2013 was a pretty special year to me. Here is a brief list of major career and life events that made my 2013 special:
- January 1: Started the year by completing a 1,800-mile road trip crossing 10 states in the east coast
- January 16: Made my lectern presentation debut at the TRB Annual Meeting
- January 28: Received the most encouraging message I have ever had from a student I taught 12 years ago
- January 28: Passed the written comprehensive exam
- March 15: Turned 30
- March 29: Awarded the Scholarship for Studying Abroad from the Ministry of Education, Taiwan
- May 22: Passed the oral comprehensive exam (half way through my Ph.D. study)
- August 5: Ordained as a deacon of the First Baptist Church Smyrna
- August 13: 3-year mark in the US
- August 23: Awarded ITS Georgia Wayne Shackelford Scholarship
- November 21: Married for 4 years!
- November 21: Awarded Georgia ITE Transportation Engineering Scholarship
- December 10: Awarded ASHE Babs Abubakari Memorial Scholarship
- December 12: Awarded the IRF Road Scholar Program Fellowship
- December 29: Became a father
As a person, becoming a father was the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve never thought I would love somebody this much 🙂
As the head of the family, 2013 was very special to me, financially. I received a total of $40,000 of scholarship/fellowship, which was really a grace for us (now 3 people) to continue our adventure in the US.
As a Ph.D. student, passing the written comprehensive exam was a big deal. It was not very easy for me but thanks to many professors and colleagues who helped, I survived! Moreover, winning almost all scholarships I applied in the year was a great recognition of my professional/communication capability, and more importantly, a boost to my confidence, which has had its ups and downs in the past three years.
God is good!