SMU Magazine

SMU Magazine is updated monthly on this website and the print edition is published each spring and fall.

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Spring 2017 2020-05-12T14:24:22-05:00

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Spring 2017

Congratulations to the Class of 2018, our newest alumni!

At the all-University Commencement ceremony on May 19, featured speaker Randall L. Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, challenged members of the Class of 2018 to “make every effort not to live your life in a straight line.” The day was filled with hugs, laughter and pony ears as the new graduates looked back on their four exciting years on the Hilltop and forward to their futures as world changers.

June 5, 2018|

Continuing a legacy of attracting top students

A $15 million gift from the Nancy Ann Hunt Foundation secures the long-term future of the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program, one of the University’s signature scholarship programs attracting academically talented student leaders from throughout the United States to SMU.

December 6, 2017|

Investing in a data-empowered future

President R. Gerald Turner outlined SMU’s impact on the region’s economy through data-powered teaching and research at a gathering of top business and civic leaders at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on November 13. The University’s $85-million investment in high speed computing and data science curriculum will deliver more bang for the research buck.

December 6, 2017|

Community change agent Kovan Barzani ’17

As the son of refugees, Kovan Barzani ’17 wanted to make the most of his University experience. While a triple major at SMU, he managed a Texas House campaign, started a program to teach refugees job skills and turned a finance internship into a full-time job.

December 5, 2017|

Powering chain reactions of achievement

This has been a year of creative triumphs, game-changing collaborations and unforgettable campus experiences, all made possible by your generosity. There’s still time to make an instant impact this year. Find out how current-use gifts strengthen every part of the University and join the Pony Power stampede today!

December 5, 2017|

Reading fossil leaves to predict the future

SMU research funded by the National Science Foundation and National Geographic found that fossil leaves from Ethiopia confirm a link between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming — even 22 million years ago. The finding will help scientists understand how recent and future increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide may impact the future of our planet, say the SMU researchers.

December 5, 2017|

Meet the ‘$1-billion queen bee of dating apps’

That’s SMU alumna Whitney Wolfe Herd ’11 on the cover of the Forbes 30 Under 30 issue. Herd founded Bumble, “America’s fastest-growing dating-app company,” just three years after receiving a bachelor’s degree in international studies from SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

December 5, 2017|

The next wave of athletic excellence

Mustang swimming and diving teams will make a splash when they host LSU in the new Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium on Friday, November 3, shortly after the dedication ceremony during Homecoming. Five Mustang events are coming up in the state-of-the-art aquatics center, including the 2018 American Athletic Conference Championships in February.

October 30, 2017|

Winning generosity, extraordinary impact

Thank you, Mustangs! We’re so grateful to the 516 alumni donors who contributed $119,376 during the Mustang Momentum Challenge. Let’s keep that momentum going. We’ve raised nearly $67,000 for SMU’s current-use funds already. We need fewer than 50 alumni donors to reach our $75,000 goal. Make an instant impact – give now!

October 30, 2017|

Get ready for #MoodyMagic, coming November 10

A new season of Moody Magic opens on November 10 when a trio of talented returning players fronts SMU men’s basketball, the reigning American Athletic Conference champions, against UMBC, and four returning starters lead the women’s team against Nicholls State in Moody Coliseum. Pony Up!

October 30, 2017|

Perkins to honor 2017 Distinguished Alumnus

Michael McKee ’78, resident bishop of the Dallas Area of The United Methodist Church, is the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of Perkins School of Theology. Cited for “extraordinary and courageous leadership,” McKee will be honored at the annual awards banquet on November 13.

October 30, 2017|

Nominate outstanding alumni for 2018 awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards and the Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes an outstanding Mustang who has graduated within the past 15 years. Return completed forms by December 31, 2017.

October 30, 2017|

A game-changing golf training center

SMU Athletics dedicated the new Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center at Trinity Forest Golf Club on October 13. The 6,700-square-foot facility sits on the course that will become the home of the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2018, NCAA invitational tournaments and other high-profile events.

