Bradley professor named Global Economy Journal Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Janett Highfill, professor of economics.

September 12, 2011

By Elise Dismer ’13

It’s important for teachers to remember how to learn.

That’s one thing that Dr. Jannett Highfill, professor of economics, believes sets an educator apart. Highfill stays sharp through research.

“When you do research, it keeps it fresh in your mind what it’s like to really learn something,” Highfill said. “You start out absolutely dumbfounded and make every mistake that’s possible to make. You’ve been recently reminded what the learning process is like so that can’t but help your teaching.”

As Editor-in-Chief for the Global Economy Journal (GEJ), the official journal of the International Trade and Finance Association, Highfill’s duties include reading and editing articles, which exposes her to learning about a large array of topics.

Due to an expressed interest from readers of the GEJ, Highfill has recently been researching a topic that she initially. knew very little about: foreign direct investment (FDI) and its effect on economic growth and income inequality.

“When I started the editing job, it never occurred to me that I’d be writing a paper on FDI,” Highfill said. “I was collaborating with people who I didn’t know from really good places that did really great work. It gave me the opportunity to work with people in a much broader set than Bradley.”

Last month, Highfill’s hard work was published in the GEJ, which circulates research and analyses to those in the scholastic world who are interested in the global economy. Her FDI survey can be found under “Most Popular Papers” on the GEJ website.

Highfill believes her FDI research has not only impacted the academic world but also her students’ experiences at Bradley.

“I didn’t know the effect of globalization on the world economy before I wrote the paper and now I do so that affects my classes every day all the time,” she said. “Globalization is the world we live in and it affects what I tell them. So to me, that’s hugely important.”

Highfill hopes students will understand how her work outside class translates to her teaching.

“What we do when we’re wearing our research scholar hats really makes us better faculty,” Highfill said. “What we can bring to the classroom is better and richer and more sophisticated than if we just sat around and read what other people did and didn’t try to do it ourselves.”

To see Highfill’s article on the effects of foreign investment, visit