Jennifer Martillie Bradley
Class Year: 2000
Major at MC: History
Senior Thesis Topic: “Southern Macabre, Gender, and Urban Identity: A History of Americana and Country Music"
Current Town/City of Residence: Knoxville, Tennessee
Family: Benjamin Wilburn (husband)
Describe your career path since graduating from MC.
After Maryville College I attended graduate school at the University of Tennessee, and graduated with a M.A. in Urban and Environmental History in 2003. After that, rather than finish a PhD in history, I chose to focus on Architecture, as more and more of my scholarly research had been with UT's Urban Planning Department. I graduated with a M. Arch in 2008, and worked for a short while at UT's Center of Clean Products doing research in conjunction with the EPA. I have been at McCarty Hosaple McCarty since the fall of 2008, am an adjunct lecturer with the University of Tennessee Architecture Department (teaching history & theory graduate-level seminars and a software course) since 2013, and also consult as a BIM Specialist with S2A Integration.
Describe your job or a typical day “in the office.”
I live and work in downtown Knoxville, so my day starts with a 15-20 minute walk to a coffee shop and then to work. My day begins with going over email and checking in with the project manager on what our short-term project goals are. The rest of the day is typically spent with modeling and drawing, punctuated by the occasional meeting. I listen to a lot of music and audiobooks while I work. The pace of the day's work, and the length of the work day, is dictated by what kind of deadlines the project team is facing. I do a lot of coordination across disciplines, so I go back and forth between the big picture and the minute detail.
What has been your most exciting/enjoyable professional experience to date?
One of the best projects I have been privileged to work on was the Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College. It was wonderful to spend so much time back on campus, and to work on such a great building -- the college desperately needed better Fine Arts studios and classrooms, and has such a rich musical heritage but had outgrown its auditorium. It was also under construction at the time, so the work was incredibly varied and interesting, since I was solving problems in real time on site. Pearson's Hall was also an exciting project to work on -- it was wonderful to see/help shape the changes we made!
How did your MC experience prepare you for your vocation and/or life?
My MC experience taught me to go after what I love. My education also prepared me for the rigors of graduate school, and left me confident that I knew how to think and learn. I've had a very varied educational background, and see myself as a highly adaptable person; I feel MC shaped that adaptability.
Professionally or personally, what’s still on your “bucket list?"
I have to build my own residence at some point -- I have to be able to live in my own creation one day. Otherwise, there are several travel destinations on my list (Istanbul, Mexico City, India, among others). I also want to learn to sail.
What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I love to hike with my husband, my friends, and my dog. I also have maintained an interest/hobby in analog photography since college -- it is a skill I picked up while at MC. I love to travel, though I'm not as widely-traveled as I would like to be. My husband and I frequently see shows as well, music is extremely important to us. We are also avid record collectors.
Since graduating, what has made you the most proud?
Actually quitting something! I'm a finisher by nature; I take my goals, obligations, and responsibilities seriously. I knew from the beginning of my PHD program that I was losing interest, but it isn't in my nature to quit. I'm proud that I dropped out in order to pursue a different path in architecture. What felt like failure or being fickle was ultimately the best decision I have ever made. Mc's emphasis on vocation really helped me understand what I needed to do.