The Doc Has Been Hooded!

Dr. MC with that newly hooded pep in her step!

Well, it finally happened. The finale of the PhD process, the doctoral hooding. Part of the journey is the end, but truthfully this is still the beginning of Dr. MC journey. The hooding ceremony is a special celebration for doctoral degrees. It is a way of passing the guard from one generation to the next. The culmination of years of hard work. And something I have been waiting (im)patiently for. 

Dr. MC & her mom, Anna Maria Melito at the hooding. Look at that bling.
Dr. MC and her mom showing off their custom bling for the event.

I embarked on the PhD journey in 2016. It was something I had dreamed about for a long time. And quite frankly, I am ridiculously proud of this achievement. My paternal grandfather was illiterate, and my father is a high school dropout. My maternal grandfather was an immigrant and only spoke broken English. My mom went back to school to earn her undergraduate degree when I was a sophomore in high school. Today she has a master’s degree and enough additional credits for a second master’s. She told me once that she would have continued on to earn her doctorate had she started earlier in life, and she would have gone to Lesley. So this achievement is not just for me. It is bigger than me. Given the struggles of the previous generations of my family, my achievements are even more significant. Many women in my family were not allowed to follow their dreams. Women are often rewarded for downplaying their accomplishments and achievements. Remember that Op-Ed that the WSJ published about our First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden? The one that called her “kiddo.” Yea, not this doc. 

I successfully defended my dissertation (on self-care) back in August of 2019. I was slated to be hooded and to walk in May 2020. I had a big celebration planned with lots of “pomp and circumstance” ready to go, and then COVID hit. Everything went on pause or was canceled, rightfully so. 

L-R Dr. Jonathan Jefferson, Chief Academic Officer, and Provost Lesley University, Theresa Melito-Conners, PhD, (Dr. MC) and Dr. Janet Steinmayer, President Lesley University at the hooding holding their Dr. MC goodie bags!

As we approached this commencement season, it seemed that a 2021 hooding was not a guarantee either, but I am thrilled to report that the university worked hard to make it happen this year on May 7, 2021. Granted, it was different with lots of COVID precautions, but I am grateful that it happened! The day was just perfect. And now I am even more unique, how many PhD candidates can say they got hooded in a mask amidst a global pandemic? 

By having over a year to plan, a couple of things worked in my favor. I did not bother spending several hundred dollars for the custom green robes (I bought a pair of fancy earrings instead – see video clip below). The custom robes are better suited for those who work in higher education or who plan to. That’s not my plan (at this point anyway) so they would have been hanging in my closet or thrown in a bin somewhere. I will get much more use out of the earrings. 😉

Dr. MC’s PhD Hooding Manicure

Also, with Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret growing, I was able to spread cheer by passing out Dr. MC swag bags to some of my fellow docs. How cool is that? Oh, and check out these custom masks I had made. And look at my proud mama rocking her Dr. MC merch (above). And of course, I had to get a custom manicure to punctuate this event. 

Dr. MC & Dr. Boivin – cohort partners in crime! 2016. <3



A doctoral journey is no joke. There were many times that I was unsure of the process and if I was going to be able to pull it off. It felt impossible at times. I would often take one step forward and three steps back. I had to be incredibly disciplined and diligent. Working full-time, doing doctoral coursework, research, and maintaining some semblance of a life was challenging. And I pulled it off in three years from start to finish. That is somewhat unheard of. Thanks to my resilience, perseverance, probably a little stubbornness, and the support of my husband, mother, and cohort partner, Dr. Boivin (we unofficially teamed up and supported each other through the dissertation process), I made it! Cheers! 

Paintings of Dr. MC & Dr. Boivin (cohort partners in crime) by Anna Maria Melito, M.Ed., hooding day gifts to us both. So special!

New and exciting things happening in the Dr. MC world! Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! You can also watch any of my previously recorded videos on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel. OR catch me on Instagram LIVE, where I have been sharing more expertise on self-care! 💗



Dr. MC 

Dr. MC showing off her leopard dress, mask and new earrings! 😉


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