies from 2005 to 2010.

An influential scholar, Wood has written books including The Question of Providence (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), Vision and Discernment: An Orientation in Theological Study (Scholars Press, 1985), Theory and Religious Understanding (Scholars Press, 1975), The Formation of Christian Understanding (Westminster Press, 1981; second edition, Trinity Press International, 1993), An Invitation to Theological Study (Trinity Press International, 1994), Attentive to God: Thinking Theologically in Ministry (co-authored with Ellen Blue, Abingdon Press, 2008), and Love That Rejoices in the Truth: Theological Explorations (Cascade Books, 2009).

Beyond his service to Perkins and SMU, Wood has been involved in a variety of collaborative projects for the advancement of theological study and theological education, under the auspices of the American Academy of Religion and the Lilly Endowment, as well as the Association of Theological Schools and other organizations. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Systematic Theology and on the board of directors of Methodist Review, and has recently been appointed to the Committee on Faith and Order of The United Methodist Church. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Wood plans to continue writing and research following his retirement from Perkins School of Theology in June 2011.

SMU professor sworn in as EPA administrator

Al Armendariz sworn in as EPA administratorAl Armendariz, SMU associate professor of environmental and civil engineering, was sworn in Feb. 2, 2010, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s Region 6 Administrator.

The region includes Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, 66 Indian tribes and Texas – the nation’s largest producer of industrial air pollution. Armendariz is taking over Region 6 as the EPA moves to toughen Texas pollution enforcement standards to meet federal Clean Air Act requirements followed by other states.

While on leave, Armendariz will retain his appointment with SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

News: Al Armendariz named to Environmental Protection Agency

Al Armendariz named to Environmental Protection Agency

Al ArmendarizAl Armendariz, SMU associate professor of environmental and civil engineering, is President Barack Obama‘s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency‘s Region 6, which includes Texas – the nation’s largest producer of industrial air pollution – and four other southwestern states.

“I look forward to working closely with Al Armendariz on the range of urgent environmental issues we face, in region 6 and across the nation,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who announced the appointment. “At this moment of great challenge and even greater opportunity, I’m thrilled that Al will be part of our leadership team at EPA. He will certainly play an instrumental role in our Agency’s mission to protect our health and the environment.”

Regional EPA administrators promote state and local environmental protection efforts and serve as a liaison between Jackson and state and local government officials. Armendariz takes the helm at Region 6 at a time when the EPA has made it clear that Texas pollution enforcement standards are not high enough and must meet federal Clean Air Act requirements followed by other states.

“I think it’s fair to say that the new administration, the President and Lisa Jackson have put EPA on a new course to better protect the environment and I’m happy to be part of the team,” Armendariz said. “I think it’s pretty obvious to the regulated industries and the environmental groups and the politicians that what EPA is doing now is a big departure from what EPA has been doing for a number of years. It’s an exciting time.”

Region 6 includes the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, as well as 66 Indian tribes. While on leave, Armendariz will retain his appointment with SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

“We are thrilled that Al Armendariz’ work in improving our living and working environments has been recognized by the President and EPA Administrator,” said Geoffrey Orsak, dean of the Lyle School. “Al is an extraordinarily talented, insightful and balanced engineer who will make a significant contribution to our nation and region.”

“I am very excited and I’m looking forward to joining the administration,” Armendariz said. “I’ve greatly enjoyed being at SMU. It’s been a fantastic place to work and I’ve had the support of Dean Orsak and Dr. (R. Gerald) Turner for all my activities. It’s been a great place to teach and do research, and I look forward to continuing my association with SMU for years to come.”

Armendariz joined SMU in 2002 after receiving his Ph.D in environmental engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. He worked as a research assistant at the MIT Center for Global Change Science at their Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory in Massachusetts, and at the Radian Corporation in North Carolina as a chemical engineer, before joining the SMU faculty. He also spent a summer on special assignment to EPA’s Dallas office as an environmental scientist.

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Stephen Rankin to become SMU’s new chaplain

Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, SMU chaplainRev. Dr. Stephen Rankin will become SMU’s new chaplain and minister to the University effective July 1, 2009. He also has been appointed adjunct professor of church history and ministry in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.

His predecessor, Rev. Will Finnin, retired from SMU December 31, 2008, after 28 years as chaplain.

Rankin comes to SMU from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, where he is the campus minister and Kirk Chair Professor of Religious Studies. He received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University, a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology, a Master of Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in religious studies from Northwestern University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

He holds Elders Orders and full membership in the Kansas West Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Rankin’s prior experience includes faculty and instructor appointments at Saint Paul School of Theology and Bethany College. He has held pastoral appointments in Rome and Florence, Italy; Chicago; and Winfield, Kansas. In 1997, the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry honored Dr. Rankin with an Exemplary Teacher Award. Earlier in his career, he earned a John Wesley Fellowship.

In addition, Rankin spent 6 years of his boyhood in Texas, including summer visits to SMU while his minister father studied at the Perkins School. He is married to Joni Leeper; they have four children and one grandson.

As Chaplain and Minster to the University, Rankin has responsibilities for:

  • pastoral care and counseling;
  • university worship;
  • religious life advising and programming;
  • close interaction with the dean of Perkins School of Theology and other religious leaders in the community; and
  • working with faculty, students, administrators and staff “to create a campus environment that supports the University’s commitment to spiritual growth, ethical behavior, intellectual and academic exploration of religion and spirituality, and the rich diversity of religious faiths and traditions,” as stated by the Office of Student Affairs.

Visit the Chaplain’s Office online