Faculty Promotions in Simmons

With the conclusion of the spring semester the Simmons School is happy to announce the following faculty promotions:

Congratulations to Michael Harris (Education Policy and Leadership) who was promoted to Full Professor, and to Sushmita Purkayastha (Applied Physiology and Wellness) and Meredith Richards (Education Policy and Leadership) who received tenure and were promoted to Associate Professors.

Clinical faculty promotions include four who moved from Clinical Assistant to Clinical Associate status:  Roxanne Burleson (Education Policy and Leadership), Greta Davis (Dispute Resolution and Counseling), Amy Ferrell (Teaching and Learning), and Diane Gifford (Teaching and Learning).  Three faculty were promoted from Clinical Associate to Clinical Full: Margaret Jacome (Dispute Resolution and Counseling), Misty Solt (Dispute Resolution and Counseling, and Ashley Tull (Education Policy and Leadership). Plaudits to them.

Bing Explains to CBS News the Need for More COVID-19 Testing for Getting Back to Work

Dr. Eric Bing, Professor of Global Health, Simmons School

Professor Eric Bing, Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, is interviewed by CBS News on what Texas needs to do for work to resume. He says more testing has to occur to establish a baseline, otherwise it will be difficult to know about a community’s health, and more COVID-19 cases will rise. According to CBS News, Texas only has tested one percent of the population to date.

An epidemiologist, Bing is a professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at SMU. He previously served with the George W. Bush Institute as senior fellow and director of global health.

 

Professor Bing speaks to CBS News in a May 7, 2020 follow up report on the re-opening businesses during spikes in COVID-19 cases.

 

Students in Global Health Class Offer Strategies to Combat COVID-19 on Campus, Competing via ZOOM

SMU students in epidemiologist Eric Bing‘s Global Health class were studying the COVID-19 pandemic even before Bing re-tooled his annual “Battle to Save Lives” competition to focus on the coronavirus. Learn what the students recommend for suppressing the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses, and vote for the best team presentations, via Zoom from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 30.

The presentations and judging are open to the public.

Bing’s global health class is highly sought-after on the SMU campus. Participation in the class is by invitation from the esteemed global health researcher, physician and psychiatrist. The class requires debate on global health topics, completion of multiple papers and participation in a team project competition where teams of students vie to develop that best strategy to help local agencies solve health-related problems.

Bing traditionally opens the first class of the semester with a discussion on a well-known global health topic. But on Jan. 23, he tabled his original plan and instead led a discussion of a topic that few students knew much about – the coronavirus outbreak that was emerging in Wuhan, China.

“I completely re-oriented the class to study COVID-19,” he said. “Students listened to speakers from the CDC, and epidemiologists from other parts of the world. Then, all of a sudden, global health started impacting their lives. I took a class picture the last class before spring break because I was afraid the students wouldn’t be back and this would the last time we met in person.”  Like many other universities, SMU moved all its classes online after spring break.

Senior Ben DeLeon says he knew nothing about COVID-19 when Bing discussed it on the first day of class. “I would never in a million years have guessed that it would affect us the way it has,” said the applied physiology and health management major.

On Thursday, DeLeon’s team will join four other student groups to propose ways the SMU campus can mitigate the effects of the virus when students return to campus. And SMU administrators will be listening. Judges include Peter Moore, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, ad interim,  and K.C. Mmeje. Vice president for Student Affairs.

 Details:

What: “Combating COVID-19 on Campus,” Five teams of SMU students have developed strategies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Watch them compete and help select the winning team. Global Health student teams will join other SMU and UTD students when they enter their projects in a $5,000 grantchallenge presented by Dallas incubator  RevTech Ventures. The grant challenges students to create a low-risk campus environment that could exist after state- and local-executive orders have expired.

When: 5 to 8 pm., Thursday, April 30

Who: Eric Bing, professor of global health, SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development. A physician and global health researcher, Bing received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, his M.P.H and Ph. D. in epidemiology from UCLA and his M.B.A. from Duke University. Before joining SMU to head the global health program, he was director of the global health initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. Bing selects high-performing students representing a variety of majors to join the class.

