awards and honors

Three faculty members honored with 2018 Tunks Distinguished University Citizen Awards

Three faculty members were honored with SMU’s 2018 Thomas W. Tunks Distinguished University Citizen Award at the Faculty Breakfast held Saturday, May 19 before Commencement. This year’s recipients are:

  • Alan Brown, Psychology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Linda Eads, Dedman School of Law
  • Pia Vogel, Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Science

The award, given by the Office of the Provost, honors three faculty members each year for service and activities that benefit students and the University’s academic mission and “who have demonstrated outstanding citizenship through dedicated service to the University and its governance.”

Formerly the Distinguished University Citizen Award, the honor was renamed in 2014 for Tunks, a professor of music education, former associate provost and founding Faculty-in-Residence in the University’s Residential Commons.

Four outstanding SMU scholars named 2018 Ford Research Fellows

Four SMU professors received 2018 Ford Research Fellowships during the University’s Board of Trustees Meeting in May. Pictured left to right: SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Adam Herring, Klaus Desmet, Elfi Kraka, MinJun Kim, and SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. Photo credit: SMU | Allison Slomowitz

Four distinguished SMU professors were honored for their scholarship as 2018 Ford Research Fellows. The awards were presented during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 8.

This year’s recipients are Klaus Desmet, Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Adam Herring, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts; MinJun Kim, Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and Elfi Kraka, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Klaus Desmet is the Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor and professor of economics in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. His research focuses on international trade, regional and urban economics, macroeconomics, and political economy. In April, he was appointed as a research associate in the International Trade & Investment and Political Economy program of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – a prestigious national think tank that brings together researchers in economic policy and empirical economic analysis.

Adam Herring is the Emily Rich Summers Endowed Professor, chair and director of graduate studies in the Division of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts. Dr. Herring is a specialist in the art of the pre-Columbian Americas, with research interests that include visual theory and semiotics, anthropological and materialist critique of visual experience, and the history of the discipline. A 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, Dr. Herring has also received fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Huntington Library.

MinJun Kim is the Robert C. Womack Chair in Mechanical Engineering in Lyle School of Engineering. He works in three unified subject areas: micro- and nanorobotics, single-cell and single-molecule biophysics, and transport phenomena. His research applies to a range of nano- and microfabrication techniques that are capable of producing small-scale functional materials and devices. These “microbots” create the possibility of exploring biology where fundamental processes take place, such as epigenetic and genetic control of single cells.

Elfi Kraka is professor and chair in the Department of Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and an expert in computational chemistry, quantum mechanics, and drug discovery. As head of SMU’s Computational and Theoretical Chemistry (CATCO) Lab, she researches computer-assisted drug design as a tool for reducing the time needed to develop new pharmaceuticals. She also investigates and develops new quantum chemical methods, the mechanism of chemical reactions with the Unified Reaction Valley Approach (URVA), and the structure and stability of van der Waals complexes.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from trustee Gerald J. Ford, the Ford Research Fellowships help SMU retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.

Four outstanding educators named 2018-20 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors

Four top teachers have been named SMU’s 2018-20 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors, as announced by the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 3, 2018.

This year’s honorees are Maribeth Kuenzi, Management, Cox School of Business; Owen Lynch, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Meadows School of the Arts; Meghan Ryan, Torts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Dedman School of Law; and Brandilyn Stigler, Mathematics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join active returning members W. Keith Robinson, Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation, Dedman School of Law; Stephen Sekula, Physics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Kumar Venkataraman, Finance, Cox School of Business; and Kathleen Wellman, History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards, named for the late Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48, recognize SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning.

“These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.”

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

> Read more about the 2018-20 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors at the SMU CTE homepage

For the Record: Spring Term 2018

Klaus Desmet, Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor in Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been appointed Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in the International Trade & Investment and Political Economy program. It is a major recognition honoring senior scholars who have made deep impact in their fields, says Economics Chair Santanu Roy: “The NBER is the most prestigious national think tank that brings together researchers in economic policy and empirical economic analysis.”

