TEDxLivermore has exciting news about one of our speakers! Dr. Jim Ott recently participated in a graduation ceremony to celebrate receiving his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Saint Mary's College of California. For his dissertation--which received the Dean's Outstanding Dissertation Award--Jim conducted two semester-long studies in 2015 with 23 veterans at Las Positas College where he teaches English. The dissertation's research question explored the well-being of student veterans who wrote about their military experiences. The study’s findings suggest that veterans who write expressively within a classroom setting are likely to experience improvement in their well-being relative to college and life in general. Writing expressively helps student veterans make meaning of their military experiences as they transition from military to civilian life. Jim's study offers recommendations for educators as colleges and universities in the United States are enrolling a growing number of veterans returning home from military service. Nearly all veterans struggle in their transition from military to civilian life, and offering college credit to write about their military experiences assists veterans in their transition. During his TEDxLivermore talk, Jim--who is not a veteran--will share stories of these students, the therapeutic value of writing, and how, as civilians, we can connect with these young men and women in their journey home.