News Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship Student Academic Engagement & Success

The Office of Engaged Learning welcomes Neha Husein as Entrepreneurship Fellow

We are thrilled to welcome Neha Husein as the 2024-2025 Entrepreneurship Fellow in the Office of Engaged Learning. Neha’s journey as a Big iDeas alumna to successful entrepreneur and mentor embodies the spirit of innovation and social impact that we strive to cultivate in our community. 

Neha graduated from SMU in 2019 with degrees in Human Rights and Marketing. Her academic background laid the foundation for her commitment to making a positive difference in the world. Recognizing the growing issue of distracted driving after being rear-ended by a distracted driver, Neha channeled her passion for social entrepreneurship into creating Just Drive, an app dedicated to rewarding undistracted drivers with coupons good for local businesses.  

Today, Neha serves as the Senior Event Producer for Vegandale, an international festival that celebrates vegan food, music, and art. In addition to her professional achievements, Neha is deeply passionate about mentoring and supporting collegiate entrepreneurs. As a former student herself, she understands the unique challenges that come with starting and growing a venture in college and is dedicated to helping students navigate these hurdles. Neha’s mentorship provides invaluable guidance, inspiration, and practical advice, empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. 

As the new Entrepreneurship Fellow, Neha will play a pivotal role in enhancing our programs and initiatives aimed at fostering entrepreneurship, innovation, and increasing women entrepreneurs. We believe that her experience and insights will undoubtedly inspire and encourage more women to develop their entrepreneurial skills. 

We are excited to have Neha Husein join the Office of Engaged Learning team and look forward to the positive impact she will have on our Big iDeas community. Please join us in welcoming Neha!  

Academic Center for Excellence Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs

ADSA & SASP Hosting a Staff & Faculty Breakfast on January 11th

Student Academic Engagement and Success (SAES) is hosting two upcoming tours of the Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) and Student Academic Success Programs (SASP).  Tours will take place at 9 AM and 9:30 AM at the ADSA & SASP offices located in Loyd All-Sports Center. ADSA is located on the 3rd floor, in suite 316. SASP is located on the second floor, in suite 201.  This opportunity is an invitation to all SMU faculty and staff to tour our academic centers and learn more about the support services offered to students! Breakfast and drinks will be available.

Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA)

Introducing Keyana Smith as the new ADSA associate director

As we gear up for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year, Academic Development of Student-Athletes is thrilled to welcome Keyana Smith, as our new Associate Director! 

Smith comes to us with a wealth of experience and a passion for serving student-athletes. Her impressive background and commitment to student-athletes success on and off the field, align seamlessly with our office’s values and aspirations. With the addition of Keyana, we are poised to elevate our academic support and enhance the student experience in new ways!  

A Glimpse into Smith’s Journey: 

Keyana joins the Hilltop from the University of Mississippi, where she was the Assistant Director of Athletics Academic Services working as the lead academic counselor of Women’s Basketball and second of Football. Her previous stops include the University of New Mexico, Utah Valley University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Smith is a previous student-athlete herself, playing two years at Morgan State University on their softball team. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she pursued a Master’s in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology and then later, achieved her Master’s in Sport Administration. She is an active member of N4A and is currently the Co-Lead on the Institutional Partnership Program.  

The ADSA is excited to have the additional leadership and insight that Keyana will bring into the 2023-2024 Academic Year! 

Office of General Education SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success

Sharing details of Degree Planner student adoption campaign

Degree Planner, which launched in November, is a new tool that allows Common Curriculum (CC) undergraduate students to plan progress toward their degree and aid SMU in course scheduling and seat planning to permit timely graduation. All CC undergraduate students (except those graduating in May 2023) are asked to complete Degree Planner before fall enrollment begins this spring. While we want all students to establish a degree plan, SMU in Four is targeting a completion rate of 75% by March 20th.

Student adoption campaign details

Beginning next week, CC students will receive regular communications from SMU in Four requesting they complete Degree Planner. We share details of our plans below so you are aware and can encourage their completion via your own means.

Degree Planner can be completed independently within my.SMU. Pre-major students need to plan their general education and graduation requirements (Foundations, Breadths, Proficiencies and Experiences) in Degree Planner to be counted as complete. Declared students must plan their degree course and CC requirements for each declared major in Degree Planner to be counted as complete. In mid-February, minor requirements for students who have declared their minors will begin to automatically populate in their Degree Plan too. Students can then adjust these requirements as they would like.

To incentivize students, there will be three rounds of giveaways. Raffle prizes include $25-50 Starbucks, Amazon, Uber, Visa gift cards, and SMU swag/apparel. Students who complete Degree Planner by 11:59pm on:

  • January 27 (Friday) will be entered in three raffles.
  • February 10 (Friday) will be entered in two raffles.
  • March 10 (Friday) will be entered in one raffle.

Each school’s records office will be asked to contact any undergraduate CC student who does not complete Degree Planner by March 20 to ensure completion before Fall 2023 enrollment commences.

Faculty and academic advisor incentives

Faculty and staff advisors will also receive incentives whose students complete Degree Planner. The advisors who have the highest percentages of their assigned advising load on March 20 will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Outreach templates will be provided to advisors later this month to encourage their own nudging.

Remaining Degree Planner advisor workshops

Workshops are planned for undergraduate faculty advisors and academic advisors to learn the new Degree Planner. Each session is identical and will be conducted via Zoom. A meeting notice and Zoom link will be sent 1-2 days after completing the registration form. Available workshops:

  • February 8, 3-4 pm (Wednesday)
  • February 9, 3-4 pm (Thursday)

For more information on how to assist students with Degree Planner, please visit the Degree Planner Navigation for Advisors Wiki page. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact


Brittaney Wilson

Undergraduate Degree Counselor; Degree Planner Adoption Team


Dallas Forbes

Undergraduate Degree Counselor; Degree Planner Adoption Team

Offices & Programs Student Academic Engagement & Success

Student Academic Engagement and Success New Team Member

We are excited to announce Bailey Price has joined the Student Academic Engagement and Success Team as of Monday, November 21st. Bailey will be serving in our new position as SAES business manager. Bailey received her undergraduate degree from SMU in 2021 and she’ll be starting the MBA program this spring. Bailey wrote “I received so much support and guidance from SMU administration during my undergraduate career, and I’m grateful for the chance to help various offices that provide these opportunities to the students. The SAES team has implemented some exciting initiatives and set some incredible goals, and I can’t wait to be a part of the growth that this office is working towards.” Bailey has been working in Human Resources and recently competed her aPHR certification (Associate Professional in Human Resources). Please help us welcome Bailey back to the Hilltop!