Last Friday I defended my dissertation which means . . . . . now I am Dr. Allison Poss!
What is a defense? The defense was essentially my final oral exam for my doctorate program. I presented my dissertation and its findings, and then my committee and the other professors who attended asked me questions. After the presentation everyone left the room and my committee members discussed what I need to do more of and if I passed. My committee called me back in, told me a few minor things that they wanted me to add/change with my paper and then, the best part, they announced me as Dr. Poss to my parents who came to hear my defense.
I was so nervous for my defense that I made myself physically sick for the three days leading up to it. Despite my anxiety and how worked up I got, the actual presentation ended up being very fun for me. I got to talk about my research which I am very passionate about, I loved sharing what I worked on. It was really cool to have the support of all the faculty in my program and my parents who came to listen and were interested in the work I did. One of the many things this program gave me was helping me discover my passion for creativity research which I am so grateful for.
Below is a photo of me right after my defense, with two of committee members, and with the gift my advisor presented me.
In the dissertation there is a page of acknowledgements - I thought I would share the page of acknowledgements I wrote because I am so thankful for all of the support I have received.
I would first like to acknowledge my husband Bennett Poss, M.D. for supporting my decision to pursue my doctoral degree. From editing my papers, to discussing readings, to being a soundboard for my big ideas, Bennett has always taken an interest in my work, seeing the value in it. I would also like to acknowledge the support of my family: my father Kent McCuddin, my mother Barb McCuddin, and my sister Britni McCuddin. They are all creative beings and always have modeled how to think differently. My dog Pax has always been great company on late nights of studying.
I would like to acknowledge all of the professors I have had along the way who encouraged my curiosity and exposed me to new things. Namely, I would like to acknowledge Lisa Kelly-Vance, Ph.D. and Brian McKevitt Ph.D. who always supported my ideas and my sometimes different approach to academia. They taught me the value of research and importance of applying research to the world in a meaningful way.
I would like to acknowledge my committee members Wayne Young, Ph.D. and Roni Reiter-Palmon, Ph.D. I am thankful for their time and vested interested in my topic. I am honored that such intelligent thinkers provided me with guidance. I would especially like to acknowledge my dissertation advisor, Isabelle Cherney, Ph.D. Not only did she create the program which I will be eternally grateful for, she has role modeled how to be a continual learner, and greatly influenced my academic career.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of the coffee shops that I studied at over the years. They provided me with a creative space and a good cup coffee that allowed me to do my best thinking.
It feels good -so good that I have been doing the following since I got back in town last night -