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Plentiful Opportunities in Undergrad Research

In This Issue: by Dan Fernandez

Research Opportunities
p1 S cience was always sort research work. He took down the lab, as well as techniques
of my thing. When my name and said he would that I would use during my
I came to SMU, I get back to me. Two days later, research experience. He
originally enrolled as an he asked for my resume. Of assigned me to help with
Environmental Science major, course, I sent him it. The day another student on a project
Internship In Italian
with a specialization in pre- after that, I received an e-mail by the end of September my
p1
med. When the e-mails from from Dr. Rajan Vempati, freshman year. I spent lots
Dr. Karen DeOlivares, the Professor of Environmental of time learning techniques
Human Rights Major pre-med adviser at SMU, Chemistry, asking to meet like XRD, TGA, and FTIR.

“ ”
p2 started rolling in about with me and discuss Needless to say, I felt a
meetings for the Alpha This amazing experience little overwhelmed by
Darwin Lectures Epsilon Delta pre- all started with a simple the responsibilities at
p2 med organization on first, but it was exactly
campus, naturally, I was question and a desire to get what I wanted. I was
Professor Bios curious. I started going involved. surrounded with helpful
p3 to their meetings and students and faculty who
listening to what they had to possible employment. Still a were always willing to lend a
say. One thing they mentioned little surprised, I went to meet hand in showing me what I
New Classical Studies Class
was that undergraduates with Dr. Vempati. After our needed to know. In the spring,
p4 should explore the possibility meeting, he took me into the Dr. Vempati assigned me to
of research. So after class lab and I started work that a small project for myself
Intro to the DCA one day, I approached Dr. day. At first, I mostly learned involving a green technology
p4 David Son, the chemistry good lab procedure: how to for planting. At the end of the
advisor, and told him I was take good lab notes, practices semester, I presented my work
very interested in doing some for cleanliness and order in at the Live Green conference
Continued on page 4
Italian Department Creates New Internship for Students
by Anna Kiappes

T he Italian Department The companies that will for the program, such as Interested in Italian?
has created a new participate with the program students must be a junior
internship opportunity vary from The Italian or senior, interviewed Want to jump in on this new
for the 2010 spring semester. Cultural Center to Paciugo. with Prestigiacomo Patel, internship in the Italian Department?
Created by Professor Maria “We have more than 10 and completed 2401 and Here’s what you need to know:
Prestigiacomo Patel, the companies participating. 2402. After they have met
internship is aimed at Italian Some are Italian companies this, students will receive --Junior or Senior students
majors and minors who that have a branch in Dallas, credit hours for their time --Completion of ITAL 2401 and
are look for contacts in such as the Italian Cultural spent at the company. 2402 required
corporations. The idea for Center, and the Italy-America “[The program] is considered --Ten Italian-related companies
the program was to grow the Chamber of Commerce. a 3 credit course, but students participating
Italian department as a whole. We do have companies that must complete 120 hours --Five to six written pieces of work
“The idea is to grow the aren’t necessarily Italian of work per the semester,” for course credit, as well as 120
department and to offer more corporations but ones created Prestigiacomo Patel said. work hours
advanced levels [of Italian] by Italians, like Paciugo,” Each student will receive --Contact Professor Maria
for the majors and minors,” Prestigiacomo Patel said. one on one attention with Prestigiacomo Patel (mpatel@smu.
Prestigiacomo Patel said. There are basic requirements Prestigiacomo Patel and edu)
Continued on page 3

The Ded-Beat, December 2009 1


Credentials for Change
Human Rights To Become Major, Offers Unique Experiences for Students
by Alex Thibeaux

