Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7673


August 31, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- As SMU began the 90th year of its founding, four Southern Methodist University faculty members were honored recently as outstanding teachers and scholars.

James K. Hopkins, Ph.D., received the United Methodist Church Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award. Hopkins is professor and chair of the William P. Clements Jr. Department of History. This award was established by the Division of Higher Education and the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church to recognize outstanding faculty members for their dedication and contributions to the learning arts and to the institution. He 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 issues classes work with inner-city children. He has served as associate dean for general education and president of the Faculty Senate.

Hopkins recently became one of the first four faculty members to be named a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. Hopkins’ other 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.

Alastair Norcross, Ph.D., and Dennis Simon, Ph.D., received the President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Award. This award is given annually for the advancement of teaching and learning and is designed to honor tenured faculty who have sustained high achievement both as teachers and as scholars in their professions. This award is supported by the SMU President’s Office through the President’s Associates Program.

Norcross, the William Edward Easterwood Associate Professor in Philosophy, teaches in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He completed a B.A. degree in classics at Christ Church, Oxford University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy at Syracuse University. Before joining the SMU faculty in 1992 he held a faculty appointment at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His scholarly research interests encompass ethics, applied ethics, aesthetics and political philosophy. He has co-edited one anthology, and his articles have appeared in The Philosophical Review, Philosophy and Public Affairs, and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, among other journals. Norcross has presented papers to professional groups that include the Southwestern Philosophical Society, Mid-South Philosophy Conference, and the Eastern, Central and Pacific divisional meetings of the American Philosophical Association. He has served as the president of the North Texas Philosophical Association.

Simon is an associate professor of political science in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He completed a B.A. degree at Wittenberg University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Michigan State University. He joined the SMU faculty in 1986 after holding a faculty appointment at the University of Minnesota. His areas of academic specialization include American institutions, political behavior, methodology and positive political theory. He has published in a host of respected journals, including Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science and Public Opinion Quarterly. Simon has chaired the Steering Committee of the SMU Self-Study and Certification Report, chaired the SMU Athletic Council, served on the Executive Board of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, SMU’s Presidential Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics and Admissions, the SMU Board of Trustees Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics and is currently a member of the SMU task force on Title IX and Intercollegiate Athletics.

Trysh Travis, Ph.D., received the Golden Mustang Outstanding Faculty Award. This award is given to junior faculty members whose teaching is consistently excellent, whose courses reflect thoughtful curricular development and whose scholarship makes a meaningful contribution to their discipline and to student learning. Travis is an assistant professor of English in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. She earned a B.A degree from New York University, an M.A. degree from Bread Loaf School of English and a Ph.D. from Yale University. A specialist in American literature and culture, cultural studies and the history of the book, Travis joined the SMU faculty in 1998. She currently is working on two books, Recovery and Reading: The New Middlebrow Culture, and Reading Matters: Books, Book Men, and the American Century, and her work has been seen in publications that include Book History, Princeton University Library Chronicle and History of the Mass Media in the United States: An Encyclopedia. Travis is active in the Book Trade Preservation Project and is a member of SMU’s Women's Studies Council. She has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Research Grant, a Newberry Library Summer Research Fellowship and a Maguire Center for Ethics Fellowship.