Four distinguished SMU scholars named 2017 Ford Research Fellows

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Stephanie Al Otaiba

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Jeffrey Kahn

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Zhong Lu

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Bruce Marshall

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Four outstanding SMU professors were honored for their scholarship and research with 2017 Ford Research Fellowships. The awards were presented during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 4.

This year’s recipients are Stephanie Al Otaiba, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development; Jeffrey Kahn, Dedman School of Law; Zhong Lu, Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; and Bruce Marshall, Perkins School of Theology.

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

Stephanie Al Otaiba is the Patsy and Ray Caldwell Centennial Chair in Teaching and Learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Her research interests include school-based literacy interventions, response to intervention, learning disabilities, diverse learners, and teacher training. She has published more than 110 journal articles and book chapters and has also developed reading curricular materials. Her research has been supported by several federally funded grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences and Office of Special Education Programs, and from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Jeffrey Kahn is a professor in Dedman School of Law whose areas of expertise include U.S. constitutional law, administrative law, Russian law, human rights and counterterrorism. His latest research focuses on the right to travel and national security law; his most recent book, Mrs. Shipley’s Ghost: The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists, critically examines the U.S. government’s no-fly list. Professor Kahn’s work on Russian law has been noted by name by the editors of The New York Times and published in various law reviews, as well as the peer-reviewed journals Post-Soviet Affairs and Review of Central and East European Law. Professor Kahn is a founding member of the Advisory Board of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Education Program and a Fellow of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.

Zhong Lu is the Shuler-Foscue Endowed Chair and director of graduate studies in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. His geophysics research focuses on the use of satellite-borne radar to detect subtle changes in the earth’s surface preceding volcanic eruptions. He also researches volcano deformation, earthquake deformation mapping, fault geometry and modeling, and ground-water basin analysis. His work with InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) includes underground nuclear explosion monitoring, landslide monitoring and water-level changes of wetlands. Professor Lu has been awarded more than $3 million in grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Geological Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Bruce Marshall is the Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine in Perkins School of Theology. He ranks among the top scholars in the world who conduct research and write about the most enduring and debated of Christian beliefs – namely, the doctrine of the Trinity. His research and writing focus on this doctrine, as well as the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. He is also an expert on the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas and has lectured widely throughout the United States and abroad on topics ranging from Trinitarian theology to Christology. Professor Marshall has written two books and more than 90 articles, book chapters, and reviews, and is a frequent speaker in both national and international venues.

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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.