Smith College Admission Academics Student Life About Smith news Offices
Smith eDigest
Submit an Idea
Five College Calendar
News Publications
Planning an Event
Contact Us
News & Events

Face Time



Tom Riddell, Dean of the College Office


What do you do at Smith?

I'm the Dean of the First-Year Class and the Associate Dean of the College.

How many years have you been at the college?

Twenty-eight. I've been a faculty member in economics since 1980.

What is your busy season?

The very busiest is in late August/early September when the new first-year students arrive for orientation and the beginnings of their Smith careers.


Who gets the most face time with you?

My wife, Meg Robbins, Smith AC ’82. And then there's also the nine grandchildren...

What are you reading now?

Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard, and Alexandra Fuller, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight.

What is your favorite movie?

Local Hero, directed by Bill Forsyth!.

If you suddenly had two hours of free time, what would you do?

Take a walk, or play golf.

What is your favorite wall hanging at home?

I've got a lot of my own photographs, from travel, all over the house. My favorite might be of the Seven Sisters cliffs on the south coast of England, with Coast Guard cottages in the foreground. And then there's the poster from the first Otelia Cromwell Day, designed by John Eue!

What annoys the heck out of you?

Right turners on red when the sign says "No Turn on Red." Cars that won't slow down and stop for pedestrians at the marked crosswalks on Elm Street. Plus, for balance, jaywalkers.

Do you eat fast food?

Not so much anymore. Is pizza fast food?

Do you consider yourself an urban, suburban or rural person?

My roots are in the suburbs of Chicago, but how about "worldly?"

Who are your role models?

My Mom. Ernie Banks.

What's your favorite thing about where you grew up?

Sunsets, thunderstorms and tornado warnings (all from the west).

What single piece of advice would you give to Smithies?

Go to class, and take good notes. Plus, exercise and sleep. Ask for help when you need it.

8/27/08   Compiled by Eric Sean Weld
DirectoryCalendarCampus MapContact UsSite A-Z