Our Team

By: The Dissertation Coach  11/25/2011
Keywords: Psychology, Graduate Students, Research Methods

  • Alison Miller, PhD – Dissertation Coach, Owner and Founder of “The Dissertation Coach”
  • Colleen Halliday-Boykins, PhD – Managing Director, Dissertation Coach and Consultant

    Colleen holds a doctoral degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles with a minor in measurement and statistics. Since completion of her degree, she has held a faculty appointment at the Medical University of South Carolina in a division devoted to real-world research with children, adolescents and their families She has an extensive background in empirical research, having authored several empirical articles in leading journals, including many first author pieces, having received federal funding to complete her own research, and having designed and implemented several other research projects of varying levels of complexity. She has also served on the editorial and as ad hoc reviewer for scientific journals. Colleen is proficient in quantitative data analysis, methodological rigor, research synthesis and academic writing. As a well-rounded researcher, she is able to consult with students regarding all aspects of the thesis and dissertation process, from identifying a topic, developing a problem statement, designing a methodology, writing literature reviews and proposals to analyzing the data, writing the method and result sections, synthesizing and interpreting the findings, and addressing committee feedback. Colleen has advised, mentored and consulted with students in a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, education, human services, social work, health administration and business administration. She has excellent mentoring skills and a passion for helping students achieve their academic and professional goals.

  • Jill Blackwell, PhD – Dissertation Consultant

    Jill obtained her PhD in Experimental/Developmental Psychology from the Department of Psychology at DePaul University. She is currently serving as Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology at a local university in Chicago. She teaches research methods I, II, III, and has served as faculty advisor to numerous students who have completed their research projects. Her research interests span the fields of health psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and biological/social psychology. She has experience providing guidance from project inception, hypothesis development, selecting and developing appropriate research methods, and analyzing and interpreting data. She has served as peer review/editor, providing constructive advice, for numerous scientific journals. She is compassionate and positive and can provide problem solving assistance to any student.

  • Chang-ming Hsieh, PhD – Dissertation Consultant (specializing in statistical analysis)

    Chang-ming received his master’s degree from Columbia University and PhD in social welfare from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently an associate professor of social work at a local university in Chicago where he teaches graduate-level introductory and advanced research methods.  His main areas of expertise include applied quantitative methods. As a highly skilled data analyst and methodologist, he has been working with students and faculty members on dissertations and research projects across disciplines in social and behavioral sciences for nearly a decade. Clients consistently describe Chang-ming as a “true teacher” and acknowledge him for his ability to explain complex statistics in easy-to-understand terms and tp help students develop a thorough understanding of the statistical approach they use in their research.  Chang-ming can assist students in any stage of the research process whether students are at the proposal phase or writing the final study. In addition, he is very effective at helping students address the feedback and comments of committee members before or after their final defense meeting.

  • Marisha Humphries PhD – Dissertation Coach and Consultant

    Marisha received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an assistant professor at a local university in Chicago and a licensed clinical psychologist. She has been conducting research in the areas of children’s emotional and social competence, and prosocial behavior for over 10 years. She has experience implementing basic developmental research, clinical validity studies, and clinical prevention research in school environments. She has presented at her work at national conferences and has published research articles in professional journals. Marisha has experience conducting longitudinal clinical research, observational coding, focus groups, surveys, and individual interviews with children and adults. Marisha provides mentoring in the context of an emotionally supportive environment. She helps students with goal identification and then assists them in identifying actual and potential barriers that can prevent them from reaching their goals. She is committed to helping students find their personal path to completing their graduate education in a timely manner.

  • Kristine L. Jones, M.P.H., PhD – Dissertation Consultant

    Kristine Jones is an experienced qualitative field researcher and has written numerous technical reports, grant proposals, and articles in her academic discipline. As a faculty member at several universities, both in the U. S. and in Latin America, she directed numerous theses and dissertations with graduate students in history, public health, and the social sciences. She holds a PhD in Latin American and Native American History from the University of Chicago and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, has received NEH, SSRC and Fulbright grants for archival and ethnographic research in Argentina and Chile, and was a Fulbright Professor in History in Chile. As a consultant, she enjoys helping students narrow and clarify their research problem, structure arguments, identify optimal methodological approaches, prepare proposals for IRB approval, interpret and synthesize research findings, respond to committee concerns, and produce polished final drafts. She understands the importance of having a non-judgmental sounding board to help work through problems and analyze qualitative research results in the fundamentally creative process of completing an original research project.

  • David Kaiser, PhD – Dissertation Coach

    David Kaiser draws on a wealth of diverse experience to bring benefit to his clients: Dave is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and holds a dual PhD in Linguistics and Slavic Languages from the University of Chicago, an M.A. in Russian from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Finance and International Management from Georgetown University. He defended his thesis, “Modeling Entailment-Based Semantics in Polish Using Phases and Second Order Logic,” in 2004. He has ten years experience as a teacher, trainer and researcher in both academia and in the corporate world, focusing on interpersonal skills, communications and sales training. Dave also has seven years experience in financial analysis and project management with blue chip companies like Marriott and MCI. He has lived in ten different states and has lived and studied in Russia and Poland. Dave speaks Russian fluently and can bumble along in Polish. Lastly, Dave truly loves being a coach. His mission in life is to help clients discover their passions and values and live their lives Big and Bold! He is passionate about coaching and supporting graduate students to finish their dissertation and theses once and for all.

  • Joy Koesten, PhD, Dissertation Consultant

    Joy holds a doctoral degree in communication studies from The University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. Joy has a strong background in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodology studies. She has been the primary investigator in numerous research studies including projects in family communication, interpersonal development, adolescent health, cognitive development, cognitive flexibility, communication competence, social networks and academic performance, and stress and burnout. Her research has been published in Health Communication, Communication Monographs, Journal of Family Communication, Applied Journal of Communication, Communication Education, Communication Studies, and The Journal for Financial Planning. Her current interests are focused on exploring and understanding how communication in the family and the systems in which they function (i.e. work, school, community), affect health and health decisions across the lifespan.

