Winter 2016 Challenge

Greetings! Happy New Year and welcome to 2016. The December weather was warm, but the cold is weather is taking its rightful place now that January 2016 has arrived. Is this the year that you will finish your dissertation? Say yes, and do it! Our online challenges span 6 months each: Winter Challenge [January – July] and Summer Challenge [July – December.]

Welcome to the Dissertation House On-line, Winter 2016 season! This page will be active from January 2016 – June 2016. Congratulations to our latest round of new PhDs! (See our “Alumni” page for regular updates.)

You are invited to participate in the online Dissertation House from any part of the world. Students join the Dissertation House (DH) from various states in the US and several countries. The “DHers” who participate in person come from universities throughout Maryland, with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation’s PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, AGEP-T), and funding from our graduate schools. We invite and encourage all doctoral students to join us. Graduate students within the University System of Maryland will have a special opportunity to join us in person this summer during the July Dissertation House during the PROMISE Summer Success Institute.

Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale is your “Head Coach.” Dr. Carter-Veale will be conducting the “in-person” Dissertation House at UMBC – January 2016. Our 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.

Join from your location … from any state in the U.S. or any country in the world. Take the challenge to finish your dissertation!

To join us online:

  • 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.
  • Tell us what you are working on and what you plan to accomplish today or over the next few days.
  • 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.


Push through adversities, complications, and issues.  Finish sections, work with your committee and advisor, complete drafts, defend proposals, pass defenses, and turn in your final documents. If you have joined us in the past, come back again if you are still working on your document. We started the Dissertation House in March 2006, and we are still here, … committed to your success! This is your online community. Focus on the finish, and finish well!


Winter Banner Photo Credits: Mandelbrot, Fractal, Ice, Abstract – CCO Public Domain. The Winter 2016 Dissertation House is co-sponsored by The Graduate School at UMBC, and by PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP.


249 Responses to Winter 2016 Challenge

  1. Welcome to the online DH! Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale,, will be here to join you throughout January, and the people in the in-person DH will officially begin posting on Jan. 19. Don’t let that stop you. If you’ve thought about your goals, post them now. There’s no need to wait it you’re ready! Good luck!

  2. Pingback: Winter 2016 Dissertation House | The Dissertation House

  3. Pingback: Say good-bye to self-doubt. Hello World. Hello Mission-focused action! #ThinkBigDiversity | Renetta Garrison Tull - Living Life Online

  4. Legena Henry says:

    Hi – I’d like to participate
    school: university of the West Indies
    department: Mechanical Engineering

  5. Welcome Legena you are the first one here. Good for you for getting the ball rolling in 2016. The Dissertation House will begin Jan 19-22. Please join us. In the meantime think about the goals you will set for the 4 days you will be joining us. After the DH you can continue to use this page to stay in touch and keep some accountability with others working to complete their PhD.

  6. Yarazeth Medina says:

    Welcome to the 2016 Winter Dissertation House online! All you have to do to get started is post your goals for the week. Who will be first? We welcome you! The UMBC in-person participants will be “here” from Tuesday, January 19 to Friday, January 22, but you don’t need to wait for us. Let’s get started!

  7. Legena Henry says:

    PhD Goal for tuesday 19 january 2016:
    – complete the manual solution for time step 1 in WCE simulation in Chapter 3 and compare it to the simulated solution for the first time step

  8. Blessing says:

    Goal for Tuesday – complete employment and housing sections in chapter 3

  9. Sheila says:

    Hi everyone and Happy New Year. My goal for today is to complete revisions on chapter 2 of my proposal and submit it! Best wishes to everyone. It takes a village to raise a PhD!

  10. Jodian Brown says:

    Good morning all!!!

    My goals for today are:
    1) Dissertation Introduction: a) protein allostery and b) allosteric inhibition

  11. Tahira Mahdi says:

    Thank you for providing this opportunity for us.
    I am “here” (in person) and I have the following goals for this week:
    1) Summarize at least 8 articles that are more specifically related to my study than what I currently have
    2) Write a section on whatever qualitative theory I’ll need
    3) Write some kind of Methods section, even if it is all wrong
    4) Table of Contents <– Dr. Carter-Veale said so
    5) Maybe write my researcher positionality.
    Letting perfection go……

  12. Adji Fatou Diagne says:

    Dissertation Goal Tuesday January 19 2016:
    -Clearly define my problem and begin drafting my proposal
    -Draft an outline and a writing schedule to stick to

  13. Michelle says:

    Good morning everyone,
    For today I will be working on Revising chapter 2. I’m taking Dr. CV advice which is to do this systematically. I’m finished with the creative part of writing. Let the systematic editing begin.
    -Read current draft
    -Make list of edits (easy, medium, difficult)
    -Complete edits in the following order.
    Easy Edits:
    – Intro
    -Section 1
    -Section 2
    -Section 3

    Medium Edits
    -Section 1
    -Section 2
    -Section 3

    Difficult Edits
    -Sec 1
    -Sec 2
    -Sec 3

  14. Fahad says:

    Hi Everyone,
    My today’s goal is to revisit Ch2 to identify the missing sections.

  15. Hi Dissertation House!
    I’m so excited to see these posts. I am a past participant of the DHouse who finished in 2012, who couldn’t have finished without help from your same program leaders (and fellow students like you). I’m sending my blessings. Remember, the more you come back and keep showing up for yourself, the more likely you’ll #GetItDone.

    Human Development/TLTC

    P.S. I’m working on developing an undergraduate peer mentoring program this week – my goals are to continue to conduct a needs assessment with campus staff and organize my notes for a summary by Thursday.

    • Yarazeth Medina says:

      Lexy! So good to see you here! Looking forward to seeing you on the PROMISE Research Symposium!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hey Alexis

      Thank you for your post. We are always glad to hear from an alum. It helps all us to be reminded that it can be done. Good Luck on summarizing your notes. Today is Thursday, did you achieve that goal or did you mean close of business Thursday?

      • Hi Dr. CV!

        Yes, I am compiling my notes from several sources into a list of considerations and recommendations to send for review today. My meeting tomorrow is canceled because of the snow, so I’ll try to make the memo as complete as possible for online review. So far so good!

        I’m enjoying reading everyone’s updates, seeing so many boxes checked off so far. I’m with you guys, and what Dr. CV says is right: Progress not perfection = PhD!


    • Tahira says:

      Thanks for your encouragement! The peer mentoring program sounds awesome. Best of luck with your goals!

  16. Jodian Brown says:

    I was able to write the following intro sections:
    – protein allostery, allosteric inhibition
    – HCV, WNV, DENV, FMDV system and polymerase
    – Resistance
    – Molecular dynamics simulations

  17. Maxim Serebreni says:

    Today’s accomplishment: Created a table of contents for dissertation proposal. Wrote several pages of the introduction and started compiling literature review for several chapters. Tomorrow’s goal is to finish the introduction chapter and start writing up experimental results.

  18. Andrea says:

    Today I able to complete editing my introduction/specific aims page for my Independent proposal!!

