Congratulations, Dr. Wise…
I bit my lip, teared up just a little, and thanked my committee for helping me through five long years of study that culminated in my PhD in Educational Leadership and Innovation. Like other new graduates in 2011, I was entering an employment market that held no real promise for the future. Our hands are shaken, we are given pats on the back for being academically superior, and we step out into a sea of unemployment that crosses both academic and corporate boundaries.
I hoped my journey might be different. My background was in technology and media. I had a graduate degree in the area; I could work in systems, analysis, and eCommerce, yet I always gravitated back to how people learned and how technology could be used in that process. I was always as concerned with developing people as I was improving processes, always cognizant of the balance between what was possible and what was practical. Entering a PhD program with a corporate background kept me focused on results: I needed to be innovative and merge my expertise in technology with my academic work.
And so I did.
My work focused on streaming media, digital storytelling (video), narrative, and music. I researched the interplay of real and crafted identities of musicians who perform live in Second Life (the 3D virtual environment). I listened for their stories, wrote about them not only as artists and small business people, but performers on a stage that removes boundaries not only in how we communicate, but in how we share…everything. While all of my subjects were in the US, they were geographically disparate. Their musical styles reflected the regions where they lived, yet on a global stage these boundaries dissolved.
My research was innovative, crossed disciplines, was entrepreneurial, and added to the expanding body of research about human behavior in virtual spaces. It has an application not only in media, learning and development about how we conduct business, it can be applied to education and learning in teaching everyone about becoming global and thriving in a very diverse world.
I am ready for the next step: To bring value to any organization (academic or corporate) that has a place for someone with my unique blend of skills. Please visit my website, http://www.debwise.com, for more information.
I am ready…are you?
Deborah Wise, PhD