A much-loved, award-winning teacher, whose innovative courses have been featured in regional and national media, Dr. Smaw has ceaselessly sought opportunities to foster rigorous, critical thinking among his students and empower them within and beyond his classroom. His crucial contribution to the development of critical-race-theory courses at Rollins College is one example. Another is the Rollins College Debate Team that he founded, and whose members he mentored to first place finishes at national and international competitions.
Dr. Smaw’s commitment extends beyond his students and the young debaters to the broader communities of health care professionals and scholars in his roles as medical ethicist and philosopher-practitioner, and further to national forums of public discourse and the international partnerships he has fostered between Rollins College and universities abroad.
He is an inspiring example of the public intellectual who is deeply engaged in what Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay “The American Scholar,” called “the resounding tumult” of the world that lies around us and who, again in the words of Emerson, “raises himself from private considerations, and breathes and lives on public and illustrious thoughts.”
Through his public service as a national member of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union and President of the Board of the ACLU of Florida, in his scholarship and writings, and in his numerous articles, talks and interviews in regional and national media, he has contributed significantly to informing public dialogue on important civil liberties issues.
The spectrum of topics that Dr. Smaw addresses in his articles and essays reflects his broad intellectual repertoire in both his academic and public scholarship. He has written on issues ranging from the ethics of pediatric heart transplants and African philosophical traditions to restorative justice and critical race theory. Dr. Smaw earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Law and Human Rights from the University of Kentucky, where he received the University of Kentucky Outstanding Research Award. Afterward, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in International Human Rights at the University of Massachusetts. He also holds a M.A. in History of Philosophy and a second master’s degree in the Philosophy of Science and African Philosophy from the University of Ohio. In the spring of 2023, he was awarded an Honoris Causa Doctorate from the Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece for his humanitarian work.
Currently, Dr. Smaw is a Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow at Rollins College where he will be working in the office of the Provost overseeing the implementation of the DEIB strategic plan.
Dr. Janet Taylor MD, MPH, Secretary
Dr. Janet is a Community Psychiatrist and Executive Coach in Sarasota, Florida. She is on the frontline battling the emotional and economic impact of mental illness. She holds a M.D. from the University of Louisville, completed her psychiatric residency at New York Medical College and obtained an MPH from Columbia University “s Mailman School of Public Health in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. She completed her coaches training at The Coaches Training Institute. She had a column in Family Circle Magazine, “Ask Dr. Janet”. Dr. Janet is also frequently featured on ABC “Good Morning America” and NBC “The Today Show” and CNN. She is a former host of the Discovery Health/OWN series, “Facing Trauma” and was the Guest Care Director for “The Jeremy Kyle Show”. She is an expert in the neuroscience of Implicit Bias, Conscious Allyship and Leadership. Dr. Janet is the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Courageous Classroom Creating A Culture of Safety for Students to Learn and Thrive (Wiley,2021).
Michael Meyers, JD, Treasurer
Michael Meyers, trained as a lawyer, is an active board member for and trusted advisor to a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In 2016 Mr. Meyers retired after 23 years at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, an international law firm where he practiced corporate and finance law, mostly in the energy sector.
In the non-profit arena, he currently serves as a board member of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, The Bolles School, and the Peter Michael Foundation (a 501(c)(3) focused on prostate cancer research and treatment).
Mr. Meyers rejoined the board of the ACLU of Florida in 2023, after having previously served on the board from 2015 – 2018.
In the for-profit sector, Mr. Meyers serves as a director of the Peter Michael Winery, a premium California winery, and as a Managing Member of ML Venture Investments, a family company.