Counseling, Laughter, and Ice Cream: Summer in the Dissertation House

Dr. Carter opened yesterday’s Summer Dissertation House at UMBC with a discussion on how to improve your working relationship with your advisor.  Tips included being on time for scheduled meetings, being prepared with written results and goals, and respecting the nature of the relationship by not treating it like a casual friendship.  The afternoon speaker was Dr. Jay LaVelle Ingram, Director of University Counseling Services for UMBC. Dr. Ingram took the group through some exercises and incorporated humor throughout her “counseling session.” The top discussions dealt with sleep deprivation and balance.

Some highlights from Dr. Ingram included the following points:

  • If you don’t decide to stop, you WILL finish your dissertation.
  • Have a vision of yourself as Dr. ________.
  • You are running a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Know the difference between necessities and luxuries. Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Food is a necessity. Exercise is a necessity.
  • Learn how to say “no” without explanation, and learn how to say “yes” when people volunteer to help you.

Adhering to the doctor’s advice to take a “real” break every two hours, and to engage in something completely different from your work, members of the DH went downstairs and took an “ice cream break” around 3 PM to enjoy the free ice cream and waffle bowl cones that the university sponsored as one of the summer activities in the Commons.

About Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is the Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Student Development & Postdoctoral Affairs at the UMBC: An Honors University in Maryland (, and the Director of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) – The PROMISE AGEP includes alliance members: UMBC, the University of Maryland Baltimore, and the University of Maryland College Park. She is passionate about training postdocs for careers, cultivating new graduate students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, retention of all graduate students, and Ph.D. Completion. She speaks nationally on these topics, and has projects in Maryland, Pittsburgh, and Puerto Rico. Her personal website is: Connect with her on Google+ Follow on Twitter:
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One Response to Counseling, Laughter, and Ice Cream: Summer in the Dissertation House

  1. Pingback: Working with the Summer Dissertation House at UMBC this week « Renetta Garrison Tull – Living Life Online

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