Panama (spwebdesign) wrote,

Dr. Keya

Keya had her dissertation defense today. The title was "The Molecular Mechanisms
Underlying the Immunostimulatory and Toxic Effects of the Antifungal Drug, Amphotericin-B: Role of TLR2 and CD14." Yeah, doesn't mean much to me either! <grin>

I thought her talk went quite well. Her voice wavered a bit at the beginning -- clearly she was nervous -- but as the talk progressed her voice got stronger and more confident. One of her committee members threw her a curve ball in the middle of the talk, but I think Keya did a good job fouling it off. I was all tense inside and in my shoulders as I watched Keya try to interpret the question and search for an answer. But she answered, and he seemed satisfied with the answer, and so I was able to relax again. I probably would have gone all to pieces in that situation and blathered something incoherent. After all, as Keya later confirmed, when you're in the middle of a rehearsed talk, you're not prepared to field questions on a tangentially-related point; the questions are supposed to come at the end.

As for the rest of the talk, I understood the "Hi, I'm Keya Sau" and the "In conclusion, I'd like to thank...," but everything in between sailed clear over my head. There were a few pretty slides in there. And I did understand, thanks to the colorful bar graphs, that the drug she studied caused certain reactions with certain controls and not with others, but the significance of all this was completely lost on me. I was flattered that, in her acknowledgements section, she mentioned me by name to thank me for my support, as well as briganski for recovering the data from her hard drive when it crashed and, of course, Dan. She didn't need to thank me, though, especially since my biggest contribution was to distract her from her thesis for games or movies or football as much as I could.

After the talk, Keya went through a grueling interview in front of her committee that lasted well over two hours. Her cousin Sumona, her parents, and Dan and I waited in the hallway pacing nervously for any news. When the door to the meeting room finally opened, I caught a glimpse of Keya letting out a huge sigh moments before her trademark smile lit up her face.

She hasn't been awarded the Ph.D. yet. A minor technicality remains: she still has to submit a final, revised copy of her dissertation. But she passed the defense. As far as I'm concerned, she's a Dr. Sau now!
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