Faculty and Academic Excellence

Faculty & Academic Excellence

Master’s in sustainability focuses on new design models

Sustainability house

The Lyle School, with support from the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, began offering a new Master of Arts in Sustainability and Development in spring 2012. The program, which draws from the disciplines of engineering, urban planning and environmental policy, covers topics from policy to design in both the developing and developed worlds. Students are trained in the wise use of environmental resources in urban development, with the goal of creating and rebuilding economically and environmentally healthy cities, both in the United States and abroad. The program kicked off with the unveiling at SMU of an innovative, low-cost “pallet house” previously featured at a sustainability expo hosted by the Prince of Wales.

Institute to engage diverse disciplines

Dedman Interdisciplinary Institute

A new gift of $5 million in May marked another milestone in the historic support of SMU by the Dedman family and The Dedman Foundation. The gift created the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The Institute will bring together faculty and students from the humanities, sciences and social sciences in Dedman College, as well as other academic areas throughout SMU, for collaborative research and other programs. Unlike similar institutes at some other universities, the SMU Institute will engage undergraduates as well as graduate students and faculty.

New art history chair to focus on Hellenic culture

SMU announced in April that it has received a gift to establish an endowed chair named for a late professor in the Department of Art History in the Meadows School. The Karl Kilinski, II Endowed Chair in Hellenic Visual Culture will honor Kilinski’s work as an archaeologist, art historian and University Distinguished Teaching Professor. Kilinski, whose estate bequeathed to SMU the gift of $1.5 million, died in 2011 after 30 years on the faculty of the Art History Department in the Meadows School.

Dean’s Research Council provides “seed” money for research initiatives

Dean's Research Council

In 2011-12, its second year of operation, the Dedman College Dean’s Research Council (DRC) awarded a grant to Johannes H. Bauer, assistant professor of biology (center, with Dedman College Dean William M. Tsutsui), for his research on the effects of parental diet on the health and longevity of future generations. Launched in 2010 with a gift of $100,000 from Pierce Allman ’54, the DRC is a membership organization that raises and awards seed funding to support promising research conducted by tenure-track Dedman College faculty. During the previous year, the DRC awarded three grants to faculty researchers. DRC-funded research has attracted subsequent grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah.

Centennial professorship created

Adams Professorship

(L-R) Stephen L. Arata, Kathryn Hedges Arata, Professor Jeremy duQuesnay Adams, Jeremy Arata ’16.

In March SMU received a gift to create a new Centennial Professorship. The Jeremy duQuesnay Adams Centennial Professorship in Western European Medieval History is named in honor of the longtime SMU professor, who will continue to teach in Clements Department of History in Dedman College. The $1.25 million gift was provided by Kathryn Hedges Arata ’87, ’91 and Stephen L. Arata ’88, both of whom studied with Professor Adams. Centennial endowments provide permanent funding as well as operational funds to initiate the position on an expedited basis.

New Meadows School programs emphasize arts entrepreneurship and management

The Meadows School launched two new minors in 2011-12. The minor in Arts Entrepreneurship was created in recognition of the reality that most artists work locally and are self-employed and provides students with the tools to develop, launch and manage arts ventures. Courses include Arts Budgeting and Financial Management; Attracting Capital: Donors, Investors, and Public Funds; Interactive Advertising; Social Media Marketing; Marketing the Arts; and Introduction to Public Relations. The minor in Arts Management provides an overview of professional arts organization management, with an emphasis on understanding the practical issues facing arts managers. Courses include Philanthropy and Donor Communication, Consumer Behavior and Global Media Systems.

Scholar to head new SMU Presidential History Center

Jeffrey Engel

Award-winning American history scholar Jeffrey Engel was named in May as founding director of the SMU Center for Presidential History as well as associate professor of presidential studies in Dedman College. He will oversee a team of scholars who interview officials involved in formulating and implementing U.S. presidential policies. Previously, Engel served as the Verlin and Howard Kruse ’52 Founders Professor and director of programming for the Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs at Texas A&M. His wife, Katherine C. Engel, also a noted scholar, was named as associate professor of religious studies in Dedman College.