Boycott the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

ACTION ALERT: Do you or a loved one have ADD/ADHD? Are you aware that the world’s biggest special education “advocacy’ group is AGAIN ignoring the largest population of exceptional children in our schools – those with ADD/ADHD? Please join the boycott against the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Please spread the word! Full details may be found here: Click here and join the boycott against the Council for Exceptional Children.

A Lot Has Happened Since the Last Post

This blog nearly disappeared into the ether, nearly three years ago when I last noted that a lot of wonderful things happened. My feelings haven’t changed since then! Of greatest note is that I had alluded to my new job; however, I hadn’t yet made the formal announcement as I wanted to wait until a bit later to provide the great news. Well, that was a long time again and the word has long been out; I accepted a position as an assistant professor at Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ.

The move was, obviously, an enormous one for me; however, I never thought twice about it. Although I’m a native Californian, over the years, I’ve come to despise that state for many very good reasons. Although I did not know where I would eventually end up, I had three separate positions for which I was in the running at the time I accepted the offer from Seton Hall – one in Boston, another in Texas, and Seton Hall. Following my interview with Seton Hall, I was immediately offered a position and gladly accepted. The Boston position looked intriguing and while I like Texas, I did not want that position there as it was in a terrible location (albeit with a prestigious university).

Nearly three years later, I have never regretted making the move to NJ. While I had never been here before (except I may have caught a flight out of Newark, once), I absolutely love the state. NJ has an astonishingly bad reputation but I found those criticisms to be completely unfounded. Furthermore, I really enjoy my position and have made many, many friends. The cultural offerings are no less than spectacular – I live just 30 miles from NYC and a mere 75 miles from Philadelphia.

My scholarly pursuits have flourished – I’ve taught graduate and undergraduate courses, completed data collection for my first research project last spring, have presented at several conferences, and have already had two articles published, with a third one under review now (more on those later).

Equally important is that I have found enormous happiness in my personal life. It’s been more than two decades since I’ve been this content with my life and am very, very involved with music, as well as with philanthropic organizations. I’ll post more highlights of the past three years in coming posts.

After a Very Long Hiatus, this Blog has been Resurrected

This blog was originally designed to document my journey through a Ph.D. program and has been inactive for nearly three years. Additionally, I had used another hosting company for many, many years and they were suddenly bought out by another company about a year and a half ago. At that point, my sites disappeared and I had an extremely difficult time getting backups. Even then, I found it was nearly impossible to resurrect all that I had written and thought I’d try again tonight. I was just about to give up when I somehow managed to not only find the sql file but also, after spending a considerable time tweaking the database, was able to get the blog back up. I’ll probably post more in the coming days and weeks as many, many positive things have occurred since I last wrote.

So Many Wonderful Things!

To state that many wonderful events have taken place since I last posted on this blog would be an understatement. For starters, I have been very busy interviewing for positions with multiple universities around the country. While I’ll save the big news for a moment, I’ve done a lot of traveling since December, I’ve been to Boston, New Jersey, and Texas (on two occasions), in addition to participating in numerous phone interviews.

My dissertation has appeared on ProQuest’s “list of the top 25 Most-Accessed Dissertations and Theses across all subjects, based upon total PDF downloads” for a THIRD time (January 2015). This time, it appeared as the 23rd most accessed dissertation in their database! I’m extremely surprised (and delighted) that there appears to be such an interest in it.

My speaking schedule has also been quite busy. Since my two presentations at the CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) Conference last November, I recently presented at the 46th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) in Austin, Texas (on March 14, 2015).

Just to keep me busy, I’m also teaching a course this quarter at UCR. It’s a course for individuals who are becoming special education teachers. So far, it’s been great fun.

The most exciting news, however, is that I’ve just received the final signed contract for an appointment as an assistant professor at a very highly respected (and highly ranked) university near Manhattan (NYC)!!! Although I won’t reveal the name of the university until I actually begin work, I’m absolutely thrilled. In brief, I applied in early February, received a phone interview in early March, and accepted an offer to fly to the university a few weeks later for a series of interviews and a teaching demonstration. From the moment of my initial contact with the university, I was very impressed with all of the interactions and, upon meeting with faculty and administration in person, I was beyond delighted! Indeed, I was struck by the professionalism and knowledge of everyone I met! The faculty seems very cohesive and the administration very supportive, with all expressing a very high level of concern for addressing the needs of students and the university’s programs. I also had the pleasure of meeting with many students (who attended my teaching demonstration). Again, I was very impressed with their astuteness, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn. Needless to say, my search for a position has ended and I’m looking forward to joining the faculty at a highly esteemed university!

