Superintendents Complete 2019-2020 District Leadership Fellows Program

The 2019-2020 cohort of the District Leadership Fellows wrapped up the year with an online meeting.  The superintendents have been reflecting on the past year as they lead their districts through challenging times.    

2019-2020 District Leadership Fellows cohort

Reflecting on the past year, Dr. Darin Jolly of North Hopkins ISD said: “My big takeaway right now is the communication strategies that I’ve learned. I’ve just really been able to develop a lot better communication with my team than I had in the past. And that’s been very rewarding and very helpful.”

Dr. Jolly continued “I’m so thankful that my whole model is around community leadership. That has been so monumental during this COVID time. Our district ended up taking the lead for the entire county based on the structure developed in my impact model.”

The cohort appreciated the opportunities provided by the program for them to step away from campus and interact with their peers.  Mr. Kermit Ward of Clarksville ISD said “What you’ve given is the gift of time. Pulling me off campus and really letting me sit down and listen to what other superintendents in districts demographically similar to mine have done has been impactful.”

Dr. Josie Hernandez-Gutierrez, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Waco ISD and District Leadership Fellows facilitator said “This program has nurtured the leader within me, especially in times like today, when we need to lead in the midst of crisis and uncertainty.  The executive leadership development provided at the Institute for Leadership Impact focuses on more than just the knowledge and skills; through reflective coaching and listening, we learn to develop our own adaptive leadership abilities.  It is the adaptive work that separates those who can serve others effectively in times like today with impactful outcomes.”

The District Leadership Fellows program is adapting for next year and will specifically focus the work of the cohort around addressing the ramifications of COVID-19 on schools while maintaining a focus on the core fundamentals of strategy, execution and utilizing strengths.

Applications for the 2020-2021 cohort are now open.  Superintendents and executive district leaders who report directly to superintendents are invited to apply.  Applications close July 31, 2020.

More information on the District Leadership Fellows program is available on our blog, website, and flyer.  Please email any questions to leadershipimpact@smu.edu.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

SMU Epidemiologist Discusses Challenges for Reopening on CBS

[The coronavirus] doesn’t care about politics. It only understands its biology. If we don’t begin to think like the virus, people will die.

 

In interviews that aired nationally on April 29 and May 7, and May 28 Dr. Eric G. Bing spoke with CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca about Texas’ response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and about public health challenges faced by reopening communities across the United States.

Bing, a physician and epidemiologist who teaches public health at Southern Methodist University, observed in his April 29 interview on CBS This Morning that “it’s important to have more tests so we know the rate of infection, so we have a good baseline. Without that baseline, we’re kind of shooting in the dark.” Noting that Texas’ rates of testing at the time of the interview were too low for public health experts to have a good idea of how many people in the state were infected, Bing cautioned that Texas leaders need to begin thinking more about the way the virus spreads if they hope to minimize COVID-19 deaths.

In his second CBS This Morning interview on May 7, Bing pointed out that the rate of new confirmed COVID-19 cases was rising as Texas began to allow certain kinds of businesses to reopen. “The land mines are planted,” he said, “and as we begin to walk around, we’re gonna step on them.” Bing went on to express concerns that Americans are no longer adhering to social distancing guidelines as well, and that this will likely contribute to an even faster spread of the virus as formal restrictions are lifted.

As part of a May 28 segment on CBS Evening News, Bing highlighted the critical importance of wearing masks as communities and states continue to pursue reopening measures, comparing wearing a mask to wearing a seat belt: “You don’t put your seat belt on when you’re six feet from the other car, you put your seat belt on when you get in the car. . . . The same thing goes for the masks.”

Additional information and guidance on COVID-19 is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

SMU Researchers Create Low-cost Virtual Reality Training to Improve Care during Labor and Delivery

SMU researchers receive funding from Wellcome Trust to develop low cost virtual reality training to help improve skills to surgically manage postpartum hemorrhage.  Such training may not only reduce time and cost to train providers but reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission by reducing face-to-face interactions during surgical training.

 

COVID-19 has created complex challenges and opportunities in teaching and learning, including how medical providers are trained to perform complex medical procedures.  An international team of researchers from King’s College London, Southern Methodist University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Zambia is developing techniques to train surgeons using low cost eLearning tools and Virtual Reality which can help improve the acquisition of knowledge and skills without patient contact.1,2

The multidisciplinary team has been awarded a Wellcome Trust research grant to build and field test a virtual reality training platform for the surgical management of postpartum hemorrhage.  The team at SMU is led by Dr. Eric G. Bing, Professor of Global Health in the Departments of Applied Physiology & Wellness and Anthropology and Dr. Anthony Cuevas, Assistant Dean for Technology & Innovation and Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning.

