2018 December 2018 Main News

Uncovering a hidden world of spectacular creatures

Paleontologist Louis Jacobs calls Myria Perez ’18 “the closer” because she can chip away centuries of dirt and rock from the most delicate fossils to the highest degree. Perez and more than 100 SMU undergraduate students painstakingly cleaned and preserved the fossils now on exhibit in Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola’s Ancient Seas at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.
Dive deeper into Sea Monsters Unearthed.

2018 December 2018 News

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84 to deliver December Commencement address

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84 is president and CEO of DFI Management, Ltd., and the general partner of Putterboy, Ltd., the owner of the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina. He is chair of the SMU Board of Trustees.

At SMU, Dedman is continuing the historic leadership and vision of his parents, Nancy Dedman ’50 and the late Robert H. Dedman, Sr. ’53 LLM, who served on the SMU Board of Trustees from 1976 to 2002 and as its chair from 1992 to 1996. Their major gifts to SMU have had a sweeping impact, including in the areas of humanities and sciences, law and lifetime sports.

Watch the ceremony live, beginning at 9:30 a.m., at

Read more at SMU Enrollment Services.

2018 December 2018 News

Cox reveals the Dallas area’s fastest-growing entrepreneurial companies

Revolution Retail Systems, a Carrollton-based cash automation and recycling tech provider, is the fastest-growing entrepreneurial company in the Dallas area, according to the SMU Cox School of Business’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship.
“Revolution has increased sales almost tenfold over the last three years, evidence of the rapid growth that made it the No. 1 company this year,” said Simon Mak, associate director of the Caruth Institute. “Often, the privately held corporations, proprietorships and partnerships we honor through Dallas 100™ don’t get a lot of recognition and yet, like Revolution, they contribute greatly to our economy.”
Mak is pictured above with Mark Levenick, president and CEO of Revolution Retail Systems.
The Institute’s annual Dallas 100™, a celebration of the fastest-growing, privately-held businesses in the Dallas area, revealed the area’s top entrepreneurial companies in rank order from 100 to one before a crowd of about 1,000 people on November 1.
The Caruth Institute, working with the accounting firm BKD LLP CPAs and Advisors examined sales from hundreds of companies for 2015 to 2017, the last year for which complete data is available. The winners represent a wide swath of Dallas-area businesses. The winning companies collectively generated $3.3 billion in sales in 2017, according to Jerry White, the Linda A. and Kenneth R. Morris Endowed Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at SMU Cox. Collectively, the companies grew at an average annual growth rate of 87 percent from 2015 to 2017. Together, they created 11,096 jobs in that same period.
Read more at SMU Cox.

2018 December 2018 News

Studying public policy and medicine goes hand in hand

Biological sciences major Noelle Kendall ’19 combines her interest in medicine with public policy as a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar at SMU. “Medicine/science and public policy seem to be two very different fields, and they are, but each one heavily affects the other,” she says. “I think it is important that these two worlds find a connection so that they can better understand each other. This understanding would lead to more comprehensive science policy and a scientific community that understands and works with its government for safe, efficient progress.”
Read more at SMU Tower Center.

2018 December 2018 News

No. 2 Mustangs finish fall season undefeated

Remaining undefeated throughout the fall, the No. 2 Mustangs enjoyed an 8-6 away victory against No. 8 Delaware State on November 16.
Led by a dominant 3-1 performance by SMU’s reining squad, the Mustangs compiled a conference win over the Hornets that culminated in a perfect 6-0 season, so far. SMU is the only team in the UEC with no losses and one of only two teams in the entire NCEA that remains undefeated.
The Mustangs swept Most Outstanding Player honors at the meet with Devin Seek in equitation over fences, Vivian Yowan in equitation on the flat (her third consecutive Hunter Seat MOP), Megan Waldron in horsemanship and Aubrey Alderman in reining, earning top recognition out of all the riders.
Read more at SMU Athletics.

2018 Alumni December 2018 News

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Enjoy this roundup of interesting stories and videos highlighting some of the people and events making news on the Hilltop.

