Current Schmitt Leadership Fellows

Meghan BennettMeghan Bennett

Program: Clinical Psychology

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Research Interests: Neurobiology of emotion dysregulation, the impact of traumatic experiences on well-being, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), improving treatment outcomes for psychiatric distress



Meghan's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership

About Meghan: My grandmother and mother modeled for me that learning is a lifelong pursuit and that remaining open and curious about new perspectives is key to cultivating rich connections. This curiosity and dedication to learning was instilled in me and has helped shape who I am and how I navigate the world. To me, these attributes provide tremendous coping for life’s ugliness, as they allow me to also discover and appreciate the depth of life’s beauty. It is this curiosity and value for interpersonal connection that led me to study the science of human behavior through a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The research lab I was involved with as an undergraduate studied the biological underpinnings of human emotion, and I became fascinated with the intricacies of the mind-body connection. My time in Minneapolis also fostered a profound appreciation for how intersectionality shapes our identities in the world and how taking a holistic approach to understanding people’s lived experiences is essential. Together, these early experiences laid a foundation that continues guiding my approach to clinical work and research today. When I’m not providing therapy or conducting research, I spend my time connecting with friends and my family, dreaming about places I’d like to visit someday, and spending as much time outdoors and in the sunshine as possible. 

Scholarship: I earned my first master’s degree in clinical counseling at Illinois State University, where I researched the neurobiological underpinnings of posttraumatic stress disorder, culminating in a master’s project that explored electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback as an adjunct treatment to psychotherapy. This led to my pursuit of certification as a neurofeedback clinician, providing a blend of psychotherapy and neurofeedback. In this role, I witnessed that integrating psychoeducation on the biological basis of psychiatric symptoms into my work with patients positively impacted treatment outcomes. Through this experience I became intrigued with the significance of how understanding biological processes may help advance our treatment of psychological distress. This lens guides my current work in my Ph.D. program at Marquette University where I work in the Translational Affective Neuroscience lab, under the mentorship of Dr. Jacklynn Fitzgerald. My research lab studies how stress and trauma “get under the skin” to give rise to emotion dysregulation. My predominate interest is the translation of this work into intervention and prevention efforts for psychological distress. Thus, my research sits at the intersection of neuroscience and psychology, and it is my professional goal to bridge findings from neuroscientific research to improve clinical outcomes, particularly for traumatized populations.

Leadership: Despite overrepresentation in the general student population, women are underrepresented in STEM fields. This gender gap widens as scientists move up the career ladder, a phenomenon referred to as the “leaky pipeline.” This negatively impacts both individual scientists and research progress through the loss of critical perspectives and discoveries. This reality prompted me and others at Marquette to establish a Milwaukee Chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) to create a supportive infrastructure for women across scientific disciplines. In my role as President, I have worked to identify opportunities for growth for our chapter. Reflective of this, over the past three years we have created a “Scientific Advancement Award” to provide monetary support to women in science carrying out their research, conducted panelists events to address questions and concerns of undergraduates considering graduate careers, and hosted informal social events to establish space for support and the formation of new interdisciplinary relationships. Outside of Marquette’s community, I’m also dedicated to leadership in the Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP), an international society for scientists researching biological underpinnings of psychiatric illnesses and committed to the relief of human suffering. My initial leadership in SOBP focused on the development of a Trainee Subcommittee, under the Education Committee, to establish essential opportunities for trainees across society. Now entering our third year as an official subcommittee, my role as Chair is centered on providing and expanding trainee-focused events at the society’s Annual Meetings such as Early Career panelists events and networking opportunities. Advocating for interdisciplinary collaboration is a cornerstone of my leadership philosophy that I hope to continue to grow through my time as a Schmitt Fellow, learning alongside other Fellows from multiple graduate departments at Marquette.

