I Finished the PhD!

This week, I finally met a long standing goal of achieving a PhD!
I defended my dissertation on Tuesday afternoon. Today, my dissertation was accepted to the archive – the last requirement.

The full dissertation is now available online here!

Instead of talking about the details of my PhD work here (see the dissertation for that), I want to share a bit about how amazing the people in my life are. If you read the acknowledgments section of my dissertation, you’ll get a sense of how many people have helped me on this path. That was made very real for me this week.

First of all, I was blown away by how many people showed up to my dissertation defense or joined in on the live stream. It was humbling to see so many supportive faces looking back at me! That evening, tons of folks showed up to (405) Brewing (which happily agreed to stay open late for me!) to celebrate over a beer with me. Special shoutout to Tiff, Kat, and Kenzie for helping put together a spread of fingerfoods for the party! I was grateful to receive cards and gifts from so many friends for my accomplishment and my birthday! I loved every single one!

Here are a smattering of photo showing how wonderful the people in my life really are. There are so many more people than in the photos, and I can not believe I am so lucky to have so much support in this life. I love you all!!

With love and gratitude,
Dr. Smith (:

Mallory and the twitter famous @primemeowister watching my defense from Maryland!
My incredible PhD committee: Alan, Evgeni, Petra, and Jeremy!
My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and little nephew celebrating my PhD from West Virginia!
New office decor by Josh (with help from Chris and Manny)!
Manny made the trip from Colorado to see the defense and celebrate with me!
Manda made me a timeline of my PhD journey. Definitely didn’t cry over this at all.