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Dr. James L. Smith devoted much of his lifetime sharing his passion for botanical science with his students. The professor emeritus of botany retired in May after 31 years at Central.
Dr. Smith joined the university faculty in 1969 and was serving at the rank of associate professor at the time of his retirement. Prior to coming to Central, he taught at Ohio State University one year and spent five years teaching at the University of Colorado as an assistant professor.
His college education took place in California, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree at San Francisco State College and his doctorate at the University of California at Berkley.
In addition to helping his students prepare for their future careers, Dr. Smith spent his time outside the classroom working on a variety of campus committees at the department and university levels. This includes the Department of Biology’s Curriculum Committee, the Department of Nursing’s Admissions Committee, and the University Curriculum Committee.
He was also active in a number of professional organizations such as the American Botanical Society, Sigma Chi and the American Bryological Society.
Dr. Smith plans to spend his retirement years traveling, working with wood, and studying the moss flora of Paint Brush Prairie. He and his wife, Beverly, have raised four children, Alex and Lincoln Linsmith, and Paige and Michael Masiak.