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Oral History

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Born in the late 1950s, Jayashree Shivamoggi grew up in a small village in the southwest part of India. Her life has been greatly influenced by her father, a skilled engineer who encouraged her to pursue an education and profession in science and technology, a career choice that was rare for young girls in South Asia. After attending private boarding schools, Jay studied at the Karnatak University in India, where she earned her BS in 1980 and MS in Physics in 1982. Through her parents’ arrangement, Jay met with Dr. Bhimsen Shivamoggi, a scientist at the Physical Research Laboratory and an associate professor at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in India. They married only a few weeks following their first meeting, and after Prof. Bhimsen Shivamoggi joined the University of Central Florida in 1985, Jay also immigrated to the United States and continued her pursue of PhD in Physics, which she earned from UCF in 1996.

Because of the needs for her growing family, Jay could only work as an adjunct instructor at first, but at UCF she took the initiative to establish the Office of External and Competitive Scholarship Advising, which resulted in a record number of awards at the Burnet Honors College. During her tenure, a UCF student, Tyler Fisher, became the first and only Rhodes Scholar from UCF. It is because of this record of professional accomplishments that Jay was appointed the Director of External and Competitive Scholarship at Rollins in 2003. As the founding director, Jay secured funding for the continued operation of the office, developed a sophisticated network of committed faculty to assist in the application process, and single-handedly oversaw scholarship applications of over 80 students annually to prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes, Truman, and National Science Foundation scholarships. Under her leadership, Rollins has been recognized as one of the top Fulbright producing Institutions for multiple times.

As a visiting lecturer in the Physics Department at Rollins, Jay also taught various courses such as Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Physical Science for Non-Science Majors, and Nuclear Power Arms and War. In addition, Jay has served as a faculty advisor to DESI (South Asian Student Organization), Rollins Cornell/Alfond Scholars, and Rollins Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She has also served as a judge of the Nelson Ying Science Competition organized by the Orlando Science Center for high school students in Central Florida, helped Rollins students raise funds for “Making Lives Better” service learning program, and co-led the successful field study trip to Nepal.

Dr. Jayashree Shivamoggi received a Woman of Achievement Award from the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando in 2015, and has been recognized as one of the Most Inspiring Women of Rollins for multiple years. In January 2021, after eighteen years of service, Jay announced her resignation from Rollins to focus on her consultancy enterprise, Dr. Jay’s College & Career Advising.