Tina Brown’s Tate Lecture Cancelled

May 2, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

By Aida Ahmed

UPDATED: MAY 4 10:05 A.M.

The Tina Brown Tate Lacerte Family Lecture has been rescheduled for May 11. It will be the final event for the 2010-2011 Tate Lecture Series.

The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium and tickets for the May 3 lecture will be honored.

The Tate Lecture schedule for 2011-2012 will also be announced.

SMU News and Communications announced Monday that the Tate Lecture scheduled for May 3 has been cancelled.

Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and founder of The Daily Beast, is unable to travel to Dallas for the lecture because of breaking news on the death of Osama bin Laden. The lecture will be rescheduled and announced soon.

Tickets for the May 3 lecture will be honored on the rescheduled date.

For more information visit the Tate website.

Education Experts Speak At Tate Student Forum

March 30, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Lara Mirgorod

Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education and Geoffrey Canada, founder and CEO of The Harlem Children’s Zone spoke to SMU students during Tate Lecture Series Student Forum on March 29.

The question and answer session took place at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom and was moderated by Keven Willey of The Dallas Morning News. Brad Cheves, vice president of Development and External Affairs, introduced Spellings and Canada to the audience.

The questions centered on Spellings’ and Canada’s views on education in America and how it could be improved were asked by SMU students and high school students around the Dallas community.

Canada and Spellings were pleased by the questions asked by the students.

“If these questions continue I am going to think that you are spending too much money on education,” Canada said.

He explained that he holds adults accountable for the students who do not perform well in their studies.

Spellings said the problem with American schools is that children think it is okay to pass their classes rather than try to push to the best of their ability to make good grades.

America is too comfortable with mediocre standards. Spellings said that only 50 percent of American students are graduating from high school.

High school student Alex Clark asked, “What advice would you give an undergraduate high school student who is following your footsteps?”

Canada said it is important to finish high school, get a degree in college and start educating children where they are challenged.

“We have to start with kids that are young and make sure they graduate high school, and that they get into a college,” Canada said.

Spellings said that America needs more educational entrepreneurs.

“It is really about leadership. There has to be someone who is really thinking about the kids and their talent,” Canada said. “We need to think in a way where we are asking ourselves, are we investing in a way to make sure that our children are working to the best of their ability?”

Canada and Spellings both agreed that failure in America is accepted, and it pulls expectations down for children.

An SMU student asked, “What solutions do you see for the recent problems in our educational system?”

Spellings said that America needs to produce more with much less.

“Does every person in this room wish and want to spend more money on education? How well are we doing at what price? We have very little data in our system,” Spellings said.

Canada said that educators need to figure out what they need to do in order to educate their kids.

“We as educators need to fight for what we believe in,” he said.

SMU student Zara Khan asked Canada what his original path was and if he always knew he wanted to be a part of The Harlem Children’s Zone.

“I decided I wanted to work with children at a young age in New York when I graduated,” she said.

Canada said that he always knew he wanted to be in the educating business. He started The Harlem Zone 12 years ago, an organization in New York City that involves increasing high school and college graduation rates among students in Harlem.

He said that before The Harlem Zone existed, he was at the same organization with a different name that was run by another man.

“I thought that my colleagues and myself were doing a good job of teaching, but then I realized that that we were not making a difference in children’s education. It wasn’t that we were not working hard, but we were not ending children’s poverty or helping children who could not afford to receive an education,” Canada said.

“We tend to not change what we are doing because we hope that what we are doing we eventually make a difference, but it wasn’t,” he said.

Sarah Miller, another SMU student, said she was interested to know what both Spellings and Canada’s values in teachers were.

Canada said that he has seen teachers who are real superstars, and that teachers were prepared and believed that the children could learn.

If kids are not learning, Canada said that teachers then need to look underneath the surface in order to view the true problem.

“I am looking for teachers who believe it is their fault if the children are not learning. I don’t want teachers that give up and who don’t think it’s their fault if children don’t do their homework. I want teachers who get to the root of the problem for the children.”