    Over the years Joy has served as assistant dean of the Graduate School and adjunct faculty in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Kansas. She has also served as assistant research professor in the Department of Family Medicine at The University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas and as a faculty member in the Department of Communication at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Joy is currently an adjunct professor at The University of Kansas where she teaches graduate courses on research methods, health communication, and interpersonal and organizational communication. She continues to serve as a thesis and dissertation advisor at The University of Kansas (Lawrence, Edwards, and Medical Center campuses).

  • Curt Preissner PhD, Dissertation Coach

    Curt earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently a mechanical engineer at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UIC. At Argonne, he uses his expertise to design innovative x-ray instrumentation. Curt has published many conference papers and journal articles and has presented at national and international conferences. He has experience with many types of research projects and has designed and conducted a variety of experiments. Having worked in research environments for over 10 years, including as a principal investigator on a federally funded grant, he thoroughly understands the processes of investigation, experimentation, and writing. Curt connects easily with students and is an empathetic listener. He has developed and facilitated a dissertation/thesis group for graduate students at ANL. He is dedicated to and inspired by coaching students in overcoming obstacles to complete their dissertations while at the same time creating opportunities for the students to develop new ways of being that will enable them to complete their graduate work and serve them in post-graduate life.

  • Stephanie Latkovski, PhD – Dissertation Coach and Consultant

    Stephanie Latkovski has a PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University. Currently an independent consultant and grant writer, Stephanie has extensive experience in foreign language education and study-abroad programs. As Associate Dean of the College at the University of Chicago, Stephanie recruited, trained and supervised graduate students as faculty assistants for study-abroad programs. Throughout her career, Stephanie has coached graduate students in humanities and social sciences through various phases of graduate school, from the application and grant-seeking phase to interviewing for tenure-track positions. She has helped graduate students identify and narrow research topics, clarify the scope of a project, and offer a sounding board for studies to be included in the review of literature. Stephanie has taught French and Spanish on the secondary level, as well as linguistics and writing on the university level. In 2006-2007, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English as a second language and modern American literature in Ukraine. Stephanie has studied several languages, traveled extensively, and has worked with many students from other countries who need advice navigating the American system. Stephanie also advises post-doctoral junior faculty needing support for tenure-track advancement.

  • Jeremy Taylor, MA, – Dissertation Consultant (Specializing in Statistical Analysis)

    Jeremy Taylor worked for over 8 years in statistical analysis, data management, and research methodology, consulting and teaching for the last three. In addition to consulting for The Dissertation Coach, Jeremy currently serves as Data Management and Analysis Team Coordinator for DePaul University’s Stress and Coping Project and a part-time Child and Family Therapist at DePaul Family and Community Services. Analytic techniques Jeremy has expertise in include: hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), structural equation modeling (SEM), cluster analysis, Pearson correlation analysis, regression, moderator analysis, mediator analysis, factor analysis, specificity analysis, ANOVA, t-tests, as well as most non-parametric statistical techniques and basic descriptive statistics. Jeremy prides himself on offering thorough analysis, while equipping his clients with the understanding of their data they need to confidently stand in front of their committee or their next professional conference. For technology minded clients, video tutorials and live remote demonstrations may also be available.

  • Charles Parekh, PhD – Dissertation Consultant
  • Erika Pryor, PhD – Dissertation Consultant
  • Kathryn Paterson, PhD – Dissertation Coach
  • Lindsey Patterson, MS – Dissertation Consultant (specializing in statistical analysis)

    Lindsey has a Masters of Science in Applied Social Psychology at PSU in 2010 and is a highly skilled statistician.  At PSU, Lindsey also works as a teaching assistant for both undergraduates and graduate students and served as a reviewer of many master’s theses and dissertations.  Lindsey can assist students in analyzing quantitative data.  She has expertise in conducting a variety of analyses including independent and dependent t-test, one-way and factorial ANOVA and ANCOVA, MANOVA, correlation and regression, multiple regression, mediated regression, moderated regression, logistic regression, multiway frequency analysis, HLM, factor analyses, cluster analysis, power analyses, chi-square, and a number of non-parametric tests.  Lindsey can also aid students in transforming their research questions into appropriate hypotheses and provide guidance and editing for writing of the Methodology, Results, and Discussion sections of theses and dissertations.  Lindsey is enthusiastic, positive, supportive and known for her ability to explain statistics in a straightforward, easy to understand manner.

  • Michal Lemberger, PhD – Dissertation Coach and Consultant

    Michal Lemberger holds a PhD in English from University of California, Los Angeles. She has taught at various local colleges and universities in Los Angeles in subjects ranging from composition to American and British Poetry and Bible as Literature and has acted as thesis advisor for students, guiding them though the process of formulating a topic, conducting appropriate research, setting goals, and producing a written product. As an editor, she has worked with graduate students and academics at various stages of their careers, providing feedback and assistance on everything from thesis proposals to articles or dissertation chapters to entire book manuscripts. She has experience working with scholars in the fields of literature, history, education, sociology, theology, philosophy, fine arts and art history, and law. Michal has developed a specialty in working with scholars for whom English is not a primary language. She can help guide students through the entire process of conceptualizing, writing, and editing a dissertation. Michal has a love of language and a thirst for knowledge. Compassionate and attentive, she relishes the opportunity to support students as they find their authentic voices and progress to completion in a timely manner.

  • Keywords: Dissertation Coach, Graduate Students, Psychology, Research Methods