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Pedagogical Partnership

Professor Benita Jackson with student Chelsea Pimentel

Smith College professors believe that there are many ways to teach well and that all teaching is improvable. As one pathway towards improvement, the Smith College Student-Faculty Pedagogical Partnership Program engages students as partners to work with faculty in the classroom over an entire semester. We imagine that there are various models that fall under this umbrella. Generally, the Sherrerd Center offers this program in the spring, along with generous support from the Wurtele Center.

Our Pedagogical Partnership Program

The Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning and the Wurtele Center for Leadership offer the Pedagogical Partnerships Program during the spring semesters. We support faculty and staff teachers who work in close collaboration with student partners to strengthen pedagogy and enhance the course experience. This is a great opportunity to harness student feedback and partnership to meaningfully address some of the challenges we’re experiencing in our classrooms as we work toward a “new normal” of liberal arts teaching. It is also a chance to think deeply about equitable and inclusive course design, explore new pedagogical approaches, or incorporate new course content. We seek to support faculty and staff teachers working in partnership with students as pedagogical partners in their classes, particularly those students who will be actively engaged with students in the course. Faculty members interested in pursuing a student pedagogical partnership should identify a specific driving question, problem, or experiment they would like to pursue with the help of a student partner.

Faculty partner expectations:

  • Mentor student partners and help facilitate their reflection as they explore pedagogical practices

  • Participate in a program kick-off lunch meeting 

  • Meet with your student partner once a week and approve their time in Workday

  • Potentially join an optional mid-semester faculty partner check-in lunch

  • Complete a final evaluation at the end of the semester

Student partner expectations:

  • Participate in a program kick-off lunch meeting 

  • Meet with your faculty partner once a week

  • Attend class and/or work together with your faculty partner on your pedagogical partnership project

  • Attend four pedagogical leadership workshops with the Wurtele Center (lunch provided) 
  • To prepare for one of the Wurtele Center workshops, read a chapter of your choosing from Josh Eyler’s How Humans Learn (available as an e-book from Neilson) and share your insights with your faculty partner
  • Dedicate six hours a week to partnership work (this includes attending class sessions and workshops with the Wurtele Center)

  • Complete a final evaluation at the end of the semester

In the past, faculty have worked with student partners to: 

  • Make class discussions more equitable and engaged through mapping and observation of student-to-student and student-to-faculty interactions

  • Develop new teaching resources that introduce complex technical tools to students

  • Reimagine the framing and sequence of assignments to best prepare students for a final project

  • Model best practices within the discipline by co-facilitating course projects and activities

  • Scaffold and fine-tune collaborative learning techniques, including informal group work and longer-term group projects

The Sherrerd Center pays the student partners an hourly wage for their time (up to 6 hours per week), which faculty partners will approve in Workday.

If a pedagogical partner might be a good fit for a course you plan to teach, please fill out the Google interest form or reach out to with questions. Priority for partnerships will be given to those who apply by the mid-December deadline and to those who are new to the program and/or have greater need for support; however applications submitted later will be accepted until all partnerships are filled.


Please email with questions and/or ideas and inquiries.

Spring 2023 Partnerships

Faculty Partner Student Partner Course
Melissa Parrish, ENG Vivian DeRosa, '24 ENG 219
Denys Candy, Jandon Center Fyrynee Lambert, '24 CCX 320
Jina Boyong Kim, SWG Yena Perice, '26J SWG 150
Yalin Chen Geiger, EALC Luna Wang, '24J CHI 302 
Lindsay Poirier, SDS Swaha Bhattacharya, '23 SDS 410 
Lindsay Poirier, SDS Rose Evard, '23 SDS 237 
Lesley-Ann Giddings, CHM Julie Sheridan, '24 CHM 224
Peter Sapira,  Jacobson Center Gladys Batista, '24 ENG 118
Magdalena Zapędowska, Jacobson Center  Elinor Washington, '26  ENG 118
Roisin O'Sullivan, ECO Zoe Kruse, '23 ECO 375
Atsuko Takahashi, EALC Daphne Spencer, '25 JPN 221
Brianna McMillan, PSY Rachel Hong, '23 PSY 317 
Lisa Armstrong, SWG Roxy Ruedas, '23 SWG 150 
Nathan Derr, BIO Justine Wagaman,'24 BIO 132 


