Graduation DAY #Photoessay Dissertation Acknowledgments

I graduated with my doctoral degree on May 13, 2022. I was hooded by my dissertation supervisor, Dr. Heather Richards-Rissetto. In what follows I share my dissertation acknowledgments, followed by photos of the day. Thank you!

This work would not have been possible without my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am especially indebted to Dr. Richards-Rissetto, my dissertation supervisor, Dr. David J. Wishart, co-supervisor, and the members of my dissertation committee, Drs. Matt Cohen, Robert Shepard, and Deirdre Cooper Owens.

I have witnessed some excellent scholarship and received mentorship throughout my years as a graduate student from Drs. Liz Lorang, Kay Walter, Carolyn Heitman, Kenneth Winkle, Joe Starita, Lory Dance, Ken Price, James D. Le Sueur, Jim Downs, Margaret Jacobs, Carole Levin, Jeannette Eileen Jones, Brian Rosenblum, Dave Tell, Sharon Block, Hannah Alpert-Abrams, Terri Snyder, Jamila Moore Pewu, Bess Sadler, Darren Purcell, H. Robert Baker, Trevor Munoz, Jennifer Guiliano, Simon James Morgan, Marc Garrett, Steven Ball,  Bryan Arroyo, Marisa Parham, Anelise Shrout, Susan Powell, Stace Maples, Andy Rutkowski, Gerald Steinacher, Calvin Schermerhorn, Bryan Carter, Josh Piker, Ed Baptist, Barbara Krauthamer, Cameron Blevins, David Silkenat, Wesley Hogan, Richard Cox, Ronald Harstad, Wilma King, and Eric Sheppard.

I wish to thank my friends in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at UNL: Laura Weakly, Karin Dalziel, Jessica Dussault, and Greg Tunink.

I wish to also thank members of the Black Geographies Specialty Group, Drs. LaToya Eaves, Willie J. Wright, Danielle Purifoy, the entire group!

I received nurturing support from afar from Drs. Christina Sharpe, Kevin Gannon, Keri Leigh Merritt, Mary Rambaran Olm and many others online via twitter.

I received a warm welcome from my future academic home of Mississippi State during my final semester while visiting as a job candidate. A special note of thanks to the entire Department of Geosciences, with a special appreciation to Drs. Brian Williams, John Rodgers, and Shrinidhi Ambinakudige. I would also like to thank the Program of African American Studies with a special note of gratitude to Drs. Donald Shaffer, Gabe Miller, Leigh Soares, and Jordan Lynton.

I would also like to thank those who assisted me with lodging while conducting doctoral research that became birding destinations by night: Steve Nelson and Mary Shelly, Drs. Dorothy Kim, Brooks Marmon, Patrick Murray John, Sarah Shields, and The Holdereid Family.

While in Tucson writing my dissertation Dr. Stefano Bloch provided office space at the University of Arizona for me to write. Drs. Andrew Curley, Eden Kincaid, and Sallie Marston made time to provide support and camaraderie.

My Missouri friends, who have sustained me, Drs. Elizabeth Sobel, Erin Kenny, Madeleine Hooper, Katie Gilbert, and everyone at Missouri State who supported me.

My SiStar Circle: Drs. Nishani Frazier, Hilary Green, Tara White, Linda Garcia Merchant, Claire Jimenez, Raquel Bryant, and Sandra Hart.

Finally, I wish to thank my mother and father, Wilson and Helen Hyman, my siblings, Wilton, Constance, Jada, and Lawrence. Most of all I thank my daughter Chastity, and my son in Heaven Ricky Dawkins, Jr, who both provided the motivation to persevere beyond all barriers.

-Christy Hyman, “Contested Space: Mobilities, Networks, and the Pursuit of Freedom in the Great Dismal Swamp,” unpublished doctoral dissertation, 2022

May God bless all the helpers.