Holly Burgess

Holly Burgess

Program: English

Hometown: Kenosha, Wisconsin

Research Interests: 20th and 21st Century African American Literature, Gender, and LGBTQ+ studies, and Film Studies




Holly's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership

About Holly: I am from Kenosha, Wisconsin, the daughter of a retired nurse and a Vietnam War Veteran. Growing up biracial (African American and Irish), my parents taught me the importance of my heritage, caring for others (especially America’s veterans), music, and activism. I am a first-generation student and was raised by my single mother. My parents inspire me to work hard, achieve my dreams, and strive for academic and personal excellence. In the sixth grade, I read Malcolm X and Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which sparked my lifelong learning of Black activism and history. In my free time, I enjoy traveling to historical music sites, collecting vinyl records and Elvis Presley memorabilia, playing with my cockapoo, Presley, and spending time with my family. In 2015, I graduated with a B.A. in English and a certificate in Film Studies from The University of Wisconsin-Parkside. In 2018, I graduated with an M.A. in English from Marquette University. My bachelor’s and master’s degrees expanded my American and British literature knowledge. However, my Ph.D. research focuses on my specialization in African American literature. 

Scholarship: My doctoral research examines police brutality, revolutionary violence, and hip-hop from The Black Power Movement to The Black Lives Matter Movement. I trace four generations of Black activists who advocate against extrajudicial killings. My dissertation is a literary genealogy of Black activism. My research centers on Malcolm X and Robert F. Williams, The Black Panther Party (Dr. Huey P. Newton and Assata Shakur), Tupac Shakur and Rapsody, and Black Lives Matter young adult literature novels like Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. My work expands the African American literature canon to include youth culture art forms like hip-hop and young adult literature. I hope that my research and teaching will inspire my readers/students to learn about Black activism and youth culture through the lens of police brutality. In the future, I will obtain an Assistant Professor position in English or African and African American Studies and continue my research on Black social movements. 

Leadership: I have shown leadership qualities in my academic career: as an English instructor, a committee member of the Association of English Graduate Students (AEGS), an officer in Sigma Tau Delta, a microteaching mentor, and a public speaker. As an instructor, I teach my students Black literature and music. I empower them to think critically about Blackness and social movements. I encourage them to develop their writing skills in a welcoming classroom environment. I actively listen to my students' needs and adapt my teaching style to foster classroom success. As an AEGS committee member, I work with the association, department faculty, and graduate students.  As a microteaching mentor, I mentored incoming graduate teaching assistants in teaching English 1001. As a public speaker, I lecture on The History of Hip Hop and Black activism at public libraries and other public events. During undergrad, I served as an officer and graphic designer for The University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter. I led Sigma Tau Delta meetings, inducted new honorees, raised chapter funding, and created graphics and flyers for the chapter. 

Carolin Anna JoyCarolin Anna Joy

Program: Chemistry

Hometown: Kottayam, India

Research Interests: Theoretical and computational chemistry, Electronic structure theory, Reaction mechanism, Molecular dynamics, Mixed Quantum / Classical Theory, Non-reactive scattering


Carolin Anna's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership

About Carolin Anna: I was born in Salalah, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. However, I spent most of my formative years in the loving care of my grandparents in Kerala, India. They have a special place in my heart and were pivotal in shaping the person I am today. Without the ceaseless love, sacrifices, and encouragement from my family, I would not have had the opportunity to pursue my academic aspirations and chase my dreams. My fascination with chemistry began during my first year of intermediate school. I distinctly remember the awe I felt when our teacher demonstrated a chemical reaction between peroxide and potassium iodide that shot out of a column of foam right before our eyes. I was amazed to see a miniature version of the chemical reaction but was more curious about how it happened. With time I realized that from the tiniest atom to the bulkiest polymers, chemistry was all around as a fundamental science. It made me think, observe, and understand, but above all, it helped me to discover the inquisitive part of myself which loves research. During my undergraduate studies, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to delve into research and found myself driven to contribute to the ever-evolving realm of scientific discovery. After finishing my B.S. program (summa cum laude), I followed my passion for research and joined the Ph.D. program in the Department of Chemistry at Marquette, in the group of Dr. Babikov, who is an expert in the field of quantum chemistry. My research integrates chemistry with computers, which is something I enjoy learning. After coming to Milwaukee, I discovered a passion for cooking in me. I would spend my free time trying out different cooking and baking recipes.

