Ambassadors Campus Life Spirit and Traditions Student Organizations

How It Started vs. How It’s Going

Looking back on the fall semester of my senior year, I can honestly say that I have never been more proud to be a Mustang. Though changes have been thrown at this University left and right, SMU has remained committed to providing the best student experience possible. One of the main ways I have seen that take shape is how the administration has had faith in students to continue hosting safe events and opportunities for the campus community to come together during these unprecedented times.

Over the past three years I had the privilege of serving in a wonderful student organization called Student Foundation. SF brings all of SMU’s traditional events to life on campus such as Family Weekend, Peruna Palooza, Homecoming, and Celebration of Lights. As I’m sure you can imagine, when the pandemic hit we were devastated about what the restrictions and everchanging circumstances would mean for our events. It wasn’t long until I and other leaders in SF had an epiphany. We realized that tradition is not about doing the same thing year after year, but rather is meant to unite the SMU community and help us grow stronger as a Mustang family. And the truth is, there are so many ways to do that! This set the tone for our year and was a driving force behind each event we put on last semester. Though SF’s events in 2020 did not look exactly like they have in the past, I want to share how a special tradition on campus started, but more importantly, how it continued to thrive even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Family Weekend is a campus tradition that is near and dear to my heart. This event dates back to 1973 and has featured events such as Boulevard barbeques, Mothers’ Club Luncheons, student talent shows, cultural events, exquisite receptions, and movie nights on Dallas Hall Lawn just to name a few! These events usually include an address from President Turner, delicious food, and incredible conversations among all types of SMU families and community members. There is something so special in the air throughout this weekend as students welcome their family and friends to their “home away from home”. It is at this point that families get a true sense of why their student loves SMU so much.

In a year when traveling was restricted, indoor receptions were unsafe, and large gatherings were prohibited, SF had to think outside the box. We were committed to delivering SMU families a quality Family Weekend experience, whether they were in Dallas or someplace else around the world. To kick off the weekend, we distributed “Game Day Goodie Bags” to students and families at the flagpole on Dallas Hall Lawn. Since SMU football game tickets were limited, this bag was full of merchandise families could use to show their SMU spirit throughout the weekend. It was a great way to boost morale and to share what other exciting events were happening throughout the weekend.

Our next program was a series of virtual information sessions put on by the different academic and student affairs departments titled “An Inside Look at SMU”. Families were invited to learn more about Greek life at SMU, study aboard programs, and so much more. And the best part is that they could join these sessions from anywhere!

One of my favorite events of the weekend was the “Reverse Care Package Packing Party”. Since many families were unable to travel to campus this year for Family Weekend, SF provided supplies and merchandise for students to send their families a care package from SMU. In classic assembly line fashion, students moved down the line, customizing their care package to include exciting items such as stationary, coasters, M&Ms, and even a custom postcard that included a picture of their student! Once the care package was just as the student wanted it, a member of SF taped it up, addressed it, and put it in the mail cart to be shipped! I loved the inclusive nature of this event, as every student felt as if they could take part in Family Weekend, even if their parents were unable to travel to campus.

After an exciting afternoon, it was time for “Night on the Lawn”. This outdoor concert consisted of live country music, an address from President Turner, Instagram worthy photo opportunities, and precious picnic blankets that families could take home as a souvenir. Additionally, there was a livestream of the event so that families could join in on the fun even if they were not on campus. This night was truly a dream come true! To see families safely gather on Dallas Hall Lawn to celebrate how special it is to be an SMU Mustang was truly incredible.

All in all, Family Weekend 2020 is one example of how tradition remains strong at SMU because of the commitment and perseverance of its students, faculty, staff, parents, and community members. There is a new found appreciation for being able to come together, whether that is in person or virtually, and I have no doubt that the events and ideas that were implemented this year will continue to positively shape the inclusivity of Family Weekends to come. The importance of our Mustang family has never been more clear, and it was such a privilege to get to share that with so many families throughout Family Weekend 2020!


