Ruth Smith named 2023 Marantz Distinguished Alumni Lectureship Award Recipient

March 14, 2023

Ruth Smith named 2023 Marantz Distinguished Alumni Lectureship Award Recipient

Ruth Smith in a field of sunflowers as she smiles at the camera

The Marantz Distinguished Alumni Lecture Fund was established in 1999 with gifts from Harold and Kenneth Marantz to honor a distinguished alum of the program. Each year, graduate students in the department select the winner. This year's recipient is Dr. Ruth Smith. 

Dr. Ruth Smith is an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at Ohio State. Her research explores issues related to community building in multiple spaces including online education and community arts education utilizing participatory research methods. She has completed three multi-year photonarrative projects in Columbus, Ohio and Lafayette, Indiana, which aimed to collaboratively document and share stories from Somali Americans and Muslim Americans and engage people in dialogue across religious and cultural lines. She spent four years working with Somali non-profits in Columbus, Ohio writing grants and developing organizational capacity. In addition, she is active as a consultant for community engagement with faith-based organizations. She is currently working on documenting the history of a community-focused pedagogical practice in a small, liberal-arts Art and Design program, its impact on alumni who are now teachers, and the role it has played in her own online teaching. She has published articles in BildhaanJournal of Folklore and EducationJournal of Cultural Research in Art Education, Action Research, Transformative Education, Local Development and Society and the Journal of Art for Life. She has a chapter in the Handbook of Research on the Facilitation of Civic Engagement through Community Art and a co-authored book with Qorsho Hassan, Urur Dhex-Dhexaad Ah: Community In-Between, published by Trillium Press in 2017. 

Dr. Smith will present Finding community work in online teaching at this year's Barkan and Marantz Award Celebration on April 21. While many struggled with the rapid shift to online teaching and learning in 2020, teaching online has opened up possibilities to reimagine pedagogy and practice. In this lecture, Dr. Smith will look back at her community-based work and explore how this orientation towards research informs online teaching and learning.