NSBE Two-day Challenge 2019

Congratulations on migrating to our dissertation house blog page – NSBE45 Two-day Challenge  2019.

Welcome to 2019 Dissertation House sponsored by the University of Michigan and University of California, Berkeley. If you are here you’re in the right place. This is your page to make the most of your experience here. You can get your dissertation finished in 2019 with daily progress.

Welcome to the Dissertation House On-line,  This page will be active from January 2019 – December 2019.  You can 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 many countries in the world. The “DHers” who participate in person come from universities throughout Maryland, with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation’s PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and funding from the graduate schools at UMBC, the University of Maryland College Park, and the University of Maryland Baltimore – The Founding Campus.

Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale is your “Head Coach.” Dr. Carter-Veale will be conducting “in-person” Dissertation Houses at NSBE. Our pre-registered participants are required to blog daily during their time in the Dissertation House and are encouraged to continue blogging until they finish their dissertations.

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.

We will repeat something that we said before, because it is both important and true: Our graduates and participants pushed (and we do mean that they pushed through adversities, complications, and issues) to finish sections, get chapter approval from advisors, complete drafts, pass proposals, pass defenses, and turn in their final documents. These DH grads are now professors, working in non-profits, industry, and have had postdocs throughout the global academic community (e.g., France, South Africa, Egypt.)

If you have joined us in the past, come back again if you are still working on your document. We’re still here, and we’ll still be part of the community that will cheer you on! Post your goals for the year on this page. You’re not alone, this is your online community. Focus on completion. As coach Dr. CV says “A good dissertation is a done dissertation.”

34 thoughts on “NSBE Two-day Challenge 2019

  1. This has come at the perfect time. I need help and lots of it. I have lots of starts and stops and overall life diversity and drama. I want to get my PhD done and move forward. Please help me. Over the next few days, I want to re-organize and rework the background/info to my work. I have a few life things gnawing at me, sickly brother and I’ll be working (to pay the bills) so I have to find and schedule my time. I think having this page to account to, will help. All tips, advice are welcome.


    1. Good Morning All
      And welcome to Day 1 of the NSBE45 two-day challenge. Let’s set realistic goals. You might not finish your dissertation today but it doen’t have to be all or nothing. You can move it forward by 1, be it 1 sentence,page, paragraph, figure, table, reference, citation…
      If you’re not joining us in the room by all means join us on-line. Thanks Sharon for getting us started.
      Dr. CV


    2. Hello again Sharon
      We had 2 young women at College Park post every day for a year and refer to themselves as #Teamgetitdone. If they can do it so can you. You can do it.


  2. Brandy McKinney March 29, 2019 — 8:17 pm

    Greetings All,

    I am an Interdisciplinary PhD student from the University of Alabama Birmingham. My goals for today: set a deadline, define a dissertation topic, create a detailed table of content, and write two pages. I accomplished most of those things. Tomorrow I plan to write and read “I’m not independently wealthy” chapter in Dr. CV’s book, and focus on getting some funding!


    Brandy McKinney


    1. Nice Brandy I look forward to hearing your feedback after reading the chapter…


      1. Brandy McKinney March 30, 2019 — 8:22 pm

        Day two was another successful day. I took notes on the chapter I read in your book and applied for a fellowship TODAY. I revamped my personal statement, keeping in mind “it’s all about me” and will be keeping my fingers crossed that I hear some good news in July.
        Outside of that, I have some other options to secure funding and have an updated personal statement that I can share with my advisor so that he knows where I stand as far as what I want my future to look like in the Interdisciplinary PhD program at UAB. Thank you so much for all of your time and the opportunity to connect with smart black engineers!!


      2. I am so Happy for you. I hope to see you next year…stay in touch;it certainly was a pleasure to meet you.


  3. Today I was able to solidify my research question and create criteria for my literature review. My goal for tomorrow is to identify 5 relevant articles for my literature review and create a summary of my research progress.


    1. Ok Sarah you can read and summarize 1 in an hour. Thus at a minimum I see 4 but prove me wrong


      1. Since I rephrased my research questions, the goal was to identify 5 articles that are relevant to my research by looking through the abstracts. My next goal will be to read and summarize them. I was able to accomplish finding the sources and completed a summary of my current progress. Thank you for your help, I really enjoyed this dissertation house.


