Meet Naomi!

Name: Naomi Samuel

Classification: Junior

Major: Marketing and English

Why SMU? SMU made a huge impression on me because it’s the first college I had ties to. My parents are immigrants so I knew little about American universities. I visited SMU a few times through extra credit opportunities through the International Baccalaureate program at my high school. Once I visited, I knew it was the school for me.

Favorite thing about SMU? The beautiful campus and abundance of resources.

Favorite place on campus? The Bridwell Library. I don’t go often but it’s beautiful in such an elegant way.

Words of Advice to Diverse Applicants: Reflect on what diversity means to you. Think about how comfortable you are navigating spaces where very few other people look like you. It’s not always easy, especially if you don’t come from a background that looks like SMU. It tests your confidence. It can also test your patience. It’s really up to you as an individual to decide if it’s for you. You definitely grow, but it’s no easy feat. 

Additional Highlights about your personal story: Being a business student, SMU provides unmatched opportunities in Texas. I had 100% security in my future after my first year of college, which has made me sound in my decision. 


Meet Raven!

Name: Raven Battles

Classification: Junior, Class of 2019

Major: Philosophy with an emphasis on Ethics, Law and Security with a minor in Law and Legal Reasoning

Why SMU? While SMU was not my immediate first choice, I quickly fell in love with the campus when I visited for an Admitted Student Reception day in late April. I chose to attend SMU because of the degree programs available, beautiful campus with easy access to downtown Dallas, the options to study abroad, the multiple organizations established on campus, and finally the financial incentives.

Favorite thing about SMU? My favorite things about SMU are the faculty and staff. I have had the opportunity, through running an organization and work study, to meet many individuals from administrators and assistants to dining staff and groundskeepers. They have made me feel not only welcomed but also have offered encouragement and pointed me to the resources that I needed to succeed throughout my time here. 

Favorite place on campus? My favorite spot on campus is the third floor of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. It is the hub for student organizations and houses resources for these organizations to thrive. I find I spend a lot of time in this building, particularly on the third floor, in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Student Activities Office, which among other orgs, houses Greek life.

Perspective about diversity on campus. Diversity on SMU’s campus is one of those areas that I did not see a lot of as I stepped onto campus my freshman year. However, in the short time that I have been here (3 years), it’s the area in my opinion most improved. I have had the privilege of working closely with individuals who have and are continuing to implement tools necessary in the building of diversity in student body numbers, faculty and staff hires, and the inclusion of courses made available to students who seek to learn more about diversity and cultural sensitivity. 

Words of Advice to Diverse Applicants: SMU is not the place for those who are comfortable with sitting back and coasting for the next four years. However, if you are the type who likes to see and make change happen, then this campus is a great space to do. There are active communities here fully stocked with resources and support to help you in your journey here at SMU. My advice is to find them, get involved, and don’t be afraid to redefine the labels of this school. It will not only help SMU grow, but you just might find at the end of your time here that you have grown as well.


Meet Audrey!

Name: Audrey Ngo / Ngô Quế Anh

Classification: Sophomore

Major: Health & Society / French

Why SMU? Financial Opportunity + Dallas connections 

Favorite thing about SMU? Abundance of shady areas on campus to nap or read outside. 

Favorite place on campus? Bridwell Library- prettiest place to study!

Words of Advice to Diverse Applicants: Don’t let the crowd get you down- you being confident in yourself is the greatest advantage you have in any path in life.

Additional Highlights about your personal story: (i.e. scholarships, work study, ability to pay, exposure to new cultures, unique experiences, faculty, student organizations, etc.): Get involved, get involved, get involved. SMU, being a primarily white institution, provides the perfect environment for a diverse student to rise above their peers at more prestigious schools. Being involved in Student Senate, SMU Debate, a sorority, and College Democrats has given me more connections to potential careers than I ever could have imagined.

Life Around Dallas

3 Things To Do in Dallas if You’re a Kid at Heart

If you are like me, you embrace the quote by Walt Disney, “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” I am a true kid at heart, so when I came to Dallas from Seattle I was looking for something to satisfy that inner child. I have complied a list of three things you can do to satisfy YOUR kid at heart while living in Dallas as an SMU student or just passing through Dallas for a Campus Tour!

Dave & Buster’s Located just off North Central Expressway about 5 minutes away from campus is Dave & Busters, a heaven for the young at heart. With a full service restaurant and a video arcade, Dave & Busters is the perfect place to go with your friends, get out your competitive edge and win some fun prizes. 

