|July 24th 2018 PhD in Nursing Dissertation Defense|
No one reaches their goals in life without the help and support of others. I am no exception. As I reach this milestone in my career, I want to thank God through whom all things are possible. I want to honor some members of my family who have finished their work here but whose lives have profoundly influenced mine. The original family nurse, Helen Bounds Deese and her husband Owen Lafayette Deese, wonderful grandparents that epitomized unconditional love. My mother Myra Helen Deese Bland White whose toughness taught me to never quit; and my mother-in-law Martha Bramlett Hiott, a gentile southern woman whose love, guidance, quiet strength and faithfulness instilled in me the confidence to succeed. Lastly, I would like to honor my dad, Dr. Maynard Bland, whose work ethic and devotion to medicine intrigued me from a young age igniting my passion for nursing.
Thank you, Steve Hiott, my husband of forty-two years whose love, stability and unwavering support of my dreams is undeserved but appreciated; you kept me going long after I felt like giving up. Thank you to my children, Wesley Celeste, Carrie, Jordan, Steven, Nathan, Ian, and CeJay for supporting a dream that was not yours, a dream that was demanding of my time and difficult to understand. Your faith in my success was humbling; it often propelled me forward in my darkest moments of doubt. You all are and will always be my greatest accomplishments in this lifetime. And thank you to my grandchildren, Noah, Faith, Wyatt and Emme Kate, watching you grow, explore and discover this world with unbridled enthusiasm fed my spirit with hope and joy sustaining me during this arduous journey.
I am grateful to my cohort: Candace, Carley, Crystal, Donna, JoAnna, Kim, Lana, Monica, Pat, Patty, and Solange; other MUSC shining stars who inspired me, Julie, May, Fay, Felicia, Toshua, Michelle, Jennifer, Michael, Lori, Novelette, Marvesh, and Dru. I admire and appreciate the lessons we learned together; you all have a special place in my heart. All our starting points were different, all our aspirations were different but for this moment in time I learned personal and professional wisdom that I will always value.
I am so appreciative to the MUSC College of Nursing staff you often do not realize how instrumental a simple email can be to change a student’s outlook for the day. Thank you, Yolanda Long, your presence was a comfort and your assistance invaluable. I want to express my gratitude to the research staff Toni Mauney, Leslie Bell, Erica Ellington, and Stephanie Oppenheimer who guided me when I did not know what I did not know. And to the writing center, thank you.
The passion and keen insight shared by each professor has inspired me. I am still in awe of my original advisor Dr. Marilyn Laken. Your sense of hard work and fair play emboldened me. My chair, Shannon Phillips, has modeled a level of professionalism and scientific thinking that I can only hope to attain. Elaine Amella, I hung on your every word and email; your steady guidance and patience will always be remembered. Dr. Martina Mueller and Mary, I so appreciate your encouragement of my rudimentary statistical analyses. And thank you, Dr. Rushton for feeling this study had merit.
For each faculty member that taught me and pushed me to excellence, thank you: Dr. Stuart and Dr. Gilden, amazing role models, Dr. Pope, Dr. Newman, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Cartmell, Dr. Gregoski, Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Kellechi, Dr. Magwood, Dr. Nemeth, Dr. Dumas and the late Dr. Spruill. I am honored to have learned from the best.