Nicole Kennedy, MD, MSE, MS, BSEE'95

Release Date: October 29, 2018
Niki Kennedy

Why did you choose LTU? What was your time on campus like?

When I was younger, I was interested in working with electronics and using them to learn about the world around me—sensors, imaging systems, etc.—so I thought engineering would be the best path for me. I had a friend who was enrolled at Lawrence Tech and he suggested I check it out. After meeting Dr. Jerry Crist and learning more about campus, I was sold. I loved it. The small class sizes were perfect because it gave me the opportunity to build relationships with my professors. They were always right there to help if I was ever struggling with a class or an assignment. Beyond that, they were mentors. When you’re young, you don’t always know what to do. I wouldn’t have gone to grad school if it weren’t for the encouragement from one of my professors. My education was very hands-on, which is something I missed when I was in grad school. At Lawrence Tech, we were always blowing something up! I thought that was just the best—not just fund, but a better way of learning.

Where did your LTU degree take you after graduation?

I went on to earn Masters degrees in Engineering from University of Michigan. It was a big difference moving to a much larger school and I was starting to wonder if I was on the right career path. Engineering is about finding solutions to some of the big questions, but I wanted to know which questions to ask in the first place.

Did you receive scholarships as a student?

Yes, I was one of the lucky recipients of the Buell Honors scholarship. It’s competitive merit- based four-year full ride scholarship.

What made you decide to become a donor?

Giving back to Lawrence Tech is something I’ve been meaning to do for a very, very long time. The scholarship I received was such a great gift; it was a springboard for me. I know that I owe Lawrence Tech a lot for all of the opportunities the university gave me and now I’m finally in a position financially to give something back. I follow the school in the media and on the web and I’m so proud to see how well it’s doing. It was still mostly a commuter school when I attended but now it really has the look and feel of a true university. There’s campus life for students and lots of great things going on for alumni. It’s turning into the school I always knew it could be!

What are you most passionate about supporting?

Encouraging young women to pursue STEM careers is really important to me, especially if they’re struggling with math. That was my weakness coming into LTU and I overcame it because I had professors who took the time to help me understand it better. Everyone learns differently; high potential students who have low math scores can be successful if they’re identified and given access to the right resources—I’m proof of that!

What would you say to someone thinking about donating?

Every little bit makes a difference. Lawrence Tech has so many opportunities for students but, being a private university, the school needs alumni to step up. Sometimes a couple hundred bucks can help a student buy books for a semester—and that’s money they don’t have to worry about, allowing them to take a class they might think twice about otherwise. It all adds up. LTU is so different from what it used to be. The faculty are phenomenal and I feel that the opportunities are really limitless for a motivated student. If we give them access to resources, they’re going accomplish great things! They absolutely have the desire and donor support just makes it easier for them.

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What are you passionate about supporting at Lawrence Tech? Do you want to inspire others to contribute to the university? We’d love to hear from you!


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