Engaged Learning Expo connects students with opportunities

Campus & DFW organizations can help students take education beyond the classroom.

Engaged Learning at SMU

Engaged Learning at SMUSMU 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 the Engaged Learning Expo from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, September 5, in the Umphrey Lee Mack Ballroom.

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.

The expo will celebrate 70 SMU undergraduates who worked on significant projects this summer, and provide opportunities to mix and match interested students with different campus programs as well as DFW-area community partners.

“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.”

Campus programs at the Expo:

  • Big iDeas
  • Bush Center Internships
  • Center for Communities and Education
  • Clinton Global Initiative University
  • Community Engagement and Leadership
  • Embrey Human Rights Program
  • Faith and Learning Scholars
  • Hart Center for Engineering Leadership
  • Innovation Gymnasium
  • Institute for the Study of Earth and Man
  • Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility
  • McNair Scholars
  • Norwick Center for Digital Services
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • SMU Abroad
  • SMU-in-Taos
  • TEDxSMU - Young Fellows
  • Undergraduate Research

Read more about SMU campus programs.

Community Partners at the Expo:

  • American Red Cross
  • Baylor Health Care System
  • Beckles Dancing Company
  • Brother Bill's Helping Hand
  • Buckner International
  • Catholic Charities of Dallas, Inc.
  • ChildCareGroup
  • Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity
  • Dallas CASA
  • Dallas Community Lighthouse
  • Dallas Holocaust Museum
  • Dallas Zoo
  • DevChamps
  • Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center at Cedar Hill
  • Equest
  • Genesis Women's Shelter & Support
  • Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas
  • Girls on the Run DFW
  • Heart House
  • IGNITE Texas
  • LIFT
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • nonPareil Institute
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science
  • Readers2Leaders
  • Reading Partners
  • River Legacy Living Science Center
  • Ronald McDonald House of Charities
  • Simply Graced
  • Texas Discovery Gardens
  • The Concilio
  • Trinity River Mission
  • Unite
  • VMLC
  • Volunteer Center of North Texas
  • Workers Defense Project

Read more about Community Partners.

2013 Engaged Learning Projects - 70 projects involving 20 countries

Research (33)

