When I came to ASU and started my graduate study in 2007, my ultimate achievement was like the Neverland far away on the horizon and hidden in a veil of mysterious mist. Can I succeed to earn a PhD degree? – I was at sea. The first boat I took was the teaching assistantship for the undergraduate course Dr. Rittmann taught for a full semester. Not only did this unique experience enable me to have close communication with Dr. Rittmann and, later, to join his research center, but it was also loaded with exhibits of how honored and fun a successful academic life could be. I was ‘dazzledyetconfused’.
When I embarked on ‘a Journey to the center ofresearch’ as a research assistant in SCEB, I made clear at the first moment that, while the gigantic steamboat was floating in the sea, I had my feet on the deck. However, sometimes we get a promise out of focus when practicing it. I used to suffermal de merand think about giving up. But I finally made it.
A year ago, Dr. Rittmann took a trip to China and made a number of presentations in universities. When asked by a student about how to overcome the occasional setback, Dr. Rittmann answered frankly: ‘Sometimes we got manuscripts rejected, did not win project proposals… those are truly frustrating and discouraging. However, I did not let the negative mood last long. No matter it was frustration due to some failure or exhilaration after great successes, I will forget it soon and move forward.Keep moving forward– this is what we must always do.’ I was quite impressed by it. Although I had not heard this philosophy in full words before, myself and other PhD graduates and researchers in SCEB have imperceptibly been influenced by it and (in retrospective) perceptibly obtained benefits from it. This is a powerful engine driving the gigantic steamboat towards its destination.