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Dissertation Prep

Prepare for Success with Dissertation Prep: Online Edition
November 16-18, 2021 • Evenings on Zoom
Tuesday, November 16th 

Session 1
5:00-6:00 PM MST

How I Finished My Dissertation

Presented by Dr. Dannon Cox
Moderated by Professor Jane Monson

This session is for everyone contemplating, preparing for, working on, or in the process of finishing their dissertation. Get the play-by-play of how spring 2020 University of Northern Colorado graduate Dannon Cox finished his dissertation and earned his Ph.D. in Sport Pedagogy. Learn how to avoid the common pitfalls that delay many students in their dissertation process and embrace moving purposefully towards the finish line. Dannon offers advice from the trenches to assist doctoral students in removing or bypassing the obstacles that often plague students in the dissertation process.


Session 2
6:10-7:10 PM MST

Communicating with Dissertation Advisors and Committees: A Faculty Panel


  • Dr. Jenni Harding Middleton, School of Teacher Education
  • Dr. Emily Holt, Biological Sciences
  • Dr. Randy Larkins, Applied Statistics and Research Methods
  • Dr. Corey Pierce, School of Special Education

Moderated by Professor Stephanie Wiegand

Clear and productive communication with your dissertation advisor and committee is essential to your research and writing progress - as well as your sanity - throughout the dissertation process. In this session, University of Northern Colorado professors will discuss how to build and maintain good communication practices, setting expectations appropriately, and removing communication obstacles in your dissertation pathway.

Wednesday, November 17th

Session 3
5:30-6:00 PM MST

Advice for Writing a Dissertation for Multilingual Learners: A Faculty Panel


  • Dr. Jingzi Huang, School Director and Associate Dean, School of Teacher Education, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • Dr. Sue Hyeon Paek, Psychological Sciences
  • Dr. Yoon Tae Sung, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Moderated by Professor Stephanie Wiegand

Conducting doctoral research and writing a dissertation is hard work, and multilingual learners may encounter additional barriers with language and cultural differences from the language and culture of a dissertation written in the English language and conducted with expectations and rules of higher education in the United States. Conceiving and thinking in one language while needing to write in another is a unique challenge. Join this session to learn from three panelists who once encountered these same problems and went on to complete their dissertations, earn their Ph.D.’s, and become UNC professors.

Session 4
6:10-7:10 PM MST

For Dissertation Authors: Editing Your Writing

Presented by Dr. Melody Denny, Director of UNC's Writing Center
Moderated by Professor Maggie Shawcross

Academic writing includes many elements such as purpose, logic, cohesion, supporting evidence, and repetition; and a dissertation requires additional structural elements. Dissertation authors must also consider clarity, brevity, jargon, grammar, and punctuation. In this session, expert Dr. Melody Denny provides advice and practice tips for students in the dissertation process.

Thursday, November 18th 

Session 5
5:30-6:00 PM MST

Marketing Your Dissertation

Presented by Dr. Denise DiRienzo, Cornell University
Moderated by Professor Stephanie Wiegand

The dream of a doctoral degree is a major aspiration, but one that is generally part of a journey towards an even bigger dream: a new career, a new direction, a new path. It is necessary to consider how to translate your educational accomplishments to your greater goals. In this session Dr. Denise DiRienzo shares practices to market your dissertation and doctoral degree in order to move into the career and life for which you have prepared. Dr. DiRienzo is the Experiential Program and Outreach Director with the Graduate School at Cornell University where she works with Ph.D. students and Postdocs to explore career paths.

Session 6
6:10-7:10 PM MST

RefWorks: Citation and Lit Review Workflow Simplified

Presented by Professor Stephanie Wiegand, University Libraries
Moderated by Professor Nicole Webber

This session will focus on RefWorks – a citation and workflow tool provided to all UNC students by the University Libraries. Organize, read, retrieve, share, cite, and annotate literature for your dissertation with this one user-friendly tool. This session will include both demonstration and discussion about approaches to organizing your sources and making citation less painful.