Nicholas Horton, associate professor of mathematics and statistics; Róisín O’Sullivan, associate professor of economics; and Michael Thurston, professor of English language and literature, were awarded the Kathleen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J.F. Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching at an event October 28, 2010.
Nicholas Horton joined the college’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 2003 after teaching at the Boston University School of Public Health. He completed his undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral studies at Harvard University. At Smith, he teaches courses on statistics and probability and has been active in international efforts to reform the teaching of statistics with greater focus on conceptual understanding and application rather than numerical calculations. He was the recipient last year of the American Statistical Association’s Waller Education Award. In 2007-08 he was a visiting faculty member at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Nick’s research involves the development and application of statistical methods applied to psychiatric epidemiology and substance abuse, and he has published a series of books on statistical computing with Chapman and Hall. He continues to interact with research colleagues in England, Russia, Indonesia, Sweden, Italy, New Zealand, and Australia.
Róisín O'Sullivan joined the college’s Department of Economics in 2002 after completing her undergraduate and master’s studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and her doctoral studies at the Ohio State University, from which she received a citation for Excellence in Teaching in 2001. From 1992 to 1997, she worked as an economist for the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland. Her research focuses on issues relating to monetary policy and financial markets and she teaches courses in macroeconomics, European integration, money and banking, and central banking. O’Sullivan co-organizes an annual workshop in Macroeconomic Research at Liberal Arts Colleges and received a Certificate of Achievement from the American Economic Association in 2008 for her participation in a teaching innovations program to promote the use of interactive techniques in the teaching of economics.
Michael Thurston came to Smith in 2000 by way of Yale University, where he served for five years on the English faculty, two of those years as co-director the school’s Bass Writing Program. After completing his undergraduate studies in English and history at the University of North Texas, he completed doctoral studies in English at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Thurston, who serves on the Smith College Poetry Center Committee, teaches courses on American poetry, modern British and Irish poetry, and American literature. He is the author of Making Something Happen: American Political Poetry between the World Wars (2001) and The Underworld in Twentieth-Century Poetry: from Pound to Eliot to Heaney and Walcott (2009), as well as essays on notable American, British, and Irish writers. He is currently writing a guide to postwar British and Irish poetry and a book on Cape Cod.