ROADTRIP NATION PRESENTS

Setting Course
  • Degree of Impact Trailer
    Degree of Impact Trailer (1:41)

  • Degree of Impact
    Degree of Impact (56:46)


We sought out people with doctoral degrees and found them in places you wouldn’t expect. Discover ordinary people doing extraordinary work—everywhere, in every way.

Getting a doctorate is a noble pursuit, but what can you do with it? Turns out, almost anything. Come along for the ride as Crystal, Jason, and Kylie—three students pursuing doctoral degrees—travel across the country to talk to professionals using their doctorates in surprising ways. Professors are among those interviewed, but so are musicians, lawyers, and soccer coaches. Doctoral work isn’t limited to academia. From the classroom to the courtroom, hospitals, and beyond, doctoral recipients are making a real impact in the real world.

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INSIGHTS FROM THE FILM

Adam Foss

“I have this privilege and power because of the letters behind my name. This degree is a massive sword in the fight for the communities we care about.”

Adam Foss, Criminal Justice Reformer

Ivan Joseph

“The doctoral degree isn’t about the job or the outcome—it’s about the process. Don’t look for the job; look for the love.”

Ivan Joseph, Sports Psychologist

E. Lockhart

“Getting a Ph.D. feels like you’re going to go up this huge mountain on this narrow path. But then you get to the top and realize, if I can do that, I can do anything.”

E. Lockhart, Author

CATCH IT ON TV

Doctoral Roadtrip

A doctoral degree can help you think bigger, go farther—and contrary to popular belief, it’s accessible to people from any walk of life willing to work hard for a dream.

Getting a doctorate is a noble pursuit, but what can you do with it? Turns out, almost anything. Come along for the ride as Crystal, Jason, and Kylie—three students pursuing doctoral degrees—travel across the country to talk to professionals using their doctorates in surprising ways. Professors are among those interviewed, but so are musicians, lawyers, and soccer coaches. Doctoral work isn’t limited to academia. From the classroom to the courtroom, hospitals, and beyond, doctoral recipients are making a real impact in the real world.


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THE ROADTRIPPERS

  • CRYSTAL

  • JASON

  • KYLIE

CRYSTAL FRANCIS

Age 31
From Baltimore, MD

An avid biker who can be seen riding her motorcycle to her government-agency job, Crystal likes to toe the line between chaos and order. After she finishes her doctoral studies on prisoner reentry and employment, Crystal wants to take a big leap and run for public office, which would give her the platform she needs to apply her research to the real world. But she’s scared of jumping without the protection of a safety net—in order to mount a serious campaign, she’d have to quit the government job that she’s been working at for over ten years. She hopes that this road trip will introduce her to risk-takers and planners alike, giving her some insight about what to do after her dissertation is done.

JASON VANFOSSON

Age 30
From Kalamazoo, MI

Jason’s doctoral research revolves around boyhood road trips in young adult literature—and now he’s eager to take a formative road trip of his own. As a kid who felt like he never fit in with his working-class West Virginia community, the refuge he found in reading naturally developed into a lifelong love of literature. Jason was the first person in his family to go to college, and once there, he realized he’d finally found an environment where he could thrive. But as graduation quickly approaches, he’s realized that he’s been in school for 27 years and doesn’t know what’s next. After spending so much time honing his critical skills, he’s eager to see how he can cultivate them into a creative career.

KYLIE YEARWOOD

Age 38
From Hogansville, GA

Born and raised in Georgia, Kylie’s never been west of Missouri—but she’s ready to expand her horizons. Already a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing education, Kylie knows that she could walk away from her studies today and have a perfectly satisfying career as a teacher or nurse...but she wants more. After seeing her sister struggle to get a nurse’s attention during a hospital stay, she’s realized what she really wants is “a seat at the table”—a voice in shaping the policies that will impact the future of medical care on a national scale, and for the better. Just four classes away from starting her dissertation, she hopes this road trip will steer her away from her usual, well-trodden paths, and open her eyes to all of the opportunities her education can offer.

HOME SWEET HOME

THELMA the RV

QUICK STATS

DOB............................2004

# OF ROADTRIPS..............4

MILES.......................49,000

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STOPS & INTERVIEWS

STOPS
INTERVIEWS
Palomar Observatory, CA
5/1/2017

Mansi M. Kasliwal

Asst. Professor of Astronomy & Principal Investigator at GROWTH, Caltech

Pasadena, CA
5/2/2017

Jorge Cham

Cartoonist/Roboticist, PHD Comics

Los Angeles, CA
5/2/2017

Dr. Nancy Irwin

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Certified Hypnotherapist, & Life Coach

Denver, CO
5/5/2017

Irene Aguilar

M.D./State Senator, Colorado

Colombia, MO
5/9/2017

Jackie Gamboa

Ph.D. Chemistry & Producer, The Big Electron Podcast

Memphis, TN
5/11/2017

Artina McCain

Assistant Professor of Piano, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis

Steven Scott, DVM

Founder/Director of Veterinary Care, Hohenwald Animal Hospital/ Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary

Silver Spring, MD
5/15/2017

Dr. Pam Cipriano

President, American Nurses Association (ANA)

Washington, DC
5/15/2017

Adam Foss

Attorney/Founder, Prosecutor Impact

Baltimore, MD
5/16/2017
Brooklyn, NY
5/18/2017

E. Lockhart

Author

New York, NY
5/19/2017

Mila Rosenthal

Director of Communication, United Nations Development Programme

Dr. Ivan Joseph

Author/Director of Athletics, Ryerson University

STOPS & INTERVIEWS

Palomar Observatory, CA
5/1/2017

Mansi M. Kasliwal

Asst. Professor of Astronomy & Principal Investigator at GROWTH, Caltech


Pasadena, CA
5/2/2017

Jorge Cham

Cartoonist/Roboticist, PHD Comics


Los Angeles, CA
5/2/2017

Dr. Nancy Irwin

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Certified Hypnotherapist, & Life Coach


Denver, CO
5/5/2017

Irene Aguilar

M.D./State Senator, Colorado


Colombia, MO
5/9/2017

Jackie Gamboa

Ph.D. Chemistry & Producer, The Big Electron Podcast


Memphis, TN
5/11/2017

Artina McCain

Assistant Professor of Piano, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis

Steven Scott, DVM

Founder/Director of Veterinary Care, Hohenwald Animal Hospital/ Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary


Silver Spring, MD
5/15/2017

Dr. Pam Cipriano

President, American Nurses Association (ANA)


Washington, DC
5/15/2017

Adam Foss

Attorney/Founder, Prosecutor Impact


Baltimore, MD
5/16/2017


Brooklyn, NY
5/18/2017

E. Lockhart

Author


New York, NY
5/19/2017

Mila Rosenthal

Director of Communication, United Nations Development Programme

Dr. Ivan Joseph

Author/Director of Athletics, Ryerson University

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