The P.E.O. Record September-October 2022 (public)


Maggie Jones NOMINATING CHAPTER: HE, Jacksonville Beach, Florida SCHOOL: University of Florida FIELD OF STUDY: Interdisciplinary ecology DEGREE: Ph.D.

Layla Kilolu NOMINATING CHAPTER: C, Hawaii SCHOOL: University of Hawaii FIELD OF STUDY: Urban and regional planning DEGREE: Ph.D.

As a child in rural West Virginia, Maggie Jones helped her wildlife biologist mother collect creatures from ponds for presentations, fascinated as they changed—tadpoles sprouting legs and dragonfly larvae molting. This curiosity and desire to protect nature led her to wildlife ecology. She studied horses on a remote island in North Carolina, hiking 15 miles per day. Now she studies South African savannas, which are home to unique plant and animal diversity, such as mammalian megafauna (e.g., elephants, rhinoceroses and giraffes) that have gone extinct across most of the planet. Savannas provide ecosystem services threatened by land-use change (e.g., development and agriculture) and climate change. She holds a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in English (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) at Denison University, an M.S. in wildlife ecology at Iowa State University, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida. She wants to be a professor at a research-focused university. Maggie has received the Ventura Neale Trust Fund Award.

Layla Kilolu’s interest in urban and regional planning was an accident. After her first class where she discovered how humans have the ability to prevent and mitigate disasters through policies that increase the resilience of people and communities, she was hooked! She focuses on building bridges between urban planners and small skeptical communities. Graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California with a B.A. (international studies and Spanish literature), Layla received an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. At the University of Hawaii, she received an M.U.R.P. (Master of Urban and Regional Planning) and is currently working on her Ph.D. in the same field. Those who work with Layla highlight her inner strength and initiative as a key to her success. Her personal grit turns vision into action. After graduation, she aspires to be in a leadership role where she can shape energy policies for Hawaii that are equitable and ensure everyone benefits from renewable energy. Layla is a Ruth E. Crawford Memorial Award recipient.

Carolyn Kaufman NOMINATING CHAPTER: EG, Kansas City, Missouri SCHOOL: University of Kansas FIELD OF STUDY: Molecular and integrative physiology, medicine DEGREE: M.D./Ph.D.

Sarah Kruger NOMINATING CHAPTER: CC, Seward, Nebraska SCHOOL: University of Nevada, Reno FIELD OF STUDY: Interdisciplinary social psychology DEGREE: Ph.D.

In the hospital, Carolyn Kaufman has cared for patients with challenging, chronic illnesses. In the laboratory, she has worked with community volunteers who selflessly donate their time and bodies to expand scientific understanding about a terminal disease that currently has no cure. She believes we owe all patients our best effort at rigorous research for illnesses currently deemed incurable. She holds a B.S. in psychology (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Tulane University, a Ph.D. in molecular and integrative physiology from the University of Kansas Medical Center and will finish her combined degree with an M.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on elucidating the heart-brain connection in Alzheimer’s disease. Her M.D. degree will lead to an internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship. She envisions a career as a physician-scientist, utilizing her training to treat sick patients while actively seeking and developing novel treatments for their illnesses. Carolyn has received the Jane G. Hines Memorial Scholarship.

Sarah Kruger studies legal decision-making, primarily within criminal courts. She focuses on how juries are chosen, how defendants and attorneys negotiate plea offers, how eyewitnesses make identifications, why someone might confess to a crime and decisions in rightful and wrongful criminal convictions. Prosecutors have great leeway in criminally charging a case and plea bargaining with defense attorneys serving as clients’ advocates. Despite attorneys’ importance, little research focuses on them, and the law gives little guidance for conducting plea bargains. Sarah believes it is critical to study how attorneys conduct plea bargains, test theories that underlie attorney decision-making and examine how attorneys’ decisions affect defendants’ plea decisions. Long-term, she aims to work on issues of justice and policy in a non-academic research role. With a B.A. in Spanish and psychology (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary social psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Sarah has received a Yao Ming Charitable Fund Named Scholar Award.


September–October 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


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