Sophie Pasternak

Class of 2021

Ambassadors General

Taking Care of Yourself at SMU

Hi all! My name is Anna Musich and I am a sophomore studying Marketing and Spanish with minors in Music, Economics and Advertising here at SMU. Yes, that may be a long list however I find a reality of college life is simply being busy. Another reality, that I did not realize until the middle of freshman year, is also knowing how to take care of yourself. Amongst the busy life of a college student, it can be hard to discern priorities and more often than not, self-care can be placed on the back burner. As one of the many busy students on campus, working jobs and being very involved on campus, I am frequently guilty of ignoring my needs. Coming back to campus this semester after a long-needed break, and amongst the midst of a pandemic, I realize how necessary for success self-care is for a successful college experience.

Hydrate or Diedrate!
My Class Schedule!

Now, don’t get me wrong I love face masks, sweet treats, and chill nights as much as the next person however, staying healthy and happy more involves creating a routine in which you can thrive. My schedule is hectic; however, I have found setting aside time for meals and snacks throughout the day helps me slow down and is also an opportunity to catch up with friends. When scheduling my classes I do my best to make sure I have time to eat.

This past Wednesday I went with my friends to the new Panera! The time I allotted myself to slow down and enjoy a meal with friends allows me to recharge. Their pick 2 menu is my favorite and I usually pair mac and cheese with a sandwich 🙂

Unfortunately, a designated lunch time did not work out with my schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I am online from 9:30-2pm. However, within the 10-minute breaks I make sure to have a granola bar, go-go squeez, popcorn, and/or dried apricots on hand so I can snack and keep my energy up! Pro tip: Always have a water bottle on hand, as you need to remember to drink water!

On campus, we have a ton of religious organizations and I love all the different services they provide! Personally, I am Catholic and this week they happened to offer Spanish services. I normally go every Sunday and is a set to slow down within a larger community. This has been critical with keeping my stress levels manageable.

Finally, I finished out the week spending time with friends and playing Cards Against Humanity, hanging up a new picture for the dorm room, and giving our selves fake tanner “tattoos” while eating Oreos. While these are not extravagant events, the small things are what make college memorable.

At the end of the day, I have a set night routine before bed. After all the work is done for the day, I like to dance around my room before bed, or play frisbee in the quad, or just watch Netflix. I often go to bed late (and right now it is quite late as I’m writing) but my routine always stays the same, washing my face, lotion and my pink fluffy headband. Again, finding these small parts of my daily routine in which I can incorporate time where I take care of my physical and mental health is what allows me to have more fun and success on campus.

All this to say, it’s not that I don’t get stressed (or I don’t get dehydrated;), and in no means am I perfect at all this. I probably will refer to this article for reference and taking my own advice.


I hope this is helpful and you can find inspiration to start taking care of yourself in the best way possible!

Learn more about Health Promotion and Wellness at SMU, here!

Ambassadors Campus Life

Dream Week at SMU

My name is Matthew Merritt, and I am a sophomore Music Education Major from Duncanville Texas. This past week I had the honor and privilege to sing the selection “Lift Every Voice and Sing” also known as the Negro National Anthem at SMU’s MLK Unity Circle.

This event was a part of the SMU Dream Week Programming and has become an annual Tradition here at our university. This event was put on by our Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement.  All in attendance had the opportunity to hear from Leaders of our Administration such as our Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Mmeje, and our University President R. Gerald Turner. We also had the privilege to hear from Student Leaders in our campus community like Tyne Dickson.

I find this event very near and dear to my heart for many reasons. One being that I am a Black Minority Student on our predominantly Caucasian campus.  Being able to see students and faculty members of all colors and backgrounds gathering together in harmony for one cause is a very touching sight to see, given the state of our nation over the past year.

When Martin Luther King Jr. came to SMU back in the 1960’s to speak, the state of our nation was immensely different than it is now and gladly I can say we have evolved for the better. But it is also safe to say that there is still a lot of work yet to be done. Attending this event truly gave me and everyone there the opportunity to reflect upon everything that has happened in our communities and to evaluate ourselves to assess how we have positively or negatively impacted this movement.

As we continue to navigate through our individual journeys in life, we must remember that we are all stronger together and that “There is No I in Us”.

Academics Ambassadors Campus Life

Back to Campus…During a Pandemic!

My first day of the Spring Semester!

As the first week of school is upon us, I was asked (ok I volunteered) to share my back to school tips that I have learned in my last 3 and a half years at SMU. The most important thing you can do is to get organized, in all areas of your world. Organize your academic space, your digital space, and your physical space.


