It happened again … in fact, twice in one week.
First I read that Mark Kelly, retired astronaut and husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, launched his campaign to run for the U.S. Senate seat once occupied by the late John McCain. The Arizona Republic described Kelly’s background:
He received a degree in marine engineering and nautical science from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, graduating with highest honors in 1986, according to his biography with NASA.
Then I got an email announcing a staff change at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering, an entity with which I have a longtime affiliation:
Dr. Leyuan Shi, a professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison, has taken over as the new director of the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing.
Professor Shi received her Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University in 1992. Her research interests include simulation modeling and large-scale optimization with applications to operational planning, scheduling, and digital supply-chain management.
Does someone ‘give’ you a degree?
Excuse me, but to my ruthless editor way of thinking, one does not “receive” a degree; one “earns” a degree.
receive: to be given, presented with, or paid; to come into the possession of
earn: to receive as return for effort, especially for work done or services rendered
Did either of these accomplished individuals float through higher education and “come into the possession of” a degree at the end? Of course not. To suggest so is highly insulting.
They spent years and a tremendous amount of energy, working hard to acquire the knowledge and develop the expertise that warrants the distinction of their titles.
Please, please, PLEASE: If your role includes talking or writing about people with academic credentials, honor their efforts and accomplishments with the right verb: earn
Do you have colleagues who need a reminder about receiving versus earning? Please share!Like it? Share it!