Leila Bozorg is writing her thesis on the Green Impact Zone of Kansas City, Missouri, pictured above.
Writing a Master’s thesis is a bit of a rollercoaster. On the one hand, it’s amazing to have this opportunity to spend so much time researching and thinking about a topic of particular interest to each of us, especially after three semesters of spreading oneself thin between all the opportunities available in grad school. On the other hand, it’s actually a short amount of time to have to come up with enough research and thinking on a topic to be able to ‘say something’.
Being part of the collaborative thesis group, designed and advised by Dr. Lorlene Hoyt and staff of the Community Innovators Lab, has really allowed me to make the best of this experience. I’ve been able to dig into my case study — the Green Impact Zone of Missouri, in Kansas City, Missouri — and each time I come up for air to think about the larger context and conceptual framework, I have six other thesis writers sitting around a table ready to engage in thoughtful conversation.
Today, for example, the group met to talk about the previous two weeks’ mini-retreats, where we each presented our research and findings to date, and to dig deeper into crosscutting themes that have emerged among our primary case studies. Finding that my case had something to offer my co-collaborators, being able to draw from some of their ways of thinking, and being challenged to re-articulate my own assumptions about my arguments, jolted me out of the “where-am-I-going-with-this-thesis?” funk that I fell into over the weekend. I left feeling re-energized to take on the next week of writing, and more confident in the direction of my conceptual framework.