Summer 2017 Challenge

You’ve reached the official blog for the Summer Season 2017 Dissertation House Online. All comments can be posted here.


This is the Dissertation House On-line.

Welcome to the Summer 2017 “season” – July 2017 – December 2017!

Welcome! This is the space where you blog your dissertation progress online. Your goal is to finish your doctorate! Each year, we start the “summer season” on the first of July, and we take the “season” through December. Congratulations to our Dissertation House (DH) participants from the past who have defended and or graduated in the last season! We’re so proud of you!  (Our “Alumni” page will be posting updates!)

Thank you for accepting the new challenge for this season. That goal!  The Dissertation House at UMBC will take place next week. ODU and Virginia Tech’s Dissertation Institute served a number of students. There was so much progress with Dr. Carter-Veale’s Dissertation House-based sessions at the University of Pittsburgh last month, and the University of Maryland College Park has its drop-in writing sessions. Where ever you are, or have been, this is still the place for you … because you still need to write. You still need to finish, so join in!

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This page will be active from July 2017 – December 2017.  You can participate in this online Dissertation House from any part of the world. Students join the Dissertation House (DH) from various states in the US and many countries in the world. The “DHers” who participate in person come from universities throughout Maryland, with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation’s PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and funding from the graduate schools at UMBC, the University of Maryland College Park, and the University of Maryland Baltimore – The Founding Campus.  We’ve had hundreds of DHers who have been with us in person over the years from UMBC, UMES, UMCP, UMB, Morgan State.  Please join us!

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Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale is your “Head Coach.” Dr. Carter-Veale will be conducting “in-person” Dissertation Houses at UMBC, and at other schools via either AGEP sponsorship or through  Pre-registered participants are required to blog in daily during their time in the Dissertation House, and are encouraged to continue blogging until they finish their dissertations.

To join us online (from anywhere … no cost, free):

  1. Go to the comment section below and introduce yourself (name, school, department.) Note: You may use your full name or an alias. If you have a blog, you may use your blogger ID, however, you do not need a username or password to participate. You may use an anonymous pseudonym. We just want you to write!
  2. Tell us what you are working on and what you plan to accomplish today or over the next few days.
  3. Blog in daily, preferably twice a day (morning and afternoon/evening) to report your goals for the day, your daily accomplishments, and your goals for the next day.

We repeat the words here every time we post, because it is both important and true: Our graduates and participants pushed (and we do mean that they pushed through adversities, complications, and issues) to finish sections, get chapter approval from advisors, complete drafts, pass proposals, pass defenses, and turn in their final documents. These grads are now professors, working in non-profits, industry, and have had postdocs throughout the global academic community (e.g., France, South Africa, Egypt.)

If you have joined us in the past, come back again if you are still working on your document. We’re still here, and we’ll still be part of the community that will cheer you on! Post your goals for the next six months on this page. You’re not alone, this is your online community. Focus on completion. As coach Dr. CV says “A good dissertation is a done dissertation.”

156 Responses to Summer 2017 Challenge

  1. Pingback: PROMISE Dissertation House Summer 2017 DH Online. #ThinkBigDiversity — Join (free) from any location in the world; any school! | The Dissertation House

  2. Congratulations and welcome! You made it to this spot. We want you to get to work. Post your goals, let us know what you are doing. This is a journey, but you WILL finish!

  3. Dissertation House participant Kristen Lycett from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore defended on Thursday!! Congratulations Dr. Lycett!


  4. Dissertation House participant Patrick Carrington from UMBC defended yesterday! Congratulations Dr. Carrington!


  5. Patti O PhD says:

    Welcome new DH participants! You are about to embark on a wonderful journey. I encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity to meet other people from different disciplines who are on this journey, too. DH is a great opportunity two build a positive, pro-active, interdisciplinary community to help you succeed and complete your dissertation! Years ago I participated in over 6 DH and created such a community. All of us have now completed our dissertation. We met regularly even after DH was over and at several DHs over the years. I encourage you to take this week to make those bonds and build that community that will help you to be accountable for what you intend to accomplish, that will tell you you need to take a break, and that will offer safe spaces to vent about the process, about your advisor, about your family , about your finance, and about anything else that you need to, so you can focus while you get through this process. It will make a difference. All the best you. Sincerely,
    Associate Professor
    Department of Computer Science
    University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras

  6. Evidence: The Dissertation House works:


  7. Will says:

    my current goal is to successfully defend my dissertation proposal this summer. Name is Will.

    • Michelle says:

      You can do it Will!

      • Will says:

        Good morning all,
        I have stuck with that schedule from January 1, 2017 to July 13, 2017 and it has helped significantly in writing and editing chapters 1-3. Now on the 7th revisions from committees. For the dissertation house, my first goal was to obtain and incorporate feedback into the draft PowerPoint for proposal defense. I obtained and was able to incorporate the feedback and comments. My 2nd goal was to update and edit the reference pages, which has also been progressing as well. My third goal was to follow-up with my chair on defense date responses from my committee members. All three goals were accomplished.

        However, I learned yesterday that my chair is stepping down which means I would need to find another chair. Giving the criticality of a chair, this unexpected change is beyond shocking but debilitating. As a father of two, I try to remind myself of what I would say to my sons if they were in this situation as well as knowing how much they have watched me over the past 5-years burning the midnight oil, driving 3-hours to classes every other weekend. I remember vividly my then 5-year old son coming down to the living room at 3am to see me typing away surrounded by journal articles and he asked “Daddy, are you okay?” of course I told him, yes I am and he responded “well, you don’t look okay, you look very tired”. Throughout this journey, my sons have watched me closely whether missing family vacations, outing, or witness me weep… with anticipation of witnessing me walk across the stage with my PhD, they often ask me when I will defend or finish…I know my journey is as much there journey as they too have to sacrifice.

