Two weeks to the day of finding out that I had not passed my qualifying exams, and I was no longer to be considered a graduate student in the EDLE higher education doctoral program, my school of employment and one in which I am a graduate already, has come through for me.
The School of Media and Strategic Communications (formerly the School of Journalism and Broadcast for you OSU alums not understanding what I am saying here...) has a Mass Communications Masters program. I was supplementing my doctorate with classes from mass comm to create my cognate area in order to make my degree a little more well-rounded.
I graduated with my bachelors degree in journalism, and my first Masters is in higher education from OU. I would have liked to earn a Ph.D. in advertising/pr; however, OSU's program only offers up to a Masters degree at this point. This is why I had originally began a doctorate in higher education in the first place. I figured it would be the most comparable in helping me get to where I eventually want to be, which is in university marketing or communications faculty.
This past year, I took a few mass comm courses, and one in particular with a faculty member I have always noticed around the building, Dr. John McGuire. (He's a perfect candidate for The Biggest Loser...seriously...). He has his way with my papers, and because of his tough-natured demeanor, I became a better student and academic. He quickly became one of my favorites.
And thankfully so. For the first time in 10 years, another faculty member stepped down from his position as the School's Graduate Coordinator, and Dr. McGuire stepped in. But only for this summer and this fall semester. When I was told this a few months ago, I paid little attention to it. It was of no concern to me.
But the timing of his taking over this position could not have been more pivotal in my own academic career. Last Wednesday, just three days after he began his new position, I went to him for help.
I asked how to transfer over to the School to earn a Masters degree in Mass Communications. And to do so as soon as possible so as not to lose my financial aid opportunities I had been given for this upcoming school year (how do you let someone know you no longer need a scholarship?? I didn't want to find out...)
We talked for a while, and I was under the impression I would need to submit my application to the department soon, take the GRE and in the mean time, be considered "special student" status and not receive financial aid.
But then, last night, he sent me an email...telling me the best news EVER.
That I would be immediately accepted into the program, beginning now basically, I would not have to take the GRE, and I would not lose my financial aid.
I could not have been more grateful and excited.
I never really panicked throughout this whole thing, but I did worry that the last 3 years may have been a complete waste of money and time.
But at least now, some of my hours will transfer, and at the end of (hopefully) December 2011, I'll have another Masters degree.
So, thank you, Dr. McGuire. You opened a window when one door was slammed in my face.
And the fresh air being let in from that open window is pretty refreshing.