Chris has taught undergraduate courses at the University of Toronto Mississauga, University of California, Davis, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Brown University and  graduate courses at the University of Toronto and the University of California, Davis. While at UMass Amherst, Chris received two departmental teaching awards and one university-wide teaching award. While at UC Davis, she received two teaching fellowships. Her student evaluations have included the comments “Chris Smith for president” and “This class was amazing. It changed my life.”

In addition to the courses listed below, Chris has developed and taught research methods workshops on social network analysis, given talks on teaching strategies to graduate students and faculty, and worked as a research consultant developing training materials on applied social network analysis for criminal justice practitioners.

Here is a link to separate page on Teaching Syndicate Women.

Graduate Courses

Social Network Analysis


What UofT graduate students said about Social Network Analysis (Spring 2022):

Chris is an amazing knowledgeable and patient teacher. The course is very well designed. It includes both theoretical and interactive components, and despite it being online for some students, Chris managed to make it inclusive and truly enjoyable! It has greatly influenced the way I think about conducting social research and pushed me to explore other inter-disciplinary courses.

By the end of the course, I felt well-equipped to start conducting empirical research, which is something I have seldom experienced after taking a course. … I also appreciate her enthusiasm and passion for social science research, which inspired me to think about my research. Although this was the first time I had contact with network analysis, I decided to incorporate it as a method in my doctoral dissertation and use it to reanalyze data from my master’s thesis. … Chris is one of the best professors I have encountered in my 14 years of higher education in six universities across three different countries.

I was an auditor …  and international student from China. At the very beginning, I want to say Chris’s class was super open and full of diversity. She showed her kindness to every student who are interested in social network analysis (SNA) and gave us sufficient space to share our opinion even though many of us were beginners in this sphere.

Social Networks: Theories & Applications


Social Networks SQ17

What UC Davis graduate students said about Social Networks: Theories & Applications (Spring 2017):

“Prof. Smith is fantastic! She made the seminar extremely fluid and stimulating. While I do not have a background in Sociology, Prof. Smith presented the material in a very clear way and her selection of readings was just perfect! I am very glad to have been able to take this seminar and I hope to take more classes from Prof. Smith in the future.”

“I am so glad I enrolled for this course, as I think it provided me a valuable framework to think relationally. The readings were fascinating, and I loved our Wednesday morning discussions. I deeply appreciate the creative flexibility Chris brought to this course, by allowing us to choose our own readings for the last few weeks of the quarter, and encouraging us to do better with her very thoughful and detailed feedback on each of our assignments. The easy flow of conversation interlaced with humor and positive energy made learning fun. Thank you Chris for an amazing quarter!”

Undergraduate Courses

Gender & Crime


What UTM students said about Gender & Crime:

“Professor Smith exceeded my expectations for this course. She made lectures fun and interesting and was clearly passionate about what she was teaching. She clearly cared about her students and always encouraged us to ask questions if needed. Lecture styles made me understand course content and I felt very confident in completing my assignments because of this. Assignment expectations were very clear and graded fairly. In addition, course content combined different multi–media, such as scholarly articles, Films, and even a Skype guest lecture which was so fun and engaging. I wish more classes/Professors at UTM were like this.”

“Professor Smith is always passionate and engaging throughout lecture. She really engages the class and encourages students to participate. She also understands that some students are not very confident with speaking up in class, thus she includes participation through in class assignments so students can grow comfortable with group work and speaking up. The fact that we made students work in groups helped us be more comfortable with our fellow classmates. Professor gave us multiple opportunities to do well within class, which showcases that she wants her students to do well! She was very welcoming to students and overall, I enjoyed the class and course concepts. Professor made class fun, and taught students very well in my opinion.”

Soc 195 SQ18

What UC Davis students said about Gender & Crime (Spring 2018):

“I want to thank Chris for her uplifting support, guiding us into brainstorming, discussions, and collaborations, provoking us not in a punishing manner but rather stimulating and enlightening.”

“Thank you so much this quarter. This class was a wonderful end to my undergrad career. Thank You, Chris!”

What UMass students said about Gender & Crime (Spring 2012):

“Chris was one of the best instructors I have had. We had innovative assignments, received very in-depth feedback on our assignments, and could always reach her in person or via email.”

“I also learned a lot and felt comfortable in her classroom.”

Sexuality & Crime


What UTM students said about Sexuality & Crime:

“This class was amazing, definitely one of the best classes I’ve had.”

This was my favorite course that I took this semester. The reason that this was my favourite was not only because of the course content, but the professor and the TA involved. Dr. Smith was absolutely incredible. She is such an intelligent individual that provided me with a lot of insight into a subject area that already interested me greatly. She was always available for students and made an active effort to engage in with us on a meaningful level. She truly was one of my favourite professors that I have ever had.

I absolutely loved this class. The Professor was amazing at her knowledge from laws in the US and other countries. She always allowed students to voice their opinions and let it be very organic.”

Criminal Groups & Organizations


What UTM students said about Criminal Groups & Organizations:

“I really enjoyed this course and the way Professor Smith taught it. The lectures were strategically set up and this aided my learning. The Professor was always interactive with the class and her teaching style is beneficial to learning. In general, I enjoyed having Professor Smith as an instructor.”

“Professor Smith and the TA provided great feedback during and throughout the term’s assignments and I was able to hone my research and writing skills due in large part to their clear instruction, and due to the course structure. Professor Smith routinely and freely offered additional help and office hours.”