    • Hi Will! Ok! The key will be that we want to have you post your goals before 10 AM, each day, Tuesday-Friday of next week. We want to see small, measurable goals.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Will
      Great to hear from you. Begin with the end in mind and work backwards. Focus on the draft deadline. Things to consider: if you want to defend this summer, how much time to do you need to give your advisor and committee to read ?…You can do this but it means working daily as Dr. Tull mentioned. Are you up for the challenge? Welcome back to the DH.

  8. Demetria says:

    Hi! I’m Demetria Freeman and I’m currently at Nova Southeastern University in the area of Instructional Leadership

  9. Tootie Kassimu says:

    Hello, my name is Tootie Kassimu and I am finishing up my PhD from TWU’s Health studies department.

  10. Antoine Crosby says:

    Hello, my name is Antoine Crosby, but I go by Tony. I’m working on my PhD in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. My dissertation is a qualitative study examining intersections of identity development among African-American men. All data has been collected, and I’m transcribing these very lengthy 60-120 minute interviews.. lol. I’ve transcribed nearly half of the 15 interviews conducted, but recently lost steam. My goal is to transcribe least 60 minutes worth of audio today. Nice to meet everyone, let get DONE!

    • Michelle says:

      Transcribing can be quite tedious, but you’re almost there. Keep going

    • Hi Tony! Transcribing 60 minutes worth of audio per day is a great goal. Are you sticking to it? Congrats on having all of your data collected! Be sure that you have several backups. Be “ridiculously” protective of your data. It is precious! Have backups in the cloud, on thumb drives, on a few hard drives, in a few binders – printed out. This is a PSA.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Tony

      Welcome to the DH online. We officially begin tomorrow, that you for posting your goal of transcribing 60 mins of audio. So how successful were you today? Did you get it done? We would love to hear from you at the end of the day as well (good or bad). Best of luck to you. Dr. CV

  11. Kash Leads says:

    Hi All,
    I started this journey in Dec’12 in hopes of finishing June’16! Well fast forward to 10 DIS courses after passing Comps trying to get Chapters 2 & 3 approved!! I’m enrolled @ Northcentral University, specializing in Instructional Leadership. My goal is to be done by Dec’17 & walk July’18.

    • Ok Kash! Let’s get it done! Chapters 2 and 3 approved … that’s awesome! My guess is that you are taking on Chapter 4 this summer. Thanks for joining us!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Kash
      Welcome to the DH online. We officially begin tomorrow. Glad to see that you have some overarching deadlines. You also need some mini-deadlines with month, day, and year. When do you plan to finish a draft of Chapter 4? Looking forward to your response tomorrow.

  12. Michelle says:

    Welcome to Dissertation House Online!

    Like Patti, I am a proud graduate of the Dissertation House. I graduated last year from the Sociology Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. I look forward to beginning my new position this fall, as an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Missouri in the Department of Health Sciences.

    For those of you who are tired and maybe a bit ashamed that you’re still not finished, I’ve been there. I encourage you to believe in yourself again. You are smart enough, strong enough, talented enough, and have probably read enough. Stay committed to writing daily, even if it’s for 15 minutes a day. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Use this platform as a community of support. You can do this!!

    Michelle Beadle Holder, PhD

  13. Novita says:

    Hi I am Novita from Indonesia I am going to start my PhD in UK this coming September. My research interest is in education quality.

  14. Celena Cutts says:

    Hello everyone

  15. Dori says:

    My name is Dori. I started my PhD in soils 2011. I had hope to finish on time. But I’m the process I had a baby in 2015. It’s been a rough go since then. Working slowly but surely. chapter 1 is done and approved and chapter 2 and 3 in the works. My overall goal is to defend by December 17 and walk May 2018.

    • Germaine says:

      Great goal Dori! Best of luck.

    • Congratulations Dori, We’ve had pregnant mamas in the Dissertation House, as well as babies in carriages. One year, the deans and students came in and took turns holding a participant’s baby so that she could work. We’re all proud to say that she finished, and is in her postdoc at NIH now.

      You have to have a “Finish” plan. How will you manage your schedule? Who can take care of the baby for you during specific times? Is there a friendship circle who can help? We live by the 30 minutes/day plan.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Welcome to the DH online. We officially begin tomorrow.

      Congratulations Dori on the “not so new baby” 🙂 Having a baby is a blessing and yet it can be a struggle at the same time. As Dr. Tull mentioned you are not alone. Three of our students have had babies at this stage. One of our CS students completed her dissertation with her first child and then subsequently had twins!!! She was glad that the dissertation was behind her when the twins came along. Some days will be more productive than others. On the days that are productive write as much as you can. But….for the other days you need a list of things to do on your dissertation that do not take up much brain power such as formatting, in-text citations, bibliography, tables, figures, cover page, acknowledgement page etc.
      I hope to see your mini bite-size daily goals for the next 4 days posted here in the morning. All the best to you. Dr. CV

  16. Hi, my name is Jenn,
    I started my PhD 2012. My goal was to finish this year but due to many reasons I did not, however, I defend my proposal on September 21. My current goal is to complete/follow up on the feedback from my literature review and outline for chapter 3 by July 17th. I hope to get literature review to my professor by 7/12. Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer. Congratulations on continuing toward the goal. Many of us didn’t finish during our original time frames. That’s ok. One Tuesday, please let us know how you’re doing with that lit review.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Welcome to the DH online. We officially begin tomorrow; good to see that you plan on getting the Literature review to your advisor in 2 days. If you don’t have it done by then you might consider the outline first then tackle the literature review. There are no rules saying that it must be done in a linear fashion. You can create the outline for Chapter 3 prior to the Lit review in Chapter 2. Keep us posted on our progress.

