EPIC Spotlight: Brittney Brown

If Brittney Brown’s plans go accordingly, she will be in a classroom for several decades to come. Though she is a student now, she hopes to someday teach in a university setting much like Walton.

Brittney is a senior majoring in economics who hopes to stay with her studies, eventually earning a Ph.D. She attended the American Economic Association’s Summer Training Program in Albuquerque, N.M., which helps undergraduates like Brown prepare for studies at a doctoral level.

When she enrolled at Walton College, she had planned to be a business management major. Yet, a required microeconomics class taught by Ph.D. student Joshua Foster changed everything. “You could tell he was really passionate about the subject,” she says.

Microeconomics resonated with her, especially the broad nature and its potential. She also realized the importance of understanding how the economy works. “I really liked how we can talk about certain business issues and social issues,” Brittney says.

With the encouragement of Dr. Barbara Lofton, director of Walton College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Dr. Bill Curington, Walton College economics department chair, Brittney plans to stay the course. “They fully support my decision to become an economics professor,” Brittney says.

Brittney, who’s from Conway, figured she would attend a private school out of state. During her junior year in high school, she and her mother visited various campuses, but none of them seemed to be a good fit. Then, she paid a visit to the University of Arkansas during an honors student event. On that day, Brittney met several other high school students, and they vowed to stay in touch. A year later, she and her newfound friends began their college careers together. “When I came here, I felt like I was at home,” she says.

“When I came here, I felt like I was at home.”

She embraced the Walton College. Brittney participated in the college’s Business Leadership Academy (BLA), a residential program for under-represented, newly admitted freshmen that emphasizes retail career choices and opportunities for business majors. She has served as a Freshman Business Connections mentor, is secretary of the U of A chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants and is a supplemental economics instructor for the university’s Enhanced Learning Center. In addition, Brittney was a member of the Walton College team that took third place for its online grocery service business model in the “Shark Tank” Challenge in Arlington, Texas, which was part of the 2014 Alley Scholars Summit.

Brittney is the recipient of both the Silas Hunt and Arkansas Challenge scholarships, another funded by the Walton College’s Center for Retailing Excellence and has a Minority Fellowship to attend the American Economic Association’s Summer Training Program.

For the past two years, Brittney has been interning at the William Wrigley Jr. Co. in Rogers as part of its Walmart team. She says she uses macroeconomics to help the company determine which chewing gums sell well and the best locations in the stores to display them.

While she’s still a few years away from earning her doctorate, Brittney already knows what her research will include: finding answers to problems in African-Americans communities.