Five staff members receive awards at 2012 Recognition Ceremony

SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Cyndi Heath, Cindy Gautreaux, Patricia Ann LaSalle, Niraj Bhagat and Tommy Newton at the 2012 Staff Recognition CeremonyFour exceptional SMU staff members received 2011 President’s Staff Recognition Awards during the 2012 Staff Recognition Ceremony in McFarlin Auditorium. The honors recognize individuals who have shown outstanding performance, commitment, and ability.

In addition, the Staff Association presented the 2011 Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award to Tommy Newton, director of recruiting in Meadows School of the Arts. The award was endowed in 2005 by Loretta’s son, Dallas E. Hawkins II, to recognize and reward outstanding performance among University employees.

This year’s President’s Award recipients are:

  • Cyndi Heath, certified medical assistant in the Memorial Health Center, received the President’s Award for New Employee Excellence, given to an individual who has been with SMU for one to three consecutive years.
  • Cindy Gautreaux, project coordinator in Central University Libraries, received the President’s Award for Continuing Excellence, given to an individual who has been with the University for four or more consecutive years.
  • Patricia Ann LaSalle, associate vice president and executive director of public affairs, received the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership, given to a staff member who supervises one or more benefit-eligible employees and who “demonstrates exceptional leadership ability within his or her unit or across the University.”
  • Niraj Bhagat, manager of information systems and environmental health and safety in the Office of Risk Management, received the President’s Award for Innovation, given to a staff member whose “creative, innovative ideas … significantly improve a work process or system or greatly increase the efficiency of an operation or unit.”

The event also honored the following staff members who celebrated their 25th SMU anniversaries this year:

  • Carol Baker, Central University Libraries/Fort Burgwin Library, SMU-in-Taos
  • Steve Collins, Head Coach, Women’s Swimming
  • Patricia Feldman, Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center
  • Janelle Hampton, Registrar/Academic Services, Perkins School of Theology
  • Sam Ratcliffe, Central University Libraries/Jerry Bywaters Special Collections
  • Billy Townsend, Special Events/Facility Services
  • Michael Washington, Mail Central

Left in photo, SMU President R. Gerald Turner honored the winners at the 2012 Staff Recognition Ceremony (left to right): Cyndi HeathCindy Gautreaux, Patricia Ann LaSalleNiraj Bhagat and Tommy Newton.

Faculty in the News: Nov. 16, 2010

Henry Arthur McArdle, 'The Battle of San JacintoEric White, curator at SMU’s Bridwell Library, discussed James G. Pepper’s work creating a hand-lettered, hand-illustrated Bible with The United Methodist Church’s Interpreter Magazine. The article appeared in the November-December 2010 edition.

Sam Ratcliffe, head of special collections in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, talked with The Houston Chronicle about the recent discovery of a smaller version of Texas artist Henry Arthur McArdle’s famed painting The Battle of San Jacinto (right) – a canvas previously thought to have been destroyed in a 1918 house fire. The article appeared in the paper’s Nov. 8, 2010 edition.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Sarah Palin’s visit to Dallas and its potential impact on other politicians’ aspirations with The Dallas Morning News Nov. 10, 2010.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about how – and whether – President Obama can adapt to the new political realities of Washington with The Christian Science Monitor Nov. 6, 2010. In addition, he discussed the 2010 midterm elections with The Houston Chronicle and USA Today in articles that appeared Nov. 3, 2010.

Peter Raad on 'Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman'Peter Raad (right), Executive Director, The Guildhall at SMU, discussed the future landscape of video games on the nationally syndicated PBS series “Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman.” The show aired Nov. 4, 2010. Watch it online. video

Dennis Simon, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Democratic successes in Dallas County elections despite Republican dominance of national races with The Dallas Morning News Nov. 3, 2010.

Anastasia Suen, Creative Writing, Continuing and Professional Studies, was featured in an article on the “Frisco Reads” program that appeared in The South Lake Times Oct. 27, 2010.

Bruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, talked with The Wall Street Journal about how cement used in oil drilling is prone to failure. The article appeared in the Oct. 30, 2010 edition.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, discussed Halloween sales of candy, costumes and decorations as a barometer for general economic recovery with The Dallas Business Journal Oct. 29, 2010.

Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, Dedman College, talked about a Bible-based history curriculum being sought by a member of Louisiana’s Caddo Parish School Board with The Shreveport Times Nov. 2, 2010.

Faculty books for giving (and keeping)

(Originally published Dec. 6, 2007.)

'Psychology of the Simpsons' coverWith subjects ranging from the art of the Maya to the psychology of America’s favorite dysfunctional animated family, SMU faculty members and researchers published or won awards for a bevy of books during 2007. We’ve made a list, and invite you to add your own favorite books in the comments. Read more.

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Tune In: A season of celebration

SMU's 2007 Celebration of LightsSMU’s 30th annual Celebration of Lights took place Dec. 2, 2007, on the University’s Main Quad. It featured more than 100,000 decorative lights and luminarias, caroling and a reading of the Christmas story from the New Testament by SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

See a slide show camera
Watch a video video
Download a video to your iPod iPod video

International and civic leaders, a former athlete turned dentist and an emerging theatre star received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA) during formal ceremonies on Nov. 8, 2007. See the ceremony as it was rebroadcast on SMU-TV Channel 19 in the Park Cities. video

Three important new Meadows Museum exhibitions opened Nov. 30, 2007. “Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s” runs through Feb. 24, 2008; “Jerry Bywaters, Interpreter of the Southwest” and “Lone Star Printmaker” run through Mar. 2, 2008.

Hear an interview with co-curators Sam Ratcliffe and Ellen Buie Niewyk by Laurel Ornish of, with remarks by Meadows Museum Director Mark Roglán
See a gallery of some of the paintings on exhibit

Research Spotlight: New views of a Texas artist

ratcliffe-book-200.jpgTwo current Meadows Museum exhibits on the works of Jerry Bywaters are designed to give visitors a three-dimensional portrait of the influential Dallas artist, right down to his favorite houndstooth fedora. That multifaceted view reflects the work of the two SMU researchers who curated the exhibits – both of whom have published new books on this Texas titan.

In Jerry Bywaters: Interpreter of the Southwest (Texas A&M University Press), Sam Ratcliffe provides a retrospective of Bywaters’ paintings that shows the artist’s perspective on the people of the region and their interactions with the land. “In a sense, I began writing this in 1986, when Jerry hired me to assist him with organizing his papers at SMU,” says Ratcliffe, now head of the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections Wing in the Hamon Arts Library. “Those first days in a broom closet in Fondren Library began my gradual immersion into knowledge of his career – and therefore of the sweep of the cultural history of the Southwest.”

niewyk-book-200.jpgFor years, Bywaters kept notes about his printmaking in a small loose-leaf notebook. In Jerry Bywaters: Lone Star Printmaker (SMU Press), Ellen Buie Niewyk, curator of the Bywaters Special Collections in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, worked directly from the frayed pages of the notebook to shed new light on Bywaters’ prints. The 39 prints Bywaters created from 1935 to 1948 are reproduced in the book, as well as many of his book illustrations and ephemeral works. The book also include photographs both of the artists and the subjects he depicts. “Jerry Bywaters was a true Texas artist,” Niewyk says. “His interpretations of the Texas and Southwest landscape, architecture and people mirror life during the 1930s and 1940s and still delight viewers and art collectors today.”

Both books are available in the Meadows Museum Shop and from the Texas A&M University Press Consortium.

American art and a Texas connection at the Meadows Museum

Section of 'Where the Mountains Meet the Plains' by Jerry Bywaters

Three important new Meadows Museum exhibitions, all opening Nov. 30, 2007, will explore the evolution of American art and offer rare insights into a Texas titan.

'Eight Bells' by Winslow HomerComing of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s” running through Feb. 24, 2008, explores the fertile period during which artists as diverse as Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Alexander Calder and Georgia O’Keeffe rose to international prominence.

“Jerry Bywaters, Interpreter of the Southwest” and “Lone Star Printmaker” run through Mar. 2 and promise a fully rounded look into the life and work of the Dallas artist who reshaped the Texas art world and brought national recognition for Texas artists.

(Top, a section of Jerry Bywaters’ Where the Mountains Meet the Plains, 1939; right, Winslow Homer’s Eight Bells, 1886. )

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