Kathy Jackson Schmidt - Doctorate: Curriculum & Instruction, 1992

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Kathy Jackson Schmidt

As a product of Texas public schools, attending the university in my home state meant something special to me. In 1977, I left UT armed with a BS in Communication and headed to lovely Honolulu. When I left Honolulu and returned to Austin in 1986, I had two daughters, a master’s in Educational Communications and Technology, teaching experience at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a strong desire to continue in academia. My goal was clear: earn a PhD at UT Austin. I began juggling children, graduate classes and the dynamic intellectual opportunities available at UT. It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t even always fun, but it was a profound learning experience and I graduated knowing some true “kindred spirits” for my thinking and for my professional life.

In my classes, I was challenged to really think and to question. Plus I did not want to be left in the dust by my smart classmates. I had some professors that expected no less than my absolute best and who pushed me to not only be knowledgeable about the field of educational research, but to be one who could leave this institution and be a contributor. My dissertation committee had five remarkable people including Dr. Mark Seng, Dr. O. L. Davis, Dr. Willie Savenye, Dr. George Culp, and Dr. Ed Hord. With their insights and guidance, I was able to do a qualitative study back when such a study wasn’t necessarily the acceptable norm. The power to do original research and to do so in the Austin community has served me well.

Since 1997, I’ve been back on campus and I have been fortunate enough to teach in the Graduate School and to serve on dissertation committees. I will always be proud of the education that I have received at UT Austin and I have been known to share “hook ‘em” in my professional experiences around the globe.

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