Michael Smith

Professor, History

Title

Who Am I?

About Me: Originally from Missouri, my path through life and formal education has wound through many different institutions, states, and countries. I am an avid cyclist, gardener, vegetarian cook, chorister, letter writer, and St. Louis Cardinals fan. I have taught at Ithaca College since 2001.

About My Work:   I became a college teacher for two principal reasons: to help produce liberally-educated, civically-engaged college graduates and to help build a more sustainable society.   In recent years, it has become clear that the climate emergency must be at the center of a college education. If students do not graduate from Ithaca College with an understanding of the dimensions (which includes profound injustice) and challenges of this crisis we face, and with some skills and aptitudes to adapt to and (when possible) mitigate the crisis, then we have failed them.  Since 2013, after a semester participating in and studying several sustainability initiatives in a rural community in Nicaragua, I have been writing about that experience, and returned to Nicaragua on a Fulbright grant in the fall of 2017 (for examples of that writing see the research link).