Engaged Learning

Students present world-changing concepts in 2018 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition and Student Start-Up Fair Friday, Feb. 9

SMU Big iDeas logo, blue background-400SMU student teams will present world-changing business concepts to compete for thousands of dollars in start-up money in SMU’s 2018 Big iDeas Demo Day and Business Plan Competition. The action begins Friday, Feb. 9, in Fondren Library Center.

First up will be the Business Plan Competition from 9-11 a.m. in the Texana Room, Fondren Library. Winners of the 2017 Big iDeas Pitch Contest will present their plans for businesses that bring value to society, for profit or not-for-profit. Competing teams can win $5,000 in start-up money.

The top 15 will be announced at the Student Start-Up Fair, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Starbucks and Collaborative Commons in Fondren Library Center.

Big iDeas supports student innovation and entrepreneurship by providing support for forward-thinking ideas that are viable, sustainable and provide value to society. The program is open to undergraduates of all majors. Students work in teams with one member serving as the principal investigator. The PI must be an SMU undergraduate for the duration of the funding phase.

Demo Day and the Business Plan Competition are hosted by SMU Engaged Learning. For more information, contact Mona Alluri, 214-768-3225.

> Visit the SMU Big iDeas homepage: smu.edu/bigideas

Save the date: SMU Engaged Learning Week is Feb. 6-8, 2018

SMU Engaged Learning logoSMU celebrates student innovation during 2018 Engaged Learning Week Feb. 6-8, showcasing achievement in undergraduate research, community service, professional internships and creative projects.

The schedule includes the following sessions:

Tuesday, Feb. 6

  • 10 a.m. Creative Project Panels
  • Noon Lunch Seminar – Projecto PaleoAngola: A Paleontological Exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution with senior Engaged Learning Fellow Myria Perez and faculty mentor Louis Jacobs

Wednesday, Feb. 7

  • 10 a.m. Natural Science Research Panels
  • 2 p.m. Film: Particle Fever, with moderated Q&A by the Department of Physics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Thursday, Feb. 8

  • 10 a.m. Research Across Disciplines Panels
  • 11:30 a.m. Service Project Panels
  • 12:30 p.m. Engineering Solutions Panels

> Find a full schedule of student presentations at the Engaged Learning homepage

Visit the SMU Engaged Learning website: smu.edu/engagedlearning

SMU Engaged Learning Week showcases student achievement Feb. 6-10, 2017

Engaged Learning Week 2017SMU’s 2017 Engaged Learning Week showcases student achievement in undergraduate research, community service, professional internships and creative projects Feb. 6-10.

The week begins with the annual Spring Symposium Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 6-7:

Monday, Feb 6

  • 9:30 a.m. Research
  • 3:15 p.m. Environmental Engineering

Tuesday, Feb 7

  • 9 a.m. Creative
  • Noon Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

> Find a full schedule of student presentation at the Engaged Learning homepage

The week wraps up Friday, Feb. 10 with a special presentation by Dr. Gayle Slaughter, senior associate dean for
graduate education and diversity at Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor University. Dr. Slaughter will speak on how Engaged Learning activities in college can lead to career success in “From Dirt Roads to the Oval Office.”

Visit the SMU Engaged Learning website: smu.edu/engagedlearning

Student teams share world-changing concepts at 2017 Big iDeas Demo Day Fair Friday, Feb. 3

Big iDeas Demo Day 2017SMU student teams will present world-changing business concepts to compete for up to $5,000 in start-up money in SMU’s 2017 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition, 9-11:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3, in The CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower, East Campus.

Student proposals will be judged by a panel of guest experts. Successful teams will combine winning pitches with solid business plans.

The event continues with the Big iDeas Demo Day Fair 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Expressway Tower lobby. The Fall 2016 Big iDeas Pitch Contest winners will present their results, prototypes, pilots or other work accomplished since receiving their $1,000 grants.

Read about SMU’s 2016 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition winners

Big iDeas supports student innovation and entrepreneurship by providing support for forward-thinking ideas that are viable, sustainable and provide value to society. The program is open to undergraduates of all majors.

Students work in teams with one member serving as the principal investigator. The PI must be an SMU undergraduate for the duration of the funding phase.

Demo Day and the Business Plan Competition are hosted by SMU Engaged Learning. For more information, contact Mona Alluri, 214-768-3225.

