For the Record: Sept. 24, 2009

Anita Ingram, Risk Management, has been elected 2009-10 treasurer of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), an organization dedicated to advancing the discipline of risk management in higher education. She and other new officers were inducted at URMIA’s 40th annual national conference Sept. 15 in Nashville.

Students in the Division of Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, have received a 2009 Best of Show commendation from the Center for Innovation in College Media. The news segment “Students Reflect on Chaotic Inauguration Day,” originally broadcast by The Daily Mustang on Jan. 21, 2009, was named Best Breaking News Package.

Students Tyler Murray, Jessica Huseman and Reem Tahir won 7 of their 10 debates at the University of Northern Iowa Debate Tournament Sept. 19-21, 2009. The debate topic concerned U.S. policy regarding the use of nuclear weapons. Murray and Huseman argued a unique affirmative case offering a U.S. apology for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was undefeated at the tournament. Tahir finished 3rd in the novice division in her first collegiate debate competition. The SMU debate teams are coached by faculty members Ben Voth and Chris Salinas, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Meadows School of the Arts. Read more from SMU News.

SMU, Wiley College keep a date to debate – 74 years later

SMU and Wiley College debate, Feb. 25, 2009On Feb. 25, 2009, SMU and Wiley College kept an appointment made nearly 75 years ago. A debate team from Wiley – the historically black college in Marshall, Texas, that became famous with the 2007 film “The Great Debaters” – visited the University for a contest on the topic of whether to shut down the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

SMU extended the original invitation to Wiley in 1935; it would have been the first time a white school hosted a debate against a black college. But that debate was canceled, possibly because of Wiley coach Melvin B. Tolson‘s arrest for civil rights activism.

The SMU team won the 2009 competition, 3-0. Yet “just in having this debate we are all winners,” said Ben Voth, director of SMU’s Speech and Debate Program and associate professor of corporate communications and public affairs in Meadows School of the Arts. “We have overcome a history of racism and divisiveness.” Voth serves on the advisory board for Wiley’s debate program and has taught workshop seminars at Wiley to prepare the college’s new team.

Read more and watch a video courtesy of The Dallas Morning News

(Above, debate team members from Wiley College and SMU congratulate each other after the competition Feb. 25. Photo by Kim Ritzenthaler.)