Inaugural GLS-DR Dissertation-Capstone Forum Held (May 2023)

Thanks to our DLS, MADR, and MLS students that presented at the first ever Graduate Liberal Studies-Dispute Resolution Dissertation and Capstone Event – we were inspired by your impressive work and celebrated you at the SMU and Simmons commencement ceremonies. Participating students included:

Dr. Candace Reese, DLS - Tyler Reames, MLS - Dr. Joshua Dodds, DLS - Kelly O’Neill, MADR - Linda Sonia Marlow, MLS - Dr. Kevin Dilliard, DLS - Brenna Rhodes, MADR - Magdeline Pike, MLS - Dr. Courtney Harbour, DLS - Tiffany Nicasio, MADR - Jocyln Ventura, MLS - Aaron Zeman, MADR


GLS-DR Faculty and Student Authors Celebrated for Publications During National Poetry Month (April 2023)

BuzzFeed shares that April is National Poetry Month. We invite you to enjoy the many works of our talented GLS faculty and student poets as we celebrate them. Most recently, Dr. Mag Gabbert, received accolades for her new book of poems, Sex Depression Animals – most recently on BuzzFeedNews ( Previously, Dr. Gabbert attended the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Seattle and sold out of all copies at her book signing. Locally, she held a poetry reading and book signing at Wild Detectives in the Bishop Arts District ( Additionally, MLS student, Gabe Shapiro, recently shared a copy of his new book, Persona: A Collection of Poems, with a beautiful forward acknowledging GLS-DR faculty who influenced his work: Dr. Rick Halperin, Dr. Janet Harris, Dr. Lori Stephens, and the late Dr. Gary Swaim.


GLS-DR Faculty Expanding Scholarship and Service Internationally (Spring, Summer 2023)

Dr. Kate Montgomery, Department Chair and Clinical Assistant Professor, is expanding her scholarship and service with IAFOR, the International Academic Forum. She presented led a work session at a conference hosted by Virginia Tech in April, will present her research at the University College of London in July, and served as a Senior Peer Reviewer for scholarly presentations at both conferences.


GLS-DR Faculty Honored at SMU and Community Events (March 2023)

Drs. Rick Halperin and Gary Clayton were honored as SMU HOPE faculty nominees (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence – Student Affairs award nominated by students around the university). Of special note, Dr. Halperin also received Distinguished Faculty recognition for receiving nominations for at least five years. Roughly fifty SMU faculty were nominated for this special recognition. Additionally, Dr. Halperin was honored by the Chabad of Plano, Collin County, for a Historic Evening with Natan Sharansky, human rights activist, author, and former Israeli politician. Congratulations to you both!


GLS-DR Faculty at the Dallas Literary Festival (March 2023)

Dr. Sanderia Smith, SMU lecturer in English Department, GLS-DR Adjunct Instructor, and Executive Director of the Dallas Literary Festival, invited the GLS-DR community to this event. The festival offered sessions throughout the day for all ages and included Dr. Mag Gabbert, GLS-DR Clinical Assistant Professor, and Dr. Sebastian Paramo, GLS-DR Adjunct Instructor (


DLS and MLS Students Publish Article in Public Management (February 2023)

DLS student, Joe Mazzola, and MLS student, John Cunningham, published an article – Leaning into the Future: Six Steps for Creating a Comprehensive Leadership Development and Learning Program in Your Organization -  in the February 2023 issue of Public Management, published by the professional organization, International City and County Management Association, for employees working in municipal government. Here is the link to read more:


GLS-DR Collaboration Opportunities with the World Affairs Council (February 2023)

Thanks to an introduction from Dr. Rick Halperin, Drs. Mag Gabbert, Kate Montgomery, and John Potter met with the World Affairs Council earlier this week and identified immediate opportunities for the GLS-DR community:

  • Open to All in the GLS-DR Community: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson argues in her best-seller Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents that race in America can be compared to the caste systems of India and Nazi Germany. The New York Times called the book “an instant American classic.” Free online event March 1st.
  • Open to K-12 Educators or Their Students: Free Global Classroom training July 10-13, 2023. Teachers earn 25 hours of PD credit.
  • Open to Young Professionals (Ages 21-early 30s): Opportunity to join the Young Professionals group for collegiality and collaboration.


DLS Faculty and Student Artificial Intelligence Opinion Piece Published in Dallas News (February 2023)

Dr. Robert Hunt and DLS student, Drew Dickens, published a thought-provoking opinion piece on a very hot topic in higher education and in society at large - “ChatGPT isn’t going to make us slaves; uninspired education might” - in the Dallas News February 5th. This work nicely demonstrated the collaborative nature between DLS students and faculty as Drew continues to progress with his dissertation work.


Former MLS Faculty Member, MLS Alumnus, and DLS Student Featured in Documentary at the African American Museum of Dallas (February 2023)

Dr. Njoki McElroy, former MLS Adjunct Instructor teaching humanities courses in African American literature and storytelling, was featured in a documentary at the African American Museum of Dallas. The event was sponsored by the SMU department of Social Change and Cultural Engagement and shared her impact on students like MLS alumnus, Dr. Dontay McGilvery, and current DLS student, Michael Counter. Drs. McElroy and McGilvery held a Q&A following the screening.


