By Sommerly Simser, Student Reporter
Numerous years of hard work, taking classes, reading and writing hundreds of pages on a topic of one’s choosing can lead to the success of earning a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in any field. And this school year, a handful of ACU faculty members have done just that.
“It took me close to seven years to earn my Ph.D. in English,” said Dr. Steven Moore, associate professor of English, who received his Ph.D. in December from the University of Nebraska.
“When I was hired by ACU, I had to make sure I had all of my doctoral courses out of the way.”
According to the Office of the Provost, five faculty members earned a Doctorate of Philosophy during the 2007-08 school year: Moore, Dr. Mikee Delony, assistant professor of English; Dr. Michelle Sanders, associate professor of English; Dr. Joe Stephenson, associate professor of English and Honor studies; and Dr. Dwayne Towell, professor of computer science.
After Moore finished his doctoral courses, he said he spent five years writing his dissertation, which focuses on rage in African-American literature.
“It took so long to finish because I was teaching fulltime,” Moore said.
Delony earned her Ph.D. from the University of Houston in December, and also knows the long process of writing a dissertation.
“It took me about three years to write my dissertation on ‘The Wife of Bath Tales’ from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales,” Delony said. “I wrote over 400 pages studying the various ways ‘The Wife of Bath’ has been adapted overtime.”
Both Moore and Delony agreed that all the hard work was worth it, but at times it was hard to finish.
“It’s frustrating because you have to write to please a committee,” Moore said. “I had to find a way to present different perspectives in my research and writing so that every member would be pleased.”
On top of pleasing a committee, Moore said he struggled with the committee when he wanted to express his Christian beliefs in his research. He even had to remove a section that dove into his beliefs, but said he knows it will be a great benefit to be a Christian with a Ph.D.
“There is a desperate need for Christian scholars to be offering solutions to the problems we have,” Moore said. “With a Ph.D., I can interact in the academic community with other scholars who don’t have the same religious views as us and be a voice of hope, love and compassion.”
Moore and Delony said they encouraged and reminded each other to finish their dissertations.
“I’ve heard a Ph.D. described as your ticket to go where you need to go and do what you need to do,” Delony said. “Every time we saw each other, we just reminded one another to get our tickets.”