Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Found again

I really wanted to keep up with this blog - as a space for making sense of my graduate school process, as a space for other graduate students to share in experiences, and as a space for interacting or connecting with people who are interested in similar issues. As is readily apparent, I have not kept up. I am now finished with graduate school, I have finished my dissertation (and shared very little of that process), and I have entered into my first job as an assistant professor. But - I am not lost. I still have hope that I can find my place within the blog universe. And I hope this will be the beginning.

So - what are my goals for this now that I am done with grad school? Well, I may be done with grad school, but I am not done finding my way as a teacher and scholar. That is a lifelong process. So I hope to get back to my initial goals for this channel of communication. I hope to share my process, and I hope to connect with others who share similar interests and processes and can offer their own points of view. My research revolves around hearing other people's stories - so I hope I can reach out and hear many.

I must thank, who has posted my blog, for reminding me to keep up with this site. I may be done with my dissertation, but I would still love to talk with military families - to hear their stories - so if you found me through ...I am still here. And I would love to hear from you!

Kelly Rossetto
Support Our Troops
Find Kelly Rossetto and get more Support Our Troops at

Monday, March 9, 2009

Flowing Data

I knew the day would come where I could finally sit down and absorb myself in my data. It's such an amazing feeling--I'm actually writing a dissertation right now!! Or at least getting ready to write those last two chapters...

Data analysis is daunting, yet fun. I have to find a way to conduct rigorous qualitative analysis, represent all the data/participants well, and construct my arguments and stories in a creative, interesting, theoretical, and practical way. I haven't even gotten to that last part (yet), and I'm already feeling like my head might explode. I guess that means I am working hard on those first two things. Thankfully my adviser has given me great tips on conducting a layered method approach. I like that. I need to think about things in different ways for it to "click."

I'm still looking for people to interview, as I go, but for now I've settled into the data and am taking a short rest from collecting. It feels good. It feels like progress. It feels like I might be able to wear that "official" UT regalia that I bought on Sunday. Yikes, will I really be done with school?

Better keep coding...

Thursday, February 5, 2009


As researchers we often need to make our goals very explicit. Sometimes those goals feel very abstract, sometimes they feel over-reaching, and other times they seem to really makes sense. I'm having one of those "making sense" moments today. As I talk to more and more military spouses, I feel A) very fortunate they are willing to share their stories with me and B) excited about my goals, my research, and my future with this area of study. I just get so inspired when people tell me that they think what I am doing could be really beneficial for them. I started as an outsider, as someone with abstract goals that seemed a million years away. Slowly, I am becoming very confident that my goals are attainable and well-supported by the people I hope to benefit.

Today, as well as a couple of weeks ago, I talked with women who were really excited about the prospects of more community involvement for military family support. We talked in detail about how family-focused community activities and centers could be a real benefit to military families bot on and off post. There is such a need for togetherness and support, and I hope I can continue this research to improve our understanding of how we can make things happen! Someday I may even be a part of building something real, something beneficial, and something that will bring life to all the work I am doing now.

I've got ideas. I've always had ideas about how this research could be interesting. Through talking with these amazing women, I am learning so much about how my ideas (and the ideas we create together) can become real, tangible, helpful resources for people!!! And that's the real goal of research.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reading Your Stories

The whole blog thing is new to me, which is readily obvious by my lack of writing. Through my research, I have decided to really begin reading blogs. More specifically, I have been reading the stories of military wives and girlfriend's experiences with deployment. The stories are wonderful. I am so amazed by the wonderful creativity, the supportive comments, and the willingness to share. I only wish I could sit down with each and every one of these women to talk about all of the experiences they are having. Each story is different. Each person has new perspectives, hopes, fears, and faith. I have always known that my research would be interesting; I just had no idea that it would be so relevant and so inspiring.

Now for more interviews with wonderful people!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thank you!

I feel it is necessary to thank the participants who have offered their time for an interview with me! These women are busy taking care of their lives while their husbands are deployed, so it means a lot that they are taking time out to talk with me. Not only that, but they are also spreading the word about my study (see below)!! So, thank you. Thank you for your time and thank you for your help! I couldn't do all this without you!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Military Family Deployment Study

I am so excited to be in the data collection phase of my dissertation. I feel like this is the beginning of a wonderful, enlightening, and beneficial project.

So, I need volunteers! Please read on if you'd like to help!

Are you currently experiencing the deployment of your spouse, partner, or parent? Are you interested in talking about your experiences?

I am conducting a study on the experience of deployment for at home family members and would like to talk with spouses (and your children, if applicable) about your experiences with deployment.

Participation includes: 1) One individual interview with spouse and researcher (Kelly) and 2.) One family interview with spouse and child(ren) (when applicable).

We can conduct the interviews at a private location convenient for you. I am located in Austin, Texas and am willing to travel.

If you (and your child, if applicable) are interested in participating, would like further information, or know someone who might be interested in participating, please contact Kelly Rossetto at

Participation is completely voluntary. You will not be expected to participate if you inquire further about this posting. There will not be compensation for your participation, but it will help improve our knowledge of the deployment experience for at-home families. Information will be provided to practitioners to help them develop supportive resources for military families.

Thank you!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Prospectus: Round 2

Working through a prospectus is like planning how to navigate a travel destination. I recently spent two weeks in Ireland. Before leaving, we planned an itinerary, confirmed our accommodations, and packed according to the future projections on It seemed so simple. We had made decisions, and now we were getting ready to execute them. Better yet, the plan worked. Just as I am sure my prospectus (and subsequent dissertation) will work.

What strikes me about both processes is how we make the itinerary in the first place, and how we feel about it in the end. When we set an agenda (with accommodation bookings and maps or research questions and rationales), we have to make decisions about what will be most interesting, enjoyable, beneficial, or even safe. Then, the further we move into the experience, new ideas, new directions, and new possibilities emerge. It becomes our job to wade through the possibilities while also keeping an eye on our original focus. Even more intriguing is how we can often become so attached to our original journey that we turn our backs to new opportunities. We convince ourselves that the original plan is the best plan. Sometimes it is. Sometimes we need to make changes. We may also become so enchanted with new possibilities that we miss out on what 'might have been.'

Right now in Round 2 of my prospectus I am working through these challenges. In Round 1 I became bombarded with new (to me) literature, new questions, and new potential directions. I think I may have lost focus on my original 'itinerary.' Thankfully, I have a highly trained and supportive advisor who was able to help me articulate my goals, my questions, and my interests. So, I think I've found a balance between my original plan and my Round 1 construction of that plan. Conceptual organization is difficult, but I think it'll prove to be as fulfilling as my trip to Ireland!