October 30, 2017|

Prestigious Academy welcomes SMU anthropologist

“It is overwhelming to be in the company of Winston Churchill, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jonas Salk and the ‘mother’ of my own discipline, Margaret Mead,” anthropologist Caroline Brettell said before her induction into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences on October 7.

October 30, 2017|

SMU alumna on building bridges in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

Just a week before Hurricane Harvey hit, Punam Kaji ’12, an associate with Haynes and Boone, LLP, had relocated from Dallas to Houston. After the hurricane, her inbox was flooded with emails from other lawyers asking “What should we be doing right now to help?” Kaji, a graduate of SMU’s Dedman School of Law, serves as chair of the Asian Pacific Interest Section (APIS) of the State Bar of Texas. APIS recently organized and co-sponsored hurricane relief legal training with a coalition of Bar organizations and community groups at South Texas College of Law–Houston.

October 26, 2017|

A recipe for sustainable building

Maggie Inhofe, a Lyle design and innovation graduate student, isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in the name of research. She spent the summer turning mud into the building blocks of transformative construction.

October 2, 2017|

Mustang Momentum Challenge, October 18–31

Learn how your current-use gifts fuel research, innovation and achievement across the Hilltop when SMU launches the Mustang Momentum Challenge on October 18. Watch your inbox for stories about outstanding students and faculty, then make your gift to have an instant impact on SMU’s excellence!

October 2, 2017|

Reaching the funding finish line

A $1.5 million gift by former SMU swimmer Joseph M. “Jody” Grant ’60, and his wife, Sheila Peterson Grant, creates a challenge to other donors to complete the funding goal for the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, which will be dedicated on November 3.

October 2, 2017|

SMU Homecoming 2017: Friends, football and fun

Come back to the Hilltop for Homecoming, November 2-5, 2017! Reconnect with your friends, reminisce where you began an important part of your life and celebrate the achievements and momentum propelling SMU toward an ever-brighter future.

October 2, 2017|

Big data solves leaf-size conundrum

A global team of researchers, including SMU's Bonnie Jacobs, sifted through tens of thousands of measurements to crack the mystery of leaf size, providing scientists with another tool for predicting climate-related changes in vegetation.

October 2, 2017|

Cyber security training needs a shot in the arm

On the same day as the Equifax data breach, SMU cyber security expert Fred Chang urged Congress to remember the success of the “space race” as a model for expanding training efforts today to meet the coming shortage of skilled cyber security workers.

October 2, 2017|

Writing, storytelling and sharing the gospel

Hear best-selling author Anne Lamott, seminary president Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle and noted biblical scholar Rev. Dr. N.T. Wright at The Power of the Story: 2017 Fall Convocation on Creative Communication, November 13–14, at Perkins School of Theology.

October 2, 2017|

‘Cities, Suburbs and the New America’ on October 26

The impact of the nation’s evolving demographics will be explored by Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and a host of urban planning and economics experts at SMU on October 26. Register for the program.

October 2, 2017|

SMU’s Luisa del Rosal ’08 wins Latino business award

Luisa del Rosal ’08, executive director of the Tower Center and Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at SMU, received the Latino Up-And-Comer Award as part of D CEO’s 2017 Latino Business Awards. The awards are designed to honor the top Latino “visionary thinkers and industry pioneers” in North Texas.

September 25, 2017|

DFW theater critics honor SMU Meadows alumni, faculty and students

SMU Meadows theatre faculty, alumni and students were part of productions that won 2017 Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum Awards on September 12. In addition, Dallas Theater Center earned a special citation for launching Public Works Dallas, in partnership with SMU Meadows and Ignite/Arts Dallas, which staged its inaugural show, The Tempest, in March.

September 18, 2017|

Inside the world of the Residential Commons

As the Class of 2021 settles in, the Residential Commons become the heart of campus life. Chemistry Professor David Son offers a glimpse inside the world of a Faculty in Residence as he and his family shared food, fun and fellowship with students in Boaz Commons last year. As Son says, there’s never a dull moment at SMU.