      • Jenn says:

        Good morning Fellow Scholars:
        Thank you for your warm welcome! My goals for July 11-16 are as follows:
        1. Double check and complete the citations for the first section of my literature review
        2. Complete the middle section of the literature review
        3. Double check and complete the citations for the second section of my literature review
        4. Complete third section of the literature review
        5 Double check and complete the citations for the third section of my literature review
        ** I have several drafts so I am not starting from scratch, 🙂

        • As you can see I revised my timeline.I think this is more realistic.

        • Dr. CV says:

          Hello Jen

          How much of this did you accomplish today? Good to see you have manageable bite size goals.

          • Jenn says:

            Good morning:
            Thank you so much for checking in with me. I accomplished the goal of getting the references in this morning, so section 1 is done. We had a RFP to complete for my internship and this got me off track a little yesterday. I am working on the next section of the literature review which I will do tomorrow morning. So I am a little behind. I will also check in with my advisor today. I really like that I have this accountability.

  17. Pingback: An invitation to get up and write! Saturday morning, coffee, and breakfast. | Renetta Garrison Tull - Living Life Online

  18. Will says:

    Good morning fellow scholars,
    My immediate goals for July 10-16 are:
    1) editing and updating my references pages for the dissertation proposal (chapters 1-3) specifically identifying missing DOIs.
    2) Update powerpoint slides.
    3) Follow up with my chair.

  19. Dr. CV says:

    Hello All
    I am glad to see that many of you have migrated to our new page. Welcome to the on-line DH. The students meeting with me tomorrow will join you in your quest to achieve a PhD. Many thanks to Dr. Tull who set up the page and got us started. A big shout out goes to former DHers Drs. Ordonez, and Beadle-Holder for sending their well wishes and encouragement. They can certainly say “been there done that.” Soon enough you will be saying the same thing too. Congrats to Drs. Lycett and Carrington who past their defenses; welcome to the club.

    I am looking forward to the Dissertation House at UMBC tomorrow. Day 1 we will set our goals for the week and challenge ourselves to get them done. I am happy to see many new people from other universities and other countries on the blog. Hello to former DHer Will from UMES who is working on the proposal.

    I wish you all the best . Remember, a good dissertation is a done dissertation. The perfect dissertation is unfinished.

  20. Hi all!

    I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Teaching and Learning Policy and Leadership program at UMCP. I am here at the DH at UMBC and feeling motivated today. I am working on my proposal and planning to address my framework, lit review, and methods while I’m here. My plan is to defend my proposal sometime in August/early September.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Erika

      Welcome to the DH. I was good talking to you today about your research goals. By the way, I did not see the email so that I could reply back and send you the document we talked about. Maybe in the morning in the DH if I have a moment I can send it.

  21. Heidi says:

    Hi Everyone!
    I am in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program at UMBC, and working on my dissertation, which I am hoping to defend soon. My research is on extending professional development through community, and looks at the emergence of a professional learning community of non-native English-speaking teachers of English to young learners in Peru through a two year case study.

    My goal is to revise Ch 4 & 5.
    Good luck to all of you in Dissertation House!

  22. Good Morning Everyone,
    I am working on revisions for my dissertation. My goals for today are to:
    1) Re-Map my contributions to line up better with Chapters of my dissertation and
    2) Get started on the ~16 easy Revisions from my committee

    Good luck and happy writing!

  23. William Easley says:

    Good Morning Everyone,

    My goal for dissertation house is to make progress on my literature review in the areas of Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Engineering Education.

    Today I hope to:
    1) Reorganize all of the papers that I have been collecting but have been (done)
    2) Update my note-taking template based on Dr. Carter-Veale’s advice (done)
    3) Start reading

    • William Easley says:

      Todays Dissertation House was fairly successful. Items 1 and 2 from my list were complete early this morning. After completing items 1 and 2, I was able to start reading and get through several papers on Identity and self efficacy. I had to leave dissertation house to conduct an interview with a participant at my research site, but I was able to return and do a little extra reading. Further, my interview went well, and I was also able to get a signed assent and parental consent forms back from another participant at my site.

      Tomorrow I want to keep reading and continue to update my note-taking template. I will have to leave dissertation house tomorrow morning to attend a research meeting but I hope to make up for lost time on Thursday and Friday.

  24. Denise W. says:

    Good Morning Everyone!
    This is my second Dissertation House and I am excited to be even more productive than I was the last time. My goal is to finish the complete draft of my paper, which involves adding methodology, figures, and results from my latest experiment. I plan to submit this draft completed to my PI next week so I can begin writing my dissertation proposal!

  25. D. McCauley says:

    Good Afternoon!
    I’m excited to be back in the DH and a little late blogging, but I have consolidated data tables for my chapter 5 and the rest of the afternoon I will be focused on a few edits. Good luck everyone!

  26. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good afternoon to all,
    Blogging is a new concept for me… but here goes. I am at my first DH at UMBC this week, a lot has changed around campus since I was last here for classes (lots of new buildings :)!!!). Very excited to be here. My goal for the week is to update/tweak my Dissertation Proposal Abstract, which is the first step toward my Dissertation for the Public Policy Dept. Hope everyone has a productive week!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Welcome back to UMBC and the DH. I hope that you get the abstract and more done in 4 days. We looking forward to seeing your progress.