Scholarship: My research is focused on studying the phenomena of energy transfer that occurs during molecule-molecule collisions, mainly in the Interstellar medium (ISM) - the matter that fills the space between stars. Astronomical observations of the ISM have detected the presence of numerous molecules. The study of intermolecular rotational energy transfer is significant in understanding the physical conditions of ISM that favor the formation of stars and the evolution of galaxies, as well as for the interpretation of astrophysical observations from telescopes. Water is a salient molecule in discovering the chemical and physical processes associated with the formation of stars and planets. Currently, I am working towards studying the rotational energy transfer of water, and ammonia in collision with hydrogen and endeavor to provide a rate coefficient database for astrophysicists and the scientific community at large. Another project that I am working on is the study of rotationally inelastic scattering of the Ozone and Argon systems using Mixed Quantum/Classical Theory. Ozone is an essential constituent in the atmosphere. It plays a pivotal role in filtering harmful UV radiation from the sun. This study will help us significantly in understanding the “isotopic anomaly effect,” i.e., enrichment of heavy ozone (  and  ) in the stratosphere. Eventually, I would provide the rate coefficient obtained from my studies for atmospheric modeling. 

Leadership: Teaching has been a passion of mine from a very young age. As I progressed through school, I realized some of my classmates felt afraid to ask questions to teachers when they did not understand something. I started helping them, whether it was some math or concepts in science. I used to spend my lunch breaks explaining what I knew and trying to sit with them until they got it right. My friends used to say I was a better teacher than our real teacher, and hearing that made me feel accomplished and motivated. It was immensely rewarding to know that I could make a difference in their understanding and learning experience. Despite the demanding schedule of my classes, I actively engaged in extracurricular activities. One of my most meaningful contributions was volunteering at a flood relief camp, where we provided support and assistance to people who were affected by the flood. Witnessing resilience in the face of adversity left a profound impact on me, and I was grateful to be able to contribute to the recovery and well-being of others. I have nurtured good leadership skills through years of coordinating various events and programs at my university. Here at Marquette, I worked as a teaching assistant for the general chemistry labs. Throughout my teaching experience, I tried my best to help each, and every student understand the concepts of chemistry by demonstrating and explaining experiments and answering their questions. After graduation, I plan to continue my teaching and research efforts at Marquette or other universities. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Nelson Mandela once said. The purpose of my life is to become an excellent teacher and a leader by sharing knowledge, especially working among the underprivileged and leaving an everlasting positive impact on others’ lives. 

Jessica Krukowski

Jessica Krukowski

Program: Clinical Psychology

Hometown: Cumberland, WI

Research Interests: Social Justice, Community Partnership, Well-Being, Strength-Based and Translational Research Methodologies, Trauma, PTSD



Jessica's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership

About Jessica: I am a first-generation non-traditional scholar. My path to being a clinical psychology graduate student has been a long but focused journey rooted in helping people. Out of high school I became a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and worked in both Otorhinolaryngology and Family Practice. I returned to school and received my bachelor’s degree from UW-Milwaukee at the age of 28 majoring in psychology with a minor in neuroscience. Upon graduation I was the project coordinator for a longitudinal R01 neuro imaging study exploring trauma and resilience. During this time, I became a mother of two. My interest in continued education was fueled by the desire to establish academic partnerships conducting strength-based translational research rooted in social justice. After admission to graduate school, I immersed myself in procedures conducive to this endeavor and am currently using narrative methodologies to uplift voices of Black women in Milwaukee. In my free time, my family and I enjoy art, baking, reading, games, and exploring. On my own, I enjoy painting, drawing, crocheting, sewing, stained glass, and reading for leisure.

Scholarship: Helping people has always been the driving force behind my intellectual interests. My path in higher education began as a certified medical assistant. While I found this engagement with my community fulfilling, I yearned to be able to help on a deeper level; therefore, I returned to school. I soon found myself working as a researcher in the Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at UWM collaborating with the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery department at the Medical College of Wisconsin. During this seven-year intellectual adventure I collected and analyzed a myriad of data from trauma survivors including electroencephalograms, structural MRIs, and functional MRIs. I also collected behavioral, physiological, neuropsychological, biological, and quantitative data to elucidate the underpinnings of post-traumatic stress disorder. While I found this work both meaningful and interesting, I was struggling to see how it immediately translated to affect direct change in the lives of my participants. This search for translation was the catalyst for my continued education. As a graduate student I have integrated the aggregate of my prior work in trauma with my present research. I am currently working on three projects. First, the focus of my dissertation, is a systematic mixed-methods narrative investigation exploring how thriving Black women in Milwaukee talk about their lives. The second explores the physical and mental health effects of structural racism experienced by Black people in Milwaukee, and the third study explores the mental health and well-being of faith leaders in our community. My extensive research career has produced a variety of peer reviewed publications, symposia, and posters. It is my career goal to continue my work doing evidence-based research in the community to inform public policy that aims to reduce structural racism. 

