Justice and Dissertations

August 30, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African American Justice of the US Supreme Court. His work made access to education possible for millions of students, of all races…

Marshall is perhaps best know for presenting the winning argument to the Supreme Court as a lawyer in the landmark case, Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka. But, he was also a stalwart for civil rights and personal liberties for all people throughout his career, including 24 years on the Supreme Court.

How did Marshall resolve himself to fight for the underdog for so long?

I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband.
— Thurgood Marshall

His vision was clear. By visualizing himself serving on the US Supreme Court for a long career without interference from external forces, Marshall was able to act according to his beliefs, to have his voice heard from one of the most powerful platforms in the world.

What is your vision for your life after graduation?

Emotion is the energy that motivates.
— Thurgood Marshall

Having a strong, visceral, emotional connection with your goals and dreams helps keep your feet moving when the muck and the mud get deep.

In my teaching days, I observed a profound difference in the success rates of doctoral students who were driven by a vision for their futures versus those who simply wanted a doctoral degree. Those who were called to lead or to help others in some specific way were far less likely to wash out than those for whom the doctoral degree was simply a personal goal.

A man can make what he wants of himself if he truly believes that he must be ready for hard work and many heartbreaks.
— Thurgood Marshall

It’s far easier to “ready” yourself for the trials of the dissertation process when armed with a properly specific, detailed, and motivational vision for the future your degree will offer.

But, it’s also important to have support along the way…

None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody … bent down and helped us pick up our boots.
— Thurgood Marshall

Your support system is vital to your chances of graduating. You need people to guide you, people to hold you to your path, people to pick you up, people drive you forward. Motivation is perhaps half the battle. Though you may succeed eventually through persistence alone, eventually can be a long, long time.

It is far better to have a guide who’s been there before and can walk you through the process, saving you months or years of needlessly bouncing off every wall in sight.

You may draw emotional support and motivation from your family and friends, from your coworkers, from your church group. But, for academic support, you need to find people who have completed their own dissertations, who know the ropes and can show you the way.

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

Let's Talk About Your Dissertation
Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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