For Service to the College
The Sophia Smith Award
The Sophia Smith Award was established in 1996 by the Board of Trustees to honor the college’s founder and benefactor, Sophia Smith, on the bicentennial of her birth. The trustees sought to honor individuals like Sophia Smith who, by virtue of their intelligence, energy, vision and courage, have made significant and lasting contributions to the education of women.
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, February 19, 1997
- Ruth J. Simmons, May 3, 2001
The Smith College Medal
Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished Teaching
The Kathleen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching is given annually to Smith faculty members to recognize sustained and distinguished teaching by long-time faculty members as well as to encourage younger faculty members whose demonstrated enthusiasm and excellence influences students and colleagues.
The 2023 Sherrerd Award Ceremony will be Thursday, October 12.
About the Prize
The Kathleen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J.F. Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching was made possible by a grant to the college by Smith alumna Kathleen Compton Sherrerd, a 1954 graduate, and her husband, John J.F. Sherrerd.
Smith has long placed a high value on teaching and welcomes the establishment of the Sherrerd Prize as a visible symbol of its commitment and dedication to superior pedagogy. "Smith College has traditionally emphasized the importance of dynamic, diverse and interactive teaching in imparting the principles of the sciences and liberal arts to its high-achieving students," said President Carol T. Christ at the establishment of the prize. "The college considers the teaching of its students to be among its most essential objectives as a leading institution of women's education."
The Sherrerd Center for Teaching & Learning was founded in 2009 through a generous bequest from the Sherrerd family.
Requests for Nominations
Do you know a Smith faculty member whose teaching has had a significant impact on students? Smith students, faculty and alumnae are invited to nominate outstanding teachers for the Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching.
Please submit your nomination using one of the following methods:
- The online nomination form (Smith students, faculty and alumnae only)
- Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidelines for Sherrerd Award Nominations
The information presented in individual nominations is vital to the Sherrerd Award Committee’s selection process. Concrete examples of a teacher’s work inside and outside the classroom help guide the committee’s decision process. Specific examples are also important in nominations.
Recommenders are also encouraged to consider the following questions:
- What sets this person apart among teachers at Smith College?
- Is there anything unique or unusual about this instructor’s teaching style that heightened your learning?
- Are there specific examples of engagement with students you would like to highlight?
If you send a nomination email, please be sure to include:
- Your name
- Whether you are a Smith student, faculty member, or alumna
- The name of the teacher you are nominating