Paul W. Ludden, dean of the College of
Natural Resources at the University of California-
Berkeley and scholar in environmental
biochemistry, has been named
provost and vice president for academic affairs
at SMU. He will oversee all aspects of
academic life, ranging from admissions and
faculty development to supervision of
SMU’s seven schools, library system, and international programs. He
will join SMU in time for the fall 2007 semester.
Ludden received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of
Nebraska in 1972 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison in 1977. After a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellowship
at Michigan State University, he served as an assistant professor at
University of California-Riverside. In 1981 he returned to the
of Wisconsin-Madison, where he rose to the rank of full professor.
At Wisconsin, he directed the Biochemistry Graduate Program for
14 years and taught in the Bio core Program for undergraduates. While
pursuing his research interests, he served as assistant chair of the
Department and later as executive associate dean for the
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
In 2002 Ludden joined UC-Berkeley as dean of the College of
Natural Resources and professor of plant and microbial biology.
He carries a concurrent appointment as a faculty member at the
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. An expert on microbial
Ludden with his students has published more than 175
peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
For more information: http://smu.edu/newsinfo.
SMU has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence
in Information Assurance Education for 2006-2009. be goal of the
program, sponsored by the National Security Agency and the Department
of Homeland Security, is to reduce vulnerability in the national
information infrastructure by promoting higher education in
information assurance (IA) and increasing
the number of professionals with IA expertise.
SMU’s School of Engineering has been in the forefront of this
revolution due in part to the High Assurance Computing and Networking
(HACNet) Lab in the Computer Science and Engineering
Department. The lab focuses on intelligence gathering, data analysis,
and secure command and control necessary for wide-ranging
including military operations and transportation security.
For more information: http://hacnet.smu.edu.
|Geological sciences faculty Bonnie
Jacobs and Neil Tabor have
received a three-year $300,000 grant from the National Science
Foundation for their paleobotany research in Ethiopia, studying the
area’s plant life, geological history and climate that existed nearly
28 million years ago.
||Ancient biotic response to geographic and climatic events has
implications for predicting the effects of current global change
modern ecosystems, says Jacobs, associate
professor and director of the Environmental
Science Program in Dedman College.
be tropical regions are of special concern
because that is where Earth’s greatest percentage
of biodiversity resides.
The project aims to improve documentation
of paleoecology, paleoclimate and
floral communities in eastern Africa between
28 and 27million years ago. It will focus on plant fossils in
northwestern Ethiopia and include students and specialists in
paleosols (fossil soils), isotopes, dating and the rock record.
In addition, Ethiopian students will participate in a field school
with paleontologists, geologists and graduate students. this will
advance plans for a paleotoursim heritage site that will help improve
the area’s infrastructure and the local economy.
For more information: http://smu.edu/geology.
|The U.S. government missed an opportunity
to improve America’s
image in the Arab and Muslim worlds when it shut down a public
diplomacy television advertising campaign in 2002, according to a
new book by Professor Alice Kendrick in Meadows School of the
Arts’ Temerlin Advertising Institute and her associate, Jami Fullerton
of Oklahoma State University.
In the book, Advertising’s War on Terrorism: The Story of the U.S. State Department’s
Shared Values Initiative (Marquette Books,
2006), the professors examine the ads’ effectiveness,
part of a multifaceted communication
campaign – the Shared Values Initiative – that
the State Department launched in 2002 to convince
the Muslim and Arab world that America
wasn’t waging war on Islam. The five television
ads, which depicted Muslims commenting on
their happy lives and freedom of worship in America, aired in
(the nation with the largest Muslim population) and other
Middle Eastern and Asian countries for several weeks in late 2002.
About 300 million Arabs and Muslims saw the televised ads.
Despite support from Secretary of State Colin Powell, other
bureaucrats and journalists criticized the effort and shut it down;
however, they had no scientific evidence to back up their criticism,
the authors say. “According to internal State Department documents
about SVI in Indonesia, the campaign achieved its objectives.
It not only got people talking about Muslim life in America, it
also produced more positive perceptions of America.”
The professors also conducted research in London, Cairo and
Singapore with more than 500 international students from 39
countries. After viewing the ads, the students were more likely to
believe Muslims are fairly treated in the United States and had
more positive attitudes toward the U.S. government and its citizens.
be research also found that attitudes toward the United
States improved more among Muslim students than among students
of other faiths.
The authors conclude that advertising can be an effective tool
in public diplomacy and should not be discounted as a strategy.
For more information: http://www.marquettebooks.org.
In the Middle Ages, Spain was
comfortably multicultural for
several hundred years longer
than the rest of Europe, with
Christians, Jews and Muslims
coexisting in relative peace.
However, by 1200, European
influences began to seep into
Spain, and negative stereotypes, particularly of Jews, took hold,
in the expulsion of Jews from that country in 1492.
Associate Professor of Art History Pamela Patton, whose research
specialty is medieval Spain, is working on a book exploring
this transformation from previously untapped sources: works of art
produced for the Christian majority during this period.
“Like drama, song and folklore, visual culture provides a view
of Jewish-Christian relationships in the era that ‘official’ royal and
legal texts often do not address,” Patton says.
She won a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
to pursue her research last summer in Spain and plans to complete
it this summer with the study of Spanish manuscripts in Paris.
Patton says she hopes her book, with the working title Seeing
Stereotypes: Christians, Jews, and Images in Medieval Iberia, will
“help people understand we’re still living out the legacy of the
Ages in our relationships with other cultures, and shed some
light on how and why stereotypes and superstitions develop.”
|During the past two field seasons in
Guatemala while excavating at the archaeological site of El
Perú-Waká,Michelle Rich, an SMU Ph.D. student in anthropology,
discovered tombs containing the remains of male and female Maya royals.
