Senior Research Thesis

Dec 2011

I'm only writing this in response to the previous review. I've never written a CULPA review before, but I felt compelled to after reading this review. I apologize if it seems defensive - I'm a little thrown back by all of these accusations in light of my own experience with Professor Lena. Professor Lena is currently my thesis advisor, and let me tell you, she is absolutely nothing but a wonderful mentor. Delivering quality material to her is not an incredibly hard task because she carefully outlines what is expected of her students at all times. I truly cannot imagine that Professor Lena taught her students something "wrong". Take a look at her resume and educational accreditation. I do agree that sometimes what she says can be confusing, especially when you are talking about complex ideas. But at this University, it is a requirement to think critically about what is being said to you and logically tie it into a comprehensive whole without having your hand held. Whenever I took a few minutes or even an hour to really think about what she was saying to me I was able to successfully tie it all together, if you will. Also, no professor wants to be told that they've said something they haven't. The more appropriate and professional way to approach that kind of situation is to come to her and ask her for clarification on the subject, not accuse her of saying something she probably didn't anyways. I learned that same lesson too (quite literally, the exact same one), and the fitting reaction would be to reflect on how you as a student handled the situation, rather than making really harsh accusations against Professor Lena. If you don't actively pursue learning from her, and continue to ask questions, she's not going to drag it out of you. I think she believes, as do I, that you are responsible for owning your education (in a professional manner, no less). If something is unclear, ask. If you have a question, ask. If you want help tying together the works, ask. And be professional and informed when you do so, otherwise it's offensive. Moreover, Professor Lena has written me literally PAGES worth of emails answering every question I've ever had - even the "stupid" ones - which communicates to me that she is incredibly dedicated to the success of her students. She is nitpicky about meeting with her in person because she doesn't want her time to be wasted. Do you blame her? I can't speak to her other classes, but in this Thesis class, all the readings are carefully chosen and directly relevant to what we are doing.

Jan 2006

At first Diprete can come across as critical and not open to your ideas if they are different. However, you will soon learn that he is trying to get you to think about your ideas in a larger context. He is so funny and approachable and provides great advice for refining your topic.