  1. Senior Joshua Abramovitch is creating a simple and inexpensive device that can be used to accurately measure gamma and x-ray flux and calculate radiation dose rates. (Major: PHYS, ME; Mentor: Dr. Andy Liu)
  2. Senior Goke Akinniranye is determining whether stereotype threat and solo status appearing together has a greater negative impact on academic performance than either of them individually. (Major: PSYC, MKCL; Mentor: Dr. Anthony Cortese)
  3. Senior Mariam Alaka is working at an orphanage in Nigeria that serves children whose parents have succumbed to AIDS and while there gauge children’s knowledge and prevention of HIV/AIDS. (Major: PSYC; Mentor: Dr. George Holden)
  4. Senior Raha Assadi is studying the effectiveness of a dropout prevention program in Plano Independent School District directed towards Hispanic girls. (Major: SOCI, SPAN; Mentor: Dr. Sheri Kunovich)
  5. Senior Lauryn Bodden has begun a food as culture project locally and, while studying in London, is expanding her knowledge of the glocal food movement, comparing Londoners’ attitudes about food and eating habits with Americans. (Major: APSM, COMM; Mentor: Dr. Owen Lynch)
  6. Senior Daniel Brock is exploring, through self and social awareness, how ethical decision-making for the energy industry and lawmakers can be both profitable and free of political and personal biases. (Major: MNO; Mentor: Maria Richards)
  7. Senior Kevin Bruemmer is developing original C MRI contrast agents to detect chemical species important in clinical and biological processes. (Major: CHEM; Mentor: Dr. Alex Lippert)
  8. Senior Morgan Cain is researching economic, socio-political and personal movements impacting organizational structures in Moscow to identify key relationship and factors that will lead to the widespread adoption of eco-friendly practices. (Major: ECON, MKCL; Mentor: Anne Lincoln)
  9. Junior Aaron Chu is evaluating the performance of the iFlame laser transmitter before, during and after irradiation to examine its viability for usage on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. (Major: ME; Mentor: Dr. Annie Xiang)
  10. Senior Kalindi Dinoffer is researching profiles of female entrepreneurs in the United States and will produce an academic paper on the similarities and differences of self-employed and employed women. (Major: MKTG; Mentor: Dr. Maria Minniti)
  11. Junior Fantine Giap is developing cancer information pamphlets to patients in Vietnam and a mathematical model to assess the spread of health knowledge in Vietnamese public hospitals. (Major: BIOL; Mentor: Dr. Thomas Carr)
  12. Senior Michael Graves is researching effective communication practices of the United Methodist church and will contribute to a chapter of Dr. Dixon’s book, In Between Sundays – Strategic Communication in the Church. (Major: COMM, RELI; Mentor: Dr. Maria Dixon)
  13. Senior Derek Hawkes is researching the successes and failures of technology usage by orchestras for revenue-increasing purposes, and will publish mobile use guidelines for similar groups. (Major: PERB, AMAE; Mentor: Dr. Maria Dixon)
  14. Senior Jeffrey He is researching the cultural effects of the Western fast food industry on China. (Major: BIOL; Mentor: Dr. Guangyan Chen)
  15. Junior Preston Hutcherson will enroll in the same humanities course at two institutions, SMU and Richland College, to be able to answer to what extent is the value of a course tied to the amount we pay for it. (Major: ENGL; Mentor: Dr. Tim Cassedy)
  16. Senior Kirsten Johansson is researching the environmental laws of the United States and Australia and will provide policy recommendations for the United States with ways to improve the effectiveness of ocean policies and improve the quality of oceans. (Major: ENVR, PP; Mentor: Dr. H. Troy Stuckey)
  17. Junior Janice Kim is assessing the health and cancer literacy of Vietnamese women and will explore various sources from which these women are able to obtain their health information. (Major: BIOL; Mentor: Dr. Smith-Morris)
  18. Junior Christina Lollar is researching sulfur ylide and will develop a novel sulfur ylide mediated synthetic technique for the preparation of benzil derivatives. (Major: BIOCHM, FREN; Mentor: Dr. Lippert)
  19. Senior Emily Mankowski is researching the historical racism of the Aboriginal people in Australia to shed light on present-day discrimination as well as efforts to remediate discrimination. (Major: HRTS; PLSC; Mentor: Dr. Rick Halperin)
  20. Senior Ricky Mouser is using actual SMU data to statistically analyze, model, and present both the positive and concerning trends of undergraduate student research growth. (Major: PHIL, STAT, PSYC, SPAN; Mentor:  Dr. Bob Kehoe)
  21. Junior Kyle Nakatsuka is researching urban revitalization in communities with deep socioeconomic needs and strong movements towards cultural self-determination, comparing contemporary Native American communities of Taos and Hawai’i. (Major: BIOL, SPAN, LAAM, HRTS; Mentor: Dr. Mike Adler)
  22. Junior Gabriella Padgett is studying the environment that fosters success in the classroom and the ability to think and perform creatively, comparing peer education in the U.S. and China. (Major: MATH, CRCOMP; Mentor: Dr. Ira Greenberg)
  23. Junior Anish Patel is researching the functionalization of carbosiliane-thioether dendrimers. (Major: BIOCHEM, MATH; Mentor: Dr. David Son)
  24. Senior An Phan is studying the bureaucracy, opinion and naturalization process of the Spanish immigration system in Madrid, Spain. (Major: COMM, SPAN; Mentor: Ms. Angie Nozaleda)
  25. Senior Sean Potter is investigating the impact of transient measurement error on personality assessment in a diverse community sample. (Major: PSYC, MNO; Mentor: Dr. Michael Chmielewski)
  26. Senior Mike Ren is researching nutrition literacy and health care in China. (Major: BIOL; Mentor: Dr. Richard Jones)
  27. Senior Rebecca Swarm, using the Café Momentum program as her subject of study, is researching the traits, attributes and experiences that increase the likelihood of success of young men enrolled in the program. (Major: SOCI; Mentor: Dr. Sheri Kunovich)
  28. Senior Jaison Thomas is comparing the healthcare models of Boston, Massachusetts and Dallas, Texas through researching the health literacy of the homeless populations. (Major: BIOL, FINA; Mentor: Dr. Teresa Strecker)
  29. Senior Hayley Wagner is assessing the medical needs and health care availability for Congolese refugees in Hurst, Texas and will provide suggestions for improvement. (Major: ANTH, FREN, HRST; Mentor: Dr. Victoria Lockwood)
  30. Senior Charles Wysocki is researching the molecular mechanism of lifespan extension through dietary restriction. (Major: BIOL, CHEM; Mentor: Dr. Johannes Bauer)
  31. Senior Eric Alt is designing a compound to remove heavy metals from polluted environments. (Majors: CHEM, ME; Mentor: Dr. Dieter Cremer)
  32. Senior Justice Pirkey is undertaking a toxicology study of Asian Carp, an invasive species of fish, prevalent in the Mississippi River. (Major: MATH; Mentor: Dr. Yeo-Jin Chung)
  33. Senior Basma Raza is researching societal perceptions of herself as female, Muslim, married, and student, to explore similarities within differences between cultures and ethnicities. (Major: COMM; Mentor: Dr. Owen Lynch)

