How Did You Do It? Faith and My Dissertation

Last fall, I defended my Ph.D. dissertation, and in May I attended my graduation at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. My studies were challenging, especially since I was changing my discipline, from engineering to Science and Technology Studies (STS), which is built around a core of history, sociology, and philosophy.Read more…

Five Things I’ve Learned from Writing a Dissertation, Part 3

The most traumatic (and memorable) experience I had in this regard was of writing a paper on Thomas Hobbes for a “Theodicy in the Western Traditions” seminar. I had never read Hobbes before, so I read all ten volumes in the Molesworth edition of Hobbes’s English Works and over thirty secondary sources on Hobbes’s thought before I wrote a single sentence in Microsoft Word.Read more…

Five Things I’ve Learned from Writing a Dissertation, Part 2

Dissertations require lots of basic life skills that other people seem to come by natively, things like the ability to keep a neat desktop, organize and retrieve random bits of paper on which important details are written, spend a number of hours consecutively researching the same topic instead of veering off into social media or other – vastly more fascinating – research topics. Read more…