Our Daughter Successfully Defended her PhD Dissertation

Our Daughter Successfully Defended her PhD Dissertation

our daughter defended her PhD dissertation

Last Friday, our younger daughter successfully defended her PhD dissertation in theoretical Physics.

Her topic is as stated in the the photo above. The first subdivision of her research is “high energy physics,” the next subset down is what is known as “string theory,” and the subset below that is known as “holography.” With 110 pages of difficult math, she used “mathematical black holes” to understand the properties of “strongly interacting quantum systems.”  (I said all that only because otherwise someone would ask me.)

This was a long, arduous journey, and we are so proud of how she managed herself through it. She took it one small bit at a time, and those bits accrued magnificently, which is a lesson in fortitude for us all.

For some context, we homeschooled her from kindergarten through high school; she was a very late reader and a poor speller, and she initially thought she wouldn’t go to college. Getting to see how she has navigated and overcome learning differences to arrive at this educational pinnacle, I find particularly inspiring. Plus, she did this PhD program while reading over 100 novels a year– many more than any early reader I know.

She achieved all this with grace, while mentoring and supporting all those around her. She has just received the “graduate student champion award,” for all her mentoring of others, as well as a “TA of the Year honorable mention.” Last year she got the TA of the Year Award, but this year she wasn’t eligible, since the second half of the year she taught grad students instead of undergrads, but enough of the undergrads from last fall nominated her that they wanted to acknowledge her again.

Since she has fans all around campus, our daughter had an audience significantly larger than usual come to hear her defense. Administrators she knows since she’s the Vice-President of the Graduate Student Senate came; they wanted to be there, even though they didn’t understand a word of her talk. Additionally, a whole class of students got their class deferred so they would be able to attend. The whole thing went smoothly, and her advisor said it was the best talk she had ever heard her give.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, we detoured on our way home from Washington, D.C, to take her out for a celebratory dinner.  She is so glad to be done, and that her friends passed as well.  We look forward to being with her for her “hooding ceremony” and graduation next month.

To say we are proud is an understatement.





I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Loree pgan 1 month ago

    Wonderful triumph of a determined young woman. Hope she finds a next step worthy of her talents .

  2. Eliz Crowley 1 month ago

    Congratulations to your daughter, and to the family!

  3. Diane Tarantino 1 month ago

    How remarkable!! What a great story of determination, and a hopeful message in humanity for our future! You must be bursting at the seams with pride and love, and just the right amount of self praise too!❤️

  4. Susan 1 month ago


    Magnificent ❣️👏👏👏

  5. Linda Giase-Froese 1 month ago

    Wow! What an inspiring story and triumph. Congratulations to Laura…..and her parents!

  6. Dilys 1 month ago

    Well done Laura! Congratulations on a wonderful achievement xx

  7. Carolyn Rusti Race 1 month ago

    Wow! Congratulations to your daughter and her accomplishments! Bravo 👏 👏 👏

  8. Joan Wolcott 1 month ago

    Wow! So happy for you both and for your daughter! Wonderful to hear about her journey and the details of this accomplishment. Congrats on the homeschooling!!! And what a reader!!! I look forward to meeting her one day!

  9. Jane Cheema 1 month ago

    Congratulations to your fantastic daughter and to her entire family on her remarkable achievement. I am over the moon with happiness for Laura, and I send her all my best wishes for a wonderful future and for constant and continual pleasures in her chosen field of knowledge and in her future career.

  10. Meg+Hanson 1 month ago

    How awesome that your daughter found her path, and navigated a challenging way forward to an impressive achievement. I look forward to hearing about what happens next for her!

  11. Sherri 1 month ago

    All of the above and the power of prayer too!

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