Community Service (18)

  1. Junior Juliana Bond is developing a viable model of organic and sustainable micro-farming techniques as part of the SMU Community Garden project. (Major: MNO; Mentor: Dr. Elaine Heath)
  2. Senior Delanah Colbert is working with UBELONG in Cusco, Peru to develop and deliver a culturally relevant health education program addressing nutritional disorders. (Major: INTL; Mentor: Dr. Carolyn Smith-Morris)
  3. Senior Parminder Deo is contributing to the SMU residential commons initiative by researching the University of Oxford’s long- standing residential commons model. (Major: BIOL, JOUR; Mentor: Dr. Dan Orlovsky)
  4. Senior Jordan Fields is creating a communications plan for the SMU Spanish Club. (Major: PR, COMM; Mentor: Dr. Rita Linjuan Men)
  5. Senior Zachary Friske, along with Mustang EMS and SMU Office of Risk Management, is creating a SMU Cardiovascular Incident Prevention/Response Program. (Major: BIOCHM; Mentor: Mr. Lee Arning)
  6. Junior Hanan Hassan, volunteering with Vision on Africa, is developing a life skills tool kit of basic business concepts as a result of working with economically deprived women and youth of Yeka sub-city, Ethiopia. (Major: ACCT, ENGL; Mentor: Dr. Maribeth Kuenzi)
  7. Senior Taylor Henry is researching, develop and implement a sustainable, scalable and replicable system to provide drinking water to a Ugandan community that relies only on solar energy. (Major: CE; Mentor: Dr. Andrew Quicksall)
  8. Senior Ghazala Janmohamed is assembling traveling displays of archeological and ethnographic materials from Picuris Pueblo, presently stored at SMU-in-Taos, to educate the public about the long span of human occupation in the Northern Rio Grande region, New Mexico. (Major: ANTH, INTL; Mentor: Dr. Mike Adler)
  9. Junior Danielle Katz is using her Spanish skills and education minor to volunteer at an over-populated kindergarten in Cuzco, Peru through the non-profit UBELONG. (Majors: SPAN; Mentor: Dr. Renata Égüez)
  10. Junior Derek Phanekham is working on the SMU Community Garden project with the intent to develop it as an interdisciplinary learning site to learn about viable, small scale agricultural models transferable to blighted urban neighborhoods. (Major: CSE, MATH; Mentor: Dr. Elaine Heath)
  11. Junior Daisuke Takeda is expanding Green Riba, an e-commerce and traditional micro-finance storefront, to connect West Dallas and SMU-based artists to larger, national markets. (Major: FINA; Mentor: Ms. Regina Nippert)
  12. Junior Lucy Yu, with Global Medical Brigades Panama, is coordinating a doctor shadowing experience this summer for pre-health students with the intent to develop a SMU Medical Brigades club. (Major: MATH; Mentor: Miroslava Detcheva)
  13. Senior Tanya Arora is designing a training program for universities and colleges to reduce the adverse effects of annual leadership change in student organizations. (Majors: MNO, PSYC; Mentor: Dr. Maribeth Kuenzi)
  14. Senior Drake Frank is modifying a stationary diesel engine to run off of coconut oil to be introduced to Kenyan families to provide sustainable energy through Kenyan Agriculture Commodity Exchange Ltd. (Major: ME; Mentor: Dr. Tindaro Ioppolo)
  15. Senior Sarah Montonchaikul learned conservation techniques last summer at the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, Italy, and is now documenting the process as instructional materials for the project. (Major: ARHS, FL; Mentor: Dr. Greg Warden)
  16. Senior Richard Nixon is expanding a group microfinance project into Vickery Meadow with the creation of business development workshops. (Major: ME; Mentor: Mr. Jim Bryan)
  17. Junior Ashley Wali worked with the Nari Project in Bangladesh to address needs of women suffering from domestic violence and is now using skills learned with the local non-profit at the Genesis Women Shelter. (Major: BA; Mentor: Dr. Rick Halperin)
  18. Senior Miller Walker is developing and will deliver an after-school French program for homeless children in the DISD school system and connect them with school children in France. (Major: FREN; Mentor: Dr. Heather Pelletier)


