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 Strategic Initiatives at UMBC: An Honors University in Maryland (, and Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering & IT. She is Special Assistant to the Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate and Professional Pipeline Development for the University System of Maryland (12 institutions). She is the Founding Director of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) –, and Co-PI for the USM LSAMP. Her research is on global diversity in STEM and she is an international speaker, covering nearly all continents, for groups and conferences such as the World Engineering Education Forum, the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, and the Pacific Sciences Congress. Her personal website is: Connect with her on Google+ Follow on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull;
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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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