T he Human Rights Program at


SMU is currently based in the
Department of History. While
students can currently minor in Human
Rights, SMU is hoping to also create
taken. At least four of these courses must
be at the 3000 level or above. The minor
also requires 20 hours of volunteer work
with an international organization and 12
hours of a foreign language. The fourth
work with an international organization.
Being a part of the Human Rights
program has given Muchkinoff a fresh
perspective on life. She has asked herself
questions such as, “What if that had been
a Human Rights major in the near requirement for the minor is either a trip me? Could I have done that?” and heard
future—possibly the first Human Rights or an internship. The trips are open to personally the stories of survivors. A
major offered in the United States. all students and are centered around a part of Muchkinoff ’s inspiration for her
The Human Rights program provides specific human rights issue. The most pursuit of Human Rights comes from a
many opportunities for students, recent trip was to Rwanda for 2 weeks speech she heard in high school. “The
such as trips and guest lectures. The in August of 2009 and it focused on saying shouldn’t be ‘People can change
Holocaust series of events this fall was the effects of the Rwandan genocide in the world,’” the speaker said, “because
part of the Human Rights Program, 1994. Nicola Muchkinoff, the human then you get the idea you can choose.

“ ”
rights student Instead it should be, ‘People do change
The saying shouldn’t be ‘People intern, attended the world, either for better or worse.’”
can change the world,’ because the trip and
described it by Alex Thibeaux is a freshman. She can
then you get the idea you can saying, “I can’t be reached for comment at athibeaux@
choose. Instead it should be, ‘People do get over how smu.edu
much the trip
change the world, either for better or worse.’ affected me. I
had read the
and many students were able to take books, seen the pictures, and watched
advantage of the learning experience. the videos; but my education came full
The program is directed by Dr. Rick circle and what I had learned became
Halperin, former Chair of the Board real to me on a personal level.” On the
of Directors of Amnesty International trip to Rwanda, Muchkinoff and her
and current member of the Board fellow students interviewed survivors
of Directors of the Texas Coalition of the genocide, visited genocide sites,
Against the Death Penalty (TCADP). museums, and orphanages. They also
The program was started by a donation worked with the organization Alarm
from a parent who attended one of Dr. and other non-profit organizations while
Halperin’s trips. The current Human there. Next semester, one of the survivors
Rights minor requires 18 hours of study, the students met will be coming to SMU
including HIST 3301 and 5 additional to give a lecture. After graduating this The Human Rights program is slated to
classes of a student’s choice from several spring, Muchkinoff plans to study Human become a Dedman College major in Fall 2010
different areas, provided that no more Rights on the graduate level, and then (Courtesy SMU Human Rights Proram).
than 2 classes in the same category are take the Foreign Service exam so she can

Darwin’s Evolving Legacy Events Continue at SMU by Joey Ottolenghi

T hroughout 2009 and into


2010, SMU is celebrating the
150th anniversary of Charles
Darwin’s publication of On the Origin
of Species and the 200th birthday of
29, 2010 at 3 p.m. in McCord Auditorium..
Back in 2007, several SMU faculty
wrote an essay that defended evolution’s
legitimacy against the theory of intelligent
design, which was defended in a separate
people and it kept growing,” said Dr.
Wise. “We had people interested in the
program from Dedman, Meadows – it
really took off.” So far there have been
more than 25 events and 30 speakers.
the book’s author through a series of editorial in the Dallas Morning News. Dr. Wise gave a lecture on September 12
lectures, exhibits and presentations. That same group got together in 2008 to along with four of his colleagues at SMU.
The school-wide effort has brought “put together a list of possible speakers Looking back in the experience, Dr. Wise
in speakers from around the world. The and tried to get the administration said, “[The program] grew – it evolved.
next event in “Darwin’s Evolving Legacy: interested [in planning events to celebrate There was a lot of work in getting it to
Celebrating Ideas That Shape Our Darwin]”, according to Dr. John Wise, a actually happen, but it was well worth it.”
World” will be by Simon Conway Morris, professor of biology at SMU and one of
Professor of Evolutionary Paleobiology the events’ main organizers. The group Joey Ottolenghi is a freshman. He can
at the University of Cambridge. He will and its proposed programs quickly gained be reached for comment at jottolengh@
speak about “Darwin’s Compass: Why the support throughout the University. smu.edu
Evolution of Humans is Inevitable” on Jan. “We started with a small group of
The Ded-Beat, December 2009 2
Get to Know Your Professors!
The writers of The Ded-Beat will profile several professors, faculty, or students within each issue, looking to encompass
the best of what Dedman College has to offer! If you know someone who Dedman College should know too, email
rburns@smu.edu and nominate! Who knows, the next person we profile might be you!
English Biology Italian