Tune in: SMU.ZOOM.US/J/98455940148

 

 

American College of Sports Medicine Awards Research Grant to Doctoral Student Claire Trotter

Claire Trotter, a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, received a $5000 National ACSM Doctoral Research Grant from the American College of Sports Medicine Foundation.

The grant will help fund her dissertation research investigating central nervous system dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by degeneration of brain cells which alters their normal signaling patterns. Her goal is to quantify the alterations made to these signaling patterns to help aid in the more successful treatment of the disease.

Nearly 1 million US citizens are thought to be living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Despite diagnosis being on the rise, there is still a lack of mechanistic understanding of the disease.

Trotter works in the Integrative Physiology Laboratory under the direction of her Ph.D. mentor, Associate Professor Scott Davis. As an SMU senior undergraduate in 2016, she worked as a research assistant in Davis’ lab. After graduation she pursued a Master Degree in Biology from University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and returned to SMU for her Ph.D. because of her undergraduate experience. “I was drawn to return to SMU because of the quality mentorship I had previously and the high level scientific investigation, ” she says.

The grant funder, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), advances and integrates scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.  The ACSM Foundation receives, administers and disburses funds to support the College’s educational, scientific and charitable purposes.

 

 

Using Weyand’s Expertise, Sporting News Reports on Olympian Usain Bolt’s Speed

Peter Weyand, director of Locomotor Performance Lab in Simmons

Peter Weyand, Glenn Simmons Endowed Professor in the Department of Applied Physiology, explains why Usain Bolt is the fastest sprinter in the world and how his record holds. Weyand, a renown biomechanist, is cited by the Sporting News’ article, August 2019.

Weyand directs SMU’s Locomotor Performance Laboratory to explore the scientific basis of fitness, performance, and health using whole-body biomechanical and physiological approaches.

Connecticut Pub Radio Interviews Weyand on High Speed Runners

Peter Weyand, Glenn Simmons Endowed Professor and director of the Locomotor Performance Lab, spoke to Connecticut Public Radio’s Where We Live. Weyand is  one of the foremost investigators of human speed. His interview on the science of running can be found here.

Locomotor Performance Lab Hosts “Science in the City”

Professor Peter Weyand and his research team opened their Locomotor Performance Lab in Simmons for a public demonstration on how human speed is measured.

The event was part of Science in the City, a Dallas Morning News engagement program with its subscribers. SMU was the site for part two of the event that included collaboration with walkSTEM for a campus tour. Read more.

Four Applied Physiology Undergraduates Sweep Honors

Amanda Woodruff, Madeline Wainman, and Sydney Lyng (L to R) conduct research on concussions and blood flow with their mentor, Assistant Professor Sushmita Purkayastha.

Madeline Wainman, Sydney Lyng, and Kelly Lenz, students in Applied Physiology and Health Management, were recognized for their research abstract poster presentations at the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference in Austin this spring. Wainman, Lyng, and Lenz won first, second, and third places respectively for their work. Their mentors in Simmons are Sushmita Purkayastha, Ph.D. and Scott Davis, Ph.D.

Other recognitions were given by the department during SMU’s Honor Convocation to Amanda Woodruff, who received the APHM Departmental Distinction Award, and to Wainman and Lenz, who were awarded with APHM Departmental Honors.

All of them presented their research posters at SMU Research Day.

Prestigious Hyer Society Inducts Two Simmons Students

Amanda Woodruff

Amanda Woodruff, an Applied Physiology and Health Management major, and Alexandra Rutherford, a Psychology major with an Educational Studies minor, have been inducted into SMU’s Hyer Society. The society recognizes intellectually gifted undergraduates who distinguish themselves with high achievement.

Woodruff is a senior interning with Assistant Professor Sushmita Purkayastha’s Cerebrovascular Research Lab and plans to attend graduate school to become a physician assistant.

Rutherford also is a senior and the Hyer Society recognized her with the University Achievement Award. She is completing a research project with the SMU Family Research Center and plans to pursue a career in educational psychology.

Simmons congratulates both of them for their distinctions.