A TEXARKANA NATIVE, DR. HADLEY SMITH IS A SUCCESS IN BOTH HER PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LIVES.
Dr. Hadley Smith is a recent Ph.D. graduate from The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health and is currently beginning her Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Hadley is part of cutting-edge clinical research and funding for genetic testing projects.
Hadley enjoys working in the field of medical ethics and public health and has always enjoyed being in the world of academia. This love of learning was instilled in her early, as she grew up watching her mother, Dr. Candy Stevens Smith, a professor at Texarkana College for the past 40 years at work in her profession.
Growing up in Texarkana, Hadley began her own education at St. James Day School and after graduating there in the sixth grade, she moved to Pleasant Grove where she graduated as the Valedictorian in 2010. Hadley entered Texas A&M University in College Station where she majored in Political Science with a minor in Genetics. In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Science degree, as well as her master’s degree in Public Service and Administration from the Bush School of Government and Public Service. The focus for her graduate degree was in Health Policy Analysis.
Hadley has lived in Houston for the last four years as she has been completing her doctorate with a major in Health Economics with minors in both Epidemiology and Biostatistics. In addition to being a full-time student, Hadley also worked during every level of her studies. She worked as a research intern and technician as an undergraduate, as well as a graduate assistant for research and policy intern. This work was extensive across the many different departments at various institutions over the past nine years. She also is the recipient of many honors and awards, as well as earning her Certificate in Genetics and Genomics from Stanford University in 2018.
Hadley’s work as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow is in Baylor’s Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy. Her work varies each day as a health economist focusing on quantitative methods and running analyses on federally-funded grant projects. She loves combining her love of the study of genetics along with statistics and is part of ongoing clinical trials involving various diagnostic projects. Much of her research involves evaluating cost effectiveness analysis and in Hadley’s words, “Genomic sequencing applications; health
and involved a study at the NICU at Texas Children’s Hospital titled, “Clinical Diagnostic Whole Exome Sequencing for Infants in Intensive Care Settings: Outcomes Analysis and Economic Evaluation.” She extensively worked on a variety of results and health outcomes which were published in various academic and medical journals.
Hadley’s professional work directly affects countless patients and their families. She has quite a bit of experience in working with the clinical genetics phase at Baylor College of Medicine. Her fellowship is a two- year commitment, and her goal afterwards is to obtain a faculty position as a research professor in a medical school. In fact, she will be teaching a Medical Ethics course in medical education this fall and has already spent some time in the classroom as a graduate teaching assistant. Her love of learning and teaching others is evident as Hadley explains how she sees her future spent with students in the classroom, particularly in her area of specialization, “To me, teaching is very rewarding but also makes you a better researcher.”
Hadley keeps a busy schedule outside of her professional one. She’s very active with St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, where she is a member of their Young Professionals (YoPro) group as well as serving on the Associate Vestry. She also is a season ticket holder for the Houston Ballet and has taken several adult dance classes and is also a Jazzercize enthusiast. A dancer for most of her life, Hadley was very involved growing up with the Texarkana Community Ballet and studied at the All Stars Dance Center with Ms. Gayle Burrow for 16 years. She has always enjoyed dance as a stress reliever and is also an avid runner, having completed two half marathons and several 10Ks within the past four years. Hadley also believes in giving back to one’s community. She witnessed so much of the giving spirit throughout her life and wants to follow that example. She says, “Growing up in Texarkana made me understand the importance of community involvement. My goal is to personally feel connected with my community and give back by being involved.”
Another organization which is important to Hadley is the Miss America organization. She was recently asked to be a judge in the Miss Texas Outstanding Teen competition where she was able to be a part of crowning local winner, Allie Graves. Being a judge was very sentimental for Hadley as 10 years ago, she was participating in the Miss Teen Texas pageant. She represented this area as Miss Teen Texarkana in 2007 and competed for the Miss Teen Texas crown for two years afterward. She learned so much from this experience which undoubtedly assisted in many different facets of her professional life. For example, interviewing skills, public speaking, and being able to articulate are all valuable lessons learned while competing in this arena. She recalls not only are the special memories near and dear to her but her feeling confident in front of groups which is necessary in her field.
As for family, Hadley is very close to her older sister, Savannah Stevens Jarratt, who is a graphic designer and photographer living with her husband in Burbank, California. Hadley enjoys coming back to her hometown to visit family and friends. Her father, Dennis, lives in Longview and is in the construction business. Hadley’s most recent trip back was to pick up her new West Highland White Terrier puppy named “Copeland” or “Coco,” for short. With such a busy career, Hadley works hard to juggle both a professional and personal life but as those who know her can testify, she is very successful in all that she does.