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Celebrating Faculty


Through leading research, scholarship and the arts, Smith faculty push boundaries with unprecedented ways of thinking and ideas, inspiring students to find their own voices and ask hard questions.

Geology Professor Sara Pruss and Lexie Leeser ’21 have made a discovery that could change prevailing wisdom about early animal life on Earth. In a paper just published in Science Advances, they present fossil evidence that suggests colonial animals known as bryozoans appeared approximately 30 million years earlier than previously reported. Read more here.

Psychology professor Mary Harrington explains how light influences our circadian rhythms. Read more here.

On NPR's All Things Considered, Smith Professor Lauren Duncan explains her theories about why the anti-gun protest movement was so delayed and so small after the recent incidents of gun violence in the United States, compared to the massive and immediate protests launched after the George Floyd killing. Read more here.

Activist, Black feminist and Smith Professor Loretta J. Ross is one of three women to share their personal stories about abortion with The New York Times. Read more here.

More faculty in the news can be found in the News Tracker section of Notes from Paradise.



“In my second year, I curated a student exhibition at the Cunningham center, and I emailed most of my professors inviting them to come see it. The exhibition was only up for an afternoon, and I didn’t quite expect them to stop by, but to my surprise, my advisors and three other professors who were teaching me at the time or had previously taught me all showed up. It was a lovely surprise and reminded me how most professors at Smith actually do care for your well-being and aspirations.”
—Mosa N. Molapo ’22, Art History and African Studies


The Sherrerd Teaching Prizes

The annual Kathleeen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John F. Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished Teaching were established in 2002 to recognize sustained and distinguished teaching by longtime faculty members, as well to as encourage younger faculty members whose demonstrated enthusiasm and excellence influences students and colleagues. Read more about the most recent prize winners.


Grants and Awards (January 26 - March 2, 2023)



Benita Jackson, 2022-23 Smith College Presidential Award for Mentoring

Lesley-Ann Giddings, CAREER: Characterization and Evolution of N-hydroxylase Biocatalysts: Solutions to Catalysis and Remediating Metal Pollution, National Science Foundation

Yael Granot, Rising Star Award, Association for Psychological Science

Alicia Grubb, CAREER: Requirements at Development Time, National Science Foundation

Niveen Ismail, Impacts of Zooplankton Grazing on Microbial Water Quality, Swiss National Science Foundation

Laura Katz, RUI: PurSUiT: Biodiversity discovery of shell-building amoebae (Arcellinida: Amoebozoa) in low pHbogs and fens, National Science Foundation

Christen Mucher, New Directions Fellowship, Mellon Foundation

Ileana Streinu, Fulbright Award 2023-24, Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board

Hélène Visentin, co-edited La Princesse de Clèves by Lafayette: A New Translation and Bilingual Pedagogical Edition for the Digital Age (Lever Press), which is a Association of American Publishers (AAP) 2023 PROSE Award finalist in the category of Best eProducts.


New Members of the Smith Teaching Community

Welcome to the 2021–22 academic year. The following individuals joined the Smith College community as tenure-track professors.