> Visit the SMU Big iDeas homepage: smu.edu/bigideas

Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown dubs SMU’s class of 2016 ‘the next Greatest Generation’ at December Commencement


Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown told SMU’s more than 530 December graduates that “[y]ou all may be the next greatest generation of heroes in this country.” The University celebrated its 2016 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 17.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner praised keynote speaker Brown for helping reduce both crime in Dallas and the DPD’s use of deadly force. Turner also commended him for his actions following the July 7 attack “when Chief Brown’s strength and leadership were tested on one of the darkest days in the history of Dallas.” That day, a lone gunman ambushed DPD and DART officers who had been protecting participants in a peaceful late-afternoon protest march downtown. Five officers were killed and 12 were wounded during the assault.

“Chief Brown took charge that night with the professionalism and calm demeanor of a true leader,” President Turner said, noting that the 33-year DPD veteran “helped maintain equilibrium in a wounded city.”

Brown’s address focused on his long-held fascination with heroes, especially Superman. Watching re-runs of “The Adventures of Superman” was a regular after-school pastime for the third-generation Dallasite. As a young man, Brown said, “I wanted so much to join modern-day heroes of our society that I rushed to sign up for the Dallas Police Department” in 1983.

Brown then told the graduates, “You all may be the next greatest generation of heroes in this country. You all are global citizens much more than my generation.”

His closing statement rallied the crowd even further.

“Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! It’s a plane, it’s a train – no, it’s the 2016 graduating class of Southern Methodist University: My heroes. Now, go save the world!”

Also speaking at Commencement was SMU Engaged Learning Fellow José Manuel Santoyo, who earned bachelor of arts degrees in human rights and Spanish. The Mexican national and American citizen-hopeful, raised in Corsicana, spent much of his life as an undocumented immigrant before qualifying in 2012 to study and work legally in the U.S. thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initiated by the Department of Homeland Security.

> Watch José Santoyo’s Commencement speech at FOX 4 News

Santoyo thanked SMU’s “amazing faculty and staff,” including Embrey Human Rights Program Associate Director Bradley Klein, his Engaged Learning mentor. As part of his project, Santoyo voluntarily tested his DACA status via a study-abroad trip – risking not being able to return to his education and family in the U.S. – in order to document the experience and give courage to others wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Santoyo also recognized the Consul General of Mexico who was in attendance.

“This country continues to be built by immigrants,” Santoyo said, adding, “an educated populace benefits us all.”

> Full coverage of 2016 December Commencement from SMU News

Take a closer look at student innovation during the 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, Friday, Sept. 23

engaged-learning-logo-300Make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The two events take place Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum, as part of SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend.

Find the complete symposium line-up at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

> See the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

SMU Big iDeas logo, blue background-400From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

SMU is ‘Home in the Heart of Texas’ for 2016 Family Weekend, Sept. 23-25

SMU Family Weekend 2016 bannerSMU family members from around the Metroplex and across the country will join their students in celebrating a beloved Hilltop tradition Sept. 23-25, 2016. SMU Family Weekend is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee.

Student research, creativity and innovation will be on display during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. Engaged Learning Fellows show their work 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and Pitch Contest teams will hold forth from 2-5 p.m. for the opportunity to win $1,000 in seed money for their projects.

Find the full schedule for 2016 SMU Family Weekend

Limited quantities of Boulevard BBQ tickets will be on sale at the Friday event from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the Clements Hall South Lawn. Faculty and staff members can claim four free football tickets for the 7 p.m. Battle for the Iron Skillet against TCU at the Ford Stadium ticket window with SMU ID. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department website.


SMU Boulevard celebrationClear bag policy at Ford Stadium:
The only bags permitted on Game Day are those made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches; one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar), or small clutch bags (about the size of a hand) with or without a strap. See the complete list of SMU Ford Stadium Game Day policies.

Giving back: In keeping with this year’s “Home in the Heart of Texas” theme, the SMU Student Foundation is partnering with Family Gateway, an organization that provides transitional housing and services for homeless families with children in Dallas County. Collection boxes for household items are available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and other locations.

Parking: On Friday, Sept. 23, Game Day parking is in effect. Please watch your e-mail on Thursday morning and plan to move your car if you usually park near Ford Stadium. Refer to www.smu.edu/athletics for a parking map.

— Sarah Hanan

Save the date: Engaged Learning Symposium, Big iDeas Pitch Contest scheduled for SMU Family Weekend, Sept. 23, 2016

SMU Big iDeas and Engaged Learning students in front of Dallas HallSave the date for SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend, and make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The events take place 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. SMU Engaged Learning will post a complete schedule in the coming weeks.

