Kenechukwu (K.C.) Mmeje named Vice President for Student Affairs

Kenechukwu (K.C.) Mmeje, assistant vice president and dean of students at Loyola University Chicago, has been named Vice President for Student Affairs at SMU effective July 17, 2017.

“Strength of character and a commitment to students shines through in interactions with Dr. Mmeje,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His experience at urban, private universities in Chicago and Los Angeles also set him apart as a candidate for this important position at SMU. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Mmeje to the Hilltop in Dallas.”

In his new duties, Mmeje (pronounced MAY-jay) will oversee areas including the Office of the Dean of Student Life; Residence Life; women’s, LGBT, multicultural, volunteer and leadership programs; student activities; student conduct; the Hegi Family Career Development Center; campus ministries; health and wellness programs, including the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center; the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

As assistant vice president and dean of students at Loyola University Chicago since September 2014, Mmeje has been responsible for several functional areas that support Loyola’s academic mission and promote a vibrant campus life, including the Office of the Dean of Students, Off-Campus Student Life, Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution, Student Activities & Greek Affairs, Leadership Development and Second Year Experience, Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs, and the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC). He has almost 15 years of progressively responsible student affairs experience in judicial affairs, crisis management, retention and academic support services, and student advocacy and support.

In addition, he oversees Loyola’s Behavioral Concerns Team and co-chairs the Threat Assessment Team. He also co-chairs the Loyola Experience Implementation Committee, which is responsible for ensuring alignment of the institution’s academic and co-curricular programs through ongoing collaborations that include New Student Convocation, Welcome Week, and Student Support and Retention Initiatives, among others.

“I am excited to join the SMU community,” Mmeje said. “Throughout the search process, I was struck by the passion and enthusiasm with which everyone I met described their love and tremendous pride for SMU. I look forward to partnering with the outstanding professionals in the Division of Student Affairs, faculty and academic leaders to offer a seamlessly integrated curricular and co-curricular experience that supports the holistic development of each student. I am eager to meet the SMU student community and to begin working on their behalf.”

(more…)

2017-05-23T15:40:49+00:00 May 23, 2017|News|

NIH director Francis Collins addresses SMU graduates

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the National Institutes of Health who may be best known for leading the Human Genome Project (HGP), was the featured speaker during SMU’s 102nd all-University Commencement ceremony, May 20, in Moody Coliseum.

“You need to be prepared for dramatic change,” Collins told the graduates. “Whatever the field, you can’t imagine what it will look like in 10 or 20 years. Your path will not always be smooth. Doors you were counting on may not open. Do you have the strength and foundation to deal with that?”

Collins concluded his Commencement address with a song.

Dr. Collins – whose own personal research efforts led to the isolation of the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome – received the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, from SMU during the ceremony.

 

2017-05-22T15:10:52+00:00 May 22, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

NIH director Francis S. Collins to deliver Commencement address

Francis S. CollinsFrancis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the National Institutes of Health who may be best known for leading the Human Genome Project (HGP), will be the featured speaker during SMU’s 102nd all-University Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Moody Coliseum.

Dr. Collins – whose own personal research efforts led to the isolation of the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome – will receive the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, from SMU during the ceremony. The entire event, including Collins’ address, will be live streamed at smu.edu/live.

“We are honored to have a pioneering scientist and national leader of Dr. Collins’ stature as featured speaker at Commencement,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His life is testament to a strong, unwavering commitment to the search for scientific knowledge paired with deep religious faith. He has much to share with us.”

As NIH director, Collins oversees the work of the largest institutional supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. He was appointed by President Obama in 2009 and was asked to remain in the position by President Trump in January 2017. As director, he has helped launch major research initiatives to advance the use of precision medicine for more tailored healthcare, increase our understanding of the neural networks of the brain to improve treatments for brain diseases, and identify areas of cancer research that are most ripe for acceleration to improve cancer prevention and treatment.

While director of NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute, he oversaw the HGP, a 13-year international effort to map and sequence the 3 billion letters in human DNA. HGP scientists finished the sequence in April 2003, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of James Watson and Francis Crick’s seminal publication describing the double-helix structure of DNA. It remains the world’s largest collaborative biological project and one of the most significant scientific undertakings in modern history.

As an innovative evolutionary geneticist and a devout Christian, Collins also has gained fame for his writings on the integration of logic and belief. His first book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, became a New York Times bestseller in 2006. Since then, he has written The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine (2011) and edited a selection of writings, Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith (2010).

(more…)

2017-04-27T10:42:38+00:00 April 27, 2017|News|

SMU global health professor gives back by mentoring

For SMU senior Dylan DeMuth, a “no” from an SMU professor changed his life. When Professor Eric Bing told DeMuth he was not yet qualified to enroll in his global health class, he gave the premed student a challenge to “improve your grades and call me in a month.”

Eric Bing and Dylan DeMuth

Dylan DeMuth and Prof. Eric Bing (right)

He also asked DeMuth a rhetorical question: “How would you avoid getting malaria if you went to Africa?”

“Get a malaria vaccine?” DeMuth suggested.

“No. To keep from getting malaria, you must start taking anti-malaria medicine a week before you go to Africa,” Bing said.

DeMuth got the point.  A sophomore chemistry and economics major with a 3.0 grade point average at the time, he sought tutoring before his midterm exams, instead of waiting until he was struggling with challenging science and math courses. He met with Bing a month later to report improvement on his midterm tests – the beginning of a mentorship that inspired DeMuth to re-choreograph his life.

