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2020 Leaves with a Graduation

Updated: May 31

So that happened. 2020, I want to hate on you like many of my family & friends do. I'm not going to recall the negative because I want to greet the new year warmly.


Today I completed an eight-year-long journey. Graduating with my Ph.D. After almost a decade of study, I started a new career as a university lecturer too. There have been so many blessings that I won't lose sight of either. We have to find blessings no matter where or when they come.



It all became very real at the moment as I was the student speaker for the College. So real, that I lost my place in the speech and almost restarted.


This graduation is virtual, and will be released in February....after they fix my flub in post. . (*in front of all the deans and department heads. good going!)


Anyway. I finally got to wear a cap and gown making everything feel official after all these years.


Dean, professors, graduates, family, and friends,ewed up in the last paragraph. In the words of the great philosopher Homer Simpson, "D'OH!"





City University of Hong Kong College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Speech of Graduate Representative of 2020 TRAVIS Louis Joseph, PhD


Dean, professors, graduates, family and friends,


It is an honor to join you in this wonderful new reality of ours on behalf of the graduating class of 2020. It is also a bit of a welcome surprise, as my thesis supervisor and teachers can tell you because at many stages it was doubtful that I would get here. I say that with humor and gratitude, and more than a little truth.


The pursuit of a Ph.D. is a challenge at any school. Fortunately, we benefited from a setting that has been established by people who are talented, intelligent, and encouraging.


This is what makes The City University of Hong Kong unique. Students are neither lectured to nor asked to regurgitate lessons. Originality and critical thinking are imperative, and our department’s emphasis on these skills positions graduates with all degrees to be innovators in the existing avenues in this field, plus the new avenues that we conceive.


The chance not only to conduct original research but also to design courses that I knew students in the media field needed. This helped me rediscover my passion for communications beyond the practice.


Personally, I felt like an anomaly during my studies. The cohort closest to me is almost half my age, and I am older than my supervisor. There was no way for me to hide. Personally, this was my chance to reinvent myself after two decades of work in media. What emboldened me was finding a department in which I could also be a resource, one that gave me the chance not only to conduct original research but also to design courses that I knew students in the media field needed. This helped me rediscover my passion for communications beyond the practice.


On behalf of my fellow graduates of the class of 2020, I offer our heartfelt appreciation to the faculty and staff of our department and the College. Thanks to your dedication, we have arrived here.


Congratulations class of 2020.

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