Nancy George

SMU welcomes the Class of 2021 with Mustang Corral 2017, Aug. 16-20

Camp Corral candlelight ceremony, 2016SMU welcomes new students to campus Aug. 16-20, 2017 with Mustang Corral, a five-day University orientation for first-year and transfer students. The Corral experience begins on Move-in Day, Wednesday, Aug. 16, and ends with the close of Opening Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 20.

The schedule includes the following:

Wednesday, Aug. 16: Move-in Day for First-Year Students, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As new students arrive for their prescheduled check-in time, volunteers help unload cars and roll students’ belongings to their rooms. After move-in, families are invited to enjoy barbecues at Arnold Dining Commons, Umphrey Lee Dining Commons and the Mack Ballroom in Umphrey Lee.

Old Red Courthouse visit, Discover Dallas 2016Thursday, Aug. 17: Discover Dallas
Students board buses and take off to #DiscoverDallas through SMU’s popular morning field trips. Students choose one of 22 different tours to learn about their new hometown, with destinations ranging from the Dallas Zoo to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to kayaking on White Rock Lake and touring AT&T Stadium. Students also can select community service sites, including the North Texas Food Bank, SPARK and Dan D. Rogers Elementary School.

> Check out the Discover Dallas 2017 interactive map

•  Thursday-Friday, Aug. 17-18: Camp Corral
On Thursday afternoon, students head to Camp Corral for a two-day, one-night retreat just outside of Dallas. Incoming and upper-class students will have the opportunity to interact while learning about the SMU community. Highlights include the Club Corral dance and closing candlelight ceremony.

Saturday, Aug. 19: Class photo, Night at the Club
The Class of 2021 gathers on the main quad Saturday morning for a class photo in the shape of a giant 2021. The day wraps up with Night at the Club at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, an introduction to the hundreds of clubs, community service groups and campus activities for students.

SMU Opening Convocation choir, 2016Sunday, Aug. 20: University Worship, SMU Reads, Rotunda Passage and Opening Convocation
Sunday begins with University worship in the morning, and the SMU Reads discussions of SMU’s 2017 Common ReadingEvicted by Matthew Desmond, in the afternoon. Mustang Corral ends and the academic year begins Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. with Rotunda Passage, a processional march through Dallas Hall’s Rotunda to Opening Convocation, the ceremonial gathering in McFarlin Auditorium where new first-year and transfer students are formally welcomed to SMU by faculty and administrators. SMU President R. Gerald Turner will present remarks.

For more information about Mustang Corral, visit SMU’s New Student Orientation blog.

— Written by Nancy George

See slide shows from Discover Dallas 2016

> Find a complete schedule at SMU News

SMU names Stephanie L. Knight dean of Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Stephanie L. KnightStephanie L. Knight, a nationally recognized education leader, researcher and professor, has been named dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. The current associate dean and professor of education in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University will assume her new duties at SMU on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017.

“Stephanie Knight’s impressive background of scholarly excellence and outreach to the education community will enable her to deliver visionary leadership to propel the Simmons School toward even greater visibility and impact,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Stephanie will continue to amplify the school’s commitment to evidence-based scholarship, external research funding and the preparation of exemplary professionals in education and human development. Her history of partnerships with urban and suburban schools equips her to further elevate the school’s contributions to K-12 education in the North Texas region and beyond. Furthermore, Stephanie is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the SMU campus to advance interdisciplinary academic programs and initiatives.”

“Dr. Knight is joining a dynamic school, which will continue its trajectory as an innovative leader in education research and practice under her leadership,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “She understands that education is key to change, from lifting individuals from poverty to opening minds to new understanding, and that will strengthen SMU’s impact on individuals, schools and the world.”