  19. Michelle says:

    I was able to revise my TOC and read a draft of my chapter 2.

  20. Tahira Mahdi says:

    I was able to summarize two and a half articles and find three more articles that are more closely related to my research. I was also able to keep persisting while I was tired. That means more to me than anything! Note to self… eat a HOT, REAL breakfast before leaving the house!

  21. Dr. J says:

    Hey Everyone,
    Today’s accomplishments:
    Converted literature review manuscript to APA format
    Went through Instructor’s survey items to start developing an analysis plan


  22. Gudrun Nyunt says:

    I’m splitting my time at Dissertation House between three papers: one for a research project on work-life of faculty, one on AGEP programs, and my dissertation proposal. My goal for today (Tuesday, Jan. 19) was to write a draft of the first research paper (at least 4 pages). I ended up being able to write a total of 8 pages and sent the draft to my professor, who is leading the research project.

  23. Had a great start today. Learned awesome techniques-Thank you Dr. Carter. and thank you Dr. Rutledge for helping me realize that I am not the only one with those kind of anxieties. Looking forward to more in the coming week!

  24. Jodian Brown says:

    Good morning all!

    My goals for today are:
    1) Complete dissertation introduction:
    a) dissertation outline
    b) chapter overview

  25. Sheila says:

    Good morning everyone!
    Yesterday was a great start. I completed one of my goals. Today I will be working on edits for chapter 2 of my proposal. Wishing everyone a very productive day.

  26. Akram Ahmed says:

    Yesterday I discovered that time management and data organization was my biggest challenge. Cant wait to see what I will Learn today.

    • Amanda Lo says:

      I also am working on my time management skills, but, try allotting some time out of your day just for writing. Even a few minutes of writing or working on your dissertation is progress! Good luck! 🙂

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Akram

      Glad you made it back to campus. Did you learn anything new yet? The day is young. 🙂 Have a productive day.

      • Akram Ahmed says:

        I have to say that each day in this session I learned a new thing about myself and how to accomplish my task. The session also enlightened me on the process of submitting the dissertation and how to deal with members of my graduate committee. Although I am in the early phase of my proposal, I think that I am now capable of setting milestones for myself till the date of my graduation with a realistic time line. This will help me follow up myself and keep on track and graduate in a timely fashion. Thank you all for your support.

  27. Tahira Mahdi says:

    Good morning!
    Today, I will summarize the rest of these music-related articles. Main goal is to write first, edit later! Perfection is not needed at this time! Let’s go!
    Theme music: “Step Into A World”- KRS-ONE

  28. Maxim Serebreni says:

    Good morning. Today i’m continuing writing my introduction on failure mechanism of solder joints in encapsulated electronics. The goal is to create a transition between common failure modes and the recent trend in failure of new encapsulated boards in a way to justify my experimental approach.

    • Amanda Lo says:

      That sounds very good! Best of luck! 🙂

    • Dr. CV says:


      How’s that introduction coming are we there yet? I see that the introduction is the first goal you have listed on your folder in addition to completing the proposal, outlining the results and of course creating a Table of Contents (TOC). How much of that have you finished. Was it too ambitious?

  29. Adji Fatou Diagne says:

    Good morning all! It has been a great one so far. Kudos to all who have spoken about their research this morning! You all are experts and all deserve the $10 million grants :-)!

    Although it took almost 5 hours to get home last night due to track obstruction (it was quite sad as the man lost his life) on the Marc train to DC, I must say that I’m happy to have been given the opportunity to participate in the DH. Yesterday was a big day, I can’t thank Dr. Carter enough for taking the time to help me turn my ideas into Dissertation worthy questions and providing me with valuable tools to organize the literature. I’m now all set to do research in what I love and make contributions :)!
    Looking forward to the rest of the day!!!

    • Amanda Lo says:

      I’m glad to hear this! You did a wonderful job doing your 2 min elevator speech! Im happy to hear about your progress! Best of luck!! 😀

      • Adji says:

        Thanks Amanda! I’m with Tahira, we appreciate all of the support and encouragement. This blog is so essential in providing motivation!

    • Dr. CV says:


      Glad I could help. Are you still creating an excel spreadsheet to keep track of the research? Is it working? It might seem like extra work but it will help you in the long run in identifying the gaps in the literature. Glad you were able to join us.

      • Adji says:

        Yes, Dr. CV I have been working on the excel document and it’s helping in identifying the gaps (additional variables and geographic areas to study/add to the underlying model). Based your lecture this afternoon on how to manage your advisor and be productive when you meet, I’m already working on an agenda for our meeting next week where I will provide him my proposed questions and give the mini lit review I’m working on. I appreciate you keeping it real that it’s all about “me” and that’s something that I will always remember and use it to guide me towards completing the Phd and afterwards.

  30. Michelle says:

    Good morning everyone,
    Today I will be working on revising section 1 of chapter 2.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Michelle

      Where are you today? I hope everything is ok. Perhaps you decided to work from home. Still log in to let us know what you are working on today.

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Dr. CV,
        Here’s what I worked on today. Based on the feedback from my advisor and another committee member, I focused on making sure that I had a clear story line for chapter 2. Here’s what I accomplished today:
        1. Clarified my main argument/claim
        2. Revised my outline to make sure I have evidence to support my claim.

        I tend to get distracted by the details of the literature. Today I was able to step back and map out the argument and evidence. I was able to do this based on the excel sheet that I revised yesterday of my literature review

        I feel much better about this chapter. Everything is out of my head and on paper. I have a clear outline and story.

        See you all tomorrow online.

  31. Fahad says:

    Good morning,

    These’s are my today’s goals:
    – Figuring out the best outline for the final dissertation documents.
    – Writing sections in analysis. At least data collection (sample profile and how data was collected)


    • Dr. CV says:


      I suggest that you begin by creating an outline for your analysis based on the themes. In addition if you are struggling with the writing you can go into that 100 page proposal and change the tense from future to present or past tense.
      It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Just do something today to move the dissertation forward.

  32. Andrea says:

    Good Morning!
    Today I will continue editing my Independent Proposal draft. Good luck to everyone!

  33. Amanda Lo says:

    Congratulations to everyone on today’s exercise on practicing the 2 minute elevator speeches! It was fun,

  34. Amanda Lo says:

    Congratulations to everyone on today’s exercise on practicing the 2 minute elevator speeches! It was a fun, and exciting exercise! Today, Dr. Carter mentioned about Toastmasters, which will help with public speaking. Below is the Toastmasters website:

    Feel free to utilize the website to find nearby Toastmasters events! 🙂 Best of luck to everyone on their dissertation, elevator speeches, and public speaking! 🙂

  35. Docta Momma says:

    Today I completed my dissertation introduction (official chapter 1) and started on chapter 3. Specifically, I completed the introduction section (leaving room to include findings after current experiments complete) and began the methods section of chapter 3.

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Docta Momma

      Good to see that you’re not waiting until the experiments are done. There are plenty of other sections that can be written such as the introduction, literature review, some of the methods etc. Some days it comes down to “words on paper.” Remember baby steps are still steps.

