Prof Alana Interview
Why are you working with DoctoralNet?
The mission of DoctoralNet Ltd is to raise PhD completion rates around the world. I founded the company because I knew the pain experienced by students who saw their dreams or aspirations die. Yet as a professor I knew the other side of that story, and then as a Chair of a Doctoral Program I saw that side. I knew I could develop an ed tech solution that would work for everyone.
I think universites owe it to themselves, their students and their faculties to change their workflows. It is time to get away from the apprenticeship model of the middle ages and begin to work with outside resources to develop stronger solutions to the completion issues everyone faces.
What is your favorite part of helping PhD students succeed?
During the journey I love to see the light go on and for people to find the golden thread that will tie all their work together – but best of all, Ilove to see folks graduate. It's a thrill to be sent a picture of someone in their robes or to have someone call just to tell me that they just got word their revisions had passed!
I also love to see universities turn their completion figures around, to work with other dedicated professionals who find their jobs are easier because of our alternative workflow.
What things do you wish you had known that now you would suggest to doctoral students?
I had no idea when I was doing my doctorate that there were common ideas or principles that this work follows, let alone that internal consistency is SO important. I would tell people when they start to do their homework, know what the work amounts to and plan for help when they need it. It is a big project but you can manage it – you just have to be willing to take control. Use all the resources at your disposal and never give up.
Want to see her live and in action?
Alana is helped at DoctoralNet by a set of wonderful people. All our professors have been on committees or examination boards for over 10 PhD/Doctoral graduates. Most are retired professors with long histories of service in higher education. Read here about Professora Emerita Maria Sanchez, Professor Dr Joanne Preston and Professor Bob Zenhausern.
In the office students are supported by Margie Milenkiewicz, our Director of Student Services and Beth Alexander and Daumantus Kasper, interns extraordinaire.
Other places you will find Alana or DoctoralNet on the web:
Interested in more information about how and why we do what we do to help PhD/doctoral students stay the course through to completion? These are older videos but the theories behind our work stay the same.