Leadership: I have had the opportunity to develop and exhibit leadership skills in multiple life domains for nearly twenty years. I have demonstrated leadership as a researcher, in academia, in my community, and as a parent. In my current position as a researcher, I lead and mentor a team of undergraduates and serve as lead graduate researcher on three studies. Prior to graduate school I was project coordinator of a longitudinal R01 grant exploring the acute neurocognitive affective predictors of chronic post-trauma outcomes. In that role I managed and maintained every facet of the study. Academically, I have held a myriad of leadership positions including being the founding president of an Honor Society at UWM, the President of an Honor society at UWBC, an introductory psychology tutor for Somali refugees, an art teaching intern at a local mental health facility, a math teaching assistant for fourth grade behavioral special education, the editor-in-chief and art director of Red Cedar Literary Magazine at UWBC, and UWBC student government senator. I have also held various leadership positions in my community serving as a victim’s advocate for domestic abuse, a mentor for adolescents in the Kinship program, and a group facilitator for Rainbows child support group.

Cecille Medina-MaldonadoCecille Medina-Maldonado

Program: Religious Studies

Hometown: Libertyville, IL 

Research Interests: Bioethics, healthcare ethics, the Trinity, the thought and theology of Bernard Lonergan and Robert Doran, deification, Catholic social thought



Cecille's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership

About Cecille: While I was born in Puerto Rico and spent my early childhood there, most of my upbringing took place in Libertyville, IL. From a young age, I was drawn to helping others, especially through the Church. I spent my teenage and undergraduate years volunteering in liturgical or spiritual settings. I earned a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I met my husband of six years, Greg. I thought I'd be serving others in the hospitality industry, but a few months out of the classroom made me realize how much I missed it. I had no intention of pursuing a higher degree when I decided to take an Intro to Theology course at Loyola University Chicago. It turned into a master's degree and laid the foundation for my Ph.D. 

Scholarship: I arrived at Marquette in 2018 intent on studying the Trinitarian theology of Bernard Lonergan and Robert Doran. I was fascinated by the contemporary revival of Trinitarian theology, especially as a way to reimagine the Trinity in our world today. Through a series of unexpected life experiences in the first few years of my Ph.D. program, I developed an interest in healthcare/bioethics, particularly reproductive technology. Frozen human embryos and their fates became one of my primary concerns. Catholic theologians and bioethicists have been arguing over the fate of these embryos: can they be licitly adopted, or is it an unsolvable problem? My research adds a new dimension to the debate: rather than relying on older, more traditional rights-based frameworks for deciding the licitness of embryo adoption, I use the Trinity as a model for human behavior and map that model onto embryo adoption. I chose to take my interest in advancing contemporary trinitarian theology and combine it with this so-far-unsolvable dilemma. I hope that my research helps see embryo adoption in a new light and provides a new avenue for discussing the fates of “spare” frozen embryos. 

Leadership: I started taking leadership roles as a teenager, though my theological studies as an adult have given me a clearer vision of what kind of leader I want to be. I see leadership as a way of making the world better, starting with one person at a time. I value collaboration and cooperation with others; as a graduate student, I've had the opportunity to be on the steering committee for Craft of Theology, a workshop series for graduate students to explore what it means to be a theologian, whether in or out of academia. For the last few years, I have also been on the planning committee for the annual Lonergan on the Edge graduate student conference. I collaborated with fellow Lonergan scholars to work through the challenges of remote conference planning, as well as adding a “Master Class” to the conference for further learning. Through the Craft of Theology and Lonergan on the Edge, I've seen leadership as a way to help colleagues advance in their fields, share their work, and develop camaraderie. In the classroom, leadership takes on a similar role for me: I enjoy teaching undergraduates and helping them explore theology as it relates to the “real world,” regardless of their background or faith experience. I like to tell my students at the beginning of a semester that if, at the end of my class, they have a clearer vision of who they want to be, what they want out of life, or a new perspective on an important issue, I've done my job. I see teaching in the classroom as a way to lead students in learning and helping them become who they want to be. Leadership is more than a vision of transforming the world, but also transforming people in that world. 