  36. Michelle says:

    Today I was able to put a good dent in revising the section 1 of chapter 2.

  37. Maxim Serebreni says:

    Today I added several more pages with supporting references to the introduction chapter. I discovered a new direction to go with the introduction and how to divide it between the respective chapters of the proposal. I also found several new publications that I can use to support my research so far.

  38. Sheila says:

    Today I completed my goal of editing chapter 2 of the proposal and merging it with chapter 1 of the proposal. I feel good but time flew by. Tomorrow I plan to finish revisions and submit. It was great to hear of everyone’s research today on the Dr. Carter-Veale Show! Everyone did an awesome job. See you tomorrow!

  39. Tahira Mahdi says:

    Great day in the House.
    I summarized more articles and had a one-on-one with Dr. Carter that was very helpful.
    I won’t pat myself on the back just yet. No matter how much I get done, it feels like I am just getting started. Oh, well. Onward!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Tahira

      I am looking forward to reading the Statement of the Problem this afternoon. You know enough already to put words on paper. Progress not perfection = PhD.

  40. Blessing says:

    I was able to continue revising two sections in chapter 3.

  41. Blessing says:

    I was able to continue revising two sections in Chapter 3

  42. Adji Fatou Diagne says:

    Today was a very productive day. I have collected several articles for my research and will be continuing to obtain more articles and continue organizing the literature. I have also worked on my introduction chapter a bit and the outline of each one of my papers. Happy to be surrounded by such great talent!
    Excited about tomorrow! Have a great evening everyone!

  43. Hongyi says:

    Hi all,
    It is my pleasure to meet you and try to make a short introduction to my research. I notice that I still have space to improve my presentation skills and it is critical to the future conference speech and reaching other possible opportunities.
    My goal of today, which is to finish reading one chapter of my research book, has been completed.
    Thank you.
    Hongyi (Bridget)

  44. Dr. J says:

    Today developed an initial plan for my survey analysis
    -(both open-ended and closed ended questions)
    -went through both surveys and determined the type of analysis I would use for each item.
    Regarding literature review publication
    -I found and downloaded 2 manuscripts from my university accepted from the journal

    -Will continue searching papers within journal related to my topic
    -Work on reviewing 3 papers on ICF theoretical framework

    • Dr. CV says:

      Dr. J

      Thank you for coming all the way from Pittsburgh. You need to make it back before the snow hits the DC metro area. Looking forward to seeing the outline of the theoretical framework this afternoon.

  45. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the Dissertation house today due to an inevitable whole-day-experiment with my advisor and team. Later, however, I did some more reading so as to reach my goals. My plan for tomorrow is to finish my rest of the reading part and start making an outline for my review paper and I am hopeful that I’ll finish all my goals eventually. .

  46. Docta Momma says:

    Today’s goals are:
    1) chapter 3: a) materials & methods
    2) chapter 5: a) summary of chpt 2 findings, b) summary of chpt 4 findings, c) future directions

  47. Sheila says:

    Good morning everyone. I regret that I am unable to attend in person today. It was a nightmare getting home last night as I slid all over the road. However, I will be online all day.
    Today my goal is to continue revisions on chapter 2 and submit by 5pm!! Oh, let it be so!
    Work smart everyone and if anyone is interested in google hangout or skying me in so I can hear Dr. Carter, that would be awesome! Please let me know.

  48. Legena Henry says:

    Today my goal is to complete the same manual case i started on Tuesday

  49. Maxim Serebreni says:

    Today I will start by writing an outline for my Experimental procedures for chapter 2. Then I will begin putting together various figures and pictures with appropriate explanation and rational behind the steps taken in the experimental approach .

  50. Dr. J says:

    Good Morning Everyone,
    As I mentioned yesterday I plan to:
    -Will continue searching papers within journal related to my topic
    -Work on reviewing 3 papers on ICF theoretical framework

    Also I received feedback from a committee member to incorporate:
    -describe ICF as a potential framework for future studies in the literature review manuscript
    1. review the 3 papers above
    2. determine 3 ways the theoretical framework can be used in the dissertation
    3. address this in the journal paper
    -Report implicit biases from which I’m reviewing the literature
    -1. figure out what this means
    -2. address this in the journal paper

  51. Tahira Mahdi says:

    Today’s goal is to write a Statement of Purpose, as recommended by Dr. Carter at our one-on-one yesterday.
    I haven’t reached any of the goals on my original list, but I am making progress in general.

  52. Andrea says:

    Good Morning Everyone!
    Today my goals are to complete my edits for the Independent proposal and update chapter 5 in my Dissertation table of contents.

  53. Fahad says:

    Good morning everyone,

    I plan to write two sections of my quantitative analysis pat of the dissertation .


  54. Dr. CV says:

    Hello All
    Welcome to Day 3 of the DH. Another day another opportunity to get it almost right. Progress not perfection. Thank you Amanda for replying to everyone’s comments. Hello Alexis thanks for checking in with us. Legena are you still with us?

    We focused on Preparing for Your Defense this morning. Almost everyone made it back today despite the sprinkling of 1-1.5 inches of snow last night. See you can work on your dissertation when the weather is not optimal. We’re expecting a blizzard type of snow storm tomorrow. We all will be participating on line tomorrow.

  55. On the first day of Dissertation House, I set 6 goals towards writing my first first-author paper: 1) Outline (aka Table of Contents), 2) Methods, 3) Figure captions, 4) Results, 5) Discussion, 6) Brainstorm proposal topics.
    By the end of Day 1, I had competed the general outline, revised the abstract, drafted the figure captions, and mostly outlined the methods section. I wrote a note to start with the methods section first thing on Wednesday.
    By the end of day 2, I had finished a bullet-point draft of the methods, sketched a few of the figures, outlined my discussion, and begun a bullet-point draft of the results. I made a note to start with the results section on Thursday. Crossing things off feels good!
    My plan for today is to finish drafting the results section, and to begin a bullet-point draft of the discussion. This afternoon I plan to start turning the methods section into paragraphs. I should also spend 15-20 minutes brainstorming ideas my proposal, as I have some new insight on the matter!

  56. Sheila says:

    Hi all!!

    I hope everyone is making progress. Today was hard for me, but I’m moving forward. I cannot allow anyone or anything to steal this educational opportunity from me. It’s all about me!
    I hope you each find a way to put yourself first. Prioritize your life and anything or anyone that is not aligned with your goals, must step aside.

    Continue to work hard. I will be online tomorrow. One day at a time…

  57. Akram Ahmed says:

    Written 80% of literature review section today. The process coached on 1-on-1 session was extremely helpful in getting the best practice to do a literature survey.

  58. Maxim Serebreni says:

    Today was a very productive day. After meeting with Dr. Carter I was able to realize how to structure my introduction chapter and how to structure the outline of the dissertation. Individual chapters would be based on my publications, and lit. review/methods/results would be placed in each chapter as it relates to future publications.

  59. Today was pretty good! I didn’t complete all of my goals, but while I was working on my results section I discovered an easier way of plotting the data. Looking forward to returning to the sections in progress tomorrow.

