KUWomenofDistinction

2012/2013

Jamie Branch

Jamie Branch

Honors, achievements, and special recognition:

  • Pearson Prize for Higher Education
  • Pi Tau Sigma President
  • Undergraduate Research Award
  • School of Engineering Dean’s Scholarship
  • Patented inventor for research work

How I became interested in my area of study:

Engineering is a very challenging, but highly rewarding career path. I wanted to pursue a major that would test my intellectual capability and force me to think outside the box. I chose Mechanical Engineering specifically for its versatility. Engineering is a cross-roads of all disciplines, and I have never felt like any career option was off limits to me. I am excited to see what focus I take in my full time career.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me and why:

In spring 2011, I was offered a research assistant position at Harvard University as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. I was one of the few students from a public university and the Midwest, and got the position without any connections to the program or to Harvard. The research was published by a notable scientific journal, and I was named an inventor on the patent associated with the research. The experience is one I will always have very fond memories of, and the experience I had in the research lab will continue to impact me throughout my academic and professional career.

Someone who has been a role model for me and why:

Lucy McGilley – As my SELF Engineering and Leadership Fellowship director, Lucy is always a bright and encouraging individual who genuinely cares about the well-being of others. She wholeheartedly invests in making the students of the SELF program better leaders, and gave valuable 'life advice' to me when I really needed it.

Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:

In second grade, one of luckiest instances of chance occurred that would forever impact my life. On the first day of recess, I became friends with a girl who has now been my best friend for nearly 15 years. She has taught me so many life lessons that you can't learn from school, family, or even close relationships with other people. Although we are two very different individuals in some aspects, I value her opinion above almost everything, and recognize that I would be a much different person without her presence in my life.

My favorite KU memory:

My favorite KU memory is making it to the national championship for KU men's basketball. I am an avid Jayhawk fan, and the entire experience was filled with adrenaline rushing excitement.

An important life lesson I have learned:

"Kill 'em with kindness." Not everyone you interact with will be your best friend, and not everyone will be pleasant to work. Regardless, you should always be 'the bigger person' and strive to display the kindness they are unable to give.

If I had a sister just entering college, I would want her to know….

Take every opportunity to get involved in anything and everything that interests you. You never know what those opportunities will lead to, and getting involved connects you with an array of people from different backgrounds and life experiences.

A favorite quote or saying and why it is meaningful to me:

One of the most influential leaders known to mankind stated "You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give." The honorable Sir Winston Churchill not only stated this but extended the meaning copiously throughout his lifetime. It is these ideals coupled with Churchill's high ethical standards that continue to serve as inspiration to the way I lead and interact with the people in my daily life.