In the past few weeks other special events have included multiple PhD dissertation defenses, a dissertation proposal defense, and an undergraduate honors thesis defense. Tomorrow I have another PhD dissertation defense and then it will be over with defenses for a while. I chaired two of the five committees and was a committee member for the others.
With the above momentous happenings and, since also it is the end of the year, as a faculty member, I thought it fitting to write on the very special thank you notes that I have received from graduating students, present students, and even from some of their family members.
One favorite message came via Twitter from a student I taught years ago, and it said: "@Supernetworks - Thank you for making a difference in so many lives."
Nothing makes a faculty member happier than getting feedback on one's impact. The above "Thank you" I will always treasure.
In one of them a student wrote: "If it weren't for you, I would not be where I am today, and for the future. Your 597LG class (Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare) will always be the most influential class that directed my path for my future.... I've learned and thought about ideas more than I ever have, truly pushing the boundaries of research. .. You've taught me to be fearless, and to succeed in face of challenge."
A message from another student stated: "You have really encouraged my love for supply chains and logistics. You serve as a role model for me not only for all that you have accomplished, but how you represent yourself as a women in the industry."
And a message from a father touched me deeply: "I look back to my daughter's journey from the day she joined the business school till this day & observe with great satisfaction the progress she has made during this period despite several difficulties in studying at an unknown location and country...
This, Madam, could not have been possible without your able guidance & the opportunities & conducive environment provided by you and the University... My daughter's achievement is therefore dedicated to you, Madam, & I would like to thank you for all your efforts in bringing her to this higher pedestal of learning."
On dreary days, I will look again at the Thank You notes to remind myself of the truly special role that we as university faculty have. The memories of the students and how deeply they enriched my life will never leave me. They are all part of my academic family!
And just yesterday, I wrote and mailed 3 Thank You cards to a colleague, a former student, and to a relative!