SMU Meadows students have outstanding opportunities for stellar internships and collaborations on campus, in Dallas (a top-five media market, home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and home of the nation’s largest urban arts district) and in locales around the world. Hear from students and alumni about the many ways these experiences help prepare them for their careers.
B.A. Advertising 2016
“My internship with Southwest Airlines was extremely rewarding and allowed me to be extremely hands-on and involved in the brand beginning to end. I created digital content for Southwest.com and the Southwest mobile application. One of the biggest takeaways from this experience was the importance of company culture. Southwest embodies everything one would look for when it comes to a wonderful work environment. I got to work with friendly, hard-working individuals whose drive and creativity inspired me. My boss and supervisors understood the importance of work-life balance and really worked with me whenever I felt overwhelmed. My internship with Southwest was truly beneficial for my growth as a designer and young professional. My Meadows professors gave me the tools and knowledge to walk into this internship with confidence and an excellent design and advertising skill set. Southwest gave me the real-world experience that prepared me to succeed in my post-graduation career now.“ [Marissa now works as a junior designer at BBDO New York.]
B.A. Advertising/Creative; B.A. Fashion Media '17
"I was able to travel to the Dominican Republic through SMU's Engaged Learning program. There, I got to experience the culture while visiting a living-wage garment factory and staying in the homes of the workers. I took everything I learned and have created an initiative on campus to promote ethical apparel. The underlying goal is to let students know that sweatshops are unnecessary but also, and more importantly, that we can make a difference in people's lives by the way we choose to purchase items in our everyday life. I want students to know that we are the difference and we have the power to prove that ethical apparel is possible. With the help of my professors and experience through advertising classes, I've been able to create a conversation on campus around the origin of our shirts. It's been an exciting and challenging experience and I'm excited to see how it impacts SMU in the future! In addition, in summer 2016 I had the opportunity to serve as creative intern with Weller Media Agency in New York City, which was an amazing experience. And I'm excited to be interning with Dallas-based Canonball Agency for the fall of my senior year.” (Photo: Samantha with Alta Gracia garment factory worker Alfredo Toledo.)
B.A. Advertising/Creative ’16
"I was a creative copy intern at Publicis HCG in New York City in summer 2015. The coolest part of my internship was being put on a pitch where I worked directly with the associate creative director. My input and ideas were valued and some of my concepts were utilized. I was also a part of a larger internship program called MAIP, which provided me with a lot of awesome opportunities and connections as well. Interning in New York has been a great experience." [Tien now works as the diversity and inclusion coordinator for 4A’s in New York.]
Sue Hyun Han
B.A. Advertising/Creative ’16
"I loved my first agency experience! I did my internship through MAIP (Multicultural Advertising Intern Program), which placed me in McCann Detroit. The people at McCann Detroit were so kind and accommodating. When I realized that I didn't want to do account management they let me help out in creative. I got to see how everyone in the agency worked together. I became close friends with the fellow interns; we brainstormed together, ate lunch together and came up with our first ads together. Through MAIP, I was also able to go to New York City where we found out that our group won the 2015 MAIP Summer Project for Nike and Wieden+Kennedy."
M.F.A. Art ’16
“One of the features that attracted me to SMU for my M.F.A. in Studio Art was the potential for collaboration with other disciplines. Housed within the Owen Arts Building are the divisions of music, visual art, theatre and dance, to name a few. With the atmosphere of the various arts coexisting in the same space, I saw an opportunity to blur the boundaries between these so-called “divisions.” In my final semester, I approached students from the music and dance divisions to collaborate in producing a chamber operetta for the 2016 M.F.A. Thesis Show, “Above and Below the Surface.” The openness and rigorous abilities of the performers helped bring the work from a fragmented set of impressions to a fully realized project. Interdisciplinary experimentation, navigating unknown territories, challenging categories - these acts constitute a vibrant arts ecosystem and I am grateful to my collaborators and the faculty at Meadows for facilitating this exchange.” [See “Watergrass” video on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSh9DzH3VpI ]
D S Chapman
B.F.A. Studio Art ’17
The only thing greater than the Meadows School itself are the outstanding professors who dedicate their time and effort to making students like myself successful in our chosen field. Since my junior year, I have been an exhibitions & programs intern at The Power Station, a not-for-profit contemporary art exhibition space, after Chair of the Division of Art Dr. Noah Simblist connected me with The Power Station Gallery Manager Gregory Ruppe. I have helped with the installation of two exhibitions, one of which was for the international Dallas Art Fair, and I assist with the day-to-day running of The Power Station. The Power Station permitted me to organize a screening of video work from SMU students and alums, and I have been invited to curate the work for one night of their “Sunscreen” summer film series. In addition to continuing my internship at The Power Station during my senior year, I will be working as the studio assistant to artist Jeff Zilm (M.F.A. ’11), a former SMU alumnus. [DS was accepted to three grad schools and will attend University of California San Diego beginning fall 2017.]
