Madilyn Jarman honored with Phi Kappa Phi graduate fellowship

Madilyn Peay Jarman, originally from Readyville and now living in Austin, Texas, has received a Walter and Aldeheid Hohenstein Fellowship from the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society to help finance her graduate education at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Jarman is a 2016 graduate from the University of Tennessee at Martin and received bachelor’s degrees in both English and natural resources management.

The Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society accepts nominations from Phi Kappa Phi chapters across the country each spring and choses 50 recipients nationwide. Jarman is the second UT Martin nominee to receive a Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society Graduate Fellowship in the past five years. The first was her husband, Cody Jarman, in 2016.

After moving to Austin, Texas, in 2017, Madilyn began working at the Austin Nature and Science Center while Cody pursued a doctoral degree. “I really enjoyed my job, but it didn’t feel like what I wanted long-term,” she said. “I was still in contact with my (UT Martin) advisers, and Dr. (Eric) Pelren suggested I apply for an internship writing about federal policy for The Wildlife Society. …

“I spent eight months watching congressional committee hearings and deciphering appropriations documents and discovered I really enjoyed learning how government affected the work of federal agencies and land managers. We had learned about it in class, but it was different watching it happen. I realized I had a passion for public policy, and I was already living a few minutes down the road from one of the top public affairs programs in the country,” she added.

Now, Madilyn hopes to work in local government after finishing her master’s degree. “Currently, my policy interests are focused on environmental and agricultural policy, especially on sustainability and how land use and development can benefit both the human and natural communities,” she said.

Both Madilyn and Cody Jarman have taken advantage of the opportunities available for high-achieving students. Madilyn graduated from UT Martin as a member of the University Scholars Program – the highest academic scholarship honor on campus – and Cody spent a year in Cork City, Ireland, pursing a master’s degree as UT Martin’s first student Fulbright Scholarship recipient.

“I think the most valuable things I got out of my time at UTM were the relationships with my professors. There were so many faculty members who were amazing teachers and were really interested in helping me succeed, both in their class(es) and in other aspects of my life,” Madilyn said. “The small class sizes and the work they do with student organizations allowed me to build relationships with them that would not have been possible at a larger university. Both Cody and I have had some amazing opportunities that would not have been possible without our professors; they usually suggested we pursue the opportunities in the first place and went above-and-beyond to advocate for us during (the) application processes.”

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and largest academic excellence society and includes both students and faculty across a variety of academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 127 was founded at UT Martin in 1971.

For more information on the UT Martin chapter or the various awards available through Phi Kappa Phi membership, contact Dr. Robbie Montgomery, chapter president, at


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