Here is feedback from people about my work with graduate students:
Alice was my thesis advisor during the writing of my Master’s thesis in Learning and Technology. This process was made significantly better for me because of her incredibly supportive and unwavering belief that I could do it and do it well. As a later-in-life student, who also held two jobs and who was beset with health issues during my research, I had many moments where I felt lost and confused with where I was going during this project. Those are the moments where Alice was able to help ground me and offer insight that would make me excited about the work all over again.
In addition to being a supportive mentor, Alice has an incredible depth of knowledge about how to conduct phenomenographical research and was able to guide me through this innovative approach to understanding how people perceive and make meaning of their experiences. She has a refreshing sense of adventure in research and often pushed me to expand my thinking and not be afraid of going against convention.
At the risk of sounding clichéd, words cannot really express my thanks and gratitude for Alice’s contribution to my educational experience. I went from someone who engaged with the academia with trepidation to someone who is now looking forward to further studies and exploring the possibilities of doctoral work.
As my MA thesis supervisor, Alice led without forcing a direction. She provided guidance, mentoring and encouragement, all the while ensuring that I made sound decisions on my own. Alice is extremely knowledgeable, and besides being able to provide support on topics relating to her own areas of expertise, she is able to access an extensive network of colleagues who can provide support in other areas; she provides a “network” of knowledge. Alice is very well organized and reliable, and when timelines were tight, Alice provided immediate feedback, sometimes working late into the night. She is funny and just plain cool – when I grow up I want to be like Alice.
I have known Dr. MacGillivray for over seven years. During 3 of those years, she served on my Fielding Graduate University doctoral dissertation committee in the capacity of Student Reader. There were three Fielding professors on my committee, one external (PhD) reader, and Dr. MacGillivray. Without fail, Dr. MacGillivray consistently fostered a supportive climate during and in between the periodic committee meetings that were held across those 3 years. Her meeting facilitation skills were a true asset, not only to me, but also to the other committee members during what one of the professors described as one of the most complex dissertations in the healthcare space she had ever been a part.
Dr. MacGillivray also exhibited a penchant for facilitating learning for those around her – students, faculty, university administrators and lay-people (during my dissertation “defense”, aka final oral review). She did this in part, through extensive in-depth knowledge of the research methods I employed in my own research, and in part, through consistently encouraging critical and reflective thinking among others by asking insightful questions that always invited in-depth dialogue. She and I also served as co-panelists at an international scholarly conference presentation of our respective research work. The conference theme was Ways of Knowing and was held by the Society for Social Study of Science (4S) in Montreal, Canada.
It is my sincere wish that you get the opportunity to work with Dr. MacGillivray. Your life will be changed for the better in my humble opinion. Please feel free to contact me directly at the address or phone number below if you would like to have further discussion.
~James Bogner, PhD