Smith transitions to RCU leadership position

June 18, 2018Betsey Smith
Contact: Carl Smith

Longtime educator Betsey Smith now leads the Mississippi State University (MSU) Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU).

Smith, who joined the RCU in 2007, was promoted to director June 1. She now guides its effort to improve educational opportunities for students, teachers and administrators.

“I’m excited to lead an organization and group of people I care deeply about, and I’m fortunate to be able to draw from my past experiences to help us meet our goals for tomorrow,” she said.

After teaching career and technical education (CTE) courses in Louisiana for almost 10 years, Smith joined the RCU as an instructional design specialist and later managed the curriculum process and department. She moved into the associate director’s position in 2014.

From teaching culinary arts in Louisiana to becoming one of Mississippi’s biggest advocates for CTE, her almost-20-year stint in education has focused on helping others better themselves through developing essential skills.

It was teaching culinary arts in those Louisiana classrooms, however, that cemented Smith’s all-in approach for education.

“Although every child wasn’t going to be in that culinary workforce setting, they would still get skills they’ll use for life. I enjoy transferring that knowledge and knowing that I’m making a difference,” she said. “I found my passion; I fell in love with helping others be healthy.”

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Smith received a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in education and school counseling from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

She and her husband Trent Smith, an MSU animal and dairy science associate professor, have three children.

Smith succeeds Julie Jordan, former RCU director who recently was named associate vice president for international programs and executive director of MSU’s International Institute.

Founded in 1965, the RCU contributes to MSU’s mission as a land-grant institution bettering the lives of Mississippians through improving education. The organization benefits K-12 and higher education by developing curricula and assessments; providing training and professional development for educators; researching and evaluating programs; supporting and promoting CTE initiatives; and leading educational innovations.