Jeffrey S. Smith Named Mount Union College Great Teacher

June 01, 2010

Mount Union College has named Jeffrey S. Smith, instructor of psychology, the College's 2003 Great Teacher.

The award was presented Thursday, April 24 at Mount Union's annual Senior Recognition and Honors Convocation.

The Great Teacher Award was initiated in 1962 and is sponsored by the Alumni Association. The award recognizes excellence in teaching -- a foundation upon which the reputation of Mount Union has been built.

Smith is a graduate of Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he earned both his bachelor's and his master's degree. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from Emory University, where his research centered on Behavioral Neuroscience, specifically Neuroplasticity and Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury.

Smith joined the faculty at Mount Union College in 1999. Before joining the Mount Union faculty, Smith had been teaching in the psychology department of Oglethorpe University in Georgia.

Smith recently received the Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award. Psi Chi is a national academic honor society in psychology with a chapter at Mount Union College. During his undergraduate years, Smith and several other students and professors chartered the Psi Chi chapter at Georgia College. Through their efforts, it developed into one of the strongest chapters in the region. Soon after arriving at Mount Union he, along with several students and faculty members, began the process of establishing the College's own chapter of Psi Chi, and he has been the chapter advisor since its inception.

Smith is also the advisor for the Women's Wrestling Club and is one of the three faculty members traveling to Russia with students as part of a travel and study program offered by Mount Union. Smith was one of the recipients of the Sponsored Travel and Research (STAR) grants for the summer of 2001, which are presented to faculty members who submit proposals for projects or research seen by a review panel as innovative, creative and helpful to the development of the individual faculty members. He was the winner of the 2002 Jane Weston Chapman Award, named for the first woman graduate of Mount Union and presented annually to the members of the faculty, staff and student body who spread women's history, address women's issues and generally enhance the climate for women's participation in any and all areas of campus life. He has also won the Technological Innovation Award.

One his nominations for the Great Teacher Award included the following statement: "Where many professors cease, Jeffrey Smith begins. When many teachers would consider a student a lost cause, Jeffrey Smith discovers a diamond in the rough. His classes not only intrigue students, but also demand hard work and application of self." Another student said "Jeff Smith was the first professor that I met at Mount Union, and he made me feel welcome and wanted at the College." Another student described him as "the teacher everyone wishes to be -- caring, dedicated and concerned for all students."

Smith was chosen as this year's Great Teacher by a selection committee consisting of officers of the senior class, the past two recipients of the Great Teacher Award, the president and immediate past president of the Alumni Association and the president of the National Cabinet of Mount Union Women.

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