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Abstract

When I finished the MA program at Northern Illinois University in 2010, I initially had no intention of returning for a PhD. I felt burned out on academics and was itching to get into my own classroom to teach. Despite the intense pressures of a tightening job market, I was fortunate. I found a permanent, full-time faculty position at a small, rural university in the southwest corner of Minnesota. Deciding to leave that wonderful and supportive community was difficult, but after three years there, I realized that I had more to say (and more to learn) and I wanted to return to get my PhD as a way of amplifying my voice.

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