Spellings said that educators need to start thinking about what their kids need.

Daily Update: Wednesday, February 16

February 16, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Learn how a country’s celebration became a women’s nightmare. What advice did yesterdays Tate Lecture speaker gave students? And Amazon.com is fighting the State of Texas for your bucks, who will win? Learn all this and more on your Daily Update!

Daily Update: Wednesday, February 16th from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Joshua Cooper Ramo to Speak at Tate Lecture

February 15, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Joshua Cooper Ramo

By Elena Harding

The Tate Distinguished Lecture series will continue Tuesday afternoon with speaker Joshua Cooper Ramo, the managing editor of Kissinger Associates, former journalist and a foremost authority on China.

During the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008, he served as a China analyst for NBC Television and is the author of The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It.

He will take questions from the audience at the Tate Student Forum on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

In the evening he will lecture on topics including “The New World Disorder” and “The Age of the Unthinkable” at the Anita and Truman Arnold Lecture of the Tate Lecture Series at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Students will be admitted with their SMU ID until seats are no longer available.

For more information about the Tate Series, call the Tate office at 214-768-8283.

Kenneth Cole Visits SMU for the Tate Lecture Series

April 6, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

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Tate Lecture Series: Stroke Victims Share Stories

February 24, 2010 by · Comments Off 

by Mackenzie O’Hara

Students, faculty and community members gathered in McFarlin Auditorium Tuesday evening for Southern Methodist University’s Tate Lecture Series. The series welcomed their sixth speaker this season, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.

“You are a life-force power of 50 trillion cells!” Taylor exclaimed to the crowd.

Taylor, a Harvard-trained published neuroanatomist, was exercising in her living room when “all of the sudden [her] hands looked like primitive claws.” After she got off the bike, “Every moment seemed slower.  I had to remind myself to catch myself, relax myself, and balance myself,” she said.

Taylor described the process, later known as having a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain, as “a time of total silence blended with urgent awareness of needing help.”  Strokes generally occur between the ages of 25 and 45, Her stroke occurred at the “perfect” time in 1996 when she was only 37.

“Imagine 37 years of emotional baggage suddenly going away.  It was complete euphoria!” she joked.

As a neuroanatomist, Taylor had studied the brain and how it functions. Her experience was very different than people who have no knowledge of brain hemorrhages or strokes.

Sarita, a member of the audience and wife of SMU professor Johannes Tausch, experienced a stroke on Nov. 28, 2007.

“I was in the shower on a Thursday and I sneezed and suddenly I my whole left side of my body was paralyzed,” she said.

It wasn’t until April 2008 that Sarita underwent brain surgery by Dr. Luke Samson at UT Southwestern Hospital.  Today, Sarita still has prisms to keep her left eye in place.

“I still experience some dizziness and have some balance issues,” she said.

Sarita attended the Tate Lecture with two friends, Savannah Hollis and Rachel Hart, who also underwent brain surgery by Dr. Samson as a result of a brain hemorrhage.

“You can’t imagine everything it affects,” said Hollis who was 21 years old when she experienced her hemorrhagic stroke.

Taylor shared the extreme complexity of the human body by asking the audience the population of the United States.

“To get the amount of cells that control your nervous system you would have to multiply the population of the U.S. (six billion) by 166. Isn’t that empowering?”

She later went on to state that all of the cells that control the human body are equal to multiplying the population of the U.S. by 8,333.

Taylor informed the audience about the different functions carried out by the left and right hemisphere of the brain.

“Your left hemisphere would rather be right than happy and your right hemisphere would rather be happy than right,” she said.

Taylor later detailed the kinds of things your right hemisphere is in control of such as kinesthetic learning, seeking similarities, and being focused on things right here now.  The left hemisphere, she said, focuses more on details, language, critical analysis, and the difference between right and wrong.