    2. Sarah I hope that you have revised the schedule and congrats again on securing funding for the PhD.


  4. First day of Dissertation House was such an excellent experience. Dr. CV keeps everything 100 in efforts to motivate your progression.

    Today I️ was able to outline my reviewer comments and begin looking for a new journal for submission.

    Tomorrow, I️ plan to:
    – create a table as suggested by reviewer 2 for my terminology.
    – Highlight/note areas in my manuscript where reviewer 1 has presented concerns
    – Review my introduction section to address reviewer 2’s comments



    1. Good for you Dominic, Sounds like a plan and it’s all about you and your decision to stay focus and finish.


      1. Day 2 of Dissertation house was also great. I️ got a chance to get through all of my reviewer comments and mark which ones were (E)asy, (M)edium, and (H)ard. I️ also was able to start my table for my definitions.

        The review of what to do during your dissertation defense was also helpful. I️ appreciate Dr. CV’s candor and enthusiasm for us to complete our degree.

        I’m taking a lot back with me to incorporate into my daily practice to finally become Dr. Dominic Bednar. Thanks so much for all of your help, Dr. CV!


      2. Hey Dr. To be…it truly is “all about you ” so stay focused and get it done.


  5. Greetings everyone,

    My name is Bryan Hall and I am working my literature review and a high-level proposal of my dissertation work. My first day at the Dissertation House 2019 showed me just how distracted I can be. My goals were to read five journal articles related to a verification methodology for the Cloud-based Internet of Things by 4:00 PM on Friday, March 29; to prepare a research proposal (dissertation outline and summary) by 4:00 PM on Friday, March 29; and to prepare a presentation on my proposal by 4:00 PM on Saturday, March 30th. I did not finish any of the tasks because I was unfocused and disorganized. Tomorrow, I am going to lock my focus down and tailor my to-do list to feasible tasks within the available time.

    Here are my new goals :
    1. Prepare a graphical representation of my research proposal strategy by 9:00 AM on Saturday, March 30.

    2. Organize my research repository and notes so that the relevant journal articles are readily available by 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 30.

    3. Identify five research articles on the verification methodologies by 10:30 AM on Saturday, March 30.

    4. Read and summarize the first research article on the verification methodologies by 12:00 PM on Saturday, March 30.

    5. Read and summarize the second research article on the verification methodologies by 2:30 PM on Saturday, March 30.


    1. Hello Bryan
      Thanks for posting. Good assessment of your issues. I hope to see some better progress today.


  6. Good Morning All Day 2 of the DH

    To finish your dissertation you need to work daily. Saturday is another day, another opportunity to make some progress on your dissertation. You don’t need to “feel like” it to make some progress on your dissertation. You should create a list of things that you can do when you don’t feel like working on your dissertation. I have started a list below for you to get started.
    1. References
    2. In-text citations
    3. Cover page
    4. Acknowledgement page
    5. Tables, figures, illustration
    6. Formatting
    7. Transition phrases


    1. Hello everyone,

      This is Bryan Hall “blogging out”.

      Once again, the Dissertation House has proven to be a major highlight of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) National Convention. I am going to start urging more graduate students to come to the NSBE National Convention and the Dissertation to start getting some research help. Perhaps I can talk some faculties and departments into funding students to go . . . more on that later.

      In spite of my distractions, have made the following accomplishments:
      1. I have refined my research “keywords” for relevant journal articles.
      2. I have set up a functional research notes repository.
      3. I have created a draft dissertation diagram (DDD), which maps out each research area of focus.
      4. I found an efficient way to examine my journal papers.

      Areas for improvement:
      1. I need to start saying “no” to things so that I can focus on the things that matter. (I worry a lot and get distracted by my own anxieties.)
      2. I need to take the time to examine my materials carefully.
      3. I need to identify my functionality zone and operate in that (i.e. best time to write, sound vs. silence, visible timer).
      4. I need to set up a personal accountability system to make sure that I get stuff on time, the right way, the first time; and then reward my accomplishments.

