This annual Georgia Tech award recognizes two faculty who provide outstanding teaching to students in core and general education undergraduate courses.
Smith will receive the award at the Georgia Tech Awards luncheon on April 19th. In addition to receiving a $3,000 prize, his name will be placed on a plaque in the G. Wayne Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons. The award is another of many teaching distinctions conferred to Smith, who specializes in modern American history and the history of American sports.
Students and faculty alike have lauded Smith’s engaging and thoughtful pedagogy, which is reflected in his consistently high Course-Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS) scores. As an advisor for the SST minor, Smith helps students on independent research projects in addition to providing guidance on career goals and networking strategies.
“Johnny is an extraordinarily gifted teacher... Johnny doesn’t assume pre-existing knowledge on the part of his students, but explains everything carefully and thoroughly and doesn’t present more material than they can digest,” said John Tone, the associate dean of Undergraduate Studies in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. “I have no doubt that the students in [History of Sports in America] left having learned a great deal.”
Students have also praised his ability to make American history engaging through effective story telling, simplifying complex sociopolitical themes, and being invested in the long-term success of his students.
“Professor Smith is dedicated to seeing his students develop and thrive in
whatever career path they follow... He constantly brings a new sense of innovation to his teaching style and I experienced it first hand as I was fortunate to complete a never-been-done independent study course at Georgia Tech,” History alumna Hannah Joy Gebresilassie said. “Professor Smith challenged me to achieve my greatest potential as a student at Georgia Tech and I carried that mentality into the “‘real world.’”
This award was established in 2005 through a gift from School of Mechanical Engineering’s Regents’ Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Eichholz. It was created to reward senior faculty members who made a long-term contribution to introductory undergraduate education and were outstanding teachers for students taking freshman and sophomore core courses.
Recently, the award has broadened to recognize faculty at any point in their careers who excel in teaching core and general education courses, and who help students establish a solid foundation for their education at Georgia Tech.
Hearty congratulations to Dr. Smith for this wonderful honor!