Visit the Disney Streets One of several neighborhoods in Dallas named for the names of the individual streets within it, Disney Streets Dallas is an area of Northwest Dallas in the Midway Hills community which contains streets named after Walt Disney characters. Examples of the streets within the Disney Streets neighborhood include Pinocchio Drive, Cinderella Lane, Snow White Dr, Aladdin Dr, Dwarfs Cir and Wonderland Trail. This is a great destination to go on a drive with your friends or a relaxing study break.

Klyde Warren Park Located downtown Klyde Warren Park is a great afternoon or weekend spot. With four to five activities each day and a host of weekend programming including live concerts, any time is a good time to visit the park. Food trucks also come to the park almost every day, giving park goers access to snacks that exhibit the diversity and deliciousness of Dallas’ food scene.  

Campus Life Student Organizations

Asosiación de Empresarios Mexicanos

The past couple of years have been exciting for Latino students at SMU. This is because SMU recently inaugurated its chapter of AEM (Asosiación de Empresarios Mexicanos), an organization that aims to connect Latino students interested in business with each other, as well as with entrepreneurs from across the world. Even though this is a Mexican organization, it is open to all Latino and American students. The AEM’s executive board is composed of many of my best friends and some of the most intelligent and entrepreneurial minded students on campus. Because of this, the organization promises a huge success. For example, some of the exciting events that the AEM has hosted so far have been networking mixers at Quill (an up and coming hip lounge in the Dallas Design District), an SMU-TCU pool party at SISU, a speaker series featuring important leaders like Felipe Calderón (former president of México) and Latino tents during the Boulevards. Having Latino tents has been a great way for the Latino community to get to know one another. It is also a fun place where students that are not affiliated with a Greek organization can enjoy the Boulevard, one of SMU’s favorite traditions. In addition, the AEM has started a philanthropy program called Young Leaders of Tomorrow, a mentoring program in which the members of AEM will be paired up with low-income Latino high school students with similar interests. In my experience, being a member of the AEM has been a rewarding opportunity, since it has allowed me to have incredible moments with my best friends while I prepare for the business world of tomorrow.

Sofia Castells

Academics Transferring to SMU

Transferring to SMU

Applying and deciding on a college is already a tough and tedious process. Now, imagine already being in college and deciding to go through it again. I was attending a highly recognized, four-year university that had been my dream school for as long as I can remember. At the end of my freshman year, I could not stop crying on my flight back to Mexico for the summer. I was so confused as to why I was crying when I had just finished what I thought to be a great first year of college. The summer gave me plenty of time to reflect on my past year and helped me realize that what I had thought was my dream college was not the place for me. It was time to talk to my parents about the idea of transferring. As I looked into universities, I already knew what I was looking for. I wanted a university that offered the idea of community, but at the same time allowed me to develop globally. I wanted a university that offered world-renowned academics, but also allowed me to have close relationships with my professors and fellow classmates. SMU was the best option and the only school I applied to transfer to.

Transferring can be a very scary process. I was coming into a new university without knowing anyone and as an international student. I met many of my best friends the first week of classes. People were extremely accepting and meeting people was not as hard as I thought it would be. Adjusting to classes was not hard either; teachers were helpful and I soon realized that I was not the only one in my situation. Orientation and other events allowed me to meet other transfers that were going through the same adjustment. Even when I wasn’t completely settled in, I already knew I had made the right choice by transferring. I felt more at home and happier at SMU then at my previous university. Classes were more enjoyable and I soon realized the amazing things Dallas has to offer. To this day, I can easily say that transferring has been one of the hardest decisions I have made, but it has a rewarded me with amazing friendships and a much more satisfying college education and overall experience. SMU has become my second home and I know that the day I leave I will cry, because of how much I will miss this University.  

Ivonne Juraidini

Careers Life Around Dallas

Now Boarding: Internships

Coming to SMU, one of the things I was most excited for was the opportunity to intern. A mentor in high school told me to think of internships as a trial for a career, and unlike many other trials, you’re the one getting paid to upgrade. My first year here in Dallas and at SMU, I began to fully realize how many companies have their headquarters or base office here in the area. One company immediately stood out to me and was only 10 minutes down Mockingbird Lane: Southwest Airlines. However, with over 20,000 applications submitted and only 150 spots, I knew it was going to be a tough opportunity to acquire.

My sophomore year at SMU, I applied for my first internship at Southwest Airlines. I used nearly all the resources on campus to best prepare myself. I went into the career center and had them look over my resume and perfect every word on the page. At one of the career fairs on campus I actually got to meet my recruiter from Southwest in person, and put a face to my resume. Through other SMU students I got to meet young SMU alumni that currently work and received their input and recommendations. I was able to have two of my favorite professors write extremely individualized recommendation letters for me, because they were able to get to know me so well both inside and outside the classroom. Fast forward a few months, and when I got the interview, I went back to the career center to run some practice interviews. I walked into my interview feeling the most prepared I have ever been and perfectly confident. I ended up receiving the internship on the Customer Experience team and loved it so much that I applied again for the following summer and interned as their first Corporate Strategy & Innovation intern.