Academic Organization

Even if I don’t have all my syllabi and classes on canvas yet, there are several ways that I prep my academic space for the start of school. The first thing that I will do is set up my calendar for the semester. I prefer to use Apple Calendar because I can color code my different activities and have the same information between my phone and laptop. I make sure to add the location of the class so when the first day of class rolls around I don’t have to pull up my.smu on my phone. I also add the professor’s name and the course number so I can use my calendar as a quick reference in case I forget. This is when I’ll also add my work schedule and any other recurring events I know I’ll have during the semester. I also use a physical planner throughout the semester to keep track of assignments. In the time before I have all my syllabi I will color code each class and write in major dates that I do know.


Digital Organization

The next thing I do is get digitally organized. That’s right, clean up your computer files and desktop. First I will delete all the junk and random files off of my desktop, making sure to empty my trash after. Next I’ll create new folders for each of my classes, and move the old classes into a Fall 2020 folder. You may find this task very intimidating, especially if your desktop looks anything like mine. But having a clean computer and even a super basic file organization system will make it so much easier for you to find important documents throughout the semester.


Physical Organization


The last piece of advice I have for you is an oldie but a goodie. Clean up your room. After living in a space for at least a semester, it can be super helpful to rethink how you organize your room. Did you actually use your storage, desk, and sitting areas as you intended? How may you better adapt the space to how you actually use it? For example I personally struggle to use my desk as a workspace. I think through why I don’t use it and come up with some possible solutions.. If my desk chair is uncomfortable, then maybeI should find a cushion or pillow for it. If I clutter my desk with junk, then I should find a different area I can use for just junk. This is a time to be realistic not idealistic. I can tell myself that I will not clutter up my desk anymore, but I know that won’t happen. It’s going to be much more productive to adapt your space to your behavior than to hope the behavior you’ve learned over the past 6 months will magically change.


The beginning of the semester can be stressful and confusing. I hope some of these tips can help you adjust to a new schedule as easily as possible!


Daniel Heard

Class of 2021


Holidays on the Hilltop

For 43 years, Student Foundation has brought the magic of the holiday season to our campus through Celebration of Lights. This tradition takes place on the heart and soul of our campus – Dallas Hall Lawn. This year, I had the honor of serving as the Campus Events Chair for Student Foundation. My committee and I were responsible for planning the traditional ceremony as well as the holiday festivities for Celebration of Lights this year. The event began with student performers, President Turner reading the Christmas story from the Bible, and the most memorable moment of all the lights on Dallas Hall Lawn being turned on during the performance of Silent Night. Following the ceremony, there were reindeer, caricature artists, horse carriage rides, a stocking stuffing station, carolers, as well as a tent for our philanthropy, Dallas CASA, where people could write cards to the children the organization supports. All of the aspects of Celebration of Lights complied with the event guidelines posted by Student Affairs. Despite these restrictions, the night was absolutely spectacular. Everyone was able to gather in a safe manner to celebrate the successful semester we had on our campus. The tradition is an incredibly special way to say goodbye to SMU before we leave for winter break, and truly encompasses the talent and joy of our student body. In addition to Celebration of Lights, students jumped into the holiday spirit by participating in events in their residential commons and enjoying the lights on the lawn as well as around in the Dallas community. Holidays on the Hilltop are magical and got me right in the spirit to head home and spend the break with my family and friends. I can’t wait to head back to campus in 2021!


May the New Year bring you joy and rest!

Eliana Abraham

Class of 2022

Biological Sciences B.S. | Health & Society B.S.

Ambassadors Life Around Dallas

A Foodies Guide To The 8 Best Restaurants Near SMU

Texans love to eat. Among the hundreds of restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, some of them are located within walking distance of SMU’s beautiful campus. Over my last three years as a student here, I’ve tried everything from pierogis to biscuit french toast, and I can’t wait to tell you a little about my favorite spots. Buckle up & let’s take a ride to flavor town.

While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s also my favorite. Located just across the street from the new dorms, Shug’s is a brand-new New York inspired bagel shop that was recently opened by a SMU grad. Whether you are looking for a study break or a snack on the way back from your workout on the Katy Trail, this is a must try. The bagel to the right is the classic Shug, made with bacon, egg, cheese and a hash brown on your bagel of choice.

