IDT’s First Annual Last Lecture

The IDT Program hosted its first annual Last Lecture. During the Last Lecture, graduating students shared their experience in the program. Six graduates; Betty Houston, Kim Treftz, Dorian Brown, Joe Sweeney, Laura Wolf, and Sharon Clark all volunteered to speak. Each graduate spent five minutes sharing their favorite memory, their most challenging moments, the most important thing they’ve learned, and some tips for those students yet to graduate. There were more than forty faculty, alumni, and students in attendance, and six people attending virtually. You may click the links below to see some of the Last Lecture notes and presentations. The IDT department also honored the 2014-2015 Outstanding MS and Doctoral students, Kim Pruitt and Tracy McAllister, at the event. Past graduates were also recognized.

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 Kim Tref’s Presentation

Dorian Brown’s Presentation

Betty Houston’s Presentation

Joe Sweeney’s The Seven Stages of Dissertation


In conjunction with the Last Lecture presentation, the IDT Program hosted a retirement celebration in honor of Dr. Deborah Lowther. Alumni traveled from as far as Texas to shower Dr. Lowther with love and appreciation for all her contributions to IDT Memphis. The IDT GSA presented Dr. Lowther with a plaque and a gift as a token of their gratitude for her service. The IDT department presented Dr. Lowther with a digital scrapbook. The scrapbook will be printed into a hard copy memory album, and will include pictures from various IDT events over the years as well as farewell messages from all in attendance. It was a great evening spent laughing and reflecting. It was a terrific Last Lecture and we look forward to the many lectures to come.

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“On behalf of the IDT Graduate Student Association, we present this token that symbolizes the legacy you have blessed us with. The doves represent knowledge and love in equal measure, for your scholarship and teaching has always been grounded in your compassion. The flowers represent the fruits of your labor that will continue to bloom and grow in the lives of your students. We are grateful for the service that you have given us and will strive to honor you as we continue on our journeys. We love you and will miss your presence on campus, but we will carry you with us always. Thank you.”