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Alicia Marie Kennedy

Alicia Marie Kennedy

Graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology with a Geology minor in Dec. 2009.
She graduated  with a 3.64 GPA overall.
Alicia is currently in the graduate program at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

My decision to attend Sam Houston State University is the best decision I have ever made. Because of this one decision I was able to experience things I had never imagined. As a first generation college student, I started at Sam Houston State University with little confidence. By the time I graduated I had not only become the first person in my family to get a degree, but had found research opportunities that enabled me to travel to Africa three times for field work, to present research at over 20 scientific meetings, to receive several external research grants, and to publish my first paper in a peer-reviewed journal.

While at Sam Houston I was a part of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program and the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society. The McNair program helped my progression by funding travel to scientific meetings, graduate programs, and museums for research. McNair also included a powerful mentor program that encouraged me to develop my own research projects. The Department of Biological Sciences was itself  integral in my success by awarding me scholarships three separate times, including two years of a full ride (Wilson-Warner Endowed Academic Scholarship). The Department and the College of Arts and Sciences helped me further with my research by awarding me research grants and covering travel expenses.

By far, the biggest influence on my success was my interaction with the many professors at SHSU. Dr. Lewis introduced me to research and encouraged me to pursue my own research interests. With Drs. Lewis and Thies I traveled three times to Botswana, Africa to excavate at important fossil localities and document unknown biotas. With the help of Dr. Thies, Dr. Lewis, and Mrs. Rose I gained valuable experience as a undergraduate teaching assistant for Contemporary Biology, Zoology, Human Anatomy, and Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy.   

My experiences at Sam Houston Sate University inspired me to remain in academia with the hopes of one day helping my own students find such a rewarding path. I have taken the next step by entering graduate school at Villanova University. For any student considering entering into the Biology program at Sam Houston, I would highly recommend it. The wealth of opportunities and resources, coupled with the outstanding faculty at Sam Houston State University made my time there a wonderful experience; an experience that will continue to influence me for the rest of my life.

- For more information, see

- Read her publication here


Alicia Cave Entrance

Alicia and Frog

Alicia and teachers



- Fall 2009: Wilson-Warner Endowed Academic Scholarship, $4,000.

- Spring 2009: Texas Academy of Science Student Travel Grant, $100.

- Spring 2009: Analysis of the Modern and Fossil Herpetofauna from the Koanaka Hills Texas Academy of Science, Student Research Grant, 1,500.

- Fall 2008-Spring 2009: Wilson-Warner Endowed Academic Scholarship, $8,000.

- Fall 2007-Spring 2009: Sam Houston State University Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, $3,200.

- Fall 2007-Spring 2008: Sam Houston State University Biology Academic Scholarship, $1,000.

- Fall 2007: Texas Archeological Society Student Travel Grant, $200.

- Fall 2007: Student Poster Award, Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists Inaugural Conference, $50.

- Spring 2007: Preliminary Analysis of the Fossil Herpetofauna from the Koanaka Hills, Ngamiland Botswana. The Joey Harrison Biological Sciences Student Research Awards Endowment Fund, Grants-in-Aid of Research, $500.

- Spring 2007: Texas Academy of Science Student Travel Grant, $200.

- Spring 2007: Preliminary Analysis of the Fossil Herpetofauna from the Koanaka Hills Site, Ngamiland, Botswana. Texas Academy of Science, Student Research Grant, $1,500.

- Fall 2006: Excavation and Analysis of the Small Mammal Fauna from the Virginia Railway Cut Site, Free State, South Africa. Sigma Xi, Grants-in-Aid of Research, $1,000.


Sam Houston State University
A Member of the Texas State University System