Find more information at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Share the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

Watch for more about the Symposium and Pitch Contest in a future SMU Forum post.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Eight SMU students selected to attend 2016 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting at UC-Berkeley April 1-3

Clinton Global Initiative University Network logoEight SMU students will share their work on issues affecting their communities and the world during the 9th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) at the University of California-Berkeley April 1-3, 2016.

Former President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, will host the CGI U gathering. The 2016 agenda will include sessions on topics ranging from invention and innovation, to designing projects to mitigate unintended consequences, to student-led high school education reform.

The event will bring together more than 1,100 college students with innovators, thought leaders, and civically engaged celebrities to address challenges facing their campuses and communities in CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.

Keep up with Clinton Global Initiative University news on Facebook: facebook.com/cgiuniversity

The SMU students who will attend the meeting, and a brief description of their CGI U Commitments to Action:

  • Cristina Barrera – Food Guardian will consult with local Dallas businesses and institutions to eliminate commercial food waste through source reduction, donations of excess food, and composting food waste.
  • Jake Brudish – Hoops H2O will host competitive basketball tournaments to raise money to aid in the creation of improved water wells in the Republic of South Sudan.
  • Priya Chowdhary – The Nari Project distributes crisis kits to domestic abuse victims as they transition from critical situations to places of safety, and this year Nari is expanding operations to India.
  • Sasha Mohammed – Life Spark, a smaller apparatus that works in combination with a mobile application, will serve as a more accessible form of the automatic external defibrillator.
  • Hena Rafiq – Generation NOW: Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration is a program developed to help the children of incarcerated or formerly incarcerated mothers.
  • Angelica Reisch – Catalyst Arts Movement is a Dallas-based project to support and fund artists who create community engagement through art.
  • Thomas Schmedding – Innovating Health Safety Net Solutions in Means-Tested Areas is conducting research on innovative solutions for affordable health coverage for mothers and infants in Uganda and Dallas.
  • Devon Skerritt – The Possibility Project teaches young people (K-12) skills of social entrepreneurship through training, networking, and experiences that prepare aspiring first generation Dallas students for next generation careers.

Priya Chowdhary was also selected to be a part of the Clinton Global Initiative LEAD Program. The LEAD program provides the added opportunity to engage with the Clinton Global Initiative and includes invitations to the CGI, CGI U, and LEAD annual meetings. Priya will be mentored by Khaliya Aga Khan, a distinguished philanthropist, venture capitalist, and advocate for social change.

> Follow CGI U on Twitter @CGIU

Student attendees have the opportunity to attend plenary and working sessions, as well as other special events covering topics across CGI U’s five focus areas. In addition, they network with their peers, build skills, and identify potential partnerships. Special guests join every CGI U meeting to help student participants gain the skills and knowledge needed to take action on their commitments.

During the last day of the meeting, the students will take part in a Day of Action in the Berkeley community.

SMU Forum: SMU renews membership in the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

SMU is a member of the CGI University Network of 70 U.S. colleges and universities that provide support and mentorship for students’ projects. The Office of Engaged Learning is the University’s sponsoring department.

Find more information at the Clinton Global Initiative University homepage

Student achievement in the spotlight during SMU Engaged Learning Week, Feb. 8-12, 2016

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithSMU’s Engaged Learning Week expands its schedule for 2016 and features a growing undergraduate presence at the University’s annual Research Day as well as presentations from McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Feb. 8-12 and will help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week begins Monday, Feb. 8 with presentations by graduating Engaged Learning Fellows in Community Service and Internships at 12:30 p.m., followed by a Creative Projects panel at 3 p.m., both in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Engaged Learning, Big iDeas and Clinton Global Initiative University students host an open house and luncheon 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Scholars’ Den, G11 Clements Hall. The event is open to the entire University community, and current EL Fellows and Big iDeas teams will discuss their projects and programs with visitors.

SMU Engaged Learning logo

On Research Day, Wednesday, Feb. 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballrooms, undergraduate researchers from the McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows will show their work at 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Engaged Learning Fellows in Undergraduate Research will present at 11:45 a.m.

Thursday, Feb. 11 will see presentations from the Lyle School of Engineering’s Senior Design Teams from 1:30-4 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Forum.

The week wraps up Friday, Feb. 12 with Undergraduate Research panels at 9 a.m. and from noon-2:30 p.m., with a buffet lunch at 11:30 a.m., followed by presentations from Big iDeas teams at 12:45 p.m.

Find a full schedule at the SMU Engaged Learning Week homepage

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