Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Second Reader

Shadi Roshandel, PhD


This project examined the ways in which dialogical processing of the fact of one’s own impending death impacts meaning-making in day-to-day life. Taking a qualitative approach, the thesis builds from five in-depth interviews and follow-up surveys with students in higher education. In reviewing the role of death education in public school settings, the study concludes that an enhanced emphasis on love of learning, creative thinking and community engagement in public education is the most effective way for educators to support students in building appropriate skillsets to create meaning in their lives, as well as in the face of their eventual mortality.