“Prof. Smith is so intelligent, knowledgeable, kind, and a fantastic lecturer. I originally took this course to fill up my time table and little did I know that it would be my favorite course I’ve ever taken at UTM. I cannot stress enough how wonderful she is as a professor. She was really inspiring to me and the course material was chosen perfectly.”

What UMass students said about the Criminal Networks (Winter 2015):

“Just noticed that your voice sounds eerily similar to Sarah Koenig, the woman who hosts the Serial podcast produced by WBEZ Chicago and This American Life.”

“Highly knowledgeable in her field and very personable.”

Quantitative Analysis


What UTM students said about Quantitative Analysis:

“The quality was amazing and I personally found myself actually learning the material as there was a lot of patience and assistance offered by both the prof and the TA. I especially appreciate how caring, non–judgemental, and flexible professor Smith and the TA were. I definitely learned so much. Overall, the professor and TA were absolutely amazing!”

“This course provided the best quality of instruction out of all the courses I took this semester. The instructor was able to provide instruction by clearly connecting how this course relates with criminology and why it may be needed. Professor Smith was clear by explaining instructions in multiple ways if students were confused with different concepts.”

“Prof Smith is a firecracker and this is definitely her passion! She made class fun and interactive with in class assignments and table competitions. They were a little intimidating in the beginning but at the end I have truly learned to appreciate it! This course was so different than any of my other classes, it required you to be on your toes and it pushed you with the assignments and especially with the final project presentation. It also fosters friendship, as you had to work things through with your table mates. I think Prof. Smith is an excellent professor. She came to class excited and positive, and always addressed any questions. She also posted things at a timed rate, like right when we would need them … She taught in a way that did not make you feel small or stupid for not understanding, but with lighthearted humour and encouragement she pushed you to be better.”



What UC Davis students said about Criminology:

“Literally nothing could be improved in this course, Professor Smith is insane, let me explain. Her lectures, office hour discussions, attitude, material, tests, papers, are all so well done that it is shocking. I have learned so much from her two courses at Davis that it shocks me. She is one of the most educated people I have interacted with at UC Davis. … She consistently goes beyond the call of duty in every aspect of her classes. Whether that be in her ability to remain reachable even thousands of miles away at a conference, or holding an excessive amount of office hours during week 10…just crazy, like I said, insane. It is easy to say that Professor Smith’s teaching ability was the best at UC Davis, and only taking an additional class with her solidified this view. … Thank you so much Chris for everything you do and have done for this school and it’s students, your spot here is going to be extremely difficult to replace, educators like you are not easy to come by, and I am privileged to have had the ability to learn from you.”

“It’s been a real honor and pleasure to work with you. Even when it was a hard class, I really enjoyed it and I can tell that this was one of the best courses I’ve ever taken (and it’s now 5 years in the University!). Thank you for you effort and for encouraging us to do it better. I won’t forget it and I can tell that you made me more interested in Criminology!”

“I have never been one to really do rough drafts and then seriously analyze my paper for errors before conducting a final draft but this experience has totally changed that! I know the paper is short but I love that I have learned how much of a difference it makes when you pay attention to detail and apply those things when writing your final paper. … I know that it is still early in the quarter, but I have already learned a lot from this class and from you, especially. Thank you for being a great instructor and being passionate about what you do! It does not go unnoticed.”

“The strongest feature of the course was the very well-organized structure of the weekly activities. Every time we went into class, we knew right away what to expect out of each class period and how to prepare. Another strong feature that surprisingly helped was the team discussion aspect; I learned so much through collaborating and discussing with my team members, more than I would take away on my own studying. Lastly, what I loved the most was how the TA and Prof Smith was very approachable; this class became one of my favorites because of not just how much I was learning, but also the fact that Professor Smith and TA made themselves readily available for questions and were very clear in their answers and feedback.”

“Team based learning was a great experience, I learned from others and taught as well. Great course and wonderful teacher.”

“…thank you for making Poster Day part of your class. …. I appreciate the opportunity you have given us, that we might not always receive in the classroom setting, to develop a part of our professional and personal selves.”

“…the research, the paper, the poster, and the presentation–I would do it again. While I discovered so much about crime in general and my research in particular, I did it simultaneously to learning about myself. Plus, it felt great to experience the behind-the-scenes of conducting and presenting real, relevant data.”

The Criminal Justice System


What UC Davis students said about The Criminal Justice System:

“…your class has truly changed the trajectory of my career and what difference I hope to make in the lives of those around me.”

“I think the professor was really great and helpful. When someone actually likes what they are teaching it shows and it makes the students want to be more engaged. I never realized how much teachers made a difference in how well students do in the course. The fact that the profesor changed it up all the time helps because I felt like every learning style could and would benefit from her teaching style. The discussion were always interesting. The group work helped. The fact that our paper was done in small sections at a time helped tremendously because we were able to get great feedback from the TA’s and our classmates which was great.”

“I went into this class thinking about how the criminal justice system is, but now I’ve learned so much more about how policy, bias, conditions, and organizations influence matters in the criminal justice system a certain way.”

What Brown University students said about Urban Crime & Policing (Spring 2013):

“Chris was one of my favorite professors in my four years at Brown. We had a relatively large class and she managed to engage everyone in discussion. She was incredibly supportive and responsive to our ideas and concerns. I couldn’t have asked for a better note on which to end my undergraduate experience.”

“Also, Chris reminds me of a younger Rachel Maddow, which is one of the highest compliments I can pay.”

“She is intelligent, approachable, and effective. I want to be her when I grow up.”