Friday, April 17, 2020

Point of Pride Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of my last McGill PhD student's dissertation defence.  On that day, I blogged about all of my McG PhD students who went on to tenure track positions--all but one.  Nearly all are now tenured.  Because there is so much bad news these days, I thought I would update that post, as they have all gone on to doing quite well for themselves.  I find it strange to be proud of their accomplishments because I know that I had little to do with it--they are a bunch of smart, motivated, creative, diligent, fun people.  I am just glad I have been along for the ride.  To be clear, I am proud of my pre- and post-McG students, so I will include them below as well. 
Yes, one reason I moved to NPSIA was to reduce the number of PhD students I supervised.  Not because I had bad experiences before but because I feared that the academic job market would mean that the run of nearly full employment would end.  This strategy mostly worked as I only had one PhD student at Carleton for a while.  She finished, but now I have four PhD students in different stages of the process on a range of issues:
  • Russian intervention policy
  • Canadian defence decisions
  • understanding the failures of the Afghanistan effort
  • the effects of external election interference.  
What they share in common is again a great imagination and hardly any Saideman disciples among them.  They are more likely to be headed to the policy world because that is the nature of the NPSIA program.

Overall, I have been the primary supervisor of more than three dozen students and have been on the committees of another two dozen or so.  I have learned so much from these folks over the years, including how to whine about literature reviews over and over again.  Because I have students who do stuff that is mostly different from what I do, I learn much more about the world, and I see it from a variety of perspectives.  Given that I got into this business because I am excessively curious, I am most grateful to these folks for opening my eyes to all kinds of stuff. 

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