Monday, March 21, 2011

Next Steps in Arts Think Tank: A Milestone Part 1

I had an enriching time at Milwaukee, learning and soaking in the experience of watching something profound unfold and transform everyone present -- both the actors and the audience. Several people wept just talking about it. A-ma-zing. I'm grateful to be a part of history in the making. Yes, I do believe Dr. Basting's research will mark a turning point in the use of arts for public health issues. This experience also marks a turning point in my doctoral journey. It's a confirmation, a feeling I get that my dissertation topic is going to lead me to a future career where I can make a difference in society.

I thank my project team for giving me the privilege to be there. I don't recall mentioning how my committee has played a major role in my growth as a doctoral/research student. M has taught me much about qualitative research. R shares resources and advice on my dissertation writing. Mi is a model of talent and perseverance. All three of them, M, R and Mi have by their examples, modeled for me a sterling example of authentic collaborative research. The project team chipped in for this trip, together with the UWM Foundation. I'm also sponsored for the ASL course. I don't look back at what I don't have but what I have. What do I have? A supportive committee and another stab at a fulfilling and meaningful dissertation.

I had been reading Dr. Catherine Jordan's article on community-based research for awhile and didn't realize I was in her presence until the morning of my departure. I'm so privileged to have had the opportunity to talk to her on the way to Luther Manor. She sat next to me and chatted with me so patiently. She said she has been a speaker at AEA. The first night before dinner, she had asked if I would be interested in going to Whole Foods to get snacks. But it was too near closing time when we were done with dinner.  I'm glad we had the chance to talk on the bus.

Dr. Randolph Rowe also talked to me and shared with me his wisdom, having guided many a student in doctoral dissertations. He also sent me some articles that will be relevant for my dissertation. Thank you, Randy!

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