Name: Abigail Phillips
Degree: Doctorate in Information Studies
Graduation Year: 2016
Hometown: Leesburg, GA
Current City: Logan, Utah
Job: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University
Who do you admire and why?
I’ve had wonderful mentors throughout my professional and academic career. But more than anyone else I would have to say my dad. He’s the hardest working person I’ve ever met. So kind, friendly, outgoing, and caring. He has supported me through it all. Without fail.
What Jeopardy category could you clear, no problem?
History of 1970s New York punk scene (or, 1990s Nickelodeon TV shows)
Lärabar (blueberry muffin)
Best account to follow on social media?
On Instagram: Adventurecatsorg. Pictures of cats. On adventures. All over the world. Clearly the best.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
It’s okay to be stubborn.
Tell us about your job:
I’m currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Information Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University. What that means is I get to do research, write, read, and think all day and get paid for it. I love the work I do! I have wonderful colleagues who I’m lucky enough to collaborate with on exciting projects. I have the time to do research that interests me and do my little part to make the world an okay place!
What does your average day look like?
I wake up, work out, find coffee, and head to campus. My days are never the same. Between e-mail, meetings, writing and reading sessions, collaboration, researching, service, blank stares into space, thinking walks around camps, I keep busy.
How did your education prepare you for your career?
From my undergrad work to my PhD program, my education prepared me to be curious about the world, take criticism in stride, fail a lot, learn from missteps, serve my community and profession, admit when I’m wrong, and share what I think.
How has working in your industry changed the way you look at the world?
Academia has changed the way I look at the world for the better (mostly). The world is more confusing, exciting, mysterious, and surprising than I ever thought. And I now know that I know next to nothing. To make up for this, I’m always learning, learning, learning. But I’m a good student.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
My dad. My major professor, Marcia Mardis, my mentor here at USU, Victor Lee, and my friends.
How do you handle work-life balance?
Umm getting there. I love fitness and nutrition. I’m runner and weight lifter. That keeps me sane. When the stress gets to much, I go to the gym.
What advice would you give yourself in college?
I know it’s so hard right now. It seems like you can’t overcome all this. But you’re strong, determined, and annoyingly persistent. You’re going to fall down a lot. Get scraped up, bruised, and scarred. But you’ll survive and surprise yourself!