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Laura Jennings

Laura Jennings

Associate professor of sociology | University of South Carolina Upstate | Class of 2008

It’s a two-way tie for first on Laura Jennings’ list of most impactful Illini.

“One was Dr. Catherine Kenney, the brilliant, smart, kind, creative, supportive sociology professor who taught me, mentored me, chaired my dissertation committee, and has been a bright spot in my life ever since I met her, even though we’re now both far from UIUC,” says the University of South Carolina Upstate associate professor (Ph.D. '08, sociology).

"She’s organic farming in Connecticut, and I’m getting ready to move from South Carolina to Colorado to live in a shed and write romance novels and try not to get eaten by the bears and mountain lions that frequent my sister’s yard.

“The other was Ms. Phyllis Sweitzer, a wonderful local therapist and lovely person who helped me stay on track with my graduate studies after my mom died unexpectedly.

“I was thinking of her just the other day, wondering how many people she’s helped over the years and hoping she’s still well.

“As for memorable campus-area things, I’ve gotta say that I most often think with great appreciation of the bus system. I’ve never had anything comparable anyplace else I’ve lived, and I miss it.”