Sunday, May 17, 2015


I have officially received my Ph.D. in criminology now! This past Wednesday and Thursday were the various graduation-related activities and I was so blessed to have my family attend them with me. On Wednesday was the doctoral hooding ceremony and that is where things really became real for me. When the graduate dean and my dissertation chair (and mentor) put the hood over my head, it finally felt like I was done. Though I had defended my dissertation over a month ago and was technically done then, it just didn't feel like it. I guess there is something to be said for experiencing a formal ceremony to make something real. 

And yes, you are allowed to laugh at the hat. I do every time.

Nicky, my dissertation chair, and me.
The hood!
Nicky and her husband, Alex, and myself. They have
both been my mentors for the past 4 years and I owe so much to them.
After the hooding ceremony my department hosted a reception for the PhD grads and our families. My friend Sarah also graduated and it was awesome getting to celebrate this with her. Several of the faculty members came and I loved getting to introduce them to my family. 

This was an amazing red velvet cake. Yum!
Sarah and myself with our cool CRIM coffee mugs!
On Thursday we attended commencement. Thankfully UTD doesn't do university-wide commencements and even though it was for both undergrads and grad students, it only took an hour! We were all really impressed at how fast they got all the students across the stage. I actually was able to receive my diploma at this time, too, so that made it all the more real. 

Processing in

About to receive my diploma!

Yay! Sorry to blur out the name-- security and all.
Had to get family portraits!

I loved getting to spend so much time with my family and it was great getting to relax and celebrate. I truly couldn't have completed this degree if it wasn't for the love, support, and encouragement of my family. I have much to be thankful for!