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April 4, 2019

Faculty Spotlight: Emily Smithers, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology

Education:

  • M.S., Ph.D. in Biological Sciences | S.U.N.Y. University at Buffalo
  • B.S. in Biology, Minors in Chemistry and Theology | Houghton College

What brought you to Roberts?

I was completing my Ph.D. and looking for a teaching position in the Northeast. I knew I wanted to teach at a Christian college that focused on teaching and Roberts Wesleyan College fit what I was looking for. I am currently in my eighth year at the College.

When did you start becoming interested in biology?

I enjoyed the sciences in high school, but fell in love with biology just a few weeks into my fall semester (as a college freshman). I started college as an adolescent education major with a concentration in Biology. As I was sitting in lecture, I remember being floored by the information I was learning and in awe of the diversity that was being presented to me. I thought to myself, “I need to learn more!” And I haven’t looked back. I am fascinated by how much there is to learn and the plethora of new things being discovered every day. Nerd alert!

Share a fun fact about yourself … What is an interesting fact about you?

I love to read, especially theology books.

How do you serve the community at Roberts?

I currently serve as the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) at Roberts, which has three areas of service. I work with Athletics and the academic side of things; I help to ensure student-athlete well-being, the academic integrity of the athletics program, as well as institutional control of the Athletics program.

How do you serve your community (outside of Roberts)?

I host a Bible Study and I’m a member of the worship team at CityHope Wesleyan Church. I help to plan what music is played each week, play guitar and occasionally sing.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?

I love seeing the “intellectual light bulb” come on for students. There is a shift in the student’s face when some concept clicks and there is an audible, “Oh!” that escapes from their mouth. If I can clarify something for a student or help them appreciate science, I’m happy!

Is there a spiritual experience or a story of a student who has been transformed?

Many times, I hear from students after they have graduated what Roberts has meant to them. We have a very family-like environment in the Biological and Chemical Sciences Department, and students seem to really appreciate the love and support we give them while at Roberts.

What is an interest you have outside of teaching?

I enjoy being outside and hiking the parks in Rochester. I’ve also been to Rocky Mountain National Park twice.

What is your favorite quote or verse and why?

2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching...” I say this because, and this might sound crazy, I recently studied Leviticus and Judges. I was blown away by what the Lord taught me through these books! These two books are often overlooked and skimmed through and simply checked off of the one-year Bible reading plan. I have been learning the depths of the riches of scripture, and the verse from 2 Timothy just highlights that.


Student Insight:

Gregory Crotser’19 (Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology)

"Throughout my nearly four years at Roberts, I have had the privilege of learning from, and working for, Dr. Smithers for six semesters. From day one, Dr. Smithers has pushed me academically and personally to achieve my maximum potential, for which I am grateful. She instilled in me the value of humility as a lifelong learner. Dr. Smithers invests herself deeply in her student’s success, which is demonstrated by her compassion and empathy for each individual’s personal and academic struggles. She is reliable, genuine and honest, both in and out of the classroom. Each day, she brings a fierce passion to her lectures that make learning about things like microbes markedly more enjoyable than it sounds. As my time at Roberts comes to a close, I am reminded of all the professors that have had a meaningful impact on me as a Christian and as a student, and Dr. Smithers is certainly one of them."


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