Mustangs Keep Going

One thing we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic – the SMU community is even more collaborative and creative than we had imagined. We’re extending a virtual helping hand to anyone who needs it during these uncertain times by offering assistance ranging from free services, to tips for parents, to kid-focused activities. Meanwhile, our alumni across the globe are stepping up to help keep their communities safe and healthy. Here, we’ll share expertise from and great stories about our Mustang family.

Maguire Public Service Fellows to help at-risk communities

Students’ efforts will focus on research and programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic

May 22, 2020

This summer, 10 SMU undergraduate and graduate students will serve as Maguire Public Service Fellows, with much of their work focused on research and programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A final project tailored to this time

Students reach out to Italians to learn about their lives during the pandemic

May 22, 2020

In a video that’s heartwarming, funny and even musical, SMU students demonstrate fluency in empathy and awareness as they converse with new friends in hard-hit Italy.

Picuris Pueblo near SMU-in-Taos fights COVID-19

Native American community embraces extraordinary isolation measures

May 22, 2020

The pueblo of just 200 members has had several close brushes with annihilation, says SMU archaeologist and director of SMU-in-Taos Mike Adler. Smallpox reduced the population from 2,500 to 500 in the 1600s.

Music therapy students deliver telehealth services

Improvising with kitchen utensil instruments and writing original songs

May 22, 2020

Meadows School students are using HIPAA-compliant Zoom accounts to tune in weekly with clients, aiding their physical and mental health via live music, talking, singing, playing instruments and movement.

Alum's film debuts on Amazon Prime

The Girls of Summer is a coming-of-age story with ‘lots of improv moments’

May 22, 2020

Tori Titmas ’15 wrote, produced and stars in the movie she made with members of her real-life family and her “adopted grandfather,” director John D. Hancock.

Creating the ultimate gaming challenge

Could crowdsourcing the video game community crack COVID-19?

May 15, 2020

A citizen science effort launched by BALANCED Media|Technology and Complexity Gaming deploys the HEWMEN Cell app to test drug compound data against coronavirus, helping SMU researchers sift through possible treatments faster.

Thwarting zero-day ransomware

Software developed by SMU stops cyber attacks in a more effective way

May 15, 2020

Engineers from SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cybersecurity have developed software that detects ransomware attacks before they inflict catastrophic damage.

What makes SMU so special?

May 14, 2020

From studying on the Dallas Hall lawn to celebrating on the Boulevard, our May 2020 grads look back on favorite moments from the past four years.

Alumni across the country are hosting #StampedeInPlace interactive virtual events

May 14, 2020

Check @SMUAlumniNetwork on Facebook for event listings.

Ready for a ‘brain break’?

Kitten cuteness and other diversions to chase your cares away

May 14, 2020

When every day can feel like you’re prepping for a big test, de-stress with virtual jigsaw puzzles, puppy and kitten cams and more chill ideas from SMU Libraries.

Learning to separate fact from fiction

As conspiracy theories abound, watch for bias and double-check information

May 13, 2020

How do you filter out fake coronavirus news? SMU librarian Megan Heuer offers information literacy tips.

Residential Commons traditions continue

SMU student Anna M. participates in Sunday Night Snacks while sheltering in place

May 05, 2020

Sunday Night Snacks is a weekly tradition in SMU's Residential Commons where Faculty-in-Residence and students get together over fresh cookies. Now the tradition has moved online, but the sense of community is still strong.

SMU profs and students launch artificial intelligence lab to seek COVID-19 solutions

Fred Chang and Jo Guldi lead the search for trends, hidden patterns, insights

May 04, 2020

Computer science, the digital humanities and students eager to make a difference are all in the mix for a high-stakes collaboration tapping brainpower and the gift of time.

How alumna Ti Martin ’82, co-proprietor of NOLA’s Commander’s Palace is serving the community

Alumna Ti Martin ’82, co-proprietor of the restaurant, keeps its hospitable spirit alive

May 01, 2020

The legendary Commander’s Palace has teamed up with a New Orleans nonprofit to help feed healthcare workers at all 15 local hospitals. Meals are delivered by out-of-work artists and musicians.

COVID-19 hits home for Nashville student

Family life changed dramatically when Caitlin Williamson's grandmother was diagnosed with coronavirus

May 01, 2020

As her grandmother recovers, Caitlin Williamson has been reminded that family relationships are vital. She has taken this unique time at home to better understand who she is and where she comes from.

