It’s been a while since I posted here. I’m delighted to say that I have now submitted my PhD thesis and passed my viva (oral defence) with minor revisions to complete. I’m hoping to start blogging again more regularly, but in the meantime, so many people helped me on my PhD journey and I would never have got there without them. I got to say thank you to them in the acknowledgments section of my thesis; but since only about 3 people will ever read that, I’d like to say a big huge public thank you to them here. Below, is the full acknowledgments section from my dissertation.
I would first like to thank Professor Suzanne Higgs for her untiring support, encouragement, and excellent advice over the course of this PhD. I have learned so much from you. Thank you for putting up with me!
I am very grateful to the University of Birmingham for the doctoral development grant that allowed me to accidentally found an international conference just a few months into my PhD. Being involved in the Weight Stigma Conference has opened so many doors to me, brought me into contact with many incredible scholars, practitioners, and advocates, broadened my vocabulary (“kyriarchy”), and given me an opportunity to make a difference in the field. One of the most heart-warming benefits has also been to discover just how many people are working on this issue, both in the UK and overseas, bringing the weight stigma world closer together. I am also very grateful to have been awarded a Universitas 21 Fellowship, which let me spend a month at the University of Connecticut, seeing how things are done on the other side of the pond. And what real snow looks like.
I’d like to thank: Professor Robert Carels, for laying the groundwork for much of the work I have done here, and for his enthusiastic support of my future endeavours; Professor Colin Leach, for hosting me at UConn even though he knew nothing about me, for being incredibly generous with his time and his ideas, and for finally solving my colinearity problem by introducing me to bifactor analysis; Dr Sean Phelan for the opportunity to work on the CHANGES study and for moral and professional support; all the weight stigma researchers who have been so generous with their time and expertise; and members of the SEMNET listserv for preservation of sanity, such as it is.
Thanks also to members of the Eating Behaviour Research Unit for support, commiseration, and lots of cake, and in particular, a huge thank you to Jason Thomas who has continued to be a great mentor even after leaving UoB.
I couldn’t have done this without my amazing support network, both within the size acceptance movement and the online PhD support community. To Kerry, Emma, Bryoni, Sigrún, Janell, Rachel, Jeff, Nancy, Caitlin, Masoumeh, and the PhD OWLs. Here’s to martinis at breakfast and rainbows in the storm.
And I really couldn’t have done it without the support of my Mum, Bernice Cohen. She may still not understand exactly what it is that I do, but she has made it possible. Thank you so much.
Finally, to my husband Roger, who deserves this PhD as much as I do. There are no words. I love you.