For the Record: Oct. 30, 2008

Karen Vickery, Learning Therapy, has received a 2008 IMSLEC Innovator Award for Outstanding Educator in a University from the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council. She was recognized at the IMSLEC Council meeting during the International Dyslexia Association conference Oct. 29, 2008, in Seattle.

Three SMU graduate students in Economics are the No. 1 data-mining team in the nation, as announced by the 2008 Data Mining Shootout sponsored by the SAS Institute, Dow Chemical Company and the Central Michigan University Research Corporation. Ph.D. candidates Stefan Avdjiev, Jayjit Roy and Manan Roy won the competition based on their program logic and software solutions to a complex scheduling problem involving a hypothetical airline company operating at three airports and anticipating weather delays and cancellations. Tom Fomby is their faculty sponsor and adviser.

Research Spotlight: Learning differently

learning-differently-200.jpgAbout 45 million Americans – 15 percent of the population – have some form of learning disability. And when students reach college, their learning differences become amplified because of tougher curricula, increased workloads and the absence of supportive family members. In SMU’s School of Education and Human Development, researchers and reading specialists have developed training and research projects to answer some of the most critical questions about the development of students who struggle to read.

“While much has been accomplished, more work lies ahead,” wrote Education Dean David Chard in a Dallas Morning News op-ed printed Nov. 1, 2007. “The opportunity to pursue higher education should be a minimum standard for all Americans. Approximately 35 percent of students with learning disabilities are attending colleges and universities, up from 15 percent in 1987.”

At the International Dyslexia Association annual conference in Dallas (Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2007), two SMU faculty members shared their experiences reaching students with learning differences. Patricia G. Mathes, director of the Institute for Reading Research at SMU, spoke on effective practices and research findings for English language learners with reading difficulties, and Karen Vickery, director of the Learning Therapy Program at SMU’s School of Education and Human Development, spoke on “Teaching the Teachers: Effective Models for Colleges and Universities.” Learn more about SMU research and resources at