When she was a child, Tammy Smith, ’06, longed to explore constellations and learn how the brain works. She brought this passion for science with her when she came to Meredith College, leaving with a degree in biology and a future in public health.
“After graduating from Meredith, I became a research technician at the Duke Medical Center laboratory,” said Smith. “Today I am a technical supervisor at a clinical laboratory while pursuing my Ph.D. in public health. I am an avid learner in this field, which is why I am pursuing further education.”
Solving problems through technology is the best thing about working in public health, according to Smith. She enjoys getting to learn about new instruments and other advancements in healthcare.
“With RTP growing with new pharmaceutical and lab consultant companies, the demand for testing is very high and can be overwhelming with the new technology and testing that comes out frequently.”
The COVID-19 pandemic had Smith and others in her field learning new methods very quickly. “Testing thousands of patients can be demanding and tiresome,” said Smith. But she is dedicated to helping people through her work.
In addition to her work in the lab, Smith is also serving her community through Inspired Now Networks, a non-profit organization she started to support marginalized communities receiving access to resources about their healthcare.
“I have always wanted to help others and during my career working in hospitals and doctor’s offices, my passion for helping others has grown. I created this non-profit to help those who cannot help themselves and create health equity among the communities at risk.”
Her efforts in the community as well as her professional pursuits have helped Smith develop her strengths as an effective communicator and a team leader. “I have worked on many teams as a leader and a team player, and both are essential for progress. This is an ever-changing field and there are many opportunities for growth.”
Reflecting back on her time at Meredith, Smith believes a study abroad program to Belize helped to define her love of science and desire to help others. “I have a deeper love for science now and Meredith helped shape that love.”