My SMU connection was also beneficial while I was there interning. On a daily basis, my academic and extracurricular experiences made me an asset for my team and the projects we were working on. But the SMU benefit didn’t end there. Frequently I would walk down the halls of Southwest’s Corporate headquarters in an SMU shirt and someone would stop me and say they were a Mustang alumni and would love to help me in any way they could. These alumni connections have now become friends who continue to mentor me as I finish my undergraduate time here at SMU.

No matter where you chose to intern, I am confident that your SMU connections will help you professionally. All you need to do is get ready to explore, so buckle up.

Richmond Dewan

Academics Life Around Dallas Lyle School of Engineering

Beating the Heat and Learning About the World

Coming from California, I’ve been asked countless times by family and friends, “How’s the weather in Texas?” More often than not my response is, “Hot!” And yes, it is hot for the majority of the year, but you adapt quickly so the heat is nothing to fear. Lucky for SMU students, Dallas is home to many impressive museums and entertaining indoor activities for us to enjoy while beating the heat. When I have family or friends visiting and I know it’s going to be a warm day, I love to take them to the Dallas World Aquarium and the Perot Museum.

During Family Weekend of my sophomore year, I took my parents to the Dallas World Aquarium. We all expected a fairly typical aquarium experience with all the familiar aquatic life. You can imagine our surprised looks when we entered the aquarium to see two sloths dangling from a tree, a shoebill stork splashing in the water and an anteater running about its enclosure. The DWA has a collection of the six main classes of animals: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. Expect to see crocodiles, river otters, a manatee, spiders, bats, penguins and a jaguar just to name a few of the incredible animals you can find in the aquarium. Being the nerd I am, I try to go to all the info sessions the DWA offers to educate visitors on the dozens of exhibits they host. That’s probably why I’ve been there three times and one of the reasons I love having friends and family visit: it gives me an excuse to go back to learn about these amazing animals.

Another great museum for students to visit is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, perfect for those interested in biology, engineering, physics, geology and paleontology. When my girlfriend visited last spring, we decided it would be a good spot to visit and we’d be able to explore a different side of Dallas. Studying biology, she was extremely excited when we arrived at the “Discovering Life” and “Being Human” Halls. I still laugh when I think about how she’d tell me something she’d learned in class, and within thirty seconds we’d find that same fact displayed in the museum. I was just as excited when we arrived at the “Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation” Hall. As a computer science major, the engineering hall was my playground. What I love most about the Perot, is its hands-on learning experience, where guests are encouraged to interact with a majority of the displays. My favorite activity was being able to program a robot to navigate an obstacle course. And while I struggled to no end with making it to the end of that course, I had a blast learning about my field of interest.

So yes, Dallas is a hot spot. Not just in temperature, but in entertaining and educational exhibits for all to enjoy. I still plan on exploring the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Zoo when I get the chance. I can’t wait to share my experience!

Christopher Lanoie

Athletics Campus Life Lyle School of Engineering Spirit and Traditions

Wild about SMU: Family Weekend 2017

SMU Family Weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the school year! It’s always an exciting weekend filled with great company, the best food and countless laughs. I love getting the chance to show my family around the place I call my home away from home. My parents have made the trip from South Carolina to Dallas every year to participate in the festivities, even my grandmother and aunt came from Atlanta for my last Family Weekend.

One of the best parts is getting to introduce my family to some of my favorite Dallas restaurants. Since my parents have been visiting for four years now, they even have some of their own favorites! Our must-hit restaurants include Bistro 31 in Highland Park Village for lunch, Javier’s for the best Mexican food, R&D Kitchen for the most delicious hamburger, and Al Biernat’s for the best steak and coconut cream pie in Dallas. My parents always joke that all we do is eat when they visit, but that’s because Dallas has some of the best food!

I also enjoy showing my family all the great things SMU has to offer. My parents always make a point to attend the “Meet the Faculty” reception at the engineering school. This is such a great opportunity to introduce your parents to some of your professors so that they can really see what you’re learning and doing in the classroom.

And, don’t forget about the Boulevard! This is one of SMU’s greatest traditions and a must for the Family Weekend schedule. It is so much fun to walk down the Boulevard, stop at all the different tents and show your parents all of the Mustang pride before the football game. It’s also a great time to catch up with family friends. It has been great to see the friendships formed between my parents and my best friends’ parents over the years, and my parents always look forward to seeing these friends during Family Weekend.

