2022 June 2022 News

Academic leader Robin Poston to join SMU as dean of the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies

Robin Poston has been tapped as the new dean of SMU's Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies

Robin Suzanne Poston, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Memphis, has been named dean of SMU’s Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and associate provost for graduate education. She will assume her position at SMU August 15.
Poston has since 2018 led strategic initiatives at the University of Memphis to modernize academic, scholarly and international approaches that support enrollment growth, student success and timely graduation in its Graduate School. These initiatives serve Ph.D., professional and graduate certificate students across 161 graduate programs in 12 colleges and schools.
Poston also has served since 2015 as director of the Systems Testing Excellence Program (STEP) at the University of Memphis’ FedEx Institute of Technology. In that capacity she has supported interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students on government and industry-sponsored projects to build up research and curricular competencies, helping to promote STEP as an internationally recognized group of thought leaders in the science of systems testing. STEP researchers are currently working with the Department of Homeland Security and the Air Force Institute of Technology and in the past have performed projects for the Defense Information Systems Agency of the Department of Defense, FedEx Corporation and others.
“The Moody School for Graduate and Advanced Studies is focused on improving the quality and success of SMU’s graduate programs in concert with strategic investments in the research enterprise,” says Elizabeth G. Loboa, SMU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Graduate education is an essential component of a university’s research ecosystem, and doctoral students, in particular, constitute important metrics in the Carnegie Classification, which is used to distinguish universities in terms of their research productivity.
“Dr. Poston is a proven leader with deep experience at the intersection of research and graduate education,” Loboa adds. “She was the chief architect in the rise of University of Memphis from R2 to R1 in the Carnegie rankings, and we are excited that she is joining SMU’s leadership team at this time in our quest for even greater academic quality.”
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2022 June 2022 News

Jason P. Nance named new dean of SMU Dedman School of Law

Jason P. Nance, an education policy and law scholar who studies inequalities in public education, has been named the Judge James Noel Dean at SMU’s Dedman School of Law. He will join SMU on August 10 from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he is associate dean for research and faculty development and professor of law.

New SMU Dedman School of Law Dean Jason NanceNance began his career in education, teaching math to middle schoolers and GED and English courses to adults in Houston. After three years, he began to prepare for a career in education administration, intending to become a school principal. But Nance developed a keen interest in education policy and law through his graduate studies, ultimately earning a Ph.D. in education policy and administration before completing his law degree.

“The Dedman School of Law aspires both to maintain its long-standing top status in the region and to rise significantly in the national rankings,” says Elizabeth G. Loboa, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Throughout the interview process, campus stakeholders responded enthusiastically both to Jason’s experience and to his vision for the law school. Dedman Law has tremendous faculty and staff who have for years trained and supported the placement of our students in meaningful and impactful careers. Under Dean Nance’s leadership, we are well positioned to advance our well-earned reputation within the legal and business communities and to expand our impact in line with SMU’s aspirations for even greater academic excellence.”

Nance clerked for Judge Kent A. Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware after graduating from law school. He served as a litigation associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, practicing corporate and securities litigation during the financial crisis of 2007–2010. Nance was a visiting assistant professor of law at the Villanova University School of Law before joining the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2011.

Since 2021, Nance has served as associate dean for research and faculty development at UF Law. Previously at UF Law, he served as associate dean for academic and faculty affairs, as an associate director of the Center for the Study of Race and Relations, and as an associate director for education and law at the Center on Children and Families. As professor of law, he taught education law, torts and remedies. He oversaw the continued development and implementation of the Introduction to Lawyering and the Legal Profession Program, then directed the program designed to help first-year law students develop key competencies to become effective lawyers.

“We look forward to welcoming Dean Nance to Dedman School of Law,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His early public education experience combined with a distinguished legal career and passion for education equity issues bring talents that will be valuable on many levels at SMU.”
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2022 June 2022 News

Pony Up! Four teams capture conference titles

It was an exciting time on the Hilltop for sports fans as men’s golf, men’s tennis, equestrian and rowing all captured conference titles this spring. Go, Mustangs!
No. 1 seed SMU claimed its fourth straight conference championship, and second Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) title, after defeating No. 2 seed UT Martin, 11-9, March 26.
Four members of the team were tabbed as 2021–22 Ariat All-America selections by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association. Senior Mallory Vroegh ’22 and sophomore Nya Kearns ’24 were named as first-team horsemanship selections. Sophomore Taylor Madden ’24 was given the nod as a first-team selection in the flat, and freshman Elli Yeager ’25 earned second-team honors in fences.
SMU made it to the final four of the 2022 NCEA National Championships April 15, finishing the season with an 11-7 record, including a 4-1 mark in ECAC  play.
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Men’s golf
The SMU men’s golf team secured its second American Athletic Conference (AAC) title and 10th title in program history, setting a 54-hole tournament scoring record of 835 (282-277-276, -29) April 24.
The season came to a close with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Bryan Regional May 18.
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Men’s tennis
Top-seeded SMU defeated the No. 2 seed Memphis 4-2 in the AAC tournament championship to claim its first AAC title and 10th conference championship in program history. The victory also gave the Mustangs an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships, marking the school’s 24th appearance.
SMU concluded its season with a 22-7 record after losing to LSU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
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SMU won all four races and successfully defended its AAC Women’s Rowing Championship May 15. The Mustangs finished with 168 points to win the team title.
The team wrapped up its run in 12th place at the NCAA Championships with an all-time conference team best 72 points.
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Alumni June 2022 News

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Check out these quick links to photos, stories and videos about the people, programs, events and more making news on the Hilltop.