Elsie Smith, long-time faculty member at Arizona State University, died late last month. She was 72 years old.
A native of Sussex County, Virginia, Dr. Smith was one of the first Black students in the county to integrate the public schools. She was a 1968 graduate of Stony Creek High School and the school’s first Black valedictorian. Dr. Smith continued her education at Elmhurst College in Illinois on a full academic scholarship.
After graduating from Elmhurst College in 1972, Dr. Smith went on to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. in human development as a Ford Foundation scholar at the University of Chicago. In 1981, Dr. Smith was hired as an assistant professor of counselor education at Arizona State University. She remained on the faculty there for more than 40 years.
During her tenure at Arizona State, Dr. Smith served as director of the Division of Psychology in Education, vice provost of academic affairs, associate dean for academic affairs, faculty head for African and African American studies, and director of the School of Social Transformation.