Finishing a dissertation requires a lot of help. For many of these people, there is no way to adequately thank them for the help they’ve given me, but acknowledging the help is a start. I cannot name my research participants by name, but they know who they are and I hope they realize how grateful I am for the time and trust they gave me.
Acknowledgements (verbatim from my dissertation)
No endeavor of this size is completed alone. To invoke Mikhail Bakhtin, no utterance is uttered alone. While indebted to many, I am first and foremost indebted to my research participants for their generosity, patience, and trust. This dissertation would not be possible without their willingness to allow me to tell their stories and is much richer for the experiences and work they shared with me.
It takes a village to raise a scholar and my village has been enormously generous and supportive, beginning with my committee: Carolyn Miller, who I am indebted to both for her rich theory of genre and for her mentorship as a scholar and writer; Chris Anson, who taught me to teach writing and has mentored me as a scholar and writing program administrator; Susan Miller-Cochran, who started me on this journey and who has mentored me as an administrator and researcher, supporting me in more ways than she can know; Deanna Dannels, who mentored me as a researcher and has provided a role model of effective female academic leadership; and Stacey Pigg, who I was so thrilled to see join our CRDM community and whose candid feedback and example have given me the confidence to keep pushing myself.
My village, however, has extended beyond my committee and I must also thank Steve Wiley, who taught me so much about qualitative research and media, and who helped nurture the early kernel of this dissertation project; Nancy Penrose, for her mentorship as a composition researcher and teacher and for her inspiring example as a writing program administrator over the many years I’ve known her; Jason Swarts, for teaching me verbal data analysis and pushing my thinking about technology and activity; Kathleen Vogel and Chris Kampe, for helping me develop my thinking about STS and qualitative research; and, reaching farther back, Steve Katz, for the introduction he gave me to rhetoric and for the inspiration and gentle nudges he provided for me to continue my education and scholarship. The CRDM faculty as a whole has been immensely supportive throughout this journey, with special thanks to David Rieder, Adriana de Souza e Silva, Jean Goodwin, Nick Taylor, and Paul Fyfe.
Earlier versions of this material were cultivated by several editors who pushed my thinking and enriched this analysis. Thank you to Elizabeth Wardle, Rita Malenczyk, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Han Yu, Kathryn Northcut, and Michael Pemberton for their editorial encouragement and guidance.
I owe a great deal to my CRDM peers for the procedural knowledge and moral support they so generously gave me throughout my four years, most especially my accountability group members, Cristiane Damasceno and Stephen Carradini, and the members of my earlier accountability group, Eli Typhina and Keon Pettiway. The members of my cohort also deserve a special thank you for their generosity and support—intellectual and otherwise—particularly during the first two years of the program: Adele Hite, J.J. Sylvia, Jason Carabelli, Jason Buel, Dwiyatna Widinugraha, Danisha Baker-Whitaker, Will Sink, Karl Feld, and, once more, Cristiane Damasceno and Stephen Carradini. A huge thank you also goes to the CRDM students who came before me and shared their wisdom and experiences so freely. You made the process of completing my degree feel achievable and gave me the confidence to keep going through challenging moments: Dana Gierdowski, Robin Snead, Brent Simoneaux, Kate Maddalena, Kevin Brock, Chelsea Hampton, Elizabeth Johnson-Young, Molly Hartzog, Elizabeth Pitts, Johanne LaBoy, Ashley Mehlenbacher, Meagan Kittle Autry, Kati Fargo, and Wendi Sierra. Last but not least, thank you to the CRDM students who have come after me and who continue to nurture its spirit of collaboration and generosity, particularly Chen Chen, Meridith Reed, Kendra Andrews, Krystin Gollihue, Katreena Alder, Melissa Adams, Geoff Luurs, Desiree Dighton, and Jessica Handloff.
Finally, I cannot adequately thank my family for their constant support and unwavering faith in the path I have chosen. I could not have completed this dissertation or program without them, particularly my husband Jerry Reid, who cheered me on when the going got hard and made sure our family life never suffered. A special thank you also goes to the family members along the way who fostered my love of words and thinking from a young age—my parents, Anne Bajou and Russell Collins, my sister, Estelle Bajou, my grandparents, Pierre and Janine Bajou (“Bon Papa et Bonne Maman”), my aunt, Agnès Bajou, and my grandmother, Martha Green Letchworth.