  1. Senior Morgan Beckwith is interning with Mystic Ballet professional dance company to gain inside knowledge about the administrative and artistic sides of a successful contemporary dance company. (Major: DANC, ARHS; Mentor: Dr. Shelley Berg)
  2. Senior Binh Doan is interning at Deloitte Consulting to develop his skills for future employment. (Major: EMIS, MATH; Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Kennington)
  3. Senior Meredith Tavallaee is interning at the Musee du Lourve in Paris, and research recent acquisitions to the sculpture collections. (Major: ARHS, ENGL; Mentor: Dr. Pamela Patton)
  4. Senior Jaywin Malhi interned on Capitol Hill with Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Pete Sessions to learn about policy-making. (Major: MGMT; PLSC; Mentor: Dr. Michael Lusztig)


  1. Senior Richard Braxton is creating a data visualization system to present seismic activity in a new way. (Major: CRCOMP; Mentor: Dr. Ira Greenberg)
  2. Senior Claire Carson is writing a script for a play to be produced by SMUST, Meadows student theatre organization, based on her experience as a volunteer at Kidane Meheret Children’s Home in Ethiopia. (Major: THEA; Mentor: Dr. Gretchen Smith)
  3. Senior Maria Cross is creating a short film to compare and contrast attitudes towards gun policy within the United Kingdom and the United States. (Major: ADV; Mentor: Brice Campbell)
  4. Senior Tyrone Davis is attending the SMU-in-Bali program to learn how its traditional arts are integrated into everyday Balinese life and bring it back to SMU in the fall in an event called Bali Arts Day. (Major: BIOL; Mentor: Mr. Jamal Mohamed)
  5. Junior Kathleen Gaskins is using her time in the London Arts program to lay the foundation of a creative performance piece called the Universal Language of Art. (Major: THEA, JOUR; Mentor: Dr. Shelley Berg)
  6. Senior Thomas Gelo is bringing to life the view of a foreign culture from the eyes of a study abroad student through the medium of an Avant Garde film. (Major: THEA, FILM; Mentor: Dr. Gretchen Smith)
  7. Senior Yusra Jabeen is creating a photo essay of homelessness to raise awareness about the problem in Dallas. (Major: JOUR, HRTS; Mentor: Dr. Robert Hart)
  8. Senior Kristen Kelso, while studying abroad in London, researched street performers and will create a solo performance piece to communicate the challenging art of street performance. (Major: THEA; Mentor: Dr. Gretchen Smith)
  9. Sophomore Thomas Kennedy is developing a web server for iGiddyUp, an iOS application which will improve the efficiency of the SMU Giddy Up system. (Major: CSE, MATH; Mentor: Dr. Mark Fontenot)
  10. Sophomore Patrick Leopard II is developing an implementation plan for iGiddyUp, iOS application which will improve the efficiency of the SMU Giddy Up system. (Major: CSE; Mentor: Dr. Mark Fontenot)
  11. Senior Lauren Mishoe is creating a mixed-media solo performance as a result of her time abroad studying female empowerment of the Maori people in New Zealand. (Major: THEA; Mentor: Dr. Rhonda Blair)
  12. Senior Mikaila Muñoz is creating a robot prototype as a hands-on educational toy to be used to promote learning about electronics and programming in children, ages 3 to 12. (Major: CRCOMP, ARST; Mentor: Dr. Brittany Ransom)
  13. Junior Mei Mei Pollitt after attending the Festival D’Avignon and a similar festival in Scotland in summer 2013, will produce a media based performance of her own and begin a database of global art festivals for the Meadows community. (Major: THEA, FREN; Mentor: Dr. Gretchen Smith)
  14. Senior Alexandria Stinger, while studying in London, is learning about the symbiotic relationship between urbanism, art and humanity and will create a solo dance performance on those themes. (Major: DANC, ADV; Mentor: Dr. Shelley Berg)
  15. Senior Rachel Wilson will produce a short film and installation piece of British hip hop culture based on her exploration of the topic in London this summer. (Major: FILM; Mentor: Dr. Shelley Berg)


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