Bonnie Wheeler, Associate Professor of English and Director of Medieval Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, won the 2018 Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies, presented by the Medieval Academy of America. “Professor Wheeler has been a powerful shaping force in our discipline for the past thirty years,” reads her award citation. “Inspiring and cultivating young scholars, fostering their intellectual growth and mentoring their professional possibilities, she is an award-winning teacher and galvanizing mentor…. Her service has been boundless and has reshaped the field in countless and powerful ways.”

SMU Faculty Senate names 2018 winners of Outstanding Staff Awards

The SMU Faculty Senate honored five exemplary staff members with 2018 Faculty Senate Outstanding Staff Awards during the Senate’s last meeting of the 2017-18 academic year on Wednesday, May 2.

All winners are nominated by SMU faculty members, and the awards are presented each academic year at the Faculty Senate’s final meeting in May. The recognition is “a measure not just of jobs well done, but also of the personal contributions the individuals have made to the web of interconnections that make up SMU,” according to the Faculty Senate’s website.

This year’s winners:

  • Kathryn Canterbury, Grants and Research, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Chuck Donaldson, Academic Services, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Melissa Emmert, Department of Political Science, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Dee Powell, Dean’s Office, Cox School of Business
  • Janet Stephens, Academic Services, Meadows School of the Arts

In addition to the glass trophies presented to each honoree, they received gifts ranging from season tickets to art books to museum memberships, donated by SMU AthleticsBarnes & Noble (SMU Bookstore), SMU Dining Services, Meadows Museum and the Meadows School of the Arts.

SMU honors outstanding achievement, community service at 2017-18 Hilltop Excellence Awards and Honors Convocation

Laurel wreath stock photo - Hilltop Excellence AwardsSMU faculty, staff, administrators and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation – the “M” Award – at the 2017-18 Hilltop Excellence Awards Monday, April 16.

Earlier in the day, the University honored its best students at the 21st annual Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Maria Dixon Hall, senior adviser to the SMU Provost, associate professor in the Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, and adjunct associate professor of homiletics in Perkins School of Theology.

> Find a complete list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2018

Appointed in August 2016 as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Cultural Intelligence, Dixon Hall is charged with oversight of the University’s efforts to ensure that all members of the SMU community are equipped to effectively create, collaborate, and work on solutions to change the world. In this role, she is responsible for development and implementation of the University’s new cultural intelligence curriculum and training program.

As director of mustangconsulting, Dixon Hall heads a staff of some of SMU’s best and brightest communication students. The group serves a global client list that includes corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Carry the Load (Atlanta/Dallas).

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Bobby B. Lyle ’67 honored with SMU’s 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Bobby B. Lyle, 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics AwardSMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility recognized entrepreneur and civic leader Bobby B. Lyle for his work as an engineer, educator, business executive, philanthropist, community leader and mentor.

Dr. Lyle received the 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award during a luncheon on Thursday, March 29 at Moody Coliseum. The annual honor recognizes a community leader who personifies moral leadership and public virtue.

The founder of Lyco Energy Corporation in 1981, Lyle has been a leader in the petroleum and natural gas industry for more than 25 years, exploring throughout the United States. He was instrumental in development of the Dallas Galleria and the InterFirst Bank-Galleria and, in 2005, established Lyco Holdings, Incorporated, a private investment firm.

He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Volunteer Now, and the Dallas Historical Society. Lyle has been recognized with the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from Methodist Health System, inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame by Jr. Achievement, and presented the William Booth Award by the Salvation Army for contributions to the betterment of humanity.

Dr. Lyle has served as an SMU trustee for 30 years, and the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering was named in his honor in 2008. In addition, he served as Cox School of Business dean ad interim from 1971-73 and executive dean from 1973-75. He has endowed four academic chairs at SMU, supporting outstanding faculty in cyber security, engineering innovation, engineering entrepreneurship, and leadership and global enterprise.

