Defending her PhD in a skirt made of rejection letters proved a point about resilience


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Dr. Caitlin Kirby is an environmental science educator and researcher. She successfully completed her doctorate degree in October 2019. Normally 3 years long, there are many struggles in completing a PhD. Stress, funding, work life balance and in Dr. Kirby’s case - rejection.

“Rejection from what?” you may be wondering. For Caitlin she did something unique when challenging her doctoral dissertation that brought the issue of resilience and rejection to light and she hopes that it will help others. I contacted Caitlin after seeing a post she did on Twitter, that was actually originally done on an academic Twitter account, and it got her a whole lot of attention worldwide. Just so you know, her original post read: “Successfully defended my PhD dissertation today! In the spirit of acknowledging and normalizing failure in the process, I defended in a skirt made of rejection letters from the course of my PhD. THANK YOU to everyone involved in my journey.” To learn more about Caitlin’s idea in creating this special skirt, I chatted with her recently over Zoom.

To learn more about Dr. Caitlin Kirby you can find her @kirbycai on Twitter.

To learn more about RESILIENT PEOPLE visit or on socials @resilientpeopleca Please subscribe to the RESILIENT PEOPLE podcast and leave a nice review. Thank you.

17 episodes