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The dissertation phase of a candidate’s journey to earning a doctorate is exhilarating, fun, and rewarding. However, the path to a successful dissertation defense can also be strewn with obstacles, especially when conflicts occur between candidates and their chairs. In part, conflicts can result from inconsistent expectations, lack of communication, or disagreements among committee members.

This webinar presents ideas to help doctoral candidates productively manage these conflicts so they can focus their attention on their goals of conducting meaningful research.


Learning Objectives

  • Identify the roles, responsibilities, and expectations from the dissertation committee members and chair for the candidate
  • Communicate respectfully, even when emotions are high
  • Be assertive without being aggressive



Graduate Students, Faculty


Meet the Speakers

LaVena Wilkin, PhD – Sullivan University

Dr. LaVena Wilkin is the Director of PhD and Graduate Management programs at Sullivan University. LaVena has facilitated workshops on workplace bullying, forgiveness, and the P.E.A.C.E. © Model of Conflict Management. She is co-editor of From Discord to Harmony: Making Your Workplace Hum and Editor of the Journal of Conflict Management.