Skip Navigation

Faculty Development

Liz Klarich teaching in the classroom

Smith College offers opportunities to foster faculty success at every career stage. The interactive map below highlights the variety of ways that the college offers ongoing professional development for faculty.

Faculty Development Series—Fall 2022

All faculty members are welcome.

Toward Equity: Mentoring Across Identities
8/24, 1–2:30 p.m.
Conference Center, Oak Room Lower Level
Facilitated by Hélène Visentin, Associate Dean of the Faculty & Dean for Academic Development, Toby Davis, Inclusion Education Trainer/Facilitator, and Marjorie Valdivia, Action Planning Project Coordinator and Facilitator
Register by 8/17
This workshop will provide resources to help mentors develop a meaningful and effective mentor-mentee relationship. We will address social identities and how they apply to mentorship; how we can help junior faculty identify their needs and have these met by developing a strong mentoring network; and help them navigate the institution and find a community of support so they feel empowered and can thrive. Participants will be led through a self-reflection activity, complete a mentoring map, and engage in small group discussion. Faculty serving in a formal mentoring role are strongly encouraged to attend. All faculty are welcome. In partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Toward Equity: The Syllabus at the Cornerstone of Inclusive Practices
8/30, 1:30–3 p.m. 
Conference Center, Oak Room Lower Level
Facilitated by Hélène Visentin, Associate Dean of the Faculty & Dean for Academic Development, and Caroline Melly, Director of the Sherrerd Center for Teaching & Learning
Register by 8/23
This workshop begins from the premise that a thoughtfully constructed syllabus can serve as an essential foundation for an inclusive and accessible pedagogy and classroom experience. Strategically building on the August 29 faculty conversation about shared norms around classroom expectations and student assessment, this workshop will discuss inclusive teaching best practices and help faculty to reflect on their own and their colleagues’ syllabi before the beginning of the new academic year. Discussion topics will include the essential elements of a learning-focused syllabus; the ways a well-designed syllabus can help set clear, high expectations and build a culture of intellectual habits and care, while acknowledging student diversity; and the resources available to enable students to thrive during their years at Smith. In partnership with the Sherrerd Center.

"Joy Choices" for Faculty: Constraints and Affordances
9/14, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Campus Center 205
Facilitated by Benita Jackson, Professor of Psychology, Faculty Wellness Fellow
Register by 9/7
Benita Jackson, PhD MPH is a professor in the department of psychology, and a health scholar and practitioner. In this workshop she offers perspectives on how constraints and affordances in faculty lives across career trajectories shape the "joy choices" we make, based on her reading of a recently-released book titled The Joy Choice: How to Finally Achieve Lasting Changes in Eating and Exercise. She makes key recommendations relevant to faculty well-being. Additionally, she will lead attendees in creating a plan for semester-specific health and well-being outcomes, and reflecting on the supports needed to take right next imperfect actions toward them.
Hiking and Writing with Friends: Community Building at MacLeish Field Station
9/23, 1–5 p.m.
Ada & Archibald MacLeish Field Station 
Register by 9/16
Do you want to spend time on your writing and have a change of scenery? Come find inspiration in a place of natural beauty! We will write in the company of others at the MacLeish Field Station, in the hills of West Whately. Participants may take a break to enjoy a loop trail in the woods (weather permitting) or keep writing. Feel welcome to join anytime. 

Student Mental Health Support 
10/17, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Campus Center 205 
Facilitated by Kris Evans, Director, Schacht Center for Health & Wellness, and Julie Ohotnicky, Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Campus Life
Register by 10/10
Since the pandemic, student mental health wellbeing has become a bigger priority. Come learn how the institution can help both instructors and advisers recognize and support students experiencing mental health issues. This session specifically aims at connecting instructors and advisers with resources on campus. In partnership with the Schacht Center for Health & Wellness and the Office of Student Affairs.

10/21, 1-4:30 p.m.
Campus Center 205 
Register by 10/14
Have writing to get done but finding it hard to get started? Find that your writing is easier when done with good colleagues? Earmark your calendar, grab your laptop, and come to this write-on-site opportunity! We will start this session by updating each other on our research plans and sharing writing strategies and motivational tools. This session will support you in making progress and increasing productivity. Feel welcome to join anytime—the first 15 minutes will be a check-in and writing time will begin at 1:15 p.m.

