Economics Department Welcomes Four New Professors 


A Colby alum, an East Coast native, an international artificial intelligence enthusiast and a lifelong Mainer are a few of the traits among the new economic department faculty. In the 2023 academic year, the Bates economics department gained four new professors: Dr. Austin Smith, Dr. Sam Bird, Dr. Amanda Lindsay and Dr. Sandra Goff. 

In the 2020-2021 academic year, the economics department lost four professors, heavily impacting seniors in the major. Several 300-level courses were restructured and students were unable to complete a thesis in economics. The new faculty fill this gap and represent a range of backgrounds in economics, providing Bates students with more opportunities to explore niches within the major. 

Coming from Miami University in Ohio, Smith looks forward to the small community at Bates and getting to know students in elements beyond the classroom, such as sports games. Smith’s goal is to get students excited about econometrics through providing hands-on opportunities to work with data and to see it in practice. “No more scaries” as he puts it, when it comes to students’ comfortability with this topic.

Bird, from Luther College in Iowa, wants to “introduce students to principal courses where they can learn tools that professional economists use in their field.” Bird’s values in economics are complemented by the support he receives from the economic department as he is able to grow and learn from colleges. Additionally, he is especially excited about teaching an economics thesis seminar this year. Outside of the classroom, Bird is looking forward to exploring Maine and discovering cool spots around.  

“I chose Bates because it is a fantastic school where people value research,” said Lindsay, who also comes from Luther College in Iowa. The environmental economist says she has a lot of optimism when teaching at Bates, as she can expand her dreams while impacting students as well. In her office, she has a large white board filled with current projects, ideas and future goals- all which see views as seeds that she hopes to grow at Bates. 

Goff, from Skidmore College in New York, aims to “better infuse community-engaged learning through her classes by  providing students with new opportunities to explore the world of economics beyond the classroom.” After attending Colby College as a first generation student, Goff went on what she defines as an untraditional path and took more classes to explore areas of study she did not in her undergraduate, and as a result she is excited to embrace her role as an advisor and encourage students to accomplish whatever they desire. 

As a result of the influx of professors, students will now be able to participate in a variety of classes and pursue majoring in economics in a stable department.