Award Lauds Superior Teaching
they will not return to the classroom for another month, four
Smith College faculty members were recently recognized for
their talent as educators.
assistant professor of Jewish studies; John Hellweg, professor
of theater; Samuel Intrator, associate professor of education
and child study; and Kevin Shea, assistant professor of chemistry,
were selected to receive the fourth Kathleen Compton Sherrerd
’54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished
Teaching. The prize is given annually to four Smith faculty
members in recognition of their distinguished teaching records
and demonstrated enthusiasm and excellence.
The winners will
be honored at a presentation on Tuesday, October 17, at 4:30
p.m. in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall. Previously granted
during the spring semester, the awards will now be presented
each year in the fall.
The Sherrerd Teaching
Award was made possible by a grant to the college by Smith
alumna the late Kathleen Compton Sherrerd, a 1954 graduate,
and her husband John J. F. Sherrerd.
always considered excellent teaching among its top priorities
and presents the Sherrerd Teaching Award as a publicly visible
symbol of its commitment and dedication to superior pedagogy,”
said President Carol T. Christ in announcing the recipients.
Cammy began teaching at Smith in 2001, becoming an assistant
professor of Jewish studies in 2003 following his completion
of doctoral studies at Harvard University’s Department
of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. A specialist
in modern Yiddish literature and Eastern European Jewish culture,
Cammy teaches courses in Yiddish, Israeli, Holocaust, and
American-Jewish literature, a survey of Eastern European Jewish
history, and an introduction to the Jewish tradition. His
research currently focuses on Yung-Vilne, the last group of
young, politically engaged Yiddish poets, writers and artists
in inter-war Poland.
Hellweg joined the Smith Department of Theatre in 1979 after
completing his doctorate at the University of California,
Berkeley, and has taught courses in acting, directing and
dramatic literature. Throughout his career, he has directed
more than 40 theater productions -- from Chekhov to Molière
-- and performed in numerous others. Hellweg has broadened
interdisciplinary parameters with his courses “Asian
Theatre and Dance,” “Religion and Theatre in Southeast
Asia,” and “European Drama (1530–1904):
The Shock of the Pre-Modern.” A popular teacher, Hellweg
chaired the Department of Theatre from 1986–89 and again
Intrator arrived at Smith College in 1999 with extensive experience
as an educator in K-12 schools and a doctorate from Stanford
University. He promptly founded and continues to co-direct
the college’s Urban Education Initiative, a center devoted
to creating connections between Smith and urban K-12 schools.
Intrator has written and edited several books about teachers
and teaching, including Tuned in and Fired Up: How Teaching
Can Inspire Genuine Learning, a finalist for the prestigious
Grawemeyer Award in Education. His courses include “Urban
Education” and “Teenagers in American Culture.”
Shea didn’t have far to travel to join Smith’s
Department of Chemistry in 2000 after completing his doctorate
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his undergraduate
degree at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He teaches courses
in organic chemistry, general chemistry and instrumental analysis.
His research focuses on organic synthesis, in which he investigates
new methods for carbon-to-carbon bond formation and develops
syntheses of biologically active molecules. Since arriving
at Smith, Shea has published several articles about his research
and has garnered numerous grants supporting his work, including
funding from the American Chemical Society and Bristol-Myers
Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute.