Dissertation Defense


Well, what a journey it has been! On December 8, 2008, I successfully defended my dissertation, Group Processes Supporting the Development of Progressive Discourse in Online Graduate Courses. A week later, I celebrated this event with dear friends and colleagues at L’Espresso Bar Mercurio, which is located across the street from OISE on Bloor Street West.

Laura O'Grady, Nobuko Fujita, Jim Hewitt, Earl Woodruff, Kim Mackinnon
Laura O'Grady, Nobuko Fujita, Jim Hewitt, Earl Woodruff, Kim Mackinnon

It was great to have everyone–old friends and new friends–there to celebrate the big event.
A very special thanks goes to my supervisor, Clare Brett. Without her unwavering support, I could not have been completed this thesis or developed a unique academic identity. I really had an ideal graduate research apprenticeship experience. I was funded throughout graduate study, had ample opportunities to collaborate with cutting-edge researchers, and had stipends to present at conferences attended by researchers I much admire.

Clare Brett
Clare Brett

I’ll buckle down and start writing journal articles from my thesis and related research shortly, but it sure feels great to be done!

My advice for Ph.D. students: keep writing and sending drafts to your supervisor and/or committee. Your work is probably in better shape than you think. Listen to your committee’s suggestions and complete the corrections, even though they make take longer than you would like. They will make your thesis better and you will be glad in the long run! For my thesis, I am truly grateful for Jim Hewitt for helping to bootstrap my methods.


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