B.F.A. Art ’14
My time at Meadows was instrumental in setting the foundation for my career, and continues on with having an incredible and supportive community in the Dallas arts. The summer after graduation I got a studio in the Deep Ellum district in Dallas, where I currently hold my professional studio practice. My studio space has led to several past and upcoming exhibitions. I'll be showing works at a downtown gallery in the spring; I recently had a show with another painter at North Lake College; was selected as a "Rising Star" for the Turner House exhibition at the Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts; and will be in a women printmaking show at the Bath House Cultural Center in the spring. I am also a studio assistant to another Meadows alumnus, Matthew Cusick (M.F.A. ’13), whom I met during my studies. [Note: In 2016, Diana had residencies at the London Summer Intensive Residency and at the Can Serrat International Center in El Bruc, Spain. Upcoming residencies include the Vermont Studio Center in spring 2017.]
B.F.A. Art, B.A. Art History ’17
Over the summer I was granted an opportunity to be a part of Pike Park’s first-ever summer camp, where I worked with children ages 5 through 12. Together we were able to construct a huge mural titled “My Pike Park” to bring awareness to the diminishing history of Pike Park and of Little Mexico here in Dallas. This project directed the use of my artistic abilities using a different approach known as social practice. It has opened new possibilities for me, such as a new body of work and recognition throughout the art community. I’ve always believed that art can change the world in some way. (Photo by Parker Smitherman [B.F.A. Film & Media Arts ’15])
B.A. Art History ’16
It was the best feeling when my education and work experience first began to overlap. Internships with the Dallas Contemporary and other Dallas galleries have given me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge in this field, meet people I admire and have exciting experiences like working in the Dallas Art Fair. Perhaps most important, they have given me the chance to explore my interests and hone my skills. I am currently working in a part-time position with the Dallas Museum of Art, where I have the privilege of doing research work with the Keir Collection. I owe this experience to the foundation I gained from my art history courses and the support of my professors.
M.A. Art History ’15
As a graduate student hoping to pursue a career in museums, I knew internships would be an important part of achieving my goals. With support from the Meadows Art History faculty, I gained museum work experience both during and after my graduate work. An internship at the Metropolitan Museum in New York offered an opportunity to learn about the variety of roles available throughout a large museum. Now, as a 2015-16 graduate intern at the J. Paul Getty Museum, I am gaining valuable firsthand experience in the Exhibitions department, which manages the logistics surrounding special exhibitions, coordinating the efforts of departments across the museum. The experience is a valuable complement to my Meadows education and one that will further my career goals. [Rachel now works as an exhibitions assistant at the Dallas Museum of Art.]
B.A. Art History ’16
With the Jordan Internship at the Meadows Museum I hope to gain a better understanding of the people who are responsible for the everyday and special operations of a museum. I will use my time here at Meadows to help get a better sense of what career I will pursue in the art and museum world and to decide what steps I need to take after I graduate from SMU. I also hope to make lasting connections with the people here who might be able to help and guide me in the next stages of my life.
Arts Management & Arts Entrepreneurship
“It was an exciting time to intern at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum communications department with their recent re-branding effort and big international travelling exhibitions, all during the busiest travel season in Santa Fe. I benefited greatly from the Web & Social Media Analytics course at SMU Cox School of Business, where I learned more about cutting-edge tools and refined digital media strategy. My Meadows courses all set the firm foundation for my understanding of nonprofit organizations, challenged my marketing views, allowed me to see the big picture and helped improve my collaboration skills with other departments. The impact of data-driven decisions in art administration has opened my perspective to a new career track.”
