Photo taken by Dr. John Nash

Photo taken by Dr. John Nash

Once upon a time, I was told that girl’s brains were smaller than boys.  Girl’s could never become doctors.  Girls were meant to be in the home.  When I married my husband, I legally changed my middle name to my maiden name.  I went from Dana Lynn Specker to Dana Specker Watts.  Someday I was going to be the next Dr. Specker in my family, and each day I am getting a few steps closer to that dream.

After years of searching for an online PhD program that fit my needs and understood the challenges of living overseas and changing locations, I happened to have a pleasant bus ride at a conference in Mumbai with Dr. Scott McLeod.  At the time he was working at Iowa State, and he was trying to create an online program that sounded just about right.  In addition to looking for the right program, I was also told to find someone who inspires you, read everything they write, read everything they read, then get your degree from their institution.  The stars had finally aligned and shown me the path I wanted to pursue.

In August of 2012, I entered the University of Kentucky’s doctorate program through the School of Technology Leadership (#UKSTL).  This program has exceeded my expectations.  I would have never thought I could be so close with my online colleagues.  Since the beginning of my program, I have starting working for the University.  In addition to working as a TA with my professors from the College of Education, I am also the Coordinator of International Outreach.  If you are interested in finding out more about this program and the possibilities, please email me at danawatts@uky.edu.