I started this blog because of a personal need - to find moral, spiritual and practical support to complete the final part of a doctoral degree - THE DISSERTATION. I find it hard to believe that the coursework and comprehensive exams now seem "easy" compared to this lonely dissertation process. I am hoping this blog can connect Latinas in this journey and raise our completion rates to as close to 100% as possible. I want us to realize we are not alone and we can do this!
The end of the year seems to be a perfect time to reflect on
accomplishments of the past and set goals for the future. It is also a great
time for expressing gratitude to people in our lives who serve as reminders of
how connected we all really are. Interestingly, social media played a big part
of feeling more human connection despite critics who believe otherwise.One great example of this was a recent visit
to the home of Doctora Nelly Cardinale, who is currently featured in our Galeria de
Doctoras Latinas and shared her dissertation defense story (click here to read Nelly's post).She is someone I met
on Facebook who has been so encouraging to me.It was surreal to have connected online for many months and then finally
have the opportunity for our families to meet in person.
The Cardinale Family hosts the Pertuz Family December 2013
I am grateful for being open to trying new things and allowing
the unexpected to happen in support of my goals. I have been trying to finish my
dissertation to earn my doctorate for quite some time, and I almost gave up. I
was surprised at my own negative thoughts – so unlike me.I consider myself a problem solver, not a
quitter. I would recognize a problem and take actions toward a solution, even
if that means reaching out for help. How I reached out for help was unusual for
me and what happened next was so much better than I expected.
I never thought I would become a blogger, but it seemed
necessary when in a moment of desperation, trying to find some online support
in my dissertation process, I started Googling “Latinas” and “doctorates” and
what came up were mostly pornography sites. I was surprised by the idea that the
top online associations with the word “Latina” would not yield the scholarly
and professional aspects of who we are. That was when I decided to start this
blog and share my Latina doctoral journey. I guess I should have been using
Google Scholar because there I did later find scholarly articles (very few)
about Latina doctoral experiences. Knowing that others were reading it, responding and sending
me encouragement was so motivating that I got moving and I am on my way to
defending my dissertation proposal soon and will collect data shortly after
that.I can see my doctorate in my near
future and I am not giving up.I am so grateful to my faculty at Seton Hall University for their ongoing support.
such positive responses from this blog that it also led me to consider the bigger picture of
Latinas Completing Doctoral Degrees.So
I started a Facebook group by suggestion from one of my sister scholars,
Sherlene Ayala who is on her own doctoral journey and who shared her own perspective
as a guest blogger (click here read Sherlene's blog entry). I also had my beautiful sister Cindy Bautista-Thomas share the beginning of her doctoral journey (click here to read Cindy's blog entry).
I discovered firsthand that there is something really
powerful about sharing your struggles and even more powerful when others begin
to share similar ones – and together, we begin to form a circle of solidarity
If I learned nothing else this year, the most powerful
message I received was that NOTHING IS MORE POWERFUL THAN COMMUNITY and we
cannot accomplish great things without a strong network backing us up.
I thank Doctora Angelica Perez, founder of the Ella Leadership Institute
for planting the blogger seed in me by allowing me to share my thoughts on her
blog back in September 2012 (click here for article), for agreeing to serve on my dissertation committee and for reminding Latinas to
In my blogging journey I also found the Latina Researchers Network founded by Doctora Silvia Mazzula and I am happy
to say that I will be joining them in their efforts to encourage Latinas and
other underrepresented scholars to thrive by mentoring each other and inspiring
a new generation of scholars.
Finally, I am always grateful for my family who
unconditionally offer me their unwavering love and support in all that I do.
Not for one second do I take this for granted.I am here because of them and for them always.I thank my husband, artist Antonio Pertuz www.latinationdesigns.com and my
children Ariana and Joaquin for being so patient with their Mami while she
fulfills her goals.What they don’t
realize now is how much better their lives will be once I’m finally PhinisheD