Student Life

Hurricane Harvey: How to help and where to seek support at SMU

A letter to the SMU community offers a comprehensive list of ways to help, and places to seek support, as Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath unfold on the Texas Gulf Coast.

President R. Gerald Turner shared this message with University faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017:

Dear SMU community,

We have watched with alarm and sadness since Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday, leaving widespread suffering, loss and destruction in its wake.

Our deepest sympathy goes to all who are feeling the impact of this disaster, including those in our SMU community who have loved ones, homes and other connections in the affected regions.

If you need support

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life Joanne Vogel sent a message yesterday regarding campus resources that support students, including confidential counselors at SMU Counseling Services (214-768-2277) and the Chaplain’s Office (214-768-4502). Through SMU’s Caring Community Connections (CCC) program, faculty, staff, students and family members can submit concerns about students’ well-being in order to connect them with help. The CCC form is online.

For faculty and staff members, SMU’s Employee Assistance Program (1-877-704-5696) provides confidential counseling and referral services, including for dependents.

If you would like to help

SMU has reached out to Rice University and the University of Houston to offer assistance. In addition, many in our SMU community are offering prayers, support and donations to those who have been affected. I believe our community will continue to find ways to help as needs evolve in Dallas and across the state.

Among these efforts, the SMU Student Senate is raising funds for disaster relief, with the goal of providing a significant donation to the relief effort from the SMU community. The students’ “Help 4 Houston” effort will last for four days – from August 29 to September 2, 2017. Donations to the SMU Student Disaster Relief Fund may be made at smu.edu/helpforhouston.

In the days and weeks ahead, SMU’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will continue to monitor this unprecedented disaster, as well as state and local relief efforts and needs. If faculty or staff members receive assistance requests from departments or programs at other colleges or universities, we ask that you notify the EOC, which is tracking SMU’s efforts. Please email the Office of Risk Management.

The SMU community stands with our Gulf Coast neighbors, students, alumni, colleagues and loved ones. We will continue to send our prayers and support.

Sincerely,

R. Gerald Turner
President

> Make a gift to the SMU Student Senate’s “Help 4 Houston” disaster-relief effort: smu.edu/helpforhouston

SMU Athletics is offering free tickets and concessions for the Sept. 2 SMU-Stephen F. Austin game to Texans displaced by the hurricane. Find additional details at SMUMustangs.com.

Kenechukwu (K.C.) Mmeje named SMU Vice President for Student Affairs

Kenechukwu K.C. MmejeKenechukwu (K.C.) Mmeje, assistant vice president and dean of students at Loyola University Chicago, has been named Vice President for Student Affairs at SMU effective Monday, July 17, 2017.

“Strength of character and a commitment to students shines through in interactions with Dr. Mmeje,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His experience at urban, private universities in Chicago and Los Angeles also set him apart as a candidate for this important position at SMU. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Mmeje to the Hilltop in Dallas.”

In his new duties, Mmeje (pronounced MAY-jay) will oversee areas including the Office of the Dean of Student Life; Residence Life; women’s, LGBT, multicultural, volunteer and leadership programs; student activities; student conduct; the Hegi Family Career Development Center; campus ministries; health and wellness programs, including the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center; the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

As assistant vice president and dean of students at Loyola University Chicago since September 2014, Mmeje has been responsible for several functional areas that support Loyola’s academic mission and promote a vibrant campus life, including the Office of the Dean of Students, Off-Campus Student Life, Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution, Student Activities & Greek Affairs, Leadership Development and Second Year Experience, Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs, and the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC). He has almost 15 years of progressively responsible student affairs experience in judicial affairs, crisis management, retention and academic support services, and student advocacy and support.

In addition, he oversees Loyola’s Behavioral Concerns Team and co-chairs the Threat Assessment Team. He also co-chairs the Loyola Experience Implementation Committee, which is responsible for ensuring alignment of the institution’s academic and co-curricular programs through ongoing collaborations that include New Student Convocation, Welcome Week, and Student Support and Retention Initiatives, among others.

“I am excited to join the SMU community,” Mmeje said. “Throughout the search process, I was struck by the passion and enthusiasm with which everyone I met described their love and tremendous pride for SMU. I look forward to partnering with the outstanding professionals in the Division of Student Affairs, faculty and academic leaders to offer a seamlessly integrated curricular and co-curricular experience that supports the holistic development of each student. I am eager to meet the SMU student community and to begin working on their behalf.”