  60. Docta Momma says:

    Today, I completed the following:
    1) Chapter 3: a) materials & methods – biomolecule systems & MD conditions
    2) Chapter 5: general summary of chapters 2 & 4 findings

  61. Tahira says:

    Hi all,
    Thank you for sharing. It is nice to read about everyone’s accomplishments and progress!
    Today, I began both a Statement of Purpose and a Statement of the Problem. I definitely see how starting from a Statement of the Problem will help me make even more progress, especially as far as organizing my thoughts and knowing which lit to put into an Excel sheet.
    I also noticed that while I usually beat myself up over how much time it takes me to write several pages, even when I was focused and organized, it still took me the same amount of time. However, that just made me realize that I have to dedicate MORE TIME to this dissertation and just wear a sign that says, “NO” to everyone except my lab supervisors. If it’s not dissertation work, it will have to wait until the doctor is in. 🙂
    See you bright and ready at 9am on Friday!
    HOORAY for being snowed in with my research!

  62. Docta Momma says:

    Good morning all!!

    Here are my goals for today:
    1) Dissertation chapter 5:
    a) detailed summary of chapter 2 findings
    b) detailed summary of chapter 4 findings

    2) Data analysis:
    a) desolvate, com, rmsd, covariance, for 6 MD simulations that are completed
    b) continue simulations for remaining systems

    All the best to everyone! #WeCanDoThis!

  63. Michelle says:

    Good morning Everyone,
    My writing goals for today are:
    1. Make edits to chapter 2 based on my revised outline
    2. Update references

    • Dr. CV says:

      Good Morning Michelle
      Welcome to the last day of the DH.
      Glad to hear that you are able to have a story and support it with the evidence as well. What is your current deadline for Chapter 2? When we worked out the math for the deadline for graduation May 18th at UMBC, we figured out the first draft had to be finished by Feb 19….Are we there yet? When do you move on to the conclusion?

  64. Tahira says:

    Good morning!
    Today, I will finish my Statement of the Problem. I am looking forward to seeing what else flows from it, but next may be my Statement of Purpose. Now that I am using a formula of sorts, I feel more confident that I will make progress, and that is what is most important to me. Whatever it is, I’m ready to #GetItDone!
    One of the biggest benefits of Dr CV’s guidance is having an outside viewpoint (not in my field, not in my lab, not in my department) that can just quickly get at whether the basics of this make sense.

    • Good Morning Tahira

      Glad you hear that the Statement of the Problem is done. Please email it to me; I would love to read it. It seems that you might have found your cape & tights. Don’t forget the tiara, bracelets and lasso too. 🙂

      • Tahira says:

        Thank you for your encouragement, Dr. CV! The Statement of the Problem has been emailed to you. While I await your feedback, I will focus on the Statement of Purpose.

        I do have a question… Should we take a lunch break from noon to 1pm, or will it work for us to work and eat simultaneously?

  65. Dr. J says:

    Good Morning All,
    Docta Momma started us off early!

    I’m including what I worked on yesterday and what I’l be working on today.

    -learned about implicit bias through online resources and from others in the cohort
    -came up with 3 possible implicit biases with my Lit Review (LR)
    -found recent publication from committee member provided feedback on LR
    -reviewed 1 article and 1 presentation on ICF framework
    -tried to fit my research into the ICF theoretical framework diagram
    – intensive search for articles in JEE journal related to my research, found 1 that was close

    -Continue going through ICF material/articles
    – pick out what might be relevant
    -Write a brief summary of what ICF is
    -how it related to the articles I’ve read
    -and how it may or may not be relevant to my work
    -Connect Survey Research to ICF


    • Good Morning Dr. J

      Please tell us if you were able to get out of DC before the blizzard. Please post that you were able to make it back to Pitt. You can also create an outline as well. Safe travels.

  66. Sheila says:

    Good morning all
    My goals for the day include:
    -completing proposal lit review and SUBMITTING
    -completing lit review for manuscript

    Happy writing!

    • Good Morning Shelia
      I thought that Chapter 2 was done yesterday. I hope that you submit it by 12 today and move on to Chapter 3. Progress not perfection. Know that you will get revisions from you committee; it’s their job even if it is perfect. Please let us know when you hit submit. Good luck.

  67. Akram Ahmed says:

    Good Morning everyone, I hope that everyone as energetic as I am today. Today my goal is:
    1. Complete my Literature Review section, one of my main goals to attend this session will be accomplished.
    2. Review and edit my Introduction section to reflect changes I have introduced in the literature review.
    3. Put an outline for my system model and problem description section.

    • Good Morning Akram

      Thank you for checking in. Your goals sound quite aggressive and ambitious. Of the three you listed above which one will feel good if you accomplished it today? Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Good luck.

      • Akram Ahmed says:

        Just completed the draft literature review section. Going for lunch now. Will continue on task 2 after lunch.

        • Akram Ahmed says:

          Back from the break … lets do this 🙂

          • Dr. CV says:

            Welcome back. Have you heard from Fahad?

            • Fahad says:


              I’m here 🙂
              as I told you yesterday that I’m having a meeting in DC this morning.
              SO I came back for half day- inline DH.
              My goal until 5:00 p.m is to finishing tense change in my proposal to present/past. Also , as I started writing in analysis and finding chapter yesterday, I’d like to continue working on this and at least write 500- 800 pages if time helps me.

              Thanlks DRCV.

              • Dr. CV says:

                Glad to hear from you Fahad. Thanks for the reminder. It’s the end of the day. How much were you able to complete today. It’s good to know that you can get something done even with a half day. Stay warm and stay safe.

                • Fahad says:

                  Thanks Dr.Carter.

                  I really appreciate your help and encouragement.
                  I met my ( tense-change) goal and I marked section that needed addition or modification. For the second goal, I was only able to write 380 words.

                  Thanks again.

  68. Maxim Serebreni says:

    Good morning people.
    Today I will be finalizing my introduction and continuing my work on chapter 2 Experimental procedures. This chapter is very important to me since it will comprise my first journal publication.

    • Good Morning Maxim,

      Thanks for checking in. I see you have moved on to Chapter 2 or paper 1. Good for you. How did the rest of the introduction go? When I left yesterday you said it was going well.

  69. Blessing says:

    Good morning everyone!
    I was able to complete the two sections I was working on. Today I am working on a third section of chapter 3 and formatting my dissertation into the template (including figures and tables). Stay warm!

  70. My goals for today:
    Bullet-point discussion
    Turn my methods into paragraphs
    Brainstorm proposal ideas in a 30-minute freewrite

    • Good Morning Stephanie

      When you do the free write try doing it to a timer and try not to hit backspace or stop for spelling or grammar or anything including distracting ideas. After the timer goes stops, go back and edit. You might even consider turning the screen off while writing for 30 min. Good luck. Let us know how this exercise goes. We do that exercise in the DH so I am glad to see you trying it at home today.

  71. Adji says:

    Good morning all!
    Goals today: review 3-5 articles collected/posted on excel spreadsheet
    Brainstorm materials for proposal
    Let’s go…

    • Sheila says:

      Let’s go then!

