Education Professor Lisa Smulyan '76 Awarded First Maurice Eldridge Faculty Fellowship

by Allison Shultes '15
Lisa Smulyan
Professor of Education Lisa Smulyan '76

Professor of Educational Studies Lisa Smulyan '76 is the first recipient of the Maurice G. Eldridge Faculty Fellowship, awarded in recognition for her work on teacher leadership and development.

Established in 2011 by Eugene M. Lang '38, the Maurice G. Eldridge Faculty Fellowship is named for the College's current vice president for college and community relations and recognizes a member of the faculty for his or her dedication to scholarship, service and teaching. Recipients embody the College's commitment to community-based learning by integrating academics in the classroom with responsible civic engagement in the community.

Smulyan's past and current scholarship examines the relationships among individual, institutional and global contexts and teaching and learning. She is the author of Balancing Acts: Women Principals at Work, the co-author of books on adolescent development and collaborative action research, and a co-editor of the Sage Handbook on Gender and Education. In 2008 she helped to establish the Philadelphia New Teacher Network, which offers professional development services and mentoring to local urban educators. In 2005 and 2006 she participated in tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia, training and mentoring new teachers to replace those lost in the disaster.

With the Maurice G. Eldridge Faculty Fellowship, Smulyan plans to pursue a two-year project with a group of Philadelphia and Chester teachers in collaboration with Swarthmore student researchers. A cohort comprised of eight teacher leaders - three of whom are Swarthmore alumni - will meet regularly with Smulyan to develop and sustain leadership and research projects in their classrooms and schools. Students from Smulyan's new course in educational studies, Classroom Research for Social Change, and her honors seminar, Social and Cultural Perspectives in Education, will join these teachers in carrying out action research projects in their schools. Additionally, the cohort hopes to produce a book grounded in the theory and practice of teacher leadership and development.

"I am honored to be the recipient of a grant that honors Maurice Eldridge, given his dedication to education both at the College and in the larger communities within which we live and work," Smulyan says. "I appreciate the opportunities the grant gives me to continue my work with urban teacher leaders in Chester and Philadelphia and to connect Swarthmore students to their classrooms and schools."