Tune In: SMU students take on CNN

SMU students at CNNRita Kirk, SMU communications professor and director of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, recently took three students to New Hampshire to visit presidential headquarters and organize focus groups for CNN during the Iowa Caucus. As a CNN analyst herself, Kirk has the opportunity to bring students as part of her research staff and throw them into a high-paced, challenging, exciting and demanding atmosphere.

Students put together a focus group of 60 independent voters, gathered poll data, and analyzed the data in real-time. They had to be in control of every piece of data that came across them. They visited different campaign field offices and ended the trip by helping Dr. Kirk run her focus group on live international television.

Learn more and read the perspective of a student on this trip at the SMU Adventures blog

SMU Guildhall graduate students compete at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco

Intel University Games Showcase logoTwo teams of graduate students from The Guildhall at SMU will compete for cash prizes and gaming glory at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Computing and game-hardware giant Intel® will host the Intel® University Games Showcase on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at the Marriott Marquis.

The SMU teams will demonstrate two distinct creations: Hymn of the Sands, an action-adventure whose story draws on Egyptian mythology; and the viral hit Kraven Manor, a horror-based puzzle game.

Joining the Guildhall groups at the invitation-only event will be teams from USC, Drexel, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Utah, UC-Santa Cruz, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the DigiPen Institute, and UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA).

The competitors will demonstrate their best projects running exclusively on Intel® graphics platforms, and a panel of industry luminaries will select those that demonstrate the best gameplay and the best visual quality.

Follow The Guildhall at SMU on Twitter @SMUGuildhall

Prizes will be awarded based on innovation in gameplay, game performance, immersiveness, art style, entertainment value, and quality in rendering, character design and user interface. In addition, Intel® will conduct live polling of the audience and display the results in real time as input to the judging panel.

The programs represented by the winning projects will each receive a $10,000 hardware grant from Intel®.

> Read updates from The Guildhall at GDC 2014 at SMU Adventures

Understanding Rwanda: Memories from a human rights trip

Vicki Hill with Felix and Peter of Les Enfants de Dieu, Rwanda.

In August 2012, a group of 20 SMU students, faculty and staff members visited Rwanda with the University’s Embrey Human Rights Program.

The group went to observe how the African country is recovering from its 1994 civil war, in which up to a million people were killed in 100 days.

They also shared 200 pounds of school supplies donated by the SMU community and 7 boxes of books given by Dallas-based Half Price Books, as well as medical supplies donated in part by Denver-based service group Project C.U.R.E.

One traveler was Vicki Hill, SMU’s assistant dean for the University Curriculum. Hill shared her insights in an SMU Adventures blog that documented the trip and her struggle with what she learned.

“I saw what I hope is the most horrible thing I will ever see in my entire life, and I experienced moments of pure joy and affirmation,” Hill wrote.

> Read more from Vicki Hill and other Rwanda travelers at SMU Adventures

Tune In: Dean Tsutsui’s Japan chronicle

UPDATED Friday, March 11, 2011: Dean Tsutsui is blogging from Tokyo about today’s tsunami and earthquake. Visit this link to read his updates.

> FOX 4 News video: SMU Dean Tsutsui Caught In Japan Quake video

The 2011 Japanese American Leadership Delegation in KyotoDedman College Dean William Tsutsui is visiting Japan as a member of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation (JALD). Sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, JALD seeks to engage Japanese American leaders in furthering relations between the United States and Japan. The 13-person delegation will visit Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo, and will meet with high-level Japanese leaders in government, business and education.

Dean Tsutsui’s visit ends March 12 – until then, experience the sights, sounds and culture of Japan through his eyes via his SMU Adventures blog.

(Right, the 2011 Japanese American Leadership Delegation in Kyoto.)

> Read more about JALD from SMU News
> Find more adventurous reading at SMU Adventures

For the Record: March 3, 2011

Anna Membrino's winning paintingAnna Membrino, a first-year M.F.A. student in Meadows School of the Arts, has been named one of three national winners of the 2010 Canvas Artist Series Contest sponsored by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Folio Fine Wine Partners. She won for her design of the merlot label (pictured right) for the Canvas wine brand. The three contest winners were selected by public online voting and a panel of judges comprised of Folio and Hyatt executives, as well as other wine industry professionals. In addition to having their artwork displayed on the Canvas bottle, the winners each receive a $5,000 scholarship from Hyatt. Read more from SMU News.

Carla Mendiola, a Ph.D. candidate in history in Dedman College, has been selected for a Government of Canada Doctoral Student Research Award, which “promotes research that contributes to a better knowledge and understanding of Canada, its relationship with the United States, and its international affairs.” The grant will allow her to conduct dissertation research in Canada.

The SMU Office of Public Affairs won five awards in the 2011 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District IV competition. The Content Group received two prizes in the Blog category: a Gold Award for SMU Adventures and a Silver Award for the SMU Forum. The SMU Research news site received a Silver Award in the World Wide Web Sub Site or Section category. Kim Cobb received a Silver Award in the Medical/Scientific News Writing category for “SMU-led Research Center Aims to Connect Brain Signals to Robotic Limbs,” and Eva Parks received a Bronze Award in the Film or Video-Feature category for “The World’s Oldest Christmas Card.” The winners were announced Feb. 22 at the CASE Fusion annual conference in New Orleans.