2016-2017 Leaders

Meet the Caswell Leaders

2016-2017 Caswell Leaders


“Geared Up”

Project areas: Community-Based Leadership ǀ  Educational Leadership

Aleena is a Junior from Irving, Texas, double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Math. Geared Up is an engineering education enhancement program for middle schools in low-income school districts. Middle School is the time in a student’s education when the student begins to lose interest in STEM subjects. Geared Up will serve as an enrichment program for students to learn about all things engineering – an opportunity that is not readily available to these students.




“The Many Faces of Intersectionality”

Project areas: Culturally Competent Leadership ǀ  Educational Leadership

Biko is a Senior Spanish major from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. His project will focus on intersectionality, a concept frequently neglected in discussions about social justice and identity politics, providing education about the subject through photography. The outcome of this project will be an international exploration of intersectionality which will lead to the production of a photographic information piece showing faces and stories of intersectionality. Throughout his project, Biko will explore the questions: “what are aspects of your identity that intersect each other?” and “how have these identities caused conflict in the past or currently, whether internal or external?”




“MASH (Mustangs Actively Serving Heroes)”

Project areas: Community-Based Leadership ǀ  Culturally Competent Leadership

Courtney is a Sophomore from Plano, Texas, majoring in Mechanical Engineering Management. “MASH” is a service organization at SMU with the purpose of raising awareness and support for the sacrifices of past, present, and future heroes of the United States military. Planned activities for MASH include sending support as far as the other side of the world or as close as just down the street, in the form of cards, packages, and events back home for the families of troops.




“Musical Expression”

Project area: Educational Leadership

Through her “Musical Expression” project, Grace will work with New Friends New Life to create a series of weekly musical activity sessions for children whose mothers are victims of sex-trafficking, teaching them how to express themselves through music. It is often difficult for these children to express themselves as others do, and this program will lead them in creating their own songs, lyrics, and music. Grace is a Sophomore Music Therapy major from Lucas, Texas.




“Operation Creation”

Project areas: Community-Based Leadership ǀ Culturally Competent Leadership ǀ    Educational Leadership

Mattie is a Senior Corporate Communications & Public Affairs major from Cedar Park, Texas. Operation Creation – by creators, for creators – promotes fine arts programs for Dallas children in the foster care system. Through artistic innovation, children grades K-12 will enhance their creative abilities, expand their intellect and further develop their personal skill set. Operation Creation will be an after-school program that provides materials for grade school students to explore the arts, whether theatre, art, music, or dance.



“Humanity in Faith”

Project areas: Community-Based Leadership ǀ Culturally Competent Leadership ǀ Educational Leadership ǀ Faith-Based Leadership

The goal of the Humanity in Faith project is to encourage religious organizations on campus to participate in human rights conversations through an annual interfaith human rights conference on campus. Currently there isn’t a platform for faith-based dialogue on pertinent human rights issues, and Syed hopes to create a culture of acceptance and harmony in order to address issues that encompass many faiths. Syed is a Senior Political Science and Human Rights major from Leander, Texas.




“Mustang Heroes Service Leadership Training & Education”

Project areas: Community-Based Leadership ǀ  Educational Leadership

Victoria is a Senior Finance major from Plano, Texas. This project will invest in the project leaders of Mustang Heroes, the largest service organization at SMU, by providing them with educational and leadership training programs. Victoria hopes to empower project leaders to progress in their own personal leadership development by showing that the organization is investing in the work they are doing for the SMU and Dallas communities. The project is a long-term investment as it is creating volunteers with a lifelong understanding and commitment to service who are prepared and knowledgeable about the issues and organizations to which they are choosing to dedicate their time.