My 2017 Year End Review

At the close of each year, I like to reflect upon my lessons learned as well as any accomplishments. I do this for many different reasons. One reason is that I don’t want to make the same mistake twice. A second reason is that I’m way too hard on myself and often times forget things that I’ve done. My 2017 certainly had its share of ups and downs both professionally and personally. In spite of everything, I must say that I can’t complain. Although there were many low points (very very low) of the year that I don’t care to remember, I’d like to take a moment to share a few highlights from my Ph.D. journey this year:

  • I completed all of the coursework for my doctorate program
  • I passed my Qualifying Exams (See the previous blog post for tips)
  • I passed my Preliminary Exam/Research Proposal
  • I was a Grace Hopper Scholar (See the previous blog post)
  • For the first time ever I traveled to:
    • Fort Wayne, Indiana (presented a co-authored publication and was a Travel Grant recipient for MAICS)
    • Savannah, Georgia (presented a co-authored publication at CogSIMA)
    • Tuscon, Arizona (WiCyS Scholar/Travel Grant recipient)
    • San Jose, California (Facebook Travel Grant recipient for the @Scala Conference)
  • Was a National Society of Blacks in Computing Travel Grant recipient (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Won the Oustanding Ph.D. Graduate Student Teaching Award (This was the first time my department has ever given this award!)
  • Was an invited speaker at 6 different events
  • Volunteered for 4 different Tech/STEM events (INTech, Boy Scouts of America, FIRST, NSBE)

This is only a portion of what I was able to accomplish this year. Keep in mind that these are only items related to my Ph.D. journey. I share these things not to boast but to share how good God is. When you put the time, energy, and effort into anything, I can assure you that you WILL get a return on your investment. Each one of these achievements came with many obstacles. There were also things that I wasn’t able to accomplish this year that I hope to work on in 2018.

As 2018 swiftly approaches, I hope to do even more this upcoming year than I did the last. I’m currently working on my goals and vision board. What does your Year-End Review look like? What do you aim to achieve in 2018? What keeps you going? Here is a collage of photos from 2017. Let’s make 2018 #legendary.