Friday, March 26, 2010
VT Graduate Awards Banquet
Last night I was truly honored to be included in such a great group being recognized at Virginia Tech's Graduate Student Awards Banquet. As many probably know, a few weeks ago I found out I was the recipient of VT's Graduate Student Service Excellence Award, given to one graduate student who exemplifies service outside the classroom. We had a great dinner last night. My award was one of the last to be given, so I sat there through the ceremony just humbled by the other people there. These are the cream of the crop with regards to VT's graduate student population. Hundreds of published papers, book chapters, conference presentations, potential pharmaceutical developments, and years of work were talked about last night. It was an honor enough to be considered for this award but it was so special to be recognized for all the hours I put into working with young girls and domestic violence survivors. I received $1,000 and a beautiful plaque!
Needless to say, I was kind of stunned to be a part of this group! When they brought me up to receive my award, it was interesting to hear that they announced I'd begin work on my PhD in Public Administration and Policy this fall. I actually never told the committee this, despite my pending application at Tech, so I wasn't sure how they knew I'd even applied. I guess they were one step ahead of me, because I logged on later to find out I'd been accepted to the program, so I will OFFICIALLY be a PhD student in the fall! This is very exciting and has been the capstone of a wonderful week, in which my thesis was returned to me to prepare for a defense with minor edits in addition to everything!
Now, I have to get to editing that thesis and grading fifty 12-page research papers, but I also have plans this weekend to just relax and enjoy the payoff of some serious hard work! I'm also presenting my research at two conferences in April, so I've got a very busy schedule ahead of me, but I have spent two years at Tech leading up to this point and I've put in a lot of hard work! On May 15th, I will have a master's degree and will be moving on to the final part of my education, receiving a PhD! Those who knew me years ago know that attending college was a question until a few nights in April when I received generous assistance from my college, high school, and the National Elks Foundation. All those people who believed in me then inspired me to keep going and get the degrees I wanted. Don't give up!