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Welcome! My name is Theodore (Theo) Smith (he/they). I'm a native of Northeast Ohio. I grew up in a rural county enjoying reading and and all pursuits of knowledge. When I went off to college at Case Western Reserve University, I reveled at a chance to further that knowledge and learned a great deal about myself and my goals as a scientist. 

Instead of immediately pursuing a medical career, I chose to take some time and apply to an anatomy graduate program. During my Master's degree at Ohio State, I fell in love with teaching anatomy and developed a strong fascination with educational and evolutionary medicine research. 

This led me to my doctoral program at Indiana University where I focused on educational research and teaching anatomy for many different populations. At IU, I studied under Dr. Valerie O'Loughlin and Dr. Polly Husmann learning several different experimental methods in educational research as well as developing pedagogy skills. Working with Dr. Husmann, I investigated the use of modeling in the learning of perineal anatomy and how undergraduate students developed metacognitive skills using online mediums.


I was also lucky enough to study under Dr. Sharlene Newman, an IU psychology faculty member and then head of the IU Imaging Research Facility. She was my research mentor for my dissertation project that utilizes fMRI to examine the neurosemantics and cognitive skills of undergraduate anatomy students and anatomy experts.

Theo Smith standing in front of research poster at conference

After graduating from IU in 2020, I joined the faculty at Touro University California. Starting my first faculty job during a global pandemic was a unique experience. At TUCOM, I teach medical gross anatomy, gross anatomy for our MSMHS students, and frequently team-teach on other courses where I integrate anatomy and medical imaging into clinical coursework.

I'm also lucky to be the faculty advisor for the TUCOM Rainbow Health Coalition, TUC's student group dedicated to reducing LGBTQIA+ Health Inequities. I'm also the course coordinator for the LGBTQIA+ Considerations in Healthcare elective. As an openly queer professor and medical educator, increasing medical school content dedicated to improving LGBTQIA+ health is a vital part of my mission.

I've previously served as a faculty senator for my department and was elected Chair of the TUCOM Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism (IDEA) committee in Spring 2022. Since then, the IDEA committee has increased DEI programming on campus, increased the number and amount of scholarships for students underrepresented in medicine, and taken on an advisory role for instructors interested in increasing the diversity, representation, and equity in their courses.

In Fall 2023, I was hired part-time as the TUCOM Director of DEI. This role serves as a first step in creating a COM-focused DEI entity to better serve the needs of TUCOM students, faculty, and staff.

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