Biscuit Bar does things with breakfast food I didn’t know was possible. Nothing celebrates the completion of your 8am exam like a quick breakfast here—my recommendation is the French toast biscuit with a side of tater tots.




First on our afternoon agenda is Dive Coastal Cuisine. Dive was created for the health-conscious foodie. Created with all organic products, you can’t go wrong with their salads, sandwiches, and hand crafted beverages. The most popular order is the ahi tuna wrap paired with their homemade plantain chips.

Take a trip across the world with just a few steps across the street. Kuby’s Sausage House has been a SMU favorite since 1961, offering all your favorite German delicacies. Not to mention, attached to their restaurant is their extensive market that houses all of your European favorites.



Now, lets talk dinner. My personal favorite is Olivellas Neo Pizza Napolentana—the white pizza will change your life. Located just across the street from Umphery Lee, Oilvella’s is the perfect hole-in-the-wall pizza place.

Coming in at a close second is Dallas Grilled Cheese Company, which you can find just across the 75 in Mockingbird Station. As seen in the photo to your left, they are known for the Grilled Mac ’N Cheese sandwich. To make the meal even better, I order a side of their DGC Fries and malted milk chocolate shake.





Last, but certainly not least, is dessert. A personal favorite is Pokey-O’s, which you can find next to the SMU bookstore. Pick from your choice of two cookies and ice cream to make a delectable cookie sandwich. This is the perfect pit stop on Dallas’s 100-degree days.

I also recommend Baldo’s Ice Cream & Coffee. Why not reward yourself after a hard study break with a cone for your walk back to the dorms? Their slogan is “Anything but Vanilla,” because they believe that each time you have ice cream it should be an experience. Some of their unique flavors include Coffee Oreo, Frosted Animal Cookie and White Chocolate Pretzel. My personal favorite is the Coffee Oreo served in their freshly made waffle cones.


SMU can’t wait to welcome you all back in the fall, we have missed you all so much. I know I personally can’t wait to celebrate with a stop at all of these restaurants once we are back to campus.

Zac Scornavacco

Ambassadors Campus Life Travel

Being an International Student at SMU

Hola! My name is Sofia Marin (’22), and I am an international student from Maracaibo, Venezuela double majoring in Business and Advertising with a minor in French! Two years ago, I made the decision to come to SMU to pursue my bachelor’s degree, and since then, I have felt nothing but gratitude and happiness for having made this choice.

In 2018 I left Venezuela driven by two main motifs; First, the critical economic and political situation of the country, and second, the unique opportunity my parents gave me of acquiring an exceptional education in the United States. Since I was little, I have always come to the US for summer camps, family vacations, and more, but choosing the place where I would spend the next four years of my life growing as a professional was completely different and no minor decision. For me, aside from the academic excellence, this needed to be a place where I could immerse myself into an entirely new culture, and develop unique perspectives on different topics, but at the same time, where I could feel the warmth of home and a sense of belonging. And that is exactly what I’ve found here at SMU.

I’ve met amazing people with similar backgrounds to mine, from Latin American countries like Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador that make me feel at home and remind me the value of our roots, but also people from all the way to Asia, Europe and more, that help me widen my outlook on the world and teach me about different cultures. Professors have been a vital part of the experience too, with their demonstrated unconditional support and strong desire to see students succeed, I have found role models and mentors and created relationships that I am sure will last for a lifetime. The campus itself has contributed to my journey as well, with places such as Fondy, HT, and Dallas Hall Lawn turning into special spots where I create memories with friends, learn new things, or simply appreciate life and how blessed I am for being there. From Celebration of Lights, to Midnight Market, the school hosts events and carries traditions that separate this place from others and connects students, faculty, and staff. Undoubtedly, it is not easy to leave your home country and start a “new life”, but the support, resources and people SMU has given me have made this journey enjoyable, unique and even magical. There is not a moment I don’t thank my parents for giving me this unique opportunity, and the school for being what it is to me today: my home away from home.

Pony Up!

Sofia Marin

Class of 2022

Ambassadors Transferring to SMU

Transfer Student Survival Guide

Preparing for your first year of college at a university isn’t easy, but I made the best decision of my life when I decided to do it twice. There aren’t many survival guides out there for transfer students and it’s probably because we’re just too busy making up for our “lost time” to put one together. Although you feel like your life is running just a little faster than you, the great thing about being a transfer student is that you have a head start. Your previous experience has probably equipped you well enough to take on your first semester with greater confidence. Just one year ago, I thought I had everything figured out! Nonetheless, even that changed for the better during my first semester on the Hilltop. I knew the opportunities at SMU were abundant, but it wasn’t until I transferred that I realized just how great of an impact they would have on me.