 Mehrzad Ali MoinMehrzad Ali Moin

Program: Philosophy

Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK

Research interests: Value Theory / Ethics, Phenomenology, 19th, and 20th Century German Philosophy




Mehrzad's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership

About Mehrzad: I was born and raised in Oklahoma City after my father immigrated to the United States from Iran in the 1970s. Like many immigrants, my father placed a heavy emphasis on the importance of education and hard work. As a child, I worked in my father’s diner during the day, where he would have me try to beat the cash register by calculating bill totals and change. It is also at this time that I developed a keen interest in mathematics and science. These interests continued through college, where I originally majored in biochemistry and molecular biology. I enjoyed this course of study, but things changed when I took Philosophy of Life with Dr. Eric Reitan. The course focused on many of the questions that I had found interesting from an early age – questions about morality, religion, and the meaning of life. It was this course that eventually led me to declare a major in philosophy. In 2018, I moved to Milwaukee to complete a master’s degree in philosophy at Marquette, before beginning the Ph.D. program here.

Scholarship: My research focuses on the issue of human mortality. This includes descriptive considerations of how mortality tends to be incorporated into human life, as well as normative accounts of how we ought to respond to our own mortality. Put simply, I am interested in the way that mortality helps to shape and contribute to the meaningfulness of human lives, which is a topic that I have explored from different philosophical perspectives. My first publication, “Heidegger on Anxiety in the Face of Death – An Analysis and Extension,” addressed the theme of human mortality through the lens of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, Stephen Cave’s Immortality, and Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death. This fundamental issue – the question of death and its role in human life – is what I am continuing to explore in my dissertation.

Leadership: In my youth, I was always pushed by my parents to protect the integrity of our family name, which entailed holding myself and others up to a certain standard of conduct. In high school, I served as captain of the basketball team and president of the chess club. Once I started college, I quickly took up leadership positions as the vice president of the Ethics Bowl Team, Phi Sigma Tau, and the Friends of the Forms (Philosophy Club). As VP of the Ethics Bowl Team, I helped our team win a regional championship and compete in a national competition. My work with the Friends of the Forms involved organizing philosophical events on campus, including public debates, lecture appearances, and movie nights. As a graduate student, I helped facilitate a graduate philosophy conference that focused on the philosophy of death. I have also found ways to lead in unofficial capacities as well. I find that I can be of great service to others in my department by simply being present as a resource to newer graduate students, whether that be through reviewing papers, navigating the publication process, answering questions about teaching, or simply seeing how they are adjusting to life in Milwaukee. 

Samantha ScottSamantha Scott

Program: Religious Studies

Hometown: Livonia, MI

Research Interests: Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, women and law in the ancient world, hermeneutics 




Samantha's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership

About Samantha: I am originally from Michigan. I completed my bachelor’s degree in theology from Marquette University. After graduating, I pursued two master’s degrees at Lee University in biblical and theological studies. After taking a brief break from my studies to work as a hospital chaplain and volunteer for United Way in Detroit, I chose to return to higher education to pursue advanced studies in Hebrew bible and ancient Near Eastern languages and cultures at Vanderbilt University. I was ecstatic to return “home” to Marquette to pursue my doctoral studies, where I am now a Ph.D. Candidate in Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity and currently serve as a hall minister in Eckstein Tower, where I live with my husband, Tim, my son, Joseph Eli, and beagle, Cooper. 

Scholarship: The primary focus of my current research and dissertation identifies and interrogates innovations in legal and moral reasoning in ancient Judaism. The primary objects of this interrogation are select pericopes of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (Judg 19–21, 1 Sam 2, and 1 Sam 30) that not only describe sexual violence against women, but creatively interface with ancient Jewish legal tradition. My dissertation thus aims to contribute not only to relevant studies about sexual violence in biblical narratives, but also contributes to understanding how sexual violence was addressed, critiqued, and reimagined in ancient Jewish legal reasoning in the Second Temple period. Other areas of my scholarship include the exploration of the rhetorical and ethical contours of female characters—especially daughters—in Hebrew narrative. My several regional and national professional presentations have also facilitated the development of my research agenda to include how biblical scholars imagine the intersection of Hebrew narrative, self-definition, and marginalization in Persian and Hellenistic imperial contexts.

