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CWRU loses distinguished professor

Dr. Mark Smith, father of two, killed in hit-and-run

Tyler Hoffman

Issue date: 1/21/11 Section: News
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Over the course of his career, Dr. Smith collected multiple distinctions, awards, and accolades for his work as a mentor, professor, and researcher. Smith became the first individual to twice receive the Ruth Salta Junior Investigator Achievement Award from the American Health Assistance Foundation.

This year alone Smith was distinguished with the 2011 American Society for Investigative Pathology Outstanding Investigator Award and the 2011 Goudie Lecture and Medal. Such distinctions are given to pathologists who demonstrate excellence in their field and make critical advancements in health understanding.

Professor Smith also received accolades for his role as a teacher and mentor at his home university. Among others, Smith received the Outstanding Mentor Award and, in 2009, the J. Bruce Jackson, M.D. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring, one of the highest honors a CWRU professor can receive.

Smith served not only his students and field of study, but also his fellow colleagues at the university. Throughout his career, he chaired both the Faculty Council at the School of Medicine and the Faculty Senate's Committee on Faculty Compensation. In this role, he worked with provost and executive vice president W.A. "Bud" Baeslack III.

"Together we had open, honest, and collegial conversations," provost Baeslack said when reflecting on Smith. "He was extremely dedicated to the well-being of the faculty cross campus and set a great example with his willingness to serve fellow colleagues."

"He was very engaging and dynamic. This tragedy is a real loss to the university," he added.

Outside the scholastic arena, Smith enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. One of his favorite hobbies was playing soccer. Local graphic designer and artist Howard Collier played on a soccer team with Professor Smith.

"Mark and I played pick-up soccer games for a few years on Monday nights. He was the very definition of humility," Collier said. "When I first met him, I found him to be a down-to-earth, slap-on-the-back, good-natured Englishman that really enjoyed soccer…He was a very good striker; Mark was very consistent about putting the ball in the back of the net," he added.

Mark Smith, 45, is survived by his wife, an assistant professor of neurosciences, and their young sons Luke and William. He was a man who played many different roles in the course of his life, and earned the admiration of colleagues, students, and friends alike.

"I never met anyone that could carry that prestige and clout while being so down-to earth. He never bragged about his accomplishments; he was just one of the guys," concluded Collier.
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