I find the appellation of Doctor to be strange, but I am still pretty proud to call my former student Ora Szekely Doctor. She went from current to former today after defending her dissertation. Actually, she did not have to defend it as it stood on its own. It is a fun piece of work, pondering why some non-state violent actors (a.k.a. militias) are more successful than others. Focusing on the various groups fighting with Israel, she find that a group's strategy of gaining support from domestic and international supporters matters a great deal, and that groups that focus more on marketing themselves do better than those that focus more on coercion or on providing services.
Even better, she starts teaching in a few weeks at Clark University. She is not the only student I have supervised to have finished and found a good tenure track position, but she is the most recent ;) I am bragging here about her not just to take credit for her success but to highlight one of the best parts of this job: spending several years watching someone master the stuff, communicate well and then moving on.
Of course, this is not the end as I see advising PhD students as a lifetime deal, as these folks will need recommendations and such down the road. I have finished reading her dissertation, but expect to be seeing a draft or two of her first book.
Supervising graduate students is a lot of work, and it does not end with the school year. But it can be pretty rewarding. This day reminds me of the big upside involved in this business.