Carson Emmons Smith

“It’s a rare opportunity to be involved with something that can impact the world for our entire lifetime.”

Biography: Carson Smith is known for taking on world-changing and life-changing opportunities. In fact, she was named to the Toyota Corporation “100 Students Most Likely to Change the World” list in 2005, the same year she graduated valedictorian from her Paducah, Ky., high school. Now a senior at Washington University, Smith seized the opportunity to volunteer to work on the Vice Presidential Debate because of its global importance.

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“It’s a rare opportunity to be involved with something that can impact the world for our entire lifetime,” Smith said. “To be given this chance as a college student, an opportunity that most Americans will never have, gives me another incentive and a responsibility to learn more about the issues and the candidates.”

The issue of particular importance to Smith is health care. “So many people in our country are uninsured or under insured,” she said. Smith has personal experience with the high cost of health care, but she says her eyes were really opened while working with Medicare and Medicaid patients over the summer.

Smith is a spokesperson for the Children’s Organ Transplant Association and Mid-America Transplant Services. She also serves as a support group and workshop facilitator for the National Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

Smith lives with a rare condition called pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD), a progressive disease with no cure. She is on the wait list for a double lung transplant but has inactive status while her medication keeps her stable.

An anthropology major, Smith looks forward to graduate studies in public health and social work. She is also an Ervin Scholar, a distinction awarded to students with exceptional intellectual, leadership and community service achievements.

Hometown: Paducah, KY

Major/minor: Anthropology with a minor in public health

Student contact information: Cell: (270) 556-3948 E-mail:

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