Mmeje began his career in student life and development at the University of Vermont in Burlington, where he served as assistant director of the Office of Judicial Affairs from 2003-04. He served the University of Southern California (USC) as assistant director of student judicial affairs and community standards (2004-05), and as student affairs advisor and special projects coordinator for the vice president of student affairs (2005-06).

From 2006-10, Mmeje was director of the USC Scholars Program, a funded outreach and retention initiative serving local underrepresented, first-generation, and low- to moderate-income transfer students. In this role, he collaborated with faculty to develop, implement and assess programs that facilitated the academic and social success of these students at USC. In addition, he provided regular training for academic advisors on how to better serve the university’s transfer population, as well as admissions and financial aid counseling for students and their parents and guardians.

His eight-year career with Loyola University Chicago included service as associate dean of student life (2010-13) before his promotion to assistant vice president, Student Life, in July 2013. Concurrently with his other duties, he also served as interim director of the Department of Residence Life from 2015-16.

Mmeje received his B.A. degree in sociology and Black studies from the University of California-Santa Barbara. He earned a Master of Education degree in higher education student affairs administration from the University of Vermont and his Ed.D. in educational leadership from USC. In addition, he holds a Certificate in Management and Leadership in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

His wife, Natasha, is a health educator and currently serves as assistant director of Loyola’s Wellness Center for Health Promotion. She also is a trained medical advocate for survivors of sexual assault in the State of Illinois. They have two daughters, Ayana and Savannah.

Mmeje was selected after a nationwide search coordinated by a campus committee chaired by Harold W. Stanley, vice president for executive affairs. He replaces the late Pamela D. Anthony, who died Jan. 17, 2017, after a battle with cancer. Joanne Vogel, SMU associate vice president and dean of student life, currently serves as vice president ad interim.

Take a closer look at student innovation during the 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, Friday, Sept. 23

engaged-learning-logo-300Make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The two events take place Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum, as part of SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend.

Find the complete symposium line-up at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

> See the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

SMU Big iDeas logo, blue background-400From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Save the date: Engaged Learning Symposium, Big iDeas Pitch Contest scheduled for SMU Family Weekend, Sept. 23, 2016

SMU Big iDeas and Engaged Learning students in front of Dallas HallSave the date for SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend, and make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The events take place 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. SMU Engaged Learning will post a complete schedule in the coming weeks.

Find more information at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Share the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

Watch for more about the Symposium and Pitch Contest in a future SMU Forum post.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Helping students with stress during the holiday and exam season

SMU students in Fondren Science BuildingAs SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons, Interim Provost Harold Stanley is asking that all University community members watch for signs of stress in themselves and in students.

Dr. Stanley asked that each faculty and staff member “be aware of signs of stress in yourself and those around you” in an e-mail message dated Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015.

“In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they are experiencing their first set of final exams,” he added.

He also reminded the University community that “[s]tudents who feel overwhelmed by the stress of the season and finals can visit the offices at the Memorial Health Center, currently located at Perkins Hall, just to the north of Perkins Chapel.”

In addition, Dr. Stanley urged faculty and staff members to visit SMU’s Caring Community Connections homepage for information on identifying and helping students who may be in crisis. The confidential system “will allow us to identify students about whom we are concerned so that we are able to provide them with appropriate information, support, and advice,” he wrote.

He encouraged all to become familiar with SMU’s Guide for Faculty and Staff for Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress, available online.

Dr. Stanley also issued the University’s traditional call for faculty and staff members to “reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends at this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill.”

Many SMU resources are available to help University community members stay healthy and safe during the holiday and exam season, including these:

Pamela D. Anthony named SMU vice president for student affairs

Pamela D. Anthony, SMU Vice President for Student AffairsPamela D. Anthony, dean of students at Iowa State University, has been named SMU’s vice president for student affairs effective February 1, 2016.

“As SMU’s new vice president for student affairs, Pamela Anthony brings varied experience in all aspects of programming and resources supporting the development of students,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “She has shown leadership in particular on issues related to student well-being, academic enrichment beyond the classroom, and multicultural affairs. She exhibits a dedication to students that will contribute greatly to improving the campus experience that we cherish as a critical part of the educational enterprise. I look forward to welcoming her to the University’s leadership team during this special time in our 100-year history.”

Dr. Anthony will oversee areas including the Office of the Dean of Student Life; Residence Life; women’s, LGBT, multicultural, volunteer and leadership programs; student activities; student conduct; campus ministries; health and wellness programs; career services; the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

As dean of students at Iowa State since August 2012, Dr. Anthony has been responsible for supervising programs and services including academic support, multicultural student affairs, LGBT student support, judicial affairs, fraternity and sorority life, women’s programs, student legal services, student disability resources, recreation services, and parent and family involvement, among others. She also serves as chair of the university’s Critical Incident Response Team, Sexual Misconduct Leadership Committee and Student Affairs Diversity Committee, as well as co-chair of its Academic Enrichment Subcommittee and Student Experience Enhancement Council.

