Joy Hambrick

GET TO KNOW: Joy Hambrick

Georgia Highlands College is highlighting faculty and staff administration across the college in this ongoing “GET TO KNOW” series. 

Next up is Interim Division Chair for the School of Business and Professional Studies and Assistant Professor of Economics Joy Hambrick. 

Joy was recently featured in an article on the website WalletHub. 


How did you become involved with WalletHub, and how was the experience? 

WalletHub reached out to me as a finance expert for an assessment to advise consumers on car insurance rates. Teaching consumer finance and literacy is a passion of mine, as I see such a need for it in society, so I was happy to help. I especially love taking information and wording it in a way that people with all levels of education can understand. I am a teacher of economics specifically because I believe the more people know about this subject, the more their lives and society in general improve. In the words of George Bailey, “making them better citizens and better customers.” 

Why did you initially decide to teach economics, and can you tell me about your educational background?   

Economics was the first college class I took, and I had the most amazing professor! The material spoke to me, and I knew immediately that I wanted to teach others this highly useful information. I saw what a huge difference having the right professor can make, and I wanted to be that professor. This was in the good old days when Kennesaw State University was Kennesaw State College, and I am an “OG” alumna with my Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and Finance. Since I knew I wanted to teach I went to Georgia State University for my master’s, as they had a Master of Science in Business Economics and Econometrics, and I could work in their Economic Forecasting Center. For those of you in the know, that meant I got to work with Don Ratajczak, who was quite a character but a genius at economic forecasting.   

Have you taught other courses in addition to economics? 

No, because of Demand and Supply. Meaning, there is a high demand for and low supply of credentialed professors in economics, so those classes fill my plate nicely. I have taught other classes in econ such as Money and Banking, Econometrics, and things like that.   

From the perspective of an instructor, what do you find to be most rewarding in regard to teaching others? 

When students tell me they now understand what they read in the business and finance section of the paper thanks to what they’ve learned from me, and that they’re making better decisions about their finances because they’re able to put into practice the information taught in class. Knowing what I’ve taught them has a positive impact on their lives as opposed to just checking a box on a list of degree requirements is the greatest career reward I can hope for.   

In what ways does your role as Division Chair for the School of Business and Professional Studies serve GHC?  

By supporting the dean and being a liaison between students, faculty, and administration I am in a unique position to bring clarity where it’s needed and see how changes affect all areas.  I can take the feedback I receive from all areas to enact positive change. 

What are some of your daily/ongoing responsibilities?   

Scheduling, curriculum development, and being a liaison with faculty and students, which can really be almost anything, and supporting the dean with making our school its best.   

What drew you toward this career path? 

 A belief in the benefits of higher education and the vision of what it can be. 

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?   

Professionally: designing and adapting an 8-week course design to help students succeed and graduate sooner but stay tuned as we have some projects coming up about which I’m extremely excited!  

Personally: seeing my daughters become productive members of society and reaching empty nest status with my husband. 

What are some of your interests/hobbies, and how do you enjoy spending your free time?  

I love reading, running, and organizing my closet (not joking… I reorganize weekly!). I am a Francophile and speak fluent movie quotes.  I love traveling and am heading to Paris this spring! 

Do you have a favorite book or movie?  

I love so many that it’s hard to pick!  Right now, I’m reading a book series called “Bruno, Chief of Police,” by Martin Walker, which is outstanding, and just finished “Magpie Murders” by Anthony Horowitz. My favorite author is Pat Conroy. My taste in movies and TV is very varied, although I would pick a good thriller over just about anything else, and if you haven’t watched “Lupin” on Netflix, do it tonight… it’s that good! 

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?     

That I used to go to superhero conventions with my daughter, where we dressed as Wonder Woman and her mother Hippolyta (guess which one was me, lol).  Also that I don’t like onions (for some reason, this seems to surprise and anger a lot of people).