From Russia, with love: 2009 Cultural Festival set for March 29

Krystall-BalalaykaThe award-winning folk music group Kristall-Balalayka will arrive on campus from Saratov, Russia to appear in SMU’s 13th annual Russian Cultural Festival and Concert. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. March 29 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

“This is a major recruiting event to introduce SMU students and the Dallas community to our Russian program,” says Tatiana Zimakova, chair of Russian Area Studies in the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department of Dedman College. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the University’s language and culture classes as well as study-abroad opportunities in Moscow and St. Petersburg, she adds.

Other featured artists include classical guitarist Christopher McGuire and performers from the Nascimento Piano Trio, a group of recent graduates of SMU’s Meadows School of Arts. In addition, nearly a hundred 6th- and 7th-grade Russian-language students from Dallas’ William B. Travis Academy/Vanguard for the Academically Talented and Gifted will give a choral performance. The program includes songs, dances and music by Russian composers.

For more information and photos, visit the Russian American Center website.

For the Record: Oct. 4, 2007

Winslow Homer's 'Eight Bells'Randall Griffin, Art History, has received the Dallas Museum of Art’s Vasari Award for the second time in three years. He was chosen for the 2007 award for his book Winslow Homer: An American Vision (Phaidon). The Vasari Award is given annually to an author working in Texas “whose book provides insight into works of art or aspects of art history and theory that enriches the understanding of visual arts.” Griffin’s 2007 co-winner is Anthony Alofsin, the Roland Gommel Roessner Centennial Professor of Architecture and Professor of Art and Art History at UT-Austin. (Left, Winslow Homer’s Eight Bells, which will appear in the Meadows Museum’s “Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s,” opening Nov. 30.)

Shlomo Weber, Economics, is the new academic director of the International School of Economics in Tbilisi, Georgia. He will visit during the coming year to work with students, faculty, staff and other community members.

Tatiana Zimakova, Russian Area Studies, has been nominated for a Lone Star Emmy Award in the category of Magazine Program-Feature/Segment for her Dallas Schools Television program, “A Taste of Russia.” The show aired on WFAA Channel 8 and KERA Channel 13 in spring 2007 and features urban elementary and middle school students who are studying the Russian language and learning about Russian culture, history and food. “A Taste of Russia” focuses on the interdisciplinary aspect of the students’ studies and the students’ performance at SMU’s 2007 Russian Festival 2007 last March. Lone Star Emmy winners will be announced at a ceremony Oct. 27 in Dallas.

Jasper Smits, Psychology, has received the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies‘ 2007 President’s New Researcher Award for his paper entitled “Cognitive Mechanisms of Social Anxiety Reduction: An Examination of Specificity and Temporality.” Two co-authors on the award-winning paper also are from SMU Psychology: Renee McDonald and David Rosenfield.

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Advisory Panel for the newly established Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religion in the Perkins School of Theology.