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Bonnie Applebeet's blog

Graduation After Incarceration: a Rackham Student Earns His Ph.D.

People slowly fill up the seats in a green and gold room before Jay Borchert even arrives. It’s the day of his dissertation defense, a day that is perhaps the most important milestone in a doctoral student’s career, a culmination of five or more years of intensive work; they’re presenting their research publicly and receiving feedback from their mentors and, if all goes well, their soon-to-be academic peers.

As if this moment weren’t already soaked through with the weight of its significance, Jay Borchert’s defense was uniquely meaningful. Prior to beginning his academic career, Borchert had spent over seven years in prison. He said that the defense was “the final step in turning my life around from the last time I was arrested and incarcerated in 2004.”

9 Summertime Perks & Services for U-M Graduate Students

Maybe you’re sticking around in Ann Arbor this summer, and maybe you’re wondering what to do with less structured days or a limited budget. If that sounds like you, check out this list of things that you’re still eligible to take advantage of over the summer as an enrolled Rackham student. Most of these things are free (or discounted), and run the gamut from practical to academic to purely fun.

You Can Make Your Graduation Unique & Meaningful, Even if You’re Really Tired.

If you’re in grad school, chances are this ain’t your first rodeo. You’ve graduated before (maybe even a couple of times before) and under different circumstances. And, if you’ve been here for years and years, working at the “marathon-not-a-sprint” pace means that graduation might be more akin to crossing the finish line jiggly-legged, dehydrated, and more in the mood to nap than to celebrate. Plus, you may be far away from home, which means that friends, community, and family can’t all make it to the celebration, and your cohort members may not graduate at the same time as you.