Faculty colloquium is a time when faculty members are able to present to other faculty and staff members about their research, projects they are working on, a sabbatical report or a grant they have received, among other things. Dr. Rebecca Jones, professor of communications, delivered a speech titled, “Sixty-one Conversations + Two,” at the faculty colloquium on Wednesday, October 21.
The subject was her dissertation research that she completed last December. It involved interacting with parents and children from 10 families. Over the course of her work, Jones had 61 interviews, or conversations, with her participants about their experiences of sharing faith or spiritual topics. The plus two comes from two additional conversations that Jones had with each of her own children as well.
Given the brief 25 minutes of allotted time, Jones was unable to go in-depth when discussing her 320-page dissertation.
“Since I had recently finished my dissertation, it was a good opportunity to talk about that experience,” Jones said. “I described the purpose of that study, the method that I went through and some of the findings.”
According to Jones, the audience of her co-workers was very engaged and all in attendance positively received her speech.
“I felt really encouraged by it. It was a good audience; a very engaged audience and afterwards they asked a lot of really good questions,” Jones said.
Although it was not at the top of her priority list at the time, Jones said she did periodically think about this day when she was spending countless hours working on her dissertation.
“Always whenever you’re working on some sort of research, the idea of scholarship is that there is an ongoing conversation,” Jones said. “Ideally you want to take that and share it in various ways.”
After spending so much time working on such an in-depth study, Jones said for quite some time she hasn’t even wanted to open her dissertation and has kept her mind focused on other things.
“When I finished the project, it was such a long, intensive experience and I was just really tired of it, but this caused me to get back into it and to remember how meaningful it had been,” Jones said.
Even after sharing her completed research with her co-workers, Jones said she has not completely shut the door on a subject that she has already devoted so much time to.
“It’s taken me some time to be ready to think about it again, but I hope that I’ll have some opportunities to share what I have right now and then maybe to continue it in some way,” Jones said.
By Zach Parker