“Having the good fortune to intern in the multifaceted exhibitions department of the Dallas Museum of Art, I enjoyed a very dynamic experience, with exposure to an assortment of tasks and responsibilities. Comprised of a multitude of departments, the museum’s welcoming staff made scheduled and impromptu informational interviews possible. Possessing a cursory knowledge of the diverse sets of priorities and obligations held by the various constituents involved in a nonprofit organization was a framework afforded by my course work. This context propelled my conversations at the museum into fruitful and potent exchanges of knowledge that I will take with me throughout my career.” [Photo: Veronica at the Dallas Museum of Art.]
“My experience as the annual fund and donor benefits intern at The Santa Fe Opera contributed greatly to my comprehensive understanding of the fundraising process. Lessons learned in SMU’s M.A./M.B.A program - especially in Fundraising in the Arts and Advanced Fundraising Strategy with JoLynne Jensen - were critical to successfully meeting the challenges of my hands-on involvement in the fundraising and special events activities of this world-class development department. Applying lessons learned at SMU to such real world situations allowed me to grow as an arts administration professional and gave me a clearer vision of possibilities going forward.”
During my time as an intern with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, I was able to be thoroughly immersed in the arts administration atmosphere. Having the opportunity to work with a variety of departments there gave me an overarching view of the industry, as well as some hands-on involvement, and I found it to be extremely valuable. Getting that insight into the inner workings of an organization such as this provided me with a tremendous amount of new knowledge that seamlessly complements the education I am receiving through SMU’s M.A./M.B.A. program. [Kristen now works as a search coordinator for Resolution Media in Chicago, working on campaign plans, strategies and optimizations, data analysis, industry changes and more.]
I had the opportunity to intern at the Dallas Museum of Art in the marketing department. I was given an audience overview project which allowed me to combine the concepts I was learning in class to real life situations. For instance, creating a museum budget for our finance class helped me understand potential revenue streams while our marketing class gave me ideas for direct marketing tactics and ways to utilize available data. My internship project allowed me to better understand museum audiences and exposed me to the types of strategies and goals a museum might implement from a marketing perspective. [After her subsequent internship at Christie’s, Emily now works as a category marketing specialist for Heritage Auctions.]
Corporate Communication and Public Affairs
B.A. Public Relations and Strategic Communication; B.A. Corporate Communication and Public Affairs/Political Communication ’17 (Dec.)
“My classes in the CCPA department helped me find my passion for digital marketing, which I was able to apply at my internship as a social media and public relations intern at Ten90Success. The CCPA curriculum allows you to pursue so many different specializations within public relations. This allowed me to develop videography skills, which really differentiated me within my internship. Throughout my time at Ten90Success, I had opportunities to do everything from strategic planning to video production and editing. In addition, I was able to work closely with clients, which helped me to further develop my professional communication skills, which will be an asset as I move forward in my career.”
B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communication ’17
“I felt prepared coming into my internship at Bratskeir & Company, a public relations firm in New York City, because of the knowledge I gained in my Meadows classes over the past three years at SMU. Prior to the internship I had worked with clients in the local Dallas area, learned how to write the perfect pitch, prepared public relations strategies and learned all about business literacy, among other skills. At Bratskeir, I got to learn everything that goes into creating a successful event, including connecting with clients and customers leading up to, during and after the event. I also learned first-hand everything about keeping a mutually beneficial relationship between a company and its clients, which is essential for the field I am pursuing.”
B.A. Public Relations and Strategic Communication ’17
“I would not have been able to succeed at my internship with the Washington Redskins if not for all of the material I learned in my classes at SMU. The repetition and practice of AP Style writing gave me the tools I needed to succeed in editing and writing various forms of writing such as press releases, bios and fact sheets. This internship gave me a great deal of experience in interacting with members of the media in a professional manner, which is something I will need to continue a career in sports PR.” [Andy also interned with the Dallas Stars in spring 2017.]
Emily Grace Walsh
(B.A. Public Relations and Strategic Communication ’15), Account Executive, Brynn Bagot Public Relations, Dallas
"After two great internships as an undergrad with Weber Shandwick in their Chicago and Dallas offices, I accepted an account executive position at Brynn Bagot Public Relations in Dallas shortly after graduation. I would not have been able to accept this position without the skills I learned in the SMU Communication Studies program. On a daily basis, I consistently use my writing skills, research skills and interpersonal skills to communicate directly with clients." [Emily is now a corporate communications specialist for Mary Kay Inc.]
