Jennifer Kemp

Jennifer Kemp, pictured inside an MSU engineering building.
Photo by Kristen Polk

Jennifer Kemp is an extremely busy Bulldog.

Not only does the senior biomedical engineering major from Carthage have three additional minors—leadership studies, global engineering leadership and mathematics—that keep her busy, she also has served with almost 20 academic and non-academic groups, organizations, projects and other extracurricular opportunities during her time at Mississippi State.

Listing them all forces her to pause, take a breath and ask herself if she’s leaving out an activity.

An MSU Neural Engineering Research Division, or NERD, student-researcher; an ACCESS Program mentor; and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority’s technology and alumnae chair—these are just some of the hats Kemp has worn. At the NERD, she uses advanced technology to help better understand the brain—how it works, its disorders and, most importantly, how to help others use theirs to its fullest capacity.

“I feel like I work well under a little bit of pressure,” she said. “At first, it took me a bit to figure out how to manage everything. Being in a sorority, working, focusing on my studies—I was asking myself what I was doing. Now, though, it’s become habit. Some people read for their pastime. Being able to help people and being there for others really makes me happy.”

Kemp, who wants to pursue a Ph.D. in physiology and attend medical school, said she was “born into a Mississippi State family.” When she first arrived on campus as a freshman in 2019, Kemp said she realized MSU was “where I was meant to be.”

“My first semester here, there were so many things and opportunities coming at me that I prayed so hard for—an organization here, a mentorship there. When I started participating in all of these things, that’s when it really felt I was on the right path here at Mississippi State.

“I just want to make a difference,” Kemp added. “I want to be that person people can come to—a safe place for others—because you never know what people are going through on a day-to-day basis.”

When she’s not volunteering at animal shelters in the Golden Triangle, serving as president of the Biomedical Engineering Association or coordinating events for Girls Engineer Change—or any of her other plethora of activities—Kemp can be found at home utilizing her most important tool for success: a comprehensive planner.

“I know I do a lot and stay really busy, but I feel like I’ve found my place,” she said. “Making a difference in the world—that’s what we’re all here for, and that’s what grounds and centers me.”