Family Weekend is always a memorable event, and this year was no exception. The excitement on all of the families’ faces is evident, whether it’s their first time on campus or their seventh! As a senior, I’m sad to see my last Family Weekend pass, but I will always remember all of the wonderful memories made during Family Weekends past.

Perrin Griffin

Academics Careers Lyle School of Engineering

In the Midst of Internship Applications

My first and second years of college at SMU were full of new experiences and exploration of possible careers—so many opportunities, so much excitement! Now junior year has already rolled around and I find myself starting to narrow in on what I want to do with my life. Mechanical engineering and mathematics—check. Now, I am starting to narrow in on particularly what I want to do this summer. I look back to the summer after my freshman year when I had free time to explore—I studied abroad in Prague, took engineering and Russian Culture courses, and fell more in love with traveling and engineering applications. During the summer after my sophomore year, I began my search for internships.

This journey began when I joined Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and attended meetings each semester. I learned about various companies that came to speak to our organization and became an officer my sophomore year. In addition to networking with companies at SWE meetings and attending the SMU career fair, I was given the opportunity to travel with SWE to Philadelphia in September of 2016 and attended the national SWE conference. At the conference, I handed out my resume and networked with numerous companies that interested me. It was only a matter of time before I received my first interview with one of my dream companies.

Attending the national SWE conference and meeting employers on SMU’s campus connected me with many companies that I was potentially interested in working for. The process continued with personal research, emails and online applications. A blessing through the whole journey was the Hart Leadership Center—an amazing on-campus resource with a wonderful staff that helps with resumes and interning information.

I ended up accepting an internship at a biomedical engineering company the summer after my sophomore year thanks in part to attending the SMU career fair and the SWE conference. As I continue to search for my dream job this summer, I will definitely be utilizing resources on campus to help make my dream a reality.  I am also planning on attending the national SWE conference again which is being held in Austin, TX this year, not too far from home.

Emily Osman

Life Around Dallas

Life in Dallas

Welcome to Dallas – a modern, diverse, cosmopolitan city that is a paradise for students! The city of Dallas is a place that every SMU student will call home. Yes, students have many opportunities to study abroad; study at SMU’s 2nd campus location in Taos, New Mexico; and have internships in other cities, but none of these experiences beat the experiences students have while living in Dallas, Texas. Life in Dallas is full of city lights, a stunning skyline, some of the best food in the world, concerts featuring top artists, sporting events and shopping!  

Living in the Highland Park and University Park area, home to SMU, allows me to start my day with healthy bites before class, on or off campus! In addition to the healthy food options, exercise is key to living a healthy lifestyle in college. The off-campus exercise opportunities are endless: cycling, yoga, running on the Katy Trail and many more. After class, I love hanging out with friends at Curtis Park, Caruth Park or Lakeside Park.

What can I say, shopping is awesome in Dallas– North Park, Mockingbird Station, Snider Plaza, Park Lane, The Galleria and Preston Center are just a small number of the many shopping locations! You can honestly find anything you can possibly need or want!

Other indoor destinations include one of our many first-class museums. SMU students have the benefit of the Bush Presidential Center right on their own campus! In addition, the Meadows Museum on campus holds one of the largest Spanish art outside of Spain. If you are an art, theater, dance or classical music enthusiast you are in a city that will provide you with entertainment equal to or better than other metropolitan cities.

For ambitious eaters, one can attend four years of school in Dallas and never eat at the same restaurant twice. My personal favorites are those that specialize in brunch, which is a must before Boulevarding for an SMU football game! North Dallas and Uptown are a foodie heaven, with every cuisine a person could possibly want. Some of my favorite restaurants around Dallas are Flower Child, Grub Burger, Mi Cocina, True Foods, The Porch and Fireside Pies; check them out when ever you come to visit campus!

Laura Catherine Harrell

Campus Life General

The Beauty of Fall Break

I have always been a huge fan of the underdog: Rocky, Rudy, the 1980 US Men’s Olympic hockey team, etc. An underdog’s story tends to strike deep in the hearts of the masses. Despite all odds, the underdog overcomes and basks in his or her unexpected glory.  Where am I going with this? Good question.

At SMU we have a Fall Break, which, in most students’ minds, will forever live in the shadows of Spring Break. For two days, a Monday and Tuesday in October, you get to take a break from school and your responsibilities.