    • Adji says:

      Almost forgot to report on yesterday’s accomplishments :)! I was able to find over 15 journal articles and read 3 articles on news engines related to my topic. Dr. CV’s advice on organizing articles is so useful in keeping track of gaps in the literature. The more I read, the more ideas I was able to jot down and by the end of the day I had several pages of notes and sketches on where to make contributions. I feel like what I couldn’t do in the last six months, I’m able to in just a few days and that has a lot to do with sticking to my schedule and making this process about me. I learned valuable lessons about discipline from all of the participants.
      Thank you all!

  72. Andrea says:

    Good Morning Everyone!
    As of yesterday I finished the edits on my independent proposal. Today my goals are to write a simple conclusion for the document and fill in my references section. Good luck today and be safe in the weather!!!

  73. Good morning, Virtual D-House! Go go go! #TeamGetItDone

  74. Dr. CV says:

    We are looking for 2 more of our DHers to post. Legena, I am calling you out directly. What’s going on today?

    • Hello Dr Carter,

      Sorry I couldn’t post anything today on time. My advisor emailed me in the morning and I am again doing experiment at Maryland psychiatric research center since this morning 8:30am, with our team and collaborators, plus wifi/signal is bad here. I had unrealistic goals anyway but I would be continuing to do the work and blog in the coming days with a new plan based on the tips and tricks I learned during the dissertation house. Thank you for your guidance throughout and my best wishes to my peers for accomplishing their goals.

      Best Regards

      • Dr. CV says:

        Thanks Deepa for checking in with us. Now that you are aware that you are setting unrealistic goals you should be able to turn things around by breaking these unrealistic goals into several bite-size mini goals. For example: Goal 1 Find and download 5 journal articles. Goal 2. Read and summarize 1 article. Goal 3 read & summarize another journal article. …… Thus to find, read & summarize five journal articles you should have 6 goals.

  75. Adji says:

    Lunch time! Part of sticking to the schedule, makes a great difference.
    Enjoy lunch everyone!

  76. Sheila says:

    I submitted the 2 chapters to my proposal!!!!! Whew! I hope everyone was able to complete all or part of their goals this week. Either way, we have all been enriched by the Dissertation House experience. Thank you Dr. Carter-Veale, Dr. Renetta Tull, Yara, and Amanda!

    Thanks to each of my peers who have inspired me this week. Please contact me at if you are interested in small study group meetings.

    Be safe this weekend and stay warm. I look forward to seeing future posts.

    All my best…

    • Tahira says:

      Way to go, Sheila! Looking forward to a small group work session in the future!

      • Adji says:

        Congrats Sheila and thank you for the ride home and encouraging words! I believe the DH has build a network of scholars and I’m so thankful to be part of the cohort. Let’s keep this moving and always keep in mind that a perfect dissertation is a finished one. Pushing for more writing in the days/months to come even if it’s only for 12-15 minutes a day.
        Let’s keep moving forward!!!

      • Sheila says:

        Thanks and congrats to you! Will reach out soon!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Congratulations Shelia on hitting submit. One down let’s celebrate and move on to the next. Table 1 & Table 2 are waiting for you 🙂

  77. Eryka B. says:

    I filled in my Study Design outline (Chapter 3:Methods). I’m starting with the methods because that’s where my advisor suggested to start. I was able to get 4 of the 7 sections filled out since 1pm today. Thanks for allowing me to join in.

    • Tahira says:

      So awesome, Eryka! Thanks for joining us online!!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Thank you for joining us and congratulations on getting 4 of 7 done. You can also post when 5, 6, or 7 are done. This page is for any and all graduate students working to complete a PhD. All the best to you. Good for you Tahira for encouraging others and letting them know about the DH on line.

  78. Akram Ahmed says:

    In the last few moment of today’s session. I am glad to announce that I completed my literature review section and updated the introduction section with the changes and refined it. Although this is my first draft, and I am sure that many more drafts will come, I have accomplished a major milestone in writing my proposal. The dissertation house gave me the initial boost to start my journey in the completing my PhD in a structured manner. The overall experience was extremely helpful and very eccentric to a graduate student need. I would like to thank the organizers, coaches and participants on their support and hard work. Finally, a special thank to Dr. Carter for the one on one sessions.

  79. Dr. CV says:

    Hello all

    It’s that time again. Thank you for participating in the Dissertation House. It has been a pleasure working with you. I hope that you continue to use this site to help and encourage each other until each of you finish the PhD. You are in this together.

    At the end of every day we post an update letting us know how much or how little you were able to accomplish. In addition, you are encouraged to write a note to yourselves about where we left off and where we will go next time we sit down to work on the dissertation. Please go ahead an post your updates and the note.

    Keep in mind that everyday should be what will you be working on to move you dissertation forward not if you will be working on your dissertation.

    Create a list of things that you can do when the writing is now flowing. Here is an example of some “Zombie” activities that can still move your dissertation forward:
    . Citations/references
    . Figures
    . Working the schedule backwards
    .Title page, acknowledgement page, signature page, dedication page

    .Table of contents

    All the best to all of you.

  80. Tahira says:

    I was able to get feedback from Dr. CV on my Statement of the Problem. This will help me greatly as I move forward.

    I was also able to learn more about the formulaic approach to my proposal, and I am looking forward to completing the proposal using this technique. From this technique, I was able to get more structure to my thoughts and writing, rather than just writing kinda willy-nilly. I feel like I have accomplished a lot just by “getting my mind right.”

    I was also able to bring in another person who can keep me accountable (Eryka B., who joined us online). I have already recommended that she apply for Dissertation House the next time it is offered at UMBC.

    Being forced to work from home today after being with the group for the last three days has also shown me a lot about my behaviors that can make my writing and research take a long time. It turns out… I talk to myself A LOT. When I was in the room with everyone else, I couldn’t talk to myself because that would be weird and disturbing. It looks like I may need to place myself in group situations or the library in order to be most effective. I had been avoiding such situations specifically because I thought I needed the opportunities to talk things out to myself. NOPE. In a group setting, I can just think quietly for a few moments and then get right back to work. <–The more you know [about YOURSELF!!]

    Thanks again, everyone, and thank you again, Dr. CV. I look forward to completing using the tools and techniques I learned this week!
    May this snow experience be unexpectedly positive for us all!!
    Much Love and WORK and COMPLETION and writing miracles to all,

    • Tahira says:

      Oh, and I left off with the Scope Worksheet. I will begin there when I come back to work.

    • Wow – Tahira, you made some incredible insights here, especially about yourself. If you haven’t been keeping these truths written down about your ideal work settings and your own habits, start now with a journal or Google doc – whatever you will come back to regularly on purpose. I still use the insights I learned as I worked on my degree, and I tell people that these are the keys to success for the rest of your life. They are not fleeting thoughts – treat them as essential to understanding yourself and eventually helping others who come behind you.

