Walter S. Smith

Texas Tech University | Lubbock, TX | 1996

Walter S. Smith Portrait Photo

The official biography below was current at the time of the award. Awardees may choose to provide their latest biographical information on their profile page.

Smith is currently Professor of Science Education in the Department of Curricular and Instructional Studies at the University of Akron and his career has focused on mentoring underrepresented groups, especially women and Native Americans. His accomplishments include: Serving effectively as perhaps the nation's first male Associate Dean of Women at the University of Kansas; Producing COMETS, a widely respected curriculum to encourage girls in grades 5-9 to pursue careers in science; over 8,000 copies of this National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) publication are used around the world; COMETS has also received an AERA award; has produced curriculum materials, also published by NSTA, to encourage senior high and undergraduate women in science; Producing curriculum for use by Native American students, conducting research in the same area, and leading workshops for over 750 teachers; Serving as mentor and advisor to many Native American teachers, including 32 MASTERS science teachers, half of whom are Native American; these mentees have developed programs like TIPS (Teaching in Pueblo Schools) where senior high students from Sante Fe Indian School returned to their home schools as cross- age tutors to teach science from a native American perspective to younger siblings; Directly impacting graduate and undergraduate minority students. One of his doctoral students, a Cherokee, is President of Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas; and three have received Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching; and Receiving the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Distinguished Service Award for Education.