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So… I’ve spent the first six months in 2014 trying to decide whether I wanted to do a thesis or not. In the graduate program for speech-pathology, this is optional, so we have a choice. I asked around; students who did do one felt incredibly gratified and fulfilled. Those who did not do one were happy they didn’t. So apparently it’s a win/win situation.

I’ve always believed that research is an integral part of any profession, especially in speech-language pathology. So much of our practice depends on current research. It’s a part of our Code of Ethics to consider future advocacy and evidence-based practice.

I sat down and came up with the following list:


  • Your resume is amplified by three thousand percent. Okay, well, maybe it just makes you look much more marketable.
  • It’s really fulfilling. God’s always on your side.
  • They open up areas you’d never dream about.
  • More networking opportunities because you work with professionals from different fields and different schools locally or globally.
  • Chances of getting a job increase.
  • You learn tons about gathering and conducting research.
  • People are more likely to take you seriously during and after working on said thesis.
  • You’re a foundation for future research.
  • You get to learn about something you’re really interested in!
  • Other issues are addressed through your research.
  • Major pride points when you’re done!
  • You get to present at conferences and everyone will offer you jobs (maybe.)
  • You may even get PUBLISHED.
  • You give others the opportunities to share in your successes (and non-successes).
  • Think of that Doctorate. Dr Liu? Yes.
  • You get great support from your advisors and your department.
  • It may be much harder to start if you decide to do one after you graduate.
  • More access to resources because you’re in school. Think of how many free articles you get thanks to the Library.


  • They’re definitely not as easy as they seem.
  • How will you ever decide what to do?
  • The Institutional Review Board is another process in itself.
  • Dat defense at the end
  • A doctorate really isn’t in store for you. Isabella Liu, M.S. CCC-SLP vs. Isabella Liu, PhD. M.S. CCC-SLP??
  • Funding is really hard to get. Both for the class, and for recruiting participants if you’re doing some controlled trials.
  • You’ll have to collaborate with other institutions if you need more resources.
  • Longitudinal studies are exactly what they seem… long.
  • You may have to start over from scratch.
  • You’re still in school and working jobs when you’re doing your research.
  • You have to sift through as much as you can of all existing research to compile your literature review, and not every 15 to 20 page article is going to be easy to read.
  • Outdated sources are still credible to a certain extent so you can’t automatically throw those to the side.
  • Your time will be eaten up by writing, writing, writing, reading, reading, reading…
  • You may not get a supervisor that’s always on the same page.
  • You reeeeaaalllllyyy don’t want to do one.

So… what do you think? It looks like the pros outweigh the cons. Some schools and departments make it a matriculation requirement, and I can see why. But when you have a choice, you’re faced with a tough decision that will eat up a lot of your time, but you have nothing to lose. I am reminded of the a quote from Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter lore: “Soon, we must choose between what is right, and what is easy.”

Guess that pretty much decides it, eh?


Alumni Posts

I’m Free!

by Alumni Posts on November 19, 2012

in Academics,College Life

2 paintings, 2 handmade wooden frames and 3 posters. 52.5 hours of in-class time and at least the same amount, if not more, working outside of class, so over one hundred hours spent on the show. It sounds easy making art 24/7, fun even, but it was so demanding of your time/energy/skill/brain. I literally would go to class and paint, go to my next class and paint, go back to my room and paint, paint at night, paint in the morning, paint on Saturday, paint on Sunday. For hours. My desk, dresser, floor. All covered with paint pallets. My room was never clean. I literally lived my work. Now, my work is submitted, and I am free.

As a graduating BFA student, you have to partake in the Senior Thesis Show in order to graduate. It is my first gallery showing and I am sure it is many other students first “show” as well. To be honest, it was simply exhausting… but so exciting. The whole point of the show is to produce work that is reflective of all you have learned as an art student and focus yourself in a direction with your work. Each participating graduate produces 5-8 pieces, outside of class, that all come from your own thoughts and imagination. I feel accomplished.

Now, there are fewer pallets in my room, it is actually clean, and I rediscovered my desk. It feels empty. I have spent the last few days literally doing nothing. Things I didn’t have time to do before. And I am ok with that. I am still working on projects but they seem less pressing because the deadline is a little further away and I am more in control of the situation.

The opening is Monday, November 19th at 6 PM. Family and friends are coming. Strangers are coming. I am excited to celebrate, really take it all in and share the moment. There will be food, drinks and art. All for free. It can’t really get any better than that. I hope to see you there!!


So, it’s finally here. This is my last semester of undergraduate college, my final semester at Fontbonne. If you haven’t been keeping track of my life (your loss (just kidding (not really))), I’m graduating this December with a degree in Advertising and Applied Sociology, plus a minor in American Culture Studies. (Note to freshmen: it can be done, so pick up a second major and/or a minor early on).

I’ll get sentimental later in the semester, but not now. No, it’s far too early for that, and there’s still a ton of things to be done. This semester, I’ll be writing my senior capstone paper for Applied Sociology. So far, it’s 29 pages, and I’m only about a fourth of the way through it. I’m supposed to finish that by October 14th, when I’ll be presenting it at a conference in New Orleans (tough life, I know). Meanwhile, I’m dealing with Senior Seminar in Advertising, which is manageable but will get more intense in October. I’m also working on two other course, but they’re both pretty simple. That’s right – I’m only taking 12 hours this semester. And once the senior paper is done and the 8 week course is over, I’ll be effectively taking only 2 classes!

Sounds easy, but it’s not, really. See, I also have this whole post-graduation thing to worry about. Right now I’m looking at a list of 70 advertising agencies I want to apply to, but I’m also going to apply to Yale’s Doctorate program for sociology. I just took the GRE this weekend, so I’ll start talking about the Yale application some more in November when I get my scores.

It’s going to be a really exciting, stressful, and accomplished semester! And I have no doubt in my mind it’s going to fly by. Stay tuned, everyone.


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.