This work would not have been completed had it not been for the support of the many loved ones with whom I have been blessed. I would like to thank, first and foremost, my loving and supportive husband Jon Denison, without whom I would certainly never have finished this work (or would be living in squalor and insanity). Thank you for knowing when to help and when to take a step back and when to hold my hand to remind me that I could write this book. I also want to thank my entire family, especially my loving parents Walt and Mary Williams who supported me throughout my entire educational journey. Thank you for the twelve-hour "Mommy calls" reminding me about what really matters and for the fatherly editorial comments keeping me focused and thinking critically.
I would also like to thank my dear friends who, despite being tired of hearing about this project, indulged me, listened to my thoughts, and entertained me when I needed it. Especially, I would like to thank my dear friend Josh Webb who taught me what really matters in life (love, hope, strength, and courage) as he fought the odds for more time on this earth with us.
I also want to thank my colleagues/friends who picked up the slack for me when I was completely overwhelmed with this project, and my students who were patient with me.
I would like to thank my advisor and chair, Joan Burstyn, who worked above and beyond the call of duty to help me complete this work, and Ednita Wright and Sari Biklen for their helpful comments and support.
Finally, I would like to thank the women who trusted me enough to share their stories that made this project possible.