Halfway through the lecture a man sitting in the top right section of the auditorium lost consciousness.  His wife frantically called for help and within minutes the paramedics arrived.  The man regained consciousness and did not need to go to the hospital. The lecture continued as scheduled.

“I feel like [Taylor] did a wonderful job of telling her story, especially when it came to educating the audience about the risks of having a stroke,” said SMU sophomore Daniela Field.

Taylor ended the lecture with as much enthusiasm as she started asking the audience to, “beam bright.”

How do you know if you’re having a stroke?  Taylor has a six-step checklist of warning signs conveniently starting with all of the letters that make up stroke.

S = Speech, or problems with language

T = Tingling, or numbness in your body

R = Remember, or problems with thinking

O = Off-balance, or problems with coordination

K = Killer headache

E = Eyes, or problems with vision.

Taylor stressed that if you ever experience these things to call 911.

Tate Student Forum: The Brain Scientist Who Survived a Stroke

February 23, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Jill Bolte Taylor answers questions at the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum Tuesday afternoon. (PHOTO BY AIDA AHMED / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

Jill Bolte Taylor answers questions at the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum Tuesday afternoon. (PHOTO BY AIDA AHMED / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

By Aida Ahmed

Best-selling author and neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor shared some details of her inspiring story with SMU students and faculty Tuesday afternoon at the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum.

Taylor, who decided to study the brain after her brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, had a rare opportunity to study her own brain.

In 1996 she suffered a stroke that wiped out her memory and left her unable to speak, read or write. The experience was the basis for her book, “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey”.

Taylor said that the most traumatic part of the experience was not being able to put her thoughts and emotions into music.

Before the stroke, the doctor was known as the “singing scientist”. As a postmortem brain tissue researcher at Harvard University, Taylor would travel around the country talking about the value of brain tissue donation and would sing a “brain jingle” every where she went. After the stroke, she could not even make out letters or symbols.

“How does one relearn?” asked Taylor. “I knew all this stuff, but I could not access it.”

She said she was essentially a two-year-old stuck in a woman’s body, but one thing she could do was read peoples’ energies.

“I could tell if the intonation of a voice matched the face and if people were telling the truth,” said Taylor.

The brain scientist said she felt that she was fully recovered after eight years of therapy and a major brain surgery in which doctors removed a golf ball-sized clot that was placing pressure on the left hemisphere of her brain.

Her story gained national attention after speaking at a Technology, Entertainment, Design Conference Talk in 2008. After launching her memoir, Oprah asked her to be on her show. Later that year, her story earned her a spot in “Time Magazine’s” 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Joe Green, a graduate student in Perkins School of Theology said he was told about her book after he recovered from a stroke he had when he was 15.

“When you have a stroke everyone wants to give you something to relate to,” said Green. He wasn’t interested in reading about someone else having a stroke until he saw a video of Dr. Taylor on the TED Conference Talk.

“I was kind of timid and didn’t want to talk about [the stroke], but her story gave me the strength,” said Green.

The doctor said she too gained insight from the experience. Insight into what it’s like to live in a society where you are going at a different pace and have a different perception of reality.

Senior biology and philosophy double major Alex Frolou said he found her experience useful.

“Her whole story offers insight on the brain which is really important, even in philosophical debates,” Frolou said.

Taylor said it became her personal mission to help people realize that they have love and compassion from their right brain that gets pushed back in the fast urgency of the left brain.

“Sometimes we can step back and pause,” said Taylor.

In addition to her book getting published in 27 different languages, Taylor is in the final contractual dealings for a movie of her life starring Jodie Foster.

Apollo 11 Legend Buzz Aldrin Ascends on SMU

December 9, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Sam Todd

Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, best known for being the second man to walk on the moon, the spoke at the Tate Lecture student forum in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Tuesday Dec. 8. Aldrin walked on the moon after his commander Neil Armstrong, as a member of the crew of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969.