September 15, 2017|

Mustangs kick off football season with a big win

Expectations were high, and the Mustangs came through in the  58-14 blowout against Stephen F. Austin University on September 2. The “Salute To Our Heroes” season opener paid tribute to all active military service members and veterans.

September 6, 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.

September 6, 2017|

Gift launches Owen Arts Center makeover

Reflecting their passion for connecting the arts to the community through public spaces, Gene and Jerry Jones have committed $5 million to transform the east entrance to SMU’s Owen Arts Center along Bishop Boulevard.

September 6, 2017|

Saving big cats in the Bolivian jungle

Antoine Mellon ’19 spent the summer in Bolivia, rehabilitating wild animals rescued from trafficking. 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.”

September 6, 2017|

Researching a subject that’s hard to pin down

Paul Krueger, mechanical engineering professor, provided expertise in jet locomotion on a research project studying squids’ impressive maneuverability. A greater grasp on its biomechanics may have wide-ranging applications – from understanding muscle physiology to improving remotely operated vehicles.

September 6, 2017|

Can anthropology solve the diabetes dilemma?

Medical anthropologist Caroline Smith-Morris has been studying the social factors contributing to a rise in diabetes among Pima Indians for over 15 years. Her research is helping the biomedical community move in new directions to improve disease outcomes.

September 6, 2017|

Inside the world of SMU’s Residential Commons

Just ask David Son, professor of chemistry in Dedman College, and wife Heidi – or take a look at photos and memories from a year at Boaz Commons. In 2014, David Son was named Boaz FiR and the 61-year-old residence hall was retrofitted with an apartment that houses the couple and their children, Geoffrey, 14, and Kaylee, 11. The Sons believe so strongly in the Residential Commons model for living and learning at SMU that they sold their home in Plano to move to campus. And they say they’ve never looked back.

August 11, 2017|

The Domino Effect: Creating A Chain Reaction Of Achievement

Annual gifts for current use power every part of the University. Take a look at how chains of gifts strengthen SMU, and read more about Pony Power – the SMU stampede for current-use gifts.

August 8, 2017|

Meet The SMU Students Behind The Dallas Poke Craze

Credit SMU undergraduates Brandon Cohanim and Francois Reihani for importing Dallas’ latest food craze. Spurred by entrepreneurial cravings and an eye for trends, the California transplants opened Pōk the Raw Bar in January, the city’s first restaurant focused on poke (pronounced poh-kay), a raw fish salad with Hawaiian roots.

August 8, 2017|

Mega experiment to study neutrinos

SMU is helping to build hardware for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility in South Dakota, future home to the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment that could change our understanding of the universe.

August 7, 2017|

Learning from the best

As a Freedom School volunteer, mechanical engineering major Jabari Ford ’20 showed young boys that a love of learning can take them anywhere. He says they changed him, too. “I’ve developed a passion for these kids that I’ve never had before.”

August 7, 2017|

SMU launches Pony Power initiative

Building on unprecedented accomplishments over the past decade, SMU has launched a three-year giving “stampede” focused on yearly investments that strengthen current efforts in every area of the University. Learn more about Pony Power: Strengthening the Stampede in SMU Magazine.

August 7, 2017|

Team named XPRIZE semifinalist

SMU education experts, Guildhall game developers and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) collaborated as PeopleForWords to create a mobile puzzle-solving app for adult learners. The team has been named one of eight national semifinalists advancing in the $7 million Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE.

August 7, 2017|

Does symmetry affect speed?

The New York Times covered SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory researchers’ study of Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest human, that reveals the mechanics of his stride may vary between his right and left legs, upending conventional wisdom that an uneven gait slows down runners.

August 7, 2017|

Football Fan Day, August 26

Mustang fans will be treated to gridiron action, giveaways and a movie at the SMU Football Fan Day scrimmage on Saturday, August 26 in Ford Stadium. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the kickoff at 6 p.m. The Mustangs open the 2017 season on September 2 at home against Stephen F. Austin.

