Shelby Leigh Smith

  • 2022


Research Assistant

Research Concentration

  • K-12 Education Policy

Research Interest

K-12 education policy, program evaluation, culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogies, college access
Shelby Leigh Smith

Contact Information

Websites and Social Media


  • Adam Kho

Research Center


Shelby Smith is a dual degree student in USC Price School of Public Policy and Rossier School of Education. She began her Master of Public Policy at Price in 2021 and subsequently began her Ph.D in Urban Education Policy at Rossier in 2022. Shelby's research interests are centered on the design and student-level effects of policies that support culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogy in K- 12 schools, and college access for under-represented students. She explores these research interests under the guidance and mentorship of her doctoral advisor, Dr. Adam Kho. 

Shelby obtained her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree at the University of California, Irvine in Social Policy and Public Service and completed a minor in International Studies. During her undergraduate degree, Shelby worked at non-profit organizations in grants management and with Upward Bound as an advisor and tutor in high schools. Alongside this work, she delved into academia through course assistantships and research. Shelby's research utilized qualitative field study and interview techniques to explore culturally relevant pedagogy in an international context and local college access. 

She is now expanding her quantitative skills at Price and Rossier in order to strengthen the methodology and depth of her policy-centered research.