Diana Clark Grumbles

Teresa Brentegani
Dr. Pia Vogel
What classes do you teach/are I am the Director of First-Year Writing. Biochemistry (Biol 5310 or Chem 5310) I teach three Italian classes: one
I teach primarily Honors English in the fall and Bio/Nanotechnology intermediate course and two advanced
you going to teach?
courses, but I also teach English 1300 (Biol 4370) in the spring semesters, courses.
and occasionally 1301 or 1302. except for spring 2010 when I will be on
research leave.

What attracted you to Dedman I have been part of Dedman College I had known Professor Vik from the Life!
since I was 18 and a first-year student Biology Department for many years
College at SMU?
here myself. I have never left SMU since through professional conferences before
then. I came to SMU. I also was impressed
with the professors in my department
and their willingness to support my
research activities.
What do you do with your free In summer, I teach Summer I and then Summers are spent, as for almost all I really enjoy reading (literature) and
try to travel. In my free time I am a people active in the sciences, to actually keep up to date with current events. I
time when you’re not teaching?
runner, and I teach spin. I also like to do the research, write manuscripts for also spend most of my free time with my
What about your summers? read (no surprise!) and see art-house publishing our data and writing grant two children. In the summer, we always
films. proposals to obtain the funds necessary travel.
to perform the research. When I’m
not doing any of the above, I enjoy
spending time with my family and dog
at Lake Texoma.

If you had to do something Actually psychology interests me very I really would not know what else to I would go back to school and study
much, and I am taking some courses do if not Science and Teaching. Well, literature or foreign languages. My
besides teach and/or do in that area. Not sure what I might do maybe I could bake some cakes, I am dream is to be a professional student.
research, what would you do with it at some point, but any job I ever pretty good at that, but I don’t assume it
and why? would have would involve interacting would be quite as fulfilling.
with people. I am not meant to be alone
with a computer all day!

What inspired you to become a My own English teacher here at SMU What inspired me and still inspires me I love my language and literature and
told me I should. She said, “Teaching in being a Professor is to try to convey want to share it with as many people as
professor?
English at the college level is what to my students the beauty of the natural possible.
you should do some day.” From that world. The intricate interactions that
moment on, that was my goal. have evolved to make all live on this
planet so beautiful and efficient. But
also, to show that humans now have
Professor Bios compiled by Anna to power to change so much of it at
Ziemnicki, Howard He, and Anna molecular level and what this power
Kiappes. entails ethically.

Italian Internship Offers New Opportunities


(cont. from page 1)
will be assigned articles about their company. field of major,” Prestigiacomo Patel
“Students will be assigned five to said. “Students are allowed to continue
six articles about the field of the the internship after the semester, but it
company and write responses in depends on the company and the students.”
Italian,” Prestigiacomo Patel said.
This internship can only be done Anna Kiappes is a sophomore Journalism
Paciugo Gelato will be one of the once for credit, but it could be major and Italian minor. She can be reached
companies participating in the new carried on through the summer. for comment at akiappes@smu.edu.
Italian internship program (Courtesy “One internship can be done per each
Paciugo).
The Ded-Beat, December 2009 3
The DCA: A New Voice for Dedman College
by Nicholas Burns

T he Dedman
Ambassadors
off to a strong start for
the 2009-2010 academic year, and
shows no signs of slowing down
College
(DCA) is Get Involved with the DCA!