Is My Doctoral Dissertation a Best Seller?

I’ve previously mentioned that my doctoral dissertation appeared as #12 on ProQuest’s for the month of July 2014. Well, it’s happened again! This time, it appears as the 24th most downloaded dissertation for the month of October 2014 (the latest month available)! I’m extremely flattered and honored that so many people are actually interested in it.

Keeping Busy

I’ve been very busy lately. About two weeks ago, I gave a presentation at this year’s International Conference of the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research in San Diego, CA. Around the same time, my dissertation was published by ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), the online library of education research and information, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

I have also been honored with an invitation to speak at the 2014 International Conference on ADHD by CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). My oral presentation is entitled, A copy of my PowerPoint slides are available online. Here’s a video blurb I had to submit when I applied:

My research poster session is entitled, “Neurofeedback and Reading Comprehension: Implications as an Intervention Strategy for Students with ADHD in Public Schools” and will also be presented next week in Chicago.

Wow! A LOT of People are Actually Reading My Dissertation!

It’s not uncommon to hear academics (and others) whine that no one reads dissertations. Indeed, many complain that one spends years preparing for the dissertation conducting lit reviews, writing the dissertation prospectus, preparing for oral exams, conducting research on an obscure topic, and ultimately spending extraordinary amounts of time writing a book that only a few (primarily the members on the dissertation defense committee) will ever read. While I’m certain that this is the case for many dissertations, I’m thrilled to discover that a LOT of people are reading mine! Indeed, while my dissertation was published in two places (ProQuest and eScholarship.org) just five months ago, I accidentally discovered earlier today that it appears on ProQuest’s “list of the top 25 Most-Accessed Dissertations and Theses across all subjects, based upon total PDF downloads” for the month of July 2014! I’m stunned, flabbergasted, and very honored! Currently, Proquest has approximately 3 million dissertations and theses in their online archives and yet mine was one of the most downloaded last month. How or why my dissertation made it to their list is simply a thrill! Furthermore, it’s the only dissertation published this year on ProQuest’s list for July. Hopefully, this is also a sign of good things to come – I just submitted the first article (of potentially several) based on my research to a peer-reviewed journal. Whether or not that will get published remains to be seen.

University of California Doctoral Diploma

At long last! My University of California, Riverside Ph.D. diploma has finally arrived (heck, it only took the university nearly eight months to grow the tree and then make the ink so they could run the paper through a laser printer). Needless to say, I’m thrilled! I am also pleased to find that it states that I earned a Ph.D. in Education (Special Education). Although all Ph.D. Candidates in the Graduate School of Education at UCR earn Ph.D.s in “education,” there are several specializations within the field. Obviously, mine was in Special Education and I wasn’t aware that the specialization would be noted on my diploma (my M.A. diploma did not mention my specialization). Anyway, it’s great to finally receive the piece of paper that signifies that I’ve earned a Ph.D.

UCR Ph.D. Diploma
On March 21, 2014, my doctoral degree (Ph.D.) was conferred by the University of California. I finally received my diploma on July 31, 2014.

Commencement 2014!

I’ve long waited for this day! On June 16, 2014 I participated in the 60th Commencement Ceremony at the University of California, Riverside. Although my degree was “certified” on January 8, 2014 and “conferred” on March 21, 2014, UCR only has one set of commencement ceremonies each year – at the end of the academic year in June. That means I had to wait forever for the big moment!

This year, there were seven commencement ceremonies at UCR with nearly 5,500 graduates participating. Fortunately, the ceremony for UCR’s Graduate School of Education (GSOE) is one of the smallest; there were just 105 graduates at our ceremony and only nine Ph.D.s were conferred. Of course, simple math reveals that many of the other ceremonies were huge but I’m glad mine wasn’t.

I’m very grateful that UCR took a video of the ceremony. The following video was created by obtaining a screen capture and then adding some more “fun stuff.” I’ve also reduced the ceremony from approximately 90 minutes down to just 7. Of course, these are the seven minutes that are most meaningful to me – UCR’s bagpipe band (I took bagpipe lessons many years ago), portions of the processional, the “big moment”, and a few still photos that were taken following the ceremony. FYI, the “BIG Moment” (when I am “hooded” by my academic advisor) occurs five minutes into the video. Spoiler alert! The last photo was taken a few hours after the ceremony – my “wild cousin,” who is visiting from Maryland, insisted that I put on my regalia so she could get some photos at the beach.  What fun!