It’s official, albeit a little late – I defended my dissertation In October and passed with flying colors. On December 10th, I donned my funny hat and voluminous green gown and walked across the stage to be hooded by my major professor, Dr. Pat Jones. Pat has been my professor since my Master’s program, and she has seen me through the worst part of my life. It was truly an honor to have her hood me and declare me “Doctor Parke.”
While my journey as a student is over, my journey as a researcher has just begun. While I have committed to remaining in the classroom for the foreseeable future, I plan to continue to research, write, present, and publish. A colleague of mine, Dr. Denmon, and I are beginning a study on our AP Research students, one that I hope will help us and other AP Capstone teachers.
Earlier this week I also received notice that I had won the Illinois Dissertation Award given by the International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry. I am overwhelmed and honored to receive this award, which also included an invitation to submit an article based on my dissertation to a journal. Now I actually have to write it.
As a doctoral student and newly minted Ph.D., rejection comes often and is disheartening every single time. Receiving some recognition that you are not a complete failure in this realm is sometimes all you need to keep on working.