Lyle is a past president of the SMU Alumni Association. He has served on the Executive Boards of the School of Engineering and the Cox School of Business, and as a trustee of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He is vice chair of the Maguire Energy Institute in the Cox School and of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. He is co-founder and current chair of the Associates Board in the Cox School and serves on the board of the SMU Hart Global Leaders Forum. He received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and in 2006 was named to the School of Engineering Hall of Leaders.

His other civic activities have included leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America, the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Volunteer Center of North Texas, the National and Dallas Advisory Boards of The Salvation Army, Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation, Texas Trees Foundation, Center for Nonprofit Management, Trinity Trust Foundation, Kindness Foundation and Dallas Assembly Foundation.

Lyle graduated from Louisiana Tech University, received a graduate degree in engineering administration from SMU, and earned a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The J. Erik Jonsson Award is named after a co-founder and former president of Texas Instruments who, as Dallas mayor, worked tirelessly to improve the morale and image of the city in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The award is given to individuals who epitomize the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.

“Mayor Jonsson was one of those people who was brilliant as a mayor, not necessarily for his solo acts, but for his ability to bring people together,” says Rita Kirk, William F. May Endowed Director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

“Each of the people that we recognize in the J. Erik Jonsson Award brings people together,” Kirk adds. ”They figure that there’s a better way to do things if we take advantage of the talents and abilities and insights of everyone in our community, and then put those actions to use.”

Past recipients of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, now in its 21st year, include David O. Brown, Terry J. Flowers, Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

> Visit the SMU Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility online: smu.edu/ethics

SMU’s 2018 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards take place Monday, April 16

Honors Day Convocation - Jodi Cooley, Bob Kehoe and studentsSMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2018 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards on Monday, April 16.

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 Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

> Coming April 16: 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 2018 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Maria Dixon HallThis year’s convocation speaker is Maria Dixon Hall, senior adviser to the SMU Provost, associate professor in the Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, and adjunct associate professor of homiletics in Perkins School of Theology. Appointed in August 2016 as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Cultural Intelligence, Dixon Hall is charged with oversight of the University’s efforts to ensure that all members of the SMU community are equipped to effectively create, collaborate, and work on solutions to change the world. In this role, she is responsible for development and implementation of the University’s new cultural intelligence curriculum and training program.

As director of mustangconsulting, Dixon Hall heads a staff of some of SMU’s best and brightest communication students. The group serves a global client list that includes corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Carry the Load (Atlanta/Dallas).

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Find more information on Honors Convocation

Retired and current faculty members who have RSVP’ed for the ceremony 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 approximately 5:30 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the Main Quad.

Participating faculty members must RSVP online by Thursday, April 12, 2018. 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 2018 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. 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

35 outstanding teachers honored with 2017-18 HOPE Professors Awards

Alice Kendrick and Tiffany Giraudon, HOPE Awards 2018

Alice Kendrick (left) accepts the 2017-18 HOPE Professor of the Year Award from advertising major Tiffany Giraudon.

SMU’s Department of Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) honored 35 outstanding professors at the 2017-18 HOPE Awards Banquet Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Alice Kendrick, Marriott Family Endowed Professor of Advertising in Meadows School of the Arts, was recognized as 2017-18 Professor of the Year.

HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award recipients are named through RLSH student staff member nominations as professors who “have made a significant impact to our academic education both inside and outside of the classroom.”

The complete list of 2017-18 HOPE Award honorees:

Cox School of Business

  • Barry Bryan, Accounting
  • Jay Carson, Management and Organizations
  • Liliana Hickman-Riggs, Accounting +

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Stephanie Amsel, English (Discernment and Discourse)
  • Joan Arbery, English (Discernment and Discourse)
  • Sarah Bogard, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
  • Richard Bozorth, English
  • Teresa Brentegani, World Languages and Literatures (Italian)
  • Alejandro D’Brot, Biological Sciences
  • LeeAnn Derdeyn, English (Discernment and Discourse)
  • Jill DeTemple, Religious Studies
  • Kirsten Egerstrom, Philosophy
  • Xiao Hu, World Languages and Literatures (Chinese)
  • Bruce Levy, English (Discernment and Discourse) *
  • Leticia Trevino McDoniel, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
  • Daniel Moss, English
  • Michael Saliba, Economics
  • Ross Sloan, English (Discernment and Discourse)
  • Teresa Strecker, Biological Sciences
  • Thierry Tirado, World Languages and Literatures (French)
  • Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry *

Lyle School of Engineering

  • Elena Borzova, Mechanical Engineering
  • Frank Coyle, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Rachel Goodman, Engineering Management, Information and Systems
  • Yildirim Hürmüzlü, Mechanical Engineering
  • Andrew Quicksall, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Peter Raad, Mechanical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Willie Baronet, Advertising
  • Sandra Duhé, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
  • Alice Kendrick, Advertising (HOPE Professor of the Year) *
  • Troy Perkins, Film and Media Arts
  • Lauren Smart, Journalism

Perkins School of Theology

  • Tamara Lewis, History of Christianity
  • Stephen Long, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

  • Kelyn Rola, Wellness +

+ Nominated by more than one student

* HOPE Distinguished Professor, indicating the faculty member has been nominated in five or more years

Cecil and Ida Green Chair Ronald A. Rohrer named to The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas

Ronald A. Rohrer

Inventor and scholar Ronald A. Rohrer, the Cecil & Ida Green Chair and Professor of Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, has been named to The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST). The nonprofit organization, founded in 2004, brings together the state’s top scientific, academic and corporate minds to support research in Texas.

The organization builds a stronger identity for Texas as an important destination and hub of achievement in these fields. Members of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and the state’s nine Nobel Laureates comprise its 270 members. The group has 18 member institutions, including SMU, across Texas.

Rohrer joins three other distinguished SMU faculty members in TAMEST — Fred Chang, executive director of the Lyle School’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security; Delores Etter, founding director of the Lyle School’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education and electrical engineering professor emeritus; and David Meltzer, Henderson-Morrison Chair and professor of prehistory in anthropology in Dedman College.

Considered one of the preeminent researchers in electronic design automation, Rohrer’s contributions to improving integrated circuit (IC) production have spanned over 50 years. Rohrer realized early on that circuit simulation was crucial to IC design for progress in size reduction and complexity. Among his achievements was introducing a sequence of circuit simulation courses at the University of California, Berkeley, that evolved into the SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) tool, now considered the industry standard for IC design simulation. At Carnegie Mellon University, Rohrer introduced the Asymptotic Waveform Evaluation (AWE) algorithm, which enabled highly efficient timing simulations of ICs containing large numbers of parasitic elements.

“The appointment of Ron Rohrer into TAMEST will increase the visibility of Lyle’s outstanding faculty members,” said Marc P. Christensen, dean of the Lyle School of Engineering.  “Through TAMEST, Rohrer will share his vast knowledge and inspire additional collaborative research relationships with other outstanding Texas professors and universities. This will elevate SMU and the state as a leading center of scholarship and innovation.”

Once an SMU electrical engineering professor back in the late 70’s, Rohrer rejoined the Lyle School as a faculty member in 2017. He is professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon and Rohrer’s career has included roles in academia, industrial management, venture capital, and start-up companies.

“I’ve stayed close to industry to be a practicing engineer and close to academia to conduct deeper research on hard problems,” said Rohrer.

According to Rohrer, one pressing problem is analog integrated circuit design automation, also the name of the project-based research course he’s currently teaching.  “In the analog domain, it’s hard to design a 20-transistor circuit.  My goal is to make analog integrated circuit design more accessible to students and industry, especially for our local corporate partners,” he said. “I want to get the ball rolling so younger engineers can keep it moving toward a complete solution.”

Along with his membership in TAMEST and the National Academy of Engineering, Rohrer is an IEEE Life Fellow. His professional service includes several other prominent positions with IEEE, AIEE, and U.S. government committees.

Rohrer is the author and co-author of five textbooks and more than 100 technical papers as well as the holder of six patents. He has received 11 major awards, including the IEEE Education Medal and the NEC C&C Prize.

— Written by Kimberly Cobb

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