August 7, 2017|

What’s in an oviraptorid name?

Lead researcher Junchang Lü ’04 and colleagues Yuong-Nam Lee ’95 and Yoshitsugu Kobayashi ’04 have discovered a new dinosaur in China, a giant bird-like creature with a distinctive head crest. They christened it Corythoraptor jacobsi (“Jacobs’ helmeted thief”) in honor of their SMU mentor, renowned paleontologist Louis Jacobs.

August 7, 2017|

Mustangs nominated for NCAA award

Morgan Bolton ’17, a three-year starter at point guard for women’s basketball, and Sylvia de Toledo ’17, a four-year starter for the equestrian team, have been nominated for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through athletics, academics, leadership and service.

August 7, 2017|

Geeking out at engineering camp

Parker Holloway ’17 created the curriculum and spent the summer sparking engineering interest through hands-on challenges during weekly camps for middle and high school students held in the Deason Innovation Gym at SMU.

August 7, 2017|

Big data needs the human touch

While studying summer camps offered by Trinity River Audubon Center, Maguire Center Public Service Fellow Megan Brown, a Ph.D. student in anthropology, pondered the impact of big data on her field, concluding “a deeper understanding of human stories is what gives these numbers any meaning at all.”

August 7, 2017|

The Way Of The Servant Leader

Craig C. Hill joined SMU’s Perkins School of Theology as dean and professor of New Testament in July 2016 from Duke University Divinity School. Although his latest book, Servant of All: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2016), is aimed at church leaders, its lessons can be readily employed by people leading institutions, corporations and even nations – and, he told SMU Magazine with a hint of irony, by him as well.

July 25, 2017|

Mustangs score with the NBA

Newly minted graduates Semi Ojeleye ’17 and Sterling Brown ’17 were selected in the NBA draft on June 22, writing a new chapter in Mustang basketball history. Another Mustang standout, Ben Moore ’17, has joined the Indiana Pacers as an undrafted free agent.

July 23, 2017|

This song’s for you, Class of 2017 Copy

Pioneering geneticist Francis S. Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, delivered the address “his way” and brought down the house at SMU’s 102nd annual all-University Commencement ceremony on May 20 at Moody Coliseum.

July 19, 2017|

‘Empathy, adaptability and persistence’

Kovan Barzani’s Kurdish-American mother asked him to get two degrees from SMU, “one for you and one for me.” As an undergraduate, he developed a literacy program for refugees, ran a political campaign and surpassed his parents’ expectations by earning three degrees in May.

July 11, 2017|

New aquatics center nears completion

A new chapter in the storied history of SMU’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs will begin this fall with the completion of the new $30 million Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium. The 42,000-square-foot “Nat,” located on the growing East Campus, will be dedicated during Homecoming Weekend.

July 11, 2017|

Student earns international acclaim

SMU statistics Ph.D. student Yu Lan developed a cost-saving method of predicting clinical trial outcomes on the fly, and his paper on the topic won a prestigious international award. As his advisor Daniel Heitjan explains, “He’s the No. 1 clinical trials statistics graduate student in the world.”

July 11, 2017|

Dedman Law’s winning initiative

SMU Dedman School of Law’s Professionalism Initiative has been named a recipient of the national 2017 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award, presented by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism. The award recognizes exemplary and innovative approaches to experiential learning and professional development.

July 11, 2017|

And the Tony Award goes to …

Congratulations to Michael Aronov ’98, who won a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Featured Role for Oslo, and Andy Blankenbuehler, who attended SMU in 1989 before launching a professional career, for receiving his third Tony as Best Choreographer for the musical Bandstand.

July 11, 2017|

Hoop dreams come true

Two Mustangs made it to the pros in the NBA Draft on June 22: forward Semi Ojeleye ’17 was taken 37th by the Boston Celtics, while guard Sterling Brown ’17 went 46th to the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. Another Mustang standout, undrafted forward Ben Moore ’17, signed a free-agent deal with the Indiana Pacers.

