New Beginnings: AARO, Mustang Corral and Common Reading

22970D_129.jpg This summer incoming students and their families are preparing for life at SMU during Academic Advising, Registration and Orientation (AARO). The two-day orientation sessions continued through August 16, and are followed August 19-21 by Mustang Corral, a three-day off-campus retreat.

During Mustang Corral, incoming students break into groups of about 15 and participate in team-building games, diversity activities and self-assessments.

“The purpose of Mustang Corral is for students to have a ‘like’ experience before they start school,” says Renee Gibson, assistant director of New Student Orientation. “They learn about University traditions, get an opportunity to interact with faculty and staff, and meet student leaders.”

Author and educator Bertice Berry will be returning this year as the motivational speaker for Mustang Corral.

“She’s here to inspire students and talk to them about their choices,” Gibson says. “She wants to tell them how fortunate they are to be here and how they can make a difference.”

Students participating in Mustang Corral move into their residence halls August 18. They received an assigned move-in time in August.

• Learn how to register for AARO and Mustang Corral here
• Find the 2010 Orientation Brochure and other helpful forms here
Watch an SMU News video of AARO 2010. video
Watch a video of motivational speaker Bertice Berry and Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White at Mustang Corral 2009. video
• Learn about the 2010 Common Reading Experience and watch an SMU News video video
Meet the Class of 2014 at SMU and on Facebook

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Intramurals: Good Sports, Good Fun

intramural-sample-08july2010.ashx.jpegSome 3,000 SMU students participate in 30 team and individual intramural sports each year.

Residence halls, Greek groups, graduate students and groups of friends form teams with names like Peruna Posse, First Floor Mac Attack and Dunkin Donuts.

Students turn out in force for the most popular sport – flag football, said Jack Harper, assistant director of intramurals at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. “More than 1,000 students signed up last year,” he said.

Read more from SMU News and see a slideshow. slide show

Michael J. Fox, Tina Brown and T.D. Jakes Headline Tate Lecture Series

Tate-Series-Logo.ashx.jpeg An award-winning actor turned health activist, a media trailblazer and a pastor-philanthropist are among the speakers for the 2010-2011 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at SMU. In its 29th year, the Tate Series will once again bring prominent leaders from diverse fields to share their unique perspectives with area residents and students.

Find the full schedule here.

“We are proud of the wide variety of topics and viewpoints reflected in this season’s speakers,” said Lucy Billingsley, chair of the Tate Lecture Series Board of Directors. “The Tate Lecture Series upholds the high standards of SMU by presenting engaging speakers with intellectually stimulating and forward-thinking topics. We look forward to the wealth of knowledge and insights shared with our campus and surrounding communities.”

“The Tate Lecture Series offers tremendous opportunities for our community to hear from internationally recognized speakers,” said Brad Cheves, SMU’s vice president for development and external affairs. “The Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum makes these speakers available to area high school students, SMU students, faculty and staff. This year’s lineup, with expertise ranging from economics to technology, is filled with some of the most fascinating people of our time.”

Read more from SMU News.

Tickets to individual lectures may be ordered online or by calling 214-SMU-TATE (214-768-8283).

New Dean Arrives at Dedman College

DedmanDean.jpg Historian and author William M. Tsutsui begins work Thursday, July 1, as the new dean of SMU’s Dedman College, home to the humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences – disciplines fundamental to the traditions of higher education.

A specialist in the business, environmental, and cultural history of 20th-century Japan, Tsutsui holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Princeton Universities. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters (Palgrave, 2004). He co-edited (with Michiko Ito) In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage (Palgrave, 2006) and has recently completed Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization.

“I am honored and thrilled to have been selected as dean of Dedman College,” Tsutsui said when his selection as dean was announced on March 26. “The College has a world-class faculty, talented students, dedicated staff and a broad base of support in the Dallas community. I look forward to working with all these constituencies, and with President Turner and Provost Ludden, to enhance Dedman College’s achievements in teaching, research, and public engagement. This is a historic moment for SMU, with a major campaign under way and the university’s centennial at hand, and a time of great opportunity for Dedman College.”

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Students Bring Ideas to Life for Lyle School’s first Innovation Competition

Innovations-01.jpg Three student teams turned their ideas into reality during the SMU Lyle School of Engineering‘s first Innovation Competition, a campus-wide event that brought together faculty, facilities and students from all fields of study to tackle big issues.

After weeks of work in the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education‘s Innovation Gymnasium, the teams presented their prototypes to a panel of industry and academic judges Friday, June 25. The winners were:

Surround Sound Mixing Device (first place): An invention that allows sound mixers to control audio tracks by moving their hands over a flat screen or spherical device (junior Raven Sanders, electrical and audio engineering; senior Austin Click, computer science; junior Travis Maloney, computer science; senior Jason Stegal, mechanical engineering)

GreenGym (runner-up): gym equipment that captures the kinetic energy created by human motion and converts it into electricity (graduate student Bo Bao, business administration; junior Jared Miller, mechanical engineering)

• Air Conditioning Reinnovated (runner-up): a mechanical and electronic system to intelligently redirect airflow where it is most needed in residences (senior Nick Vrana, international studies; senior Jose Campos, international studies; junior Marc Nieto, political science; sophomore Keith Adler, computer science)

See a slideshow from the competition. slide show

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Richter Fellows Conducting Research Around the World

Several SMU Honors students this summer are conducting independent research projects around the world, from the state of nonprofit organizations in Kenya to archaeology and art studies at SMU-in-Taos. They are among 40 undergraduates who were granted Richter Research Fellowships during the 2009-10 school year through the University Honors Program.

“The Richters allow students to travel anywhere they want, with SMU’s support, so it’s an incredible world experience,” says David Doyle, director of the University Honors Program and assistant dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “The students learn how to communicate and organize their work, and how to turn their collected data into research papers.”

Rachel-Louvre.jpg During 2009-10, nine students received fellowships to conduct research in countries of their choosing during the winter and summer terms, and five are carrying out projects in Taos, N.M., in June. (In photo: Rachel Simpson received a Richter fellowship to investigate a new form of French slang, called “Verlan.”)

In addition, students in two courses received Richter fellowships to do research in Europe during spring break. The Cultural Formations class “Sex in America: The World of Henry James” visited England to study the history of gender and sexuality during the 19th century, while an Honors seminar visited Venice and Florence to examine the Italian city during the Renaissance.

SMU is one of a limited number of private colleges and universities nationwide that offer the fellowships, which are supported by the Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Funds. Honors students interested in applying must formulate their own research ideas and find a professor to sponsor their projects.

This year’s winners:

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