April 25, 2012

Zinnias, Blazers, and Student Milestones

This semester I guided the research projects of senior capstone students in my major. Their semesters culminated with research presentations that were open to the entire campus community. Other faculty, students, and administrators often attend these presentations, so the stakes were high. I was so impressed with each student I guided. They were able to rise to the occasion of this high-pressure milestone in their degree matriculations.

The research requirement for our seniors distinguishes the campus (which is modeled to be a small liberal arts college) from its main branch. We pride ourselves on smaller class sizes and individualized instruction. The capstone represents a unique opportunity for students to delve into a semester-length project akin to what they might pursue in graduate study. It was my first time assuming the role of capstone instructor and the students I worked with were a great bunch.

On our last presentation date, we had a little pizza party and the students surprised me with a cake that included a thank you message (who doesn't love seeing their name in icing?!), as well as a card that contained a gift. I was so moved and humbled by their generosity and thoughtfulness! I nearly began to cry. But the surprise was enough to ensure I was able to keep it together, despite my overwhelming propensity for being a sap. I will really miss this graduating bunch, who I got to know so well over the course of our time together. I see in each of them such amazing potential and I am certain they will enjoy their very bright futures. The experience was a great reminder of why I chose this profession in the first place.

Because I knew they were going to be dressed up for their presentations, I figured I should up my own professional game. For me the easiest version of that means a blazer with a dress. I wore this ensemble for one of the sessions.

Outfit specs:
Leifsdottir dress (called Curled Zinnia from Anthro) (similar here; spring appropriate here and here)
Limited blazer (from Gabes)
Spanx tights
Tory Burch flats (20% off with code FRIENDS)
Vintage initial necklace


snowymt 55 said...

what a great achievement--I'm sure you were an awesome instructor and support for these seniors! Loving the zinnias!

Ways2BWicked said...

That dress is great! I really love the flower print!

Adeline said...

I love hearing stories likes this, so inspiring! I didn't understand how rewarding it feels to be a mentor figure until I began teaching my own class, and it is always so moving when you are appreciated by your students. thanks for sharing, and you looked lovely in your zinnias dress!

Terri said...

The dress is beautiful. Working with students on a project like this allows you to see the direct "value added" of their education. I hate the 'value-added' language, but I know at my institution we are having to defend the humanities. I will be part of something similar this coming Wednesday.

Raquelita said...

You look lovely, and I am so glad to hear that this was a rewarding experience for you and for your students.

thatdamngreendress said...

so great to be able to work closely with a group of students- it's so rare for undergrads to get that opportunity, and for you to get to take part in mentoring success! Love this dress- such a beautiful big floral print! Why do I love them so and yet never wear them? a question for the ages I guess...


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