AT THE BEGINNING
My committee also recognized the necessity of risk taking, encouraged and supported me in it, and took risks that seem at times to have been greater than the risks I took. My dissertation was, in many ways, a collaboration of the group, nurtured by my advisor's commitment to political activism, allowed to expand in its own way as I “became” a PhD. (Marilyn)
One of the original focusing questions for this book asked correspondents to comment on their “negotiations” with their committee members. Fortunately, the correspondents mostly ignored the probe and wrote what they wanted to about this topic. They praise faculty from several institutions and representing a variety of disciplines for their support, advice, knowledge, and interest. They also offer many practical suggestions to novice dissertation writers, from having a sense of direction about one's own work to establishing working relationships of mutual respect. Correspondents recent and past will tell you that the role of the faculty member—as advisor, chair or committee member—is crucial to intellectual, psychological, and emotional satisfaction.
Ann not only asserts knowledge of the faculty members she chose for her committee but also offers a clear sense of the qualitative direction of her work.