2017 September 2017

Inside the world of the Residential Commons

2017 News September 2017

Mustangs kick off football season with a big win

Chad Morris mentioned several times in his Tuesday press conference that he believed his team this year was his best one yet at SMU as well as one of the better squads the Hilltop has seen in years. It’s obviously a long season, but it’s difficult to have a much better start to the season. The 58-14 win against Stephen F. Austin at the “Salute To Our Heroes” game on Saturday was SMU’s largest margin of victory since 2012 and easily the largest of the Morris Era.
“We’re building something,” he said. “It’s taking time, and we’re not done. We’re not as good a football team as we’re going to be, but we’re the best we’ve ever been since I’ve been here. I’m extremely proud to say that. As you build a program from the ground up, that’s what you ask coming into year three.”
The Mustangs scored on all three of their first offensive drives while adding two defensive scores from junior Jordan Wyatt to blow past the Lumberjacks right out of the gate. It was one of the most dominant first halves SMU has put together. The 31-point lead was the largest the Mustangs have enjoyed since 2011.
The “Salute To Our Heroes” game served as a tribute to all active military service members and veterans.
Read more at SMU Athletics.

2017 News September 2017

Home: Exploring its meaning and the impact of eviction

As new students made themselves at home, Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City inspired poetry, research and soul-searching about the meaning of home and the impact of its loss in programs presented by SMU Reads in conjunction with the common reading discussion of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
Desmond talked about his research and experiences at a free public program on campus on August 24.
“It’s an honor to be at SMU and an honor to have all these amazing, brilliant young minds engage in these morally urgent questions,” he said. “I love these big reads because they bring folks interested in science, the humanities, social science and everything together around this issue, and we certainly need a lot more minds around this issue.”
SMU sophomore Amit Banerjee, a public policy and engineering major, was inspired by Desmond’s book to research the issue of eviction in the Dallas area.
“I wanted to contextualize it to a place that I call home and that a lot of my peers will call home for the next several years,” he explained. “I learned that affordable housing and eviction are huge issues in Dallas.”
As a prelude to Desmond’s appearance, poet Fatima Hirsi set up her 1953 manual Smith Corona typewriter in Starbucks in Fondren Library on August 22 and talked to students about the meaning of home. Based on the interview, she crafted a short, personalized poem for each student.
Here’s an excerpt from one of her on-the-spot creations:
Read more at SMU News.

2017 News September 2017

‘Wild About SMU’: Family Weekend, September 22–24

Families from across the country will join their SMU students in celebrating Family Weekend, September 22–24, when the Student Foundation presents “Wild About SMU.”
The family luncheon, annual student talent show and Boulevard barbecue before the SMU vs. Arkansas State football game are just a few of the can’t-miss events planned.
The Student Foundation’s Family Weekend Committee is partnering with local restaurants and retailers to support the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, which provides a home away from home for families with seriously ill or injured children. Details and a list of the businesses supporting this philanthropic mission are available on the Student Foundation website.
Register for Family Weekend, buy football tickets, check out the full schedule of events and more at the Student Foundation website:

2017 News September 2017

Gift launches Owen Arts Center makeover

2017 News September 2017

Saving big cats in the Bolivian jungle

Antoine Mellon ’19, a junior studying world languages, was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellowship for summer 2017 from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. As a result, he spent the summer as a volunteer at Parque Ambue Ari, a wildlife center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, rehabilitating wild animals rescued from trafficking and taking amazing photos. He says it was an “unforgettable” experience. “Never before had I met such an open group of people, all with a common love of animals and volunteering.”
Here’s an excerpt from one of his posts for the SMU Adventures blog:
The past two months at Ambue Ari have gone by unbelievably fast. It seems like just yesterday that I arrived in the park, and listened in awe as people casually talked about walking their pumas or jaguars in the middle of the jungle. I can’t believe how quickly I took part in those conversations without realizing how crazy and amazing the work we were doing really was.
I had the opportunity to help Wayra move from a small cage into an enclosure that felt more like a small jungle surrounded by some fencing.
Read more at SMU Adventures.

2017 News September 2017

Researching a subject that’s hard to pin down

Paul Krueger, a mechanical engineering professor at SMU, joined a team of researchers studying squid locomotion in Maine over the summer. A greater grasp on the invertebrate’s impressive maneuverability may have wide-ranging applications – from understanding muscle physiology to improving remotely operated vehicles. Coverage of the project was published in the August 22, 2017, edition of the Wiscasset Newspaper.
By Linda Healy
Darling Marine Center
This summer, the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center is hosting a team of researchers for a collaborative study of squid locomotion. The goal of the project is to identify critical features of muscles that control maneuvering performances in squid.
The idea for this research was sparked five years ago, during a conversation between three scientists: Ian Bartol, Paul Krueger and Joe Thompson. The topic of conversation was the unique and amazing maneuverability of squid.
Read more at SMU News.

2017 Alumni News September 2017

When the Galápagos Islands become a science classroom

This summer, Teaching and Learning faculty members Diego Román, Ph.D., and Dara Rossi, Ph.D., invited Dallas Arboretum educators Dustin Miller and Marisol Rodriguez to help train 125 Ecuadoran teachers in the Galápagos Islands.
Román and Rossi participate in a four-year professional development program initiated by The Galápagos Conservancy and Ecuador’s Ministry of Education. They also advise The Dallas Arboretum Education Department, which focuses on life and earth science and trains 500 teachers annually. So having Miller and Rodriguez teach with them in the Galapagos was a plus. The team also included Greses Perez, a Simmons alumna, and current student Heny Agredo.
Read more at Simmons.

2017 News September 2017

Can anthropology solve the diabetes dilemma?

Carolyn Smith-Morris, associate professor of anthropology at SMU, has been studying the impact of culture and lifestyle on diabetes outcomes for over 15 years—from a decade spent among the Pima Indians in Arizona to a new study sponsored by Google aimed at preventing diabetes-related blindness. Anthropology, she says, provides the most holistic perspective of this complex problem: “Anthropology seems to me the only discipline that allows you to look both closely at disease … and from the bird’s-eye perspective.” Smith-Morris’ research was featured on Sapiens, a website that covers anthropology, on August 22, 2017.
Kate Ruder
Mary (a pseudonym) was 18 years old and halfway through her second pregnancy when anthropologist Carolyn Smith-Morris met her 10 years ago. Mary, a Pima Indian, was living with her boyfriend, brother, parents and 9-month-old baby in southern Arizona. She had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies, but she didn’t consider herself diabetic because her diabetes had gone away after her first birth. Perhaps her diagnosis was even a mistake, she felt. Mary often missed her prenatal appointments, because she didn’t have a ride to the hospital from her remote home on the reservation. She considered diabetes testing a “personal thing,” so she didn’t discuss it with her family.
As Smith-Morris’ research revealed, Mary’s story was not unique among Pima women. Many had diabetes, but they didn’t understand the risks. These women’s narratives have helped to explain, in part, why diabetes has been so prevalent in this corner of the world. An astonishing half of all adult Pimas have diabetes.
Read more at SMU Research.

Alumni News September 2017

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it this month, please enjoy these cool stories and interesting videos!