Rich’s research, conducted over four years, concentrates on an area
called the Mirador Complex, comprising two large pyramids and a group
of three smaller buildings. To date, she has excavated one of the
large pyramids and the small group of buildings. She is studying
ritual behavior of the ancient Maya, which also includes investigating
sacred landscapes, elite power structures and gender issues within
traditional frameworks of ruling authority.
In 2005 Rich excavated a tomb chamber inside the large pyramid containing
the skeletal remains of two adult females stacked back to back.
Artifacts discovered in the tomb include seven painted ceramic
vessels, jade jewelry and Spondylus shell. She also discovered another
female of a more advanced age buried in a less ornate chamber,
interred with similar shell artifacts and vessels and a large jade
bead in her mouth. The period for the burials of the three women is from
A.D. 350-400, and the context of their separate burials indicates a
relationship among them, Rich says.
During the 2006 field season she tested the hypothesis that the female
burials were related to the interment of a male ruler, possibly his
wives and mother, or daughters and wife. She did find a king, but one
who ruled nearly three centuries later. Numerous artifacts also were
arranged near the remains, including 33 ceramic vessels and various
greenstone artifacts, among other items.
Rich is conducting her research under the supervision of David Freidel,
the University Distinguished Professor of Archaeology in Dedman
As the English Department recruits its
first class of Ph.D. students, it is offering all of them something
few other universities can: full funding for up to six years.
financial packages may be, in real dollar terms, the most generous in
the U.S.,” says Ezra Greenspan, English chair and the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Chair in Humanities. “Most programs don’t guarantee
every student a fellowship, and certainly no tone that lasts the
duration of the program.”
Dennis Foster, director of Graduate Studies,
says the English Department could provide a model for funding other Dedman College graduate programs with its stipends, which demonstrate
the University’s strong commitment to research.
candidates won’t have to worry about finances, they’re going to have a
moment unlike any other in their lives to read, write, research and
take huge strides toward becoming professionals in this discipline,”
says Foster, also the D.D. Frensley Professor of English.
Graduate Council has approved the program’s structure and curriculum,
which follows a “generalist” philosophy, Greenspan says.
students will start out broadly with core courses in American and
English literary criticism and practice and a teaching practicum, and
then specialize in seminars as they begin work on formal examinations
“The seminars will be based on the expertise of the
faculty, and that’s where students will learn how to be scholars in
their chosen fields,” Foster says. Because only six candidates will be
admitted each year, faculty will closely monitor their progress.
developing the program over the past several years, the department
looked at numerous other universities, worked with a consultant from
Tulane, and carefully weighed its own strengths, which include close
working relationships among faculty and undergraduates, says
Greenspan. And although the process has demanded a lot of input from
everyone, he says, it also has invigorated the department for the
For more information, visit the English Department’s Web
A delegation from SMU’s Institute for the
Study of Earth and Man (ISEM) visited Iceland last summer to observe
that country’s use of geothermal energy. Iceland is the world’s leader
in the development of this form of alternative energy.
is located atop the Mid-Atlantic ridge, the spreading center for the
Atlantic Ocean Basin, thermal energy is abundant in steamy hot water.
Iceland uses hot water to heat its
buildings, keep its streets and sidewalks free of ice, generate
and to provide energy for industrial needs.
The ISEM delegation met with senior representatives of Reykjavik
Energy, Shell Hydrogen, Alcoa, Iceland Geosurvey, and Icelandic
New Energy, among others. Visits included a field trip to the
major geothermal-producing area in the rift valley east of Reykjavik,
the geothermal distribution systems in southwestern Iceland,
the Shell Hydrogen Busline and system maintenance facilities.
The group included SMU faculty David Blackwell and Bonnie
Jacobs (Geological Sciences), and Bijan Mohraz, James Dunham
and David Johnson (Engineering); ISEM organizers Louis Jacobs
and James Brooks; ISEM Trustees Leighton Steward, Jim Gibbs,
Jack Hamilton, Bobby Lyle and Starkey Wilson; ISEM supporters
Roy Huffington and RayMarr; and photographer Adam Dunsworth.
“The ISEM group was able to see and experience a great deal
and came away with a high level of appreciation for what Icelanders
have accomplished, and the challenges that lie ahead for
areas committed to exploring and developing alternative energy
sources,” says ISEM President Louis Jacobs.
For more information: http://smu.edu/isem.
|Doctoral Alumni – Where Are They Now?
Susan Vandiver (’06), Systems Engineering Ph.D., works for L-3
Integrated Systems in Waco, Texas, as a senior system engineer II. She
leads the Systems Engineering Metrics Action Team project to develop
and deploy metrics that measure how well the company performs with its
product development. As a member of the Enterprise Process Improvement
Group, she assists the organization in implementation of repeatable,
standard systems engineering processes. Her work also includes
performing systems product development and risk management for
military aircraft upgrade and maintenance programs, which support the
U.S. armed forces.
Pei-Lin Yu (’06), Anthropology Ph.D., serves as the
Power Office archaeologist for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s
Pacific Northwest Region. She works with Native American tribes,
federal agencies, and state governments to protect archaeological and
cultural resources, analyze them to recover information, and help
educate tribal and the public on America’s cultural heritage.Qe
program conducts remote sensing, site stabilization, crime scene
investigations for looted sites, and the repatriation process for
Native American remains recovered from federal lands or housed in
federal museums. She also conducts historic preservation work on old
dams and power plants. Her work area covers central Washington (Grand
Coulee Dam/Lake Roosevelt on what was once the Upper Columbia River)
and northwest Montana (Hungry Horse Dam and Reservoir, once the South
Fork of the Flathead River), and adjacent lands on national parks,
forests and Indian reservations.