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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of November 23, 2020,
for the spring 2021 semester.

Sherrerd Center for Teaching & Learning

Professor Kate Soper teaching in a music classroom

There are many different ways to teach well.

Good teaching is necessarily inclusive.

All teaching is improvable.

The Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning was founded in 2009 through a generous bequest from the family of Kathleen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J. F. Sherrerd, longtime supporters of excellence in teaching at Smith College. The center enables the academic success of all Smith students through faculty development efforts that support teaching and learning at the college.

News and Events

Sherrerd Center's Theme for 2020-2021: Connectivity

This academic year at Smith is one unlike any other. The vast majority of our students are away from campus, learning in remote environments, both across the US and across the world. When COVID-19 shut down our campus in the Spring of 2020, many of us thought this would be a brief break from daily life and all would return to normal soon, but instead, this has become a sustained experience for our community. During the 20-21 academic year, we plan to use connectivity as our guiding principle in our Sherrerd Center programming. With trauma from the global pandemic, the continuation of brutal racial injustices in the US, and a contentious US election cycle all coalescing, it is arguably more important than ever to feel connected to our community – and yet, it has never been harder. In the work that we do at the Sherrerd Center for teaching and learning, we hope to center anti-racism, teaching in and amidst trauma, and the best inclusive practices in the remote classroom so that we can remain connected: to our core mission, and to each other in the Smith community.

Inclusive Teaching Workshop with Viji Sathy and Kelly Hogan
Friday, November 20, 2020
12:30-2 p.m.

Viji Sathy and Kelly Hogan, award winning instructors with a combined 25+ years in the classroom at the University of North Carolina will share expertise on inclusive techniques and active learning in any size crowd (both teach courses routinely with hundreds of students). Please RSVP and Zoom details will be sent to you.

Difficult Political Conversations, Part II
Friday, November 20, 2020
6:00-8:00 pm

In this second session of the series, panelists will discuss how and when we choose to engage in difficult political conversations in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Sponsored by the Sherrerd Center and moderated by Nimisha Bhat (Libraries), panelists Valerie Joseph (Anthropologist and AEMES Mentoring Administrative Director), Loretta Ross (Visiting Associate Professor, Study of Women & Gender), Peggy O’Neill (Assistant Professor, School for Social Work), Kris Evans (Associate Director, Counseling Services), and Greg White (Professor, Government) will bring their experiences and perspectives to the roundtable to talk about how to create an environment for radical listening, facilitating conversations empathetically, and the work we all want to do moving forward.

The recording for Difficult Political Conversations Roundtable Part 1 that took place on October 23, 2020, is here.



Sara Pruss

Director of the Sherrerd Center
Professor of Geosciences

Sherry Wingfield

Sherrerd Center Coordinator

Advisory Board

2020–21 Members

Jean Ferguson

Director of Learning, Research, and Technology

Angie Hauser 

Associate Professor of Dance

Susannah Howe 

Design Clinic Director, Senior Lecturer in Engineering, Class Dean 2020–21

Borjana Mikic

Rosemary Bradford Hewlett 1940 Professor of Engineering

Roisin O'Sullivan

Professor of Economics

Cornelia Pearsall

Professor of English Language & Literature

Beth Powell

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Kevin Shea

Professor of Chemistry

Tina Wildhagen

Associate Professor of Sociology (Sabbatical 2020–21)

Sujane Wu

Associate Professor of Chinese Language & Literature