Supportive and Proud

Donna Dean, PhD: Supportive and Proud

Parental response to pursuing the PhD.

Video Transcript

Dr. Donna Dean's Bio

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Transcript: Supportive and Proud

Yeah I will have to say that family was one hundred percent supportive of me going in my education. I was the eldest child of three. I have two younger brothers, and as I said, I grew up in rural eastern Kentucky on a tobacco farm. My parents were share croppers, so we didn't own the land, but I had a father and a mother who were high school graduates, and who read a lot. There were always books and magazines around the house, so learning-and I learned early math from helping my dad calculate the weights of grain we were buying for the cattle.

I always had this math knowledge, and the encouragement to go on and to go to college because they were not able to. Then to continue later, beyond that, even though they couldn't exactly understand what I was studying it was sort of the desire to do a better life and to learn new things. So I always felt my family was very, very supportive and actually very, very, very proud. My father, his friends, used to tell me, after he died that-in our home town which is a very small town. When he would go to town, they would say, "Well Joe, is that daughter of yours still in school?" This was when I was in graduate school. "Is that daughter of yours still in school?" And he'd just look and say, "Yeah, well you know, it just takes her a little bit longer to learn the stuff it takes the rest of us to do. Yeah she's down there going to school, and I'm very”-but he always would say, "I'm very proud of her.”

So I felt like I had their support. I think I had the support of friends. I have a lot of friends from college that actually we stayed in touch even though we went all around the country to graduate school, in very different fields. Not all science. We actually stayed in very close touch with one another, encouraging one another to continue our either graduate school work or whatever work we were doing afterwards. So I felt like that was very supportive. Certainly the people I made as friends in graduate school were people that were supportive. The people who were not supportive of what I wanted to do when I was in graduate school, I'm sorry they were not going to be my friend because I just didn't-I had no room in my life for undue negativity about trying to achieve."

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