April 18, 2011
Three earn Women of Distinction recognition
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Three Southern Illinois University Carbondale women, Leslie Freels Lloyd, Pamela S. Smoot and Lynn Smith will be honored this week as the 2011 University Women of Distinction.
The University will recognize the women and other 2011 Excellence Through Commitment award recipients during a reception hosted by Chancellor Rita Cheng on Tuesday, April 19, in Morris Library.
The Women of Distinction Award, presented annually by the University Women’s Professional Advancement office, recognizes women who demonstrate leadership, vision, action and commitment to diversity in their profession as well as demonstrating University and community service. Each will receive a certificate and the use of a designated parking space for a year.
The 2011 tenure track faculty award goes to Lloyd, associate professor in the School of Allied Health, and Smoot, an assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts, is the recipient of the non-tenure track faculty award. Smith, chair of the curriculum and instruction department in the College of Education and Human Services, is the administrative/professional honoree.
Lloyd has been an associate professor in the Health Care Management Program since August 2009 but has long been an instructor at SIUC. Between May 2000 and August 2009, she served in a variety of roles in the Physician Assistant Program, including associate professor, director of the student research/master’s completion program, assistant professor and clinical coordinator. She was also previously an instructor at SIUC and worked in therapeutic recreation, rehabilitation and related fields in collegiate and healthcare settings.
Lloyd earns accolades from colleagues and others for her dedication, leadership, community service, diverse project involvement and more.
“Her commitment to all people is obvious in the breadth of the projects she takes on. With her intense work ethic and steadfast dedication, she has touched many lives. Her efforts are marinated in her desire to make sure all persons receive every opportunity to participate productively in society,” wrote Sandra K. Collins, associate professor and director of the Health Care Management Program, in a letter supporting Lloyd for the award.
Collins commended Lloyd as co-founder and president of Education Empowerment Northern Kenya (EENK), a non-profit, non-governmental agency offering health services and education for girls in northern Kenya, as well as for her work in an outreach program for uninsured and underinsured minorities in Decatur. In addition, Collins said Lloyd does assessment activities at the Marion Veteran’s Administration Hospital and in local schools, involving her SIUC students when possible, and that Lloyd is helping with a local Toastmaster’s International group to assist those with brain injuries in learning social skills for reintegration into the community.
Fatuma Boru Guyo, a history department teaching assistant, is also a co-founder of EENK and she characterizes Lloyd as “ dynamic, powerful motivator and an excellent communicator who has the gift of helping others. In addition, Dr. Lloyd is an approachable, humble person who loves to share her skills and time in helping others.”
Lloyd earned her doctorate in rehabilitation at SIUC in 1993 and holds a 1982 master’s in recreation administration and a 1981 bachelor’s in recreation, both from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
Lloyd formerly worked as a case manager and later as administrator and program director for the adolescent integration program at NeuroRestorative Inc. (formerly the Center for Comprehensive Services) and William Baumann, a colleague there, offered praises for Lloyd as a compassionate, sensitive, highly qualified professional.
Baumann said while serving with Lloyd, he found she “demonstrated exemplary leadership, judgment, education and communication with the consistent theme of empowerment and advocacy for the person with the disability and their family.”
Smoot has been an assistant professor at SIUC since 1999, initially in the Africana Studies program (formerly Black American Studies) and then since 2005 in a cross-appointment in the history department. She is also director of Educational Enhancement for Minority Students.
Smoot’s influence and impact are apparent both inside and outside the classroom, colleagues say.
“She inspires many students to do their best work while helping to educate the broader community about essential issues of diversity. She is not only a teacher and a scholar, but also an advisor, mentor, role model and organizer,” wrote Robbie Lieberman, professor and history department chair, in a letter supporting Smoot for the award. She commended Smoot for spending untold hours mentoring women and minority students, serving as a role model, and also coordinating Black History Month and other educational efforts on campus.
Citing Smoot’s teaching talents, her commitment to women and diversity issues, her contributions to the community and more, Philip C. Howze, Judge William Holmes Cook Professor of Library Affairs, said Smoot is “both an outstanding presence and a positive contributor to this university and to the community.”
Smoot has high expectations for her students and helps them meet those expectations, never turning anyone away when they seek help, according to James Allen, professor of history and Women’s Studies, director of the Office of Assessment and Program Review, and former director of the University Core Curriculum. He also noted that Smoot has a national and international perspective in teaching her students and in her research.
Allen said Smoot is busy from early morning until late at night, “week after week, in her work on behalf of others -- her students, first and foremost, but also other members of the University community, higher education and the historical profession.”
Smoot earned her doctorate in American history in 1998 from Michigan State University and holds a master’s of science in European history and education (1983) and a bachelor’s of science in history and government/public affairs (1978), both from Tennessee State University. She also earned a certificate in summer 2008 completing the prestigious HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education at Bryn Mawr College.
Smoot’s prior experience includes teaching at Tennessee State University and Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania as well as working as a research consultant and much more. Her teaching and research specialties include African-American history, women’s history, urban and social history, southern religious history, social movements, military history, Native American history, Baptist history and archival administration.
Smith’s connection with SIUC is longstanding. She was an assistant professor from 1984 to 1990, earning promotion to associate professor in 1990, in reading and language studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She served as interim chair 2005-2006 and has been chair since January 2007.
“Very highly principled and professional, Dr. Smith is a beacon of inspiration to all of the people in her large department. She models a life of commitment and caring for all of us. Her door is always open to staff and students alike. She listens carefully to everyone’s concerns and empowers them with possible solutions to their dilemmas. During her years as professor and as department chair, she has touched the lives of countless women and international students,” wrote Anne Michele Garrett, curriculum and instruction instructor, in a letter supporting Smith’s nomination for the award.
In a letter of nomination supporting Smith for the award, Francie Keller Shafer, lecturer in curriculum and instruction, said Smith is deserving of the award for her personal and professional attributes. She said Smith is a true professional who listens to those around her and assures that all SIUC employees and students she works with receive fair and equitable treatment.
She noted that Smith also supports various worthwhile causes including Heifer International, a charitable organization fighting hunger and poverty by helping families obtain livestock, the Eurma Hayes Center, the Women’s Center and working on behalf of various organizations to help people. Her concern for others extends to outstanding efforts to assist international students, Shafer said.
“The ‘open door’ policy she maintains enables students and faculty members to express concerns about coursework, advisement and personal crises. This ability to listen with her heart and to seek solutions is a key strength enabling students and faculty to feel as if everyone is on the same team, striving toward the same goal,” Shafer wrote.
Smith won praise from Jennifer Bond and Fangjian Shang, both curriculum and instruction students, for the understanding and assistance she gives to them as a non-traditional student and international student, respectively. They said Smith is welcoming, accommodating and helpful.
Katie Russell, president of Kappa Delta Phi, on campus said Smith is one of the reasons she returned to SIUC to obtain her master’s degree as Smith “strives to ensure the best program is in place for educating teachers.” She also commended Smith’s “outstanding leadership to our honor society” and said Smith helped the education honor society expand its presence on campus and vision for the future and that last spring the group had its largest-ever induction ceremony.
Smith earned her doctorate in reading education in 1984 from the University of Georgia. She also holds a master’s in reading from the University of Florida (1979) and a master’s in United States history from the University of Illinois (1969) as well as a 1965 bachelor’s in history/social studies from Valparaiso University. Prior to coming to SIUC, Smith’s teaching career also includes working at the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Evansville and in several middle school/junior high settings.