My bachelors lists my maiden name. I took a 4 year break - during which I got married and took my husband's last name - and will soon be starting my masters and eventually PhD in a STEM field. I would like to use my maiden name on my degrees and professionally.
I have not published and am not yet established in my field. My married name is extremely ordinary in the US and shared with a well known celebrity. My maiden name is very unique. It may seem arbitrary, but when I do eventually publish and become established in the field, I would like to do so with distinction. I'd like to use my maiden name consistently throughout my professional life, not just in publications but on resumes, staff, in person, etc.
Is this legally possible since I didn't retain my maiden name at all? Hyphenating would be way too long and sound weird. I like my middle name, but I would consider adding my maiden name as a second middle name if that is my only option.