Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Mary Kierst Hutchens

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    Mary Kierst Hutchens

Mary is a PhD student in Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Vanderbilt University. 

Mary Kierst Hutchens graduated from Southwestern in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. She has carried her multidisciplinary focus forward as a PhD student in Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Vanderbilt University.  Using her educational background in political theory and sociological research, along with her professional experience in college and university administration, Mary conducts
econometric research on college students and higher education policy. Specifically, Mary’s research examines the experience of nontraditional college students in America, the impact of nontraditional enrollment patterns on college success and completion, and the intersection of financial aid policy and nontraditional student success.  She also has the opportunity to teach undergraduates Organizational Theory and serves as the Publication Coordinator for the Journal of College Student Development.  In her free time, Mary performs with a community choir, Nashville in Harmony, participates in campus and community theater, and spends time with her fantastic husband and crazy cat.