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Welcome! We look forward to hosting you for the 2021 Doctoral Symposium: Doing Dissertations Differently

Please note this site is a living document with minor updates coming, so check back often to stay up to date!

Once upon a time, everyone knew what a dissertation looked like. It had 5-chapters, written by one person, with clear boundaries of authorial presence. These days, that tradition is no longer the only recipe for good work. As methodological options have expanded, and boundaries for presenting research have become more elastic, doctoral students are doing increasingly diverse and unconventional dissertations. In this Symposium, we highlight the power, the possibilities, and the growing pains our community has encountered by "doing dissertations differently." Our purpose is to appreciate the range of knowledge production already happening in the program, while inviting doctoral students and faculty to think fluidly about the multiple ways dissertation research can be envisioned. Whether we seek to predict, improve, imagine, understand, critique, provoke, do or undo, the dissertation remains a central site for dialogue about the work we do together.

This symposium seeks to:

  • To highlight the opportunities, joys, and challenges of doing dissertation research differently, in relation to format, methodology, and other conventions of traditional dissertations.
  • Connect with doctoral students, Reich College of Education faculty, and alumni.
  • Explore inspiration for future research.

WHEN: November 4-5, 2021 | Nov 4: 12:00 - 5:00 pm | Nov 5: 12:00 - 5:00 pm

COST: Free to everyone

OVERVIEW SCHEDULE: Thursday, November 4, 2021

OVERVIEW SCHEDULE: Friday, November 5, 2021

WHERE: Online web conferencing via Zoom (links will be sent after participants have registered for this event)

Detailed Symposium Schedule: Thursday 11/4

12:00-12:30 pm Welcome & Framing by Dr. Melba Spooner, Dean, Reich College of Education, and Dr. Vachel Miller, Director, Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Appalachian State University

12:30-1:00 pm Educating in COVID Times: Working Our Weariness with Dr. Chris Osmond - Associate Director, Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Appalachian State University

1:00 - 1:45 pm

Keynote Speaker

Decoloniality: A Quest for Identity in Knowledge Production. Perspectives from Global South.

Dr. Bekithemba Dube - visiting international Senior Lecturer from The University of the Free State, QwaQwa Campus, in South Africa

1:45 - 2:00 pm Break

2:00 - 3:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Getting your work out there: writing a 3-article dissertation for publication

Dr. Chris Gilbert - Adjunct Instructor, Education Department, Warren Wilson College

Dr. Peaches Hash - Lecturer of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Appalachian State’s Department of English

Dr. Sarah Sexton - Associate Director, The Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP)

Challenging dominant systems and centering "otherness"

Ms. Karen Anderson - Cohort Director, NC State University & Current Doctoral Candidate

Ms. Maria Hofman-Hernandez - LatinxEd Fellow & Current Doctoral Candidate

Dr. Eric Klein - Assistant Director for Higher Education Partnerships, GEAR UP, Appalachian State University

3:15 - 3:30 pm Break

3:30 - 4:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Research happens better together: Creating a Collaborative Dissertation

Ms. Rebecca Burry - Digital Teaching and Learning Coach at Iredell-Statesville Schools & Current Doctoral Candidate

Ms. Kimberly Nava Eggett - Digital Lead Teacher at Claxton Elementary & Current Doctoral Candidate

Integrating the arts into dissertation research

Mr. Mel Falck - Academic Advisor, LCMHCA, James Center for Student Success and Academic Advising & Current Doctoral Candidate

Ms. Heather Thorp - Senior lecturer/Field Director, Appalachian State University & Current Doctoral Candidate

Data arrives when you get there: post-qualitative explorations

Dr. Elaine Gray - ePortfolio Director, Appalachian State University

Ms. Kacie Kisielewski - Assistant Principal, Yancey County Schools & Current Doctoral Candidate

Mrs. Gwynne Shoaf - Assistant Director for Teacher Outreach, Empowering Teacher Learning Grant, Appalachian State University & Current Doctoral Candidate

Ms. Erin West - Mentor Coordinator, The CARE Group & Current Doctoral Candidate

Detailed Symposium Schedule: Friday 11/5

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Keynote Speaker

Dissertations in Practice (CPED)

Dr. Jill Perry - Executive Director, Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)

1:00 - 1:30 pm Presentation of the 2021 Alice P. Naylor Outstanding Dissertation award and reflections with 2020 Naylor award recipient Dr. Dustin Evatt-Young

2021 Naylor award recipient, Dr. Alex McAllister
This year, the 2021 Naylor award is presented to Dr. Alex McAllister for his outstanding dissertation work. His dissertation is titled: Space Invasion in the Academic Library: A Poststructural Analysis Using Discourse, Power/Knowledge, and Biopower. Our congratulations to Dr. Alex McAllister and his dissertation chair, Dr. Alecia Jackson, for this honor. Pictured in the right image from left to right: Dr. Greg McClure and Dr. Alex McAllister.

1:45 - 3:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Making and Unmaking Policy and Practice from a Post-structural Lens

Dr. Alex McAllister - Coordinator of Collection Management, Associate Professor, Appalachian State University

Ms. Laura Shears - Instructor of Academic Related Instruction, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College & Current Doctoral Candidate

Mrs. Jennifer Wampler - Assistant Superintendent of Operational & Human Services for Cleveland County Schools & Current Doctoral Candidate

Crossing the line: Being both Researcher and Participant in your Dissertation

Mr. Jon Fleisher - Assistant Principal, Cleveland County Schools & Current Doctoral Candidate

Dr. Heather Jo Mashburn - Director, Office of Community-Engaged Leadership, Appalachian State University

Dr. Cliff Poole - Professional Academic Advisor, College of Fine and Applied Arts & Adjunct Instructor, Appalachian State University

3:00 - 3:15 pm Break

3:15 - 4:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Making a Difference where we Stand: Practice-based Dissertations

Mr. Michael Boone - Department Head of Astronomy, Mathematics, and Physics, Catawba Valley Community College; Adjunct Instructor of Mathematics, Lenoir-Rhyne University; & Current Doctoral Candidate

Dr. Heath Robertson - History and Technology Teacher, Cherokee High School

Mrs. Sara Jo Starnes - K-12 Math Coordinator, Caldwell County Schools & Current Doctoral Candidate

Invoking our Muses: The Aesthetic Imagination in Dissertation Research

Ms. Jean Hall - Assistant Principal, New Hanover County Schools & Current Doctoral Candidate

Dr. Rachael Moyer - Assistant Principal, West Iredell High School

Mr. Adrian Rice - Lecturer, First-Year Seminar, Appalachian State University & Current Doctoral Candidate

4:30 pm Collective Reflections & Closing

Many thanks to all of our presenters for helping to make this symposium a success!

Please contact Dr. Vachel Miller at millervw@appstate.edu or Elizabeth Hayes at hayesle2@appstate.edu with any questions.