Jamie (‘92 BA, ‘94 MA) is a lead grants and agreement specialist at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va.
How did your degree WVU prepare you for the work you are doing now?
My bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Eberly College taught me the fundamentals of research, but more importantly, gave me an appreciation for the value of scientific research and its application to the improvement of human welfare worldwide. This background supports my current work – as I serve as a lead grants and agreement specialist at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of about $6.0 billion, NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. The motto of the National Science Foundation is “Where Discoveries Begin,” and a wide range of science, engineering, education and technology discoveries and innovations began with NSF support.
Prior to NSF, I worked for the U.S. Department of Justice for thirteen years managing grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, and as a research assistant on drug treatment programs in federal prisons.
My Eberly College background – complemented by a Master of Counseling degree from WVU’s College of Human Resources and Education – has served as an asset to my career, in both understanding the research process and working with the university research community.
What advice would you give to incoming students or students thinking about coming to WVU?
WVU is a wonderful community – and not just a university. Take advantage of its location in the thriving community of Morgantown. Take in all the community has to offer in terms of social and volunteer activities. Seek courses that integrate internships or offer credit for volunteer service. My internship at the Robert F. Kennedy Correctional Institute in Morgantown led directly to a job at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. Work hard – and you never know what may lead to opening a door for your future.
Where did you hang out when you weren’t in class?
While I took full advantage of the many social and cultural diversions available at WVU, I did spend plenty of time studying as well. Fortunately, WVU has many wonderful places to catch a quiet moment for study. My favorite places to study were high in the stacks of Wise Library, in front of the fireplace at the ‘Lair, in the parlor at E. Moore Hall or on a bench in Woodburn Circle. WVU is a beautiful campus with many places to meet friends, socialize and study!
What is your favorite WVU tradition, and does your family have any traditions centering around WVU?
While supporting the Eberly College over a number of years, my husband and I just recently started a new WVU tradition last year: funding an endowed scholarship for the Eberly College in honor of our parents, whose support made it possible for both of us to graduate from WVU. With the French-Hart Family Scholarship, we hope that other students will be able to enjoy the benefits of a WVU Eberly College education – just like we have.