I’ll never forget my very first class on my very first day at SMU. I was welcomed by the one and only Liljana Elverskog for my Intermediate Arabic class, and what I thought was a class that would satisfy a University Curriculum requirement had become the beginning of an Arabic minor. As a transfer student, I was eager to explore my interests but I thought I would be too busy playing catch-up to minor in anything at all! SMU has undoubtedly exceeded my expectations in their encouragement for academic and self-growth with their availability of various majors and minors. With the help of my academic advisor and attentive professors, I have also added a second minor in Statistical Science that will better prepare me for graduate school!

It doesn’t end there. Student organizations have been the best way for me to simultaneously foster my academic and personal growth and establish my closest ties to other students. Finding a community of students on campus that interact through social, educational, and religious means has always been important to me, and my involvement with the Muslim Student Association has especially helped in shaping my student experience. Fortunately for all students on campus, there is a student organization for just about everything and you’re able to explore them all during Night at the Club before classes begin.

Although in-person classes have come to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have come to understand from this and being a transfer student that my time as a Mustang is not only defined by the time I’ve spent on campus. The education, relationships, and experiences on the Hilltop are everlasting, and I am so eager to continue to pursue whatever SMU throws my way (via Zoom or not). I cannot wait to see you all on campus!

P.S. If you were looking for a sign to transfer, this is it.

Pony Up!

Leena Kamal

SMU Class of 2021

Ambassadors Campus Life Residence Life and Student Housing Uncategorized

Your Dream College Roommate

Hey y’all! We’re Laura Scott Cary (‘22) and Meredith Lloyd (‘22), and we were freshman year roommates and are still best friends! We didn’t know each other before we decided to become roommates, but we really lucked out and ended up having the best time living together. However, it wasn’t all luck: our almost-instant friendship came from good communication, shared interests, and similar living habits. So today we thought we’d share some tips with you on how to communicate with potential roommates in order to figure out if you’d be compatible living together! Or, if you’re going random, this can still be helpful to maintain a healthy relationship with whoever you end up with!

Don’t be afraid to reach out!

LS: I actually wasn’t looking for a roommate, because my sister lucked out with a random roommate when she was in college and I was nervous about the whole process of looking for one through Facebook. But when Meredith reached out, she seemed really interested in getting to know me even after I told her I wasn’t looking for a roommate. When I realized we had incredibly similar interests, I decided that Meredith was exactly the kind of roommate I was hoping to get through the random roommate process, and I knew I had to reach out again.

M: We met on the admitted students Facebook page, and I just DM’ed Laura Scott on Instagram asking her if she was looking for a roommate. She wasn’t, like she said, but I kept talking to her in hopes that we would become friends once we got onto campus! We ended up chatting for about a week and realized we were into a lot of the same things. She came crawling back and asked if I was still looking for a roommate (I was). We decided to room together, and the rest is history!

Find out what you have in common.

LS: One of the first things Meredith and I did when getting to know each other was ask a lot of questions. We started by talking about basic information, (“What’s your major?” “Do you have siblings?”) then dove into more specific interests and hobbies. I would recommend asking each other about things that really matter to you – I’m passionate about good food and music, so I was really curious to know what Meredith liked to eat and listen to. If religious or political beliefs are important to you, consider discussing those topics with your potential roommate. You don’t have to agree on everything, but having some common ground will make living together a lot easier.

Talk about your decorating styles.

M: To some people, having a matching room isn’t super important. To me, though, I really wanted something that felt cohesive and homey! LS and I agreed on a color scheme and a general layout, and she kind of gave me the reins from there. When I found something I liked, I would send it to her to see if she liked it, too. However, if you and your roommate have conflicting styles, it might be good to discuss doing your own things. We went for a light, cozy feel with lots of soft textures. We both decorated our own walls with pictures, posters, and tapestries that we chose on our own. The most important thing with coordinating room efforts, though, is creating a space that you can both feel comfortable in. Try to work with your roommate to make sure they feel heard and at home in your new shared space. Also! Check out how our room ended up:

Discuss living habits.

