SMU’S Maguire Ethics Center dispatches student fellows on missions of public service around the world

A group of SMU Maguire Ethics Center Public Service Fellows is dedicating the summer to making a difference.

around the world

DALLAS (SMU)While some college students spend their summer breaks enjoying time off at home or gaining professional experience through internships, a special group of SMU students is dedicating their time to making a difference in their communities and abroad.

They’re called Maguire Ethics Center Public Service Fellows, and they’re traveling as near as West Dallas and as far as India for service-oriented experiences.

“The Maguire Public Service Fellows are an exceptional group of undergraduate and graduate students who have chosen to dedicate their summers to serving others,” says Rita Kirk, distinguished professor of communications and director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, which sponsors the Fellows.

“These eight students rose to the top of a highly-selective application process based on their ability to demonstrate the need for their public service projects and how their projects tie into their own academic trajectory and professional careers,” Kirk adds. “These students are an inspiration to their peers as well as those who teach and support them.”

Each fellow is responsible for finding agencies to sponsor their projects, which are selected for their ethical and social justice merits.

One of the fellows, SMU Biology student Claire Wilt, is volunteering in West Dallas at Bryan’s House, a non-profit that cares for children with HIV/AIDS and other medical conditions.

“Many of the families at Bryan's House have nowhere else to turn and rely heavily on the services provided,” says SMU Biology student Claire Wilt. “Spending my summer helping those facing these serious health problems allows me to gain a new perspective and really open my eyes.”

The projects are deeply personal for some students, such as Stephany Coleman, who is volunteering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-North Texas Chapter.

“Nearly four years ago, my younger brother, Eric, took his life; a day that forever changed and transformed me,” Coleman says. “I was once reluctant to dive too deep into this work out of fear that I had not healed enough to be of help to others, but I feel confident now that I am ready to make a difference in the community through my partnership with AFSP-NTC as a suicide-loss survivor.”
The remaining six Fellows are: Shelby hill, Jessica Jancose, Parker Miller, Dan Mulammoottil, Roy Atwood and Mary Leah Friedlin


SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.