Leadership: As a young person, I felt an early call to service and leadership. As an eldest sibling, I have always felt strongly about modelling integrity, honor, and courage for my siblings. In high school I was president of my 4-H club and commanding officer of my Navy JROTC program. I used the skills I honed as a young person to prepare for what I hoped would be a career of military service. During my time as a Marquette undergraduate, I was a member of the Army ROTC battalion. When the time came to transition from my military chaplaincy career path due to unexpected illness, I began applying my leadership training to a career in higher education. As a master’s student at Lee and Vanderbilt University, I was given the opportunity to serve as a teaching and research assistant. There I was able to integrate my leadership training into an academic context where I modeled service and excellence for my students. At Marquette, I continue to dedicate my passion and leadership to students, serving as a hall minister for all 5 years of my doctoral program. I am passionate about honing skills that will help me become an excellent educator and servant of students in the future.

Madison SuttonMadison Sutton

Program: Biological Sciences

Hometown: Stewartsville, NJ

Research Interests: The influence of climate on songbird survival, behavior, and distributions




Madison's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership

About Madison: My passion for ecology stemmed primarily from my first undergraduate course at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, entitled “The Avian Persuasion”. This English course focused on humanity’s omnipresent ties to nature and how it can be a method to practice mindfulness in stressful times. My time walking between classes started to get filled with walking around identifying Blue Jays and Northern Cardinals on campus. I saw the critical importance of increasing our understanding of nature, and that research is a vehicle to deepen that understanding. The following year, I was a teaching fellow for the course, focusing on engaging students to connect to nature in the same way that I had. Watching students have a similar experience to me and facilitating their enjoyment of nature was a phenomenal feeling. Since that course, I have had the opportunity to both participate in and lead field projects that pose transformative research questions; programs that make outreach and public engagement a primary goal. “The Avian Persuasion” sparked the foundational passion that I needed to drive me to combine research and birds, and ultimately to start graduate studies at Marquette University.

My research experience has allowed me to live across the country studying birds. My diverse experiences living in the field with research crews have fully submersed me in science and have shown me the importance of making sure that crew members are practicing self-care. Since starting my time at Marquette University, I have felt empowered by my individuality and passion for birds. I have harnessed and honored my unique experiences throughout my now many field experiences and use this as a driving force to develop novel and creative research questions that challenge our current understanding of the field. Additionally, I understand first-hand the importance of making others feel welcome and nurtured in the field. I feel fortunate to have had strong mentors that are still very active members in my life and look forward to continuing to be that for my current and future mentees. 

Scholarship: My research broadly focuses on understanding how climate influences animal survival and distributions. More specifically, I strive to understand how to mitigate the effects of climate on songbird survival. My academic experiences both prior to and during my time at Marquette University have prepared me to critically think about how humans are integrated into the Earth and its function. From these classes, I have not only gotten a foundational understanding of how the mechanics of climate change works to impact an ecosystem, I have also learned about how this integrates into the broader importance of our everyday lives. My dissertation broadly seeks to understand how climate influences songbird behavior and distributions. The knowledge acquired from my dissertation will be critical in not only better understanding songbird responses to climate, but it will also aid in our understanding of species interactions in response to climate change. The mentorship I have experienced throughout my career in the sciences has given me the skillset to excel as a scientist and the gratitude to pay the mentorship forward by engaging others in the sciences.

Leadership: At Marquette University, I strive to lead and mentor students in any way possible. This includes working outside of office hours with students to understand concepts in the courses that I am a teaching assistant for. I also work to make sure the students’ whole self feels honored by an education at Marquette by focusing significantly on ensuring that students understand the importance of their education and how it fits into the greater good of Marquette University and society as a whole. I have been leading field research crews for the past ten years and have worked with NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) students to develop and conduct field experiments focusing on bird responses to climate change. Working with field crews to conduct research and mentor crew members throughout their careers is one of my greatest joys in life. Aside from one-on-one mentorship I also am striving to act as a leader to aid in promoting diversity and inclusion. I am an active member of multiple committees including two diversity, equity, and inclusion committees as well as a member of the Wilson Ornithological Society early professionals committee. These committees actively work to increase engagement for women and underrepresented groups in ornithology and works to increase engagement and retention of students. For example, at the Wilson Ornithological Society I worked with the committee to develop the first early professionals grant that provides representation and funding to researchers that are not currently being supported by an academic institution. Grants like this early professional conservation award continue to make the field more inclusive by supporting unconventional researchers.