(B.A. Journalism; B.A. Public Relations and Strategic Communications; and B.A. Communication Studies ’15) Press Assistant for Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
"I wouldn't be working on the Hill without doing internships in different disciplines. Who else but an SMU Meadows student can say they were published on the front page of a newspaper in a top five media market and interned for a past President in the same school year? My professors gave me the tools to be one of the best in any of the fields I could have pursued, and that is the best kind of job security."
B.A. Creative Computing ’18
“Working for the SMU Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity has been a unique experience because it incorporates different disciplines where scientists, professors and students work together to solve humanitarian issues locally and globally. My main task working there was to develop an affordable computer tablet for remote locations where education is scarce. I was also privileged to work toward the mission and goal of the Institute. In addition, I have been creating visual assets for the Institute, like logo design, brochures, flyers and posters.”
B.A. Creative Computing; B.A. Computer Science ’17
"I interned in the AT&T TDP - Emerging Technologies program in summer 2015. The best part about the internship was that I was able to work on projects specific to my interest in UI/UX Development, which greatly helped me improve my skills. Thanks to my C3 professors, I can approach problems as both an artist and programmer to take on projects that require creativity and logic." [Upon graduation, Emely began working as an associate application developer in AT&T’s software development program.]
B.A. Creative Computing; B.A. Art History ’16
"Last summer I worked for the design sector of SAP in Palo Alto, specifically with d.forum, the chief design officer's initiative to bring design thinking into global organizations. I also co-facilitated design thinking workshops for SAP University Alliances at the Stanford d.school, SAP, the Hanahaus in downtown Palo Alto and Delaware State University. Design thinking closely aligned with my studies at SMU, particularly my arts entrepreneurship minor. In fact, I integrated Professor Jim Hart's game, "Speed Dating Market Feedback," into several workshops. My managers and SAP clients were also very intrigued by the Creative Computing major." [Kali is now a creative technologist with RP3 Agency in Washington, D.C.]
B.A. Creative Computing ’16
"My internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers gave me a taste of the real world and how effective my skills could be at a professional level. It was a great experience. The skills I've gained at SMU really came in handy in the workplace and the hands-on learning that I got in the Creative Computing Center gave me quite the edge. My recruitment process included a personal recommendation from my professor. Without that connection, I never would have had such a great opportunity. The best takeaway I got from the internship is a very nice offer to work at PwC when I graduate." [Harley is now an associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers.]
B.F.A. Dance Performance ’17
“For two years now, I’ve spent my summers in downtown Dallas working for Larrwell Productions as a contracted dancer for Mary Kay’s corporate seminars held at the Kay Bailey Hutchins Convention Center. It has been such a fulfilling and worthwhile experience for me, benefiting my professionalism and diversity as an artist in so many ways. I not only learned firsthand how to conduct myself as a working professional, but I was also exposed to the incredible benefits of working in a more industrial setting, such as backup dancing for major performing artists. Dancing for Mary Kay was also a great platform that allowed me to work with other young professionals in and around the Dallas area. My training from Meadows definitely prepared me for an experience like this, especially in terms of the audition process. The audition experience I receive at SMU is a direct representation of what to expect in the real world, and for that preparation I’m very grateful.” [Photo: Fallon, right, at Mary Kay event with Sarah Larr of Larrwell Productions.]
B.F.A. Dance Performance, B.A. History 2017
“To me, the Movement Exchange Program stands out as the most special and rare thing the Meadows Dance Division has to offer: Not only are you going on a service trip to orphanages throughout Panama, but you also get to experience classes in salsa, modern dance, aerial, and other Panamanian types of dance, with local dancers. Our guides were fellow dancers who had grown up in Panama, and for one week, they immersed us in Panama’s culture. It would be difficult to choose one memory from the trip, but my personal favorite was taking an improvisation modern class with a professional dance company in Panama City. We were given a partner for one exercise, and although I spoke awful Spanish, my partner and I were able to communicate solely through our bodies in the dance: Dance itself became connective language. I have never felt so in love with my art as I did in that moment.” [Photo: Kat, front row on the right, with fellow dancers on the beach in Panama.]
