Get PhinisheD with Frances


May is the time of year when students and families experience commencement, a celebration of completing educational accomplishments and commencing new experiences towards one’s career of choice. Unfortunately, for many PhD students, the road to commencement is often longer and less well-defined compared to the path to commencement for other degrees.

While I was fortunate enough to have a supportive dissertation advisor, be on a campus with a strong graduate school completion community and complete my PhD in 4.5 years, this was after I SWITCHED PhD programs TO GET THAT IDEAL SITUATION. So the question is what happens when your dissertation situation is not “the ideal?” What if your dissertation advisor is not often available? What if your life is already full of personal and professional obligations when the opportunity to pursue your doctoral degree becomes possible? Most doctoral students know how to complete coursework because they have successfully competed other degrees but the research and writing components of the dissertation process are less familiar and can delay commencement. When these situations happen, a DISSERTATION COACH is critical to navigate a more direct path to completion, commencement and an excellent career. I had various coaches for different parts of my dissertation completion process and know they helped me hone strategies of resilience and persistence that I still use today. Now I positioning myself to help others build those same skills.

If you are or know a working doctoral student who is feeling stuck at any point in the process, quickly refer them to me. My dissertation coaching program, GET PHinisheD with FRANCES, will help them move from dissertation delay to DISSERTATION COMPLETION.

Email to learn more.

Ready to get PhinisheD? Click here to schedule a Scholar Assessment Session with me.

What’s the ROI on Your Opportunities for Excellence?


Yesterday my friend from boarding school Desmond Walker and I reconnected for the first time in over 20 years. We were both thankful to reconnect but also so grateful for Mississippi’s investment in opportunities for excellence in us through our attending the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS).

We both agreed how the MSMS experience laid the foundation for our current ability to serve as national leaders of excellence in two careers: STEM education for me and Navy officer-ship for Desmond. As natives of rural Mississippi and graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), we both discussed how people with backgrounds like ours are sometimes not sought out to lead. However, when you pray, believe, and work hard so that you are ready for extraordinary opportunities that arise, the sky is the limit on God’s plan for your life as well as the lives of those you love and surround yourself with.

Thanks Desmond for taking time out of your day as Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations to give us a tour. I look forward to watching you continue to soar and using you as an example of educational and career excellence!

What are the ROIs (returns on investment) on the opportunities for excellence you have received? I’d love to hear some of them. I know they, like ours, have been beyond your original thoughts and dreams!