National Dissertation Day and All the Things with Dr. Russell Strickland

Dr. Russell Strickland is the founder and CEO of Dissertation Done, author of Fast-Track Your Dissertation, and host of An Unconventional Life Podcast with Dr. Russell Strickland. In 2018, Dr. Strickland established National Dissertation Day on April 26th as a day to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and sacrifice many of our best and brightest undertake in their pursuit of making the world a better place.

Through Dissertation Done, Dr. Strickland and his doctoral students create actionable plans in order to complete their dissertations in a timely and effective manner. His coaches guide students through each step of the process removing much of the stress, confusion, and frustration through a comprehensive system of support, guidance, and accountability.

Dr. Strickland also serves expert coaches, consultants, counselors, and those who aspire to be through his Expand Your Authority Expert Author Program, in which he guides experts through the process of becoming published authors with a unique focus on landing more customers, clients, and patients.

Before becoming a renowned teacher, coach, and mentor, Dr. Strickland received his master’s degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Chicago and his doctoral in Organization and Management from Capella University. Over the past 20 years, he has mentored thousands of students, and his process has been proven to vastly reduce times to graduation and significantly improve graduation rates.



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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • It’s our 50th episode!
  • Fast-Track Your Dissertation: an unconventional book launch
  • A worthy cause: Spectrum Fusion
  • On to the show…
  • The line up
  • Becoming a VIP
  • Happy National Dissertation Day!

In this episode…

Want to launch a book? Think about giving and serving, too.

In this episode of An Unconventional Life, Dr. Strickland has a lot to celebrate. It’s our 50th episode! And, Dr. Strickland is launching his book! And, National Dissertation Day is coming up! And, Dr. Strickland is hosting a 25-Doctor summit. Oh, and there’s a huge fundraiser, too. Listen in as Dr. Strickland breaks it all down, so that you can get your ticket to join in on the fun!

Dr. Strickland’s philosophy of win-win-win comes through, again. Discover what it’s like to help me, help you, help them.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Dissertation Done, America’s #1 authority in dissertation completion for working professionals.

Founded by Dr. Russell Strickland, Dissertation Done serves people in two ways:

  1. If you’re struggling with your dissertation, getting ready to start your dissertation, or just plain wanting to get your dissertation done as soon as possible, go to and Let’s Get Your Dissertation Done
  2. If you’re busy living your Unconventional Life and have a message that you want to share, maybe you should join our Expand Your Authority Program to become a published author. Go to and let me know that you’d like to talk about Expanding Your Authority.

Visit to learn more about our other services and leave a message or call them at 888-80-DR-NOW (888-803-7669) to schedule your free 30 to 45-minute phone consultation.

Episode Transcript

Disclaimer: This transcript is here for your reading convenience. It was created by machines and may (a-hem) contain some errors. If you email us about these errors, the machines will undoubtedly find out. I hope they won’t get angry.


Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to An Unconventional Life, a podcast where we share stories about the crazy one percent out there who earned their doctoral degrees and then went on to use them in crazy, cool, unique and unconventional ways. Here’s your host, astrophysicist turned teacher, author, dissertation coach, and more, Dr. Russell Strickland.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:00:28] Hello and welcome to An Unconventional Life Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Russell Strickland, the founder and CEO of Dissertation Done and expand your authority. Today, I’ve got a special episode. Today is our 50th episode of An Unconventional Life. And there’s a lot of stuff that we have going on this week. And so I want to tell you all about it. This is going to be a short one, but it’s going to be jammed packed with really interesting stuff. And I want you guys to be able to take action on all of it.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:00:57] So Number one, this week I am going to be launching my new book. It’s right here. You can see it if you’re on YouTube. It’s called Fast-Track Your Dissertation. And it is a wonderful book to help folks figure out how to overcome the hurdles that they face in the dissertation process. The way that I’m going through and I’m setting up the book launch, though, is really special. What I’m what I’m going to be doing here is I’m going to be conducting a book launch along with a fundraiser. And I’m just getting some information here. I want to pull up the right information to give you. You can go to that’s


