What is a positive way to celebrate the accomplishment of earning the Ph.D.?

Posted by Ronald | November 7, 2014  |  No Comment

One of the toughest academic challenges a person may face in a life-time is earning the Ph.D. Because of the rigorous course study and intellectual preparation, less than one percent of the U.S. population obtains the Ph.D. For this special feature, the critical questions to be asked are: What is a positive way to celebrate the accomplishment of earning the Ph.D.? Who are some of Florida A&M University’s Ph.D. graduates? What advice do they give to students for completing the Ph.D.?

A couple of months ago, several of my colleagues and I conversed about having a reunion during Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) homecoming football game for the Cohort members of 1998 who enrolled in FAMU’s Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership. Since members had not met collectively in more than a decade, we decided to celebrate our accomplishment of earning the Ph.D. by tailgating before the football game.

Members attending the reunion included Jennifer Anderson; Donna Austin; Deborah Barnes; Genae Crump; Ronald Holmes; Melinda Jackson; Brenda Alexander Kizer; Doretha Presley-Benson; Marsha Glover Sanders and Willie Spires.

For students who are considering or pursuing the doctorate, the majority of the FAMU Ph.D. graduates’ advice is to stay focused and committed to completing the degree. Dr. Melinda Jackson, one of the first graduates to complete the doctoral program from the Cohort of 1997 said, “It is important for students to come to a doctoral program with a well made up mind and determined to commit themselves to staying focus. We need more Black Ph.D. graduates in education especially educational leadership. Those who have PhDs, even after retirement, have to be out front and push the envelope to make sure our kids are successful.” Dr. Presley-Benson, from the 1998 Cohort said, “Students should be dedicated to what they are doing. Get a topic that is good for you; one that you think you can be successful in and learn from it; and don’t give up. Continue to research information about your topic, so you will thoroughly understand it. Remember, you are the expert.”

Through the outstanding leadership of Dr. Ada Puryear Burnette and other constituents of Florida A&M University, the Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership was established in 1997. One of the program’s purposes was to “provide professionals with theoretical and practical knowledge that will enable them to be effective change agents and successful program managers, particularly in schools and agencies that serve the needs of minority and at-risk populations.”

We thank the leadership of FAMU for establishing the Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership and continuing to develop professionals who can serve as role models and continue to develop the young minds of minorities. To  order Holmes’ new book on Completing the Dissertation, visit the bookstore section of The Holmes Education Post.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of seven books, “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education,” “How to Eradicate Hazing,” “Professional Career Paths” “Your Answers to Education Questions,” “How to revitalize the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.” and “Completing the Dissertation: Tips, techniques and real-life experiences from Ph.D. graduates.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]



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