My name is Kirsten Whitten. I am an Adjunct Lecturer of Public Relations for the Communication Department here at Stonehill. This semester, I had the privilege of being accepted as a Farmhouse Writing Fellow and I must say it’s been a great experience for me. Not only did I make a new friend (Bridget) and get to know some “fellow” colleagues, but the commitment required me to set aside time each week to make progress on my research project in a quiet, serene setting. Committing to a set schedule to use this designated quiet area for a few hours before class – twice a week – allowed me to gain substantial progress on my dissertation. As a busy mom and adjunct lecturer teaching at three different colleges, my time is stretched very thin. Honestly, finding enough time to simply meet the needs of my daily duties is hard enough; if I had not left my house early on these two days – as if I had a set appointment – I would never have found time to progress on my dissertation. Thanks to the Farmhouse Writing Fellows program, I was able to revise the first three chapters of my dissertation AND complete all pre-testing of my survey instrument… allowing me to go into the full testing stage. I know I would not be at this point if I had not designated this time each week… and for that, I am very grateful. I know that by staying on as a Farmhouse Writing Fellow for one more semester that I will be able to finish my dissertation in time to graduate with my Ph.D. this spring – or summer at the latest. I am thankful for this time, space and opportunity.
In addition, getting to know Bridget and feeling as a part of the community at The Farmhouse has provided me with a deeper connection to Stonehill College. As an adjunct that pops on and off campus regularly, it is nice to have this quiet, comfortable space to call home. Coming in and seeing Bridget, who has her office in The Farmhouse, other fellows, students volunteering at The Farm and occasionally being greeted by a friendly hound, all makes me feel a bit more welcome in the Stonehill Community. It is for this reason that I wanted the students in “COM 311A – Introduction to Public Relations” to take on The Farmhouse as their publicity project for the semester… I wanted more people to know about this great opportunity and the rewards of being a Farmhouse Writing Fellow.
– Kirsten Whitten
Farmhouse Writing Fellow