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Nov. 22, 2011

Economic Expert on the Jobs Deficit,
Investment Deficit, Fiscal Deficit

1NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Laura D’Andrea Tyson, an adviser to two United States presidents on economic issues, will address “The Jobs Deficit, Investment Deficit and Fiscal Deficit” Thursday, Dec. 1, at 4:30 p.m., Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall.

A Smith alumna from the Class of 1969, Tyson will deliver her talk as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Center for Women & Financial Independence (WFI).

Tyson was the first woman to head the National Economic Council from 1993 to 1995, during the administration of former President Bill Clinton. She is now the S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business and a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Smith launched the WFI program in Fall 2001 to ensure that Smith students acquire the skills to understand and manage finances in their personal, professional, family and community lives.

Throughout the past decade, WFI has initiated a number of programs to increase financial literacy among students:

  • A series of noncredit workshops designed to help potential student entrepreneurs and hone their business acumen.
  • The Smith College Investment Club, launched in fall 2002, which gives students the opportunity for hands-on experience with investing. SCIC student members are responsible for managing and investing an endowment of more than $100,000. Dividends support student financial aid and student government-led activities.
  • A peer outreach program in which Smith students team-teach personal finance workshops to middle and high school students.
  • SmiThrift, a student business endeavor in which volunteers plan, organize and staff thrift sales and donate the proceeds to non-profit organizations in the Pioneer Valley.

In addition, WFI spearheaded two research investigations. The first, an examination of credit card use by college students, found that students were financing their education with plastic to an alarming degree. Researchers emphasized that institutions of higher education need to pay attention to the critical area of financial education.

The second investigation, a survey of more than 4,500 Smith alumnae, assessed women’s financial knowledge, behavior and attitudes toward money. The findings will address why women are worried about their financial security regardless of their income level.

The center is guided by an alumnae advisory committee.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190

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