The Heroines

Sylvia Thorson-Smith

is honored with a Brick from Michael D. Smith.

Sylvia Thorson-Smith is a passionate and caring advocate for women in society and in the church and has made significant contributions as a teacher, writer, and leader in the areas of human sexuality and feminist theology.

Sylvia received her Master of Arts degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Women's Studies from Wichita State University in 1980. She taught courses in the Center for Women's Studies from 1978 to 1985. Since 1988, she has taught courses in religious studies, sociology, and gender and women's studies at Grinnell College.

In 1991, Sylvia was the editor, co-writer, and leading spokesperson for "Keeping Body and Soul Together: Sexuality, Spirituality, and Social Justice," a report of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that attracted national attention. In 1997, she co-edited "Called Out With: Stories of Solidarity in Support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Persons," published by Westminster John Knox Press.

Sylvia credits the Center for Women's Studies at WSU for nurturing her feminist awareness and providing models of teaching excellence, and she is particularly grateful to mentor and friend, Carol Konek.

Born in Anchorage, AlK in 1944, Sylvia lived in Wichita from 1973 to 1985, is the mother of Stefan R. Brueck, and lives in Grinnell, Iowa with her husband, Michael D. Smith, and her Airedale terrier, Calvin Reuther.

September 17, 1998