2018 Dissertation Boot Camp

2018 Dissertation Boot Camp attendees stand in front of a fireplace

For the 36 students who attended the annual Dissertation Boot Camp, life got a little easier, at least as far as kick-starting writing on their dissertations.

Co-sponsored by The Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Graduate School, the three-day event was held January 26 through January 28 at Deer Creek Lodge and Conference Center in Mt. Sterling. The retreat provides Ohio State ABD students with the space to work on their dissertations in a stimulating environment with others; develop a plan to complete their dissertations in a timely fashion; share best practices for preparing for academia and the demands that accompany this experience; and create a strong support system for students across academic disciplines.

"Attending ODI dissertation bootcamp with 40+ colleagues, many who are first generation students and/or students of color, highlighted the collective and individual power that we have to diversify the nation's professoriate," said attendee Marisol Becerra.

After the opening session, “Debriefing, Goal Setting and Dissertation Writing,” attendees were given plenty of time to work on their dissertations, knowing that any questions, concerns, or stumbling blocks they encountered could be addressed with advice from other students and Boot Camp instructors and mentees.

“The Dissertation Boot Camp was just what I needed to get recharged and refocused on finishing my dissertation. The feedback I received from my Boot Camp Instructor increased my confidence in my writing abilities and motivated me to revise my first three chapters. It was also affirming and encouraging to be connected with other doctoral students who are also on the path to move from ABD to PhD,” said attendee Chris Travers.

Students were also provided with a copy of the book, Demystifying Dissertation Writing: A Streamlined Process from Choice of Topic to Final Text by Peg Boyles Single, PhD. Said one attendee, “This book has been very helpful to me as a new PhD candidate. I started the book on the retreat, have read about half of the book already (by Tuesday following the retreat), and plan to finish it and review it throughout my dissertation writing process. I have been surprised at the practicality and clarity of the book. It is encouraging, too.”

In the six Boot Camps that have been held since 2013, over 50 attendees have gone on to receive their PhDs from The Ohio State University, offering inspiration to their fellow Buckeyes who are following in their footsteps. For more information, please contact Dr. Robert Bennett III at bennett.460@osu.edu.