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2012 Archives

Engaged Learning Expo connects students with opportunities

Community connections, refreshments & prizes

August 23, 2012

SMU students participating in Unbridled Projects for 2012-13

SMU students who want to learn outside the classroom, tackle real world issues and explore potential careers as part of their university experience will find representatives from DFW-area organizations and agencies who want their help at Monday’s Engaged Learning Expo. The event also will be of interest to faculty who want to develop courses with community components and staff who want to expand opportunities for their programs.

Scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 27, 2012, in Umphrey Lee’s Mack Ballroom, the expo will celebrate 100 SMU undergraduates who worked on significant projects this summer, and provide opportunities to mix and match interested students with 15 different campus programs as well as 45 DFW-area community partners. Refreshments will be served, and participating students will be issued an Engaged Learning “passport” that can be entered into a lottery for prizes.

“A student who engages in a learning activity beyond the classroom has the opportunity to transfer the knowledge and skills of the classroom to a real-life situation, learn from the experience, reflect on it and use it as a basis for further learning,” said Susan Kress, director of Engaged Learning at SMU. “This is a taste of what it means to be a lifelong learner, and, for some, the first step in living a life of meaning and success in a complex world.”

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will speak about SMU’s commitment to community partnerships and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden will outline the impact of Engaged Learning on the University.  Gillian McCombs, dean and director of Central University Libraries, will explain how the Digital Repository: Engaged Learning Collections will house the publications of students who produce Engaged Learning projects.  James Quick, associate vice president for research and dean of graduate studies, will announce the first recipient of the Excellence in Mentoring Award and introduce SMU’s first director of undergraduate research.


SMU students worked on a wide variety of projects this summer, ranging from Kimberly Mendoza’s anthropological research in Guatemala to Michael Tran’s Mississippi River studies of an invasive species of carp.  One hundred students who engaged this summer in significant research, service, internships and creative work will be on hand to discuss their experiences, wearing white Engaged Learning T-shirts with all 100 names and project titles on the back.  DFW-area agencies present at Monday’s expo can talk with students and faculty about how students can work with them through undergraduate research, service projects, internships and creative opportunities.

“SMU students are entrepreneurial,” Kress said. “They identify pressing issues in communities and come up with solutions.”

Community partners at the Expo include:

  • American Red Cross
  • Baylor Health Care
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Catholic Charities of Dallas
  • Child Care Group
  • Dallas After School Network
  • Dallas Arboretum
  • Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center
  • Dallas CASA
  • Dallas Community Lighthouse
  • Dallas Holocaust Museum
  • Dallas Peace Center
  • Dallas Zoo
  • Equest
  • Genesis Women’s Shelter
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Heart House of Dallas
  • Human Rights Initiative
  • I Have a Dream Foundation
  • Interfaith Housing Coalition
  • Jubilee Park & Community Center
  • Junior Achievement
  • NARA (National Archives & Records Administration)
  • Nicolini by Organicity
  • North Texas Food Bank
  • Operation Kindness

Other community partners at the Expo:

  • Readers 2 Leaders
  • Resolana
  • River Legacy Living Science Center
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
  • Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park
  • The Senior Source
  • Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas
  • Trinity River Mission
  • Uplift Charter Schools
  • Variety – the Children’s Charity
  • Vickery Meadow Learning Center
  • Vogel Alcove
  • Wilkinson Center
  • Workers Defense Project
  • Youth Achievement Foundation
  • YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas
  • Room to Read DFW
  • S.A.Y. What?

Some of the campus programs at the Expo will include:

  • Center for Community and Education
  • Hart Center for Engineering Leadership
  • Institute for the Study of Earth and Man
  • Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility
  • Tower Center for Political Studies

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