Categories
Hilltop Scholars Rotunda Scholars Student Academic Engagement & Success

Now accepting applications for the Assistant Dean of Academic Transitions (HR Title: Associate Director 2)

Colleagues,

David Doyle and I are excited to share that a new position, titled Assistant Dean of Academic Transitions, which is live on the SMU Staff Career Portal. Please consider, share with your offices, and post within your professional networks.

About the Position: The Assistant Dean of Academic Transitions (HR Title: Associate Director 2) is responsible for establishing the strategy for academic engagement and success of undergraduate students during their first year at SMU.  The position develops and executes unique programming for new students to prepare them for their academic transition to SMU. The person in this role will supervise the Directors of the Hilltop Scholars Program and the Rotunda Scholars Program.  In addition, this person will collaborate closely with faculty and other campus offices that support the transition to SMU; aligns programming and outreach with the stated goals of SMU in Four; plans and implements intentional programming with the university advising center, student academic success programs, office of general education, and the school records offices. The position facilitates university-wide initiatives such as strengthening faculty-to-student mentoring, shared reading experiences, and campus lectures. A key portion of the job is to work with other offices and academic departments to provide high-impact academic engagement and continuous monitoring, tracking, and support to improve academic outcomes at the end of the first year for new and transfer students.

Deadline to Apply: Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by September 30, 2022.  The position is open until filled.

A collaborative search committee comprised of SAES members, student affairs, and admissions, will be formed in the coming weeks to review applications, conduct virtual and in-person campus interviews, and make a recommendation for hire. We are targeting a December 1 start date.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sheri

Sheri Kunovich

O: 214-768-1285

Email: kunovich@smu.edu

Categories
Student Academic Engagement & Success University Advising Center

Pre-Law 101 Informational Sessions September 14th & 15th

Pre-Law 101 Information sessions will be held on September 14th and September 15th at 5:30pm, in Harold Simmons 101A.

Students that are interested in Pre-Law information and events should connect with Pre-Law Advising by filling out the interest form on the Pre-Law advising website! Doing so will send an invitation to the Pre-Law Canvas course with more information, the Pre-Law event calendar, and announcements.

For any questions regarding Pre-Law advising, students can email prelaw@smu.edu.

 

Categories
Student Academic Engagement & Success

Announcing new SAES marketing and communication project assistance

Student Academic Engagement & Success now offers marketing and communication project assistance for large-scale communications in support of area-wide goals.

Members of the SAES team can request support via the SAES Marketing & Communication Project Request Form. The form is permanently available on the SAES website under Staff Resources.

Please submit project requests related to informative blog posts, creative digital flyers, website redesign, and other marketing materials. SAES is here to provide you with creative marketing strategies. Under the categories of marketing types, you can provide details about the project.

Requests can be made for:

  • Blog Post-development
  • Digital Flyers (e.g., Instagram feed, story post, digital screen, etc.)
  • Website Design
  • Printed Flyers
  • Merchandise Design (e.g., pens, water bottles, etc.)
  • Event Photography
  • Newsletter Assets

We ask for a minimum of one business week lead time with two weeks being ideal. In the event of resource constraints, projects are evaluated for impact scope and time commitment by the Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education & Academic Success.

Categories
Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success University Testing Center

Now accepting Undergraduate Degree Counselor and student worker applications

Two new full-time staff positions titled Undergraduate Degree Counselors are live on the SMU Staff Career Portal. These positions are a collaboration between the Office of General Education and their respective school. Please consider, share with your offices, and post within your professional networks.

About the Position: The Undergraduate Degree Counselor works with declared majors, transfer students, and faculty advisors primarily within Meadows School of the Arts and Lyle School of Engineering while collaborating closely with the Provost’s Office and the Office of General Education. This collaboration advances retention efforts, implementation of the HighPoint four-year degree planner, conducting retention and enrollment data requests, analysis, and the obtainment of SMU in Four stated goals. Through academic advisement (course selection, academic progress, four-year graduation), records processing, and strategic communications (website, social media, web resources, and job aids) the Undergraduate Degree Counselor builds community capacity and understanding related to General Education requirements at SMU.

Either the Lyle or Meadows position can be preferenced by the candidate during the search process under job posting PRO00000193. Therefore, candidates will be considered for both roles with a single application.

Deadline to Apply: August 5, 2022. Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by July 29, 2022.

