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Retired professor Smotherman dies

Retired psychology professor William Smotherman, 62, of Westborough, Mass., died on Dec. 10, at the UMass Memorial Healthcare-University Campus in Worcester, Mass.

Born in Elmhurst, Ill., he graduated from Elmhurst College, then earned a PhD at Northern Illinois University and a postdoctoral degree at Stanford University. Smotherman joined the Binghamton faculty in 1988, and retired in December 2000. He received a University Award for Excellence in Research in 1992-93.

Before coming to Binghamton, Smotherman was a professor and biomedical researcher at Oregon State University. Smotherman was distinguished in the developmental psychobiology field and served as editor-in-chief of the Developmental Psychobiology journal.

“He was interested in how animals developed their behavioral responses to taste and odor,” said Patricia Di Lorenzo, professor of psychology and a former friend and colleague of Smotherman. “He was a leader in his field and one of the few people studying that.”

Di Lorenzo said Smotherman loved to “talk science” and she praised the generosity and care he showed to junior faculty members.

Smotherman is survived by his wife, Maureen, and two sons, Zachary and
Jordan. A memorial service was held on Dec. 15 in Southboro. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Research Foundation.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08