“I want to take a moment to express my most sincere thanks for all of those with whom I have had the privilege and pleasure to learn from and work with along my academic journey. I would like to acknowledge my overwhelming gratitude to my Dissertation Committee, Dr. Pamela Bettis, Dr. Tom Salsbury, and Dr. Deanna Day, for their extensive personal and professional guidance as well as for the generosity of their time and expertise. Additionally, I would like to thank Dr. Kelly Puzio and Dr. June Canty for making this process both meaningful and consequential for me. I’m indebted to you all for the multitude of opportunities that have been afforded to me because of you.

“I would especially like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of my chair, Dr. Gisela Ernst-Slavit. Thank you for your mentorship and for the innumerable hours of meetings and visits, readings and revisions, as well as discoveries and discussions along the way, all of which have profoundly shaped this work and my scholarly identity. Your patient Socratic ways have channeled meaningful discoveries for me while developing a sense of scholarly perseverance and self-confidence. You have taught me more than I could ever repay here but I intend to remember all I have learned and sincerely thank you. Lastly, this work would not have been possible without my dear friends at Hope Creek. They are doing extraordinarily important and amazing work both for students and the community. I am incredibly humbled and forever grateful for their kindness and for allowing me to be a part of their comunidad de aprendizaje.”

~Kristen Pratt, Ph.D., 2017