As I sat amongst the faculty during graduation I leafed through the program to find the number of graduating students that had either attended the Dissertation House or had visited me during my office hours. I counted 14 students who were about to walk across the stage to receive their PhDs. Wow, it felt good. The commencement speaker’s advice to everyone was to not only “pursue your passion” but “pursue your passion where there is a need.” Seeing these 14 students graduate confirmed to me that my passion to help graduate students succeed was also fulfilling a need at the same time. If you are struggling to complete your dissertation get help; getting help is not a sign of weakness.
Dr. Maria M. Klawee, our commencement speaker left us with four points to remember as we move forward…
- Care about the people around you and create a community where everyone cares about your success. She likens it to creating a “Pyramid scheme” that is supportive rather than competitive.
- Be open to the unexpected and unwanted.
- Pursue your passion where there is a need. She gave the example of “I wanted to be a mathematician in a world that needed computer scientist.” She found a job where she could use her mathematics degree in solving computer science related problems.
- It’s never too late to learn something difficult. She says that although society wants you to focus on what is easy you should also focus on what is difficult as well. Amongst our graduates today we had a 73 year-old woman graduating with a master’s degree.
Congratulations to the new UMBC, UMB, and UMCP alumni of 2011.
Remember a good dissertation is a done dissertation.