Past Partners

Spring 2022 Partnerships

Faculty Partner Student Partner Course
Lindsay Poirier (SDS) Rose Evard, '23 SDS 237
Maren Buck (CHM) Margot Hearne, '24 CHM 222
Carrie N. Baker, SWG Ramona Flores, ‘22 SWG 150
Carrie N. Baker, SWG Robynne Lucas, ‘22 SWG 150
Carrie N. Baker, SWG Wyoming McGinn, ‘23 SWG 150
Sara Newland, GOV Yamilet (Yami) Velez, '22 GOV 291
Cristina Valencia Mazzanti, EDC  Cait Donahue, '23 EDC 231
Lesley-Ann Giddings, CHM Hana Hieshima, ‘23 CHM 224
Efadul Huq; ES&P Krystal Bagnaschi; ‘22 ENV 327
Reid Bertone-Johnson, Landscape Studies Naomi (Ebbi) Boehm, '22 ARS/LSS 389
David Gorin, CHM Akilah Willliams, '22 CHM 222
Yalin Chen Geiger (EALC) Luna Wang, ‘24J CHI 302
Katherine (Katie)  Kinnaird (CSC) Kathleen Hablutzel, ‘23 CSC 294
Kathleen Pierce, Art Sena Amuzu, ‘24 ARH 278
Kathleen Pierce, Art Alaina Economus, '22 ARH 278
Paulette Peckol, BIO Michaela Guy, ‘22 BIO 130

More Spring 2022 Partnerships not funded by the Sherrerd Center, but supported.

Marney Pratt (BIO); Lou Schlecker, grad fellow; BIO 131
Marney Pratt (BIO); Tess Goldmann, ‘22; BIO 131
Marney Pratt (BIO); Runpeng Hu, ‘23; BIO 131
Marney Pratt (BIO); Catherine Pepper, ‘22; BIO 131
Marney Pratt (BIO); Maggie Stoffer, ‘23j; BIO 131
Julianna Tymoczko (MTH); Wyoming McGinn, ‘23; MTH 333
Nate Derr (BIO); Rachel Pietrow, ‘22; BCH 252

J-term 2022 Partnerships:

Emily Lopez (ESS); Sophie Fennell, '23; ESS 175
Raj Malhotra (Conway Center); Saffron Hefta-Graub, '22; IDP 155/IDP 156 

Fall 2021 Partnerships:

Vanessa Adel (SOC); Hannah Fleischman, '22; SOC 233
Dave Gorin (CHM); Ashlyn Bohn, '23; CHM 223

Spring 2021 Partnerships

Faculty Partner Student Partner Course
Vanessa Adel Sadie Buerker SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
Maren Buck Jennifer Wise CHM 222: Organic Chemistry 
Leslie-Ann Giddings Ahlenne Abreu CHM 224: Introduction to Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
Mahnaz Mahdavi Amanda Beebe ECO 153: Introductory Macroeconomics
Mahnaz Mahdavi Elsa Schenck      ECO 296: International Finance
Narendra Pathak Jessica Odin NSC 230: Experimental Methods in Neuroscience
Jeff Ramsey Maddy Pfaff HSC 211: Perspectives in the History of Science and Technology: Pandemics
Kevin Shea Ama Boamah CHM 222: Organic Chemistry 
Faculty Partner Student Partner Course
Brian Katz Allison Quintana MTH 153: Introduction to Discrete Mathematics
Alicia Grubb Mariah White CSC 111: Introduction to Computer Science Through Programming
Jack Loveless Clara Brill-Carlat GEO 241: Structural Geology
Roisin O'Sullivan Yuqi (Iris) Wei ECO 375: Seminar: The Theory and Practice of Central Banking
Kevin Shea and Leslie Nickerson Marva Tariq and Ahlenne Abreu      CHM 222: Chemistry II: Organic Chemistry
Jon Caris and Tracy Tien Morgan Jones IDP 109: Aerial Imagery and Cinematography (fall 2020)
David Gorin Akilah Williams CHM 222: Chemistry II: Organic Chemistry
Faculty Partner Student Partner Course
Lily Gurton-Wachter Meaghan Haff English 237: Environmental Poetry and Ecological Thought
Dawn Fulton Shukang Liu FRN 230: Women Writers of Africa and the Caribbean
Yanlong Guo Gwen Jones ARH 200: China in Expansion
Susan Sayre Diana Umana ECO 150: Introductory Microeconomics
Tina Wildhagen Dionna Jenkins SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology

What Do Faculty Partners Say?

“I am seeing the dramatic impact that this program is having on students as well. . . To be turned to as pedagogical experts has greatly enhanced their sense of their own academic and intellectual capacities.”

“As faculty members discover how rewarding it is to have a pedagogical partner, soon every faculty member will want to have one.”

“Working with a pedagogical partner has pushed me to reflect deeply on my teaching in real time throughout the semester—not just once my course evaluations have been submitted at the end of the semester.”

What Do Student Partners Say?

“From discussing growth mindset to figuring out ways to get students more engaged, I’ve ended this semester feeling way more accomplished than I originally expected.”

“My ability as a student has grown and will continue to grow thanks to this partnership.”

“As the program spreads at Smith, it will benefit both the individuals involved in the partnership and the community as a whole.”