  27. D.McCauley says:

    Hello All! I hope today was successful for everyone. Overall I was able to complete my consolidated tables for Chapter 5 (sent to advisor) and I was able to write/update 5 graphs for chapter 3. I also outlined the remainder of Chapter 3 for tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I will begin with the edits from today and finish with the remaining graphs of Chapter 3. Keep up the good work guys!

  28. Alesia Hovatter says:

    During today’s session (July 11), I found several new articles of interest for my draft Dissertation Proposal Abstract. For the Public Policy Dept., the proposal abstract should only be 2-3 pages, so brevity is critical. I went through my draft and eliminated sentences that likely are not needed for this draft. Tomorrow, I hope to schedule time with Dr. Carter to review my draft abstract.

  29. Good Afternoon,

    End of Day 1
    Draft Reorganization of Chapters, new Outline of Contributions, started on Easy revisions (completed 2).
    Tomorrow I will be continuing with the easy revisions including outlining the new story for the reorganized chapters.

  30. Denise W. says:

    End of Dissertation House Day 1!
    Today I accomplished more goals than anticipated. I finished 3 points instead of 2.
    Tomorrow, the first thing I need to do is make sure I am finished with my presentation for 1pm. Following that, I will familiarize myself with GraphPad and also plot my data using it.
    I hope everyone had a great start to the week!

  31. Heidi says:

    Hi All!
    Today, I was able to update CH. 4 by merging previous content with my updated Chapter Outline. I learned a really helpful way to organize my lit review using an excel doc which was shared by Dr. Carter-Veale, and also had a helpful conversation with her that clarified my goals for Chapter 5 and helped me focus on a more explicit approach to my findings.

    Tomorrow I will continue to revise Chapter 4, expanding a few sections and revising the introduction. I will also incorporate more literature in relation to the findings from my notes.
    Today was helpful!
    Thank you~

    • Dr. CV says:

      I truly enjoyed talking to you about your research. I am sure you will meet your deadlines.

      All the best to you.

      • Heidi says:

        God Morning! happy DAY TWO Everyone! I am revising Chapter 4 to more explicitly address my research questions, and elaborate on a few new sections.
        Hope everyone has a productive day.

  32. joeydbrwn says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am Joey, a doctoral candidate in the sociology department at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus. I’ve attended DH before and am excited to be blogging about my progress over the season. My long-term goal for the season is to complete and defend my dissertation proposal before November 1. This week I am working on methodology. My goal is to identify the dependent variables for my dissertation, write about how they are measured, and consider proper statistical modeling techniques. Today, I wrote about the indicators for the dependent variables I want to use in my dissertation (have to run them by my advisor on Thursday for approval). I collected question wording, wrote concepts I want them to indicate, and their level of measurement.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Joey
      Welcome to the DH online. We are happy to have you and even more glad to see that you have a plan to finish your proposal. As a fellow sociologist myself I wish you the best. If you have any methodological questions you can post them here. I can take a stab at answering the question. As a sociologist from UW-Madison sociology dept, I think I know a little something about quantitative research methods.

      • joeydbrwn says:

        Dr. CV,

        Thank you very much for the warm welcome and the support! I will most certainly take you up on your offer as needed. Also, thank you for advice you’ve previously provided at the last DH I attended. It has facilitated my progress (and contentment) in the program.

    • Joey!! Hey there! Good to “see” you! Thanks for joining in!

  33. Heidi says:

    Hello Dr. Tull and Dr. Carter-Veale!
    Thanks for your support in the DH! I have a question about the style guide for the dissertation.

    I have a style question. I am using APA style for my citations. The website says that the dissertation should follow the 5th edition of APA (2001): Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . 5th. ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2001. [Reference Desk: BF76.7.P83. Also at Audio Speech Pathology Lib.]

    However, there is a 6th edition from 2010.:

    As the 2010 version is already 7 years old, can I use the 6th edition, or must I go back to the 2001 style guide?


  34. KC says:

    Good Morning DH,

    This morining I will continue to work on my single case model and I will start my multi-case model this afternoon.



  35. KC says:

    Good Morning DH,

    Today, I will continue to work on my single case model and start my multi-case framework this afternoon.

    All the Best,


  36. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good morning all~

    Day 2 of the DH here at UMBC. This morning I met with Dr. Carter (who is great!), and took time to be transparent about my topic. The ultimate goal is to go from ABD to PhD–so why make this harder on yourself? Sometimes the road less traveled is not the best road for a dissertation. The outcome of the discussion this morning was to take another look at my topic. My goals for today are to become familiar with “The Proposal Cookbook” and take a hard look at a topic I previously studied a few years ago.

    I have also found that I do better with a “Coach.” That has been my experience throughout life with being involved in track and field (Go Retrievers!). Now, I just need to find someone in my life that I can count on to help be my “Coach” for my dissertation. Someone to discuss ideas with, I found that so helpful this morning with Dr. Carter.

    Hope everyone has a productive day :)!

  37. Denise W. says:

    Good Morning!
    Excited for dissertation house Day 2! I am finishing up my presentation for this afternoon. Then I will be ready to start tackling the paper again.

    I hope everyone has a productive Day 2.

  38. Good morning everyone!

    Looking forward to DAY TWO!

    -I plan to complete my reading (~10 conference publications), and add the papers to my literature review chart.
    -Finish the related work section of my conference paper.

    • Today’s DH went well. I split my time between reading and writing.

      I completed reading 2 papers, but in the process, I had an epiphany regarding my research questions. My research questions weren’t focused and too broad. So I spent time adjusting my research questions. I believe refocusing my research questions will allow me to identify the appropriate papers for my lit review.

      I did not complete my related work sections– I later realized it was an ambitious goal for one day. I completed ~50% of the section.

