Judging by social media, college graduations took place last weekend, and that means I too am a 2018 graduate, as I completed my second master’s degree earlier this semester.
I now have a Master’s of Art in Journalism degree from the University of Missouri.
Technically my graduation took place on Sunday, but I elected not to walk. I was an online student, and taking part in the graduation exercises would have entailed traveling to Columbia, Mo. That would have caused too many conflicts with my job, and it would have gotten in the way of Mother’s Day.
Don’t fret, though. I am listed on the Online Commencement page.
I talked about why I pursued this degree in a previous post, so I won’t rehash all of that information. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the research process that came along with my thesis. I got to do a qualitative study (think observations and interviews) of the journalism program at Canton-Galva High School, which is my alma mater. Nearly all the faculty and administration are different now compared to when I walked the halls, but it was still fun to spend time in the building again.
My research focused on how participation in scholastic journalism (such as a school yearbook or school newspaper) impacts student engagement in the areas of academic, social and civic engagement. I used Robert Putnam‘s social capital theory as the lens through which I observed what was taking place in the journalism program at CGHS.
I won’t go into all the gory details of what I did and found through this process because it would take up far too much of your time to try to digest it all. If you really want to know more, reach out to me. I would love to discuss it. Otherwise, suffice it to say, I loved it; I’m a nerd.
Now that I have this degree, I have had several people ask what is next. At this time, the main thing I can tell people is that I will be pursuing a doctoral degree. I’m researching various programs now, and I hope to start applying this winter. If accepted into a program, that means I could start as soon as Fall 2019.
Earning this degree was no easy task. It took a lot of work, and I owe so much to my wonderful wife, Kendall, for supporting me through it. She is an all-star. She put up with my constant homework, which took my attention away from other matters, and she even proofread several papers, including my thesis. I love her so much. She balanced my incessant pleas for help with grace and poise, and she never missed a step in tending to our 8-month-old daughter. I am in constant awe of how fantastic of a mother and wife she is. Getting to celebrate her first Mother’s Day yesterday was special, and I am glad I chose to stay home instead of walk across the stage in Columbia.