Smith Prof Named Educator of the Year
Olivo, professor of biological sciences, was recently named
“Educator of the Year” by his peers at the 2005
Society for Neuroscience meeting that drew an estimated 30,000
scientists to Washington, D.C.
the award on November 14 from Smith alumna and former student
Jean C. Hardwick ’83, a faculty member at Ithaca College.
Given annually to a member of the society’s Faculty
for Undergraduate Neuroscience group, the award recognizes
efforts that promote neuroscience education and research at
the undergraduate level.
Olivo, who joined
the Smith faculty in 1973, this year launched the first-ever
teaching workshop at the annual meeting and the room was packed,
said Hardwick. Although the meeting has traditionally focused
on research and new scientific discovery, it also draws a
significant number of scientists involved in teaching.
efforts helped to illustrate the importance of quality teaching
in the training of future neuroscientists and also emphasized
the importance of undergraduate education in the long-term
future of the field,” Hardwick said. “I was particularly
delighted to be able to personally present this award to a
professor who had a significant impact on my own scientific
Smith, Olivo researches vision and teaches courses on neurophysiology,
but he has also directed his efforts on enhancing teaching
and learning in the sciences with the use of computers. A
few years ago, Olivo converted his printed lab manual into
an online version that incorporates videos, photos, diagrams,
links to articles and other supplementary materials. He then
published an article about his online lab manual in the Journal
of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education.
a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, Olivo
earned his doctoral degree at Harvard University. He has remained
affiliated with Harvard, currently serving as associate director
for the university’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and
“I am so
proud to be associated with Richard and very happy that the
larger community of neuroscientists recognizes his outstanding
dedication and wisdom,” said Mary Harrington, Smith’s
Tippit Professor in Life Science and the incoming president
of FUN, who also attended the meeting.
12 through 16, the meeting marked the Society of Neuroscience’s
35th anniversary as the world’s leading organization
for the study of the brain and nervous system.