About the contributors

This blog was created by Dr. Marian Kennedy to help students reach their goals of acceptance into graduate school, obtaining a research position and securing funding.  A key source of many posts will also be Jennie LaMonte, a veteran scholar development professional.  While they initially were colleagues, it soon became clear that they shared the same goals for scholar development that extended beyond the walls of their institution and their skills sets complimented each other. Marian has also greatly appreciated the growing list of other contributors who have graciously given of their time and expertise.   

Marian Kennedy, Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering

I am a tenured faculty member at a research-intensive university located in the southeastern US and my work is centered on elucidating structure-property relationships for solid materials as well as developing student scholarship and research. My pathway into my current position was traditional, but notably fortunate: I matriculated through an engineering undergraduate program in the Pacific Northwest, transitioned directly into a graduate program, and then landed a tenure-track faculty position immediately. I struggled in graduate school.  I struggled in pre-tenure.  I got through those phases thanks to the support of my advisor, mentors and being gritty.  Since then, I have learned to improve my time management, dealt with my anxiety and specific antibody deficiency, and spent more time on what is truly important to me. In addition to being a faculty member, I am also a spouse, mom, and lover of all things related to planning/time management.  


Jennie LaMonte, Scholar Development Professional

I am a veteran scholar development professional who specializes in supporting young scholars as they maximize their university experiences.  While a former director of an international scholarship program, fellowships advisor, and teaching fellow, my current focus is to assist undergraduate and graduate students pursing graduate student positions and fellowships.  My students include Gates, Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, and Truman Scholars, innumerable National Science Foundation Graduate Research and National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellows, and countless graduates at the world’s best universities.  It has been a privilege to support such a strong and talented group.  I began this kind of work while an assistant senior tutor at Harvard and chose this path through academia instead of pursuing a more traditional tenure-track course.


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