Jennifer PhillipsBy Emily Dallas
Although the diversity among Mississippi State University students and alumni is a diversity that is unmatched, one thing that holds true throughout all graduates and undergraduates is the pride and tradition that runs deep in the veins of anyone who has called MSU home. The same rings true for MSU alumni Jennifer Phillips.
Phillips is a Starkville native who graduated from MSU in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Phillips continued her education by getting her MBA in 2008, and finished with attaining a doctorate degree in liberal studies in 2016 from Georgetown University.
Phillips explained that there are many memories that she holds close to her heart, but her fondest memory from MSU is from 1998 when the MSU Bulldogs beat the University of Alabama at home. “This was before I started at MSU, but it was a pivotal moment in my decision to go to MSU,” Phillips said.
In addition to that game, Phillips recalls other memories of her time here as an MSU student. Phillips credits Dr. Rick Travis, interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, as being the most influential professor she came in contact with at Mississippi State. “He’s a hero in my eyes,” she said.
After leaving MSU and her hometown of Starkville in 2004, Phillips commissioned into the Air Force and headed for Texas to attend intelligence officer training. After training, Phillips traveled and lived in places such as Florida, Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, Liberia, and Ecuador. Phillips finished her active duty tour at the National Security Agency, and explained that no matter where she was, the first thing that people would come to understand about her is her love and passion for all things MSU.
Phillips has lived a very unique and rewarding life since graduating from MSU. “I credit the professors and my fellow students for my successes in life,” Phillips said. She explained that MSU still holds a special place in her heart to this day. She continues to represent MSU by keeping a cowbell and other MSU memorabilia on her desk at work.
If Phillips could offer any advice to prospective and current MSU students, it would be to step out of their comfort zone. Phillips said that she learned so many new things just through the diverse culture at MSU. “Your time at the University is a magical opportunity to experience new things,” Phillips said.
Phillips is proud to be a part of the MSU family and takes pride in coming from a school that is known for its love for football, tradition and family atmosphere.
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