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"I believe that people like me are called to make a difference."
Jamie Austin remembers, at the age of 9, seeing an HIV infected child on TV. "It really touched my heart. She looked just like me, but was saying, 'I have this horrible disease.' Since that moment, I've known that I wanted to dedicate my love of science to develop drugs and therapies for diseases that disproportionately impact low-income, underrepresented populations-especially children."
Jamie Austin was valedictorian of her inner-city public high school, but being unsure of how to pursue her dream, she was counseled into the engineering field. By the time she graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in Chemical Engineering, she was married and expecting her 2nd child. She struggled to find a job, and worked as a pharmacy technician while her husband pursued a degree in theology. Later, she worked as an environmental engineer, (now with 3 children) and completed a Master of Science in Bioscience Regulatory Affairs online. As her husband neared completion of his studies, Jamie believed the time had come for her to leave her engineering position and pursue her childhood dream.
Jamie, now the mother of 4, is a doctoral student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at U-M, and a 2011-2012 recipient of a CEW Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarship.
"CEW recognizes and supports all the elements of my life. At CEW, people are interested in my academic goals and progress, but they also care about my children and the obligations I have as a wife and mother. I haven't found that anyplace else on campus."
For her perseverance, her academic achievements, and the promise of all that she is and will be, CEW is honored to further the dreams and goals of Jamie Austin.