Dissertation :: The journey begins!

We will occasionally post reports on the progress of our dissertation work. For this first report, we wish we had more progress to report than we do. It has been 5 weeks since our class, and while we always need a break after class, we had hoped to be a little further along than we are. But, fortunately, we’re not quite in panic mode yet!

The goal is still to write a (very) rough draft of chapters 1-3 by 03.16.2007, which still gives us four weeks to get it done. In reality, this may very well be the most important part of the entire process. Once we get this draft turned in we can work toward a "proposal hearing" sometime this summer.

Once approved, the next step is to work on projects in our
respective charges, probably summer / late summer / early fall.
Afterward (in the fall) we’ll write the final two chapters, 4-5.
Hopefully, then, in the spring of 2008, we would be ready to "defend"
our dissertations before a committee. If that’s successful, we will
graduate on 05.24.2008, completing a 4.5 year journey!

We are grateful that we have a faculty mentor to work with from the
beginning of this process. Normally students are not assigned mentors
until at least mid-March after
they submit a rough draft of the first three chapters. Fortunately, however, we already have a faculty mentor. Dr. Russell West has agreed to work with both of us. We are very much looking forward to working with him!

Next steps …

Randy is hoping to write a rough draft of Chapter 1
(introduction and overview of the dissertation project) in the next few
days, and then conduct a "review of literature" (i.e. Chapter 2)
related to his topic during the next 3 to 4 weeks. During the fourth
week, he’ll rough out chapter 3, which is about the design of the
proposed project.

Joleen has been doing research to help nail down her topic.
She has an important meeting scheduled on Monday with a pastor in our
Conference whom she thinks has been doing something similar to what she
wants to do and study.

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