Meadows School of the Arts

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.

Nineteen SMU faculty members retire with emeritus status in 2017-18

Nineteen distinguished faculty members with a combined total of nearly 620 years of SMU service retired with emeritus status in the 2017-18 academic year.

The professors, and their dates of service:

Cox School of Business

  • William B. Brueggeman, Professor Emeritus, Real Estate, Risk Management and Business Law, 1978-2018
  • James C. Collins Jr., Professor Emeritus, Information Technology and Operations Management, 1964-2017
  • Ellen F. Jackofsky, Associate Professor Emerita, Management and Organizations, 1982-2018
  • Robert W. Rasberry, Assistant Professor Emeritus, Management and Organizations, 1974-2018
  • James Smith, Professor Emeritus, Finance, 1995-2018
  • Rex Thompson, Professor Emeritus, Finance, 1988-2018

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Alan S. Brown, Professor Emeritus, Psychology, 1974-2018
  • Louis L. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus, Paleontology, 1983-2018
  • Francisco Morán, Professor Emeritus, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish), 2003-2018
  • Wayne A. Woodward, Professor Emeritus, Statistical Science, 1981-2017

Dedman School of Law

  • Maureen N. Armour, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1989-2018
  • William J. Bridge, Associate Professor Emeritus, Law, 1977-2018
  • Linda S. Eads, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1986-2018
  • Victoria Palacios, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1991-2018

Lyle School of Engineering

  • William Milton (Milt) Gosney Jr., Professor Emeritus, Electrical Engineering, 1986-2017
  • David W. Matula, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and Engineering, 1974-2017

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Daniel (Danny) Buraczeski, Professor Emeritus, Dance, 2006-2018
  • Mary Vernon, Professor Emerita, Art, 1987-2018

Perkins School of Theology

  • William B. Lawrence, Professor Emeritus, American Church History, 2002-2018

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

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.

Meadows Theatre presents The Rep: Three Contemporary Plays April 26-May 6, 2018

For its final event of the 2017-18 academic year, the SMU Meadows Division of Theatre presents three contemporary American plays that will take turns sharing the black-box stage. The Rep: Three Contemporary American Plays Performed in Rotation runs April 26-May 6 on varying dates and times.

All three plays, all directed by students, will be performed in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center, on the SMU campus.

The plays, authors, dates, times and synopses:

Bethany by Laura Marks: Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 29 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m.

At the height of the foreclosure crisis, single mother Crystal loses more than her house. She struggles to stay positive – with plenty of help from a roommate with conspiracy theories, a motivational speaker with a secret, and her colleagues at the local Saturn dealership. But optimism is no match for a bad economy, and before long Crystal’s desperate quest to regain what she’s lost turns into the fight of her life. This darkly comic thriller explores just how far we’ll go to get back what’s ours.

Stupid F—ing Bird by Aaron Posner: Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, May 2 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 5 at 2 and 8 p.m.

An aspiring director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art and growing up can be. In this irreverent, contemporary and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, and the search for the true meaning of it all.

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl: Saturday, April 28 at 2 and 8 p.m.; Thursday, May 3 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m.

In Eurydice, playwright Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. Ruhl has won the MacArthur “Genius” Award and is a Tony Award nominee and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Tickets are $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

— Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Learn more about The Rep at the Meadows School of the Arts website

Enjoy a gallery of images from BethanyEuridyce and Stupid F—ing Bird below.

SMU Meadows’ Ignite/Arts Dallas presents Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance May 4, 2018

Ignite Arts Dallas-SMU Meadows production of 'Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance'

For one night only, Ignite/Arts Dallas at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present a touring bilingual rock opera exploring the life and lore of Pancho Villa, the enigmatic general, legendary bandit and hero of the Mexican Revolution. Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance takes the stage Friday, May 4, 2018 at 8 p.m. at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff, Dallas. The concert is presented in association with AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and De Colores Radio.

Commissioned and premiered in 2016 by Ballroom Marfa and co-commissioned by Fusebox Festival, the opera is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a trilogy of musical performances by composer Graham Reynolds that was inspired by his interest in the intermingled populations of the Texas-Mexico border regions. The opera explores facts from Villa’s biography, examines the mythology surrounding him, and asks what Pancho Villa means to Mexican and American culture and where these meanings intersect and conflict.

Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance represents the kind of aesthetic and cultural hybridity that makes Texas such a unique place, which is why we present work like this for our students and the city,” said Clyde Valentín, director of Ignite/Arts Dallas.

> Learn the backstory of Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance: www.panchovillaopera.com

The opera is sung partly in Spanish, partly in English, with accompanying projected translations along with film clips and historic photos. The ensemble features LOLA’s (Local Opera Local Artists) Liz Cass and Austin Lyric Opera’s Paul Sanchez as mezzo-soprano and tenor vocalists, as well as six instrumentalists accompanying Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Quesada on guitar. The work is directed by Shawn Sides of the Rude Mechs.

Tickets are $10 per person, available online at igniteartsdallas.info or at the door on the night of the show.

> Read the full story from the SMU Meadows website

SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert honors Danny Buraczeski through April 8, 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, part of a seven-work tribute to the retiring SMU professor in the Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert. All photos: Paul Phillips

The SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert honors retiring jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski with a retrospective of seven of his works. The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

> SMU Forum: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski

The concert programs include the following works, to be performed on the days listed:

Program A, to be performed April 4, 5 and 7, opens with In the City (2013), based on “Three Dance Episodes” from the popular Leonard Bernstein musical On the Town. Inspired by the urban rhythms and textures of Bernstein’s music, the work features 15 dancers celebrating youth, optimism and the vibrant new energy that the Dallas Arts District has brought to the city.

It’s followed by Scene Unseen (1998), set to music by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, featuring a duet with alumni Albert Drake, a founding member of Bruce Wood Dance Project, and Adrián Aguirre, a current member of the company.

Song Awakened (2001) follows, a work set to the songs of the late Cesária Évora, a noted singer of Creole-Portuguese soul music. The work, which debuted to critical acclaim at New York’s Joyce Theater, will be performed by eight Zenon Dance Company members.

The next piece, Points on a Curve (1998), is danced to music by Ornette Coleman; The New York Times said the low-key choreography evoked the music “in often witty and thought-provoking ways.”

Program A concludes with Swing Concerto (1994), an athletic and ebullient exploration of the relationship between two musical traditions: European klezmer music and the American swing of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. The piece synthesizes the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of swing era movement. The Times wrote, “Swing Concerto is Mr. Buraczeski’s choreography at its most inventive, perceptive best.”

Program B, to be performed April 6 and 8, opens with the aforementioned In the City, followed by Merry Go Round (1989), set to music by Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band and featuring Zenon company dancers Scott Mettille and Sarah Steichen Stiles.

Next is Points on a Curve (noted above).

The final work in Program B will vary. On April 6, it will be Ezekiel’s Wheel (1999), a piece for eight dancers that was inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. The work, exploring the themes of recognition, responsibility and redemption, will be performed by Zenon Dance Company. Commissioned when Buraczeski was artistic director of the acclaimed Minneapolis-based JAZZDANCE, Ezekiel’s Wheel was praised by The Times as “a balm for the soul in troubled times.”

On April 8, the concert program will conclude with the aforementioned Swing Concerto.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff. Buy your tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Buy Meadows Spring Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini

Enjoy a gallery of can’t-miss photos from Swing Concerto, Points On a Curve and In the City, all by Paul Phillips.

Save the date: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski April 4-8, 2018

Danny BuraczeskiThe SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert will honor award-winning jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski, who retires in May after 13 years of teaching at SMU, with a retrospective of seven of his works.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre. On Tuesday, April 3, the Division of Dance also will host a panel discussion about Buraczeski’s choreography from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hope Theatre. The panel will include dance artists who worked with Buraczeski in his professional companies and participated in creating some of his seminal works.

“Danny Buraczeski has for years been one of the country’s leading jazz dance choreographers,” said Samuel Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “His artistry, passion and dedication to jazz music and dance have inspired both students and professional dancers for four decades. We will miss him greatly, but our dance department will continue to perform his exciting and inventive works and carry on his legacy for future generations of SMU dancers.”

“Danny is one of the most prolific and significant voices in the world of jazz dance,” said SMU Dance Chair Patty Delaney. “This retrospective allows us to experience his seminal works live and, through discussion with those who worked with him during their creation, we have the opportunity to fully appreciate the artistic contributions Danny has made to the field of dance. The SMU Dance Division is exceptionally fortunate to have had Danny on our faculty for 13 years.”

