Yes, she should have backed up her data.

No, it wasn't a smart move on Tracey Phillips' part to carry on her key ring a tiny digital memory device, or flash drive, on which she stored the only complete copy of her doctoral dissertation, which represented three years of work.

And maybe the odds were against her getting the key ring back after she lost it late last month.

But Phillips, 42, who is working on her Ph.D. in counseling education through Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., remained optimistic.

Read more in Thursday's Post and Courier.