Published on November 11, 2020 by Leighton Doores  

Orlean Beeson School of Education virtually hosted its Educational Leadership Doctoral Candidate Institute on Nov. 7. The event provided resources and support for doctoral candidates in their dissertation journey and connected peers in other cohorts.

The institute opened with a welcome from professor and director of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Mary Yakimowski, a prayer from doctoral candidate Kenya Hall and remarks from Dean Anna McEwan.

McEwan encouraged candidates to remember that their work is an opportunity to use their mind for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom.

“That’s why I love Samford University,” said McEwan. “That’s why I love this program because we are advancing in our profession, but we’re also growing to be the kind of people who make a difference in the world.”

Candidates had the option to attend one of five presentations in three breakout sessions, each labeled as “Introduction,” “Developing” or “Advanced” to indicate the projected level a candidate should be at in the dissertation process.

Topics were presented by faculty, library staff members, doctoral candidates and alumni and ranged from selecting the right methodological design and right-sizing your question to using the Samford Library as a resource and life after the dissertation. There was also a panel of candidates reflecting on their recently completed dissertations. 

“We have two hopes or goals for each institute,” said Yakimowski. “First, we hope participants each reflect on three ideas learned in the institute that can be embraced in their dissertation journey. Second, we hope that each participant met at least one other student, or graduate, from another cohort to either lend support or request assistance during the dissertation process.”   

The institute serves as a helpful resource for candidates and encourages them to complete their doctoral degrees, a milestone that less than 2% of people in the United States achieve.

Learn more about our doctoral program.