Professor Betty Smocovitis Honored

Published: November 26th, 2012

Category: Uncategorized

The Department of History is pleased to announce that Betty Smocovitis has received the Hazen Prize from the History of Science Society. Remarkably Betty is the third member of the UF History Department to receive that award, which also was conferred on Fred Gregory and Bob Hatch. Please join us in congratulating Betty!

The press release appears below:

San Diego, CA; November 20, 2012—The History of Science Society (HSS) has awarded the Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize to Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis, Professor, History of Science at the University of Florida. The prize is awarded annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to the teaching of history of science.

Smocovitis has an impressively diverse teaching portfolio that spans many schools and departments at the University of Florida.  She teaches a wide range of courses in the Departments of History and Biology on topics in the history of science and medicine, exploration and the environment, evolution, ecology, and ethics.

Chair of the Hazen Prize Committee, Sara J. Schechner, remarks, “Dr. Smocovitis has proven herself to be a skilled educator, a passionate advocate for the history of science in both the academy and general population, and an exemplar of both academic and civic engagement.”

Smocovitis earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Western Ontario and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell in 1988. She has received UF and CLAS Teaching Awards and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also is a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Botanical Society of America and the History of Science Society. Smocovitis has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Philosophical Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The History of Science Society is the world’s largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in historical context. Over 3,000 individual and institutional members across the world support the Society’s mission to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations.

The Joseph H. Hazen Educational Prize is named in honor of a long-time supporter of the HSS and was endowed by his daughter, Cynthia Hazen Polsky.

Prizes were formally presented Saturday during the HSS’s annual meeting at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina.


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