Researchers from SMU and UNC Chapel Hill developing a VR simulation.
Researchers from SMU and UNC Chapel Hill developing a VR simulation.

Surgery is one of the most crucial domains of global medicine, yet most low- and middle-income countries have stark deficits in both the absolute numbers of surgeons and their level of expertise to perform complex surgical procedures. Of the many types of emergency surgical interventions, some of the most crucial and complex are those required to manage obstetrical hemorrhage, the world’s most common cause of maternal death. Funding from the Wellcome Trust will enable researchers to build and field test the first general affordable obstetrical virtual reality simulator training platform for the surgical management of obstetrical hemorrhage. The innovative training platform, once built, will integrate the latest advances in virtual reality technology with traditional hands-on training and can be easily and affordably delivered within low and middle-income contexts. The application of an enhanced learning platform will rapidly build surgical capacity and capability for complex surgical procedures, some of which are life-saving, and increase access to a level of care that is very difficult for most women residing in these environments to obtain.

This research will build upon a low-cost Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator developed by many members of the current team.

Create Impact in Your Organization

The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

  1. Bing, E. G. et al. Using Low-Cost Virtual Reality Simulation to Build Surgical Capacity for Cervical Cancer Treatment. J. Glob. Oncol. 1–7 (2019) doi:10.1200/JGO.18.00263.
  2. Parham, G. et al. Creating a low-cost virtual reality surgical simulation to increase surgical oncology capacity and capability. ecancermedicalscience 13, (2019).

 

COVID-19 Mindfulness Meditation Study

Mental health is an important factor during and after a global pandemic.

Meditation Study Flyer

SMU Engaged Learning scholar and Institute for Leadership Impact Research Assistant Kaitlyn Contreras Castro is studying meditation and meditation coaching for her Engaged Learning project.

Meditation is a relaxation technique that has been shown to aid well-being if practiced regularly. College students experience high levels of stress, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. An obstacle to committing to meditative practices is the difficulty in committing time and attention to acquire effective mindfulness skills. The purpose of this investigation is to determine if mobile mindfulness applications are associated with stress reduction if enhanced with brief weekly electronic meditation coaching and if any benefits are maintained over time. This research is especially important during a global pandemic which brings increased external stress factors to students.

Kaitlyn is working with Dr. Eric G. Bing, Institute for Leadership Impact Director and professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and Claire Trotter, Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness.  Enrollment in this study has now ended.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

Applications Open for 2020-2021 District Leadership Fellows

The 2020-2021 cohort of the District Leadership Fellows is now accepting applications. Given concerns for health and safety, the program is moving online for the coming year.

 

The SMU District Leadership Fellows program is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 cohort.  This strengths-based leadership development program aims to enhance the leadership abilities of superintendents and executive district leaders through an intensive year-long cohort experience.

As part of the program, participants will: 

  • Receive individual leadership assessments and coaching 
  • Engage in monthly reflection on personal leadership growth and receive feedback from SMU faculty 
  • Meet online with a diverse cohort of peers 
  • Craft a strategy for a district project 

Leading Through the COVID-19 Crisis

COVID-19 is presenting leaders with new and unexpected challenges, and school districts require strong and focused leadership so that children continue to learn while communities remain safe.  Next year, the program will specifically focus the work of the cohort around addressing the ramifications of COVID-19 school closures, even while maintaining a focus on the core fundamentals of creating impact.

District Leadership Fellows October 2019
District Leadership Fellows share insights.

Key Program Components:

  • Peer network building. Participants network with and learn from a diverse cohort of peers in similarly situated districts.
  • Leadership support. Participants engage with peers, SMU faculty, and public education professionals to receive personalized feedback and hone their leadership skills.
  • Personal strengths. Evidence-based strengths assessments are used to help participants further enhance their leadership skills.
  • Applied learning. Participants apply what they have learned to a capstone project focused on a real-world challenge within their districts.

Eligibility:

Superintendents and executive district leaders who report directly to the superintendent are invited to apply. In a midsize to larger district, executive district leaders might include an assistant superintendent, while in a small district it may include the director of instruction or the high school principal.

