SMU Faculty in Residence

As live-in faculty members in SMU’s Residential Commons, Faculty in Residence (FiRs) serve as the intellectual leaders of their commons. The FiR program creates opportunities for students to know faculty members outside of the classroom and emphasizes a culture of mentorship, intellectual discourse and community.

The student Residential Commons Leadership Corps also is blogging at

Cockrell-McIntosh Salons: A Tuesday with President Turner

An update from Dr. Beth Wheaton, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Cockrell-McIntosh Residential Commons: Since ancient times groups have gathered together to share a time of intellectual discussion and entertainment. The term “salon” was coined in France in the 17th century.  Cockrell-McIntosh Residential Common has recreated this practice of the salon with the new mission of “engaging students.” Whether going to school on an active campus like Southern Methodist University in a dynamic city like Dallas or across the world, students have an overwhelming number of ways in which to use their free time. Much of their formal education is received in a classroom setting. Over the past year Team Cockrell-McIntosh (C-M) has been developing a concept called Tuesday Salons. The salon offers [...]

2014-11-12T15:25:42+00:00 October 9th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Lights… Camera… wait, you want this by WHEN?

An update from Dr. Mark Kerins, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Morrison-McGinnis Residential Community: As the academic year winds down, we’re still as busy as ever prepping for next year – lots to do before we head into the summer! Big news this week (as usual, news first posted via Twitter @MoMacRC) is that we now have a full complement of four Faculty Affiliates (FAs) on board for the fall, which was the last piece of our team to come together. I’m really pumped about the people we have: not only are they great faculty whom I think our students will love having involved with MoMac, but they come from disciplines all across the university, so hopefully all our [...]

2014-05-06T11:15:22+00:00 May 6th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

The Importance of Mentoring: Learning from the Best

An update from Miroslava Detcheva, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the McElvaney Residential Community: A recent experience inspired me to write about the importance of mentoring. It was a great honor to receive an invitation to the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellowship* Graduation Ceremony at the George W. Bush Presidential Center earlier this month. Since 2012, each WIF Class has consisted of a diverse group of extremely talented women from the same foreign country. Through their academic background and professional achievements, they represent the most influential sectors of a modern society, such as education, health, law, business, politics, and media. At the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellowship (WIF) graduation, it was exciting to hear the unique stories of 18 professional women from [...]

2014-04-02T10:06:01+00:00 April 2nd, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

“…And YOU get housing, and YOU get housing, and YOU get housing…”

An update from Dr. Mark Kerins, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Morrison-McGinnis Residential Community: Big exciting news for MoMac this week (as posted earlier via Twitter@MoMacRC): our fabulous acting RCD Liz Rader decided she WILL be joining us as the full-time MoMac RCD! Our RCLC team and I were ecstatic, and anyone who’s going to be living in MoMac next year should be, too – she’s fantastic! RCD Liz Rader The backstory behind this transition – the fact that we had an “acting” RCD in the first place – highlights the behind-the-scenes challenge of the transition from SMU’s current residential setup to the Residential Commons model that will all be in iplace in the fall. One of [...]

2014-04-02T09:47:28+00:00 April 2nd, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

MoMac Attack

An update from Dr. Mark Kerins, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Morrison-McGinnis Residential Community: This is an exciting week for the Residential Commons system, with Wednesday’s housing expo giving students a chance to learn about the various RCs and then housing selection happening next Monday and Tuesday. So a week from now we’ll have the first half of new MoMac residents chosen, with the other half being first-years coming to SMU this fall. The focus of the MoMac leadership team – now expanded from myself, Liz (our RCD), and our RCLC members to include our RAs – over the last couple weeks (including spring break) was getting materials together for the housing expo. We put together a pretty cool [...]

2014-03-19T09:42:26+00:00 March 19th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Getting Ready to Move “Stuff” (Yow!)

An update from Dr. Tom Tunks, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Ware Commons: For the past several years I have spent most SMU spring break weeks on Alternative Break trips with students. Great trips have included Taos, NM; the Snowbird Cherokee reservation on the Tennessee-North Carolina border; Xalapa, Mexico; and two times to Quito, Ecuador. Not this spring, though! Next week Jeanne and I will devote most of our time to readying our house and belongings for our big move to the SMU campus. Our move is (will be) multidimensional. For the three years we expect to live in Ware Commons (great new name!!!), our elder son, Adam; daughter-in-law, Catherine; and grandson, Jeremy (group pictured here), will occupy our [...]

2014-03-06T17:15:38+00:00 March 6th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Why the Residential Commons?

An update from Miroslava Detcheva, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the McElvaney Residential Community: Why do we need the Residential Commons? This is a question many students have asked me. Personally, I see the Residential Commons (RCs) as melting pots of academic interests, unique talents, and ever-growing cultural diversity that will shape and mold excellent scholars and well-rounded individuals. In the new communities, students will be able to interact with peers from all academic disciplines and diverse backgrounds. They will also connect on a more personal level with enthusiastic faculty willing to mentor and share unique life experiences. As we are getting ready for the grand opening of the Residential Commons, some students have questioned the transformation of campus living. [...]

2014-03-02T16:21:45+00:00 February 28th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Signing Day with a Side of Sugar

An update from Dr. Mark Kerins, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Morrison-McGinnis Residential Community: Prep for next year continues, and the pace is now picking up as the launch date for the RCs gets closer. Last Friday I met with the usual MoMac team (RCLC members Michael, Alexis, and Olivia, and RCD Liz Rader) to prep for the housing expo next month, where returning students can find info about the various RCs and decide where they want to live. Obviously, MoMac will be the place to be, but it still took some serious discussion about the best way to convey that on a trifold board. We usually meet in a conference room, but given the nice weather we decided to [...]

2014-03-11T17:23:02+00:00 February 27th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

It’s a Team Effort

An update from Dr. Robert Krout, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Mary Hay/Peyton Residential Community: Going into this year as a FiR in Mary Hay-Peyton Halls/Fine Arts Community, I knew that I would be working with RLSH staff, RAs, and other residents/students. However, I did not appreciate the intricate and many roles that all of us play in the life of the residential community. I continue to be humbled by the extraordinary efforts of all involved in the operation of our community this year, as well as those of us who will continue as a team when we add Shuttles Hall to our RC in August. As an example, we had our weekly staff meeting last night around my [...]

2014-02-25T15:30:25+00:00 February 25th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

August 2014 Can’t Come Soon Enough

An update from Miroslava Detcheva, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the McElvaney Residential Community: The Residential Commons (RC) are opening their doors to all freshmen and sophomores for the first time in SMU history this August (2014). What once seemed like a distant dream, will now become reality in less than six months. If you have been living under a rock and have not heard of the future RC model at SMU, it is going to be “an integrated academic and residential experience” with students welcomed into communities thriving on intellectual exchange and meaningful social engagement. Currently, student leaders, residential staff and faculty have teamed up to create the identity of the eleven Residential Commons. Each community will be defined [...]

2014-02-17T11:05:01+00:00 February 17th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|
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