Congratulations Doctor Kevin!

Congratulations Doctor Kevin Frank!

Fellow IDV PhD student Kevin just finished his PhD Dissertation on “Strategic Culture in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Divergent Paths of Uganda and Tanzania.” He included this in his Acknowledgments page: “My classmates in the Doctoral Program in International Development at the University of Southern Mississippi provided the comradeship that is so important in blended curriculums. I would especially like to thank Ms. Melissa Aho, a splendid research librarian and classmate who helped me navigate many of the shoals of academic resources. Her efforts greatly contributed to the breadth of sources of which I made use” (2017, iv). I am sure that Kevin would have done just fine without me, but its still super cool to be thanked. Thanks Doctor Kevin!

Congratulations Doctor Dave!

My friend Dave Davis (aka Hugh L. Davis III) finished his PhD and is now Doctor Dave! Dave’s dissertation was on “The Impact Of Commercial Banking Development On Economic Growth: A Principal Component Analysis Of Association Between Banking Industry And Economic Growth In Europe.” He was very kind and thanked me and fellow PhD students: “To my classmates, Shawn Lowe, Ed Bee, Richard Baker, Greg Bonadies, Patton, Melissa Aho, and Madeline Messick: had it not been because of their friendship, it is doubtful that I would have ever completed this chapter of my life” (pages iv-v). I am sure that Dave would have done just fine without us, but its still nice to be thanked. Thanks Doctor Dave!

The Part Where I Am Thanked


My friend Todd just had an article published and he thanked me in the paper for helping edit the paper. How cool is that. Thanks Todd!

Barry, Todd. 2017. “Trade Gains via Business Market Share: U.S.-Global Posturing with Insight from Previous Manufacturing Battles” International Journal of Business and Information Volume 12 Number 1.

You can find the paper here:

Todd Barry 2017

New paper published!

New paper published! The paper that Todd and I presented at the MPSA Conference and then updated has been published! And yes, it is an economics paper! Actually its about economics and AI (artificial intelligence).

Todd J. Barry and Melissa K. Aho. 2016. “Technological Unemployment and Socio-Economic Change: Historical Perspectives and the Future.” Communications in Applied Sciences Vol 4, No 2: 1-48.

Barry and Aho

Doctor Madeline Messick

My friend Madeline, whom I met the first day of my PhD program (along with J and Issam), successfully defended her dissertation “Natural Disasters In Latin America: The Role of Disaster Type and Productive Sector On The Urban-Rural Income Gap and Rural To Urban Migration” today!

I purchased a Congratulations PhD Graduation card for her 6 years ago. It gets mailed tonight! Well, maybe tomorrow.

Congratulations Doctor Madeline Messick, PhD!!!

(photo courtesy of M. Messick 2016)

Wow, Madeline’s hair has really changed over the past 6 years.


Candy and PhD Graduation card!

I Passed!!! PhD Comprehensive Oral Exam

Today was my 90 Minutes PhD Comprehensive Oral Exam.

April 28th, 2016
8:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m

It was a crazy day! I got less than 3 hours of sleep (not a good sleeper I was trying for 6 hours, but could not fall asleep), so I was not moving too quickly this morning. The weather was pouring rain, the streets were flooding, there were Flood Warnings like crazy, thunder, lightening, etc. I arrived on campus and was soaked by the time I got inside. There were three professors at the exam and me. I have been joking for years that I would do an interpretive dance routine for my Oral Exam (there was a funny video a few years ago about someone doing an interpretive dance routine for their PhD and it was hysterical) and no, I did not dance (I cannot dance), but I did make a joke about it and one also about the Magna Carta. We started with my major – Political Development and then moved on to my minor – Security Studies. The exam was crazy hard and I could not remember anything. No names or dates or things that I had been studying for the past year. My mind went blank and stayed that way. The whole thing was much harder and much more stressful then I thought it would be. After over an hour we finished and I left the room and they talked. I figured I had failed. I only had to wait about 10 minutes or so, which is a really short time. Too short and that’s never good. I went in and the IDV Challenge Coin (the sign that you have passed) was waiting for me. At first I thought it was a joke, but no, it turns out that I passed!!! I Passed!!!

Afterwards braving the rain I stopped for a celebratory meal at the Waffle House! I have not been there for years, so it was time for another visit.

Then tonight IDV Department hosted a dinner tonight at the Harbor View Cafe Restaurant. It was fun to see and talk with friends and meet some of the new students.

Later the names I totally forgot to mention keep coming back to me…haunting me…taunting me…Inglehart and Wlezel…Modernization…101 things about globalization…Joe Schumpeter…Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson. Its like PTSD for Comps.

Comprehensive Exams now passed. I am now ABD!!! All But Dissertation!!!

Today is Study Day Wednesday!

Today is Study Day Wednesday, so named due to the fact that I am resting, letting my back recover from yesterdays long flights, and studying like a crazy lady for tomorrows PhD Oral Examination Day.

Today was also rainy, humid, and included a trip for tacos to Juan Tequilas.