Program Timeline:

May 1, 2020Applications open

June 26, 2020 – Priority Deadline

June – July, 2020 – Interviews and Selection

August, 2020 – Initial coaching session (online)

September 2020 to May 2021 – Cohort Meetings (online for health and safety)

Superintendents work with Dr. Eric G. Bing during a leadership strengths session.
Superintendents work with Dr. Eric G. Bing during a leadership strengths session.

Program Fee

$495

Nominations and applications:

Know someone who would be a great fit for the program?  Nominate them here.  Interested in joining the cohort?  Complete your application here.

More information:

Download the flyer, visit the Institute for Leadership Impact website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu or call 214-768-4359.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

 

SMU Students Virtually Present Pandemic Solutions before University Officials, Audience of Hundreds

At the largest Battle to Save Lives in the event’s six-year history, student proposals drew positive reviews from key SMU officials.

On April 30, over two hundred people tuned in to watch SMU’s sixth annual Battle to Save Lives, which featured five teams of students from SMU professor Eric G. Bing’s Creating Impact in Global & Public Health course presenting strategies for combating COVID-19 on college and university campuses. Attendees included SMU alums, current students, faculty, staff, university officials, and observers from all over the country; Dr. Bing remarked, “though we’re virtual, it’s our largest [Battle to Save Lives] ever, so I’m happy about that.”

The event unfolded before a panel of judges including Peter K. Moore (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ad interim), K.C. Mmeje (Vice President for Student Affairs), Janille Smith-Colin (Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering), and Jennifer Burr Altabef (a community leader and former attorney). The judges awarded the win to Team A, including students Ben De Leon, Noelle Gushard, Jaxen Howell, Grace McKeehan, and Lauren Welch, who presented a proposal called “The Armed Forces Against COVID-19.” However, each of the five teams were voted second place or higher by at least one of the judges or the audience. Dr. Moore, who is co-chairing the President’s Task Force for a Healthy Opening Fall 2020 with Dr. Mmeje, was inspired by the students and told them that the task force would be drawing on ideas from every team to help SMU reopen safely.

You can read more about the event in a previous blog post.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

SMU Global & Public Health Class Hosts Virtual Lectures on Pandemic by Health Experts

SMU’s Global Public Health course shows how the online class meeting format can be leveraged to radically expand the borders of the classroom.

 

When SMU classes moved online in mid-March, Professor of Global Health Eric G. Bing took the opportunity to expand his Creating Impact in Global & Public Health classroom beyond Dallas and even beyond the United States. During the first month of online class meetings, Dr. Bing hosted several experts in medicine and public health for virtual guest lectures on topics related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic; students were able to interact with the guest lecturers in real time. Guests in the course included:

  • Dr. Trista Bingham, a CDC epidemiologist. Dr. Bingham spoke about how to create a career in fighting epidemics and pandemics.
  • Dr. Richard Sullivan, a professor at King’s College London who specializes in cancer policy, health systems, and public health in regions experiencing trauma and conflict. Dr. Sullivan’s guest lecture focused on how the pandemic will impact countries that are currently experiencing conflict.
  • Brett Newman, Director of Innovation at ACAP HealthWorks. Mr. Newman spoke about methods of creating innovative mental health outreach to first responders in times of crisis.
  • Dr. Geoffrey A. Funk, a surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Health.  Dr. Funk discussed how the pandemic will impact medial care.
  • Megan Brown, a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at SMU. Ms. Brown drew on her experience working in public health in Costa Rica to discuss how the pandemic will impact Costa Rica and similar countries.
  • Dylan DeMuth, an SMU alum currently in his third year of a medical degree program at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. Mr. DeMuth focused on the impact of the pandemic on medical education.

These virtual class visits by guest lecturers from different parts of the world – none of whom were scheduled to visit the class before it became virtual – demonstrate that the virtual format can enhance learning in new and unexpected ways. In Creating Impact in Global & Public Health, the format gave future health leaders access to new opportunities and connections that they might not otherwise have had access too.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

One Year Ago – High School Leadership Challenge at Institute for Leadership Impact

One year ago, the Institute for Leadership Impact hosted a half-day seminar for over 120 rural Texas high school students in the Upward Bound program.

ORS Upward Bound students at SMU
Students experience a virtual reality surgical simulation designed by Simmons and Guildhall faculty.

In April 2019, students from rural schools in Johnson County visited SMU as part of a federally-funded, college access program called Upward Bound.  Students from Venus, Alvarado, Rio Vista, and Keene were divided into teams and given the chance to brainstorm solutions for a real-world social challenge by pooling their knowledge and strengths.  We were excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm with which they approached the challenge and the ways that they supported one another’s efforts.

