Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

ADSA welcomes Ariana Contreras

Ariana Contreras joins SMU as a Senior Academic Counselor. She will work with Men’s Soccer and Football while leading ADSA-specific programming. Assuming the lead Men’s Soccer support position from myself at the beginning of the Spring 2023 term.

Ariana joins us from the University of Houston, where she worked as the Assistant Director of Academics. Ariana also gained valuable experience in student-athlete academic support and athletic compliance at UTEP, App State, and Eastern Michigan. The California native holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from New Mexico State University and an M.S. in Sport Management from Eastern Michigan University. Please stop by ADSA 316 and welcome her to the 214!


University Testing Center

University Testing Center will Close for Winter Break

Following the undergraduate finals exam schedule for Fall 2022, the University Testing Center’s physical location in Clements Hall G15 will be closed for the remainder of December.

Questions and queries can still be sent to us via email or by phone and we will respond as promptly, within 1-3 business days.

Happy Winter Break and best wishes to all of our students!

Student Academic Success Programs

SASP Promotions

After leading the Academic Skill Development for several years, Becca Umobong has been promoted to Director.  Becca’s leadership has led to the expansion of the HDEV courses to include a pilot online offering in summer, HDEV 1110 moving to a 2 credit course, and close collaboration with Simmons as a new department chair has been introduced.  Her team expanded support for our Prelude students by offering semester-long academic counseling.  Becca has assume a greater role within the Associate Provost’s area (SAES) through her communication coordination within all 5 departments.  Her continued work with RLSH to review and perform outreach after the Early Alert Micro Assessment project is one that contributes greatly by identifying at risk students who are at risk for retention.  Congratulations, Becca!

From a Ben Thomas Outstanding Tutor award winner, to a Math grad student, to our Math/CS learning specialist, Jacob Cadena  has been an integral part of the SASP team for quite some time.  After completing his masters’ degree, Jacob continued working with us while also working as a private learning specialist.  I’m excited to announce that Jacob will begin serving as our Asst. Director of the A-LEC/Tutoring Dec. 1.  Jacob will work with both ADSA and A-LEC tutors to gain CRLA certification for our tutor program, work with Adreana in hiring, training and scheduling tutors, and also work closely with other areas of academic support, such as Math help tables and Lyle’s Hart Center in order to promote all services available to students. Congratulations, Jacob!

Please congratulate these valuable staff members.

President’s Scholars Student Academic Engagement & Success University Honors Program

Dr. Angela Jeon-Huh joins SMU as Assistant Dean for Scholars Programs

Dr. Angela Jeon-Huh joins Southern Methodist University (SMU) on December 5th as the Assistant Dean for Scholars Programs within the Office of the Provost. As the Assistant Dean for Scholars Programs, Dr. Jeon-Huh will work closely with campus colleagues to support the academic and personal success of the Hunt Scholars and President’s Scholars programs at SMU.

Before joining SMU, Dr. Jeon-Huh served as the Director of Global Programs at Pennsylvania State University. In this role, she oversaw the operations and services of the Office of Global Programs. These services and programs encompassed international agreements, study abroad programs, international students’ compliance policies, faculty-embedded programs, and curriculum development. In addition to her role as the Director of Global Programs, Dr. Jeon-Huh also served as a faculty for the following interdisciplinary courses: Global Studies and American Government.

Dr. Jeon-Huh has extensive experience in the work of Student Affairs. She served for five years as Drexel University’s Assistant Dean of Students (serving approximately 26,000 students) and Director of International Students and Scholars Services (serving around 5,000 students, faculty, and staff). In this role, she managed student crises cases, Student Conduct appeals, as well as supporting the development of academic success strategic planning for all undergraduate students. She also served as the principal designated school official for Drexel University’s foreign national employees and international students.

Dr. Jeon-Huh is an active member and a presenter for the Association of International Educators, NAFSA, Academic Impression, AI, and The Global Community for Academic Advising, NACADA. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Politics and a Master’s degree in Leadership Development at the Pennsylvania State University, and completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management at Drexel University. Her dissertation focused on undergraduate international student onboarding, specifically ways to improve the cultural and academic adjustment period.

Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Cox Behavioral Lab Spotlight! – Sexual Harassment, Vaccines, and Conspiracy Theories

Dr. Benjamin Dow

by Hannah Green ’26

The Cox Behavioral Lab “exists to support the research of the management department in our endeavors to better understand organizations and the people who work in them.”

Those are the words of Professor of Practice in Management and Organizations, Dr. Benjamin Dow. The research lab is part of the Management and Organizations department in the Cox School of Business and specializes in the areas of leadership, culture and conspiracy theories.

For those unaware of what the Cox Behavioral Lab does, the professor provides a quick summary:

According to Dr. Dow, “We study people and organizations, and our goal is something along the lines of how we can make organizational life better for people and make organizations function better. . . the Behavioral Lab supports our research on that by allowing us to ask questions or have activities with students, letting us learn how people operate in organizational environments.”

Researching Vaccine Intentions

Current projects involve vaccine intentions and negotiations. The goal is understanding how “the ways we see ourselves in relationship to others affects the relationship between the belief in conspiracy theories and the actions that we take.”

Many of the processes and methods conducted by the lab are online and survey-based due to the renovation of the Cox School of Business. Online activities may include game participation and interacting with people through online chats. One-on-one interactions such as mock negotiations or small group activities, where people are placed in a group to talk to each other and accomplish tasks such as creating a list of creative ideas, also aid in data collection.

Researching Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sarah Millett ’23

“The more we can understand about how people react to sexual harassment in the workplace, the better that we can prepare people to continue to make work places a safe space for women and bolster equality in a greater sense.”

Those are the words of Undergraduate Research Assistant Sarah Millet ’23. She spoke about her experience working in the lab now and during the height of the pandemic. She has seen an increase of trust for online data collected from surveys and connections with research institutions.

Sarah is interested to see how people react to witnessing a case of sexual harassment. To study this, she uses a simple game in which all players are assumed to be real people.

To Sarah, this research project is important because “so much progress has been made in women’s rights in the office space, but I think that sexual harassment is something that still acutely impacts women more than men.” She emphasizes that workplaces can be improved for women when we understand not only about the person who harasses, but also those around them. Co-workers can step in and cultivate change.

The Lab Environment

We were also given a statement by Undergraduate Research Assistant Kathryn Romano ’23 regarding the lab’s work environment:

Kathryn ‘Kat’ Romano ’23

Working with Dr. Dow has been incredibly enriching. Not only is he understanding and encouraging, he also wants to include all of the assistants in the research he’s doing. I think I can speak for all of my fellow research assistants when I say working in the lab has been interesting and not in the least bit boring.”

In the future, Dr. Dow hopes to make the process of researching a more engaging experience by allowing assistants to design their own studies and learn the ins and outs of conducting it.

If you would like to get involved with the lab as an undergraduate researcher, please contact Dr. Dow at

Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Engaged Learning Fellowship Early Decision

The Early Decision deadline for the Engaged Learning Fellowship is next Thursday, 12/15! This fellowship is open to all SMU undergrads and has funded a variety of projects in all disciplines.

Students need to submit a proposal with funding request (up to $2500) and have a faculty mentor submit a letter of recommendation. More details can be found at