DLS Faculty Spotlight


Dr. Bruce Levy

Bruce Levy

Dr. Bruce Levy is the faculty chair and faculty advisor to the SMU Graduate Liberal Studies office.

PhD in American Studies from Brown University. Dr. Levy has published articles on late nineteenth century American Literature and Culture and the history of American social reform. He is currently completing a book on the Midwest and American Modernism, and is at work on a new book on the idea of economic freedom within American culture. At SMU, he directs the Center for Academic-Community Engagement, which involves students in coursework that engages them as well in community work. He teaches courses on Adolescence in America, Social Class and Democracy, the idea of "community" as both a lived and imagined experience, and the literatures of minorities.

Courses Taught

HUMN 6397 Troubled Youth in America
HUMN 7303 The Cultural Politics of Rock, Roll and Rap
HUMN 7382 Cultures of "Displacement:" The Writing of Race, Migration and Diaspora
HUMN 7397 Under the Influence: Discourses of Intoxication, Addiction, and Recovery
HUMN 7388 Seminar in Critical Methods and Cultural Theory (DLS)

G William Barnard

Bill Barnard

Associate Professor, SMU Department of Religious Studies SMU University Distinguished Teaching Professor
Ph.D. University of Chicago

Dr. G. William Barnard's primary areas of research are the comparative philosophy of mysticism, religion and the social sciences, contemporary spirituality, and religion and healing. In 2000, Barnard won the Golden Mustang Award for teaching and scholarship, and from 2002-2004 he was a member of SMU's Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He has published Exploring Unseen Worlds: William James and the Philosophy of Mysticism as well as an edited volume, Crossing Boundaries: Essays on the Ethical Status of Mysticism. He has also written many journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, such as pedagogy in religious studies, the nature of religious experience, and issues in the psychology of religion. He has recently completed a second monograph, Living Consciousness: Reclaiming the Intuitive Vision of Henri Bergson.

Courses Taught

HUMN 6338 The Fire of Transformation: Exploring the Mystical Life
HUMN 6358 Trances and Dances: Investigations into Indigenous Religious Life
HUMN 7379 Plants of the Gods: Religion and Psychedelics
HUMN 7380 Waking Up: The Philosophy of Yoga and the Practice of Meditation

Mag Gabbert

Mag Gabbert

Dr. Mag Gabbert has a Ph.D. in English, with a focus in creative writing, from Texas Tech University, an MFA in creative writing from The University of California at Riverside, and a BA in English from Trinity University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, with Honors in English. Her debut full-length poetry collection, SEX DEPRESSION ANIMALS, won the 2021 Charles B. Wheeler Prize in Poetry from Ohio State University and its affiliated national literary magazine, The Journal, and it will be published in February of 2023 by Mad Creek Books, an imprint of Ohio State University Press. Dr. Gabbert is also the author of the chapbook Minml Poems (Cooper Dillon Books, 2020), and her poems and nonfiction essays can be found in over fifty nationally and internationally recognized magazines and journals, including The American Poetry Review, The Paris Review Daily, The Missouri Review, The Hopkins Review, The Massachusetts Review, Waxwing, Pleiades, 32 Poems, and Birmingham Poetry Review. In 2019, Dr. Gabbert was awarded the inaugural Rossetti Broadside Prize from American Literary Review for her poem “America,” and in 2021 she received a 92Y Discovery Award from the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center. She’s received fellowship awards from The Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop, Idyllwild Arts, and Poetry at Round Top, and her work has been nominated for inclusion in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best of the Net, and Best New Poets. Prior to joining the faculty at Southern Methodist University, Dr. Gabbert taught courses in creative writing, literature, and rhetoric at Texas Tech University, and she previously served as an editor for The Trinity Review, The Coachella Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Underblong Journal. For more information, please visit maggabbert.com.

Courses Taught

FNAR 7320 Creative Non-Fiction: Shaping Experience in Narrative
FNAR 7321 The Creative Nonfiction Spectrum: From Long-Form Article to Flash Lyric Hybrid, and Everything In-Between
FNAR 7322 Applying Research to Creative Non-Fiction
FNAR 7323 Creative Writing for Publication

Rick Halperin

Rick Halperin

"There is no such thing as a lesser person."

Dr. Rick Halperin is Director of the Southern Methodist University Human Rights Education Program (http://www.smu.edu/humanrights/), and teaches courses at SMU including: America's Dilemma: The Struggle for Human Rights; America and the Age of Genocide; and America Enraged: From Brown to Watergate, 1954-1974.

Halperin has served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA from 1989-1995, and again from 2004-2010; he served as Chair of the Board from 1992-1993 and again from 2005-2007. He is also a member of the National Death Penalty Advisory Committee, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (serving as President from 2000-2006 and from 2007-2008 to present).