Additionally, student worker positions available within Undergraduate Education & Academic Success. Please share with your students and invite them to apply in Handshake:

  • Office of General Education Student Assistant: The Office of General Education at SMU serves faculty, staff, and students related to the university curriculum. The Student Assistant is responsible for completing a range of clerical tasks to uphold office operations. Their duties include taking phone calls and transferring callers to Professors or other staff, making copies for staff members or distributing mail and directing students to different offices or departments. ($10.50/hr; Job Number: 6684872)
  • Marketing & Communications Student Coordinator: The Marketing and Communications Coordinator will lead the creative development of a printed and web-based publications related to the Student Engagement & Academic Success (SAES) area within the Office of the Provost. The position aids with requests to update or redesign webpages, develop print and digital flyers, create and execute social media campaigns, and more. The coordinator also serves as an ambassador for the area at tabling and other marketing events. ($12.00/hr; Job Number: 6676534)
  • University Testing Center Testing Assistant: At SMU, the University Testing Center (UTC) provides superior service to our student clients, instructors, evaluators, and community partners within a convenient, confidential, and comfortable environment. Our dedication to providing exemplary, individualized service to every visitor of our center is paramount, in keeping with SMU’s dedication to fostering individual learning, dignity, and worth. The Testing Assistant (TA) provides standard and accommodated testing services for the administration of paper-based and computer-based academic exams at the University Testing Center.  The TA provides administrative office support to include test preparation, test proctoring, and clerical duties. ($12.00/hr; Job Number: 6684859)

Application deadlines, job descriptions, and qualifications vary. Please see Handshake for additional details and how to apply.

Categories
First-Generation Initiative Mustang Scholars Student Academic Engagement & Success

Apply to be the inaugural Director of Mustang Scholars/1st Generation Initiatives

Student Academic Engagement and Success is excited to share a new position, titled Director of Mustang Scholars/1st Generation Initiatives, is live on the SMU Staff Career Portal. Please consider, share with your offices, and post within your professional networks.

About the Position: The Director of Mustang Scholars and 1st Generation Initiatives (HR Title: Assistant Director 2) is responsible for the academic engagement and success of first-generation and Pell-eligible students at SMU.  The position develops and executes unique programming for Mustang Scholars (8-10 high-achieving Dallas-area students). The person in this role collaborates closely with other campus offices that support first-year and transfer students at SMU; aligns programming and outreach with the stated goals of SMU in Four as they support success and retention of this identified student populations; plans and implements intentional programming which provides mentorship to students in support of their academic pursuits. The position facilitates university-wide initiatives related to first-generation college students. A key portion of the job is to provide high-impact engagement and continuous monitoring, tracking, and support from matriculation to degree completion.

Deadline to Apply: July 15, 2022. Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by July 1, 2022.

A collaborative search committee comprised of SAES members, admissions, and a student will be formed next week to review applications, conduct virtual and in-person campus interviews, and make a recommendation for hire. We are targeting an August or September start date.

Categories
First-Generation Initiative Student Academic Engagement & Success

First-generation students share their challenges and success at SMU

SMU graduates Abena Marfo ’22 and Briana Morales ’21 shared with the Dallas Morning News their challenges and successes as first-generation students at SMU.

Read more on the Dallas Morning News website.

Categories
First-Generation Initiative Student Academic Engagement & Success

SMU wants to cover college costs for more first-generation, underrepresented students

A new scholarship aims to help more first-generation and underrepresented students attend Southern Methodist University by covering their tuition.

The new program, Access SMU, will close financial gaps among high-achieving Texas students who are eligible for Pell Grants — federal aid given to students with significant financial need.

Read more on the Dallas Morning News website.

Categories
Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research Student Academic Engagement & Success

Interview with Dr. Andita Das (SMU Chemistry)

by Aya Bellaoui ’24Anindita Das

This summer we talked with a few of the faculty who hired students to be part of the Office of Engaged Learning’s Summer Research Intensive. Dr. Anindita Das is a new assistant professor in the department of chemistry at SMU who is working with 3 post-doctoral fellows, 2 graduate students and 8 undergraduate students to create renewable energy and deliver drugs using atomically precise nanomaterials. Dr. Das and her students have been working on these highly interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with various other research groups at SMU including the Lippert Lab.

Dr. Das attended Osmania University 2004-2007 for her Bachelor of Science, the University of Prune 2007-2009 for her Master of Science, Carnegie Mellon University for her PhD in 2010-2015, and Northwestern University for her post-doc in 2016-2020. She is an expert in biocompatible nanomaterials synthesis, materials chemistry, nanoparticle characterization techniques, inorganic chemistry, and catalysis.

What led you to conduct your current research?

The field of nanotechnology is making itself present in many kinds of scientific research areas. Dr. Das learned about the field when she moved to the United States ten years ago. For her PhD at Carnegie Mellon University, she got to know about the exciting field of designing materials at the nano scale and then and using this to address challenges in a variety of fields such as, renewable energy and drug delivery. That was the beginning of Dr. Das’ journey.

