Today marked a major milestone in my doctoral journey. As an Arizona State University EdD student, we are privileged to participate in the yearly Doctoral Research Conference (DRC). It is a virtual event where all of the students, regardless of their cohort year, share their research journeys. Colleagues connect over similar active research studies and help one another move through challenges they may be facing. The order of presenters in each session is based upon the progress of your journey. Over the past two conferences, I had always presented first or second. This year, I was last.
Not only does this event mark my last DRC presentation, it also shows the progress I have made in my research since beginning my journey. I loved hearing the first year students presenting on their progress so far. It reminded me of how much turmoil and stress I felt those first few years of the program. Between job changes, a vast amount of research I wanted to tackle, and uncertainty of the pandemic, I didn’t know if I’d ever get to where I am today. While I am past all of that, I was beyond appreciative of the keynote this year. It was focused on how to tackle all of the changes you face while earning your degree. I truly think this discussion and conversations helped all students see we are not alone. The amount of support that the faculty and program provides is refreshing.
In just a few short months, I will be defending my dissertation. Until then, I’ll be deep in data analysis and writing. But today, I celebrate a major milestone in my journey.