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News of Note April 11, 2022

Sherrerd Teaching Award Recipients Announced


The three faculty members selected for this year’s Sherrerd Teaching Awards bring compassion, commitment and a sense of community to their classrooms, creating a learning environment where “everyone has a chance to shine,” in the words of one student nominator.

The 2022 teaching prize recipients are Jeffrey Ahlman, associate professor of history; Samuel Ng, assistant professor of Africana studies; and Candice Price, associate professor of mathematics and statistics.

The annual Kathleen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished Teaching were established in 2002 to recognize outstanding teaching by longtime faculty members, as well as encourage younger faculty whose demonstrated skills and enthusiasm have a positive impact on students and colleagues.

Nominations submitted by students, faculty and alums cited the contributions that this year’s award recipients have made through their teaching, research and mentorship. Innovation, patience and open-mindedness are among the qualities that nominators cited in their descriptions of the 2022 honorees.

This year’s teaching prize winners will be honored at a ceremony in October open to the campus community.

Here are brief biographies of the 2022 award recipients.

Jeffrey Ahlman, associate professor of history

""A member of the Smith faculty since 2012, Jeffrey Ahlman specializes in African political, social and cultural history, and teaches a range of courses—including survey courses on early African history, colonial West Africa, and 19th- and 20th-century Africa, as well as courses on decolonization, development, gender and sexuality in Africa, and African transnationalism. In addition to Smith’s African Studies Program, Ahlman is affiliated with the Five College African Studies Council and the Global South Development Studies Program.

His 2017 book, “Living with Nkrumahism: Nation, State, and Pan-Africanism in Ghana,” focuses on the transnational politics of pan-Africanism and global socialism in mid-20th-century Ghana. Ahlman is also the author of “Kwame Nkrumah: Visions of Liberation” (2021), about Ghana’s first president, and is currently working on a history of modern Ghana, a book project under contract with Zed Press.

Ahlman earned his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s and a doctorate in history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Samuel Ng, assistant professor of Africana Studies 

""Samuel Ng, who joined the Smith faculty in 2017, teaches courses on African American history, Black archives, Black feminism and the politics of grief. His research interests include African American history and culture in the 20th century, social movements, gender, queer theory, performance and affect studies.

He is completing his book manuscript, “Assemblies of Sorrow: The Politics of Black Mourning in the United States, 1917-1955,” which examines the emergence and development of mourning as a viable basis for Black political organizing and protest in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. Research for this book has been funded in part by an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship. 

Ng received a Ph.D. in American studies from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in the field from Yale University. He has also worked as a teaching fellow in the history department at Phillips Academy Andover.

Candice Price, associate professor of mathematics & statistics

""Born and raised in California, Candice Price received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from California State University, Chico, and a master’s degree from San Francisco State University. A member of the Smith faculty since 2019,  she earned her doctoral degree in mathematics at the University of Iowa under the advisement of Isabel Darcy. 

Her primary area of mathematical research is DNA topology— knot theory applied to the structure of DNA—but she has research interests in the broad area of applied mathematics. At Smith, Price teaches courses in calculus, discrete mathematics and differential equations. 

Her service mission is to support those underrepresented in STEM by creating and supporting programs that increase visibility and amplify the voices of women and people of color in the sciences, while creating networks and community in STEM to provide opportunities to share resources. Price is co-creator of the website, which features profiles of Black mathematicians.