Molly Kate Dalton
B.F.A. Dance Performance ’18
During spring break I traveled to Panama through the Movement Exchange organization. We taught dance to kids ages 5-15 who were living in orphanages. Although the language barrier was a challenge at first, within a few days we were all brought together through our love of movement, and we witnessed moments of pure bliss. My return to the States made me realize there is so much more to dance than meets the eye: It is a passion, a way of expression, and it is the universal language. My dance professors at SMU teach from a place of passion, heart and encouragement, which have helped me grow as a dancer and a person. I can only hope that I have touched someone’s life in the way my professors and peers have touched mine.
B.F.A. Dance Performance Dec. 2015
Dancing in the Bruce Wood Dance Project's "5 Years" show advanced my knowledge of the professional dance world. I experienced tremendous growth in my technique, my knowledge of professionalism as an artist and my ability to adapt to new choreographic ideas. I brought my experiences from this inspiring environment back into my work as a dance major at SMU. I also will never forget dancing in the José Limón Festival at the Joyce Theater in New York City with the Division of Dance. These opportunities have shaped me tremendously as a dancer, positively influencing my work at SMU and preparing me for a successful career in dance.
B.F.A. Dance Performance ’16
Outside of Meadows Division of Dance, I have had the incredible opportunity to perform with Dark Circles Contemporary Dance USA, directed by SMU alumni Joshua L. Peugh. Working with DCCD has given me valuable professional experience, teaching me the challenges and rewards of being a part of a professional dance company. In addition to performing in Dallas, I have toured with the company to New York, Houston, Austin and the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, where we met and performed alongside inspiring artists from all over America and abroad. Rehearsing and performing with the company has allowed me to put all of the training I have gained at SMU into practice in a professional environment and become more involved in the Dallas dance community.
(Photo by Sergio Garcia; courtesy of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. With Emily is company member Kelsey Rohr [B.F.A. Dance ’15]).
Film & Media Arts
B.A. Film and Media Arts ’17
“In summer 2016 I was chosen by the department to be an intern for AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women in Los Angeles. I was also informed of the generous donation I would receive to help pay for my travel and lodging expenses. I can say without a doubt that it was the best experience of my life. I got to work on several different independent film sets, meet and learn from industry professionals, and explore and live in Los Angeles – one of the most amazing cities in the world. This internship allowed me to observe and also be a part of some of the most intricate and professional film sets I have ever seen. I met so many people and made invaluable connections that will surely help me enter the industry once I graduate.”
B.F.A. Film & Media Arts; B.B.A. Management ’17
“During summer 2016 I interned at WWE Studios in L.A. I gained exposure to the several stages of production, from reading and analyzing scripts for prospective projects to observing editors put together different cuts for feature films. Through my internship at WWE Studios, I learned how to work in a professional movie studio, became better acquainted with getting around in L.A., and gained insight into what job positions to pursue after graduation. Prior to doing the internship I took Media Career Preparation, which helped me prepare an impressive résumé and cover letter that helped me land this internship.” [Lawrence also held an internship with the American Pavilion at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.]
B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies ’17
“During summer 2016 I had the opportunity to intern at charlieuniformtango – Dallas in their audio department. During my time there I worked on several projects for companies like American Airlines, Choctaw Nation and Johnson Brothers. Some of my responsibilities were assisting in recording sessions and with editing/mixing audio in Pro Tools. From this experience I gained necessary skills and learned best practices used in the audio field. My courses in Meadows gave me the experience and knowledge needed to hit the ground running on the projects and in my career.”
B.A. Film & Media Arts; B.B.A. Marketing ’17
During fall 2015 of my junior year I had the amazing opportunity to intern at The Levenson Group on their Paramount Pictures, CBS Films and Warner Bros. accounts. My duties included planning local promotional events, staffing advanced screenings, distributing promotional materials and partnering with local businesses to promote the films. I handled the grassroots promotions for about 10 films and gained valuable insight into the field marketing strategies of three very different studios. The most important thing I learned from the experience was that you can be an integral part of the marketing and release of a film by working on the ground level in a large city like Dallas - you don't necessarily have to be in L.A. (Photo from Wicklow National Park in Ireland during the summer when Kim studied abroad in London.)