For some, this means going home to visit friends or family. For others, this may mean extra sleep in the Residential Commons or even going down to Austin City Limits for a few days of live music. For my friends and me, this meant spontaneously driving 18 hours through the night to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Five students with five days to explore pile in a car to travel cross country on Thursday night (because no class on Friday in the Cox School of Business, which is the best thing ever).  

To prep for our trip, we went to SMU’s Outdoor Adventure office in the Dedman Rec Center and rented all the gear we needed for next to nothing (I’m fairly sure it was a dollar a day for a sleeping bag).  From almost falling into the Grand Canyon, watching a friend try to eat a 72oz steak in an hour, sleeping in the car, and seeing the beauty of the world around us, this trip was one of the best trips of my life, and it was all because of SMU’s Fall Break.  

While you don’t have to drive 18 hours away from Dallas, these two days coupled with a weekend open up the opportunity for you to get out of the ordinary with friends. This is why Fall Break will always have a special place in my heart.

Cameron Farr

Campus Life Residence Life and Student Housing

Movies Are Better With 100 of Your Best Friends

I am an RA in one of the Residential Commons on campus and one of my favorite events that my commons, Morrison McGinnis (Momac for short), puts on every semester is Momac at the Movies. For this event Momac rents a theater at the Angelika, an independent theater that is about a seven minute walk from campus, and selects a popular movie for a private screening. Most recently we chose to show “Get Out,” a movie that has generated a lot of talk in the media. The best part about watching this movie as a residential community was laughing and jumping at the scary parts of the movie with about 100 of my Momac friends. Trust me, there is no better way to watch a scary movie! This is an event that our Faculty in Residence started three years ago, and has quickly become a favorite tradition for many of our residents. Also, as if watching a new movie in a private theater with all your friends wasn’t enough, our Faculty in Residence, Mark Kerins, is a film professor. This means that after the movie we have a chance to hear him explain more about what went into making the movie and about some of the more subtle themes.

Although Momac at the Movies is one of my favorite events my commons puts on, there are a lot of great residential events. Every Residential Commons has its own signature event that they host for everyone on campus at least once a year. These events run the gamut from an arts festival, to a Halloween festival with student film contest, to a huge Mardi Gras Party and so much more. These events are run by students, for students and are one of my favorite parts about living on campus. They are a great way to get involved and meet people from all over SMU!

Ben Ovenshire

Academics Life Around Dallas

Study Spots around Dallas

Though Fondren Library is a great spot to study, sometimes you need to find a different atmosphere away from campus to really be productive. Because of Dallas’ hundreds of different popular study spots, I would like to recommend three that provide not only delicious treats, but also a prime studying environment.


Union – This coffee shop is barely five minutes from campus and offers delicious drinks and pastries while providing a multitude of different study spaces ranging from bean bags to tables. Not only this, but the friendly staff is extremely welcoming, giving Union a warm atmosphere.


Café Brazil –  If you are looking for a more upbeat, late night study spot, Café Brazil is the place for you. The vibrant walls, bottomless coffee bar and famous chocolate chip pancakes allow you to take on your studying with a new, more positive attitude.


Royal Blue Grocery – Though groceries are not usually go-to study spots, this Highland Park shop includes a cozy coffee bar with seating not only along the wall, but also in the loft above.



Rebecca Brewbaker

Life Around Dallas

The Dallas Arboretum

Fall in Dallas is one of my favorite times. I love when the heat becomes mild, because we all know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner. There are so many fun things to do in Dallas during this wonderful season, like attend the State Fair of Texas, Boulevard and enjoy the beautiful weather on the Katy Trail and at White Rock Lake. Yesterday, I went to the Dallas Arboretum, one of my favorite fall spots.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a magical place. They routinely change the exhibits for each season. Currently, there is a pumpkin garden. The pumpkins are arranged by pumpkin type, and they are manipulated to create beautiful structures and pieces of art. This year’s theme is the Wizard of Oz. The garden was constructed to create pumpkin structures along the Yellow Brick Road and capture the magic of the movie. At the Arboretum, I felt like I was in Oz as opposed to Dallas! In addition to enjoying the pumpkin garden, the Dallas Arboretum has numerous dining options. I ate at the café that overlooked White Rock Lake. It was surreal. The restaurant is located in a building that is over 100 years old, with a Floridian vibe to it, which adds to the almost mystical feel of the Dallas Arboretum. Despite all the homework and stress I dealt with during midterms, going to the Arboretum allowed me to escape and take some time for myself as I enjoyed an afternoon with friends.

It is important to take advantage of the opportunities Dallas gives SMU students. No matter how much stress people feel, there are many ways to alleviate it. Visiting the arboretum allowed me to focus on the beauty of this incredible city we are lucky enough to live in.

Larissa Spies