Write your dissertation like it’s a job, not a hobby. Tips from @DrWCarter, Dr. @AlexisInc, & Dr. Nanda Cortes in http://thedissertationhouse.com

This morning, we opened the Fall 2014 “Dissertation House for Employees and Non-Traditional Students.” This event is set aside to specifically serve career professionals, and non-traditional students who came back to school to work on their PhDs. Some have children in college, and some are leaders (e.g., VPs, Directors) in their respective professions. For various reasons, the PhD has been elusive … they haven’t had time to finish the dissertation. In the room today, we have a person from the Office of the Provost at a USM school, and attorney who is in the Public Policy program, an Assist. VP,  a clinical professional at a national lab, and some full-time IT professionals. This event is for them, and we invite you to join in. Join us online: https://dissertationhouse.wordpress.com/blog-online-challenge/summer-2014-challenge/



Tips from Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale, the Dissertation Coach and owner of http://www.phdcompletion.com/

  • *When it was time to go to graduate school, you did whatever you needed to do to get in. You wrote the statement, took the exams, asked for the letters … now I need you to to do whatever you need to do to get out. Be that committed.
  • “Stop looking for big blocks of time, carve out 15 minutes each day.”
  • “Feedback gets you closer to a PhD, perfection won’t.”


AlexiscropTips from Dr. Alexis Williams, Human Development, University of Maryland College Park, Dissertation House Alum:


  • Label what is easy, medium, and hard
  • Create a system for accountability (I still have an accountability partner!)
  • Be systematic and committed
  • Set your countdown to defense and place it where you’ll see it every day.
  • Build the habit of getting up and showing up for the dissertation. It’s hard but it feels so much better emotionally to do even a little every day.


Nanda Leigh

Tips from Dr. Nanda Cortes, Biological Sciences, UMBC, Dissertation House Alum:

  • Break it into chunks
  • Work for a few minutes, finish a graph, do something even if it’s something that doesn’t require a lot of thinking.
  • Exercise or have a hobby. It helps clear the mind and makes it easier to work.
  • Find a good support group


As one of the co-founders of The Dissertation House, I urged our participants to take this time for themselves. Our career professionals in the room are always doing things for others, and in their dedication to their responsibilities, they haven’t always taken time for themselves. This is that time. We urge you to do the same … move your dissertation forward, today.

Dr. Renetta G. Tull, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Student Development and Postdoctoral Affairs, UMBC

About Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of California Davis. She previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at The Graduate School at UMBC, and was Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering & IT. She was 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) – http://www.umbc.edu/promise, and Co-PI for the USM LSAMP. Her research on global diversity in STEM continues, 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: http://renettatull.wordpress.com. Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull; https://twitter.com/Renetta_Tull
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