  39. Good Morning Everyone!

    I’m DH Online today but still there in spirit. I’m continuing with easy revisions and might be meeting with one of my committee members today to make the best plan for the last two days of DH. #teamgetitdone My daughter says hi!

    Goals for today:
    1) Approved new outline
    2) Reorganized text sections
    3) New sections to write clearly marked and outlined.
    4) New TOC!
    5) Figures and Tables, with references DONE!
    6) Formatting DONE!

    • Hello Dr. C

      Good for you for posting your goals and say hello to you daughter as well. So Patrick how much were you able to accomplish at home today? Was the amount different than when you are at the DH in person? What were some of the challenges?

  40. D. McCauley says:

    Good Morning!
    This has been a very productive morning! I rearranged and updated half of my proposal revisions and left a few more for this afternoon. I am looking forward to completing these edits today!

  41. William Easley says:

    Hi Everyone
    This morning, I was able to attend the 9 AM mini-lecture, and attend my off campus meeting. After returning to campus, I was able to participate in our afternoon activity (about speaking about your science) and now plan to get started on my reading again.

    • William Easley says:

      After the afternoon activity, I made it through one and a half (long) articles. I spent a lot of time on a really interesting article in the computer supported cooperative work research space which explored Makerspaces tailored toward entrepreneurship. Although the population and motivation was different than my research, I was able to draw a lot of parallels to my research site. This sparked a lot of ideas (notes) for how to possibly frame my current research and also questions to explore about how the physical space of my research site impacts the way that my participants are interacting with technology.

      Tomorrow, I will pick up on my reading first thing in the morning. Hopefully these next two uninterrupted days of reading will help me make more progress towards my goals.

  42. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good afternoon all~

    I really enjoyed listening to the elevator speeches today! We have a lot of amazing minds and topics in this room, good luck to all in pursuing your doctorate!!

    My personal lesson for the day… Changing topics can be overwhelming (and tiring). A quick review of the current research (since I last studied this topic in 2008) has been eye opening. It seems the problem I was looking at almost 10 years ago 🙂 is still a topic that can be studied. Today was successful, but I don’t feel like I am putting pen to paper fast enough.

    Hopefully tomorrow I can figure out the puzzle pieces in a logical order, as well as make progress on writing the 13 steps for my cookbook recipe.

    • Hello Alesia

      Glad you see that you were willing to consider something new. Now that you have read your earlier version, I suggest that tomorrow you might try reading the Proposal Cookbook and working your way through to the end by reading and answering the questions without notes. What you don’t know you can note by [Look up later]. Think of what I am suggesting as a mind dump of all that you currently know about the topic. Good luck.

  43. William Rivera says:

    I really enjoyed the 2 minute dissertation house television show. It helped me talk about my research in a safe space while receiving some positive critics. Tomorrow I begin journaling to help me with writers’ block.

  44. Denise W. says:

    Today did not go as planned at all. The presentation took over my whole day till 3pm basically. I got in a good hour of working on the paper, so I got something done. I am hopeful that tomorrow will be more productive writing-wise.

    • Denise
      It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Good for you, 1 hour is better than nothing. I believe in 15 min a day so compared to that you are an over achiever 🙂 You have another day and another opportunity to get it almost right. Progress not perfection = a PhD.

  45. Heidi says:

    Hi Everyone!
    It was great hearing about other folks research today. There are cool things happening here at UMBC and other UM institutions!

    Today I worked on several revisions to Chapter 4 and am planning to continue these revisions tomorrow. Ade shared a cool tool for dictation on google drive so you can talk out some of what you want to write.

    It was also helpful to practice a 2 minute version of our research. Thanks also to Dr. Lee who shared that the counseling center has stress-relief resources even a massage chair:)
    Thanks for a great Day. Looking forward to more writing tomorrow.

    • Hello Heidi

      Glad you enjoyed your 2 min elevator pitch exercise today in the DH. We should all be able to explain our research to a lay audience without a lot of jargon. Thursday is the day you set for submission of chapter 4 so we are here to encourage you in meeting that goal. We still consider 11:59pm EST on Thursday as a success. Go, go, go!!!Cape and tights.

  46. Good Morning Day 3 of the DH. Congratulations if you are still with us. The work is still not done. A good dissertation is a done dissertation; the perfect dissertation is unfinished.

  47. Heidi says:

    Good morning! Day 3- I’m still working on Chapter 4 🙂 Tonight will be a late night!
    Here’s to productivity!

  48. D. McCauley says:

    Good Morning,
    Yesterday I was able to complete the majority of my edits and met with my advisor this morning to discuss them. He was pleased with the changes and asked me to move forward. Today I will update his comments and transition back to Chapter 3 to finish my data analysis. Good luck to everyone!

  49. Hello all! Day 3 is here.

    My plans for today are (priority) :
    -Complete related work section
    -Complete literature review chart

    I plan to stay longer today and catch up!

    • Blogging out..
      I am close to completing the first draft of my related work section– yay!
      I read through majority of my (proposed) literature review papers, and look forward to filling in the chart tomorrow.

  50. William Easley says:

    Hi everyone,

    Today I plan to read, read, and read. I’m looking forward to my first uninterrupted day of work at Dissertation House.

    Good luck to everyone!

    • William Easley says:

      Today I continued reading, searched for some new literature and had a helpful meeting with Dr. Carter Veale about how the contributions that I want to make leading up to my proposal (and for my dissertation).

      I plan to continue reading tomorrow but will be a little more focued . Tomorrow I plan to keep look at more workplace studies in the CSCW field, and also read up more on the concepts of organizational memory and boundary objects.

  51. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good morning,

    Day 3 of the DH at UMBC. Today I am working on the 13 steps of the “Proposal Cookbook.” Trying to fill in the words and use [Placeholders] for references that I need to add later.

