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!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prospectus: Round One

The first chapter of my dissertation has proven to be a challenge, but a fun challenge. I am so excited about what I am doing. I am not totally certain where my study will take me, but that is part of my enthusiasm. Taking a qualitative approach, I am hoping to be surprised. Yet, I am confident that when I am finished I will have a better understanding of coping, support, and resilience.

Choosing to study the process of resilience in military families also makes me feel very proud of what I am doing. I hope that at the end of my process I will be able to share information with practitioners so they can better help military families with members at war. These men and women are faced with many challenges, so knowing how to better support them will be a big first step.

Resilience is a very tricky construct, and I am learning that understanding family resilience will not likely mean understanding an outcome. More likely I will be able to better understand the process, as in how people are managing the risks, challenges, demands, and feelings they are experiencing. I'm sure as I navigate the dissertation process I will find that most of what I am interested in will be more complicated and challenging than I first assumed. And I'm looking forward to it!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Job Prospects

Well, it seems my summer is being eaten up with teaching. I love teaching, and I've been very happy to get experience with a new class and new students (early start community college). But, a new prep sure does take a lot of time!!

Luckily, a huge motivator for also working more on my prospectus/research/job apps came through yesterday: a job prospect. It's the first job call to come up that really seems to fit me. First, it is in an area of the US that I'd be willing and happy to live. Second, they are looking for someone who will research in the area of interpersonal. And third, the ideal candidate will be willing and well suited to teach a methods course, covering both qualitative and quantitative methods!! Sounds like a pretty great job. It is definitely time to start putting together job packets and progressing more aggressively on the dissertation. Who knew that balancing these tasks would be so tough? Ok- I knew...I was just in denial.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Getting Started

I hope to use this space as a place to record my thoughts during my last year of graduate school. I'd like to think of this as a mini auto-ethnography. Writing a dissertation, working through the job market, and finishing up school are all daunting and exciting tasks that will require reflection. I welcome ideas, thoughts, and even criticisms regarding my research and experiences. Different eyes and ears can always help provide insight--as long as they are constructive.

My research interests lie broadly in interpersonal communication, and my specific focus is on grief, loss, and family support. For my dissertation, I will be analyzing the experiences of military families during deployment. If there is anyone out there who would like to participate, I would love to talk with you!! For anyone else who enters this space--enjoy!