Monday, September 1, 2014

In My Defense

By Dr. Will

This post was inspired by Dr. Eva Lantsought’s piece on her doctoral defense.

The subject of my defense came up during the meeting I had with my committee before I started my study. During which I asked about defending my dissertation and the chances of my failing. My Chair responded "We will never let you get to that point and fail". Feeling relieved, I went about the business of conducting my study and writing my dissertation. Fast-forward a year and half later and the day came for me to take my place among those who are called Dr.

In preparing for my defense, I had several conversations with my Chair. We talked about what to include in my PowerPoint slides, what to expect from the committee, as well as what I needed to do to bring it. And after a few revisions of my PowerPoint, I scheduled the date and time for my defense.

Now, I know that some of you may be thinking how did I defend my dissertation when I went to school online? I did so with Blackboard Collaborate. We had a private room, and I purchased a phone number to use for my defense. Being a Google Hangout man, I did ask about using a Google Hangout or Skype, but my other two committee members were more comfortable with Blackboard Collaborate.

On the day of my defense, I was nervous! I knew my dissertation like I knew the back of my hand, but that didn't stop me from feeling unsure of myself and uneasy about presenting my research. I took the day off from work, and reread my slides and reread parts of my dissertation. I had to pass. Everything I had worked for for the past three and half years came down to this moment...

For an hour or so, I presented my research and fielded questions from my committee. In the first few slides, I almost read aloud my slides word for word - something my Chair mentioned in the discussion afterwards. By the fourth slide, I felt more comfortable and just started talking. That went on for about (I'm guessing) 30 minutes. The next 30 minutes covered the questions from my committee members.

Then Dr. J. said "We started this call with three doctors. How many do we have now?" All of the members said four. I was relieved, excited, overjoyed, and ready to ball out like I just won an NBA championship. I thanked my committee members, and we briefly chatted. Two of my committee members left the call, and I stayed on with my Chair to discuss what was next in the process.

I can't thank my committee enough for their help in completing my dissertation. That said, Dr. LB was my rock and the best dissertation Chair I could have gotten. She was and still remains a mentor to me. Alhamdulillah, for her guidance, tough-love, and encouragement throughout my dissertation process. She played a major role in the Dr. Will you have seen at conferences, online, and in-person.

I dedicate this post to her. Thank you Dr. LB.

About the author: My name is Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. I am a district instructional technologist, connected educator, and digital media learning consultant. I began teaching the educational applications of digitals as the Campus Outreach Coordinator for I also spent another two years as the Chief Social Strategist for StrengthsFactors, where I oversaw and managed the company’s social strategy, created and curated content for the company’s Ning, as well as launched multiple projects that expanded the company’s digital brand. Currently, I work with teachers in discovering how they can use a multitude of technologies, such as Google Apps, Compass Learning, ActivInspire, etc., to create an array of interactive and engaging collaborative learning experiences, with a focus on blended learning and connecting students to a global community.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Dr. Will, my name is Javious Williams. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I would like to start out by saying congratulations on your success. Hard work never goes unrecognized. I enjoyed reading your blog post and I must say it is a very motivational post. I can imagine the smile on your face once you discover everything you worked hard for came to reality. I am working on getting my Bachelor's degree in Physical Education with hopes of becoming a Physical Education teacher. My plan is to get my Master's degree in Adapted Physical Education working with disabled student. I would love to make it as far as you did and earn my PhD. Once again congrats on your success and I wish you the very best in your career!!!