As most of you will know, JD was studying for a PhD at the University of Warwick until last October. She was working on something related to Corporate Social Responsibility (details are here). Today JD had a visit from her PhD supervisor and 2 friends from University that used to work in the same office as JD. Her supervisor had with him a letter from the Vice-Chancellor of Warwick University. Apparently, these are more rare than gold dust.
I had asked her supervisor if there was a way to award JD her PhD, based on all the effort she had put in to it before she had to quit. Or perhaps even an honorary degree instead? Apparently this is not possible due to academic rules and regulations. However, they brought with them the next best thing. The letter reads:
I would like to personally commend you on your contribution to the University of Warwick both during your MSc and your PhD.
I congratulate you on your Distinction in your MSc in Engineering Enterprise Excellence and the work you have done since in promoting the degree, mentoring current students and co-supervising projects.
The work you presented in your literature review for your PhD is exemplary. The mindmap you produced shows an excellent command of your subject, all the more remarkable for having been achieved under very difficult circumstances.
The achievements demonstrate the high value you have added to the University in a relatively short period of time. It is a great loss to Warwick that for health reasons alone you have not been able to continue your PhD to the level of success predicted by your supervisor and other staff in Warwick Manufacturing Group.
My thoughts are with you, your wife and your family and friends.
Professor Nigel Thrift
JD’s supervisor told us how JD and him had worked together on a mindmap model that helps PhD students to make sense of the mountain of information they acquire and that he uses this revolutionary method with other students. It is nice to know JD has created a lasting legacy in some way. He also told us they were thinking of writing a book together and that JD’s work would have been a seminal piece of research in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.
He has requested I give him JD’s research and writing so that a future student can pick it up and build on it.
It is wonderful to know JD’s work has been valued in such a way. Clearly she was much smarter than I ever gave her credit for.