July 11, 2017|

Scientist receives prestigious award

SMU chemist Alex Lippert has received a prestigious National Science Foundation Career Award, expected to total $611,000 over five years. The award will fund the researcher’s “glow-stick chemistry” – alternative internal imaging techniques that he describes as “kind of like an MRI, but much cheaper and easier to do.”

July 11, 2017|

Hal Brierley Helps Prepare The Next Generation Of Business Leaders

Hal Brierley has come a long way from starting a database marketing firm in 1969 in the basement of Dillon Hall at Harvard Business School. Brierley became well known as the only external consultant involved in the launch of American Airlines AAdvantage, the nation’s first frequent traveler program. He grew his firm Epsilon into an industry leader, and then spent 30 years building Brierley + Partners into a global leader in the design and management of customer loyalty programs. A $10 million gift to SMU from Brierley and his wife, Diane, created the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement in Cox, the nation’s first academic institute devoted to study of the field.

July 11, 2017|

Hands-on learning for teachers

Dallas middle-school teachers launched rockets and kayaked the Trinity River during a new STEM Academy presented by SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development with support from the Texas Instruments Foundation and O’Donnell Foundation.

July 11, 2017|

Mapping Mustang entrepreneurship

Engineer Josh Taylor ’17 uncovered some hidden gems during his quest to pinpoint the classes, people, programs, organizations and other resources fueling startup spirit on the Hilltop. Coming soon: an interactive version of the campus entrepreneurship map he created as an Engaged Learning Fellow.

July 11, 2017|

Evicted author to visit campus

SMU community members are encouraged to join incoming students in reading Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, the 2017 Common Reading selection, and attending a program by the author on August 24 at McFarlin Auditorium.

July 11, 2017|

SMU Hispanic Alumni honor alumnus, award scholarships

Jorge Baldor ’93 was honored with the 2017 Distinguished Hispanic Alumni Award presented by SMU Hispanic Alumni at the chapter’s annual awards celebration on April 27. SMU Hispanic Alumni also presented undergraduate scholarships to Carlos “Alex” Negrete ’18 and Victor Sanchez ’19.

June 7, 2017|

Paying her mom’s love forward

When award-winning scholar Dominique Earland ’17 crossed the stage at Commencement, she could link her academic accomplishments and the life path she has chosen directly to her loving relationship with her mother.

June 6, 2017|

Meet SMU’s new VP for Student Affairs

Kenechukwu (K.C.) Mmeje, whose career has focused on supporting a vibrant campus life and the academic mission at Loyola University Chicago and other universities, has been appointed SMU Vice President for Student Affairs. He will assume his new role in July.

June 6, 2017|

Cox recognizes outstanding alumni

The Cox School of Business honored Distinguished Alumni Peter T. Dameris ’82, Kirk L. Rimer ’89 and Liz Youngblood ’05 along with Outstanding Young Alumni Amber Venz Box ’08, Baxter Box ’01 and Vik Thapar ’09 at its annual alumni awards luncheon on May 19.

June 6, 2017|

Like grandfather, like grandson

Scholarship and fellowship support from SMU made Arya McCarthy’s wide-ranging research possible. The recent graduate credits his late grandfather, John McCarthy, who taught biology and studied endocrine physiology at SMU for more than 40 years, with inspiring his thirst for discovery.

June 6, 2017|

Crowdsourcing to beat cancer

SMU biochemists are working with Guildhall game developers to create the ultimate challenge for fans of the wildly popular Minecraft video game: beating cancer. By harnessing gamers’ massive computational power, the scientists hope to close in on their quest to improve chemotherapy drugs.

June 6, 2017|

Building a musical bridge

Voted Most Spirited and Loyal by his Mustang Band peers, drum captain and recent graduate Lawson Malnory ’17 shares his instrumental gifts through Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, a student performance group that brings music to homeless shelters, city parks and other unexpected places.

