Third-year accounting doctoral student Jennifer Glenn has faced several obstacles in her life that have not only taught her how to be resilient, but have also shown her the power of perseverance.
Her inspiring fight against adversity led to her selection for the 2018 Community of Scholars Unsung Hero Award, an award created by the Texas A&M University Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) to recognize current graduate students who have faced and overcome difficult life experiences during their time at Texas A&M.
Glenn’s fight against adversity began in elementary school, when she developed a severe stutter. She was told by many of her teachers that she would never find a good job due to her inability to speak without stuttering. This did not set her back, however, because she still earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting and her CPA license, despite her speech impediment. “I refuse to let anything stand in my way when it comes to accomplishing my goals,” Glenn said.
Years later, during her second year in the Ph.D. program at Texas A&M, Glenn learned that she needed brain surgery to remove a brain tumor that had been growing at an alarmingly fast rate and was feared to be cancer. Glenn had brain surgery six months before her comprehensive exam, which is required before a Ph.D. student can begin working on their dissertation.
“The surgery was successful, but it took over eight months for me to fully regain my cognitive abilities,” Glenn said. She eventually took and passed her comprehensive exam, and began working on her dissertation, which is focused on the impact of changes in investors’ tax rates on banks’ risk-taking behaviors.
Glenn believes that if it were not for what she learned through her personal struggles, she would not be where she is today. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue learning, and sometimes struggling along the way,” Glenn said. “It is really the struggles we go through that make us stronger and better in the end.”
Glenn will receive a $1,000 scholarship award and will be featured in the introductory video for the 2018 Community of Scholars: Dinner and Dialogue event on April 10, which will showcase her resilience in the face of adversity. She also was selected as a panelist for the dialogue event in conjunction with the award. “This award is definitely gratifying, but more than that, I am excited for the opportunity to share my story and help others who may be struggling through tough times,” Glenn said.
Professor Nate Sharp, who is the Ph.D. program coordinator in the Department of Accounting, applauds Glenn’s persistence. “Everyone who has been through a Ph.D. program can tell you about how challenging the experience is,” he said. “But Jen has faced extraordinary challenges during her program, and she has faced those challenges with uncommon courage, grace, and resilience. We could not be more proud of Jen for her example to all of us at Mays Business School.”
Glenn is a Ph.D. student with research interests in taxation and financial reporting. Prior to beginning the Ph.D. program, Glenn was a Senior Tax Associate with PwC’s Partnership Tax Group and a Tax Associate with KPMG’s State and Local Tax Practice. She is also a licensed CPA in Florida.