2022 Alumni July 2022 News

SMU alumna crowned first Asian American Miss Texas

Congratulations to history-making SMU alumna Averie Bishop ’19, ’22, the first Asian American Miss Texas.

She currently serves on the Mayor’s Anti-Hate Advisory Council. It was established last year by Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson to advise the city and police on ways to increase tolerance and understanding and engage the private sector and communities in discouraging hate and encouraging diversity.

Bishop received a B.A. in human rights in 2019 and graduated from Dedman School of Law in May. While she was an undergraduate, Bishop and her mother establish the Tulong Foundation in 2015. The nonprofit organization serves an area of the Philippines where Marevi Bishop grew up. The foundation supports children’s education and efforts to develop sustainable farming and clean drinking water. As an SMU Human Rights Fellow in 2018–19, she spent the summer in the Philippines building water wells in rural communities.

On the Hilltop, Bishop displayed her vocal talent as Cinderella in Into the Woods, the student musical presented during Family Weekend in 2017.

Bishop will now start preparing for the Miss America pageant, which will take place in Connecticut in December. She is active on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, offering a candid look at her life as a law student and beauty pageant contestant.

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April 2020 News

Making the most of staying indoors to buy time for others

For many SMU students, like Marie Joung ’20, a senior pre-med biology major and human rights fellow, and her husband, Benjy, sheltering at home during spring break was the right thing to do. Dallas Morning News columnist Sharon Grigsby wrote about the couple’s decision to self-quarantine as the nation’s beaches were packed with revelers. “But here in North Texas, I found plenty of smart young people who are taking the pandemic seriously. They aren’t freaking out over COVID-19, but neither do these unselfish 20-somethings want to contribute to people losing their lives or further destabilize a country they hope to continue living in.”
The following excerpt was published by The Dallas Morning News on March 18, 2020:

By Sharon Grigsby
The Dallas Morning News

We’ve hardly had time to come to terms with the new normal imposed by the coronavirus, but it shouldn’t look like a day at the beach.

Videos of revelers crowded together on the sand and in oceanfront bars — just daring the pandemic to cancel spring break — have flooded social media this week. The raucous invincibility drowned out the pleadings of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to stop this foolish behavior in order to protect themselves and others. …

That’s why Marie and Benjy Joung, sturdy Midwest millennials who have lived in Dallas since 2018, are self-quarantining in their 600-square-foot downtown apartment with their three pet rats, Leonard, Vern, and Nebuchadnezzar. They know the walls of their studio space are likely to close in on them more with each passing week, but they are determined to take deep breaths and stay put to buy time for other Americans.

Marie and Benjy are in great health, but they began socially distancing even before the first cases of coronavirus were reported in North Texas. Since Saturday, except for a few brief, cautious walks, they haven’t left the apartment that’s serving as their 24-7 work, study and living space.

The Joungs don’t want to catch a virus that doctors still know so little about, but their top reason for hunkering down is to protect others. “Neither of us wants to feel like somebody caught the virus because of our irresponsibility,” Benjy told me by phone after his remote workday ended Tuesday night.

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NFL’s Kelvin Beachum ’11, ’12 To Talk Sports And Human Rights At SMU On April 7

NFL offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum ’11, ’12 will talk about the role sports play in furthering the conversation on American human rights issues during a panel discussion on Thursday, April 7 at 7:15 p.m. in Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Kelvin Beachum ’11, ’12 will be among the speakers examining professional sports and human rights.
Kelvin Beachum ’11, ’12 will be among the speakers examining the interplay of sports and human rights.

“A Conversation on Sports and Human Rights” will be moderated by WFAA sportscaster Dale Hansen and will include SMU Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director Monique Holland.
“Sports provides an easy doorway for social analysis, and a common ground for open dialogue,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Assistant Director Brad Klein, who helped organized the event.
“In sports media and the conversations of fans, it is common to hear discussions about paying college athletes, women’s and LGBT rights, race relations, team mascots, athletes with disabilities, drug use in competition and more,” Klein adds. “In this way, sports has a remarkable ability to get people of different backgrounds and perspectives talking together.”
The April panel will pull back the curtain on what those debates look like in the locker room, the newsroom and in the front office. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panel during the course of the discussion.
“There are important differences between the way athletics works in the U.S. compared to, say, politics,” Klein says. “Sports has a special ability to put a personal face on big issues. How many more people can name the quarterback of the Cowboys rather than their Congressional representative? Sports touch many people at a young age before prejudices and biases about identity are fully formed.”
– Kenny Ryan