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34th Annual Conference of the Professions: Meet the Keynote Speaker and Panelists

The Conference of the Professions brings together members of law, medicine, and theology in the Dallas area to discuss common challenges—ethical and otherwise—facing these professions. Each year an ethical issue of common interest is identified. A noted expert in the field presents a keynote address, and a distinguished panel of local professionals discusses a related case that poses practical issues for law, medicine, the clergy, and other professions. Register for the 34th Annual Conference of the professions today.

After a year of disaster and interpersonal turbulence, clergy, lawyers and physicians have a unique challenge and an important role in confronting misinformation and rebuilding individuals’ faith and trust in our most critical institutions, including our own.

The 34th Annual Conference of the Professions, “Divisive Times: Trust and Cooperation in Professional Relationships,” features a keynote facilitator and three panelists who will discuss a relevant case that poses practical issues for law, medicine, the clergy, and other professions.

The audience will hear from Dr. Jill DeTemple, Chair of SMU’s Religious Studies Department and Professor of Anthropology; Dr. Padmaja Reddy, Assistant Professor of Palliative Care at Parkland Health and Hospital System and UT Southwestern; Rabbi David Stern, Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El; and Sakina Rasheed Foster, Partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP.

Learn more about each of them below.

Keynote Speaker and Facilitator: Dr. Jill DeTemple

Jill DeTemple, PhD: chair of SMU’s Religious Studies Department and Professor of Anthropology

Dr. Jill DeTemple is Chair of Religious Studies, Professor of Religious Studies, and, by courtesy, Professor of Anthropology. Her research focuses on religiously sponsored development in Latin America and on the uses of dialogue for teaching in higher education.  She is currently working on two projects. The first is a book that examines the risks of social capital approaches to development, especially when they are based in religious and gendered identities, due to release with the University of Notre Dame Press in March, 2020. The second is an edited volume that introduces Reflective Structured Dialogue and attendant approaches to dialogic classrooms in postsecondary contexts. Before beginning her graduate studies, DeTemple served several years as an agricultural extensionist with the U.S. Peace Corps in Ecuador. She is also the author of Cement, Earthworms, and Cheese Factories: Religion and Community Development in Rural Ecuador (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012).

DeTemple’s research has been supported by the John Templeton Foundation, the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, the American Academy of Religion, the Tinker Foundation, and the General Board for Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.  She is the winner of the 2018 Award for Teaching Excellence from the American Academy of Religion.

DeTemple is also a 2017-18 Maguire Ethics Center Faculty Incentive Grant Recipient. As a Maguire Grant Recipient, DeTemple created an ethics course exploring problems in the philosophy of religion and gender, religion and international development. The Faculty Incentive Grant Program was created to enhance existing ethics courses, develop new ethics courses and increase faculty publications and research in the field of ethics. To date, 16 new ethics courses have been created, seven ethics courses have been revised and enhanced, and 11 research publications have been funded through the Faculty Incentive Grant Program, totaling over $230,000 of faculty funding over the last three years.

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Padmaja Reddy, MD
Padmaja Reddy, MD: Assistant Professor of Palliative Care at Parkland Health and Hospital system and UT Southwestern

Dr. Padmaja Reddy is an Assistant Professor of Palliative Care at Parkland Health and Hospital System and UT Southwestern specializing in palliative care. Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, chaplains, and others who work together with a patient’s other physicians to provide an extra layer of medical care and support. It’s appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with a curative approach (treatment with the goal of curing a patient).

Dr. Reddy earned her medical degree at UT Southwestern Medical School. She completed a residency in internal medicine at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and received advanced training in hospice and palliative care medicine through a fellowship at the UT Southwestern Medical Center.

UT Southwestern describes Dr. Reddy as the “lead palliative care expert” in their Tactical Care Unit (TCU). Her role includes working to ensure that COVID-19 patients’ emotional needs are met. Additionally, she conducts daily virtual rounds with the critical care staff and has developed a telehealth program that connects COVID-19 patients with their families.

Rabbi David Stern, MA
Rabbi David Stern, MA: Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanu-El

Rabbi David Stern is Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas, the largest synagogue in the South/Southwest United States and the third-largest in the Union for Reform Judaism. He was selected as the 26th most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek magazine in 2008[3] and the 30th most influential in 2009. He joined Temple Emanu-El in June of 1989, serving as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi until his appointment as Senior Rabbi in August, 1996. Prior to coming to Temple Emanu-El, he served as an intern at Central Synagogue in New York City. Rabbi Stern attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at its Jerusalem, New York, and Los Angeles campuses, receiving his rabbinical ordination in 1989, his M.A. in Jewish Education in 1988 and his M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 1986. He also received a B.A. with high honors in English from Dartmouth College, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1983. In 2002, Rabbi Stern studied for six months at Harvard Divinity School while on sabbatical.

Rabbi Stern is the Past President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the international rabbinic organization of the Reform movement, with some 2,000 members. He serves on the Board of Governors and the President’s Rabbinic Council of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Stern participates in the Hevraya Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality as part of his commitment to ongoing study and spiritual growth.

Rabbi Stern is a social justice advocate on local, national and international issues. In 2005, he participated in a study mission to the Darfuri refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border. In the summer of 2013, he served as rabbi-in-residence for an American Jewish World Service Study Mission to Nicaragua. Locally, Rabbi Stern is on the Advisory Board of the Budd Center at SMU, which is committed to helping build strong communities with high-quality neighborhood schools in West Dallas.

In 2017, Rabbi Stern received the Elbert M. Conover Award from the American Institute of Architects in recognition of his contributions to the architectural renewal of Temple Emanu-El. This award is given to non-architects in recognition of their contributions to religious architecture. Temple Emanu-El established the Rabbi David E. Stern Endowed Scholarship in April 2007 in honor of his 18th year as a rabbi and 18th year at Temple Emanu-El.

Rabbi Stern’s commentaries have appeared in the Huffington Post and Haaretz.  His poetry has been published in the CCAR Journal, and he has contributed essays to four volumes on Jewish High Holiday liturgy published by Jewish Lights Press: “Who By Fire, Who By Water: Un’taneh Tokef,” “All These Vows: Kol Nidre,” “May God Remember: Yizkor” and “Naming God: Avinu Malkeinu.”

Rabbi Stern is married to Rabbi Nancy Kasten, and they have three children.  An avid sports fan, Rabbi Stern knows too much about the New York Yankees and not enough about several more important matters.

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Sakina Rasheed Foster, JD
Sakina Rasheed Foster, JD: Partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP

Sakina Rasheed Foster is a partner in Haynes and Boone’s Finance Practice Group.Her practice is focused on the representation of financial institutions and borrowers in complex commercial loan transactions as well as airlines and aviation matters. Sakina has experience in advising banks, private equity firms, corporations and individuals in connection with senior and subordinated financing, including drafting documentation and negotiating deal points for syndicated and single bank loan facilities, asset-based lending, acquisition financings, real estate construction loans, mortgage warehouse lending and loans secured by unique collateral, such as mortgage servicing rights.

Sakina’s work on aviation matters includes drafting and negotiating complex regional airline flying arrangements and helping airline clients with matters related to loyalty programs, premium customer experiences and corporate services arrangements. She has represented American Airlines, Inc. in connection with a number of capacity purchase agreements and related arrangements. In addition, Sakina represents borrowers in intercreditor relationships and in subordinated financing transactions.

Sakina is a trusted advisor to her clients and works diligently to understand their businesses and crafts practical solutions to suit their needs. She earned her J.D. from The University of Texas in 2003 and her B.B.A. from Southern Methodist University in 2000.

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