B.A. Film & Media Arts ’17
During summer 2015 I interned for Paramount Pictures within their World Wide Marketing group. During my nine weeks working in L.A., I gained exposure to qualitative marketing research, presentations made for marketing strategy, and editing print and video advertising content. The program offered seminars on how the entertainment industry works within a large studio. The entire experience gave me a huge perspective on which avenues I would like to pursue, and a fun summer in a new city! By working with Meadows faculty, I was given the tools and alumni connections to land this great opportunity.
B.A. Journalism ’17
“I’ve had plenty of great journalism experiences at SMU, but I didn’t work in a newsroom until I spent the summer of 2016 at FOX4 in Dallas as a web producer intern. I wrote news stories for the station’s website, fox4news.com. My writing speed and story organization skills improved a lot, but the most valuable part for me was working the day after the July 7 police shootings in Dallas. That experience showed me how “real” the coverage was and how important professional coverage is to breaking news. To experience and be part of the coverage was incredible. Through my internship I was guided by SMU alum Mark Norris, the station’s senior web producer.”
B.A. Journalism, B.A. Fashion Media ’17
“Working in the beauty closet at Marie Claire in New York City, I learned the ins and outs of magazine production, as well as the beauty and fashion industries. Throughout the summer I took part in writing, reporting, market work, social media production and other creative projects, and interacted with editors across multiple departments. With encouragement and advice from fashion media professors Camille Kraeplin and Jayne Suhler I embarked on one of the best experiences of my life. This internship solidified my desire to work in fashion media after graduation, and has put me so much closer to that goal.” [Copy and paste to see India’s journalism and fashion media website: https://indiapougher.wordpress.com]
B.A. Journalism ’16
"I interned at CBS Television Studios for "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider" in Studio City, Calif. I got to work on all aspects of production for both shows. I transcribed interviews, ran scripts to talent, prepared post-shoot updates, gathered content for the shows and even acted as production assistant at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards. This summer was a great experience because the journalism professors had really prepared me for this opportunity." [Ashley is now a social media manager for the APA Agency in Beverly Hills.]
B.A. Journalism ’17
"My whole life I've had one goal: to run/produce late night television. When I interned at "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider" with CBS in L.A., I was introduced to Stephen Colbert by "The Insider" host Louis Aguirre. Colbert told me to never give up on my dreams and to strive for excellence. He got to meet David Letterman, who told him maybe one day he would be taking over Letterman's chair ... and he did! My summer wouldn't have been possible without the guidance and help of professors Michele Houston and Pam Harris Hackett. They both push me to do my best." [Natalia also interned at “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in summer 2016.]
B.M. Performance/Cello ’18
"As a member of Bridge the Gap Chamber Players (BTG), I have witnessed the small student-run nonprofit transform into a strong force for arts advocacy in Dallas due to the hard work of dedicated Meadows students. We have been able to help start a youth orchestra for underprivileged students in South Dallas, forming a close relationship with the kids we teach and the community where we work. Meadows is invaluable at preparing its students for the kind of entrepreneurial and pedagogical work BTG does. The faculty at Meadows equip students with the kind of real-world skills needed to create a thriving arts organization and personal career.” [Photo: Isaiah with students at Dunbar Elementary.]
B.M. Music Education ’17
“In the summer of 2016, I was the Operations Intern and House Manager for Music@Menlo, a Chamber Music Festival and Institute, in Menlo Park/Atherton, California. I absolutely loved my time in the Bay Area. I was able to network with not only Music@Menlo artists but also people interning from around the globe. By working closely with the administrative staff, production crew and artists, I gained hands-on experience running a festival. The high quality of musicianship, professionalism and overall rigor of the Meadows School prepares its students for this field of work.”
B.M. Music Therapy ’17
In summer 2016 I researched the uses of music therapy to support individuals in their weight loss efforts by working with a group of 11 women in a private medical office in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Each week I led group sessions to address behavioral and emotional barriers to weight loss and provide 30 minutes of drumming and exercise. The experience challenged me to use every musical and therapeutic skill I have learned from my professors in the MUTY program. It was immensely rewarding to see how the interventions motivated participants to take control of the weight loss process and enjoy it at the same time. The results of the study have inspired me to improve my clinician skills and conduct further research on this topic.