June 6, 2017|

SMU alumnus Mark Lau ’06: Finding a perfect fit at Nike

“I met Michael Jordan during the first week of my internship,” recalls Mark Lau ’06. “Right then I knew that Nike was the place I wanted to work.” Now global director of the company’s EKIN Experience, Lau stays in touch with fellow Mustangs as co-president of SMU’s Portland alumni chapter.

June 6, 2017|

Tuning in to plants’ 24-hour rhythm

A new study by SMU researchers identifies the nuts and bolts of a chemical bond in a key protein, unlocking the mystery of how plants tell time so they know when to bloom, metabolize nutrients and perform other functions. The findings pave the way for an array of agricultural and horticultural developments.

June 6, 2017|

Making the numbers add up

Thousands of domestic abuse offenders convicted in Dallas County are required by law to turn over their firearms, yet only 60 guns have been surrendered in two years. A plan devised by SMU law students aims to increase the effectiveness of the gun-surrender program, thus improving survivor safety.

June 6, 2017|

Fed data center to open in 2018

SMU has joined a consortium of institutions led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to establish a new data center that will advance statistical research opportunities for faculty, graduate students and other researchers in fields ranging from the social, behavioral and economic sciences to health care to urban planning.

June 6, 2017|

Taos Cultural Institute, July 20–23

Don’t miss out on the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute, July 20–23. Register now for an unforgettable weekend featuring in-depth, hands-on courses supplemented by field trips that make the most of the Northern New Mexico setting. You’ll also have time to explore and sightsee at your own pace.

June 6, 2017|

A slam dunk for literacy

Mustang basketball fan favorite Jonathan Wilfong ’17 has already put his business studies to work expanding his national literacy charity. He could have gone to a smaller school and played more, “but I knew what I wanted to study … SMU offered the best of both worlds.”

May 9, 2017|

Prestigious academy taps professor

Anthropologist Caroline Brettell joins actress Carol Burnett, musician John Legend, immunologist James Allison and other renowned leaders in various fields as a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The author or editor of nearly 20 books, Brettell’s research centers on ethnicity, migration and the immigrant experience.

May 8, 2017|

May 20: All-University Commencement

Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, will deliver the Commencement address and receive an honorary degree – along with three other distinguished leaders in their fields – at SMU’s 102nd all-University Commencement on May 20. Watch on Facebook live at Not on Facebook? You also can watch at

May 8, 2017|

Success started with a ‘no’

Congratulations to Dylan DeMuth ’17, who started classes at the University of Texas School of Medicine in San Antonio in July. He credits Professor Eric Bing with helping him “re-choreograph” his life, putting him on track for medical school. As an undergraduate at SMU, DeMuth conducted his own research and assisted his mentor in developing a strengths-based leadership program aimed at young people working to improve health in impoverished communities in the U.S. and Africa.

May 8, 2017|

Small device, big innovation

Graduating seniors Taylor Barg, Allison Garcia, Danya Hoban, Mar McCreary and Hyun Song pooled their expertise in biomedical, electrical and mechanical engineering to create an inexpensive portable device that packs the potential to improve the lives of patients with neuromuscular diseases, especially those living in rural and underserved areas.

May 8, 2017|

Pulling back the curtain

Strong academic records, writing talent and a love of journalism translated into scholarships for two Meadows School of the Arts students. In their winning entries, Jacquelyn Elias ’18 explored “the intersections of coding and journalism to tell stories in the truest way,” and Hannah Ellisen ’18 focused on the positive impact of investigative journalism.

May 8, 2017|

Global marketing expert to lead Cox

Matthew B. Myers, global marketing and strategy expert with special expertise in cross-border business relationships and Latin American economies, has been named dean of the Cox School of Business. Retiring Dean Albert W. Niemi, Jr. will transition to full-time teaching on August 1.

