Yesterday I had the pleasure of graduating two Ph.D. students here at Iowa State University. Commencement is always one of my favorite times as a faculty member.

Dr. Kim Buryanek is the principal of West Sioux High School in Hawarden, Iowa. I had the pleasure of awarding Kim her doctoral hood on stage right before she received her diploma and shook hands with the University President. Kim’s dissertation was titled Impact of high school reform initiatives using the Pygmalion effect.

I didn’t ‘hood’ Dr. Holly Kaptain, who lately has been working with ISU’s National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center. Instead, she had her father, Emeritus Professor Bill Poston, do that instead. It was an awesome, heart-warming moment; I hope I get to do that with one of my kids some day. Holly’s dissertation was titled Primary students’ proficiency and achievement: The difference two-way immersion programs can make.

Please extend hearty kudos to Drs. Buryanek and Kaptain for successful completion of their doctorates. Doctoral programs are long, arduous journeys and they both made it through with smiles on their faces!

Kim and Holly, it was wonderful working with both of you. Go forth and do great things!