Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Fall Research Symposium

The Fall Research Symposium 2022 will take place in Hughes-Trigg Student Center on Thursday, November 3rd.

Each fall, students in select research and service programs are invited to give oral presentations in a miniature professional conference. The programs include: Engaged Learning FellowsSummer Research FellowsCooper McElvaney Peace and Justice FellowsMaguire Public Service FellowsMcNair Scholars, and Richter Fellows.


Full schedule forthcoming. Overview:

  • 3pm: Opening Roundtable with Leanne Ketterlin Geller (Education Policy) and her team (HTSC Chamber)
  • 4-6pm: Student presentations (HTSC 118, 120, 121, 130)
First-Generation Initiative

First-Generation Association to host pre-professional series

First-Generation Association (FGA) is a student organization for first-generation college students and supporters of first-generation college students. FGA is hosting a pre-professional series for students interested in the pre-med track.

Join them at 5pm on November 1 in Hughes-Trigg Student Center rm. 209 to learn about available resources for pre-med students!

FGA was established during the spring of 2020; Their mission statement is as follows:

First-Gen Association is an educational organization which exists to foster a community of people interested in all aspects of being a first-gen student, or connecting with students who qualify as such; promoting students, creating a community at SMU that welcomes students from different backgrounds, connecting and creating partnerships with other first-gen students in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Students can RSVP via Connect.smu.

Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Lab Hopping Highlights!

by Hannah Green ’26

If you weren’t already aware, Lab Hopping made a return this past Thursday! The lab event gave students insight into several undergraduate research opportunities spanning various departments! Offered below is a quick recap of just some of them:

Earthquake Seismology & Tomography Research

Are you interested in earth sciences? According to Professor of Geophysics, Dr. Heather DeShon, the earthquake seismology, and tomographic imaging lab has an opening for an undergraduate researcher. This research opening is especially beneficial for computer science and mathematics majors! If you are interested, feel free to contact Dr. DeShon at

Das Research Group

Perhaps you are interested in chemistry lab research regarding understanding catalytic mechanisms! Below is a picture of Dr. Anindita Das’s assistants Xena El Shamy ‘23 and Hiren Bagga ‘23 working on their current project involving organic covalent frameworks (COFS).

If this area of chemistry research attracts you, please contact

Cox Behavioral Research Lab

Fascinated by how people think and the impact that has on the workplace? According to Professor of Practice in Management and Organization, Dr. Benjamin Dow, this research lab participates in various studies that aren’t limited to students taking basic management courses. Note that the lab brings in new research assistants every semester so if you are interested, please reach out to or

Technological Innovation Research

Let’s say you’re interested in technological innovation and how this is affected by the policies of firms and more specifically governmental organizations. Although the sociology department does not have labs, according to Professor Matthew Keller, the faculty of the department do offer research assistant positions. The general availability of these positions may vary but Dr. Keller will possibly be hiring students in the spring to work on such projects. If this sparks your interest, please contact the professor at

Cellular Quality Control Research

If you take an interest in biological research, you may want to consider working with or being a student of Dr. Zhihao Wu. Below is a picture showing a 3rd year Ph.D. student of Dr.Wu, Ying lu Tang, speaking to students about the lab’s current research involving the discovery of links between the protein quality control system and the mitochondria quality control system.

If this area of biology research interests you, reach out to Dr. Wu at and learn more through

Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Presentation Practice sessions

This Wed & Thurs, 3-5pm in Fondren Library Red 106. Drop-in workshop to practice or get tips on developing research presentations! This is open to anyone who might have a presentation coming up. The Office of Engaged Learning regularly hosts drop-in workshops on professional development skills. We are also available to visit your classes and discuss topics like presentations, designing posters, and developing proposals. Contact Dr. Adam Neal ( for more information.

Mustang Scholars

Meet the Class of 2026 Mustang Scholars

The Mustang Scholars Program welcomes the Class of 2026 cohort of Mustang Scholars! The Mustang Scholar Program places an SMU education within your reach by combining it with other awards to guarantee that SMU tuition and fees are met. Once admitted, Mustang Scholars have an intimate (about 10) cohort (aka. small group). Students have a semi-structured program throughout their four years on the Hilltop.

The Class of 2026 cohort is comprised of:

Christopher Degrate ’26 is from Dallas, TX, and a graduate of Justin F. Kimball High School. He plans to major in Computer Science and Business, and minor in Biology and African-American Studies.

Elizabeth Larez-Diaz ’26 is from Lancaster, TX, and a graduate of Lancaster High School. She plans to major in Computer Science and minor in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.

Jessica Long ’26 is from Grand Prairie, TX, and a graduate of Grand Prairie High School. She plans to major in Film and Media  Studies and minor in Business Management.

Maria Murad ’26 is from Amman, Jordan and a graduate of Bryan Adams High School. She plans to major in Creative Computing and minor in French.

Diya Patel ’26 is from Mesquite, TX, and a graduate of North Mesquite High School. She plans to major in Biochemistry and is on the pre-med track.

Paul Rowe ’26 is from Irving, TX and is a graduate of MacArthur High School. He plans to major in Biochemistry, minor in Spanish and History, and is on the pre-med track.

Ephraim Sun ’26 is from Dallas, TX and is a graduate of School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center. He plans to major in Computer Science and Finance.

