On January 26, 2021 I finally defended my thesis dissertation at MIT and earned my PhD! In many ways it was not the day I expected. I expected a full auditorium at the Koch Institute, popping champagne with my lab, dinner with family and friends, and being able to hug all the people that supported me on this journey.
Because of COVID 19, my defense was virtual and I presented my slides from my studio apartment. Still, I was lucky that over 150 people could tune in via Zoom and watch my defense live. After the dissertation my labmates (past and present) made the day as special as possible by decorating the lab, giving me a sweet scrapbook of all the photos and stories from my time in the lab, and popping champagne with me from afar. They even made a custom zoom background in honor of my thesis work: hip hip(MHC), hooray! The flooding of congratulations and messages of support from my friends, family, and colleagues made the day so wonderful but bittersweet.
Dr. Stopfer, at last!