There are several ways to get involved


student relationships with Dedman
College, and strengthening the image
of Dedman College off campus.
After two successful general
meetings, the DCA will host a few
with the DCA. Here are a few to get your
in achieving its unique mission. feet wet! events to finish the Fall 2009 semester
The DCA hopes to promote unity to continue momentum into the spring
within Dedman College by establishing -- Join the Facebook group to get the latest and beyond. Some of these events
a unique identity that fully encompasses updates (Search for “Dedman College include a study party, a “Cell-Phone-a-
the diversity, talents, and capabilities Ambassadors”). Thon,” and alumni networking events.
of all its students. By unifying If you are interested in joining
Dedman College on and off campus, --Come to a General Member Meeting! (next the DCA, or want to know more
the DCA wants to create a network date TBA in January 2010). information, email DCA@smu.
of Dedman students, professors, edu. They are looking for any and
alums, and prospective students that --DCA “Cell-Phone-a-Thon” to call prospective all Dedman students to contribute
students: December 6th, 2-6PM in the Varsity at
has never before existed in the nearly to their initiatives. The group also
Hughes-Trigg.
100 year history of Dedman College. has a Facebook group and monthly
Furthermore, the DCA will serve --DCA Study Break Party: December 9th, General Member Meetings, the next
as a creative, student-led foundation 9-11PM, Hughes-Trigg Commons. of which is to occur in January 2010.
for this new global Dedman College
community, and foster its growth by --DCA School Supply Drive benefitting Heart Nicholas Burns is a sophomore
sponsoring student and alumni events, House Dallas: December 1st through 7th. Biology and French major. He can
promoting alumni and prospective be reached for comment at rburns@
smu.edu
Egyptian, Roman Culture Live in Spring 2010 Class Opportunities Are Numerous For Undergrads
by Adrienne Glaze (cont. from page 1)

I f you are a Classical were religious and cultural in Plano, TX, among in a research university
Studies major or love tourists in Egypt, and students hundreds of other booths environment with experienced
anything about Ancient find that Cleopatra is the link showcasing new technologies staff and faculty. Even though
Egypt, Cleopatra, or the between the two ancient under development. It was I have not blown up Fondren
Roman Empire, the seminar civilizations. Students will read an incredible opportunity Science Building yet, this
The Triumph of Cleopatra: about the many different ways that gave me a great look into amazing experience all started
Egypt and Rome Under the she was represented, from the world of research. I have with a simple question and a
Empire is a great class to Roman propaganda slandering returned to work this fall, with desire to get involved. Don’t
consider. Professor Melissa Cleopatra as an evil queen to even more responsibilities in miss out on the opportunity
Dowling will offer the class ancient Egyptian archeological the lab and a few projects of to become more involved in
on Monday afternoons in articles describing her as a good my own. I have learned good your college. Dedman has
the spring of 2010. In the queen. Once students choose lab practice and invaluable research opportunities in
research class, students will their topic and begin writing hands-on experience working nearly every department. Get
choose their own topic for their research paper, they will with equipment and things involved: it’s as easy as asking
twenty-five-page research enjoy it as well as appreciate that would have remained a question, and the rewards are
paper and can share their their work because they will out of access to me. These more than worth your effort.
own ideas about why their be contributing to history resources and opportunities
topic is important. The class through their professor. And are one of the reasons I chose Dan Fernandez is a sophomore
will focus on the interaction let’s face it: many of us want to Dedman College at SMU. Chemistry major. He can
of cultures in the Roman be remembered in some way. There are ample opportunities be reached for comment
for hands-on learning at dfernandez@smu.edu.
Empire as it spread across So here is your chance to leave
Europe and Asia. Ancient your mark on history, or at least
The Ded-Beat is the official newsletter of the Dedman College
Egypt is used to describe and to get your foot in the door.
Ambassadors. The views represented within are not necessarily those
understand Rome because, as of Dedman College nor of Southern Methodist University. All inquiries
Professor Dowling explains, Adrienne Glaze is a freshman. regarding The Ded-Beat or any of its content may be directed to
“Rome is transformed by the She can be reached for Nicholas Burns, Vice President of Publications for the DCA and Editor-
Egyptian culture.” Romans comment at aglaze@smu.edu in-Chief of The Ded-Beat, at rburns@smu.edu.

The Ded-Beat, December 2009 4