Coaching and Mentoring


Students’ academic advisors are the primary mentors throughout the dissertation project.  The Dissertation House provides the students with experienced coaches and mentors who are enthusiastic about helping students move from the ABD (all but dissertation) stage to the Ph.D.

Head Coach, Dr. Wendy Carter

Co-Founder, Dr. Renetta Tull

PROMISE Co-PIs

Dr. Janet Rutledge, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education, UMBC. (More about Dr. Rutledge: South African Ph.D. Project)

Dr. Carol Parham, Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Chair, Department of Education Leadership, Higher Education, and International Education, University of Maryland College Park

Dr. Jordan Warnick, Assistant Dean and Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of Maryland School of Medicine

L-R: Dr. Tamara Wilds Lawson, Dr. Carol Parham, Dr. Kristen Hodge

PROMISE Campus Mentors:

Dr. Judith Pollack (UMB)

Dr. Tamara Wilds Lawson (UMCP)

Dr. Kristen Hodge (UMCP)

Staff mentors meet with graduate students on their respective campuses and coach them through the dissertation writing process, life/work balance issues, and preparation for the dissertation defense.  Our PROMISE mentors have received accolades from students’ advisors and committee members as well as overwhelming gratitude from students.

Dr. Judith Pollack talks with UMB Graduate Dr. Calvin Williams during UMB's July 2010 Dissertation House.

Dr. Pollack specializes in preparing for the defense (including optimizing the powerpoint slide presentation, presenting statistics, and preparing science and engineering figures and equations), Dr. Wilds Lawson mentors students through time management and balance, and Dr. Hodge provides guidance for re-building your academic self-esteem.

The Dissertation House thanks UMBC PROMISE Coordinator Tawny McManus, Graduate Assistants (Gloria Anglon – UMBC, Lenisa Joseph – UMCP), representatives from our Counseling Centers at UMBC, UMCP, and UMB, the Writing Center at UMB, and supporting offices on our host campuses.