Global Institute of Health Researcher Headlines Willson Lectures


Portrait of Dr. Emily Smith
Dr. Emily Smith, a professor at Baylor University and researcher at the Duke Global Institute of Health will headline Wayland's Willson Lectures, March 3-4, 2020.

PLAINVIEW – Wayland alumnus Dr. Emily Smith, a researcher with the Duke Global Institute of Health and Baylor University, and a participant at the United Nations, will be the keynote speaker for the two-day Willson Lectures series at Wayland Baptist University on March 3-4.

The Lectures will begin with dinner and a lecture on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Smith will speak on Global Missions Through Research: The Intersection of Faith, Epidemiology, Economics and Policy in the McClung University Center. On Wednesday Dr. Smith will speak on Redefining Success: What Does ‘Having it All’ Really Mean? at 11 a.m. in Harral Memorial Auditorium, touching on both her research career and faith. Following chapel, students and guests are invited to bring their lunch to the McClung Center banquet room and enjoy an informal question-and-answer time with Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith is a 2003 graduate of Wayland, earning her degree in biology and recognized as the Citizenship Award winner as a senior. She earned a Master of Science in Public Health degree from the University of South Carolina in epidemiology in 2006 and a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina in 2016. She became a research scholar at the Duke Global Health Institute in 2015 where she remains an adjunct assistant professor. She joined the faculty at Baylor University in fall 2017 as assistant professor of epidemiology.

Dr. Smith enjoys research on global pediatric surgery, health economics and policy and health system strengthening. She has published numerous articles and given many presentations on related topics. Her research has been concentrated in Somaliland, one of the world’s poorest countries, but she has also studied trends in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Latin America and the Congo. She has new work developing in other low-income countries as well.

Most notably, Dr. Smith is a researcher for an NGO called the Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery, which brings together 200-plus medical doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists from more than 50 countries. Her research data helps advocate for the needs of children worldwide, and she presented at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for universal health coverage.

“It is always exciting to hear from experts in their fields at the annual Willson Lectures on our campus, and it’s especially fun when we can feature one of our Wayland alumni,” said Teresa Young, director of alumni relations and the Willson committee chair. “Dr. Emily Smith is one of our shining stars and is making such an impact globally with her research. Her faith is just as vibrant as her intellect, and I believe students and other guests will enjoy hearing her share.”

Aside from her busy work schedule, Dr. Smith is married to her Wayland sweetheart and fellow Citizenship Award winner, Mike, who serves as discipleship pastor at First Baptist Church in Woodway. The couple has two children, Bella and Jonathan.

The Tuesday dinner will be held in banquet room 211 in the McClung Center on the Wayland campus in Plainview. The event is free and open to the public with RSVPs required by Feb. 25. Chapel and the lunch are free as well, with no RSVPs required. For more information or to RSVP, contact Young at (806) 291-3600 or by email to teresa.young@wbu.edu.

####