Being a professor in a doctoral program
begins and ends with the
dissertation exercise. Teaching graduate seminars and doing policy
research is important, fun and keeps you credible with people who are in a
position to judge incredibilities. Yet, it is the act and/or art of
chairing the dissertation effort that I feel is where professors live,
breathe and always face the possibility of dying. The student often feels
that he or she is the only one who cares about the pain of such a long
process leading to such an underpublicized event, but the chair of the
dissertation is also in that loop. The people who I have had the
priviledge to chair have all been of high quality; some wrote their
dissertation in a relatively short time with little external help while
others took years and followed a methodological process equivalent to
extracting wisdom teeth over and over and over. In the end all the
following folks were successful and each tought me much.
The chairing of dissertations since l971 is remembered in three
folks. I apologize the most to the earliest group, for I knew too much
in those years and was too sure about the planned, rational research
process: Ken Shelton, Phil Price, Charles Cornett, Alleen Deutsch,
Kathleen Plato , Larry Kennedy,
Wayne Anton, Erskine Dottin, Donald Menafee, David Miller and Jerry Steck
completed their work at Virginia Polytechnic Institute or Miami
The second wave occurred here at the University at Albany in the
of the l980's. This group may have gotten more for their money than the
students doing first wave dissertations but there was still some lag in the
gitty-up which I rationalize away as getting used to New York State.
(Cyprus), Datumanong Sarangani (Phillipines), Phillip Reagan, Paul
Davidson, Douglas Long and John Stoothoff.
I have been most comfortable working with the last (and present)
dissertation students here at Albany because more than two decades of
experience has paid off. The dissertation topice are as interesting as
the previous efforts and the students justs as smart and professional.
The metamorphism rests with me.
Nancy Hewat, John Walko, Barbara Kearns, Richard England, Maureen
Flaherty, Marilyn Terranova, Dee Warner, Russell Moore, Warren Gemmill,
Ann Edwards and Xinhua Lee(China).
There are seven more folks currently in the "pipeline." Whether this
becomes the fourth wave or continues the present froth remains to be seen.
Finally, one student whom I am helping with her dissertation must be
recognized. Andreea Serban and her husband Sorin are the driving force and
masterminds behind the creation of this webpage. Check her