I recently had the privilege to attend my dear and fabulous friend Jill's dissertation defense. I first met Jill last fall at Duquesne's Writing Center. After quickly finding out that we both went to Chatham College for undergrad, we immediately clicked. It has been amazing learning about classroom civility and the creative ways that she engages with her students, which she brilliantly showcases in her communications doctoral work.
As the only graduate student in English at the event, I was immediately welcomed by her friends and colleagues into the community of her supporters. Sitting directly behind her father and daughter, externally nodding my head and smiling, internally cheering her on, I realized how much energy and time she invested in the project she is so passionate about, and that so much in her life built up to this moment. This experience reminded me to remember the village of family and friends that have raised me, be grateful for the opportunities I have, and most importantly, be inspired by the work that I'm doing-- a lesson that many doctoral students, at whatever point in the process, can embrace.