Page 12 - Econogram 2018 Spring_SummerFINAL
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 Featured Alumni
 Meet Ruth Johnson Smiley
ARE’s  rst female PhD graduate
The daughter of a Sullivan County poultry farmer, Smiley’s  rst encounter with UT agriculture occurred early in life. At twelve years of age, she accompanied her father to
an Extension poultry short course and returned a few years later for 4-H Roundup. A lasting impression was made, and Smiley chose to earn her degree in home economics on UT’s agricultural campus. The required economics courses piqued her interest, which led her to minor in economics for her MS degree. She was the only female in her economic theory class when she encountered a couple of students in the agricultural economics PhD program. “I could do that,” thought Smiley. And that, she did.
“When I entered the PhD program, not only was I the only woman, but I was likely the oldest graduate student, being in my forties, with a son who was
an undergraduate at UT,” she explains. “I always
felt accepted by other students, and there was a congenial and helpful relationship among us.”
She conducted her doctoral dissertation at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, where she examined Housing Market Capitalization of Energy-Saving Durable Good Investments. Using data from the 1978 Knoxville housing market, she determined that the market value of a home is increased by the addition of energy-e cient measures such as storm windows and insulation. She later presented her  ndings to
12 Spring/Summer 2018

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