The 2017 Cohort members were asked to provide a word that summed up their experience, a few sentences and a symbolic picture!
I am so thrilled and so privileged to be completing my Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Kansas. This first year experience has assured me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, even though I could have never predicted I would be here. I am grateful for the support and knowledge of my cohort, other cohorts, and my professors. The copious amounts of reading and discussion have positively influenced my thinking and broadened my understanding of the world.
This year I’ve learned how to navigate new aspects of academia I never knew existed. Through obstacles and challenges, I’ve become stronger as a writer, researcher, speaker, and advocate. I have also become humbled in recognizing that I still have such a long way to go. The connections I have built this year are important, as the KU community is full of powerful allies I am proud to call my friends and colleagues. These relationships empower me today and will certainly be lasting into all of our futures, regardless of where our paths may fork.
Word: IterativeMy first year at KU has been equally challenging and rewarding. With the support of my cats and family, I am beginning to embrace the iterative process of reading, learning, and writing. I am looking forward to the next three years at KU!
Bryan A. Simmons
My inaugural year has been nothing short of overwhelming and the experiences I have undertaken this year have pushed me beyond my limits, shaping my relentless behavior through each contingency along the way. I have been able to persevere particularly with the encouragement of my supportive colleagues and the faculty. I am eternally grateful for my experiences this year and I am thrilled to see what the next several years here at KU hold in store for me. Rock Chalk!
Word: Challenging, Memorable
I am so grateful for all the support from my advisor, other faculties, and fellow students that helped me transition into the profession. Many of my “unknown unknowns” of the field turned into “known unknowns”. I become more aware of my strength, weakness, and room for improvement. I wish to keep growing and enjoy the moment.
This year has forced me to take my many thoughts and find them a home. Excellent collaboration with my fellow students, adviser, and other faculty members have brought some of my ideas to life. It is amazing what I have learned thus far and I look forward to where the next chapter on this journey leads.
“Even though the workload appeared daunting and atrocious.
Once I studied long enough, my vocab became precocious.
The knowledge that I gained made my mind ferocious.
My first year in the program was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”
I was able to self-reflect on the purpose of my study and learn how to organize my thoughts. Most of all, I learned how important collaborating with my cohort is. My colleagues have inspired me every time I communicated with them, and those priceless engagements helped me to grow in this academic field.