      To all those reading this blog, I strongly recommend that you purchase both of the books for the course. They contain the valuable steps that most of us don’t get when we enter graduate school.

      Thank you Dr. Carter-Veale!

      Best regards,
      Bryan Hall


      1. It was a pleasure to have you back again…please stay in touch. You are so smart with great ideas.You have a contribution to make so get it done.


  7. Hello Fellow Scholars,
    My name is DJ. During the first day, I gained direction in organizing my research proposal for my qualifying exam. The second day will be used to create a more realistic draft that can be easily read by my committee members.


    1. Hey Dudley How is your proposal coming along?


  8. Kayode Oluwabunmi March 30, 2019 — 1:13 pm

    Hi, Dr Carter Veale, thank you for the opportunity. In as I have been actively working on my dissertation for sometime now. I plan to do a holistic overview of the contents and carry out a reorganization of some of the chapters as well. Looking forward to receiving beneficial tips from you as well.


    1. Yes…a good dissertation is a done dissertation..it was a pleasure to meet you.


  9. Shantonio Birch March 30, 2019 — 8:36 pm

    Hello everyone,
    Just want to start by saying that attending the Dissertation House has been a transformative experience for me as I navigate through writing my 1st “first author” journal paper. I’ve learned quite a lot about managing expectations, both personally and professionally, as well as how to cultivate meaningful working relationships with my adviser and dissertation committee with the end goal of getting out in mind.
    I came into the workshop expecting to edit the introductory paragraphs of my paper but ended up having to rethink the entire flow of this section as I might not be adequately capturing the current knowledge in the field. After sorting through the current works in the field and identify to what extent they address the research question that I posed in my paper, I was able to write a comprehensive introduction that captures the state of the art and highlight my contributions.
    My next steps are to (1) apply similar logic to comb through the other sections of my paper (where necessary), and (ii) get my second journal article in the pipeline (by May 1st) to speed up the time it takes for my adviser to review my new and existing unpublished contributions to the field.
    Thank you very much Dr. Carter-Veale! I’ve learned a lot about the Ph.D. process, even as a 4th-year Ph.D. student who has gone through several milestones in the process.


    1. Glad to hear that you got something out of the workshop and now you have a plan to finish the degree.


  10. The Dissertation House was such an impactful experience. I picked up some gems from the presentations for overcoming writers block and how to deliver a successful defense. This event got my gears turning and is motivating me to make the decisions that are important for me to cross the finishline. I can’t wait to return because the Dissertation House sparks that ingenuity needed to write a complete proposal|dissertation.


    1. Glad to hear that you got something out of your time in the DH.


  11. I had a major set back but now I am determined by the grace of God to earn my doctoral degree. I’m working on my proposal. The letters in this forum are so encouraging. It really helps to know there is a community of like minded scholars striving for the same goal…”done is beautiful.”


  12. Welcome to #47NSBE DH we’re online today and tomorrow. What can you get done in 2 days


  13. We will start at 11:00

    Here is your Agenda

    You should be working on your dissertation today from 11-6 pm and Saturday 11-3 pm

    If you are not writing you should be meeting with me for a 1-on-1 coaching session during those times on Zoom.

    We meet back together for the Presentations and at 5:45 to check back in before the end of the day

    4 Presentation Times where we comeback
    Introduction Goal Setting at 11:am
    How to Manage Your Advisor at 3 pm
    Getting Ready for your Defense 11 am Saturday
    Elevator Pitch/3 Min Thesis 12 pm Saturday morning


  14. Dr. Carter-Veale I can’t thank you enough for listening to my concerns about starting my dissertation, and then helping me to determine an action plan for moving forward with it! Your tip on identifying tasks that can be completed on days I don’t “feel like” writing is very helpful!

    Within the next 2 months I hope to update you with my progress 🙂

    – Nehemiah


  15. I am preparing to write my dissertation proposal, it is more than five years now since I started trying to do without reaching out to the desired goal. Today I want to revive the spirit I had in the past for completing my masters dissertation. I am a student at the open University of Tanzania 🇹🇿 and I want by the end of this year 2021 to be through with the proposal stage. I am writing about an assessment of conflicts in using resources in my district. Thank you Dr Carter.


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