Dr. Jerry Smartt grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. She attended the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico and the University of Madrid. She graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Spanish and English. Dr. Smartt also has two master’s degrees in Spanish from Wichita State University as well as her PhD. She has presented her research (dissertation) in Havana, Cuba; Granada, Spain; Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Antonio, Texas; San Diego, California; Kansas City, Kansas; and Wichita, Kansas. Smartt came to Friends University in 1975.
Dr. Smartt recently served as the President of the Kansas World Language Association, representing and advocating for world language teachers at the state and national levels. She is a member of the Wichita Area Sister Cities Board serving as the Chair of the Mexico Committee (for Tlalnepantla and Cancun). She has served as president of the board three times. Smartt also serves as official translator and interpreter for Mayor Jeff Longwell and the Wichita City Council.
“There is nothing like watching students grow and become world citizens. It is most dramatic during a study/service abroad program but it also happens in the classroom as well. It is revealed in that precious “Ah ha” moment when it all makes sense and the idea that there are many ways to live this precious gift of life manifests itself. It is thrilling to watch. If this preliminary part is thrilling, then the outcome is beyond words. It occurs when students decide to devote their lives in service for others, no matter what their choice of profession might be. Many times it materializes in a desire to help Latinos in the US and for some, it means accepting the goal of service to others in the international arena. Whatever the choice, the knowledge that maybe the world will be a better place because of these decisions is the possibility that energizes me to create and implement another opportunity for students to realize their potential.”
B.A., University of Texas; M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D., Wichita State University