Margolis, Rachel

What a wonderful journey the past four years in the SSW doctoral program has been! When I started in the fall of 2016, I was excited but also very anxious about balancing school with being a new mom of 18-month-old twins. Fortunately, I came to the right place. As this part of my journey comes to an end, I can say that I absolutely made the right decision to get a PhD, to do so at UMB, and to start when I did. I want to thank the incredible faculty and staff, including Donna Harrington, Charlotte Bright, Jen Canapp, and all of my professors for making the program a rigorous yet supportive learning environment. I have so much love for my fellow doctoral students--especially my cohort. You all inspired me and encouraged me, and you made this experience infinitely more fun. I want to thank my dissertation committee (Paul Sacco, Mary Beth Bollinger, and Brenda Jones Harden) and especially Sarah Dabanah and Mel Bellin, my amazing co-chairs. Most of all, I want to thank Mel Bellin for being a fantastic mentor. Mel, I am so grateful that I got to benefit from your guidance and support over the past three years. I learned so much from all of your constructive feedback and also from just watching you work. I really appreciated how you always had so much confidence in me and treated me like a colleague. I will miss texting and talking with you regularly, and I hope we can continue collaborating for many years to come! Another wonderful part of working with Mel was getting connected with Arlene Butz and the Asthma Express team and Dr. Kathy Sawin from the spina bifida world. I am so grateful for the generosity, support, and mentorship of both Arlene and Kathy!


Thank you to my friends and family who have supported me on every step of this journey. Emily Hershenson, Carolina Villamil Grest, Liz Marsh, Caitlin Schaffer, Rachel Meagher, Peggy Vujovich, David Sewell, Fred Carver, Anna Carson DeWitt, Rebecca Margolis, and Greg Margolis--I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends. I also want to honor the memory of my brilliant friend, Julia Fox, who died suddenly when I was halfway through the program. She was one of my biggest supporters, and I wish I could share this moment with her! Thank you to my aunts, uncle, and cousins, the Carson-DeWitt family, and the Moncada-Davidson family for all of their support. Thank you to Delfi Campos, our beloved nanny of the past three years (without her, I literally would not have gotten anything done!). My parents, Linda Frankel and Lewis Margolis, have been two of my biggest cheerleaders. Their support has been invaluable to me. Finally, thank you to my husband, Jan Davidson, and our children, Lila and Maya. I first brought up the idea of getting a PhD to Jan six years ago, and he has encouraged me ever since. I truly could not have achieved this huge goal without the love and support of him and our girls.