What you are about to read is edited (aka web-appropriate) version of the acknowledgments I included in my Dissertation. Some important names have been obviously omitted. This was the easiest part of my PhD Dissertation.
This dissertation presents a piece of work that was rather difficult for me to accomplish, both materially and mentally. The past half-decade has certainly been a roller coaster ride with more downs than ups. This project has been a long process and I would like to acknowledge several individuals who have had an impact on my success.
[Paragraphs pertaining to school-related individuals have been omitted]
My fellow graduate students have been particularly helpful to me through this process. I would like to thank Dr. Eggert and Dr. Roy for their knowledge and helpful feedback about ideas during late night research and writing sections, and for their friendship. Many thanks to Dr. Kraft-Terry for sharing her knowledge in the field, as well as the highs and lows that inevitably come with this kind of adventure. Dr. Whitney was a comrade-in-arms in the lab and his friendship was a source of support when the going got rough. I thank Nick for teaching me how to properly perform immunocytochemistry, among other things. Dr. Erdmann showed me how to critically analyze research papers and to write like a scientist. Numerous others have provided helpful feedback or simply offered a listening ear when needed. Important discussions were had over a coffee, beer or dinner with the following colleagues: Dr. Mollema, soon-to-be Dr. Gilling, Dr. Saunders, and soon-to-be Dr. Eidem.
The culmination of this project and the production of this dissertation are a result of accountability created during the World Domination Summit on June 2011. All 500 like-minded individuals in attendance provided the motivation I lacked in order to finish my graduate career.
I would like to thank my friends that are like a second family to me and that made me want to stay in Nebraska when times were tough. My gratitude is extended to the wonderful ladies of Bedouin Star, especially Isis and Angela. Dancing has been without a doubt therapeutic and provided an outlet to express myself at times when I needed it the most. These amazing ladies were instrumental in helping me charge to the finish line while retaining my sanity, or what is left of it, in the process when nearing complete breakdowns.
Without a doubt I must acknowledge some special individuals who have known me since before graduate school. Elsie Mercedita García for being who you are, keeping in touch and providing humor and comfort when I truly needed it. Future doctors Maricarmen Colón and Carmen Teresa Ramirez Mateu for making my life more enjoyable and being the great friends that you are. More than a best friend, Carmen Margarita Pagán Cruz is like a sister. We’ve stuck it out for each other through thick, thin and procrastination, from studying for grad and med school classes to writing research papers and patient reports. I could not have asked for a more special person than Carmen. Thanks for listening to my ramblings regarding my project at 3 am. I’m sure the caffeine was not doing any good.
This work couldn’t have come to culmination without the support of Luke Lenagh. Thanks for sticking with me these past few weeks, especially given the stress that can accompany the final moments of a dissertation. I appreciate your unconditional love, understanding, and late night WoW sessions. I definitely owe you several cookies.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge my family for being supportive of me moving to unknown territory far away from everyone. Special thanks to Mami, Papi, Janie, and Güela for your care packages. To those that have passed or moved on, your absence is still deeply felt as you are truly missed. To my brothers Luis and Albert, and my sister Jeannelly for providing moments of laughter and good times online and whenever I visited. With me being the first in the family to attempt a PhD, this dissertation is for all of you.
I must admit having worked much less efficiently than I would have liked. I know I would have done better if I had felt better mentally and physically. Against all odds, today I choose to assume I was never meant for a career in bench work. They say that when you hit rock bottom, the only way you can go is up. Thecertain thing that kept me going on was life. To life itself, I owe everything. As a consequence, I dedicate this dissertation and these past 5.5 years to life itself. For ignoring you and shoving you aside these past few years, I will now seek to experience you to the fullest. While I may not know what lies around the corner, I am certain the experiences I gain will make me a better person.
“After great pain, a formal feeling comes.” – Emily Dickinson
Agnes Alicia Constantino Rodríguez
October 28th, 2011