Kennesaw State graduates are ready for next challenge

Greg Doss and his son Gage Doss prepare for their May 13 Commencement at the KSU Convocation Center.

Kennesaw State graduates are ready for next challenge

Father and son to share Commencement ceremony

Greg Doss and his son Gage Doss will make history when they graduate from Kennesaw State University together on May 13, because both Cartersville residents will receive graduate diplomas during the school’s evening Commencement ceremony.

On May 13 and 14, nearly 2,200 graduates will walk across the stage at the KSU Convocation Center. All of them have unique stories to tell, but this father and son stand out from the crowd.

That’s the way Greg, 53, a Sprayberry High School teacher of engineering, drawing and design, engineered it.

“I was determined to get out early in order for my son and I to graduate together,” Greg explained. “I was little bit ahead, by a semester, from my cohorts.”

A couple of years ago, he had encouraged Gage, who had received his Bachelor of Science in mathematics education from Berry College, to enter KSU for graduate studies. Gage provided the heavy number crunching for his dad’s dissertation.

“I’m in the social sciences, and Gage is in the practical sciences,” Greg said. “He laughs at some of the things social science does in statistics.”

But Gage was happy to lend his dad a hand. “I helped with the analysis in his dissertation,” said Gage. “It took us a while to get a handle on the ‘how to’ part of the study, but after we figured it out, it was pretty easy.”

Greg added, “And my dissertation was the source for his practicum. He had to use live data for his final project, which my research provided him with.”

By accelerating his courses, Greg also will become the first doctoral student in the Bagwell College of Education to receive his degree in the educational leadership concentration of the educational doctorate (Ed.D.) in leadership for learning.

A triple-threat alumnus with undergraduate, specialist and master’s degrees from KSU, Greg also has earned three other college degrees.

So, what are the odds of a father and son graduating from Kennesaw State University on the same day, during the same Commencement ceremony, each collecting a graduate degree?

“I can give you some directionally accurate numbers, but I’m not sure this would pass peer review,” said Jennifer Priestley, professor of Applied Statistics and Data Science.

“The probability of a parent and child graduating together from KSU at the same time is about .04 percent. Now, to give you some perspective, your odds of winning American Idol are .005 percent,” she said. “Your chances of having a YouTube video achieving a million hits, about .000032 percent; and your odds of winning the lottery, are not so good, at .00000715 percent.”

However, Priestley offered a sure bet. “If you study statistics at KSU, your chances of landing a good job when you graduate are 100 percent. And that’s no joke!”

After graduating with a master’s of science with a concentration in applied statistics, 24-year-old Gage has his sights set on a career as an actuary, corporate analyst or consultant. But the odds are pretty good he, like his father, may pursue a doctoral degree in the future.

– by Robert S. Godlewski; photo credit Anthony Stalcup