While on campus, students also participated in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality simulations led by Simons faculty Dr. Tony Cuevas and learned about the diverse career opportunities in these fields.

ORS Upward Bound students visit SMU
A student engages with the Virtual Reality simulation.

Upward Bound is a federally-funded program that serves high school students from low-income families and families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree.  SMU has supported underrepresented, first-generation college students through Upward Bound and college access programs for over 50 years, and is proud to welcome fellow Upward Bound students to campus.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

SMU Students Developing Pandemic Solutions for Global & Public Health Case Competition

Now in its sixth annual iteration, the Battle to Save Lives will feature SMU students’ strategies to suppress COVID-19 on campus.  

Combating Covid-19 on Campus Flyer

After the coronavirus pandemic sent students home in mid-March, Dr. Eric G. Bing’s plans for the sixth annual Battle to Save Lives case competition were thrown into uncertainty. Bing, a professor of Global Health at Southern Methodist University, typically assigns students in his Creating Impact in Global & Public Health course to work with real-life organizations in the Dallas area to create impact in public health, but with these groups occupied combating the pandemic, Bing was forced to suspend the case competition. In its place, Bing saw an opportunity for his students to study a major developing public health issue in depth, so he immediately restructured the remainder of the course to focus on the pandemic.  

However, a few weeks after the course transitioned to its new subject matter and virtual venue, an opportunity to revive the Battle to Save Lives appeared: SMU and UT Dallas’ partnership with REVTECH Ventures to issue impact grants to students who submit proposals for suppressing the spread of COVID-19 on university and college campuses when students return. The grant opportunity was unveiled only two weeks before the final class meeting, and although students in Bing’s course typically work on their case projects for six to seven weeks, he realized that they had been studying the topics required for success on the grant proposal for the whole semester. With this in mind, Bing assigned the proposal as a final project and revived the case competition. 

At the sixth annual Battle to Save Lives, students will compete before a panel of judges including Dr. Peter K. Moore (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ad interim) and Dr. K.C. Mmeje (Vice President for Student Affairs). Drs. Moore and Mmeje, who were recently named co-chairs of the SMU President’s Task Force for Healthy Opening Fall 2020, will provide comments on the students’ proposals. 

The sixth annual Battle to Save Lives will be hosted virtually on April 30, 2020, from 5:00pm-8:00pm CT. Guests are encouraged to join the event and will have the opportunity to help select the winning team.  

The event can be accessed starting at 4:30pm CT on April 30 using this link or the URL https://smu.zoom.us/j/98455940148. 

 

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

 

SMU Professor of Global Health Restructures Course to Focus on Pandemic

When the coronavirus pandemic first threatened to send SMU students home, Professor of Global Health Eric G. Bing was in the middle of teaching his annual Creating Impact in Global and Public Health course.

GPH Class Group Photo Spring 2020
Students in Dr. Eric G. Bing’s Creating Impact in Global and Public Health class.

Bing, a physician and epidemiologist who serves as Director of the Institute for Leadership Impact and the Center for Global Health Impact at SMU, typically uses past case studies and a month-long community health project to prepare his students to become the leaders of real-world public health projects. However, when he learned about the initial coronavirus outbreak in China, Bing altered his course to include discussion assignments on how the outbreak could be stemmed. A month and a half later, the outbreak had turned into a global pandemic, and Bing’s students were scheduled to debate in class about how international organizations could scale up effective treatments for deadly global diseases in the modern era. The class meeting – which would become the last in-person meeting of the semester – included a debate conducted over videoconference software, with the judges watching and questioning the debaters from a remote location, so that the students could practice their persuasion skills in a less familiar format before the expected campus shutdown.

Now conducted online like all other SMU courses, Bing’s course has been completely restructured to help students learn about global and public health through the lens of an ongoing global health crisis. The online format has allowed Bing to add additional educational elements such as real-time discussions with experts in the medical field.

The newly-revised Creating Impact in Global and Public Health is analyzing several topics in real time, including the growth dynamics of pandemics, the importance of shelter-in-place orders, understanding public health data, and the different methods that governments and communities can use to mitigate the impact of pandemics. Through virtual discussion groups, personal reflections, and consultations with experts, Bing’s students have the opportunity to exercise their critical thinking and evaluation skills to develop new insights about the nature of global and public health. By redirecting his course to focus on an unexpected experience that affects all of his students, Bing hopes to more effectively prepare them to address global and public health problems in their lives and careers.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.