Dr. Michael Smith

Dr. Michael Smith

Associate Professor of Education

Office Location:
Academic Complex, 325D
Office Hours:
Contact for Appointment


Dr. R. Michael (Mike) Smith joined Niagara University as an Adjunct Professor in the College of Education in 1994.Prior to his teaching appointment, he received his B.A. in sociology and business from Brock University in Canada, and his master of science in advanced studies, foundations of education, from Niagara University. In September of 2000, after he had completed his Ph.D. coursework, he advanced to the position of assistant professor in the College of Education at Niagara University. Four months later Mike was awarded his Ph.D. in social foundations and educational administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. As the demands of his faculty position required him to also teach students who were enrolled in elementary education and TESOL programs, Dr. Smith completed a second master of science in education degree (elementary education, pre-K to 6) the following year and was promoted to associate professor in 2005. In 2016, he completed his third master of science degree in TESOL education from Niagara University and he accepted the additional responsibility as program coordinator for the online master of international education (MAT).  (He is currently four courses shy of completing his fourth masters: an MBA in international Marketing.)

Dr. Smith’s international experiences are numerous and include the following: he conducted three summer study abroad programs with NU students to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany 2003-2005; he conducted eight summer study abroad programs with NU students to Thailand 2006-13; he taught English to first- and second-year university business students at Sanda University and trained Shanghai students for the Beijing Olympics & World Expo in Shanghai, China during his 2007/08 sabbatical; he conducted workshops and served as an educational consultant at Lertlah School, Campus Three during the 2015 semester; he negotiated, organized, and facilitated a three-month teaching practicum for himself and 14 NU students/graduates/teachers at Lertlah School in Summer 2014; he drafted and facilitated the 2015 and 2016 MOUs between Lertlah School, Niagara College and NU; he facilitated  MOUs between NU and Rajabhat University in Buriram Province, and between NU and Chiang Mai University; he served as the professional development coordinator, session monitor, and keynote speaker for BRU’s January 2016 and November 2016 International Multicultural Conferences; he served as the keynote speaker and session monitor for the International Research Conference at Phranakhon Rajabhat University in  Bangkokin 2015; he presented two major papers (Coping with the Coup, and International Partnerships and Professional Development Schools) at the International Multicultural Conference, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2014; and he presented an invited paper at the Bangkok international conference on Nation Building. 

During his tenure at Niagara University, Dr. Smith has taught 175 university courses to more than 5,300 students and supervised 74 student teachers throughout Ontario and New York state. The courses he taught included Human Development, (Psychology of Human Learning, Motivation and Classroom Management, Educational Research and Statistics, Multicultural Education, Special Needs,  Foundations of Education, Study Abroad Netherlands and Thailand, Foundations and Legal Principles of Education in Ontario, and Foundations of Bilingual Education. In addition to the NU courses, Dr. Smith has taught 20 ESL courses at Sanda University in Shanghai, China, and has co-authored four books on constructivist education, two book chapters, numerous journal articles, and presented over 100 papers at more than 50 national and international conferences. 

In addition to his 20-plus years in higher education, Dr. Smith has had an eclectic employment history: he was an assistant golf professional, a newspaper sports reporter and editor, a hotel and resort manager, an account executive for regional and international breweries, and an owner/manager of a successful beverage and seafood business.