    Hope today is productive!

  52. KC says:

    Good Morning DH,

    My model has been running overnight. I was able to meet my goals of passing functions to functions which is actually rather easy with my optimization algorithm. I was just thinking too much about my montecarlo function. I will start editing chapter 6 this morning and work on my multi-case form in the afternoon.

  53. Denise W. says:

    Good Morning All,

    Because of the events of yesterday, I have decided to change my plan for today. I am going to begin a complete literature review for my paper in stead of analyzing data. Using the excel sheet and diagram examples from Dr. Veale, I hope to fully demonstrate the importance of my research question to collaborators on the project.

  54. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good afternoon,

    Blogging out while my brain is still working 🙂

    Making progress, so I consider that a good thing. I have a rough draft of my 13 step proposal “recipe” from the cookbook complete. I felt pressure to not have included everything. This is definitely not my best work, but any progress is good progress. My main goal was to get the highest level on paper, and then I can go back later and add.

    The goal for tomorrow is to show this to Dr. CV during our meeting time. Hopefully this pen to paper will put the puzzle pieces together so it makes sense, and I have a topic that can move forward as a potential dissertation topic. I am hope to get feedback on my methodology.

    The raw drafting was a fun exercise today. I am finding that exercise is helping me with my afternoon writing. As for other insight from the day, I really like journaling, and am finding I can map out ideas with a pen and then bring them into the Word document. Just hoping my stream of consciousness thinking is actually going to make sense when I present to someone else :)!!!

    Hope everyone has a productive rest of the afternoon!

  55. D. McCauley says:

    Today was very interesting! I made many edits for my document, but I think I will have to revamp the entire structure. Tomorrow I will be joining online. Hope everyone made some progress today.

  56. Denise W. says:

    Day 3 was more productive than Day 2. I added 12 papers to my literature review file and have several more identified in cue for tomorrow. Looking forward to productivity in Day 4.

  57. Heidi says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Today I worked on a lot of Chapter 4 revisions and will keep working tonight. Specific revisions included refining some new sections and revising to use more active voice, and to include connections to practice and professionalism through out the chapter. As Dr. CV says, “it’s not a mystery novel!” So I’m trying to frontload the important details throughout.
    It was hard taking breaks, I need to finish this Chapter. Dr. Tull’s “quick write” was exercise was a nice way for me to purge a lot of the disconnected ideas I had rattling around that I want to organize more for Chapter 5. I’ll be going back to it tomorrow when and if i send of Chapter 4.
    Thanks Dr. Tull and Dr. Carter Veale for the helpful insights!

  58. Day 3 of the DH has come to an end but the dissertation hasn’t. Keep in mind you’re creating a Ford with your dissertation, not a BMW. Leave the Beamer until AFTER the dissertation is over. Have a good evening. Heidi, we will be with you in spirit as you work toward submitting Chapter 4 by midnight.

  59. Hi everyone,

    I don’t think I posted this morning but today I worked on organization and editing individual chapters. I met with Dr. CV and got some good tips on making my writing clearer and more readable. I got some feedback on my new outline from one of my committee members and received some suggestions for reorganizing the presentation of my studies.

    With this in mind, tomorrow I will be working on re-writing chapters with this new organization.


  60. Good Morning All Day 4
    Today is the last day of the face-to-face Dissertation House. We hope that you work hard today to finish the goals you set on Tuesday. Moreover, we hope you continue to post your goals and accomplishments here. You might not finish your dissertation today but you can move it forward by 1. 1 sentence, paragraph, figure, table, experiment, reference, in-text citation. Another day another opportunity to get it almost right. Progress not perfection = PhD.

  61. D.McCauley says:


    I’m blogging with DH online today and my goal is to input my references into Endnote this morning. Good luck today everyone!

  62. Taiwanna says:

    For those of us who are virtual, is there a way to get access to the some of the tools that were utilized in-person?

    • Taiwanna says:

      Oh, and I forgot to say that I’m in dissertation proposal mode. Currently at a week-long lecture in health disparities that I will use to investigate potential data sources for my dissertation.

  63. Good Morning DH,

    My goal for today as yesterday is to send a paragraph summary of my Lit review to Dr. CV. In addition I will be working on Chapters 1 & 2.


  64. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good morning,

    Day 4 (last day) of the DH at UMBC. New goals for the morning are to take another look at the qualitative studies that have been done related to my topic, and generally what all states are doing. Trying to find some answers by the time I meet with Dr. CV this afternoon at 2pm.

    Looking forward to today. I feel like I am getting closer to nailing down my topic.

    This morning, I learned that after today I can continue blogging online through the DH to hold some accountability. Additionally, my goal moving forward is to block out 7-8am daily for writing time. I also heard that the next DH is in Jan, so I am planning to apply again :)!!!!

    This is really the most amazing experience, I am so thankful for all the feedback, support, and useful information for writing a dissertation.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

  65. William Easley says:

    Hi everyone,

    This morning I had a check in meeting with Dr. Carter-Veale who gave me some great advice on how to quickly filter through papers during literature review. Now, heading towards lunch I plan to keep reading research papers exploring the concept of organizational memory.

