In my January 2014 gradPSYCH column, I described the idea of paying it forward and helping out the generation of graduate students following us, as well as publicly thanking those who helped us while we were in school. I am happy to start this feature off, and here are the many people I’d like to thank for their assistance, support and encouragement while I was in grad school.
- First year blues – Moving across country to a rural town was tough for a California raised city boy like myself. Tracy Rachmiel was an advanced student when I started grad school and gave me numerous tips on surviving the academic hurdles and how to survive the long winters in Binghamton.
- Struggling in supervision –
I shared a very challenging clinical supervisor withTamra Holtzer; we’d prepare for supervision together & discuss long cases on walks around campus.
- Changing advisors – After struggling for several years with a very challenging mentor (think Voldemort from Harry Potter), talking with Susan Latham encouraged me to take the scary step of switching labs and mentors. She was already in the lab I planned to move to, and without her encouragement I might never have switched.
- Applying for internship – While the internship situation when I applied had not quite hit the crisis stage, the application process was complicated and stressful. My internship prep group, Tanya Williamson and Roxanne Manning, made this process less painful and more enjoyable (and even better when Tanya and I matched to the same internship).
- Difficult dissertation – Who doesn’t have a problem completing the dissertation? For me, it was compounded by the death of my mother while I was on internship and dissertating. Coaching and support from Elisa Krackow helped me wrap up and graduate!
If it takes a village to raise a child, perhaps it takes a department and a cohort of friends to help one earn a doctorate! This list is incomplete; I don’t have enough space to thank everyone for their assistance in graduate school. I know without the support of these friends and others, graduate school would have been a much more difficult (and lonely) journey.
Who helped you get through graduate school? Share your thanks to them in the comments. We’ll invite a couple of you to share your stories in your own article on gradPSYCH Blog!