Faculty Members Honored for Their Teaching
faculty members were named recently as winners of the Kathleen
Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John
J. F. Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished Teaching.
Leonard Berkman, Anne Hesseltine Hoyt Professor of Theatre;
Susan Van Dyne, professor of the study of women and gender;
and Gregory White, professor of government.
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 ’54 and John Sherrerd. Their
donation was given with the specific purpose of initiating
an annual prize to recognize outstanding teaching at Smith.
The three 2011 Sherrerd Award
recipients will be honored during a reception and presentation
on Thursday, October 13, at 4:30 p.m. in Neilson
Browsing Room, which is open to the Smith community. .
Berkman has taught playwriting and dramatic literature at
Smith since 1969. Twice a Yale graduate, he holds a master’s
of fine arts degree in playwriting and a doctorate in dramatic
literature/history/criticism. As dramaturge with companies
such as New York Stage and Film, Sundance Institute, South
Coast Rep's Hispanic Playwrights Project, Epic Theatre Ensemble
and others, Berkman has been involved with more than 500
new plays in development and production. His own plays include These
Are Not My Breasts, Voila! Rape
in Technicolor, I’m Not the Star of My Own Life and I
Go See a Play Called ‘A Parents Worst Nightmare’. Highly
acclaimed former students Berkman has mentored at Smith include
Wendy Wasserstein, Liev Schreiber, Erin Cressida Wilson,
and Patricia Wettig. Frequently a guest playwright/dramaturge
at college campuses across the U.S., Berkman is an international
Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar, most recently with residencies
at the University of Hamburg.
Van Dyne came to Smith in 1973, after completing her doctorate
in English at Harvard University. She teaches courses in
American literature; her favorites are American Women Poets
and the Cultural Work of Memoir. Spurred by student interest,
she joined other Smith faculty to establish the women’s studies
program in 1981, and team-taught the Introduction to Women’s
Studies for many years. Van Dyne’s book Women’s Place
in the Academy: Transforming the Liberal Arts, co-edited
with Marilyn Schuster, helps faculty integrate women’s studies
and ethnic studies scholarship across the curriculum. She
has written essays on Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Rita
Dove, and Alison Bechdel as well as the poems and letters
of Smith alumna Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. In
Revising Life she analyzes Plath’s creative
process through the drafts of the great Ariel poems. In recent
years Van Dyne has worked with colleagues to establish the
archives and poetry concentrations.
White joined the Smith Department of Government in 1993 after
completing his doctoral degree in political science and African
studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A native
of Philadelphia, he attended Lafayette College. At Smith
he has taught courses in international relations, international
political economy, global environmental politics, and refugee
and migration politics. His geographical area of focus is
North Africa. White has had Fulbright scholarships to both
Tunisia and Morocco and is an associate editor of the Journal
of North African Studies. At Smith he is an Environmental
Fellow with the new Center for the Environment, Ecological
Design and Sustainability (CEEDS) and a member of the steering
committee of the Environmental Science & Policy Program.
He received a Mellon Foundation New Directions
Fellowship in 2008 and is the author of On the
Outside of Europe Looking In: A Comparative Political Economy
of Tunisia and Morocco and Climate
Change and Migration: Security and Borders in a Warming World.