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March 11, 2005

Teaching Award Honors Smith Faculty Members

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Four Smith College faculty members were recently named winners of the annual Kathleen Compton Sherrerd and John J. F. Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished Teaching.

Patrick Coby, professor of government; Susan Etheredge, associate professor of education and child study; Dana Leibsohn, associate professor of art; and William Oram, Helen Means Professor of English Language and Literature, were selected based on their enthusiasm and excellence in the classroom.

“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. “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 Teaching Award was made possible by a grant to the college specified for that purpose by Smith College alumna Kathleen Compton Sherrerd, a 1954 graduate, and her husband John J. F. Sherrerd, who live in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. This is the second year the awards have been given.

The four faculty members will be honored at a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Patrick Coby, government
Coby came to Smith in 1985 after completing his master’s and doctoral studies at the University of Dallas and holding faculty posts at Kenyon College and Idaho State University. His research and writing addresses the major historical figures in political philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke and Marx. At Smith, Coby has spearheaded the curricular development of an innovative course titled “Reenacting the Past,” and teaches “American Political Thought.”

Susan Etheredge, education and child study
Etheredge earned her bachelor’s in Italian language and literature and master’s in education at Smith and a doctorate in education at the University of Massachusetts. She joined the Smith faculty in 1997—twenty years after she graduated. Along the way, Etheredge served as an elementary teacher at Smith’s Campus School and as supervisor of student teachers. Her research and writing explores early childhood education and problem-solving theory among elementary students. She currently teaches “Human Development and Education” and “Foundations and Issues of Early Childhood Education.”

Dana Leibsohn, art
Leibsohn joined the Smith faculty in 1994 following a one-year stint at Ithaca College. Since completing her doctorate at UCLA, Leibsohn has written several articles and chapters on indigenous visual culture in colonial Latin America, particularly on maps and modes of literacy. Her courses at Smith include “Talking Back to Icons: Latino/a Artistic Expression” and “Exhibiting Africa.”

William Oram, English language and literature
Oram joined the Smith faculty in 1971 after completing his doctoral studies at Yale University, and was named the Helen Means Professor of English in 1995. In addition to several essays and book reviews on 16th-century poet Edmund Spenser and other Renaissance poets, Oram wrote the books “Edmund Spenser” and “The Yale Edition of the Shorter Poems of Edmund Spenser.” Oram currently teaches an “Introduction to Shakespeare” and an introductory course for English majors.

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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