Today was my last train to dissertation defence-land. I went back to McGill for my last McG PhD student's defense. Jessica Trisko was the final but not the least of my students. Despite the fact that I had been pretty impressed all the way along, I was even more at the defense. She not only explained what she did and did not do in her effort to understand how foreign aid can be diverted to facilitate repression, but she displayed a mastery of the data and of the cases.
The work required a mighty slog through some ugly datasets and some creative work to put it all together. She displayed diligence and determination along the way. The dissertation was quite interesting to read, and I learned much from her and her work. Like most of her predecessors, Jessica asked interesting questions that took her far from my expertise. As I said earlier this fall about another student, I don't need to promote Jessica as she has a tenure track position. I am simply most proud of her, and I am looking forward to her doing great things.