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May 29, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Three departments in Southern Methodist University's Dedman College will have new leaders when students return this fall.

James K. Hopkins will become chair of SMU's William P. Clements Jr. Department of History. Hopkins came to SMU in 1974 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches courses on modern England and European social and intellectual history in SMU's Dedman College. His most recent book is Into the Heart of the Fire: the British in the Spanish Civil War. He currently serves as director of the SMU-in-Britain program and co-adviser to the President's Scholars program. He founded the SMU-in-Oxford program and co-founded the Inter-Community Experience (ICE) program, in which SMU students in urban studies classes work with inner-city children. He has served as associate dean for general education and president of the Faculty Senate.

Hopkins' numerous awards from SMU include four Outstanding Professor Awards, the Rotunda Teaching Award, Phi Beta Kappa Laurence Perrine Prize for outstanding teaching and scholarship, Godbey Author's Award, Willis M. Tate Award for contributions to student life, "M" Award for outstanding service to SMU and Faculty Volunteer of the Year Award. He recently became one of the first members of the new SMU Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Dennis Ippolito will assume the chair of the Department of Political Science, which he previously chaired from 1982 to 1993. Ippolito received a Ph.D. in government from the University of Virginia and currently is the Eugene McElvaney Professor of Political Science at SMU. Prior to joining the SMU faculty in 1982, he taught at the University of Virginia and Emory University. Since 1990 he has been invited to present lectures at the U.S. Army War College.

Ippolito's research focuses on federal budget policy and fiscal policy. His most recent books are Blunting the Sword: Budget Policy and the Future of Defense and Uncertain Legacies, Federal Budget Policy from Roosevelt through Reagan. His other books on budget policy have analyzed spending and deficit-control problems, federal credit programs and contingent liabilities, and constitutional restrictions on fiscal policy. His work has been supported by various public and private agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the Twentieth Century Fund, the Smith Richardson Foundation and the Earhart Foundation.

Larry Ruben, who has taught biology at the university for 15 years, will be the new chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. Ruben joined the SMU faculty in 1986 after receiving his Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Minnesota and serving five years as a postdoctoral fellow and two years as a research scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine. His research focuses on new ways to kill the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei, which causes African Sleeping Sickness.

Since coming to SMU, Ruben has generated more than $1 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, has published widely in the area of infectious diseases and has won a series of awards as a teacher and campus leader.

As the incoming chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, Ruben will lead the department's move into the new Dedman Life Sciences Building, which will be ready for use in the spring of 2002. The new building will enable the department to recruit additional faculty members and expand its course offerings.