      Best to you!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Tahira

      I love this post, it shows great insight. I love that academic word “willy nilly” 🙂 Please keep us posted on your progress. I read this sight from time to time. All of you should use the site beyond today to hep you stay in touch and finish. If you read Sisters of the Dissertation House you will see that 2 of our former DH alums used this site religiously to get it done. You heard from one of those sisters this morning Dr. Alexis Williams.
      You can follow me on twitter #phdcompletion as well.

  81. Adji says:

    Although my goal was to review 3-5 articles, I was able to summarize 2 to make sure I understood the methods used by each study. I began to get caught up in the math so I decided to shift gears and work on the purpose of my study. This felt great as it enhanced “the why” I want to research this area in the first place. Jotting down the issues felt really good! I’m now ready to meet my advisor and continue the work.
    I would like to thank DH for allowing me to participate and regain confidence in myself. Thank you Dr. CV for your support/coaching. I benefitted from not only the one on one session but the all of the advice you gave during our lecture/engagement hours.
    Thank you to Dr. Grandison and Dr.Tull for initiating my participation, Yara, Amanda, and all of my DH colleagues (let’s keep in touch Drs.). I do believe… It takes a village to raise a PhD!!!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Thank you Adji for joining us. Howard U has a great place in my heart as my daughter is an alum. I like that you were able to shift focus and put some words on paper. We wish you the best and please stay in touch on the website.Don’t be shy about posting updates on your progress. We look forward to reading your daily, updates.

  82. I ran around a lot today before the snow came. Then I took a nap, so I’m still finishing up my work. My goal is to spend another hour on this draft and send it off. Let’s see what happens…

  83. Docta Momma says:

    Congrats Tahira, Sheila, Eryka, Adji and Akram on your progress!!!

    Today was not a very productive day! 😦 My kiddos daycare was closed early (snow, snow, snow go away and come another day, month, year!!!) and my goto babysit went out of town….for the weekend….side eyes. I simultaneously had to take care of some life logistics.

    Anyhow in between diaper changes and feed times, I got the following done:
    1) Dissertation chapter 5:
    a) detailed summary of chapter 2 findings
    2) Data analysis:
    a) continue simulations for remaining systems

    Nonetheless, my overall progress for the week was great. I anticipated only completing my dissertation intro and now I have portions of chapters 3 and 5. In addition, I have imported chapters 2, 4 and the newly written sections into the dissertation template.

    I realized that larger chunks of uninterrupted time would be ideal but because I am back in the real world I will set aside time in the mornings at home (at least 30 minutes) and then a larger chunk in the lab (1-2 hrs) to get this dissertation done!

    Since the kiddo will be tow it is a must that I have goals that can immediately work on in 15 minutes or 1-2 hrs.

    My goals for short time bursts:
    a) desolvate for 6 simulations completed
    b) com for 6 simulations completed

    My goals for kiddos afternoon nap:
    a) complete detailed summary of chapter 2 findings
    b) detailed summary of chapter 4 findings

    All the best everyone!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Hello Doctor Momma

      I see your cape and tights. Congrats on getting something done in between life’s responsibilities and on having a 15 min plan for the weekend.

  84. I returned from my experiment work around 2pm today. I was drained and then got done with lunch by 3pm. Exhausted, not being able to achieve my not-so-realistic goals that I set out at the dissertation house, pending lab work for report submissions to my advisor for tonight and pending reading material along with literature review is a lot of work for this evening. I thought I’ll take some rest first for maybe 2 hours to get refreshed and then hit all this work with positive fresh energy. However, I think since I am a bit overwhelmed, I became restless and couldn’t get my mind to meditate/rest/sleep. So, I am now just going to try to work on the report because that’s priority for the moment as the paper that I was working on is due in March-So, I can put it aside for sometime. I need to do some more computation using the tool and reading for the report that I have to submit tonight. I think that’s a plan. Will try doing that now and then continue tomorrow.

  85. Dr. J says:

    Glad to hear all the progress!

    I got back to the ‘burgh safely, a few hours ago. Thanks!

    Dr. CV, I just saw your comment on seeing theoretical framework, I can send you what I was working on yesterday.

    I did not get to the dissertation outline, but made some progress getting today’s work done.
    Trying to read from a computer screen while traveling doesn’t work well (personal experience from today). Good thing I had some papers printed out.

    Completed tasks:
    Went through 1 additional journal paper related to ICF (2 more remaining)
    Wrote brief summary on ICF.
    Wrote notes on how 2 articles reviewed relate to ICF and my work

    Stay warm this weekend!

    • Dr. CV says:

      Dr. J
      Glad that you were able to get some work done and was able to arrive home safely. For some people working on a computer while traveling is difficult. Working on a computer or a plane, train, or car doesn’t really bother me. All the best to you.

  86. Docta Momma says:

    Morning People!!!!

    I am back in the saddle! My goals for today are:

    My goals for short time bursts:
    a) desolvate for 6 simulations completed
    b) com for 6 simulations completed
    c) submit remaining simulations

    My goals for longer time frame:
    a) complete detailed summary of chapter 2 findings
    b) detailed summary of chapter 4 findings

    #WeekendDoesn’tMeanMoreRest #SnowDayEqualsMoreDissertationTime #TheLaundryCanWaitDirtyClothesNeverKilledNobody #WeCanDoThis

  87. Docta Momma says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Today I accomplished the following:
    a) completed detailed summary of chapter 2 findings
    b) started detailed summary of chapter 4 findings
    c) submitted remaining simulations

  88. Docta Momma says:

    Morning Everyone!!!

    Today’s goals are as follows:
    a) complete detailed summary of chapter 4 findings
    b) continue remaining simulations
    c) desolvate / com completed simulations
    d) start appendix A

  89. Docta Momma says:

    Hey! Another day back in the saddle!

    Yesterday, I accomplished the following:
    a) completed detailed summary of chapter 4 findings in chapter 5
    b) continued the remaining simulations
    c) started chapter 5 significance section

    Today’s goals are:
    a) Chapter 5 significance section
    b) continue simulations

  90. Adji says:

    Hello all! Was able to work on several things over the weekend including reading the proposal cookbook and going over the outline of things to include.

    Today’s goals:
    Review 2 articles
    Sketch diagram of research

    • Dr. CV says:

      Good Morning Adji

      Glad to hear that you read the proposal cookbook I hope that it was helpful. I generally recommend that you start with the statement of the problem. That is usually the foundation for everything else. See if you can read that section and answer (the questions in paragraph form) at the end of that section without going to look anything up.