Knight began her education career as a classroom teacher of Spanish and French in Texas, Saudi Arabia and Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston before beginning a 20-year tenure at Texas A&M University, where she was professor of educational psychology and teaching, learning and culture. In addition, she held the Houston Endowment, Inc. Chair in Urban Education at Texas A&M, received the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was named a University Faculty Fellow. Knight joined Pennsylvania State University in 2009 as professor of educational psychology, where she taught courses in educational psychology and effective learning. In 2013 she became associate dean at Penn State, leading the College of Education’s undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Her scholarly interests demonstrate a dedication to bringing the results of evidence-based research to the K-12 classroom. Her research into relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes; teacher professional development, and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes has been published in hundreds of professional journal articles, book chapters and books and presented at numerous professional conferences.

In addition, Knight has directed university and national research centers, including serving as associate director of research into practice for the National Science Foundation Information Technology in Science Center for Teaching and Learning, and director of evaluation and assessment for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement in Washington, D.C.  She recently concluded five years as co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education and also served from 2004 to 2006 as co-editor of the Teaching, Learning and Human Development section of the American Educational Research Journal. She currently serves as associate editor of the Review of Educational Research.

“Dr. Stephanie Knight stood out from a large pool of highly qualified candidates due to both her administrative experience and her tenure at tier-one research universities,” said Marc Christensen, chair of the Simmons School dean search committee, and dean and Lyle Professor of Innovation in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. “I look forward to working with her on the Council of Deans to advance the University’s academic and research missions.”

Knight earned her B.A. in romance languages and literature at the University of Kentucky, where she was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa; her master’s degree and certification in secondary teaching at Lehigh University; and her Ed.D. in educational curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston.

“I am honored, and very excited, to have the opportunity to serve as the next dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development,” she said. “Simmons has already established an impressive foundation in its first decade, and I look forward to working with the very talented and productive faculty, staff and students in the school to further their ongoing mission of excellence in research, teaching and community outreach. SMU provides an ideal context for the success of this mission: Location in a dynamic urban context; commitment to academic excellence; support for interdisciplinary approaches that encourage innovation; and a climate of collaboration across and within units that enhances the process and outcomes of our very important work in education and human development. I look forward to becoming an integral member of the SMU and Simmons community.”

— Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

Wendy Davis to deliver Emmie V. Baine Lecture at 2017 SMU Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 8

Wendy Davis, 2017 SMU Women's Symposium speakerWendy Davis, former Texas state senator and 2014 candidate for Texas governor, will deliver the keynote address in SMU’s 2017 Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 8.

“We invited Wendy Davis to be our keynote speaker because she was a major advocate for women during her time in the Texas Senate and during her gubernatorial campaign,” said Aurora Havens, Women’s Symposium co-chair and a senior engineering major. “We believe she is an inspiration to all women, especially in Texas.”

The theme of the student-planned 2017 symposium, “My Body, Not Their Politics,” will focus on the politics surrounding issues such as sexual violence, reproductive justice, and women and politics.

“The theme addresses issues women face as well as the current political climate,” Havens says. Sachi Sarwal, a junior electrical engineering major, is also co-chair.

An attorney and long-time public servant, Davis served on the Fort Worth City Council from 1999 to 2008. She represented District 10 in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015, but made her mark nationally with an impassioned 11-hour filibuster in June 2013 that delayed passage of a bill restricting abortion regulations in Texas.  She ran for governor on the Democratic ticket in 2014, losing to Republican Greg Abbott.

In 2016, Davis launched a new initiative, Deeds Not Words, designed to train and equip young women to make changes in their communities.

More than 500 attendees are expected to attend SMU Women’s Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary. One of the longest running events of its kind, the symposium has challenged, changed and broadened women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

The symposium is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Discounted registration is offered to SMU faculty, staff and students. Visit www.smu.edu/womsym for registration. Registration is requested by Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

— Nancy George

> Find more information and a complete schedule at the SMU Women’s Symposium homepage: smu.edu/womsym

A giant undertaking: Larger-than-life SMU legends walk the Hilltop for Centennial Homecoming, Sept. 23-27, 2015

Ten towering puppets representing giants in SMU history will make special appearances during the University’s Centennial Homecoming festivities, Sept. 23-27, 2015.

