Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2020
Maeve Kennedy focused many of her efforts as an undergraduate student on using chemical engineering to improve others’ lives.
“I found it so satisfying to have the independence to design my own experiments, perform them and come to conclusions that could make a difference,” she says.
Kennedy has served as an undergraduate researcher in the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine. Her work in the Head and Neck Regenerative Medicine Laboratory is focused on engineering an implantable, 3D, porous substrate for people with laryngeal dysfunction by inducing larynx tissue regeneration, restoring function and preventing the need for immunosuppression, which is necessary in many traditional treatments.
Kennedy regards her greatest collegiate achievement as being named a Goldwater Scholar for her research work in tissue engineering and biomaterials.
“This is considered the most prestigious scholarship for STEM students and it gave me confidence in knowing that I can make a significant contribution to my chosen research field,” says Kennedy, who was also a student in Barrett, The Honors College.
This experience will continue to drive her future, as her long-term career aspirations are to pursue an MD and doctorate in biomedical engineering with a focus on regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, and ultimately work as a physician-scientist.
“I want to contribute to the development of biomaterials that can restore function and regenerate tissue for affected patients.”
Kennedy considers Associate Professor Vincent Pizziconi one of her best mentors. She worked with him in the lab and he was her honors thesis advisor.
“He has always encouraged me to explore opportunities that have led me to make important decisions about my future,” Kennedy says.
Before coming to ASU, she participated in the Fulton Schools Grand Challenges Scholars Program Summer Institute, where she toured Pizziconi’s Bioinspired Complex Adaptive Systems Laboratory and was inspired to ask Pizziconi if she could join his lab.
After a great experience with the Summer Institute, she returned as a counselor, “which involved engaging incoming engineering student design activities, giving them tours of the campus and providing advice for their first year of college.”
Kennedy has also been a Fulton Ambassador, where she gives tours to prospective students and speaks at outreach and recruitment events.
“I remember what it was like when I was deciding on colleges and majors, and I wanted to help high school students through that process,” she says. “I’m so happy that I made the decision to come to ASU and I want to make sure potential students are aware of all that the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering has to offer.”