Sunday, March 25, 2012

Doctoral Confessions: Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

By Will Deyamport, III

This blog post is the start of a series titled: Doctoral Confessions. I started the series to share mine as well as the stories of other current doctoral students in addition to those brave souls who have graduated. There is so much that admissions counselors, professors, and advisors don't tell you. Hopefully, this series will tell the good, the bad, and the ugly about pursuing a doctorate. As the founder of this blog, I will share my story first.

I started my doctoral program in July 2009 with the plan of leading an education-focused non-profit organization. I was excited, focused, and ready to kick some tail.

A year into the program, my career interests changed. I was no longer interested in working with young people; I wanted to be a part of the digital revolution. So I took a quarter off from school to see if earning my doctorate was still the best move to make. I, mean, I hadn't come across anyone working in digital media who had their doctorate and let's be honest, I was 36, unemployed, and needed to make some career moves. As fate would have it, I began an internship with JT O'Donnell - Career Expert and Founder of Careeralism. My work with her taught me that I could merge my interests in education with digital media, so I enrolled in school the next quarter.

Now back in school I focused my coursework and research efforts on leadership in the digital age ,and on the educational applications in digital media. I landed another gig as the Chief Social Strategist for StrengthsFactors, and my very own blog was gaining traction. The course stage of my doctoral program ended, and that's when the hammer dropped...

The dissertation phase of the program was nothing like I had ever experienced in my life. I had walked away from the coursework phase with a 3.8 GPA, and praise from professors and outside industry executives who reviewed my PSSA's (assignments that required us to solve a real world problem within an organization). I entered the dissertation phase under the impression that I knew how to write clearly, succinctly, think critically, and present a cohesive idea. You know what I learned instead? Karma isn't a *****; it's a rewrite.

From October 2011 to February 2012 I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. It took me all of that time to get my topic and the design of my study approved by my mentor, my committee, and the school's reviewer. I was getting my tail handed to me, and I seriously thought about quitting. But the amount I owe in student loans and the point I was at in the program made quitting a non-issue. Finally, on February 23, 2012, my SMR (Scientific Merit Review) was approved, and I was cleared to apply for IRB approval.

No one told me about the hurdles/ approvals in the dissertation phase. I had no idea that it would take so much time, or that my study would have to be approved by so many people. Nor did I expect to to do so many drafts and revisions, but in the end my study was actually better.

On March 20, 2012, I received IRB approval to begin my study. I felt disbelief, happiness, fear, and hollow all at the same time. I start recruitment on Monday, and I am crossing my fingers that I get at least 10 teachers to sign on to be in my study. It has taken me 2 1/2 years and many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many drafts and revisions to get to this point. I am about six months from hopefully completing my dissertation. When my committee signs off on my defense, I am going to go outside and scream: I am Dr. Will! Trust me. I have earned it.

Will Deyamport, III, is an Ed.D. Candidate, a social media leader, and digital academic. His blog, PEOPLEGOGY, was born out of the idea to curate expert voices. In addition to his 11 years of experience in education, he has interned with the likes of Ingrid Stabb and J. T. O’Donnell. Currently, Will is working on his dissertation, which focuses on using Personal Learning Networks via Twitter to support the individual professional learning needs for teachers.


  1. Way to go. Now all you have to do is do what you said you were going to do. Getting approval for my study was the hardest part for me. If you ever feel like giving up, don't!!!!!

  2. Dr. Green, thanks for the support. Hopefully, I get enough people to participate in the study, a number my mentor will be comfortable with me proceeding.

    I continue to post updates about the progress of my dissertation. Thanks again