Throughout my time as a candidate for the PhD in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University, I have had many experiences both in the classroom and out that have shaped my degree, learning, and life. The residency year is the central component of my degree; it is the culmination of coursework and practical experience in a principal task undertaken throughout the academic year. The two semester residency year requires students to take on a project related to Public History that will help the student meet his or her requirements for the program and relate to future dissertation research and career goals. The residency is an integral part of the degree program because through it, among other things, students are able to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field and build their doctoral portfolios. In addition, monthly colloquiums and discussions added to the residency year through networking and camaraderie with the other candidates at this stage in their educational process.