May 8, 2017|

Simmons School welcomes new dean

Stephanie L. Knight, a nationally recognized education leader, researcher and professor, has been named dean of Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Knight taught previously in Texas and Saudi Arabia and currently serves as dean and professor in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University.

May 8, 2017|

Practical tools for spiritual leaders

Beginning in the fall, Perkins School of Theology will offer two new interdisciplinary degree concentrations in partnership with the Cox School of Business and Meadows School of the Arts. The programs will emphasize the business and communications skills church and nonprofit leaders need to succeed.

May 8, 2017|

Summer fun, lasting learning

Skill-building projects in coding, programming and robotics are among the new additions to the SMU Summer Youth Program at SMU-in-Plano. Weekly workshops are offered for students entering grades K-12 from June 5 through August 4. Popular classes fill early, so register today.

May 8, 2017|

Founders’ Day Weekend 2017

When Mustangs gather on the Hilltop, memorable moments and countless pony ears follow as you’ll see in these photo and video highlights of Founders’ Day Weekend 2017, April 6–9.

April 17, 2017|

Plan a super summer

Skill-building projects in coding, programming and robotics are among the new additions to the SMU Summer Youth Program at SMU-in-Plano. Weekly workshops are offered for students entering grades K-12 from June 5 through August 4. Popular classes fill early, so register today.

April 5, 2017|

Symphony taps student composer

Olga Amelkina-Vera, a graduate student in the music composition program at Meadows School of the Arts, was named 2016-17 Student Composer-in-Residence with the Irving Symphony Orchestra. She won the honor with Cattywampus Rompus (Texas Tarantella), a five-minute composition that gives the ancient musical “tarantella” a modern, Texas twist.

April 5, 2017|

Get to know Suku Nair

D CEO magazine heralded Professor Suku Nair, director of the new AT&T Center for Virtualization at SMU, as the researcher at the center of “understanding some of tomorrow’s biggest technical challenges” and an academic leader in “creating a knowledgeable North Texas employee base.”

April 5, 2017|

Law school to honor alumni

Six University graduates who have carved out successful careers across the legal spectrum will be honored by Dedman School of Law at its 30th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony this evening.

April 5, 2017|

Carrying the torch for education

The Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development honored Jubilee Park and Community Center, The Meadows Foundation and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project with 2017 Luminary Awards for their support of education as a catalyst for change.

April 5, 2017|

Guildhall ranked world’s best

SMU Guildhall has risen to the No. 1 spot among the world’s best graduate game-design programs in The Princeton Review’s eighth annual report. Director Gary Brubaker credits “faculty with deep experience, bright and motivated students and a robust network of successful alumni” as key to attaining the top ranking.

April 5, 2017|

Ethics award comes full circle

Retired Dallas Police Chief David Brown accepted the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility on March 21. On the 20th anniversary of the award, Brown told the remarkable story of how Jonsson giving his mother a job years ago put him on the path to success.

April 4, 2017|

From the middle of The Mob

Tammy Winter ’17 loves being a member of The Mob student cheering section and hasn’t missed an SMU men’s basketball game at Moody Coliseum in years. She’s also a big fan of the opportunities she has had as a student to “pursue something that no one else is doing.”

April 4, 2017|

The healing power of hope

During a Perkins School of Theology immersion trip to South Africa over spring break, graduate student Nicole Melki recalled the anti-apartheid activism of Soweto’s children, defining the hope they exemplified as “the conviction that pain and suffering can be transformed.”

April 4, 2017|

SMU Alum John Harper ’68: ‘The Best Medicine Is Science And Compassion Intersecting At The Patient’

Cardiologist John Harper ’68 says the biology and chemistry courses he took at SMU provided the foundation that got him through medical school, but the English degree he earned from the University and a lifetime love of reading have made him a truly successful doctor. He’ll return to campus to share his erudite approach to better medicine at the annual Literature + Medicine Conference on April 1 .

