Feedback from the 2012 Dissertation Writing Retreat
Dr. Wendy Carter of Ph.D. Completion conducted a Dissertation Writing Retreat at the W.K. Kellog Biological Station and Conference Center in Hickory Corners, Michigan, May 21 to 24. With Western Michigan as the lead institution, the goal of the Michigan AGEP Alliance Dissertation Writing Retreat was to help students focus on writing and completing the dissertation. This year twelve Ph.D. candidates participated from the partner institutions representing both the STEM and SBES fields. This is the 4th year that AGEP sponsored a Dissertation Writing Retreat and the success of the program is documented. In 2011, nearly 50% of all participants successfully defended their dissertations within six months of completing the Retreat with the remaining expected to complete their degree by the end of the year. Success is also evidenced in the comments from students that just completed the 2012 Retreat:
Latasha Chaffin, Political Science, Western Michigan University
The retreat was invaluable. It was an opportunity for me to unplug from the stresses of life and distractions and just focus on making progress on my dissertation. This is a rare opportunity to have a coach to point out theoretical, conceptual and methodological challenges and help you to work through them. This retreat also de-mystifies the dissertation process and allows a safe place for doctoral candidates to ask questions they may not be comfortable asking their advisors. This is a special retreat and I hope that AGEP continues providing funding for students to take advantage of this resource after our cohort. Thank you Dr. Carter for what you do! We truly appreciate the time you take with each one of us individually and collectively as a group.
Rheaclare Fraser, Pharmocology, University of Michigan
I want to express my gratitude for organizing, funding, and facilitating the AGEP dissertation writing retreat!
I came to the retreat feeling confused and lost on where to start the writing process. The retreat was intense, but absolutely well worth it!
Dr. Carter-Veale was able to demystify the process and taught me practical tools I will continue to use to get the dissertation DONE!
I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended the retreat, and wish the support may be continued for other students to reap the benefits also!
Thank you once again!
Marisa A. Rinkus, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University
I am writing to express my gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the AGEP Dissertation Writing retreat at the Kellogg Biological Station this week. These past few days have been challenging but an important and vital step toward making progress on my dissertation. The guidance provided by Dr. Carter-Veale was priceless, as was sharing the experience with such an intelligent and kind group of my peers. Dr. Carter-Veale provides just the right amount of compassion and discipline, or tough love, necessary to guide, push and pull us all through this process. I am also grateful for the time and organization put into the retreat by Tony Dennis, Cheyla, and James (IT support). Now that the retreat is over I am confident about the next steps and even excited.
Charlotte Winston, Sociology, Wayne State University
The 2012 Dissertation Writing Retreat provided an invaluable opportunity to learn about the expectations of the writing process. Dr. Carter is an outstanding writing coach who truly cares about the success of doctoral students. Her knowledge of the writing process helps to take the mystery out of what is needed to get the job done. The resources she provides serve as a source of motivation, information, and inspiration for getting the job done!