Supporting Student Talent: Faculty Members Named Sherrerd Prize Winners

This year’s Sherrerd Prize winners are faculty members whose teaching, in the words of one student nominator, “reminds students of their worth and talent.”

The honorees are

  • David Gorin, associate professor of chemistry
  • Suk Massey, lecturer in East Asian languages & literatures
  • Tina Wildhagen, associate professor of sociology and dean of the junior class.

The annual awards—formally named the Kathleen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished Teaching—were established in 2002 by a contribution from the late Kathleen Sherrerd ’54 and John Sherrerd to highlight Smith’s ongoing commitment to outstanding teaching. The honors are given to faculty members who display superior skill in fostering learning and inspiring achievement—both in and out of the classroom.

Chosen based on nominations submitted by Smith students, faculty and alumnae, this year’s honorees will be celebrated at a fall ceremony and reception that are open to the campus community.

Following are brief biographies of the 2018 Sherrerd Prize winners:

 

David Gorin, associate professor of chemistry

David Gorin’s teaching and research interests are in organic and bioorganic chemistry. His current research focuses on two major areas: Using tools from synthetic chemistry and molecular biology to develop new reagents that selectively transform one component of a biological mixture; and developing new and safer strategies for methylation reactions, which are ubiquitous in synthetic organic chemistry. Since joining Smith’s faculty in 2011, Gorin has received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award, an American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund Undergraduate New Investigator Award (2012) and Research Corporation’s Cottrell Scholar Award (2011). Prior to coming to Smith, he earned his Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

 

Suk Massey, lecturer in East Asian languages and literatures

A member of the Smith faculty since 2004, Suk Massey nurtures in her students a passion for learning Korean language and literature through interactive classroom activities that foster unity.   She also provides opportunities for her students to build relationships outside the classroom by participating in cultural activities such as the annual Korean cooking class and Korean Lunar New Year celebration. Her research interests include curricular strategies for mixed classes of heritage and non-heritage Korean language learners, as well as innovative pedagogical approaches for the digital generation. Massey has created e-textbooks for all levels of beginning and intermediate Korean language classes. During this year’s Interterm, she launched the Online Korean Intensive Study Course, a live-lecture class that drew students from around the world.

 

Tina Wildhagen, associate professor of sociology

Tina Wildhagen’s research and teaching interests focus on social inequality in the American education system. A member of the Smith faculty since 2008, she teaches courses on privilege and power in American education, inequality in higher education and quantitative research methods. Much of her research and teaching investigates how the social construction of academic merit tends to favor privileged social groups. Wildhagen’s work has appeared in various scholarly journals, including The Sociological Quarterly, The Journal of Negro Education, The Teachers College Record and Sociology Compass. Wildhagen, who is currently serving as dean of the junior class, is working on a project examining the rise of the first-generation college student category since the late 1990s.