Faculty and Staff


Harold W. Stanley

Harold W. Stanley is associate provost and the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair of American Politics and Political Economy at SMU. Previously he served as a professor and chairman of the political science department at the University of Rochester and as president of the Southern Political Science Association. He is co-editor of Vital Statistics on American Politics, now in its 14th edition, and is the author of numerous other books and articles. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. In 2006-2007 he served as chair of the Honors Task Force and in 2008-2010 helped develop the recently adopted University Curriculum. In addition to these accomplishments, Dr. Stanley is a 2010 recipient of the "M" Award, the most highly prized recognition bestowed upon students, faculty, staff and administrators on the SMU Campus.

Martha Starke

Martha Starke has been coordinator of the President’s Scholars program since 1999. To the students she serves, she is the all-knowing source of assistance and encouragement during their years at SMU, and she is an important link between the University and the program’s graduates.  Before joining the Office of the Provost, she was Student Services Coordinator in the MBA Office of SMU’s Cox School of Business. Martha has studied biology, chemistry, history, and political science at Richland Community College and the University of North Texas and plans to continue her education through SMU’s evening studies program. She has been “a soccer, baseball, dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading Mom for 20-plus years” and is now an active and supportive grandmother. She also volunteers for her church and community.  Martha was the recipient of 2012 Southern Methodist University Faculty Senate Outstanding Staff Award.

About her work with the President’s Scholars, she says: “The scholars bring a refreshing outlook to my life through their constant zest for knowledge and their diversity. It is an honor and a joy working alongside these exceptional students.”

Kathleen Hugley-Cook

Dr. Hugley-Cook is Director of SMU’s Office of National Fellowships and Awards, and also teaches French language and literature in Dedman College’s Department of World Languages and Literatures. Before joining the Office of the Provost in 2007 she was Associate Dean for Student Affairs in Dedman College. At SMU she has inaugurated a number of programs and has received the “M” Award, SMU’s highest recognition awarded by students and colleagues. Dr. Hugley-Cook is also an alumna of SMU, having received her undergraduate degree here before earning her Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University and executive management training at the Wharton School of Business.

“It is an immense pleasure being with the President’s Scholars and their families,” she says. “Walking with them for their four years here, and staying connected with them afterward, adds richness and depth to life. The President’s Scholars share a lot of laughs, and many meaningful experiences, in their lives together.”

Jeverley R. Cook

Dr. J. Cook is Executive Director of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas, where he has led initiatives for major grants in medical research, education, and public safety. He is a former Fulbright Scholar and a DAAD German Academic Exchange Fellow. J. earned his B.A. in German and studied at the Universities of Vienna, Munich, and Mainz before earning his Ph.D. in German language and literature from the Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Cook has served SMU as a member of the Advisory Board of the Meadows School of the Arts and on the Provost’s BigiDeas grant review panel. As President's Scholars advisors, Drs. Cook and Hugley-Cook enjoy welcoming the new President’s Scholars to their home for dinner each fall, and the graduating seniors each spring.

Joseph Kobylka

Involved with the President’s Scholars program for many years, Joe Kobylka became its faculty sponsor coordinator in 2008. He is an inaugural member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, and an Associate Professor of Political Science, has teaching and research interests in the areas of constitutional law, judicial politics, and American political thought. He has published three books in these areas, and his fourth – The Judicial Odyssey of Justice Harry A. Blackmun — is under contract with the University of Virginia Press. The Teaching Company published his lecture series “Cycles of American Political Thought” in 2007, and he was a featured interview on PBS’s “The Supreme Court” (2007). His teaching and service to the university have been recognized by a number of honors and awards: the “M” Award, the Willis M. Tate Award (twice), Rotunda Outstanding Professor (five times), Distinguished University Citizen Award, H.O.P.E. Distinguished Professor, SMU Student Senate Faculty Member of the Year Award, Bridge Committee Award, and the Deshner Award. Kobylka teaches a seminar that, every other year, takes 12 students to Washington, D.C., to do original research in the papers of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court housed in the Library of Congress.

He also owns and manages a competitive fantasy baseball team, Publius.

Jim Hopkins

Jim Hopkins, former chair of the Clements Department of History, is Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and an inaugural member of the SMU Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Other awards for teaching, research and service include the Willis M. Tate Award, the Scholar-Teacher Award of the United Methodist Church, the Perrine Prize, and the M Award. He co-founded the ICE program and SMU-in-Oxford program, and currently directs SMU-in-Britain. He earned a bachelor’s at the University of Oklahoma, studied at Cambridge University under a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin. The author of two books, he teaches British history and the social and intellectual history of Europe. He serves as PS co-adviser for programming with his wife, Patti LaSalle.

“It was once observed that the ideal undergraduate education is a teacher at one end of a log and a student at the other. This image captures the spirit of teaching and learning of which every faculty member dreams,” Hopkins says. “The President Scholar's Program has made it possible for me to have this kind of informal intellectual and personal relationship with several generations of the most talented young men and women in our student body. My wife, Patti, and I have found our lives immeasurably enriched by conversations and friendships developed at dinner parties in our home, the President Scholar's retreat, and in many other settings, both here and abroad. For us this has been an education that matters.”

Patti LaSalle

 As Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Public Affairs, Patti LaSalle leads media relations, marketing communications, and public relations for the University. She joined SMU after working in Washington, D.C. at Georgetown University, American University, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Her articles, publications, and projects have won more than 200 regional and national awards. The author of two books, she won the CASE top national award for outstanding writing about communications for higher education. At SMU she has won the M Award, has taught in the Journalism Division, and serves as co-adviser to the President’s Scholars Program with her husband, Jim Hopkins. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she holds master’s degrees from American University and SMU.

She says: “One of my goals at SMU is to help our constituents understand the quality and character of the University today and its potential for tomorrow. Through their achievements and talents, the President’s Scholars vividly tell that story. They invigorate my professional work in Public Affairs, and it’s a privilege to work with them personally.”

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