The former astronaut is still very involved with the NASA space program, as he mentioned he was expecting a call from the president of NASA, and voiced his strong opinions on where he thinks the space program should be headed. Settlement was a word he used often, as in the settlement of the planet Mars.

Aldrin, who greeted the crowd with great enthusiasm before telling his life story to a standing room of only SMU students, local area high school students and assorted faculty, constantly pointed out that if the United States’ space program continues to move at it’s current pace, we will most likely not be the first country to land on Mars. As Aldrin was one of the first to land on the moon, this cause is of great importance to him and it seems that much of his time is invested in working with the engineers at NASA today.

Students and faculty lined up to ask Aldrin questions, which dealt with his experiences being in space, his thoughts on the new industry of space tourism and what he’s working on currently in the field of space exploration. He answered the questions thoroughly, and although he may have gotten off track several times, the audience seemed to enjoy his candid answers and tales of what it was like to be one of the first to walk on the Moon.

One question that stood out came from an SMU student who mentioned he had seen a video of Aldrin punching a man in the face who made allegations that Aldrin had never been into space, and asked the former astronaut what he thought of the people who didn’t believe that space travel ever occurred. His answer was simple, the people who deny man have walked on the moon are wrong, and the only reason that people pay attention to them and the media discusses them is because people are gullible, and give them attention that they don’t deserve. He jokingly lashed out at the crowd, yelling that everyone was gullible, but his personal recount of the story was one of the most entertaining portions of the question and answer session.

Although the room was mainly filled with students, many members of the Dallas community attended, as Aldrin was an icon of their generation. Three members of the audience were educators from Highland Park High School, located not far from SMU’s campus. Highland Park Principal Patrick Cates was one of those educators in the crowd.

“I’ve been interested in the space program since I was very little, and I was younger than 10-years-old when I watched the Mercury launch,” said Cates.

“I was so into it that my mother let me skip school to watch, which is ironic as I’m now a school principal. But then it was truly important to see, and now to see Buzz Aldrin in person is a dream come true.”

Mari Schaefer and Kathy Sloan, who also work at Highland Park, accompanied Cates to the event. Sloan at first mentioned that she only came because Cates brought her along, but she soon revealed she too had a lifelong interest in NASA and the space program.

“I’ve watched every shuttle lift-off, except for one. And that was because I was in labor,” said Sloan. “It’s just so fascinating, and Buzz Aldrin is truly the Einstein of his field.”

Cates also pointed out how significant and important Aldrin really is, especially to people who belong to a generation that idolized the astronauts who made it to the Moon.

“I think that even 500 years from now people will still remember how important he really was, and compare him to history’s great explorers like Christopher Columbus and Charles Lindbergh,” he said.

“He really is a true historical figure.”

Associate Supreme Court Justice at SMU

September 29, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Ave Ver Bockel

Clarence Thomas, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, will be the SMU Tate Lecture Series guest speaker on Sept. 30 in McFarlin Auditorium at 8 p.m.

From presidents to prize-winning authors and from actors to eminent scientists and business leaders, SMU’s distinguished Willis M. Tate lecture series has brought speakers from around the world to share their unique experiences with the Dallas community for 28 years.

SMU’s student foundation has partnered with the Tate Lecture Series to connect the student body to the renowned figures speaking on campus.

“This particular lecture should be quite intriguing due to Thomas’s unique position as a minority on the Supreme Court, especially with all the recent turmoil surrounding the nomination and confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor,” said Dane Brennan, SMU’s student foundation Tate Lecture Series Chair.

Justice Thomas became a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1990. Thomas took his seat in the Supreme Court on Oct. 23, 1991 after he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush.

Thomas graduated cum laude from Holy Cross College and his J.D. degree from Yale Law School in 1974. He is also the author of The New York Times bestseller “My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir,” and he recently published a book titled, “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas.”

Wednesday’s event is sold out. For more information visit the Tate Lecture Series website.

Quincy Jones Offers Students Secrets to His Success

October 8, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

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