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.

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 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.

My dissertation has been published!

My dissertation, Neurofeedback as an Intervention to Improve Reading Achievement in Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Subtype has just been published on eScholarship is operated by the University of California and “provides Open-Access scholarly publishing services . . . and delivers a dynamic research platform to scholars worldwide.” Unlike many diploma mills, which do not provide open access to their school’s dissertations, the University of California now publishes essentially all dissertations and provides free access to the public. This is as it should be. It’s rather interesting, to say the least, that the lower the status of the school, the more restrictive they are to providing access – in fact, many charge exorbitant fees for them. I am very proud to be a graduate of a world-class research institution such as the University of California, Riverside.

The race to the finish has begun!

I just returned from the 2013 Conference of the International Society for Neurofeedback & Research (Dallas, TX) where I presented a poster session, as well as an hour-long oral presentation on my dissertation research. What a fabulous experience! There must have been one hundred people at my oral presentation, including some of the top researchers on neurofeedback; at least two of the most renowned researchers who helped launched the field back in the late 1950s and 1960s where there. Not only was it an incredible honor but, of course, it was also a bit intimidating but that’s a good thing.

The exciting thing is that the university sent out the announcement for my dissertation defense today! Wow! I can’t believe I’m nearing the end of a very long and challenging (for lack of a better word) experience. Sleep may be in my near future again and, perhaps, I may even be able to break away from my computer for a few days (but not for too long as I’ve got at least one more presentation to do in a few weeks and several articles I should write). I’ve got some exciting things going on and it feels great.

Finis! (Well, if not that, then it’s close to finis!)

It’s hard to believe but the first final draft of my dissertation is DONE! I finished it on September 4th at 6:58 P.M. after spending countless months glued to my computer, not to mention everything that preceded writing it up. I’m too tired to think straight so for now, I’m just going to leave it at that! I’ve proofread it twice so far and may write up the abstract before calling it quits for tonight. Just the same, it’s DONE!

Data Collection is Almost Done & the Score is Now: Jeff = 1, Microsoft Excel = 0

Data collection for my dissertation is nearly done – I’ve been at it, nearly full-time, since mid-January. Although the participants are great, I’m simply exhausted. Fortunately, essentially all of my data collection will be done this week. As a result, I will now be entering the final stage of the program – writing up the “Results” and “Discussion” sections of my dissertation (the lit review and methods sections were completed and approved last Fall). Although this final stage should be the most “fun,” I’m engaged in yet another battle with Microsoft Excel. It always amazes me as to how clueless programmers are to the needs of real users. I’ve now spent days/weeks fighting with Excel in order to create graphs for my multiple-baseline across-participants single-case research and finally conquered the last hurdle, thanks to a response to a question I asked on an Excel Forum. Here’s a sample:

Sample Graph from Actual Data
This is a sample graph that is very close to what I’m going to be creating from the mountains of data I’ve collected.

I’ve also created an “instruction guide” (for me) so I won’t forget how to create the graph. Here’s the link to: Jeff’s Single Case Design Graph Instructions. Please note that I did not proofread it – it was created only for my use but I’m posting it here, just in case someone else is interested in “how I done did it.” Enjoy!



Dissertate, dissertate, dissertate . . .

Although “dissertate” and “dissertating” are not real words (even though “Merriam-Webster” claims they are), I’m in the midst of being a dissertator (another Merriam-Webster term) so I can be forgiven. I’ve been putting in 18-hour days for weeks now and I’m fully immersed in the data collection process. As of today, nearly all of my “participants” (according to the APA, this is the new politically correct word for “subjects”) have completed more than 50 percent of the intervention process and I’m thrilled! I’ve been truly blessed to make it this far. The school I’m dissertating at is exceptional and my participants are a joy to work with!

Although I was originally supposed to defend my completed dissertation about this time (and I should have been able to “walk” in June), my research was delayed by nearly three months due to a bureaucratic problem. As a result, I will have gathered nearly all of my data by very early June, will write up my results and discussion sections over the summer, and should defend by late September or early October. Currently, I have just 21 days of data collection remaining (excluding post-intervention and follow-up assessments) but who’s counting?!

Additionally, I presented a paper on my early findings at the American Educational Research Association Meeting in San Francisco, earlier this week. At the moment, I’m very, very tired and am looking forward to crunching more numbers over the weekend.