Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service
The Elliott Dunlap Smith Award is presented annually to a full-time faculty member in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences for "Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service." The award is intended to recognize excellence and distinction in candidates as both teachers and educators.
Distinction as a Teacher
Contributions demonstrating distinction as a teacher include:
- impact on students that persists over time,
- innovation and creativity in teaching,
- intellectual rigor in teaching and student learning,
- ability to communicate effectively with less able as well as more able students, and
- willingness to devote time to, and effectiveness in, interaction with students both outside and inside the classroom.
Distinction as an Educator
Distinction as an educator implies that the nominee has made contributions to education more broadly -- i.e., contributions that have had a significant impact beyond the nominee's own classroom and students.
Qualities demonstrating distinction as an educator include:
- innovation and creativity in the development of educational materials or methods,
- impact within or across disciplines of educational materials or methods developed by the nominee,
- effectiveness in achieving educational results. including work in organizing educational activities (e.g., development and management of a department's academic advising system; distinction in service as coordinator/director of undergraduate or graduate studies; organizing an important educational conference),
- ability to communicate to the audience involved, and
- the general reputation of the nominee as an educator.
All full-time Dietrich College faculty members are eligible for nomination. No one person may win the award more than once. Administration The Dean of Dietrich College (or his/her designee) is responsible for the administration of the nomination and selection process, including the call for nominations and convening the Smith Award selection committee.
The Smith Award Committee
The Smith Award selection committee consists of:
- the three most recent recipients of the Smith Award,
- two undergraduate students selected through a process developed by the Dietrich College dean or his/her designee, and
the Smith Committee chairperson (appointed by the dean; the chairperson is a non-voting member).
The Smith Award selection committee adopts its own rules of procedure Nomination Nominations consist of two phases and may be made by any group of at least three persons, each of whom is either:
- a current or retired faculty or staff member, or
- a current or former full-time undergraduate or graduate student.
Phase One of Nomination
Nominations consist of a letter (maximum two single-spaced pages) that explains why the individual is worthy of the award. Because the decision to advance the nomination to the second phase of the nomination process is based on this letter alone, it should be descriptive, convincing, and specifically focused on the purpose of the award. The letter must be submitted on or before the first Monday in November, to be considered for that academic year. The committee will select at least two and at most five persons each year to be considered for phase two of the nomination process. Nomination letters can be submitted online.
Phase Two of Nomination
The nominators of each person selected are then responsible for preparing the full case for that nomination, following the guidelines.
To Nominators Assembling Smith Award Packages for Phase Two:
"Winning" nominations often include items that concretely help the committee to understand the candidate's impact as a teacher and educator, such as:
- a nomination letter that provides descriptions of the instructor's outstanding teaching and/or innovations, whether they are classroom techniques, assignments, projects, course structure, educational materials, etc.,
- a teaching statement from the candidate that indicates, in the nominee’s own words, what he/she does as an educator and why (some nominators recycle educational statements from other venues so as to keep the nomination confidential),
- samples of innovations, e.g., assignments and/or teaching methods that are annotated to explain the nature of the innovation (2-4 examples); students' projects, whether poems, pictures of projects, essays, etc., again annotated to provide context (2-4 examples),
- samples of the instructor's feedback to students,
- letters from alumni who attest to and describe the long-term impact the nominee has had on them,
- letters from current students who can discuss how and why the nominee impacted them:
- letters from non-majors, if appropriate, are always compelling,
- letters from graduate students that focus on the nominee’s teaching and/or mentoring,
- letters from colleagues who have first-hand knowledge of the candidate's teaching (e.g., team teaching, direct observation) and/or interactions with students, including colleagues' perceptions of the candidate based on their interaction with the candidate's students (simultaneously or subsequently) and/or from colleagues who can comment on the candidate's role in departmental or college curriculum changes/conversations, situating the candidate in a larger educational context, if possible,
- letters from teaching assistants who attest to the candidates' impact on their development as teachers,
- Faculty Course Evaluations for all courses in at least the preceding five years; they can be supplemented with information on the number of students enrolled in each course and whether the students were majors or non-majors, and/or
- a brief C.V. (2-4 pages).
- While materials and evidence in the nominee's packet may go back several years, nomination packets should include current and recent materials as well (e.g., principal nominator's cover letter, statements by the nominee, course descriptions/syllabi, FCEs, student letters, etc.).
PLEASE NOTE that the maximum number of letters allowed is 30.
Questions can be directed to Joseph Devine, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Dietrich College
Winners of the Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service
|2020||Raja Sooriamurthi||Information Systems|
|2019||Gabriele Maier||Modern Languages|
|2016||Alex John London||Philosophy|
|2015||Yasufumi Iwasaki||Modern Languages|
|2014||Jeria Quesenberry||Information Systems|
|2012||Bonnie Youngs||Modern Languages|
|2010||Yueming Yu||Modern Languages|
|2007||Larry Heimann||Information Systems|
|2005||Anne Green||Modern Languages|
|2004||Susan Polansky||Modern Languages|
|2003||Silvia Borzutzky||Social and Decision Sciences|
|2001||Daniel P. Resnick||History|
|2000||G. Richard Tucker||Modern Languages|
|1998||Paul Fischbeck||Social and Decision Sciences|
|1995||John Miller||Social and Decision Sciences|
|1994||Michael West||Modern Languages|
|1989||Richard Smith||Social and Decision Sciences|
|1984||Steven Klepper||Social and Decision Sciences|
|1981||John R. Hayes||Psychology|