MADR and MLS Graduating Students Shined at Capstone Events (December 2022)

Dr. John Potter curated a special capstone event for Dispute Resolution and an MLS cohort of Baylor University Medical students in which 16 presenters shared a range of compelling work with fellow classmates, alumni, and members of the DFW community. Students included Lindsay Backschies, Nicole Bartholow, Riccarera Chism, Kristine DeButy, Patricia DeFrehn, Javiar Collins El, Malcolm Ladines, Raegan Moncrief, Shane O’Neill, Nancy Pearce, Jack Phillips, Gary Pillans, Douglas Robinson, Justin Ryan, Dina Taylor and Elizabeth Wright.

Following MADR, Dr. Kate Montgomery moderated another engaging capstone forum for MLS students in which presenters shared a range of compelling work with fellow MLS classmates, alumni, faculty, DR, and DLS students. Students included: Jewel Boland, Jennifer Gomez, Matthew King, Esmeralda Platas, Heather Razak, Jennifer Sayed, and Courtney Sebazco.


Affiliate Faculty Appointments for DLS Foundational Faculty (December 2022)

In recognition of the many years of teaching and service in our interdisciplinary Graduate Liberal Studies programs, particularly at the doctoral level, Affiliate GLS faculty titles have been extended upon the enthusiastic support of SMU Simmons Dean Knight, Dedman and Perkins Deans, and the SMU Provost's Office. Congratulations to  Rick Halperin, Ph.D., Professor of Practice of Human Rights; Robert Hunt, Ph.D., Professor of Interreligious Dialogue and Global Christianity; Bruce Levy, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, English; Herve Tchumkam, Ph.D., Professor, World Languages and Nicolay Tsarevsky, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chemistry.


MLS Alumnus and SMU Dedman College, Director of Development Presented at SMU Three-Minute Thesis Competition (November 2022)

MLS Alumnus and Dedman College, Director of Development, Clayton Ellis, presented his MLS capstone project, “Reducing Turnover in Higher Education Fundraising Through Interdisciplinary Investments of Human Capital Management” at SMU’s Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. He was one of twelve presenters representing Simmons, Dedman, and Lyle and represented us well.


GLS Faculty Novel Published and Featured in D Magazine Next February (November 2022)

GLS and Dedman Lecturer, Dr. Lori Stephens, announced her paperback, Blue Running, a dystopian novel set in Texas, came out on Nov. 1 and will be featured in February in a D Magazine article.


MADR Student and MLS/CAGS Alumnus Published Novel Influenced by MLS Faculty (November 2023)

MADR student and MLS/CAGS alumnus, Bob Thaggard, published a novel, The Thinker, in October which included recognition from MLS professors, Dr. Janet Harris, and the late Dr. Gary Swaim. Click here for more details:


SMU Represents at AGLSP National Conference in San Antonio (October 2023)

DLS students, Sophie Chen, Emmeline Miles (also CAGS alumna), and Lue Kraltchev (also MLS alumna) were selected to present at the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs national conference held earlier this month in San Antonio. In addition, Emmeline Miles was selected to share her creative writing work remembering the late GLS faculty member, Dr. Gary Swaim. Additionally, Dr. Kate Montgomery led program director workshops and moderated research presentations in her AGLSP board role. Next year’s conference will be hosted by the new AGLSP president, William Nericcio, and his colleagues at San Diego State University for next October 19 – 21, 2023 (


GLS-DR Faculty Acknowledged in Oral History Video of Black Alumni at SMU Chair and MADR Alumnus (October 2023)

Clinical Associate Professor, Dr. John Potter, was prominently mentioned in an SMU Oral History video on YouTube for his excellence in teaching by Malcolm McGuire, outgoing Black Alumni at SMU Chair and MADR alumnus. The acknowledgement begins at 21:38 minutes into the video (


GLS-DR Faculty Publishing Impressive Works in Multiple Forums (Summer, Fall 2023)

Accomplished scholar and poet, Clinical Assistant Professor, Dr. Mag Gabbert, published impressive works in a variety of forums this fall and last summer to include “Les Poissons” in D Magazine, “Is Love Holographic” in the American Poetry Review, a top-tier magazine with national & worldwide distribution along with an additional ten poems published mainly by universities such as the University of Missouri, Louisiana State University, The Ohio State University, University of Southern California, Suffolk University, and the University of Houston.


MLS Alumni and Current Student-Athletes Connect at Inaugural Simmons Orientation (September 2023)

Simmons, in collaboration with the SMU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, held an inaugural orientation event for Simmons student athletes to welcome undergraduate and graduate students to Simmons, share how the school is supporting them, and introduce them to outstanding Simmons student athlete alums. Special thanks to the three alumni panelists, all from the MLS program, Jarrey Foster (SMU undergraduate alumnus and current MLS student), Akil Simpson (SMU undergraduate and MLS alumna), Sean Tuohy (MLS alumnus).