By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

Executive Education doctoral students are on campus for several days this week for their fall semester residency at the School of Information Studies (iSchool), and among the cohort-building and academic events planned are thesis dissertation presentations.

The Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS) executive education program has another large cohort progressing along in their programs this year, according to Steven Sawyer, Professor, Associate Dean for Research, and Director of the PhD Program. He noted that about 12 of the 18 total DPS students are present for the fall residency. Of that number, about one-third are at the initial part of their program, another third are at the stage of defending their proposals; and the others are working with faculty while here to fine-tune their theses for finalization.

John Young, a DPS student in his third year of the program, reflected on what it means to be at the proposal-defense stage of his studies. “It’s a long journey but a fulfilling journey to get to this point. There has been a lot of support and encouragement from faculty and peers to get here,” he noted.

Young said he recognizes how, “I’ve certainly grown as a scholar-practitioner from the time I stepped on campus to getting to this point. The program has facilitated that and the support and encouragement has made me a stronger methodologist. I think the [next 6 months] coming up will be the hardest stretch, but I think I’m well prepared and I’m excited to look ahead.”

Another doctoral student, in the fifth DPS cohort, is second-year student Vijay Srinivas. He works full time in corporate relations and technical alliances for Syracuse University, and the program is fulfilling his interest in doctoral studies relating to the engagement of academic faculty in industry. Srinivas said he had been looking into doctoral programs at other schools, and when he got the opportunity to come to Syracuse to work for SU, he was glad to discover that the iSchool’s DPS program also was “a perfect fit.”

“I liked the stucture and the cadence, and the flexibility to develop my topic,” he said. “The concept is wonderful and it’s very powerful. I hope the school is able to sustain, leverage and grow the program, as I think this fusion of practitioner viewpoint with the academics on campus is the wave of the future.”

DPS students who are presenting their thesis proposals this week are:

  • Anna Ching-Yu Wong, presenting on her topic, “Using the Confucian, The Great Learning to Reveal the Motivation of the Western Older Adults Embarking Upon a Professional Doctorate
  • Grace Giraldo, “Motivating Non-IT Security Middle Managers to Advocate Information Security Awareness (ISA): An Action Research Study”
  • Keith Brand, regarding “Advancement in Understanding of Behavioral Intention Predictability by Middle Managers in the Aircraft Industry to Use Information Produced By a Data-Driven Decision Support System
  • John Mark Young, on “Crossing the Big Data Chasm: A Phenomenological Study of Key Healthcare Stakeholder Narratives.”

The iSchool’s Information Studies professional doctorate serves mid-career professionals who are already employed, offering a diverse curriculum to prepare students for advanced-placement opportunities in executive and senior information management positions in the public, private, defense, academic, and non-profit sectors. Many students choose to pursue the doctorate in order to advance in an organization, shift specialties within the information profession, or change careers.