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MDSA 2020


Theme: What's Next?

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5TH [all sessions shown in eastern time]

Welcome & Vision Session

Ayana Younge, MDSA President

Blane Ruschak, KPMG President


Treat it Like a Job

Matthew Eriksen, Sharon Simmons & Chris Kwaramba

The doctoral program is a balancing act. Students will gain strategies for approaching the doctoral program process and maximizing opportunities for success. The purpose is to instill a sense of urgency in terms of academic pursuits with an understanding of time management and work life balance needs, including tangible strategies of how to physically treat a doctoral program like a job.


Navigating the PhD Landscape

Darline Augustine & Vanessa Hill

The purpose of this session is to provide faculty insight on what it takes to be a standout junior doctoral student. Topics include developing the mind of a researcher, presenting your ideas and research, managing time, and staying motivated.


How Not to Waste

Your 3rd Year

Laquita Blockson & Curtis Wesley

Once classes and comps are over, it is typical to find yourself struggling to figure out what to focus on. This session will focus on tips for making the most out of your third year, including: prioritizing research projects, long-term project planning, and building your CV by attending high impact conferences.  


Managing & Completing

Your Dissertation

Danielle Combs &

Stephanie Leonard

In this panel and roundtable session, MDSA members who recently completed the dissertation process will discuss how they personally navigated this process from start to finish, tactics that worked for them, and pitfalls that they encountered. Recommended for those who are proposing or defending their dissertation in the upcoming school year.

COHORT 5+ / Job Market:

Job Candidate Workshop I

Garry Adams

This two-part session is meant to provide guidance and personalized feedback from faculty to those on the job market, including feedback on one’s job market packet, interviewing skills, and elevator pitch. Students will be matched with faculty and will be required to bring their job market packet materials. 


The Job Market & Higher Education in the Era of a Pandemic

Pre-recording: Sean Rogers

Panel: Donna Blancero, Miles Davis, Anthony Nyberg & Sean Rogers

The purpose of this session will be to discuss the changes in the job market and higher education given the impact of COVID-19.

Building Your Brand

Pre-recording: Anthony Hood

Q&A Workshop: Anthony Hood

The purpose of this session will be to help members with their individual branding and how to represent themselves as an academic on social media platforms and personal websites.

12:00 - 12:35

12:35 - 1:35

[Block A]

1:35 - 1:50

1:50 - 2:50

[Block B]

2:50 - 3:00

3:00 - 3:45

3:45 - 4:30


MDSA Executive Committee

EC Nominations, Committee Recognition, Student Award Winners

Trailblazer Winner Speech

Closing Session

Cohort Social!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 6TH [all sessions shown in eastern time]

12:00 - 12:30

Opening Session

Ayana Younge, MDSA President

Spirit Winner Speech

Learn more about publishing in the journal of your choosing in a live Q&A session with published authors, reviewers, and editors of the following journals: AMJ, AMR, ASQ, JOB, JOM, JAP, Org Sci, JBV, SEJ, SMJ, & Management Science

12:30 - 1:15

[Block C]

Mental Health & Wellness

Timothy Harper, Tiffany Johnson, Patricia Martinez

& Aneika Simmons

This session offers practical tips for prioritizing your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health and wellbeing throughout the day through a myriad of holistic practices.

Crafting Your CV

C. Douglas Johnson & Oscar Holmes

This session will cover the basic categories and topics that are typically included in a CV and then discuss strategies for submitting to conferences/seeking out other opportunities to strengthen your CV.

Different Paths Within Academia

Jeffrey Allen, Alison Birch, Jennifer Collins, Gwendolyn Combs, Katerina Gonzalez, Nicholas Pearce & Ian Williamson 

This panel session will discuss less conventional paths, including: focusing on teaching, becoming a dean, non-tenure track academic positions, and alternative publication options. Panelists will also discuss schools that support these options.   

1:15 - 1:25


1:25 - 2:25

[Block D]


Reading & Writing are Fundamental

J. Goosby Smith, Millicent Nelson & David Zoogah

The purpose of this session is to give new students hints, tips, and advice on how to read a research article. The objective is to provide students with strategies for reading and understanding a typical journal article. This session will also address the challenges associated with writing scholarly papers and help orient students toward writing their first seminar papers.


Here's the Scoop on Comps

Douglas McWilliams &

Tosen Nwadei

Faculty who have graded comps and students who have completed comps will share their knowledge and insights with students who will soon begin comps preparation. This session will include an informal introduction to the variety of exam formats for comps/prelims, however the majority of the time will be discussion and Q&A.  Please come with questions about the comps/prelim process!


Nuts & Bolts of the Dissertation Process

Pre-recording: Marie Trianna

Q&A: Sharon James, Jeffrey Robinson & Marie Trianna

This session will walk you through an overview of the dissertation process so that you see how a large process can be broken down into manageable steps. Topics include: finding a dissertation topic, building a committee, and avoiding institutional politics. Recommended for those who have just completed comps and/or are at the beginning of planning their dissertation.


Job Market Overview

Ashli Carter, Tracy Dumas, Hector Flores, Toschia Hogan & Justice Tillman

This session will provide an essential overview of the job market process for those who will begin the process at the end of this upcoming school year (summer 2020). Presenters will review what to expect, important deadlines, resources. Faculty with search committee experience help you to understand “insider information” and panelists who recently completed the job market process will share their experiences on the job market. 

COHORT 5+ / Job Market:

Job Candidate Workshop II

Garry Adams

This two-part session is meant to provide guidance and personalized feedback from faculty to those on the job market, including feedback on one’s job market packet, interviewing skills, and elevator pitch. Students will be matched with faculty and will be required to bring their job market packet materials. 

2:25 - 2:35

2:35 - 3:20


Life Issues During Your PhD

Angelica Gutierrez, Jeanne Holmes, Mike Mcleod, Michele Williams & Nicole Young

This session will offer a safe space for members to share the challenges they are currently experiencing and gain some practical insight and tools on how to overcome them. This session will include a discussion of topics (e.g. passing comps, transferring programs, finding compatibility with faculty advisors, and self-care during the PhD journey).

Research & Writing

Qualitative: Laquita Blockson, Mandy O'Neil &

Lex Washington

Quantitative: Jamie Perry & Darryl Rice

Writing: Jeffrey Furman, Anne Huff & Ashleigh Rosette

This session will have a brief introduction to different research methods and the writing process, but will primarily focus on breakout rooms related to qualitative research, quantitative research, and the overall writing process.

Teaching in Virtual Times

Jason Lambert, Carliss Miller & Lumumba Seegars

This session is a basic overview of designing a course with teaching effectiveness in mind, especially given the nature of our current virtual environment. The discussion will include basic resources and best practices for instruction at this early stage of teaching experience.

3:20 - 3:40

MDSA Executive Committee

EC Elections

Closing Session

Journal Social!

3:40 - 4:30

7:00 - 8:30

Ayana Younge, MDSA President

Quinetta Roberson, AOM President Elect Speech

EC 2020-2021 Announcement, New members, Passed comps, Graduates, PhD Project Fundraiser


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