  91. Docta Momma says:


    Yesterday I did the following:
    a) Chapter 5 significance section
    b) started outlining future directions section of Chapter 5
    c) continue simulations

    Today’s goals:
    a) Chapter 5 future direction section
    b) Outline appendix A
    c) continue simulations

    • Dr. CV says:

      Good morning Doctor Momma
      Glad to see that you are still posting after the DH is over. It’s a good habit to start. Just know that you are not alone and we’re here to keep you honest with goals. Keep in mind that the chapter is conclusions and future directions. Be sure to look at the conclusions of your 3 papers and summarized these conclusion here just in case that’s the only chapter someone reads. Good luck on today’s goals

  92. Dr. J says:

    Attended my first Qualitative Statistics class on Monday
    “Auditing” the class
    Need to learn their terminologies, (class went over my head)
    Received some helpful insight from the professor regarding my research (e.g. change one of the research question, and think more about survey questions)

    Made sure I had access to webinar material related to my project (webinar attended last week)
    Found the NSF grant abstract related to the webinar
    Need to review all the material at a later point

    Received fellowship application yesterday
    Started working on fellowship application due Feb 22
    Emailed Fellowship representative for additional information this morning

    Theoretical Framework
    -Reviewed all material I had on the ICF
    -Wrote a quick summary relating it back to my research
    -better understanding on how ICF fits into my study

    LR Manuscript:
    itemized comments received that needs to be addressed
    Wrote to the editor
    Received additional insight for submission
    Received Additional Insight on implicit biases on LR
    -came up with 4 additional biases

    1) Focus more attention on proposal than LR manuscript
    1a) Detail the data analysis plan in proposal outline
    1b) Revise RQ based off Qual. stats QualStats prof. feedback
    1c) Detail methods section of the proposal outline

    Later this week:
    Revise/add 5 survey questions based off Qualstats Prof. feedback

    • Dr. CV says:

      Good morning Dr. J
      Sounds as if you are working steadily toward the goal. Good for you, glad to see your updates on the blog. As a reminder the words are “based ON” not “based “off”—)

  93. Hi Drs. J and Momma. I hope you’re hanging in there. I got derailed after the snow but I’m working again on my summary for the information I collected last week. Sometimes it’s harder to make fewer words where there were many, but it can be done!


  94. Dr. J says:

    Realized there might be a little more than I thought.

    I broke down my analysis and methods plans into subcomponents.

    A. Methods
    1. Survey Development (Focus Group) – partial completion
    2. Survey Analysis Plan – pending
    3. Checklist Validity – pending
    4. Checklist Reliability – pending

    B. Analysis Plan
    1. Survey Development (Focus Group) – partial completion
    2. Survey Analysis Plan – 1st draft complete today
    3. Checklist Validity – pending
    4. Checklist Reliability – pending

    Did not make any time for manuscript
    Revised RQ

  95. Dr. J says:

    In addition to working on the above tasks I plan to:
    Meet with writing crew
    review goals and re-assess weekly agenda

  96. Docta Momma says:

    Good Morning!

    Over the past two days, I completed the following:
    1) Chapter 5 future directions
    2) Continued MD simulations

    Today’s goals:
    1) Complete last point of future directions section
    2) Continue MD simulations
    3) Outline Appendix A
    4) Speak with PI about simulations that are not working and coming to a resolution that allows for continued dissertation progress

  97. Dr. CV says:

    Good Morning All
    No snow here in NC but the temps are in the 30s. Two days ago, I finally submitted the DH paper to a journal for review. Back to the other work that was waiting in the wings. Doctor Momma and Dr. J good to see your updates; they say it takes 21 days for a habit to stick so keep up the good work. Thanks Alexis for checking in. Have another productive day everyone. Tahira and Adji how is that proposal coming?

    • Dr. J says:

      Good to know! Yay for submission!

    • Adji says:

      Hi Dr. CV,
      I have had a good amount of progress on the reading and putting together potential questions for my proposal. I have a meeting today with the Minority Business Development Agency to talk about data and research interests related to my topic. So far, I have found several studies in my topic and using the spreadsheet and other technical tools developed during the DH, I’m organizing the spreadsheet and using each tab to highlight the gaps in the literature. I have sat down with our Chief Economist at Commerce and we are seeing ways for me to incorporate my research into my work to give me more time to work on it at work. My goal is to have a proposal ready to defend by second week of March. Although I haven’t logged on to the blog, I have been setting manageable goals and using my evenings and weekends to focus on accomplishing my goals. Will be logging on more often to keep track of progress.

      Thank you Dr. CV.

      • Dr. CV says:

        Hello Adji We’re in the DH this week so give us an update. Were you able to finish your proposal this past March?

  98. Dr. J says:


    *Met with writing crew
    *Wrote out some goals

    A. Methods
    1. Survey Development (Focus Group) – 1st draft
    2. Survey Analysis Plan – 1st draft

    B. Analysis Plan
    1. Survey Development (Focus Group) – 1st draft

  99. Docta Momma says:

    Morning Everyone!

    Good job Dr. J on yesterday’s progress!!!!

    Yesterday I completed the following:
    1) Completed future directions section
    2) Continued running MD simulations
    3) Started Outline for Appendix A
    4) Met with PI

    Today’s goals are:
    1) Continue running simulations
    2) Incorporate edits into chapter 1 along with figures and references

  100. Dear Dr. Carter,

    I don’t know how, but I have somehow missed all of your responses to my posts and I am seeing them now. Thank you so much for all your comments. They are very encouraging! I had taken a little break because I had some experiments of which I have and had to get results before my conference paper’s mid-march deadline. plus now that classes have started, there is also coursework related reading. Above all, to be frankly/embarassing-ly honest, I had lost some hope on this also. But one of your response regarding how to go about setting goals really encouraged me. It’s really motivating me. Thank you very much once again for your support throughout. I am now in a situation where I have again landed up with a lot of disorganized goals and I am trying to list them down, prioritize them. However, I also need to work on journal-ing a little everyday like you had mentioned at the DH. So, my here is my list of goals are:

    Tonight: Complete the experiments tonight and complete the report on them
    Saturday: Do reading related to coursework and conference paper
    Saturday’s goals’ breakdown:
    1. Read and summarize/journal 1 more paper
    2. Do coursework related reading
    3. Do PhD related literature survey (doing this with the hope of finally figuring out my dissertation topic in the long run)

    Read and summarized 1.5 article. (I know and regret that this looks very little but this is majorly because there have been days in between where the whole day I had to be in the lab with all the equipment and experimentation. But, I will no more let this pull me down and I will keep trying)

    Thank you Dr. Carter and thank you to all DH peers. It’s so great to see that this blog is still active. I shouldn’t have given up on it in the first place. Thank you Dr. J and Docta mama and my best to you. I am pleased and honored that I can be part of such an awesome support team-it helps one to keep it together.

  101. Dr. J says:

    Past few days worked on addressing most of the 30 comments from Lit Rvw

    To do this week:
    Need to make time to address 7 comments that requires additional research
    focus attention on detailing proposal outline

    Attend PI meeting
    Catch up and attend Qual stats class
    Address 1 of the 7 comments

  102. Sheila Prados says:

    Hi everyone! I will be hosting a dissertation study session on Friday, February 12, 2016 from 3:30 – 6:30 pm at The Crest 1620 E. Jefferson St. Rockville, MD 20852. If you are able to join me, please reply. If not, stay motivated and keep up the good work.

    At this session, we can discuss where and when we should meet again. I look forward to seeing you.

    Sheila Prados, MA, PhD(c)

  103. Docta Momma says:

    So I have been m.i.a. but I am back and with the “eye of the tiger”. My theme songs right now are: i) Katy Perry’s Roar and ii) Mandissa’s Overcomer.