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:01:44] And there you’ll see that you can get my book as part of an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign. But not only is the book available there, half of the proceeds from every pledge are going to go directly to a very worthy cause. A charity person I met on this podcast named Dr. Heidi Ham, and she works with folks on the autistic spectrum, works with creative adult autistic people. And what they do is they might be filmmakers, videographers, they may produce music or do song writing lots and lots of creative things. And they need help. They need help presenting themselves, being able to get the employment they need.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:02:31] You see, she brought several of these folks onto my podcast, and I was absolutely blown away by them. What they could do was just absolutely amazing. They need to be out there in the world, in the marketplace, contributing to our society, making this world a better place. And Dr. Ham is making it happen. She does a Shark-Tank-like event called the Reactor Room, where she brings in people that could benefit from the talents that some of her clients have. And actually, you see what those folks are able to do. She helps them to build their portfolios and they come into work every day working on projects within Spectrum Fusion, just like any other working adult. But they need transportation to get to work. You see, most of them can’t get a driver’s license. And so they need an Uber every day to work from work.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:03:24] They need to be paid for the work that they do, Spectrum Fusion believes that these folks aren’t coming in working for a charity. They are adults. They are producing valuable work, and they should be compensated for it. And they also need equipment to do their work as an employer, Spectrum Fusion obviously has to pay for the computers and the the cameras, the the lights and the sandbags and the the editing equipment. All of that is something that Spectrum Fusion has to provide in order for these people to be able to do their jobs. And then when they’re able to build out their portfolios, Dr. Ham puts on a grand event, the Reactor Room, where people come in and see exactly what these folks are capable of and what they’ve been doing. And many of them are able to find gainful employment that way.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:04:08] It’s an amazing cause and amazing charity. And I am so honored and thrilled to be able to support them. Now, that’s why so I mentioned a couple of things I want to break it down for you just a second. What we’re doing is it’s an unconventional book launch. There’s three parts. There’s the book, which is right here. There’s the cause, Spectrum Fusion. I’ve already talked about that a little bit. And then there’s a show. Yes, there’s going to be a show. The the show is on National Dissertation Day, Monday, April 26th=. It’s the Dissertation Success Summit. I’m bringing in over two dozen people who’ve earned their doctoral degrees, and they’re all going to be talking about their number one dissertation challenge, how they overcame it, and then some of the amazing opportunities that followed. Now, for some of you in my audience, you may have already completed your dissertation or you may not even be a doctoral student. What do I care about all this stuff?


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:05:04] Let me tell you, my coach sent us out an email recently where she mentioned that, you know, when someone gives you some new advice or presents a new strategy or technique or something, then the normal person, the typical person is going to say, oh, that doesn’t apply to me=. They’re not going to worry about it. Right. They’re going to move on and not think about it and not do the work to think. How does that apply to me? What can I do to take this idea and make it valuable to my life, to my business, to my career, to my family? How can I make this apply to me?


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:05:38] And that’s what’s going to be going on at the dissertation success, and we’re going to be talking a lot, strictly speaking, about dissertation projects and how it’s gotten done. But we’re also going to be talking about some of the amazing career opportunities that they they’ve discovered since graduating and how those traits that that helped them to get their dissertation done also help them to succeed in their careers. So amazing. Valuable advice for you there. You can sign up to attend the dissertation success for free by going to So that’s 2021-summit. And again, that’s


