Research & Scholarly
Initiatives Studio

The Research & Scholarly Initiatives Studio is the dynamic crossroads of research on the SMU campus. Faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students will find the expertise, training, institutional knowledge, and computational tools to launch their complex research and creative inquiries from concept to realization in this collaborative, technologically advanced, and inclusive location.


Through our partnership with SMU’s Office of Informational Technology (OIT), our staff provide consultations for established and aspiring scholars on research methods, digital scholarship tools and software, GIS and spatial information, high-performance computing, and available research technologies and software.

To schedule a consultation, send a message describing your research request and we’ll connect you to library and IT staff who can help you meet your needs.


Centrally located in Fondren Library Red 106, the Research & Scholarly Initiatives Studio is a space where you and your collaborators can gather to share information, test out software, and get support from Library and OIT staff. And if we don’t have the resources you need, we can help you find them – on campus or beyond. In addition to sharing our expertise in consultations, staff host a variety workshops, scholar talks, and other programs.


We can help you get started on your research, work through challenges, or visualize your data to tell your story. The Research & Scholarly Initiatives Studio is home to high performance GIS computers, and other workstations fully stocked with software to support your research needs. Throughout the research lifecycle we can help you create what you need to answer the big questions in your field.

Meet the Team

Dr. Carrie Johnston is the Director of Research and Scholarly Initiatives at SMU Libraries. In this role, she supports advanced research methods for faculty and students across disciplines. She specializes in digital humanities, literary studies, and collaborative research. Carrie earned her Ph.D. in English from SMU in 2014.

Dr. Eric Godat is the Team Lead and data scientist for the Office of Information Technology's Research and Data Science Support Services at Southern Methodist University. He received his doctorate in theoretical high energy physics from SMU working on nuclear parton distribution functions. He and his team provide consultative services and workshops to enhance research on campus by using data science, high performance computing, and the internet of things.

Sylvia Jones is a Research Librarian in the SMU Libraries specializing in GIS and Research Data Management. Ms. Jones has written on the development and implementation of GIS services in academic libraries and leads the SMU Library Research Data Working Group. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from Clark Atlanta University. 

Rafia Mirza is a Research Librarian in the SMU Libraries who specializes in collaborative research. She leads the Digital Humanities Research Institute at SMU and facilitates the integration of digital resources and methodologies into research and pedagogy through consultations and workshops. Ms. Mirza’s research examines the role of documentation in facilitating equitable collaboration and project planning. She holds a Master of Science in Information degree from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Jessie Marshall Zarazaga is Clinical Associate Professor with the Lyle School of Engineering, and Director of the Initiative for Spatial Initiatives in the SMU Library. Dr. Zarazaga explores ways to connect culture and community to place, working across the boundaries of urbanism, landscape mapping, and public engagement. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Science in Engineering from Southern Methodist University.