Introducing, me again, but Dr. this time!

I’m thrilled to announce that, earlier today, I defended my dissertation, making me officially Dr. Abigail Jorgensen.

I’m so, so grateful to everyone who has supported me and cheered me on along the way!

Sometimes folks are understandably confused about the weird setup that is academia, so let me go through some odd things real quick:

  1. I *am* in fact a doctor now. But there’s a difference between a doctor who is a medical care provider and a doctor who has earned the most advanced degree possible – a doctorate aka a Ph.D. I’m that second kind of doctor. (Which means that, in the birth world, I’m still a very-happily-non-medical professional.)
  2. My Ph.D. is in Sociology with a minor in Gender Studies, and I’m earning it from the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!!).
  3. I’ve been working on this degree for going on seven years now. Believe it or not, this is actually a pretty normal amount of time. You have to do a lot of things, including take classes (about three years’ worth for me), earn a Master’s degree (which I did as part of the same program, on the way to my Ph.D.), take some exams (like, multi-day and very stressful exams), and then design, execute, and write a dissertation.
  4. My dissertation is about the transition into motherhood for women in Wisconsin. It’s part of a bigger project I am running on politics and self-concept for groups with different orientations toward motherhood, especially for those who do not want to become mothers and for those who experience perinatal loss. (See how all my jobs fit together?) I’ve been running this project since March 2019, and it’s still going!
  5. I’m just some paperwork and deadlines away from having my degree in hand (at graduation in May). After that, I am moving to a new job that I am VERY excited to share more about soon.

Academia is a very weird field, which I fully realize, so if you’ve got another question about what on earth I’ve been up to all these years, comment below! Otherwise, keep an eye out for further information about what the future will look like for me, my family, and my small business.

Thanks for being a part of my support team! I’m very grateful!

Mug, flowers, and photos from Rasmus Jorgensen

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