Halperin has been involved in many human rights monitoring projects, including an Amnesty International delegation which investigated the conditions of the Terrell Unit (Texas death row facility) in Livingston, Texas. In 1998, he was eyewitness to a lethal injection execution in the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas. Halperin also participated in a U.N. Human Rights delegation and inspected prison conditions in Dublin, Ireland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland for a report by the Irish Prison Commission, and he participated in a human rights monitoring delegation in El Salvador in 1987.

In addition to his work against the death penalty, Halperin is also active in other areas of human rights. He works with a variety of organizations which seek improvements in human rights on behalf of women, children, gays and lesbians, indigenous persons, survivors of torture, imprisoned political prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders, journalists, and healthcare professionals who are under non-stop assault by governments around the world.

Halperin leads groups of interested persons, including students, faculty, and community members, on human rights educational journeys three times each year to places such as Argentina, Cambodia, Rwanda, South Africa, El Salvador, Bosnia, and numerous Holocaust sites across Europe. Every December he takes a group to death camps and other Holocaust sites in Poland for two weeks. These trips are designed to pay tribute, in part, to those men, women and children who were destroyed in the camps, as well as to honor those who survived the experience. It was, and remains, necessary to remember that the human spirit is capable of enduring and vanquishing the most unimaginable horrors that humanity can produce.

Halperin received his Ph.D. from Auburn University, his M.A. from Southern Methodist University and his B.A. from George Washington University. He is frequently interviewed on television and radio as well as by print media, and he speaks nationally and internationally on a wide range of human rights issues including genocide and the death penalty.

Courses Taught

SOSC 6300 Study Abroad/Human Rights
SOSC 6309 The Struggle for Human Rights
SOSC 6342 America's Defining Moment: The American Civil War
SOSC 6355 America Enraged: From Integration to Watergate
SOSC 7305 Special Topics in Human Rights: The Holocaust
HUMN 7395 To Be Human: The Struggle for Human Rights (DLS)

Dr. Keyln Rola

Kelyn Rola

Dr. Kelyn Rola is a Research Assistant Professor in the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education in the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Prior to her appointment in the Caruth Institute, Dr. Rola served as a Lecturer in SMU’s Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in the Simmons School of Education & Human Development. Her professional experience includes teaching Anatomy & Physiology, Exercise Physiology, and Personal Responsibility & Wellness courses.

Dr. Rola’s career at SMU began in 2010. Prior to joining SMU, she earned her B.A. with honors in Kinesiology from Southwestern University, in Georgetown, TX. Dr. Rola later received her M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. At TCU, she taught and assisted a variety of kinesiology classes. She also assisted in data collection for a number of performance and training studies; however, her own research investigated molecular responses and adaptations to performing exercise in the heat.

Course Taught:

HUMN 7386 Section 701  DLS Social Science Research Design

Charles Sullivan

Charles Sullivan

Dr. Charles Sullivan is currently chair of the Department of History at the University of Dallas, where he also teaches in the Human Sciences department and the History and Philosophy of Science program. He received his B.A. degree from George Mason University and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, and has also taught at Columbia University, New York University, and Reed College. His research centers on the history of the social sciences with a particular emphasis on the history of political economy. He is the recipient of the University of Dallas’s 2012 King Award for scholarship and teaching.

Courses Taught

SCCL 7330 Science, Technology,and Society
SOSC 6344 Contemporary Economics
SOSC 7350 The World in the Twenty-First Century
SOSC 7354 The Intellectual History of Capitalism

Nicolay Tsarevsky

Nicolay (Nick) Tsarevsky obtained his M.S. in theoretical chemistry and chemical physics in 1999 from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He joined Professor Kris Matyjaszewski's research group at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, as a Ph.D. student in 2000, and obtained his doctorate in 2005. He worked on the synthesis of functional polymers by atom transfer radical polymerization, and on development of rules for rational selection of the catalyst for various reaction media, including aqueous solvents. He was awarded the Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Award in Green Chemistry (2003), the Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Award (2004), the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Polymer Group Student Award (2004), as well as the Harrison Legacy Dissertation Fellowship (2004-5), and the National Starch & Chemical Award (2008). He has authored and coauthored 53 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 8 book chapters, a textbook for high school students, and several patents. He was Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University (2005-6), Associate Director of the CRP Consortium (2006), and a member of the founding team of ATRP Solutions, Inc., of which he served as Chief Science Officer (2007-10). He was secretary (2005) and chair (2006) of the Polymer Group of the Pittsburgh Section of ACS, as well as chair of the Section (2009). He joined the Department of Chemistry at Southern Methodist University in the Summer of 2010. His current work focuses on the synthesis and applications of polymers with controlled molecular architecture and functionality. http://smu.edu/chemistry/tsarevsky.asp.

Courses Taught

FNAR 6307 Chemistry and Technology in Art: From Antiquity to the Industrial Revolution
FNAR7368 Science on the Stage
HUMN 7396 To Be Human: Science and Society (DLS)