Dr. Chris Cappannelli is back (listen to episode 21- Should I pursue a doctoral degree? If you haven’t already!) https://www.buzzsprout.com/1547113/8169838
Chris Cappannelli is a federal special agent who received his EdD in Leadership and Management from St. Thomas University in 2018. He has a long and successful career with the government holding diverse positions of increasing complexity and sensitivity, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, US Customs and Homeland Security Investigations.
1. Chairs are critically important to the success of any doctoral candidate. You must learn how to communicate effectively with them!
2. It is up to you to show your Chair that your degree is a priority.
3. Chairs dictate the rules of engagements, not the other way around (e.g., you might have to take time off work to attend a meeting).
4. Most people do not chair for the money – frankly, it is a job that is generally underpaid.
5. Many Chairs are overwhelmed with students – be the one that they want to spend their time on – be a STAR.
6. Documentation may be your saving grace.
7. Your Chair is human with life happening at them, too.
8. Going MIA sends a clear message that you don’t care.
9. Own your Dissertation/Doctoral Project by stepping into the role of Independent Scholar (if you need someone to hold your hand, then reconsider this degree and if you still want to move forward, then hire a coach).
10. Before going “upline” double-check you did not miss an email or message and do a reality check (Do you perceive your Chair is unengaged because you refusing to listen to their feedback?). If you go upline, use respectful language and be patient (and prepare for the unthinkable).
Tips for Chairs and Students that build trust and respect:
1. Communicate needs/wants/expectations about communication, including modes.
2. Respond to emails, texts, classroom messages PROMPTLY (within 24 hours is best), even if it just to say you got the message.
3. Communicate when you will be “off the grid”.
4. Maintain professional boundaries but do communicate when something is going on that will impact the progress of the degree.
5. Document key milestones (for students and chairs: missed meetings, response times that exceed university policy; for chairs: documents that show the student is not attending to feedback – change matrices are great for this; for students: documents that are reviewed with little feedback).
6. Use send/read receipts on emails.
7. For students: Make the most of the limited time your Chair has – use editors, peer support, coaching, etc. as needed.
8. This is a relationship and will need tending to like any relationship – if you are a Chair – determine how many students you can reasonably mentor. If you are a student – you might want to ask potential Chairs how many students they are already chairing before you agree to their mentorship.
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