TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Our social media feeds have become flooded with cute images of newborn babies and proud parents, but one Ph.D. student in Florida decided to take photos with her five-chapter dissertation instead.
Eve Humphrey spent the past six years earning a doctorate in biological science at Florida State University. After successfully defending her dissertation in August, Humphrey decided to celebrate with a baby-style photo shoot.
“Six years ago I started on a journey and I didn’t know how hard it would be to finish,” Humphrey wrote in a post on Facebook. “I gained weight, I experienced back pain, I cried a lot...was I pregnant?”
“Perhaps pregnant with anxiety and fear as I tackled courses, proposals, preliminary exams and those wretched committee meetings,” she continued. “I had many restless nights and sacrificed time with family and friends to birth this crazy little baby of mine called a dissertation. So I would like to introduce you all to my creation, 6 years of pushing and it gave me a new name. Hi I’m Dr. Eve Humphrey, PhD.”
Humphrey shared images from the shoot that she did with photographer Korie Mitchell. In one image, she cradles her dissertation, while holding a board filled with “milestones” in the other.
The board reads facts like, “I am 6 years old,” “I put 35 pounds on mommy” and “I drink the tears of grad students.”
“Time and time again, the talk of children would come up for her and her husband,” Mitchell wrote in a Facebook post. “She knew what she was doing and accomplishing.”
Mitchell added that the photos were just “an amazing glimpse into the woman she is.”
Humphrey’s dissertation, "Stress Response and Coloration as Mediators of Behavioral and Physiological Variation," sits in a baby chair in some of the picture-perfect photos.
The photo shoot spoof became widespread online, having been shared more than 11,000 times on Facebook since Aug. 28. Humphrey said she knew her family and friends would get a kick out of it but had no idea it would receive such a response.
“The struggles of research and graduate school go beyond location or language. If you’ve been through it, I think you can relate to the struggle and feelings of getting through it,” Humphrey said. “I think it resonated with people in that way and because there are so many maternity shoots online.”
As for officially becoming Dr. Humphrey, she said it was a “surreal feeling.”
“Sometimes we think that once we get a title or something big happens we will feel completely different. It’s definitely taking time to process,” she said. “My friends and family don’t call me Dr. of course but it’s an amazing and exciting accomplishment.”
“It was fun, and I’m glad it gave people something to smile about,” Humphrey added.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.