Siblings earn Ph.D.s a few days apart |

Siblings earn Ph.D.s a few days apart

CARBONDALE – Janver and Khaila Derrington, of Carbondale, got a double dose of duty as proud parents when both of their children earned their doctorate degrees in a three-week period this spring.

“I feel so proud of them both,” Khaila said. “I’m kind of in a bit of disbelief.”

Her daughter, Taletha, graduated from Brandeis University in Boston on May 20 with a doctorate in social policy.

Her son, Ian, graduated from the University of Washington on June 8 with a doctorate in physics.

Taletha is a 1989 graduate of Aspen High School. She attended the California Institute of Technology and then earned her master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, according to her mom.

Khaila said her daughter learned from a lot of great teachers at Aspen High School. They inspired her to study and “never closed any door,” Khaila said.

As a young student, Taletha wanted to be an astronaut, but her aspirations changed when it was time for college.

“She hated physics,” Khaila said.

Ian graduated from Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale in 2001. He took a lot of extra, advanced classes through Colorado Mountain College. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and his master’s degree from the University of Washington. His doctorate work focused on a special process of sorting DNA, according to Khaila.

Taletha was born at Aspen Valley Hospital and raised in Aspen and Basalt. Ian was born at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and was raised in Carbondale.

“They’re true valley residents,” Khaila said.

The Derringtons’ brainpower helped the parents deal with the high costs of education. Both worked incredibly hard to earn a variety of scholarships, easing the amount the family had to borrow to put them through college, Khaila said.

Ian got a lot of inspiration from his older sister, according to their mom. He studied her school textbooks.

“My son was always trying to catch up to my daughter,” Khaila said.

He nearly caught her, earning his doctorate 19 days later.

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