Breaking for service, traveling with care

SMU Alternative Spring Break in Taos, 2008As Spring Break 2009 approaches, SMU encourages all students, faculty and staff to heed U.S. Department of State travel warnings. Information about travel warnings, including specific information about trips to Mexico, can be found at

Meanwhile, several SMU students are spending their March hiatus building homes, preserving natural resources and delivering meals across the United States as part of 2009 Alternative Spring Break.

Led by SMU’s campus community service organization SPARC (Students Promoting Awareness, Responsibility and Citizenship) and Office of Leadership and Community Involvement (LCI), students will work with community agencies including:

Learn more about this year’s trips at SMU’s Alternative Spring Break website. (Above, a photo of students participating in the 2008 Alternative Spring Break in Taos, posted at SMU’s Student Adventures website.)

Visit the SPARC website
Visit the LCI website
Read the U.S. State Department travel alert for Mexico

Tune In: Student conduct, student responsibility

VP for Student Affairs Lori WhiteSMU community members who have questions regarding the recent suspension of the Beta Lambda Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order at SMU can see an interview with Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White, conducted by Anna Martinez of SMU News.

Watch the interview in two parts:
Part 1 video
Part 2 video
Visit SMU’s Live Responsibly homepage

For the Record: Feb. 5, 2009

Robert Krout and students at Hope Town School, BahamasLori White, Vice President for Student Affairs, has been nominated as a Pillar of the Profession by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the NASPA Foundation “in recognition of her many years of outstanding service to higher education.” She will be honored at the 2009 NASPA conference scheduled for March 7-11 in Seattle, Washington.

Peter Raad, Executive Director, The Guildhall at SMU, has been named to the Board of Directors of the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA), a nonprofit corporation “dedicated to driving the worldwide growth of PC gaming.” Among the organization’s goals are to create hardware guidelines, improve consumer experience, and offer guidance to help resolve industry challenges such as piracy, cheating and security. Read more.

Robert Krout (right), Music Therapy, Meadows School of the Arts, spent the month of January volunteering in music and music therapy at the Hope Town School, a primary school in Hope Town, Bahamas. His class, a mix of regular and special-needs students, also put on an outdoor concert for parents.

Calendar Highlights: Dec. 5, 2008

December Graduation 2007Fall 2008 finals and the holiday break are almost here – important end-of-term dates at a glance:

Dec. 5: Last day of instruction, last exam day for December graduate degree candidates
Dec. 8-13: Fall 2008 finals
Dec. 13: Last day of term and official date for conferral of degrees
Dec. 13: December Graduation Ceremony, 7 p.m., Moody Coliseum
Dec. 13: Guildhall Cohort 9 Graduation with commencement speaker Ken Levine (BioShock), 2:30 p.m., Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center

Honoring Will Finnin: Vice President of Student Affairs Lori White hosts a reception honoring retiring SMU Chaplain Will Finnin 4-6 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. Remarks at 4:15.

Holiday happening: The SMU Staff Association presents its 2008 Holiday Luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 11 in Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. The event will include a canned food drive to benefit the North Texas Food Bank. Lunch is $13 per person; RSVP to the Staff Association by Dec. 8.

Contemporary Ballet DallasIn McFarlin Auditorium:

Dec. 6: Contemporary Ballet Dallas (bottom right) presents Boogie Woogie Christmas Carol at 7:30 p.m. Buy tickets online or call 214-821-2066.

Dec. 13-14: Dallas Metropolitan Ballet presents The Night Before Christmas at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Buy tickets online, or call 214-631-ARTS (2787) or 817-467-ARTS (2787).

Students honor professors with 2008 HOPE Awards

Eddie Hourigan, Mark Fontenot and Ben Koopferstock at SMU's 2008 HOPE AwardsStudent staff members in SMU’s Department of Residence Life and Student Housing honored 53 University educators at the 11th annual HOPE Banquet Nov. 2, 2008. HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award recipients are named through student staff member nominations as professors who “have made a significant impact to our academic education both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Mark Fontenot of the Computer Science and Engineering Department, Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, was honored as 2008 Professor of the Year. Three Dedman College professors – Joe Kobylka and Michael Lusztig of the Political Science Department and Patty Wisian-Neilson of the Chemistry Department – were named Distinguished Professors, denoting that they have been recognized as HOPE Professors during at least 5 of the 11 years in which the honor has existed.

Read the complete list of honorees under the link below. Right, Professor of the Year Mark Fontenot (center in photo) with the two students who nominated him: Eddie Hourigan (left) and Ben Koopferstock.

Continue reading “Students honor professors with 2008 HOPE Awards”

Faculty in the News: April 10, 2008

Mike Davis on FOX 4 NewsMike Davis (left), Finance, discussed the increasingly tough job market for 2008 college graduates with FOX 4 News April 7, 2008.

Marc Peterson, Financial Aid, spoke on the increasing difficulty of obtaining college loans nationwide and whether SMU will be affected in The Dallas Morning News April 7, 2008.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, discussed the “high theater” of Gen. David Petraeus’ Iraq testimony in the U.S. Senate with The Austin American-Statesman April 7, 2008. He also discussed what a Barack Obama victory in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary would mean for the Democratic presidential race with Reuters April 9, 2008.

Influential professors honored at 2007 HOPE Banquet

Fifty-three SMU educators were honored by student staff members at the Department of Residence Life and Student Housing’s 10th annual HOPE Banquet Oct. 21. The HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Awards are determined by student staff member nominations and recognize professors whom they believe “have made a significant impact to our academic education both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Lucy Scott, executive-in-residence in the Journalism Division, was honored as 2007 Professor of the Year. Two others – Lecturer in English Diana Grumbles and Associate Professor of History Glenn Linden – were named Distinguished Professors, denoting that they have been recognized as HOPE Professors for at least 5 of the 10 years in which the honor has existed. Read the complete list of honorees under the cut.

Continue reading “Influential professors honored at 2007 HOPE Banquet”

Dallas city manager to speak at SMU Nov. 12

Dallas City Manager Mary K. Suhm will talk about the challenges involved in running one of America’s largest cities during SMU’s Fall 2007 President’s Leadership Summit at 5 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. All SMU faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the free event, hosted by President R. Gerald Turner. For more information, contact the Office of Leadership and Community Involvement, 214-768-4413.

Fall breaks during Thanksgiving week

Turkey on whiteJust a reminder: SMU’s Fall Break takes place during Thanksgiving week. In addition, there will be no classes the day before the holiday. T-Day week at a glance:

  • Nov. 19-20: Fall Break (no classes, staff remains on duty)
  • Nov. 21: No classes (staff remains on duty)
  • Nov. 22-23: Thanksgiving Holiday (SMU closed)

Find a complete 2007-08 academic calendar at the Registrar’s Web site.