Created by Emmy Award-winning Dallas artist Gretchen Goetz, the larger-than-life SMU Giants will walk, wave, and in the case of one giant, perform a well-known cheerleader leap.

“The giants are stylized, whimsical versions of the characters they represent, designed to make people smile and be happy,” Goetz says. Click the YouTube screen to catch a sneak preview from SMU NewsMyles Taylor, or visit this link to watch his Mustang Minute, “The Giants Are Coming,” in a new window.

How to Make a Giant: A Guide

Representing the accomplishments of faculty, alumni, students, staff and administrators from SMU’s history, the giants were selected based on a poll of students, faculty and members of the Celebration Organizing Committee.

At 10- and 12-feet-tall, the giants will be easy to spot, photograph, greet and share the fun as SMU celebrates its Centennial and Homecoming. Watch for them in the State Fair of Texas parade on Friday, Sept. 25 and in SMU’s Homecoming parade on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Written by Nancy George

> Meet the SMU Giants at the SMU News homepage

Meadows Museum celebrates 50th anniversary with blockbuster show from the Abelló Collection April 18-Aug. 2, 2015

Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920), Portrait of Constantine Brancusi (verso of previous image), 1909. Oil on canvas. P67 – 6/1987, Archive Abelló Collection (Joaquín Cortés).

Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920), Portrait of Constantine Brancusi (verso of previous image), 1909. Oil on canvas. P67 – 6/1987, Archive Abelló Collection (Joaquín Cortés).

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, SMU’s Meadows Museum will present an exhibition spanning 500 years of Spanish art – and the first in the United States of paintings from the treasure trove of one of the world’s top collectors.

The Abelló Collection: A Modern Taste for European Masters will be on view April 18-Aug. 2, 2015. The show features approximately 70 paintings spanning the 16th to the 21st centuries – including works by such Spanish masters as El Greco, Jusepe de Ribera, Francisco Goya, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso, as well as by other European artists including Georges Braque, Canaletto, Edgar Degas, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse and Amedeo Modigliani, among others.

The exhibition will feature Francis Bacon’s Triptych 1983, one of the artist’s final works in this iconic format. Also included will be an ensemble of 15 drawings by Pablo Picasso, representing all periods in his long career.

The Abelló Collection joins the Meadows’ ongoing series of international partnerships that are bringing Spanish masterworks to the United States. In addition, it is a cornerstone to the Museum’s 50th anniversary celebration, which will continue throughout 2015.

Based in Madrid, Juan Abelló is one of Spain’s most prominent art collectors — and has been internationally recognized as one of the top 200 collectors in the world since he began collecting art over three decades ago. Along with his wife Anna Gamazo, Abelló has amassed more than 500 outstanding works of art spanning 500 years of European history.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), Portrait of Juana Garlaza de Goicoechea, 1810

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), Portrait of Juana Garlaza de Goicoechea, 1810. Oil on canvas. P28 – 4/1984, Archive Abelló Collection (Joaquín Cortés).

The Abelló Collection is grounded in the couple’s dedication to bringing great national works of art back to Spain that have been dispersed over time in the turmoil resulting from centuries of political and economic strife — from the Napoleonic invasion, to numerous historical financial crises.

Abelló’s collecting bears a parallel to that of Meadows Museum founder and SMU benefactor Algur H. Meadows, who similarly devoted his fortune to the collection, study, and presentation of Spanish masterworks, and to strengthening international awareness of Spain’s robust cultural tradition.

“The Meadows Museum is incredibly grateful for the generosity of Juan Abelló and Anna Gamazo, who have so graciously agreed to lend these extraordinary masterpieces from their collection for an international debut in Dallas,” said Mark Roglán, The Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts. “We are honored to have the opportunity to present for the first time in the United States paintings from this outstanding collection, which showcases Spain’s powerful artistic legacy, and perfectly coincides with our institution’s founding mission and role as a leader in the research and presentation of Spanish art.”

Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story, including a list of exhibition highlights, from SMU News
> Visit SMU’s Meadows Museum online: smu.edu/meadowsmuseum

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