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Electronic Thesis and Dissertations

School of Graduate Studies

Boot Camp Alumni


tim wilson

Dr. Tim Wilson, Educational Leadership, Graduated Spring 2017

Winston Churchill once said, "Give us the tools, and we'll finish the job." Emily Redd and the department of Graduate Studies certainly provided the necessary tools for people like me to able to finish the job...the job of finishing my dissertation. I participated in three bootcamps and each one was a valuable tool that enabled me to think, write, get professional guidance, and ultimately successfully complete the job.  I cannot imagine I would have completed my dissertation in a timely manner without the perfectly executed Bootcamps. I highly recommend anyone starting or trying to finish their thesis or dissertation to take full advantage of the Bootcamp experience. You can thank me later.  --Dr. Tim Wilson


Dr. Randall Johnson, Educational Leadership, Graduated Fall 2016

“Dissertation Boot Camp was necessary! I should have participated when recommended by my Dissertation Chair the first and second time. Once I did participate it was very beneficial.  It provided uninterrupted study time, informative workshops, and good food necessary to complete my dissertation. Boot camp leadership team members were good sources of information that provided more clarity on the degree program and dissertation writing. For that I’m thankful for dissertation boot camp!”


Dr. Teresa Boggs, Early Childhood Education,  Graduated Summer 2016

“What a remarkable journey the Boot Camp helped me to make a complete. The content provided, the resources available, and the supportive staff and lecturers made it possible for me to focus my time and attention to the task of planning writing, revising and submitting my dissertation. Boot Camp was exactly what I needed to be successful.  I would, without reservation, encourage any student who is undertaking the task of a thesis or dissertation to participate in this unique program.”  

Ashley Carter

Dr. Ashley Carter, Educational Leadership, Graduated Summer 2016

“I took advantage of boot camp in the spring and participated in several workshops that helped prepare me for this process. I was able to complete my dissertation in 2 semesters because of the support. Thank you!”

Christy Lee

Dr. Christy Lee, Allied Health, Graduated Fall 2015

"I have continued to work two, and sometimes three jobs, have two very active children, and during the latter part of the process, my husband was also in a doctoral program.  Even with all of that, I finished my course work in a reasonable amount of time.  After many life setbacks and time passed, it was so extremely difficult to return to the role of student.  I signed up for boot camp, just to see if something could really push me back into that groove.  It had been so long since I had written anything, and I felt like I was starting all over, although oftentimes I did not feel like I had the mental capacity to do so.  

Boot Camp did that, and so much more.  It not only forced me to devote scheduled time to being a student again, it also really showed me HOW to be a student again.  Between help from some of the sweet fellow boot campers and the very giving faculty and staff, I began to finally get it together again.  During my first semester at boot camp, I attended every single workshop.  Every person there was extremely helpful with every question, problem, difficulty, even if it seemed to be off the wall.    

The location was very conducive to productivity, especially since the sessions catered to the students.  From allowing me to spread out across a huge table, to printing, to internet, to quiet rooms, to even having food available, I felt pampered, guided, and supported. 

Other boot campers and faculty all had helpful hints, tips, and stories to share.  I took guidance from them all.  Using ideas gained, I also began to figure out how to carve out time at home to write.  

I do not think I could have finished without boot camp.  It truly was God-sent, at a time in my life which was extremely difficult." 

Nancy Labine

Dr. Nancy Labine, Nursing, Graduated Fall 2015

"Thesis and Dissertation Boot camp was an inspiration to me and played a vital roll in the completion of my PhD in Nursing. I had been in process with the program for several years and was in desperate need of encouragement, guidance and someone to help me stay on track.

I attended several of the camps in a row (becoming the boot camp queen!) and accomplished various stages in each camp. The people (both students and faculty/staff) were awesome! Everyone was there to help and the atmosphere was very conducive to writing and research. The workshops were very helpful, and the food was never-ending! I highly recommend attendance at the boot camps, the time and small fee for them was well worth it! 

Good Luck to you all as you move forward with your programs. If you need to talk to someone who has "been there and done that" I would be happy to lend an encouraging word! I survived multiple boot camps and the PhD program in nursing, you can do it too!"

Suzanne Redman

Dr. Suzanne Redman, Educational Leadership, Graduated Fall 2015

"If you are stuck in writing, feeling overwhelmed, have trouble disciplining yourself to a set time of dissertation work, need organization, aren't sure of what the process is all about or have considered quitting the whole thing!!!??? I would say ...Boot Camp is for YOU! I signed up for Boot Camp just to see if I could get things going at a faster pace and to make sure I was getting all the required paperwork and deadlines completed. I wasn't sure about it, and even dreaded the first meeting but I made myself go and I am SO glad I did. It was well worth the cost. The time flew by. The staff was friendly and they really DO want you to get finished. Mini-sessions on different aspects of the dissertation journey are available and if you still have questions or don't understand there is always someone who can help. On a side note- Finding fellowship with people in the same place you are is also very comforting and a positive of the sessions plus the food is great. A real  positive way to move forward. I highly recommend Boot Camp for anyone in the dissertation process no matter where you are in the journey!"