2018 News November 2018 Main

Drone research possibilities soar thanks to NSF grant

Faculty and students in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering will use an $849,839 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) communications, with the potential to enable the next wave of drone applications ranging from delivery of consumer goods to supporting autonomous combat and search and rescue efforts.
The award to Joseph Camp and Dinesh Rajan in the Electrical Engineering Department begins funding their work October 1, 2018, and will extend through September 30, 2021. The objective is to build infrastructure for Multi-Dimensional Drone Communications Infrastructure (MuDDI) to address research issues related to three-dimensional connectivity, distributed antennas across a drone swarm and 3-D swarm formations that optimize the transmission to intended receivers.
The SMU team will rent and equip indoor space relatively close to campus for repeatable experimentation. “This will allow us to run our experiments in a controlled environment with the ability to precisely measure the wireless transmission characteristics,” Camp said.
The drone research could have far-reaching applications for the future of UAV communications, including increasing Internet connectivity during natural disasters as well as commercial and military applications, all of which require coordination of multiple entities across various altitudes, from in-flight to ground-based stations. Potential applications also include deploying WiFi in underserved, low-income neighborhoods.
Read more at SMU Research.

2018 News November 2018

Legal and business expert to lead new law center

Eric F. Hinton has been named director of SMU Dedman School of Law’s new Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law and Leadership.
“We are delighted to welcome Eric Hinton as the leader of this important new center,” said Jennifer Collins, Judge James Noel Dean of SMU Dedman School of Law. “His extensive legal and business experience, combined with his professional network, will enable him to make the Rowling Center immediately impactful to our students and the business and legal community.”
Hinton has 20 years of experience as an executive in international business law. He has worked for two public Fortune 500 companies as well as two privately owned companies. Hinton began his career practicing international trade law in Washington, D.C., and has also worked in Illinois, Texas, and Brussels, Belgium. Hinton currently co-teaches a course called “Ethics and Compliance for the Global Enterprise” at Dedman Law.
Read more at SMU News.

2018 News November 2018

Celebrating campus and community vets on November 12

The Maguire Ethics Center and the SMU Student Veterans will honor members of the campus and greater community who have served our country with a special tribute on Veterans Day, November 12.
The public is invited to attend the family-friendly event on the Dallas Hall lawn from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy games, lunch and fun. New, unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots drive will be collected during the event. The highlight of the salute will be the presentation of SMU Veteran lapel pins, awarded to student, faculty and staff veterans.
Read more and register at the Maguire Center.

2018 Alumni November 2018

Telling stories of ‘hope that change is coming’

When 17-year-old Petya Kertikova competed in the European Youth Olympic Festival in Lignano, Italy, back in 2005, she had never heard of SMU. Then the powerhouse runner for the Bulgarian national track team placed fourth in the 3,000-meter competition. That one race, filled with top athletes from all over Europe, changed the course of her life. In the stadium that day was then-SMU Track and Field Head Coach David Wollman. He sprinted over to meet her, and within days Kertikova was offered a full sports scholarship to SMU.
“It was a tough decision,” says Kertikova, who never before had thought about leaving Bulgaria. “America was an unknown country to me back then. It was another continent, something I used to hear about only in the movies.”
But an old Bulgarian saying nudged her to consider the offer. “‘The bird lands on your shoulder only once in a lifetime,’” she says. She accepted the offer.
Her first two years in America were difficult. Her biggest hurdle: understanding English.
“I did study it in my high school, but it wasn’t enough for me and my studies at SMU,” she says. “When I went to Dallas I took more English courses. There were people at SMU’s Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center [ALEC] who helped me a great deal.”
While she was meeting new friends and running track, money was another barrier. “It was really tough for me to cope with all the stress, being in a new country when I knew only a few words, starting from scratch at a brand new and really different place, having very little money,” she recalls. “My parents gave me less than $100. I struggled when ordering food, or when shopping at the store, simple things that were hard to do back then. I cried a lot. I remember looking at my suitcases under the bed in my dorm room thinking about leaving America and coming back to Bulgaria.”
Instead, she stayed. An overachiever at heart, she doubled down on her studies.
“I learned every day. My first two years at SMU were simply a test for my will. Looking back now, going to the U.S. was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, even though it was really hard for me the first few years.”
Fast forward to today: After graduating from SMU in 2011 with a degree in journalism, Kertikova worked as a news anchor for BiT TV, a Bulgarian-content station located in Chicago. She then returned to Bulgaria in late 2016 and worked for BiT in its Bulgarian studio for a year and a half. Recently, she accepted a position as a news anchor at Bulgaria On Air, a national television network located in Sofia, the country’s capital.
Of the many stories she covers every week, one topic in particular is close to her heart: stories of Bulgarians who left the country for better education or employment, but then returned. She is on fire with that topic, having walked that path herself.
Read more at SMU Meadows.