Acting and Interim Directors chosen for Center For Teaching and Learning
(April 1, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.—Filling the shoes of Anita Cañizares is no small task, and the transition to a new Center of Teaching and Learning director at Hobart and William Smith Colleges will be three-part. Suzanne Orrell, a writing specialist at the center, will be acting director until Aug. 15, then Ann Oaks, professor emerita of mathematics, will take over as interim director. She will work on a part-time basis for the fall semester, after which time the position is anticipated to be filled.
As a learning specialist for writing and math, Orrell provides writing assistance, study skills coaching, time management assistance and general academic counseling to students at the Center for Teaching and Learning. She joined the Colleges in 1997 as an assistant professor of geoscience, and taught courses on geology, mineralogy, petrology and geoscience, as well as integrated science and math classes for the Summer academic Opportunity Program. Before coming to HWS she taught at SUNY Plattsburgh and Syracuse University. She holds bachelor's degrees in geology and art from SUNY Buffalo, a master's degree in geology from the University of Southern California, and a doctoral degree in geology from the University of Kansas.
“Sue Orrell has a long history of service to our students and has been a committed member of our staff,” says Interim Provost Ruth Freeman.
Oaks began her tenure at the Colleges as an adult student, graduating magna cum laude from William Smith, and returned as an HWS faculty member in 1979, teaching in the mathematics department. Oaks also worked in the Learning Assistance Center, a forerunner of the Center for Teaching and Learning. She is nationally known for her work in math education, and the influence of cognitive and emotional processes and gender on learning mathematics. She was the 2002 recipient of the HWS Faculty Prize for Teaching and in 1994 received a special citation from the Alumnae Association of William Smith and the Alumni Association of Hobart for her exemplary and sustained volunteer service to the Colleges. Oaks received an M.A. in mathematics, and M.S. in education, and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Rochester. She and her husband live in Oaks Corners.
“Ann Oaks is absolutely perfect for this position,” says Freeman. “Having been a faculty member here and also working in the learning center, Ann is well acquainted with the challenges our students face and our faculty members face in assisting them. She'll be a great bridge.”