Doctor Who Now? The Fenwick Teachers with PhDs

A Doctor of Philosophy, a PhD for short, is the highest academic degree that one can receive. People tend to get their PhDs when they are extremely passionate about a field of study or research. These programs generally take four to six years on average to complete, but can be done in shorter or longer periods of time. Having a PhD can also broaden one’s career options. For example, professors and researchers are more likely to get a job with a PhD, while also increasing their pay grade. There are several teachers at Fen-
wick that have their PhDs; Dr. Porter, Dr. Brent, Dr. King, and Dr. Reuland. Dr. Riggs is a former pediatrician, and has her MD. In addition, Assistant Principal Mr. Barabasz may be joining their ranks in the near future.

Dr. Porter, Fenwick’s Latin teacher, achieved her PhD in Ancient Greek. Her dissertation focused on: “Demosthenes’ Social Discourse: The Economics of Politeness and Subject Positioning.” A dissertation is a key part of achieving a PhD, often it becomes one’s academic “magnum opus.” When asked what motivated her to achieve her degree Porter said, “A combination of my innate nature, and destiny. I strongly felt it was the one thing I needed to do.” Dr. Porter completed her at the University of Texas at Austin and spent a year
working at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland. She expressed how difficult it was to finish the long and tiring years of school for the degree. Dr. Reuland, a math teacher, also spent a long time acquiring his degree. He stated that it took him an additional five years to complete his PhD in School Administration at Loyola University. Before this, he attended Notre Dame and majored in Math.

The process of achieving one’s PhD is a difficult and strenuous. It takes plenty of patience, discipline, and passion to complete. Yet, in the end, it can be extremely rewarding in both careers and personal achievement.