It was a year ago today that I received both my degree in the mail AND acceptance to my research fellowship. I also found out that I was going to be in charge of two other researchers - an opportunity I had not even considered for myself. As I look back on everything that I had learned about my research this past year, I must also acknowledge the many non-research things I learned as well. Leading brilliant people is such a rewarding experience, especially when everyone is mutually eager to learn from one another. Expecting the unexpected has become my new mantra in higher education. Not only were the results of our study different from my initial hypotheses, but I experienced losing a member of my research team.
Dr. Diana Hart was an amazing scholar and wonderful friend. Her early work on the experiences of doctoral students fueled the creation of our fellowship study. She also was an alumni who took me under her wing in my final year of my program. I was humbled to be placed in a leadership position on Dr. Hart's team, and I was honored to be part of her final research project. She will be credited posthumously with a trade article, an academic article, and a scholarly presentation.
My other research partner, Dr. Wendy Aoki, was incredibly resilient and adaptable in light of the unique challenges of this past year. Her dedication to our research was admirable; her ability to engage with fellow researchers even moreso. I look forward to presenting our findings together at conference in January of 2020.
Needless to say, the supports of my supervisor and the research faculty was tantamount to pulling off a successful and productive research year. I look forward to moving into 2020 with new ideas, new projects, and new professional growth.