    First up is “Augmenting Organizational Memory: A Field Study of Answer Garden”


    • William Easley says:

      It’s the end of dissertation House. Overall I would say that this has been a productive week. I hope to keep this momentum up when I leave here. Here are some of my highlights:

      1. I organized my huge collection of papers for reading leader
      2. I started a new note taking spreadsheet for my literature review that i hope to keep adding to until I finish my dissertation.
      3. Got valuable advice on how to improve my literature review process
      4. Got valuable advice on how to demonstrate the generalizability of my research
      5. Got through about 15 out of about 20 papers that I hoped to read (I ended reading some long journal papers in addition to regular length conference papers)
      6. Did productive research things when I had to leave dissertation house and visit my research site

  66. Heidi says:

    Hi Everyone! I’m in DH online today… I’ve been “finalizing” Chapter 4 since the wee hours of the morning, and will be able to submit tonight. I’m a day behind, but yesterdays deadline was self-imposed, so I’m trying not to stress, but just focus on finishing…Today is the day!

  67. TT says:

    Good Morning Everyone,

    My name is TT and I attend FIT school / Business Management. I am currently working on my defense proposal. My long term goal is to graduate May of 2018. My short term goal is to have my defense proposal complete by August 15th.

    Tonight I will be finishing the final touches of my Chapter 1 and hope to submit to my advisor for review by Saturday night. Next, I will begin working on the organization of my Lit Review early Sunday/Monday.



  68. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good afternoon everyone,

    DH at UMBC = AMAZING! After just two days, I now have a topic (revived from 2008), plan for the study, and a support system to keep making progress. Most importantly, I am excited to start writing. I am so incredibly grateful for being selected to particulate in the DH.

    This week at the DH, I have really enjoyed the conversations, very happy to be back on campus at UMBC.

    My goals moving forward are to write from 7-8am daily, blocking this time in my schedule. The most immediate goal is to update my Dissertation Proposal Abstract with new insights from today, and have that draft ready for review on Tuesday, July 18th. I would be thrilled if that draft was ready for submission to my Advisor on July, 21st. The icing on the cake will be when my Advisor gives me the green light on the Dissertation Proposal Abstract.

  69. The DH is over for the summer but the struggle to finish continues. Keep writing and keep posting you need the accountability. Have a great weekend everyone.

  70. Denise W. says:

    I found so much literature to add to my lit review! My literature search today took me out of my discipline and into toxicology and pharmacology, which are perspectives I was just grazing before today. These new perspectives, with conclusions that also support my research question, should strengthen the question I am proposing and convince collaborators the question is still worth pursuing. I am truly grateful to Dr. Carter-Veale, especially for her presentation on how to sort her literature review.

    Once again, I gained momentum and information from Dissertation House that will keep me going. This time, I plan to remind myself more often of the writing skills gained and not just the time management. I am signing of for this 4 day DH. See you all next time and I wish everyone luck in their writing.

  71. Today I gained momentum and had a lot of positives. I had a great meeting with Dr. Carter-Veale and worked through some of the tougher organizational and structure details. This will hopefully be my last DH but I am really grateful for the experience. I have a plan to move forward and get the dissertation done and submitted.

    Good luck to everyone else.


  72. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good morning,

    Back at home today, online with the DH working this morning. Goal for today is to update my Dissertation Abstract Proposal based on the feedback received yesterday. Also, my other goal is to block 1-2pm daily on Tuesdays (on my work schedule)–this will be used for regular progress meetings on my dissertation as a touch base.

    Hope everyone has a great start to the weekend!

  73. Alesia Hovatter says:

    This morning I worked on my title (considering “branding,” and tired to include buzz words). I also researched the main data facts that I need to pull in to illustrate my problem statement. Starting to organize all the literature I am starting to gather, I think the Excel sheet organization will need to be employed sooner rather than later, for now I am creating folders by topic to try to keep things organized. Trying to spend what time I have now on the abstract (in order of priority, I feel the abstract is the most important right now), and when my abstract is being reviewed, I hope to use that time to create the Excel spreadsheet. Maximizing/time management.

  74. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Good morning,

    My goal for today is to update my problem statement, adding references.

  75. Alesia Hovatter says:

    Problem statement is updated with references, but not quite finished. I am finding that I want to add all the references to ensure I am giving credit where needed. However, I think the purpose of this abstract is to provide a high-level of references; and then use the literature review to show “all” the references. Trying to keep moving forward without getting hung up…

  76. Hello All
    It’s good to see that people continue to post after the DH is over. It’s Monday and you can always hit the reset button on a Monday. Even if you didn’t do anything all weekend, instead of spending the day feeling guilty you should get something done today.

  77. Kay C. says:

    Hi Folks,
    I am in the Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (Ed.D) online program at Florida State University. I defended my prospectus in June and just received approval for my Human Subjects Review (IRB) application this past Tues (7/25). I emailed invitations on Thursday for volunteers who meet the research criteria. It’s a long story but I am afraid I will not receive enough participants, even though my recruitment message includes a $50 Amazon gift card raffle. How do you beat the overwhelming and defeating feelings of self-doubt? I have spent two years framing and supporting my problem of research on paper, but when it comes to the real research, I am afraid there will be nothing to work with.

    • Kay C Your feelings are not unusual. Just know that many many others have shared similar self doubt experiences. It would be nice if all you had to do was ask and people flocked to participate. You will have to send out the invitations more than once; we offer a $400-500 raffle and we still have to beg and plead for participation. It also depends whether or not you will be doing an interview, how long it will take or if you are asking people to fill out an on-line survey. People participate for a number of reasons, not everyone is motivated by money and we understand that before we even start the research. Some people are motivated by the topic and sometime by the amount of time it will take to participate. Someone once asked me to participate in a survey that would take 80 minutes to complete. Although I was interested in the topic and I am a social scientists I ignored the request based on the time commitment. All the best to you.

