Graduate School

The University of Mississippi
Kristen Hymel

Scholar Embraces Family Ties

Kristen Hymel got goose bumps the first time she stepped on the University of Mississippi campus as an undergraduate. Her family has a strong connection to the University; she is a descendent of Dr. Andrew Armstrong Kincannon for whom Kincannon Hall was named and of Senator J.Z. George for whom George Hall was named. With the mentoring of Dr. Kenneth Suftka and the support from her mother, she continued her education at Ole Miss and will be receiving a Ph.D. in Psychology.


Hymel helped to develop a model for anxiety using chicks. She has not only studied the biological and physical effects of the disorder but also worked with the Thad Cochran Center to develop new drug therapies.


Hymel was involved with the Graduate Student Council for four years. She worked to better graduate student life on campus. She was the national director for outreach for the National Organization for Graduate Professional Students. Throughout her graduate career she has been a teaching assistant and taught undergraduate students. She has also presented her research at the National Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Future Plans:

Hymel will be a post-doctoral fellow at Torrey Pines Institute of Molecular Studies in Port St.Lucie, Florida. She hopes to later work for a university so she can pursue a career teaching and continue researching.

What Does Earning A Ph.D. Mean:

“It is the largest accomplishment I’ve ever had or succeeded with; five years of brutal pain, but worth every minute of it.”