McKnight New Fellows' Orientation (NFO)
The Ph.D. Experience: Expectations & Realities


Dr. Lawrence Morehouse, President & CEO, Presiding
FRIDAY, 8/7/20
9:30-10:00 a.m. Welcome & Purpose
Dr. Lawrence Morehouse
10:00-10:30 a.m. The MDF Profile: 2020-2021 Class Portraits
Mr. Charles Jackson, MDF Program Manager
Download an updated copy of the 2020-2021 Class List
10:30-10:40 a.m. BREAK
10:40-11:20 a.m.

11:20-11:40 a.m.



Session I: Strategies for Navigating the Ph.D. Process: Expectations and Realities
This session surveys key academic and psycho-social requirements to successfully navigate a Ph.D. program. By examining the unique nature of doctoral studies, personal learning styles, coping mechanisms, skill sets, and the span of the doctoral commitment, students will leave the session empowered to create their own “Strategies for Navigating the Ph.D. Process.” The discussion will include information related to analytical note-taking; maintaining mental health, a strong work-ethic, and commitment; and the process of creating knowledge.
Dr. Tyisha Hathorn, Assistant Director of Admissions, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida
11:40-11:50 a.m. BREAK
11:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
 -Panel Discussion

12:30-12:50 p.m.

MDF Panel: The University Experience
The McKnight Doctoral Fellows’ Panel has long been a New Fellows’ Orientation highlight. Matriculating Fellows share their experiences and insights on selected topics to help prepare new Fellows for their upcoming Ph.D. experiences.
- Ms. Erica Dasi, (2017, Environmental Engineering, USF)
“The Importance of Mentoring in Getting the Most Out of a Graduate Education”
- Mr. Jorge Hernandez (2016, Criminology, FSU)
“A Matter of Time: Preparing for Your Challenges as a Ph.D. Student”
- Ms. Anita Walsh (2017, Economics, UF)
“Things To Do Before You Begin Your Ph.D. Program”
SATURDAY, 8/8/20
9:30-10:30 a.m.
 -Panel Discussion

10:30-11:00 a.m.

Graduate Deans’ Roundtable: From the University Perspective: Best Practices for Completing the Ph.D. Program
On this panel, selected university administrators offer their advice on the most effective practices for completing the Ph.D. program.
- Dr. Sonja Montas-Hunter, Chair, Assistant Vice Provost, Office of Student Access and Success, Florida International University
- Dr. Ruth Bahr, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, University of South Florida
- Dr. Henry T. Frierson, Associate Vice President & Dean of the Graduate School, University of Florida
- Dr. David H. Jackson, Jr., Associate Provost & Dean of the Graduate College, Florida A&M University
- Dr. Jennifer Parham, Assistant Dean, College of Graduate Studies, University of Central Florida
- Dr. Guillermo Prado, Dean of the Graduate School, Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
- Dr. Robert Stackman, Dean of the Graduate College and Professor, Florida Atlantic University
- Dr. Adrienne P. Stephenson, Assistant Dean & Director, Graduate Fellowships & Awards, Florida State University
11:00-11:10 a.m. BREAK
11:10-11:50 a.m.

11:50 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Session II: Negotiating the Ph.D. Environment
This presentation describes key components of the academic department at the Ph.D. level and engages new McKnight Doctoral Fellows in a discussion of strategies to develop to successfully negotiate the Ph.D. environment. The session will focus on identifying and addressing challenges faced by new doctoral students. These challenges include cultivating relations with faculty and choosing a major professor, connecting to the faculty’s research enterprise, connecting coursework to research interests and dissertation development, forming committees and responding to them at various stages, and understanding the academic culture and its role in facilitating degree completion and career sponsorship.
Dr. Marvin Dawkins, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Miami
12:10-12:20 p.m. BREAK
12:20-12:50 p.m. Closing Session: Business Matters/Policies & Procedures
Dr. Lawrence Morehouse
WEDNESDAY, 8/12/20
5:00-7:00 p.m. Online Writing Workshop: Maximizing Impact in Academic Writing
From your dissertation to grant applications to professional books and articles, academic writing is the cornerstone of any academic or research career. Take this interactive workshop to find out what all academic writing has in common and, through an assignment and real-time exercises with the presenter and your peers, develop and polish your work so that it has maximum impact on your audience. To enroll, email Executive Vice President & General Counsel Lyra Logan, Esq.--
Assignment: submit (a) an abstract (summary) of your research that is at least one half page and up to one full page long or (b) a same-length abstract or introduction from a prior paper. Ensure that the filename contains your name, and submit it to Lyra Logan by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, August 10.
Dr. Kachina Allen, Lecturer, Princeton University