“I am beyond excited to be selected as the vice president for student affairs at a world-class institution in a world-class city,” Dr. Anthony said. “SMU offers a vibrant campus life experience, intentional opportunities for student engagement, and evidence that learning happens everywhere. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to enhance and create innovative partnerships within academic and student affairs that prioritize student success.”

“My visit to campus and interactions with students, faculty, staff, and alumni only increased my respect for SMU,” she added. “I appreciate the confidence of President Turner and the support of the search committee, and I eagerly anticipate becoming a Mustang! Together, we will continue to shape world changers.”

She began her career in student life and development at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, where she served as area coordinator of residence life from 1996-98 and coordinator of multicultural affairs from 1997-2000.

Dr. Anthony also served as director of student activities at Spelman College from 2000-03. Her nine years of experience at Georgia State University included service as assistant dean and director of student life and leadership (2003-09) and as assistant dean of students (2009-12).

Dr. Anthony received her B.S. degree in speech pathology from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She earned a Master of Education degree focusing on student personnel in higher education from the University of Georgia-Athens and a Ph.D. in educational policy studies from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Dr. Anthony was selected after a nationwide search coordinated by a campus committee chaired by Tom Barry, vice president for executive affairs. She replaces Lori S. White, who joined Washington University in St. Louis as vice chancellor for students.

“Dr. Anthony has been an outstanding leader in her role as dean of students at Iowa State University,” said ISU President Steven Leath. “She’s been instrumental in our efforts to enhance Iowa State’s reputation for providing a first-rate student experience, and I thank her for her dedicated service. She will bring a wealth of experience and expertise in student affairs to Southern Methodist University and will certainly be a tremendous asset to the institution.”

Calendar Highlights: April 29, 2015

Meet-up flyer - no borderEngaged Learning Meet-Up: Engaged Learning invites SMU community members to their Engaged Learning Meet-Up event on Thursday, April 30, at 6 p.m., in the Hughes-Trigg Commons. Held each April, the event is designed to introduce new Engaged Learning projects. To learn more about the event and new projects, visit the Engaged Learning webpage.

Dedman College Research Colloquium: SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences invites SMU community members to the second “Dedman Faculty Research Colloquium” on Thursday, April 30, in McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall. The event will begin with a brief welcoming reception from 4:45-5 p.m., followed by a presentation from three senior faculty sharing aspects of their research. The three professors include: Rajani Sudan, Associate Professor of English, Pamela Corley, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Pia Vogel, Professor of Biological Sciences.

Meadows Museum Panel Discussion: Celebrating the Meadows Museum 50-year history, a Meadows Museum Panel Discussion will take place Saturday, May 2, from 2-4 p.m., in the Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium. Lee Cullum, host of KERA’s CEO, will moderate a conversation about the history of the Meadows Museum with important figures instrumental to the formation and growth of the institution. This event is free and open to the public. While no registration is required, space is limited and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, call 214-768-4677.

Dancing in the Park: As part of the Meadows Community Series, Meadows dance students present “Dancing in the Park” on Sunday, May 3, 12 p.m., at Klyde Warren Park. The event includes Meadows dance students hosting a creative movement class for children in grades K-6, followed by excerpts of their original works created for the Meadows School’s Sharp Show senior showcase. For more information, call 214-768-2718.

Tate Lecture Series: For the final Tate Lecture of the 2014-15 season, Nate Silver will visit SMU on Tuesday, May 5. Silver is an American statistician and writer who analyzes both baseball and elections. For more information, visit the Tate Lecture Series webpage. 

Dean Joanne Vogel named interim VP for student affairs effective July 1, 2015

Joanne Vogel, Dean of Student LifeSMU Dean of Student Life Joanne Vogel has been named the University’s interim vice president for student affairs, effective July 1, 2015.

The University will conduct a national search for a new vice president to replace current VP Lori White, who has been appointed vice chancellor for students at Washington University in St. Louis.

