Faculty Members Honored for Their Teaching
faculty members were named this week as winners of the Kathleen
Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J.
F. Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished Teaching.
Nicholas Horton, associate professor of mathematics and statistics;
Róisín O’Sullivan, associate
professor of economics; and Michael Thurston, professor of
English language and literature.
The is given annually to Smith faculty members in recognition
of their distinguished teaching records and demonstrated
enthusiasm and excellence.
The award was established in
2002 with a generous contribution to Smith by the late Kathleen
Sherrerd and John Sherrerd. Their donation was given with
the specific purpose of initiating an annual prize to recognize
outstanding teaching at Smith.
The three 2010 Sherrerd Award
recipients will be honored during a presentation of the awards
and film screening () produced for
the event on Thursday, October 28, at 4:30 p.m. in Weinstein
Auditorium, Wright Hall. .
Horton joined the college’s Department of Mathematics and
Statistics in 2003 after teaching at the Boston University
School of Public Health. He completed his undergraduate,
doctoral and post-doctoral studies at Harvard University.
At Smith, he teaches courses on statistics and probability
and has been active in international efforts to reform the
teaching of statistics with greater focus on conceptual understanding
and application rather than numerical calculations. He was
the recipient last year of the American Statistical Association’s
Waller Education Award. In 2007-08 he was a visiting faculty
member at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Nick’s
research involves the development and application of statistical
methods applied to psychiatric epidemiology and substance
abuse, and he has published a series of books on statistical
computing with Chapman and Hall. He continues to interact
with research colleagues in England, Russia, Indonesia, Sweden,
Italy, New Zealand, and Australia.
O'Sullivan joined the college’s Department of Economics in
2002 after completing her undergraduate and master’s studies
at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and her doctoral
studies at the Ohio State University, from which she received
a citation for Excellence in Teaching in 2001. From 1992
to 1997, she worked as an economist for the Central Bank
and Financial Services Authority of Ireland. Her research
focuses on issues relating to monetary policy and financial
markets and she teaches courses in macroeconomics, European
integration, money and banking, and central banking. O’Sullivan
co-organizes an annual workshop in Macroeconomic Research
at Liberal Arts Colleges and received a Certificate of Achievement
from the American Economic Association in 2008 for her participation
in a teaching innovations program to promote the use of interactive
techniques in the teaching of economics.
Michael Thurston came to Smith
in 2000 by way of Yale University, where he served for five
years on the English faculty, two of those years as co-director
the school’s Bass Writing Program.
After completing his undergraduate studies in English and
history at the University of North Texas, he completed doctoral
studies in English at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Thurston, who serves on the Smith College Poetry Center Committee,
teaches courses on American poetry, modern British and Irish
poetry, and American literature. He is the author of Making
Something Happen: American Political Poetry between the World
Wars (2001) and The Underworld
in Twentieth-Century Poetry: from Pound to Eliot to Heaney
and Walcott (2009), as well
as essays on notable American, British, and Irish writers.
He is currently writing a guide to postwar British and Irish
poetry and a book on Cape Cod.