LS: Before Meredith and I fully committed to being roommates, we planned a FaceTime call where we would discuss our personal living preferences and boundaries. We talked about bedtimes, cleanliness, studying habits – even the temperature we would want the room to be at! Finding out if your living styles are compatible is really important to your future happiness as roommates, and if it seems like you have completely different priorities (for example if they love to stay out late and you go to bed really early), you might want to reconsider living with that person.

M: It’s also good to talk about how much you want to share. LS and I shared clothes, food, and basically anything in the room, but we always asked permission first. Also, talking about how clean you want the room is smart. While we both might have overexaggerated our levels of tidiness, we managed to find time to clean at least once a week. Having an honest conversation about what works best for you and finding a middle ground is best practice for a healthy relationship. 

What kind of dorm do you want to live in?

M: At SMU, there’s two different dorms types you can preference in the room selection process: community style and suite style. In a community style dorm, you and your roommate will share a bathroom with people on your hall. Those bathrooms get cleaned daily, and they’re a really good way to meet people. In a suite style bathroom, you and your roommate will share a bathroom adjacent to your room with another set of roommates. These bathrooms get cleaned once a week, and it’s a cool way to get really close with the other set of roommates you share with. Laura Scott and I preferenced a suite, and that’s what we ended up with. We liked the idea of having our own space to be responsible for, but our friends in community style swear they would never do anything different. Talk to your future roommate about what style you guys would want! Both are great options. 


M: It’s important to remember that living with someone is a challenge even for the most accommodating of people. The most important thing to remember is communication is key. Being honest with your likes and dislikes from the very beginning will ensure that you and your roommate are compatible. 

LS: We happened to be incredibly compatible as roommates and as friends, but know that it’s okay if you and your future roomie aren’t as close – college is all about individual experiences, and we each spent a lot of our freshman years cultivating our own separate interests in addition to spending time together. When we didn’t get to room together sophomore year because Meredith became an RA, we were both bummed. But since we both had friends and support systems outside of our roommate bubble, not living together didn’t put a strain on our SMU experiences! We encourage you to make friends and find hobbies separate from your roommate, even if you are close. Find the things that make you happy, and you’ll have an amazing time at SMU.

Ambassadors Athletics Spirit and Traditions Student Organizations

The Hub of SMU Spirit

Hey guys! My name is Nathaniel Ntuk and I’m a rising junior double majoring in Saxophone Performance and Political Science! I’m from Plano, Texas, and have lived in the North Texas area all my life.

One thing that had arguably the biggest impact on my life thus far has been marching band. In high school, it was a place for me to hang out with friends throughout the week and on weekends while engaging in an activity that I love. Moving into a college marching band, there were some changes. Gone were the days where marching band competitions would last all Saturday, long and stressful rehearsals, and spending over 5 hours a day rehearsing for the inevitable competition season in October. 

Moving to the SMU Mustang Band was a little daunting, to say the least. I had little knowledge of anyone in the band or anything relating to the band. Little did I know that the Mustang Band would be the foundation of my experience here at SMU. 96 random college students turned into my second family that I constantly look forward to seeing. With our band having a total membership of fewer than 100 people, it makes it much easier to get to know everyone in some way. A vast majority of my friends have some affiliation with the Mustang Band, and chances are, you may meet someone who is a Mustang Band member that may not seem like it.

Although we may be one of the smaller organizations on campus, we no doubt have one of the largest impacts across campus, being referred to as the “Hub of SMU Spirit” for a reason. Imagine going to a home football game and not hearing the band playing for every first down, or performing before the game or during halftime. It just wouldn’t feel right. Whether it’s football, basketball, volleyball, or even soccer, the SMU Mustang Band has some part in cheering on our athletic programs and driving them towards success. Even if you aren’t apart of the Mustang Band. You can definitely see the impact that the “96 Guys and A Doll” have on the spirit of this campus.

I look forward to seeing what happens this fall semester! Stay safe and Pony Up!

Nathaniel Ntuk

Class of 2022

Academics Ambassadors

Isolated but not Alone

Hello everyone! My name is Anna Musich, and I am a rising sophomore at SMU. Currently, I am pursuing a marketing and Spanish major with minors in music, advertising and economics. With the end of the year cut short, keeping in touch with friends has been at the top of my priority list. Many events and plans were cancelled for the end of the year, but thankfully with the help of technology, not all was lost. Here are some of the things my friends and I do to stay in touch!

CHAS, or College Hispanic American Students, had a movie night over zoom where we watched the comedy “How to be a Latin Lover”. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard during a movie, plus the additional commentaries in our group chat had all of us cracking up. We were able to say goodbye to our seniors and catch up with member who we hadn’t seen in a while. Knowing our community is still there for us, was reassuring and definitely was one of the highlights of quarantine.

The game “Skribbl” has quickly become a staple of my friend group.

Our Ultimate Frisbee team was supposed to have sectionals, regionals and nationals, in April and May. All three tournaments, which we have been building up to this whole year, were cancelled. Quarantine has eliminated the ability to meet as a team, but online we still root each other on and keep the idea of team alive. We share playlists to dance to, memes, and even congratulated our seniors on their graduation within our group chat. The executive team has been planning out our next season, and we are currently working on a quarantined frisbee video, so we can “play” together without being together. By next season, we hope to maintain our existing team bonds and grow our frisbee family!

Lastly, outside student organizations, my friends and I have been meeting over zoom to play games, chat, and grab lunch together. Those conversations are always delightful whether it be about painting, baking or hula hooping. A couple of us are fans of the K POP band BTS, and while we were disappointed we could no longer attend their concert, so we decided to have a small dance party over zoom while listening to their music. It was nothing elaborate and it even though it was very out of sync, dancing with other people was super entertaining and made the day just a little better. Spending time with friends virtually has made all the difference in the world during the quarantine. Hopefully this article inspires you to reach out and plan a little get together online!

Remember to stay happy and healthy, and Pony up!

Anna Musich

Class of 2023

Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas

Hail to the Red and the Blue Angels!

During this crazy time, one thing is sure – our medical workers are truly heroes! And, in the spirit of celebration and comradery, people have become creative in celebrating medical workers all over the world, whether it is blasting “Empire State of Mind” in New York’s hospitals, or cheering and applauding at a certain time for your local hospital. However, one of the most special tributes to our healthcare workers occurred on May 6 in Dallas, Texas – a flyover by the US Navy Blue Angels! The Blue Angels even had a chance to fly over our beautiful campus, and maybe got to take a look at the infamous Bishop Boulevard.

The Blue Angels is one of the infamous aerobatic teams in the world, and they fly in formation at various military and nonmilitary events to showcase pride for the military and its heroes, and to show off some patriotism. These skilled naval aviators fly only 18 inches apart during their Diamond 360 maneuver – crazy!

Although I wasn’t in Dallas for the flyover, it was so much fun to get up early to watch the flyover with some family in Dallas over Facetime, especially since my dad was also a naval aviator, and we know some pilots who were in the Blue Angels. My dad used to fly F/A-18 Hornets, and so we have always tried to swing by their shows when we can to spend time with friends.

The flyover was such a moving tribute to our healthcare workers, and it showcases how united the Dallas community is, and how SMU is an integral part of that community. Dallas is a strong and vibrant city, and the strength of the community continually amazes me. I can’t wait to be back at SMU, and to see how Mustangs can shape the future of Dallas and help those in need. Until then, please stay safe and enjoy your summer!

Pony Up!

Palmer Beldy

SMU Class of 2022

Public Relations and Advertising

Ambassadors Athletics Spirit and Traditions

Pony Up Mustangs!

Hi guys! My name is Sydney Ramenofsky, I am from Las Vegas, and I am a freshman at SMU studying business. If you would have asked me a year ago what I am most excited for when I go to college, my answer would not have been going to the football games. Growing up in Las Vegas, we never had a professional sports team to cheer on every Sunday, so football was never my kind of thing. When I came to SMU, my entire idea of football changed. 

You may have heard the term “boulevarding” while talking about SMU football. My best description of it is SMU’s southern, homey way of tailgating. Before I arrived on campus, the only thing anyone could talk about was that the location was changed, as it used to be on the actual boulevard surrounded by the beautiful trees in the middle of campus. The administration announced that it is being moved back this year but to be honest, I did not need the boulevard to get me to the games. 