    • Hi Kay C.,
      I’m another DH alum from 2012. Dr. CV is absolutely right! As we learn with humans, there are a lot of possible influences on people’s behavior. There’s no way to know what will happen until you ask. So ask. Ask again. When you finish your doctorate, NORC will start asking you to complete its questionnaires. I’d rather respond to you than them at this point, so why not you?
      Here’s the other – of many, SO many – ways Dr. CV is right: Many others have had and will have your same self-doubt. If you find what works for you to overcome it, you will finish your degree. Keep coming back and starting over again with every challenge, and the statistical likelihood is that you will mess around and finish. Beyond that, you will probably help others who follow similar paths, and you will use what you have learned for the rest of your life – the nice thing about self-doubt is that it’s one of the most loyal of companions. It won’t desert you after your degree.
      So here we are: Self-doubt is a sign that you care about something deeply. When you care, there are positives and negatives. The negatives are the “what-ifs” – what if I screw this up? The POSITIVES, though, can be your new focus whenever you start to feel doubt: “I really want this. I’m afraid because I’m feeling tempted to really commit to this outcome, not just intellectually, but with my daily habits and behaviors, with asking people to help me, which means I might give up some things temporarily – like my ego – and have to put in a lot more effort to stay balanced. That’s going to require a lot of work and energy and there’s a slight chance that might not pay off. But if I DO this thing? WOW, I WILL BE ELATED. This is really something I want – for me, not my committee (alone), not my family (alone), not my boss (alone) – for me, and this doubt is energy I can repurpose for taking an exhilarating step. I’m scared, but I’ve been scared before, and it’s just as easy to step forward scared as to stand still and go nowhere scared. Scared is just a bully. When I step up to it, scared runs.”
      Ok, I’m almost done. Two last things: 1) There is so much in your post that shows what you’re capable of completing and have ALREADY COMPLETED. Look how much you’ve done already and never have to do again. 2) This is on my refrigerator: Try to fail. Try to fall. Dare yourself. Give your all.
      Keep daring!

  78. joeydbrwn says:

    Hi everyone,

    It’s Joey Brown again. I hope everyone is well and making progress. I’m checking in for the week. I’m still engrossed in data preparation and cleaning. I’m working with longitudinal data and am reshaping the data to the long form and redoing my preliminary analyses so that I can view the data over time. I’ll informally write about y methods as I process the data. I’m also working on producing a one-page project summary for an NSF Dissertation Improvement grant proposal that I’m preparing. I’ve drafted it and will revise it today and send it to someone to review on tomorrow.

    • Go Joey D. in the place to be! The executive function is strong with this one. Hope you get good comments for review/revision so you can get that grant! Have you talked with folks who’ve already won NSF grants before for tips?

  79. promiseagep says:

    Good morning! Welcome to the Dissertation House for Non-traditional-student workers at UMBC!! Congrats to Noelia and DeLauren for joining us today to work on their presentations/slides before their defense!!! Remeber to make notes at the end of your day to help you remember what you were working on and help you start your writing process again the next day. In addition, keep a journal so you can write down your ideas!!!

  80. William says:

    Good morning,
    Great to meet Noelia and DeLauren this morning while working on my powerpoint slides for proposal defense.

  81. D. McCauley says:

    Good Morning All!
    I am getting a late start to the DH this morning because I just finished a practice defense talk with my group, which went well. My document is due next week, and I am finishing the remainder of my edits. Today, I will focus on the front end of my document (Chapters 1-3). Good luck to everyone!

  82. F. Carr says:

    I’m participating in Dissertation House to get recharged and set a new accelerated timeline for my proposal and final defense. I need all the help I can get and this exercise is my way of helping myself. Glad to see and hear other students in the midst of their processes. My goals for the employee DH has been created, I am making my list and checking it twice.

  83. D. McCauley says:

    Hello! I am checking out for today but I was able to make quite a bit of progress. I finished all of my edits for Chapter 1 and all of the minor edits for Chapter 2. Tomorrow I will start with the major edits from Chapter 4, followed by major edits from Chapter 3. Looking forward to another productive day!

  84. D. McCauley says:

    And I forgot to shout out the AWESOME Yara for her assistance today! The extra “tools” helped expedite my edits today 🙂

  85. William says:

    Signing out, I was able to modify part of my powerpoint slides and summarize two articles for chapter 2.

  86. promiseagep says:

    Good morning!!! Welcome to day 2 of Dissertation House!!! We made it! It’s Saturday morning, and we are sitting in this room, with the right mindset to keep scratching things from our list of things to do. Get your swagger back and happy writing!

  87. William says:

    Checking in for October 14, 2017. Today I plan to edit chapter 2 based on recommendations received from committee on October 13, 2017.

  88. Faizah Carr says:

    I’m ready to get started. I want to get some good pages and clarity for my chapter 1.

  89. Faizah Carr says:

    I finished writing for chapter 1. I sent forth to my advisor. She sent a couple of edits for my abstract yesterday that I received today. I have made the edits and submitted back to her. I have also sent the revised copy to two prospective committee members to request their participation.
    I began a preliminary review of the outline I made for my literature review. I realize I need to read some of the new articles I have found to make sure they are incorporated into my literature chart and fit into the outline….or need to make additions to the outline. I meet with my advisor this Wednesday and will hopefully get her feedback about chapter 1. I will meet that evening with my writing support group on campus.This week at work I plan to request the available data for tym study so I can begin to manipulate the options.

    I appreciated the modified Dissertation House to give me a nudge of motivation and how to manage my time so that I can have multiple balls in the air without feeling overwhelmed. Using my resources for progression.

  90. William says:

    Checking out for today, I updated my table of contents, references and edited/updated chapter 2 based on recommendations received from committee on October 13, 2017.

  91. faizahc1 says:

    I’m primarily reading articles to inform and update my literature review. I am awaiting feedback on chapter 1. I am also finalizing my dissertation committee.

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