March 23, 2017|

Register for learning adventures

Skill-building projects in coding, programming and robotics are among the new additions to the SMU Summer Youth Program at SMU-in-Plano. Weekly workshops are offered for students entering grades K-12 from June 5 through August 4. Popular classes fill early, so register today. Use the code ALUMSY17 at checkout for 20 percent off. Read more at SMU Summer Youth Programs.  

March 16, 2017|

Mastering tech entrepreneurship

Coming this fall: SMU’s new master of science degree in engineering entrepreneurship. The program will focus on technology development through a business lens with the aim of providing managers and entrepreneurs with the skills they need to start and lead new technology ventures.

March 16, 2017|

Revealing a hidden star

It’s 7,000 light years away from Earth, but a rare pulsating star identified recently by SMU astrophysicists could shed new light on scientists’ understanding of the universe’s expansion. As big as or bigger than our sun, the new delta Scuti is one of only seven known stars of its kind in our Milky Way galaxy.

March 16, 2017|

May the force be with you

Want to run faster? A new study by SMU researchers simplifies the physics of running, enabling scientists to predict ground force patterns that determine performance. Their work also has immediate applications for shoe, orthotic and prostheses design as well as injury prevention and rehabilitation.

March 10, 2017|

Remembering Professor Dennis Simon

Dennis Simon, an award-winning professor and mentor to University students since 1986 and a leader of SMU’s Civil Rights Pilgrimage, died February 12 in Dallas after a long illness. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 3, in Perkins Chapel at SMU. The family requests that memorial gifts go to the Civil Rights Pilgrimage.

March 10, 2017|

Bridging the digital divide

SMU student Eskinder Abebe’s eyes light up when you ask about his favorite project. While he fuses his passion for art and science in everything from videos to futuristic gadgets, Abebe is really excited about working with the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity on designing an inexpensive “inclusive” tablet.

March 10, 2017|

Festivities, football and fun!

Founders’ Day Weekend, April 6–9, kicks off on Thursday with Golden Mustangs Day and continues on Friday with Sing Song. Saturday’s Community Day activities include family fun at the Meadows Museum and the Mustang Fan Fair and the spring football game. See the full schedule, and make plans now to come home to the Hilltop this spring.

March 7, 2017|

SMU Alumnus Michael Trusnovec’s Life Of Dance

Shortly after earning his bachelor’s degree in dance performance at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, Michael Trusnovec ’96 joined Paul Taylor’s renowned modern dance company. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News published on February 7, 2017, he talked about his lifelong obsession with dance and obsessively watching videotapes of Paul Taylor Dance Company performances in the library as an SMU student.

February 20, 2017|

SMU Law Clinic Gives Fresh Start To Families In Distress

SMU’s community clinics open doors to legal services for low-income North Texas residents unable to afford representation. One of the newest among 10 clinical programs and projects offered by the Dedman School of Law, the VanSickle Family Law Clinic launched in January 2016 under the direction of Chante Prox. Prox says it takes a special breed of attorney – part therapist, part legal ninja – to handle the emotional highs and lows involved with family law proceedings. Things get personal as attorneys navigate the choppy legal waters surrounding some of life’s most stressful changes.

February 16, 2017|

Working Out With SMU Rowing

While most of us are hitting the snooze button on the alarm, members of the SMU rowing team have already completed a rigorous warm-up routine and are ready to hit the water for a few hours of practice. SMU photographer Hillsman Jackson captures the beauty and athleticism of these dedicated student-athletes as they work out at Dallas’ White Rock Lake.

February 16, 2017|

SMU Entrepreneurs And Their Cheeky Card Games

What began as a class project has sparked a two-game winning streak for Tim Cassedy, assistant professor of English, and former students Chelsea Grogan ’15, Jenna Peck ’15 and Kate Petsche ’15. They invented Dick: A Card Game Based on the Novel by Herman Melville and Bards Dispense Profanity.

February 16, 2017|

Spring 2017

SMU Magazine Spring 2017

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SMU Magazine

SMU Magazine is updated monthly on this website and the print edition is published each spring and fall.

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