Excitement of Graduation Dimmed By COVID


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Excitement of Graduation Dimmed By COVID

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Dave Ruff is a military veteran and recent graduate of the PhD program in Anthropology (Nautical Archaeology) from Texas A&M University. Dave was working in Croatia on a Roman shipwreck for his dissertation project.

Dave is a really great friend and mentor. He is always willing to talk about his life experiences - in and out of the Navy - especially when it comes to money and investments. Dave is a hard-working individual who takes his role as an academic very seriously. I was extremely happy for Dave when I found out that he would be graduating in May 2020. He started in the program at Texas A&M a year or two before I did, but he moved from Texas to North Carolina to be closer to his grandchildren and this pushed him back a little.

Dave and I had been planning graduation for a few months. We helped each other check all the final boxes on the graduation checklist and buy robes. We were both really excited for the event. I hadn't seen Dave in about a year, so I was excited to see him in person at the graduation. Graduation in May 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19.

This email details a conversation between Dave and I. I was serving on the COVID-19 mission with the Texas Army National Guard and used the money I earned from that mission to pay off my house. I thanked him for his money mentorship throughout the years.

The email goes on to detail how all of Dave's summer plans for research had been cancelled due to COVID-19, but that being a grad and being locked down had given him time to work out and lose some weight - a goal that we both had, but he fulfilled better than I!

I wanted to highlight this email chain, as I feel that it brings humanity to the experience of Veteran PhD students, recent graduates, and researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Personal email to gmail

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St. Mary's University

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10/31/20 A. Reyes

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