Mother-daughter duo receive doctorates at Southern Miss

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A mother daughter duo both received their doctorates together at Southern Miss Friday.

Colleen Mestayer, 54, said it's always been her dream to receive her doctorate degree, but receiving it next to her daughter is better than she expected.

"When I finally had the opportunity and realized Allison was here at USM, I called her up and I said 'oh my gosh what do you think if I come and get my doctorate too'?"

Her daughter, Allison Tharp, 27, said she was a bit hesitant living with her mom again.

Tharp said, "I think we surprised ourselves and everyone else, whenever people would learn about this, they would say, I could never live with my mom."

Mestayer and Tharp said they both had their nuissances, but everything worked out smoothly.

"We got in ticks every now and then" said Tharp. Mestayer added, "We'd get aggravated or whatever."

Tharp continued, "Like clean the dishes, I do not want to clean the dishes."

Although both received their doctorates in different fields, Mestayer in Communication, and Tharp in English, they were able to help each other out academically.

Tharp said, "We'd share ideas for lessons, and complain about all the hard work, and writing we had to do, and sharing our successes together."

Both mentioned it's another chapter in their book they will always remember.

"I do not know that I like her, even more than I did before, because she is my colleague as well as my daughter" said Mestayer.

Mestayer and Tharp are on the job hunt to become Assistant Professors.

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