First Steps Toward Seeking Grants and Fellowships
11/1, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Campus Center 205
Register by 10/25
Thinking about applying for a fellowship or research grant, but not sure where to start? The Grants and Sponsored Research team will introduce ourselves and the tools and resources we offer to faculty applying for outside funding. We will provide an overview of the stages involved in grant seeking, with a focus on getting started: determining how grants best fit into your long-term research plans, identifying potential funding opportunities, framing your project in a way that is clear and compelling to non-specialists including funders, and first steps toward building a proposal. In partnership with Grants and Sponsored Research.

11/4, 1–4:30 p.m. 
Campus Center 205  
Register by 11/7
Connect with your research community to keep you accountable and achieve your goals. Share what works for you or what is holding you back. We will learn from each other, design solutions to overcome hurdles you may face in your scholarly activities and write together. Feel welcome to join anytime—the first 15 minutes will be a check-in and writing time will begin at 1:15 p.m.

Toward Equity: Faculty Workload Equity 
11/29, 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Campus Center 205  
Register by 11/22
Workload equity has surfaced as a critical issue facing a large number of faculty members at Smith. This is particularly true for women and people of color, and the pandemic has exacerbated this issue. Workload equity has far-reaching impacts on faculty satisfaction, retention and productivity, as well as tenure and promotion outcomes and timelines. This session will share the work of the Faculty Workload Equity Working Group and discuss evidence-based practices to increase transparency, clarity and accountability around faculty workload equity within academic units.

12/9, 1–4:30 p.m.  
Campus Center 205  
Register by 12/2
Share your research accomplishments, reflect on what worked for you this semester and make time in your calendar to write with your colleagues. Cultivate a community of support for your research endeavors to help you write regularly and be a productive scholar. Feel welcome to join anytime—the first 15 minutes will be a check-in and writing time will begin at 1:15 p.m.

Faculty Mentoring

The Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty supports the mentoring of junior faculty members in myriad ways.

New Faculty Orientation

Each year, the associate dean of the faculty and dean for academic development welcomes all new members of the faculty to a new faculty orientation. The primary purpose of the orientation is to provide advice, information, and inspiration while welcoming faculty to the Smith community. Items reviewed include essential college policies and additional resources to complement on-boarding materials included with the hiring letter. The new faculty orientation is an opportunity for new faculty to re-connect with junior and senior members of their department, ask key questions from affiliates across campus, and serves as a medium to engage fellow colleagues as they each embark on a new journey at Smith.

Board of Counselors

The associate dean of the faculty and dean for academic development oversees the Faculty Board of Counselors. The board includes senior faculty members who provide individual and collective extra departmental mentoring to tenure-track faculty members in their first and second years. The counselors are also willing to meet with any recently appointed faculty members who seek advice. Additionally, the board advises senior faculty members and administrators on their work with newer colleagues.

Departmental and Program Mentoring

Departmental mentoring introduces tenure-track faculty and renewable lecturers and laboratory instructors to the culture of the department, college, Five College community, and profession. Departmental mentors support their mentees through regular meetings regarding strategies for prioritizing and performing scholarship, teaching, and service. Mentors address questions and concerns, and assist mentees in building connections and accessing resources.

Non-Tenure-Track Mentoring Team

A team of four Non-Tenure Track Mentors are available to support all non-tenure-track faculty in navigating and being successful during their time at Smith. The mentors meet regularly with the associate dean of the faculty and dean for academic development to discuss their mentoring meetings and to address questions and issues that arise.

Faculty Wellness Fellow

For the 2022-23 academic year, Benita Jackson, professor of psychology and health scholar and practitioner, will serve as a Faculty Wellness Fellow as part of a pilot program. In this role, she will develop programming to provide faculty with tools to support their pursuit of work-life integration and imagine forms of cultural and structural change in support of those goals.

Faculty Development Map

To explore the interactive map, please click on the image below.


Resources for Faculty Development