Christi Smith

Senior Scholar and Assistant Dean
Ph.D. Sociology, Indiana University
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    • Washington University
    • CB 1088
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Christi Smith, Ph.D. joined Washington University in St. Louis as Senior Scholar and Assistant Dean in Fall 2017. Her work at the CDI will build community partnerships, connect the CDI with academic and co-curricular programs on campus, advance CDI and Student Affairs research projects, and coordinate the Faculty Fellows and Emerging Scholar-Professional Program.

    Christi graduated from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. After working in refugee services in Copenhagen, policy advising in Washington, D.C., and teaching as part of Teach for America in North Carolina, Smith earned a Masters in Education Policy and Ph.D. in Sociology at Indiana University.

    She has been a visiting researcher at the University of Mannheim in Germany, Aarhus University in Denmark, and a Postdoctoral Researcher in Sociology at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Christi taught courses in Political Sociology, Sociology of Education, and Economic Sociology at Oberlin College. Her first book, Reparation and Reconciliation: The Rise and Fall of Integrated Higher Education was published in 2016 by The University of North Carolina Press.

    Recent Courses

    Equity, Merit and Social Change: Higher Education Policy in International Comparison

    Colleges and universities have long been sites for state development and political expression. Over the past decade, we have seen major protests focused on university campuses that draw attention to legacies of exclusion and oppression, economic accessibility, and decolonializing curricula. With the rise of neoliberal economic policies, universities are increasingly engaged in global competition. Yet, debate about who should go to college, for what purpose, and the social benefit of higher education is a very old one. This course places policy around racial and ethnic diversity and economic mobility in international comparison through the development of sustained case studies. The first half of the course is dedicated to developing concepts and questions, often through a focus on the US. The latter section delves deeply into case studies and developing tools for making cross-national comparisons.