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.

Forbes features wise words from SMU grad

Entrepreneur shares her insight on tackling difficult subjects – start with your family, she says

July 02, 2020

Neha Husein ’19, founder of the Just Drive app, and eight other entrepreneurs and influencers were selected to be part of Warm Robots’ inaugural “Council of Courage” by offering their own experiences and definitions of a courageous conversation.

New York City Ballet veteran embraces new role

In a New York Times profile, Silas Farley outlines new path

July 02, 2020

At just 26, dancer Silas Farley is transitioning from performance to leadership. Meadows School of Arts is the first step on his journey.

Law professor analyzes long history of false narratives by white supremacists

Attacks on black freedom began shortly after 13th Amendment was ratified

July 02, 2020

In this Washington Post analysis, law professor Jessica Dixon Weaver demonstrates that events like the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre have long been a deadly part of American history

SMU creative writing professor shines spotlight on Black authors

Author leads movement to fill bestseller lists with titles by Black authors

July 02, 2020

Sanderia Faye is the author of Mourner’s Bench, a story about 8-year-old Sarah Jones coming to terms with the traditions of her community in 1960s Arkansas and the progressive nature of her mother, who is involved with the civil rights movement.

Couple donates stimulus check

Retirees moved by business owner’s commitment to employees

July 01, 2020

Richard Hawkins, SMU professor emeritus of sociology, and his wife gave a combined $2,400 to help a Plano costume shop struggling to meet its payroll.

Seven ways business owners can prepare for adversity

SMU super-entrepreneur shares what he’s learned from creating something from nothing

June 25, 2020

Carl Dorvil started his first business as an SMU junior. He offers this simple advice to business owners during COVID-19: “Adapt if you can, do something else if you can’t.”

Coaching kids through the pandemic

New Orleans Saints punter talks about tackling adversity

June 25, 2020

Thomas Morstead ’09 has raised millions for sick children through his What You Give Will Grow charity. Now he’s sharing big life lessons with little ones in the new The Middle School Rules book about him.

Caring for vulnerable patients

A new funding lifeline for a free clinic fighting the pandemic

June 24, 2020

As unemployment and COVID-19 cases rise, the Agape Clinic’s medical services are more vital than ever. And SMU alumna Mary Ann Scott ’65 aims to ensure the nonprofit’s healthy future.

COVID-19 challenge: Be kind

SMU women's soccer kindness challenge inspires an NCAA campaign

June 17, 2020

What started as a blood drive for members of the SMU women's soccer team became an acts of kindness challenge, resulting in 156 kind acts and inspiring the NCAA Soccer United Against Hunger national food drive.

Law school launches helpline for COVID-19 legal issues

Call 214-SMU-COVD (214-768-2683) for free legal assistance for COVID-19 issues

June 17, 2020

Those needing legal assistance related to COVID-19 housing, immigration and consumer protection issues can receive assistance through SMU legal clinics or referral to local law firms and attorneys providing free services.

Simmons professor changes course to offer summit to minority families

When in-person seminars became impossible, Candice Bledsoe found a way to inspire students, families

June 17, 2020

Three hundred students, parents and teachers tuned in to learn leadership strategies, problem solving and design from local scholars and leaders.

Perkins professor finds meditation brings dignity and purpose to COVID-19 world

"Take a minute and sit still," says Perkins world religions professor Ruben Habito

June 10, 2020

Christian centering prayer, mindfulness meditation and Zen meditation can help one live with inner peace, quiet joy and gratitude during challenging times.

Today Show followed these students from kindergarten to high school graduation

Incoming SMU student Eileen Garcia one of 20 students followed for 13 years

June 09, 2020

Eileen was born the year after 9-11 and graduated from high school in the midst of a pandemic. She'll share a unique bond with other members of SMU's Class of 2024.

Cybersecurity tips for working remotely

SMU chief security officer shares best practices to keep devices and data safe

June 08, 2020

Cybercriminals are targeting people working remotely; these steps can help your personal and work information stay secure.

Victory in a garden box

SMU collaborators help community nonprofit pivot to e-commerce

May 27, 2020

When outdoor markets shut down, Restorative Farms had to retool its efforts quickly to stay afloat. It’s now selling seedlings online as GroBoxes.

Two SMU student teams win grants to prepare for safe return to campus

RevTech presents $5,000 to each team to implement proposals for safe student return in COVID-19 world

May 26, 2020

Student teams propose symptom-tracker apps, wellness recovery rooms, hands-free door-opening devices and an app for contact-free transactions.

Three days, 22 hours, 85 concerts

Alum band director plays Plano High fight song for each of his seniors

May 26, 2020

Jason Lewis ’04 and his assistant band directors traveled 168 miles and played in sunshine and pouring rain to show their appreciation to each band graduate.

SMU prof tracks the sound of silence

Noise levels in DFW down 30% during pandemic

May 26, 2020

It’s not your imagination – we’ve been generating a lot less noise during the pandemic, says SMU seismologist Stephen Arrowsmith.

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?