It’s been a few years since she was sitting in Candy Hechel’s homeroom, receiving tips about being successful and managing all the new norms when heading off to college. If educational degrees are any measure of success, then we’d say Bailey (Barnes) Jackson ‘09, Ph.D., was paying attention to Mrs. Hechel.

After graduating from Hill Country, Bailey attended the University of Arkansas, where she studied mechanical engineering. She then went on to receive her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she studied materials and mechanical engineering with a research emphasis on nanotechnology tissue engineering of bone scaffolds for bone regeneration. 

While recounting the things she misses and remembers about living in Austin, Bailey expressed a longing for Austin coffee shops and had the following to say about Hill Country: “Hill Country is a great place to go to school. The teachers really care about the students and get to know everyone personally. Sometimes I wondered if I would find more people like me at a bigger school, but the thing with having such a close-knit grade is that your classmates are almost like your siblings [and] you spend so much time with people who are very different from you. Overall I think the biggest benefits were being able to be a part of so many different things, like sports and other programs and activities.”

As a new resident of Little Rock, Arkansas, Bailey worked on material science research in the field of Synthetic Cannabinoid Metabolism at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Now she is the lab director and quality control analyst at Diamond State Exctracts, and when not in the lab, Bailey likes to spend quality time with her husband, their three dogs, and two cats.