Ray W. Washburne ’84 named to industry group charting recovery path

May 01, 2020

Ray W. Washburne ’84, co-founder and co-owner of M Crowd Restaurant Group, has been tapped by President Donald Trump to serve on a task force developing a recovery plan for the nation’s food and beverage industry.

Reflections from the front line

SMU student is an essential worker in her part-time job at Target

May 01, 2020

From shortages to hoarding, SMU student Sarah Sedaghatzadeh has seen COVID-19 chaos all from the Target check-out line. Her advice? Stay home if you can; if not, be nice to essential workers.

SMU epidemiologist weighs in on plans to re-open Texas

CBS News reached out to global health expert Eric Bing for insight

May 01, 2020

Global health expert Eric Bing calls for more COVID-19 testing to establish a baseline before re-opening Texas.

Soap bubbles and Barbie bungee jumps

This SMU education prof takes at-home math to new heights

April 30, 2020

To help families make math fun and relevant to these times of handwashing and togetherness, SMU math education professor Candace Walkington suggests Soap Bubble Magic, STEMWalks and Barbie Bungee Jumping.

Facebook Live alumni concerts

Rewind solo jams by Cary Pierce ’91 and Jack O’Neill ’90 of Jackopierce

April 29, 2020

SMU alums Cary Pierce ’91 and Jack O’Neill ’90 met as Meadows students and formed the band Jackopierce. Now sheltering at home, they treated fellow Mustangs to solo sets that mixed music with SMU memories and answers to audience questions.

Necessity is the mother of reinvention

April 27, 2020

For the Odee Company, co-owned by Steve and Sarah Lodwick Holland ’80, the ability to adapt to shifting demands has kept the business going since 1923. Now the printer is churning out hospital gowns for frontline health workers.

A slice of the artist's life

Art alumna invites us into her virtual kitchen as she makes delectable ceramics

April 27, 2020

Fans of “The Great British Baking Show” will marvel at the pastry feats of art alumna Ginger Geyer ’75 of Austin. What’s the secret ingredient in her Instagram-perfect pies? Lots of clay.

Artful activities for beating boredom

Meadows Museum offers crafts, coloring pages, tiny tours and more

April 20, 2020

Got Kool-Aid, flour and water? Find out how to transform them into sculpture with an easy recipe from the Meadows Museum. The staff has been busy concocting fun crafts, learning experiences, virtual tours and more for all ages to enjoy at home.

Changing course to fight COVID-19

How one alum got creative when the going got tough

April 20, 2020

In just 48 hours, Lucy and Andy Rieger ’09 pivoted J. Rieger & Co. – their family distillery in Kansas City, Missouri – from producing whiskey to making hand sanitizer for hospitals, nursing homes and the community.

Hacking the health crisis

Alum leads innovation network to combat shortages

April 20, 2020

Hubert Zajicek, M.B.A. ’06, a physician and founder and CEO of the Health Wildcatters incubator in Dallas, helped create the Health Hacking Crisis Network to find quick solutions to problems like the face-mask shortage among healthcare workers.

Rethinking the retail environment

RevTech ‘SAFE Schools’ grants encourage innovation

April 20, 2020

What are the long-term solutions for staying safe and using retail services on campus? A partnership between several SMU programs challenges student teams to imagine the future.

SMU Center for Family Counseling offers free remote services

April 13, 2020

SMU’s Center for Family Counseling is now offering free telehealth counseling to anyone who needs it during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reassuring kids during COVID-19

April 13, 2020

The disruption of daily routines is tough on families, especially children. SMU’s counseling program offers advice for helping your kids feel safe during this uncertain time.

Avoid turning home into ‘Camp Chaos’

April 13, 2020

First, take a deep breath. Next, try to approach sheltering at home with a sense of challenge, even adventure, says SMU psychologist George Holden. Check out his pointers for using this time to grow closer as a family.

DIG manufactures face shields for area medical professionals

What do you do with an idle makerspace in the middle of a global pandemic? Manufacture medical personal protective equipment (PPE), of course.

April 06, 2020

Seth Orsborn, professor and director of DIG, and Alyssa Phillips, DIG lab manager, to manufacture face shields for area medical professionals.

Take care of yourself during these tough times

11 tips from SMU Counseling Services

April 02, 2020

Given the spread of COVID-19 and the disruption to our lives, grief, frustration and uncertainty all are normal reactions. The situation is new and unpredictable! How do we stay emotionally well during these times?