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Andria Smythe incorporates real-world research into economics classes

Andria Smythe

Andria Smythe

Economics professor Andria Smythe is one of the newest professors factoring into the academic equation at Randolph this fall.

A native of Jamaica, Smythe earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Saint Joseph’s University in 2006. She went on to receive a master’s degree in economics in 2011, and a Ph.D. in economics in 2015 from Temple University.

While at Temple, Smythe taught several undergraduate courses, including The American Economy, Macroeconomic Principles, Public Control of Businesses, Economics of Development and Growth, and more. She also worked as a graduate research assistant at Temple’s Institute for Schools and Society and at the Center for Research in Human Development and Education.

She has published findings from several of her research projects. One of the most notable was her dissertation on the effects of the recent recession on college enrollment and outcomes. For her research, she examined whether people were more likely to enroll in college during the recession and how likely they were to finish college.

“What I found is people enrolled during recessions are less likely to finish college, which has huge implications,” she said. “During recessions, higher education is often one of the first budget cuts, so we need to reconsider that because we may be hurting college outcomes.”

Smythe plans to continue her research, this time examining student loans.

“I really think this kind of research has applications in so many different ways,” she said. “I want to keep at this and pull my students in because it’s knowledge that’s relevant for them. Hopefully it will grab their interest and make them want to do research after they leave Randolph College.”

When she’s not in the classroom or compiling statistics, Smythe can be found enjoying the outdoors. A sprinter in college, she still enjoys running and has taken on the new hobby of rock climbing since arriving in Lynchburg.

She has also enjoyed meeting people in the Randolph community and has appreciated the warm welcome she received. “I think what I like most is the people are so genuine,” she said. “People know about each other, care about each other, and they look out for you.”


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