Blog: Teacher Feature: Stacey Smith, Business and Economics Professor

Discover how Professor Stacey Smith’s teaching style is off the charts. From her love of Economics to her encouragement of saying ‘yes’  to new school activities, her classes are something we all can invest in.

Tell us about yourself.

Hello! My name is Stacey Smith and I teach Economics and Business at Coastline College. I am just finishing up my third year here, and I can’t wait for another 27 (30 years sounds like a good number)! I plan on being here for many more years to come. Next year will be my 8th year of teaching at the community college level.

I studied Business Economics and Sport Management at UC Santa Barbara where I completed my undergraduate and graduate programs.

Where did you discover for passion for Economics?

I accidentally took a stats class for Economic majors (I was not one, oops!) during my freshman year and figured I’d give Economics a shot since I was already one class down–best decision I ever made. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship for five years while at UCSB by playing on the women’s D1 volleyball team.

What do you love about teaching at Coastline?

I love teaching at Coastline because of the unique sense of community that I feel. I have taught at other schools in the past, and never did the president of the school know (or probably care to know) my name or who I was–until now! The faculty and administration here are friendly, collaborative, and genuinely dedicated to making the education we provide students top-notch. The best part of Coastline, though, is the students!

I have been able to work with and build relationships with hundreds of students with varying backgrounds, educational levels, and life experiences. I truly enjoy this part of my job! My students teach me things every single day. Teaching rocks! Plus, a lifetime of summer breaks… what more could anyone ask for?!

Interested in joining the Economics Department at Coastline? Explore today: 
http://www.coastline.edu/economics-department

What makes your teaching approach unique?

I very much enjoy experimenting with different teaching methods. I think it keeps things interesting for students, and definitely for myself! Sometimes I love what I try, and sometimes it doesn’t work out quite how I envisioned.

Professor Smith “skiing” in the snow

Trial and error is how we all get better, right? This is a lesson I often share with my students. Hint, hint: See my infamous ski photo 🙂

Mistakes are absolutely necessary to improving ourselves. Another focus of my teaching is having students apply what we learn in class to their own experiences in the “real world.” We practice these applications by using discussion forums and other class activities. One of my favorite parts of teaching is when I get to witness students’ “lightbulb moments” … when they are able to connect a new class concept to something that they’ve done or seen in real life!

Tell us something students may not know about you?

Most people at Coastline don’t know that I’ve played professional indoor volleyball or that I currently play professional beach volleyball. I love the competition and using the sport as a way to stay active and healthy. P.S. I am not a huge fan of going to the gym!

I’ve also recently picked up some new hobbies like crocheting and crossword puzzles. I like to commit myself to trying a few new things every year. I find it a fun personal challenge. Last year, I took on ceramics and skiing. I am open to new ideas for 2020.

3 Tips for Coastline students.

Attending college is such a rewarding life experience! If offers you a chance to personally improve, learn about things you have no prior knowledge of, and build relationships with tons of different types of people! With that, I have three tips I’d recommend to all college students:

  1. Seek out opportunities! Take on internships, say “yes” to student activities, and just generally explore. You never know how an opportunity will help you later down the road. Some of my most “odd jobs” and “random activities” back in college paved the path to me becoming a teacher. So, say “yes!”
  2. Communicate with everyone! Whether it means saying “hello” to a new classmate or emailing your instructor about an assignment, communicating is a super easy start to building mutually beneficial relationships. Even if you aren’t a very social person by nature, make it a goal to meet (or at least greet!) one new person each day, whether on campus or while going about your day. The people around us are our greatest teachers.
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail! Yes, this is certainly easier said than done, but I have learned some of my greatest lessons by failing first. It may cause a hit to the ego, but failing allows us to reassess what we did and take action so we can achieve a different result in the future. There is always a lesson to be learned by “failing.”

About the Teacher Feature series

Coastline College proudly highlights its renowned faculty through the Teacher Feature blog series. This week’s feature showcases Stacey Smith, Business and Economics Professor.

Enjoy learning about Coastline’s greatest? Check out the previously highlighted #TeacherFeatures. Your future instructor may be amongst the featured!