2017-2018 Caswell Leaders
Project areas: Community-Based Leadership ǀ Educational Leadership
Aleena is a senior 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. This year, Aleena will be extending her efforts back to the school she worked with last year, Irma Rangel YWLS, and this year will also be expanding to Life School Oak Cliff. 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. She hopes to provide an opportunity to learn about STEM to her students
“SMU Microfinance Initiative”
Project areas: Community-Based Leadership | Educational Leadership
Ceci is a junior from Colleyville, Texas and is majoring in Accounting with minors in Human Rights, English, and Chinese. Terrance is also a junior from Plano, Texas and is majoring in Finance and Religious Studies with a Minor in Chinese. Both Terrance and Ceci have a heart for service and a passion for finance. Their project, “SMU Microfinance Initiative (SMI),” aims to educate and utilize the world of microfinance to benefit the Dallas community. Microfinance seeks to alleviate poverty by granting micro-loans to people in developing area, in the hopes of creating a ripple effect in the economy, starting at the grassroots level moving upwards over time. Ceci and Terrance will work with locally based microfinance institutions to educate and share the benefit of microfinance in today’s world. SMI will begin as a club and work alongside local efforts to educate both the students in SMU community who can use their education towards humanitarian efforts, as well as local high schools who they hope to teach the benefits of microfinance.
“The Nari Project”
Project areas: Community-Based Leadership | Culturally-Competent Leadership
Neha is a junior from Carrollton, Texas, and is majoring in Human Rights and Marketing with a minor in Advertising. Neha is passionate about advocating for women who have been subject to domestic abuse and through her project, hopes to raise awareness of the dangers these women have endured. “The Nari Project” has worked in the past with local women’s shelters to provide essential item kits for women who have sought refuge in these shelters. She plans on contacting local hotels for potential donations, as well as seeking donations here on campus. Neha hopes to create as many kits as she can in order to fill a need for the Genesis Women’s Shelter of Dallas over the course of the year.
"Voices of Resilience"
Project areas: Educational Leadership | Culturally-Competent Leadership | Community-Based Leadership
Lamisa is a first year student from Carrollton, Texas. She is passionate about human rights and is putting that passion towards her Caswell project. The title of her project is "Voices of Resilience" where she will be creating a space for people to express themselves with poetry in the form of written and spoken word. She plans on creating both a physical space in the form of an open mic night, as well as a printed book with poetry submissions from SMU and the greater DFW area. Her project began with her participation in the Young Women's Leadership Conference though the Pangea Network, where she hopes to expand her concepts of expression, continue to develop her leadership skills, and support the mission of both the Pangea Network, the Community Engagement and Leadership Center, and SMU.
“SMU Foreign Leadership Initiative”
Project areas: Educational Leadership | Culturally-Competent Leadership
Char is a senior from Dallas, Texas and is majoring in Biology. Jacquie is a senior as well, majoring in Journalism, Creative Computation and Computer Science. Their project, the “SMU Foreign Leadership Initiative” focused on providing programming and leadership development for the summer study abroad program, SMU-in-London Communications. They acted as Residential Assistants on their trip, and provided valuable reflection, conversation, and education related to London and the UK area for students participating in the trip. They also provided cultural exploration opportunities and had the chance to experience London history. Both Char and Jacquie will be continuing their project through training new RA’s who will be on the trip, providing tools to facilitate valuable reflection and personal development for incoming students.
“SMU Rocketry Club”
Project areas: Organizational Leadership | Educational Leadership
Noah is a senior Mechanical Engineering, Math, and Systems Engineering major from Huntington Beach, California. Trent is also a senior, majoring in Mechanical Engineering from Munster, Indiana. Both Noah and Trent are passionate about rocketry and aero science, and hope to be able to share their passion with young engineers, as well as fellow SMU Mustangs. Their project focuses on establishing a rocketry club here on campus where students not only learn about the rocketry industry, but have the chance to participate in creating one as well. The hope is through a “hands-on” approach, students will see the benefits of engineering broadly and the satisfying challenge of building rockets specifically. Their project also is centered on the idea of student to student mentorship, and hope that their club will allow for students to build relationships, develop academically, and grow as members of the SMU community.
Project areas: Community-Based Leadership | Culturally-Competent Leadership | Educational Leadership
Siqian is a sophomore from Chengdu, China, and is majoring in Accounting and Mathematics. Yuhe is also a sophomore from China, and will be deciding upon a major this year. Being international students, both Siqian and Yuhe have seen a need for tutors and teachers for those students wishing to learn Chinese. Their project hopes to provide this to students here at SMU. They will utilize time after classes to hold study sessions, focused on conversation and writing. Students can receive help from native Chinese speakers, develop their speaking and writing skills, and discuss various aspects of both Chinese and American culture. They hope to not only assist with learning a new language, but open a dialogue that eliminates stereotypes, focuses on meaningful exchange, and develops relationships between International and American students.