Now a senior ready to graduate, he is teaching global health workers in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and the United States the life-changing philosophy Bing taught him.

“I distinctly remember that phone conversation with Dylan,” says Bing, professor of global health and director of SMU’s global health program in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “I remember thinking, ‘This kid is special, there was clarity, there was calm certainty.’ But he wasn’t ready for the class.'”

(more…)

2017-04-27T11:26:04+00:00 April 26, 2017|News|

The best in student research on display for Research Day

More than 150 graduate and undergraduate students at SMU presented posters at SMU Research Day 2017 in the Promenade Ballroom of Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom on March 28.

Student researchers discussed their ongoing and completed SMU research and their results with faculty, staff and students who attended the one-day event.

Explaining their research to others is a learning experience for students, said Peter Weyand, Glenn Simmons Professor of Applied Physiology and professor of biomechanics in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

“Research Day is an opportunity for SMU students to show off what they’ve been doing at the grad level and at the undergrad level,” Weyand said, “and that’s really an invaluable experience for them.”

Posters and presentations spanned more than 20 different fields from the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development, the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and SMU Guildhall.

“It’s a huge motivation to present your work before people,” said Aparna Viswanath, a graduate student in engineering. Viswanath presented research on “Looking Around Corners,” research into an instrument that converts a scattering surface into computational holographic sensors.

The goal of Research Day is to foster communication about research between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and to share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU.

The annual event is sponsored by the SMU Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

View highlights of the presentations on Facebook.

Some highlights of the research: (more…)

2017-04-12T10:30:37+00:00 April 12, 2017|News, Uncategorized|

SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards take place Monday, April 17

Honors Convocation 2016SMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2017 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards, Monday, April 17.

The 20th annual Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

> Coming April 17: Watch Honors Convocation live on the web at smu.edu/live

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

> Read the full list of SMU’s 2017 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

The University will present several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2017 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

Follow SMU Student Activities @SMUStuAct for live updates from the ceremony, and share your Twitter and Instagram posts from the Hilltop Excellence Awards with the #HilltopExcellence hashtag.

> Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

Jo GuldiThis year’s convocation speaker is Jo Guldi, assistant professor of history in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. A native Dallasite, Guldi studies the history of Great Britain and the British Empire, landscape history, legal history, property law, infrastructure, digital methods, international development, and agrarian studies. As a digital and data historian, she also oversees the lecture series “Data is Made Up of Stories: University-wide Futures From the Digital Humanities,” offered through the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute. Among other things, the series illustrates how text mining is used across different disciplines – from digital mapping of the transatlantic slave trade to an app that captures the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
(more…)

2017-04-11T10:48:40+00:00 April 11, 2017|News|

SMU Founders’ Day Weekend 2017 in photos

From Perunapalooza to Pony Preview, from Meadows Museum Family Day to the Luck of the Loydians Residential Commons celebration, and from the Red-Blue Scrimmage to Mustang Fan Fair, SMU Founders’ Day Weekend was packed with activities for the entire community. Take a look back with these photos by Kim Leeson and Guy Rogers III.

2017-04-11T10:18:26+00:00 April 11, 2017|News, Photo and Video Gallery|

SMU to celebrate Founders’ Day April 6-9

The SMU campus will buzz with activity Founders’ Day Weekend, April 6-9, as alumni, students and friends celebrate the 1915 founding of SMU.

Find detailed information on all Founders’ Day Weekend activities at http://www.smu.edu/Events/FoundersDay.

The community is invited to join the celebration at several public events including Meadows Museum family day, the Mustang spring football game, and performances of the spring dance concert. The George W. Bush Presidential Center also will offer guided bluebonnet tours of the Native Texas Park on the grounds of the center.

(more…)

2017-04-06T11:26:38+00:00 April 6, 2017|News|

Matthew B. Myers to lead SMU Cox School of Business

Matthew B. Myers, a global marketing and strategy expert with special expertise in cross-border business relationships and Latin American economies, has been named dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business. He will assume his new duties on August 1, at which point Albert W. Niemi Jr., who has been dean of the school since 1997, will transition to full-time teaching.

Matt Myers
Matthew B. Myers

“As the new dean of the Cox School of Business, Matt Myers brings extraordinary energy for outreach to the regional, national, and global business community,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The range of his previous administrative and professorial experiences also equips him to lead the school toward even greater faculty research excellence, as well as innovative educational programs for Cox undergraduates, graduate students and working executives. Furthermore, Matt is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the SMU campus to advance interdisciplinary academic programs and initiatives.”

“The Cox School of Business and its international academic reputation will be in good hands with Matt Myers,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His expertise in global trends, particularly in cross-border and Spanish-language markets, will be invaluable to our faculty and students – especially as programs such as the Cox School’s Latino Leadership Initiative and the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center in Dedman College continue to evolve. In addition, his vision and leadership as a fundraiser will help secure the ongoing health of these centers of excellence, as well as the promise of innovations to come.”

(more…)

2017-04-06T11:25:22+00:00 April 6, 2017|News|

Mustang Minute: Tour the Spring Career and Internship Fair

Follow SMU senior economics major and student athlete Jeremy White as he networks and explores job opportunities at the SMU Spring Career and Internship Fair in this Mustang Minute! video from SMU News’ Myles Taylor.

Sponsored by the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center, the fall and spring fairs bring top employers and recruiters to SMU.

2017-03-30T14:31:46+00:00 March 30, 2017|Career Learning, News, Photo and Video Gallery|
Load More Posts