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Rackham Graduate School will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday from 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 25 to 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 29.

I came to Michigan to study Southern accents...or so I thought

I came to University of Michigan to study Southern dialects in the media. That's right. I left the South after spending the first 25 years of my life split between South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina in order to do research on Southern dialects.

The usual response I get when I tell people this is "Why?! Why leave the comfort and warmth of the South to come north and study dialects from the place you were before?"

The main reason I came here is pretty straightforward. One of the major researchers on language in the media is here. The more interesting reason I came here is that portrayals of media in the South aren't just shown in the South. After all, media is everywhere, so it's important to see what its effects are in multiple places.

ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award Winners

The ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes exceptional and unusually interesting work produced by doctoral students. Each year Rackham invites faculty to nominate the dissertations produced in their programs that were outstanding. The nomination dossiers submitted then are read and discussed by a review panel of faculty members who identify the finalists. Then, members of the Michigan Society of Fellows read the finalists’ dissertations, review the merits, and select the winners. Listed here as well are the Distinguished Dissertation Award honorable mentions, who also produced outstanding and noteworthy dissertations.

The recipients of this year’s dissertation awards are:

The Graduate Student Summer: Fostering a Balanced Summer Self

For those of us who grew up in the American public school system, it is hard to forget those blissful days when the ring of the final bell on the final day of school meant three months of blissful summer freedom. Yes, many of us still had “work” to do over the summer: summer jobs, perhaps, or summer school and studying to help us “get ahead” or “catch up” in one way or another. But despite those responsibilities, the summers of my childhood were always a chance to take a deep breath and recuperate from the fast pace of the fall, winter, and spring months. A chance to get lost in the woods behind my house, swim in a muddy river, and spend evenings at the local drive-in (yes, we had one of those).