The University of Agder celebrated 52 doctoral students who successfully completed their PhD degree in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
“You are the first cohort to complete your dissertations in the middle of the coronavirus crisis and to defend your dissertations on Zoom. You have faced several new challenges and have gained valuable experiences that you can hopefully draw on in the future”, said Rector Sunniva Whittaker in her speech to the new doctoral graduates.
The doctoral celebration was held on Monday 30 August on Campus Kristiansand. The ceremony included the awarding of diplomas to all who completed their doctorate between September 2020 and August 2021. A total of 52 candidates completed their doctorate in this time period.
“Do not forget what it is like to be a doctoral student. On a day like this, it is easy to forget all the frustration, sleepless nights and periods of doubt that all doctoral students experience. Soon, perhaps some of you will be supervising other doctoral students”, the rector said.
The 52 doctoral degrees are distributed as follows:
Trude Sundtjønn gave a speech on behalf of the new doctoral graduates and told a little about what it has been like to do a doctorate at UiA.
“The process has been laborious and offered several setbacks, but when I stand on the other side now and think back, I remember all the good things. Philosophy of science on the island of Lesvos, chatting in the coffee bar, chocolate chip cookies when everything looked dark, project writing courses, meetings with other researchers and serving in various posts and committees”, she said.
She wrote her dissertation on ‘Opportunities and challenges when students work with vocationally connected mathematics tasks’.
“I was in building 17, and there we were, a group of mathematics didacticians as well as research fellows from the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences. Maybe not the ideal mix? But there is nothing as pleasant and delicious as talking to someone who works on something that seems even stranger than your own work”, Trude Sundtjønn said.