B.M. Music Education ’17
The motivational environment created by Meadows inspiring professors led me to found my own nonprofit, Helping Hand Drums. Meadows has equally inspiring students, such as those who lead and allow me to be a part of Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, which brings great student musicians out to the community, and the South Dallas Strings project, a music education program for elementary students in South Dallas. Meadows is a great place to learn how to"do more" with your craft than just perform on stage or hang something on a wall. You learn how to build the stage, and make the wall, and bring it to the community. [In addition to serving as the president of Dallas’s Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, Lawson also interned with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2016 and 2017.]
B.M. Music Therapy, B.M. Vocal Performance ’16
The Music Therapy program has given me the great honor of working at My Possibilities, a continuing education facility for adults with disabilities. Each week, I do one-on-one and group music therapy sessions with the HIPsters (Highly Important People) to help improve their everyday life skills. It is an amazing experience to see them function at a higher level when participating in personalized musical activities. With this hands-on experience, I am learning and implementing new therapeutic techniques that I will use for the rest of my career as a music therapist.
B.M. Vocal Performance ’17
Last spring I had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the Voices of Change chamber music ensemble on "Tibet Fantasia," composed by SMU Associate Professor of Music Composition and Theory Xi Wang. It was a wonderful but very challenging experience as I had never before sung any modern classical music. It challenged my musicianship abilities, but getting to work with Dr. Xi and Professor of Voice Virginia Dupuy helped me immensely. Professor Dupuy taught me valuable lessons in vocal technique, pitch reference and the importance of preparation in the professional world. For that, I am very grateful.
B.F.A. Theatre/Acting ’17
“I worked with Public Works Dallas as a community liaison during “The Tempest” at Dallas Theater Center. This was an incredible opportunity to connect with community members from various backgrounds. I worked with people who never thought they would be involved in a professional production along with those who’ve been theater professionals for most of their lives. Helping non-English speaking cast members by using my first language, Spanish -- which I hadn’t utilized in-depth in a long time -- was extremely gratifying. This experience has opened my eyes and heart to the extraordinary power of theatre. Watching others achieve their dreams, face new challenges and inspire their community has in turn inspired me to go after my own dreams once I graduate, and reconfirmed why I love theatre.”
B.F.A. Theatre/Theatre Studies ’17 (Minors in: Fashion Media, European Studies, History of Visual & Performing Arts)
“I was an actress and assistant teaching artist for Public Works Dallas, and boy was it a great experience! I got to teach acting classes at two community centers, and my students were so much fun. Then, together with professionals from Dallas Theater Center and over 150 other Dallasites, we put on a beautiful production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” On our last day, I felt like my heart was being ripped out because I’d made so many friends. It’s okay, though, because we’ve kept in touch! That was my seventh professional theatre job while enrolled at SMU. Who knew I’d feel this ready to graduate and get out there?!” (Photo by Susan Hamilton)
B.F.A. Theatre/Theatre Studies ’17
"My liberal arts and theatre classes were equally important during my internship at the Ko Festival in Amherst, Massachusetts. I worked on solo performances and devised theatre pieces, many of which focused on social justice issues including urban violence, mass incarceration and the refugee crisis. My non-theatre classes helped me converse knowledgeably about these issues in the rehearsal room with an international cast and crew, and my playwriting, solo performance and tech classes allowed me to assume technical roles and script development opportunities with ease. My internship combined my passions for theatre and politics, and taught me about successfully producing touring theatre."
M.F.A. Acting ’16
"Working in the Dallas area with professional theater companies such as Dallas Theater Center has given me the opportunity to gain professional experience and a chance to meet fellow actors working within the community. It presents me with many options of what a career in the arts could look like and connections that will launch me into my career. SMU Meadows has prepared me to know what is expected of me when I step into a room under the title of an actor or an artist."
B.F.A Theater ’16
"I worked with the Dallas Theater Center as an assistant director on the play "The School for Wives" by Moliere. Through this experience I gained knowledge and hands-on experience on directing in the professional world. I also learned how to run a rehearsal room and work with not only actors, but also designers and crew. My classes in Meadows really prepared me for the challenges in directing at a professional theater and I always felt prepared and ready for whatever task I needed to perform. After working with DTC, I now have several connections and perhaps even job opportunities when I graduate and have no doubt I will be able to practice my craft in the real world."