SMU student, Jorge, headshotJorge Vazquez ’26 is from Dallas, TX, and is a graduate of School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center. He plans to major in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Computer Science.

Learn more about the Mustang Scholars Program and how to apply at

Office of General Education SMU in Four

New shared Undergraduate Degree Counselors start today

The Office of General Education, Lyle School of Engineering, and Meadows School of the Arts are excited to announce two new team members serving as Undergraduate Degree Counselors effective, today, October 17. 

These new shared positions will support SMU in Four and critical services offered by their respective school records/academic services teams. 

Dallas Forbes ‘16 brings to Lyle and General Education over five years of experience in STEM education within the public school system here in Dallas. She is a proud alum of SMU with a BA in Math and a BA in International Studies. Dallas brings a deep knowledge of how to support the academic success of students and has demonstrated her ability to collaborate across interdisciplinary teams to achieve strategic goals. 

When asked about what she is most excited about, Forbes shared, “I am so honored to be back on campus, this time serving as an Undergraduate Degree Counselor within Lyle. I’m beyond excited to help students take advantage of the amazing opportunities that SMU has to offer. I am most eager to help students merge and organize their career goals with their academic paths. I hope to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety associated with class selection and planning, as well as provide students with best practices to help them succeed in their courses.” 

Brittaney Wilson brings to Meadows and General Education ten years of experience in academic and behavioral health counseling after earning her MA in Counseling and Guidance from Louisiana Tech University.  Brittaney is eager to become a member of the Meadows Academic Services and General Education team so she can engage with the Meadows students, faculty, and staff, using the many academic leadership and counseling skills she has honed in her previous school and private counseling work. 

Wilson shared, “I am delighted to continue my professional growth at SMU. The ability to support the scholars within the Meadows School of the Arts, and the sense of community the staff exudes attracted me to the position.” 

As Undergraduate Degree Counselors, they will:  

  • Serve as a degree counselor to declared majors in their respective schools, advising them on Common Curriculum requirements and major requirements needed to complete their degree;
  • Improve General Education completion rates through group workshops, student solutions, and partnering with various academic entities;
  • Partner with faculty advisors to find solutions to improve graduation rates within the school, implementation, and maintenance of four-year degree plans in the Highpoint degree planner;
  • Support SMU in Four by conducting retention and enrollment data analysis in an effort to support the academic departments within their respective school with strategic course planning.

Please join us in welcoming Dallas ( and Brittaney ( to the team! 

Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Lab Hopping 10/20 4-6pm

Lab Hopping returns on October 20th from 4-6pm! For this event, faculty members will have their labs and offices open for students to learn about the amazing research happening on campus. A map will be available at and near the flagpole and Fondren Science. Email Dr. Adam Neal ( for info about group tours.

SMU in Four

SMU in Four year-one progress shared with campus community

SMU in Four – SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – is the University’s comprehensive approach to improving SMU’s retention and four-year graduation rates. To this end, our QEP advances student academic success through its essential form: progress toward a degree. On September 28, the SMU in Four team shared updates on early-alert mechanisms, undergraduate academic advising, technology enhancements, gateway and introductory courses. Student retention and graduation numbers were also shared along with goals for year two of the five-year initiative.

“SMU in Four has already made tremendous advances toward improving the mechanisms and tools that support our students in their first year. These enhancements not only improve service levels to our students but also help us realize SMU’s academic quality goals in the areas of retention and graduation” said Elizabeth G. Loboa, SMU provost and VP for academic affairs, in a statement. “These efforts were made in spite of challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I would like to thank the over 60 team members for contributing to this important work.”

Review the year-one progress presentation below and learn about year-two goals.

Download a PDF copy of the slide deck.

A forthcoming Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges year-one report will be made available in November to the campus community on the website. Questions about SMU in Four can be directed to

SMU in Four

SMU in Four releases new Early Alert Reporting Guide to campus community

SMU in Four is SMU’s comprehensive approach to improving retention and four-year graduation rates. To this end, SMU in Four advances student academic success through its most essential form: progress toward a degree. Sometimes students encounter academic, personal, and professional challenges that do or have the potential to slow their progress.

Our university community should be aware of the primary early-alert report location which will trigger university intervention and outreach to support student success.

As part of SMU in Four, we are implementing a new tool to assist SMU faculty and staff. SMU in Four Early Alert tool provides five, primary reporting locations for early-alert scenarios depending on the topic. They include SMU reporting mechanism of my.SMU Advising Notes, Caring Community Connections, Financial Aid, Student Success and Retention, and StarRez Notes. This guide is to help faculty and staff alert the correct university office, representative, or resources.

Download or request a laminated copy be placed in campus mail to your attention by emailing

First-Generation Initiative

Show your first-gen pride: First-Gen Fest

Mark your calendars for First-Gen Fest, SMU’s celebration of National First-Gen Day! First-Generation Initiative will host its third-annual First-Gen Fest on November 8, on Dallas Hall Lawn.

First-Gen Fest is for first-generation students, faculty, staff, and supporters of first-generation students wanting to celebrate their special day with them. Food/drinks will be provided while students have the opportunity to connect with faculty/staff, students, organizations and campus resources!

Faculty, staff and students can RSVP via SMU Connect.