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October 20, 2011

Thesis Thursday: Acknowledgments

Filed under: Incarceration research, Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 12:00 pm

I know you thought Thesis Thursday was over since I finally graduated, but alas, there’s still plenty of thesis-related work in my life.  A couple of papers still to be finished and submitted, a book in the works, and a conference presentation next month (the presentation is for this paper and thus the reward is that I’m going to Disneyworld!  Huzzah!).  Despite these loose ends and new projects, I have been taking a pretty extended break from all things incarceration-related.  But before too much time lapsed, I wanted to post my thesis acknowledgments page.  Really, I wished I had more space because there are so many people, especially some of you ever-encouraging blog readers, that helped me keep on trucking and git ‘er done.  So consider yourself acknowledged!

I entered graduate school with very specific plans for my thesis research and the fact that I was able to accomplish precisely what I set out to do is a testament to the assistance and dedication of so many people.  First and foremost, I thank Dr. Randy Day, who believed in me and my ideas (even when they took longer than expected to come to fruition) enough to connect me with all the right people to make this project a reality.  I also thank my committee members, Drs. Bahr, Israelsen, and Ward, who were always encouraging even while offering constructive criticism.  I express appreciation to Dr. Justin Dyer who is undoubtedly one of the best people I have ever worked with from both a professional and personal standpoint, and his wife Aislin who offered practical assistance and friendship when this research took me to an unfamiliar city.  I thank all the University of Illinois undergrads I was able to work with, but especially Brandon Lesch who will no doubt remain a lifelong friend.

I thank so many friends and family, especially my parents and grandparents.  It’s impossible to overstate how much support they offered, from babysitting to editing to dinners, not to mention unending love.  I thank Kirsten Allen because only a true friend would format statistical tables for me.  I also thank my baby girl, Addison, not because she helped with this thesis (she mostly hindered it—in wonderful ways, of course), but because she will always be the most important legacy of my grad school years.  Most especially, I thank Neal, my partner in this—not everyone would move cross-country and go into jails with me—and everything.

Most of all, I thank the men I met in the jail who shared their experiences with me, especially those 12 I spent so much time with.  They are the reasons I persisted even when life threw some curveballs—I never stopped wanting to tell their amazing, heart-breaking, beautiful stories.  I suspect I never will.  They were all seeking a better life.  I pray they found it.



  1. Beautifully written! You are SUCH a good writer!

    Comment by vblanchard — October 20, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

  2. Check your Fb messages for a spurring thought…:) Love you! 10/21/2011

    Comment by Lorie Call — October 22, 2011 @ 3:54 am

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