My friend in the picture and I went to every single home football game. There are no words to describe how exciting it was to be a freshman during this season. At first I was skeptical because in the past, going to the games was not really a thing. But this year, no one could believe what they were seeing and hearing: “SMU touchdown,” “for the first time in 7 years, SMU beats TCU,” “SMU with another win,” “SMU is 7-0!!!” As the season went on, the games got more crowded. When we would win, the students would rush to the field to celebrate with the players—it was like a family. This team created something incredible. For the first time since 1985, students, professors, alum, administration, parents, or anyone with any kind of association to SMU was rooting this team on. Whether it be with them on the field or cheering them on the TV screen, we were in it together.  Athletics at SMU quickly became my favorite part of my freshman year experience and being a part of such a committed and excited fan base is only making me more excited for the next years of SMU athletics. I can’t wait to see the future of this team. 

Pony Up!


Academics Ambassadors Campus Life

Zoom University

Hey everyone! My name is Samantha Pozo, and I am a rising junior studying Biology on the pre-health track with minors in Neuroscience and Psychology. I was born and raised in Dallas, and although I only live fifteen minutes away from SMU, I do live on campus.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, everything in our lives has seemingly changed. I have returned home, and my new morning routine consists of waking up, making my bed, changing out of my pajamas (occasionally keeping them on all day) and hopping online to join my class zoom calls. The way we go grocery shopping, the way we interact with others, and even the way we go to school have all changed; however, one thing has remained constant through this difficult and uncertain time and that is the continuous dedication and support of SMU professors. COVID-19 has affected many people in different ways, and the switch to online classes was challenging for many, including myself.

In all of my classes, my professors never failed to take the first ten minutes of class to check in with us and personally ask us how we were feeling, what we were up to, and if there was anything they could do to help us. Some professors even started the class by sharing funny memes to lighten the spirit. Both teachers and students have had to get creative in order to adapt to a new teaching and learning environment. Instead of a final exam, my Organic Chemistry class had a truly interesting project in which we applied the mechanisms and reactions that we had learned all year long to synthesizing a small molecule drug that could potentially be used to treat COVID-19. This was an amazing opportunity to research more about the pandemic and to see our knowledge come to life in a real-world application –SMU does indeed shape world changers!

Throughout this entire shift to online learning, all of the professors were very understanding and were willing to work with each student based on individual circumstances. All of their hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed. Whether it is in the classroom or on a zoom call, SMU professors are always there to help their students succeed despite all obstacles, including COVID-19.

I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. I cannot wait to see you all on the Hilltop soon.

Pony Up!

Samantha Pozo

SMU Class of 2022


Intern Life @ Citi

As the flowers begin to bloom each spring on SMU’s Dallas campus, you may walk by the Cox School of Business on a warm day and notice a gaggle of sophomores in suits. Two years ago, I was one of these excited finance majors, filling my days with phone interviews and my nights with Handshake internship applications. The Avon Dry Cleaners across from SMU saw a lot of me that semester, and on more than one occasion I cleared out CVS’ collection of blister Band-Aids as my #1 accessory with my black heels.  After weeks of interviews, I accepted a job for the following summer with Citi’s Investment Banking group in Houston.

A year after my first interview, I broke out my trusty navy suit and reported for work. My Houston group of 10, along with about 100 other interns from other offices, spent our first week at training in New York City. We heard from leaders at Citi and received crash courses in Excel. Our group bonded as we navigated the subway and, most importantly, determined the best time to order Sweetgreen to avoid a line. At the end of the week, we consumed our last slices of New York pizza in Central Park before returning to JFK for our flights back to Texas.


Once in Houston, we spent nine weeks staffed onto various projects, ranging from market research to client advisory and corporate mergers. While we generally worked long hours, the summer was packed with fun events. We even had a mock Summer Olympics within our group and a dodgeball tournament between the interns from every investment bank in Houston. My favorite part of the summer was our intern group project, where each group of four built an Excel model and pitch book for a merger and presented it to our group heads. My group was chosen to present our $15 billion merger pitch to the project company’s CEO, which was an amazing experience. At the end of the summer, all ten of our summer analysts received and accepted full time offers with Citi. As I wrap up my senior year at SMU with graduation looming, I’m beyond grateful for the resources and opportunities I’ve had here, and very excited to start my full time career this summer.

Grace Powers

Class of 2020