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Home / Commencement / Commencement Archive / 2023 Commencement / Commencement 2023 Citations & Remarks / Christian R. and Mary E. Lindback Foundation Award Citation in Honor of Scott Smith

Christian R. and Mary E. Lindback Foundation Award Citation in Honor of Scott Smith

Professor Scott Smith, an archaeologist who studies human-environmental relationships in Bolivia, is an exceptional educator. His 13-year record of outstanding teaching is marked by the development of innovative pedagogies, a dedication to internationalizing the curriculum, and a commitment to undergraduate teaching in a liberal arts context. As a professor who genuinely cares about students in general and student learning outcomes in particular, he embodies the best of what the F&M professoriate has to offer.

Over the course of his F&M career Professor Smith has transformed his courses to be grounded in Project and Problem Based Learning. Critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration are at the heart of this teaching method. In Professor Smith’s classes students work directly with evidence to make inferences about ancient lifeways. Professor Smith has incorporated this learning method at every level of the curriculum starting with gateway classes like Introductory to Archaeology to capstone experiences like "Archaeological Methods." Students are effusive in their praise of his pedagogical approach and routinely note that hands-on projects afford them the opportunity to learn by doing, work in teams, collaborate, and problem-solve.

Professor Smith has deepened and expanded our curricular offerings by helping to diversify our curriculum to highlight the lifeways, achievements, and challenges of peoples of Bolivia. By developing many classes that focus on South America, Professor Smith has allowed students to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the historical and cultural complexities that surround the Andes. While Professor Smith’s impact as a teacher is most primarily felt here on campus, his influence stretches 4000 miles from the Archaeology Lab in Stager Hall. The students he inspires not only come to love the facts, principles, and theories of archaeology, but they also get extensive experience in learning how to carry out archaeological research at his field site in Bolivia. In addition to learning field and lab techniques from their beloved professor, students are also involved in helping to develop community-based projects in the Andes. Students enthusiastically report that this was the most impactful educational experience they had at F&M. Professor Smith is thus the very model of the teacher/scholar that our College so highly values as he is an exemplary educator in both the classroom and in the field.

And finally, the turbulence brought on by the Covid pandemic has challenged all of our teachers, but our best educators found ways to adapt, connect, and serve as an invaluable mentor to our students. Not surprisingly, Professor Smith has demonstrated agility and good will throughout the pandemic. Students routinely praise Professor Smith for his care, patience, and stellar teaching throughout this time of unprecedented crisis. Since his arrival on our campus in 2010, Professor Smith has had an indelible impact on our students as an excellent, caring, and innovative educator.

Scott Smith

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