Buraczeski joined the SMU faculty in 2005 and rose to the rank of full professor. At SMU he taught classic jazz dance technique, composition and choreography and launched a national, biannual Teaching Jazz Dance Symposium, drawing educators, choreographers and dancers from around the country to SMU. He also served as artistic director for the Dance Division’s Brown Bag Concerts.  He was named Dance Educator of the Year by the Dance Council of North Texas in 2010 and Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2017. He retires as Professor Emeritus of Dance.

> Learn more about Danny Buraczeski and the Spring Dance Concert repertoire from SMU News

Sarah Fullinwider Perot ’83 to be honored at 25th annual ‘Meadows at the Meyerson’ concert Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Meadows Symphony Orchestra, SMU

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present its 25th annual “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street in Dallas. The event will feature works by Barber and Mahler, performed by the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips. The event supports talented Meadows students through the Meadows Scholars Program.

The annual spring concert also honors a community leader. This year, the honoree is noted philanthropist and arts advocate Sarah Fullinwider Perot, and the event chair is Melissa Fetter. SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Algur H. Meadows Dean Sam Holland will provide remarks at the event.

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $17 for students and SMU faculty and staff. A $10 discount is available for Meadows subscribers. For tickets, contact the Meadows box office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

The program will include Samuel Barber’s First Essay for Orchestra, op. 12, and Toccata Festiva, op. 36 ,for organ and orchestra. Award-winning organist Stefan Engels, Leah Young Fullinwider Centennial Chair in Music Performance at the Meadows School, will be guest soloist. The program will conclude with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, a dynamic work incorporating sounds of nature, folk music, a funeral procession and a heroic, triumphal ending.

“Meadows at the Meyerson celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018, and has continued to be a musical highlight of the year,” said Dean Holland. “It is an opportunity to showcase the skill and dedication of our gifted students and the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony on a world-class stage, and to raise scholarship funds for our Meadows Scholars Program. Now in its tenth year, the Meadows Scholars Program’s ever-increasing impact over the past decade can be measured by rising test scores, artistry and diversity with each incoming class. We are also thrilled this year to honor Sarah Fullinwider Perot, who works tirelessly to give, lead and advocate for arts and culture in Dallas. We are proud to claim her as a Meadows alumna.”

Event honoree Sarah Fullinwider Perot graduated from SMU in 1983 with a B.A. in journalism and broadcast film, and is currently president of the Sarah & Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation, which focuses on education, basic human need and patriotic philanthropy. She serves on the SMU Board of Trustees, as well as the executive boards of the SMU Meadows School, Dedman College and Tower Center for Political Studies.  Her service to the Dallas community includes fundraising efforts for the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Symphony and as chair of The Sweetheart Ball. She has been recognized with the TACA Silver Cup Award for her contributions to the arts in North Texas and was the recipient of the 2016 SMU Distinguished Alumni Award.

— Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Read the full story from SMU News

Meadows Theatre presents Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead through March 4, 2018

Rehearsal photo, 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead' Meadows Theatre, SMU

Meadows Theatre has set the stage for Tom Stoppard’s award-winning play inspired by the final scene of Hamlet – and told from the point of view of the two luckless characters who meet their fates offstage.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Kara-Lynn Vaeni, runs Wednesday-Sunday, Feb. 28-March 4, 2018 in the Greer Garson Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $8 each for SMU students, faculty and staff.

> Buy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead tickets online at Vendini

Described by The Guardian’s Michael Billington as “an astonishing balance between cross-talk comedy and poignant awareness of mortality,” Stoppard’s work focuses on Hamlet from the perspective of the title character’s childhood friends, who have been charged with spying on the prince by his uncle, King Claudius. Hamlet, Ophelia and other Shakespearean characters swirl in and out of the action as the increasingly bewildered courtiers proceed inexorably toward their doom.

First staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1966, Stoppard’s absurdist tragicomedy won four 1968 Tony Awards, including Best Play. It received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best play in 1968 and was named Outstanding Production by the Outer Critics’ Circle in 1969. Stoppard himself adapted and directed a film version in 1990, starring Gary Oldman and Tim Roth.

The show has a two-hour running time, with a 10-minute intermission at the end of Act I. Please remember that photography and recording of any kind are expressly forbidden at all Meadows School of the Arts performances.

> Visit the Meadows Division of Theatre online

Enjoy this gallery of photos by Kim Leeson from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead rehearsal. camera, slide show icon

Load More Posts
Skip to toolbar