A major limitation in the field of nanotechnology pertains to the inherent structural inhomogeneity associated with conventional nanoparticles which precludes an atomic-level understanding of their structure-property relationships (e.g., exact catalytic and biological mechanisms). During her PhD, Dr. Das developed strategies to make nanomaterials with atomic precision and molecular purity in order to understand catalytic mechanisms at the atomic level.

What challenges have you encountered throughout your research and how have you worked to overcome those challenges?

Dr. Das says that there is always more to learn. For example, in Organic Chemistry I and II, they do not usually teach you about nanoparticles and how to address issues pertaining to renewable energy or drug delivery. There are techniques you are taught in chemistry courses that you may never use in research, and there are techniques that you will learn about throughout your research which will not be taught in school. So you have to learn throughout the process and adjust. It is all about applying what you learn in school to real-world problems.

What are you currently researching and why? What is the essential question that motivated you to conduct it?

There are different projects within the lab being conducted by different people. The main goal of lab is to circumvent some of the current challenges in the field by developing multifunctional atomically precise nanomaterials to answer critical questions in areas like catalysis, energy storage, targeted drug delivery and sensing, wherein efficiency and reproducibility heavily rely on materials that can be synthesized without batch-to-batch variations.

For example, we are currently collaborating with the Lippert group to develop novel nanoclusters which are capable of exhibiting chemiluminescence, which can help detect diseases at earlier stages. Another important criteria for using nanomaterials for bio-applications is that the probes need to be biocompatible. For instance, the FDA requires that all the drugs and probes that are used to diagnose diseases to be cleared out of your body after its action is done. Hence, our group is focusing on developing nanomaterials which are less than 2 nanometers in size so that these can be cleared from the kidneys after their intended use.

We are also involved in several other projects, such as making new kinds of catalysts based on metal nanoclusters for sustainable reactions including electroreduction of carbon dioxide (which is the main reason for global warming). In this regard, we have synthesized and characterized several new metal clusters with different surface structures and are currently evaluating their catalytic performance.

What resources have you needed to further your work? Have those resources been accessible?

We use the library to try to track down articles that aren’t easily available through other sources. It has also allowed us access to thousands of articles on nanoparticles. Also, in order to accurately study the properties of these interesting materials which lie at the interface of small molecules and solid-phase materials, these need to be analyzed by several techniques such as X-ray diffraction, NMR, FTIR, fluorescence microscopy, etc. Given the highly diverse research groups at SMU, these resources have been easy to access which has allowed our new group to establish various collaborations with the neighboring research labs.

What one piece of advice would you give someone who is interested and conducting an experiment or research project?

Do not be afraid to reach out to professors conducting research in areas you are interested in getting involved with. Take your chances.

Thank you, Dr. Das!

 

Categories
SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success

Early Progress Reports (EPR) and Midterm Progress Reports (MPR) updates for faculty

 

Dear SMU Faculty, 

After receiving faculty feedback about how we collect early and mid-term grade reports, we have made some minor changes to the process this year. In the past, we only asked for designated student populations during the early intervention period. Faculty indicated this often left them wondering what to do about the other students in their class who were at risk and communicated it was more difficult to record the information for only a subset of students. Therefore, beginning this fall we will ask you to identify at risk students in the early intervention period for all undergraduate students.  

You will receive a notification from the Registrar’s Office that early intervention (EPR) grade rosters are open on Wednesday, September 21 and are due on Tuesday, September 28 at midnight. Mid Term (MPR) grade rosters will be open Friday, October 15 and are due on Sunday, October 24 at midnight.  

The second piece of feedback we received from faculty is that you often do not have a graded assignment prior to having to report EPR grades. We understand this and therefore suggest that performance measures can include participation, attendance, and/or a grade. What is most important is that you, as faculty report a deficiency when a student needs to know that their grade or engagement in a course is deficient. You can make this distinction by selecting FA “Failure to Attend” or FT “Failure due to Testing”. Instructors with graded assignments might instead choose to enter deficient letter grades C-, D+, D-, F or indicate that the student does not currently have a deficient grade. 

These early reports provide an excellent time to remind students about course expectations and to positively acknowledge what has already been accomplished. In addition to your efforts, outreach from academic advisors and academic support personnel takes place for students who have multiple deficiencies. We hope to reach students who struggle in the early parts of the semester in order to offer resources to turn around their academic performance and experience.   

Thank you for helping us to make the process better. And thank you, in advance, for your assistance!  

Best, 

Dr. Sheri Kunovich  

 

Calendar for Grade Reporting 

Early Intervention (EPR) grade rosters open from September 21-28 at midnight 

Mid Term (MPR) grade rosters open from October 15-24 at midnight