BJ Lowe

Dr. B.J. Lowe, Educational Leadership, Graduated Fall 2015

“Boot Camp was the boost that I needed.  It’s like one-stop shopping.  Everyone is there at some point during the weekend and you can get your questions answered.  I needed a place away from the distractions of home (laundry, cleaning, always something needed to be done).  I needed a place away from the distractions of my office (work to be done, a looming project, phone calls, emails and the list goes on).  Then there was the camaraderie of all those attending, being there with a group of people who were trying to accomplish the same thing that you were!  And do not let me forget the staff, Dr. McIntosh, Dr. Marie Jones, Emily Redd, and my dissertation Chairperson, Dr. Virginia Foley, who became like family.  They were always there to help and I mean ALWAYS!!!!  I went to two boot camps and even after that I could always count on them to answer my questions and point me in the right direction!  I will always and forever be eternally grateful for their assistance!  DISSERTATION BOOT CAMP IS THE BEST THING EVER!!  It was a true investment for me!"

Charles Corwin

Dr. Charles Corwin, Educational Leadership, Graduated May 2015

"Thanks for everything.  Boot camp really helped keep me focused on my goal of completing my dissertation in a timely manner. I hope that you all are able to keep offering boot camp in the future." (Dr. Virginia Foley also featured (1st photo, left), she is ELPA faculty and a dedicated Boot Camp Team member).

Angela Elkins

Dr. Angela Elkins, Educational Leadership, Graduated May 2015

 "I would have never finished my dissertation without boot camp. The quiet time to work and the one on one interaction with professors as well as the support of the fellow boot campers and staff helped me get to this point.  Thank you!" 

 Robert M. Plummer

Dr. Robert M. Plummer, Educational Leadership, Graduated August 2014

"The Boot Camp experience was a critical step in putting focused time toward the dissertation which is most difficult in the life of working professionals. The supportive environment with related faculty drop-ins to give needed feedback along with the helpful guidance from Graduate School staff that are working with you to the finish, the camp is completely planned for you to progress. Dean McIntosh and her group have set up the best tool to overcome issues and get you to your degree."

Lana Page

Dr. Lana Page, Educational Leadership, Graduated December 2014

 "ETSU's Dissertation Boot Camp was instrumental in helping me through the writing process of my dissertation. The weekends of Boot Camp gave me the incentive to dedicate time to focus on my thinking and writing. The quiet environment promotes productive work. Also, having professors and APA format experts readily available to answer questions was very helpful!"

Amy Keesler

Dr. Amy Keesler, Educational Leadership, Graduated May 2014

 "Have you noticed that at this stage of our lives everyone is excellent at taking classes? We know what to expect - hoops and all! None of us are even good at writing a dissertation. We have never done it and are not sure what to do! This is the first reason I loved participating in dissertation boot camp! There was always an expert on hand to guide me on my journey. These experts helped me with references - locating them and citing them, grammar and editing, helped with ideas and most importantly, were cheerleaders. They gave me the confidence and assistance I needed.

The second big reason I loved boot camp was because it was a dedicated time. There was no avoiding writing to clean out the refrigerator or match stray socks. It was pure, uninterrupted, no excuse making time. I had a goal to be out in two semesters. I signed up for boot camp both times. By the end of the first semester, I was able to finish the first 3 chapters and by the second semester I was defending and graduating! I know I couldn't have done that without boot camp!"

Dr. Colleen Scott

Dr. Colleen Scott, Public Health, Graduated May 2014

 "The dissertation boot camp provided me not only with dedicated writing timing for my dissertation but also connected me with numerous faculty and staff who provided invaluable workshops, guidance, and most importantly a dedicated support team throughout the boot camp and graduation!"

Dr. Flora Craig

Dr. Flora Craig, Educational Leadership, Graduated December 2013

"I really enjoyed this boot camp especially the workshops, I learned a lot and it really helped me to stay focus on finishing my dissertation. I wish we had such a camp when I first started the ELPA program."

Ha-Jung Sung

Ha-Jung Sung, Biology, Graduate December 2013

"I'd like to let you know that I've passed the oral defense on Monday. My audience said I did really good. I was very calm and confident, because I practiced at boot camp. And, especially practice in front of Dr. McIntosh gave me a lot of confidence :)."

Dr. Christy Hogan-Young

Dr. Christy Hogan-Young, Educational Leadership, Graduated May 2013

"I am very thankful to boot camp.  I completed two rounds of boot camp intervention.  Without I would still be struggling to complete my dissertation."





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