    My goals for today:
    i) simulations
    ii) Chapter 1 figures & references


  104. Docta Momma says:

    Morning All,

    Yesterday I continued the simulations and started adding figures to chapter 1. Today’s goals are as follows:
    i) simulations
    ii) complete insertion of figures and references in chapter 1

    Today’s theme songs: i) Survivor’s Eye of the tiger and ii) Jimmy Cliff’s You can get it if you really want


  105. Dr. J says:

    Completed this week so far:
    Addressed Comments on LR from committee member

    Meet with writing center for 1hr – went through first 5-pages of LR – completed
    Make changes to LR
    Resubmit to Committee Member
    Be a subject for a study
    Work on Data Analysis plan for checklist

  106. Dr. J says:

    Made all changes to LR
    Resubmitted to the committee member
    Followed up via email with all other committee members (since I haven’t heard back on the LR)
    Completed subject-testing (for someone else’s study)

    Work on PPSL: data analysis plan for checklist

  107. Docta Momma says:

    Hey Everyone,

    I see you Dr. J….keep up the momentum!

    Last week: I completed chapter 1 (figures & references included) and submitted to PI along with continuing to do experiments.

    Today’s goals:
    – continue experiments
    – inform PI that experiments suggest systems are too unstable and we need to move on
    – start edit’s based on journal reviewers

    Today’s soundtrack: Titanium by David Guetta feat Sia and Hall of Frame by The Script feat

    #I’mGettingItDone!!!! #AreYouGettingItDone?

  108. Docta Momma says:


    So yesterday was productive!!! Why you may ask? Well, my PI said I can stop doing experiments and I got it in writing! Go me!!!

    Today’s goals:
    – continue modification to manuscript for publication
    – begin error analysis for data in chapter 3

    Today’s soundtrack: Mary Mary’s Go get it and Destiny’s Child’s Survivor


  109. Pingback: Winter 2016 Dissertation House | PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

  110. Dr. J says:

    So far pursuit to publish first review article is underway:
    -Received comments from most committee members on Monday
    -Made the edits, did some additional research, had to make decisions on what to keep or dismiss
    -sent back paper to committee member last night
    -Got the greenlight from all that commented as of this morning
    -Sent the comments to lab’s internal editor for review
    -Waiting for any additional comments/changes before sending to advisor for final glance

    Developed survey validation plan
    Sent to peers to review
    waiting to hear back

    Working on fellowship app due the 22nd (near future action items)
    -need to draft letter of recs
    -short essay
    -find transcripts
    -update CV

    -Review material from Webinar – Engineering Accessibility Checklist (needed to do since week after DH)
    -Write up notes from this week’s meetings
    -Devise plan for getting back to working on proposal
    -Prepare for weekend trip to NC

  111. Dr. J says:

    Got back from NC — great conference!

    Up until today (didn’t add everything I did, but this is the gist):

    Met with our lab’s statistician to discuss reliability
    He pointed me to another student that did checklist

    Fellowship App:
    Received green-light from provost office to apply
    drafted letters of recs
    printed transcripts and CV
    revised application
    drafted essay
    wait for feedback from peers
    sent off 1 letter of rec to committee member

    Received feedback from lab’s internal editor – need to reconsider introduction
    Need to go through 17 comments
    And all the deletions/insertions

    To Do:

    Fellowship app:
    -send letter of rec to adviser
    -receive signatures from adviser on application
    -submit application

    Find dissertation
    Review student’s dissertation methods on checklist and reliability

    Go through coments

  112. Dr. J says:


    $ Appl.
    -Revised draft of Letter of rec for adviser
    -Received signed copy of LoR from committee member (Sealed and ready to be delivered)

    -Completed revisions
    -Resubmitted to lab’s editor for further review

    To do:

    $ Appl.
    -Finish modifying essay
    -Send draft LoR to adviser for review & signature
    -Send Essay to Adviser
    -Get signature on application
    -Package and deliver application

    -Wait for additional revisions

    -Find student’s dissertation

  113. Hey Dr. J and Docta Momma! I just got caught up on your progress. Phenomenal. Happy Friday!!!

    I’m reorganizing, building myself up to do more with a manuscript I’ve dropped for a while. My goal is gentle daily progress, so I’m going to start with a few minutes today, a few minutes every day.

    Have a great, productive moment. (Weekends go by too fast, but the moment is what counts!)

  114. Sheila Prados says:

    Although I received positive feedback on my proposal, making edits is the hard part.
    This week I will commit to completing 5-8 pages of editing and run 2 tables (as soon as I get SPSS back)

    Happy Writing

  115. Dr. J says:

    -After two months of re-editing and preparing lit review manuscript for a journal, I finally received approval to submit the manuscript
    -After finding out the manuscript charge fees if accepted—now getting pushback from adviser to submit to another journal

    -Submitted application for dissertation fellowship on Monday

    Getting back to working on proposal again after a month-long “break”
    Reviewing methods/analysis of a previous student’s dissertation
    Added content to following sections:
    – background and significance section
    -preliminary studies section

    To Do:
    -Reorganize research design and methods section
    -Add content

  116. Dr. J says:

    Submitted paper to journal

    To Do:
    Obtain signatures of co-authors

  117. Dr. J says:


    Receive all signatures
    Submitted additional forms to journal
    Now waiting to hear back from journal on next steps


    Narrowed down methods to 2 options

    Added content to:
    Preliminary studies – development section
    Procedures for full survey administration
    Survey Analysis
    descriptive stats
    coding analysis

    To Do:
    Need to Review/Add content:
    procedures for survey validation
    survey analysis – reliability analysis
    checklist – sample/population
    checklist validation procedures
    checklist validation data analysis

  118. Docta Momma says:

    Hey All,

    I know I have been m.i.a. but I am happen to report that yesterday, I sent my completed dissertation document to my assigned readers. Also, my defense date has been set for April 15…….I am nerves are shot!

  119. Dr. CV says:

    I am so proud to say congratulations to Doctor Mama and Michelle who now have a dissertation defense date for April 15 and 20th respectively. We wish them all the best. Show them what you’re made of and don’t forget you have tights, cape, tiara, lasso and the bracelets!!!.

  120. Dr. J says:

    Working on draft proposal. Drafted preliminary studies, survey methods & analysis sections. Remaining areas left to tackle:
    Checklist development explanation
    Checklist data procedures
    Checklist data analysis

  121. How is everyone doing? Still out there?

    • P.S. Today is my 4-year defensiversary. I defended my dissertation for the first and last time 4 years ago. I used to cry, thinking that would never happen, and now it’s been four years. I just wrote in my journal about the roller-coaster ride and the answers to prayer that have come since then. I am still taking one step at a time, one moment at a time. The moment is life. The moment is that important.

      • Yay Alexis! Happy belated! It’s also a wonderful day to celebrate so many who graduated yesterday and today, e.g., Robert, Michelle, Jodian … and those who have defended but just have to file finale paperwork. Thank you for remembering your milestone!

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