The search committee is chaired by Tom Barry, SMU vice president for executive affairs. Committee members include:

  • Carlton Adams, Hunt Leadership Scholar and student body president
  • Ashley Garner, assistant residential community director, Mary Hay-Peyton-Shuttles Commons
  • Donna Gober, director of wellness and senior lecturer, Applied Physiology and Wellness, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Monique Holland, senior associate athletics director/senior woman administrator, Athletic Department
  • Jorge Juarez, executive director, Dedman Center for Recreational Sports
  • Ashlee Kleinert, SMU alumna, Dallas entrepreneur and co-founder of Executives in Action
  • Patti LaSalle, associate vice president and executive director, Public Affairs
  • Creston Lynch, director, Multicultural Student Affairs
  • Connie O’Neill, SMU trustee and civic and philanthropic leader
  • Jennifer Post, director, Residence Life and Student Housing
  • Steve Rankin, chaplain and minister to the University
  • Rick Shafer, chief of police, Department of Public Safety
  • Tom Tunks, professor of music, Meadows School of the Arts, and founding faculty-in-residence, Ware Commons
  • Wes Waggoner, dean of undergraduate admission and executive director, Enrollment Services

“Dr. Vogel’s national leadership and expertise in student development and well-being will ensure that important student initiatives continue to make progress,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Her deep knowledge of student life at SMU will be a distinct asset as the Office of Student Affairs addresses the issues that help shape their college experiences.”

As interim VP, Vogel will oversee areas including the Residential Commons; women’s, multicultural, volunteer and leadership programs; student activities; student conduct; campus ministries; health and wellness programs; career services; the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

As dean of student life since January 2014, Vogel has been responsible for supervising programs and services ranging from new student orientation; to fraternity and sorority life and Multicultural Student Affairs; to student discipline procedures. She also serves as chair of the SMU Crisis Management Team and as a member of the President’s Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention and Task Force on Sexual Misconduct.

She is a member of several professional associations including NASPA, the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, the American College Counseling Association, the American Counseling Association and the Association for Creativity in Counseling.

Vogel received her A.B. degree in history and political science from Duke University. She earned an M.S. in mental health counseling from Stetson University and a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the University of Central Florida.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Student Affairs online

SMU arts and business students present fourth annual SMU Fashion Week, April 22-24, 2015

11103014_820595004645142_6019420339180860341_oSMU Fashion Week 2015 kicks off Wednesday, April 22 and will run through Friday, April 24. Focusing on the “Business of Fashion,” the three-day event will take an inside look at what it means to be a designer and entrepreneur, as well as how one of Dallas’ most prestigious shopping destinations, Stanley Korshak, stays competitive in the luxury fashion market.

Founded in 2011, SMU Fashion Week aims to provide students with information on a variety of careers within the trillion-dollar international fashion industry. From Style Editor of FDLuxe Bradley Gather Means and blogger Tina Craig of Bag Snob to rewardStyle founders Baxter and Amber Box, past speakers have offered valuable insight into their areas of focus. In collaboration with SMU’s Fashion Media program, Meadows School of the Arts and the SMU Retail Club, this year’s events feature a lineup of prestigious and insightful presenters.

Wednesday, April 22: A talk with Levi Palmer

  • SMU Fashion Week 2015 opens with London designer Levi Palmer of palmer//harding. During a live interview, Palmer will talk about his entrepreneurial journey as the designer of what the press has described as “the world’s most perfect shirts.”
  • 1 p.m. in Room 241, Umphrey Lee Center.

Thursday, April 23: Fashion Week keynote address by Crawford Brock

  • Crawford Brock of Stanley Korshak will present the SMU Fashion Week 2015 keynote address. During company owner Brock’s keynote address, guests will get an inside look at the man behind one of Dallas’ most prestigious shopping destinations, as well as what it takes to stay competitive in the luxury fashion business. Brock will meet students and talk with them one on one during a reception following the keynote address.
  • Keynote begins at 5 p.m. in Room 241, Umphrey Lee Center. Reception with Crawford Brock to follow from 6-6:30 p.m. in the Division of Journalism complex near Room 280, Umphrey Lee Center.
Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Friday, April 24: Spring Fashion Show

  • SMU Fashion Week 2015 wraps up with the annual Spring Fashion Show presented by The Retail Club at Cox School. This year’s show will feature looks from Stanley Korshak and the Haute Wheels mobile boutique. The Haute Wheels mobile boutique will be on-site for shopping, and Stanley Korshak will provide exclusive goodie bags for the first 30 fashion show attendees.
  • 2 p.m. outdoors on the north end of Bishop Boulevard at the Main Quad flagpole.

All SMU Fashion Week 2015 events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Chelsea Bell, director of the Fashion Media Program in the Meadows School Division of Journalism, via email or phone at 214-768-4913.

Load More Posts