Molly Easo Smith
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Born in Chennai (formerly Madras) in India, Dr. Smith graduated from Ethiraj Women’s College and Madras Christian College in the University of Madras, with BA and MA degrees in English, respectively, and from Auburn University with a Ph.D. in English Literature in 1988. Smith has written two books and several articles on Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. Her research and teaching interests include the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Shakespeare, Women in Drama, and the development of theatre. She has held faculty and administrative posts at Ithaca College, St. Louis University, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Seton Hall University, and Wheaton College (MA), and served as the eleventh President of Manhattanville College.
Smith serves on the Board of Trustees at Fairleigh Dickinson University and on the Executive Committee of the International Association of University Presidents, where she leads an initiative to develop women as academic leaders globally. She was recognized by the Westchester Business Council as “Businesswoman of the Year” at the annual Awards Banquet in April 2011. She was also recognized for her leadership in education by the National Federation of Indian Americans and by the Kerala Center. She was featured in the New York Times as one among a handful of foreign-born presidents of US Colleges and Universities.
Smith attributes her commitment to education to the influence of several women: her grandmother whose education ceased when she married at the age of twelve; her mother who longed to attend college but had to work instead from the age of sixteen; her godmother who was a Professor of English in Madras, having fought against many odds to ensure her own education and independence.
Her hobbies include playing tennis and writing short stories based on her life in India.
- Breaking Boundaries: Politics and Play in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries (1998)
- The Darker World Within: Evil in the Tragedies of Shakespeare and his Successors (1991)