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:06:25] So that’s what I have going on here this week. It’s a lot and working like crazy to get this ready for everybody. And I am so, so super excited about it. I want to break things down a little bit more that again, the book. Fast-Track Your Dissertation, it goes through a lot of the the strategies and philosophies that I use with my own dissertation students, we talk about when you should follow your your chair’s advice. We talk about finding a topic you’re passionate about, whether that’s a good idea or not. I’m just flipping through here. How are you supposed to know exactly what your committee in your chair wants from you when you should follow your chair’s advice? I think you mentioned that one already. Just continuing to flip through and see what else we’ve got.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:07:17] This is a book that comes from all of the discussions that I have with doctoral students every single day and all of the things that I see, the traps I see them getting caught up in. And so I hope that you reach out to us and get a copy of this Fast-Track Your Dissertation. You can do that again by going to And I’m so grateful that that I’m able to to do this as part of a National Dissertation Day to launch this book, its, because remember, along with the book, there’s that super worthy cause, that fund raiser for Spectrum Fusion.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:07:56] Now, let me tell you a little bit more about the show. We’re going to be starting Monday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. So you guys in the California and the Great West areas want to get up super early to get started. Anyone who participates in the in the fundraiser is automatically going to be an MVP for the Dissertation Success Summit. I’ll tell you more about that a little bit. But anyone who signs up by going to once again, I’ll give you that URL. It is You go there, you can sign up and get in on the fun.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:08:37] So who’s going to be there first up? Well, just going in alphabetical order. So the show order is going to be different, but in alphabetical order. First up, we have Dr. Chaz Austin. Dr. Austin talks about self marketing for the gig economy. Are you kidding me? Who out there doesn’t see this as being valuable in learning how to self market in any scenario helps you, even if you work for a major company. But so many people are doing side hustles and hanging out shingles. I know a lot of my students, they’ll go they’ll come to me after they graduate. They want to write a book just like this. And if you want to do that, reach out. We’ll talk about it. And they want to get out there into the world and be able to help people. They want to make the world a better place, but they need to be able to let folks know that they are out there, that they’re available. And self marketing for the gig economy is an awesome topic. Can’t wait to talk to Dr. Austin.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:09:34] Next up, we’ve got Dr. William Barry, one of my early podcast guests, and he is a I forgot how he put exactly what I like to call him a robot ethicist. He works with a a conversational A.I. Essentially a robot is able to talk to him, carry on conversations and remember the things that they’ve done and the things they talked about and develop a sense of who he is and what sort of things he would want to talk about, what kind of responses he should he would be looking for. It’s a wonderful, wonderful. Rich area that he’s working in, basically talking to what amounts to a child. Can we teach this child made of silicon and and copper and what not to be an adult? Can we can we turn this into a person, so to speak? I know Dr. Barry would jump all over me. They’re not people. They’re totally different. But how people perceive these these new eyes is going to be very important in coming years. He’s a wonderful person to talk to. And you’ll learn a lot from from talking from his presentation.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:10:41] Then next up, we’ve got Dr. Sarabeth Berk, she is a hyper professional identity expert. So what does that mean? How many of you you’ve heard of, people like, you know, they say Beyonce is a triple threat, right? With singer, dancer, songwriter or, you know, people are actor, director, singer or whatever the case may be. You see that a lot in the entertainment industry. But in all industries, people are doing those that slash thing right. Where they they do this and that and the other. And they found their own special niche that they operate in because of that. Well, what Dr. Sarabeth Berk has done is kind of developed a way of identifying yourself to someone in terms of all of the things you do instead of saying, I’m love this, slash that, slash the other, you can actually identify yourself with a very specific and unique title. So, Dr. Sarabeth Berk’s presentation will be a lot of fun.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:11:38] Then I have one of my old friends, Dr. David Braswell. He was a student, a dissertation done years back. And he he has a business called Upslopes, where he works with school districts and helps them write professional codes of conduct for their teachers. He has a lot of a lot of interesting stories, does some great work. And I can’t wait for you guys to meet Dr. David Braswell.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:12:04] Next up, we have Dr. Erich Carlton. I apologize to Dr. Braswell on speeding up a little bit here, because I’m looking at a long, long list and I want you guys to be able to attend the show if I keep going. We’re going to be halfway through the show before I finish explaining who everybody is. So Dr. Eric Carlton is actually one of my recent students and he has a book coming out on government auctions and how you’re able to to do very, very well in terms of one of those side houses that we’re talking about with respect to Dr. Austin, by purchasing things at government auction and then selling them for a profit. Really interesting. Some of the stories he has, some of the things that he’s been able to do.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:12:44] Dr. Darin Detwiler is a food safety expert. He he has worked tirelessly to help make our food safer in this country. And some of his stories were also very interesting. He was a guest on my podcast.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:12:59] Dr. Todd Dewett is a dynamic individual. He’s a professional public speaker and he’s a leadership expert. So always wonderful stories and lots of lessons learned with with Dr. Todd Dewett.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:13:13] Dr. Francisca Enih is another one of our expansion authority students. Her book has come out recently, and it’s about how parents can spend 15 minutes a day helping their kids to improve academically. A’s B’s in Honor Roll is in her book and can’t wait to share some of that with you.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:13:36] Dr. Seth Francois is in music and film production and he was a blast last time I talked to and can’t wait to catch up with Dr. Francois.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:13:44] Dr. Jennifer Gardella is a social media expert. And how many of you out there use social media in some way, perhaps associate with your job or your business? Dr. Gardella is going to have a number of interesting tidbits for us on that.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:14:01] Dr. Justin Golston is up. Last year’s super fun to talk with is one of the top experts in the world on supply chain management. And if you think, oh, boring, wait till you talk to Dr. Goldston. It is not not when he talks about it anyway.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:14:14] Dr. Arlene Greenfield, yet another one of our graduates from the Expand Your Authority program. Her book will be coming out soon. And it is about teachers unleashed. Those of you who are in education, a direct application to you guys there.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:14:30] Dr. Heidi Ham is kind of one of our stars, our guest of honor. She is the founder of Spectrum Fusion, which I talk to you about already. And she’s going to be bringing on some of her folks so that you guys can and can see what they’re doing and what they’re up to. And just a wonderful time. I so much enjoy spending some time with Dr. Ham.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:14:51] Dr. Sandra Ingram is a life coach. I work with with Sandra several years ago for her to get her dissertation done. And now she she’s got a book out. She’s doing all sorts of wonderful things. And I can’t wait for you to meet Dr. Ingram.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:15:06] Dr. Pensacola, Jefferson. The list is long, but it’s a long list. We’re going to be at this all day. It’s like a nine hour event on Monday. It’s going to be powerful, powerful. Dr. Pensacola Jefferson is an author, a multiple author. I would go so far as to say, a multiple, multiple author. She’s written so many books since I worked with her on her dissertation and always has such wonderful words of advice. I can’t wait for you guys to meet Dr. Jefferson.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:15:36] Dr. Mike Lubelfeld is a superintendent. He is also most. Off, I think he has three votes, so he would be quite embarrassed to sit next to Dr. Jefferson with all the bits that she’s written, but he’s a wonderful, wonderful guy. He’s written three really nice books in the areas of education and leadership. He is a school superintendent and has been for quite a number of years. And in addition to being an author, he is also a consultant in the educational space.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:16:06] And then next up, we have Dr. D. Anthony Myles. Dr. D. Anthony Mills is an entrepreneurship and marketing expert, and all of his clients just love him. I remember when he was on the podcast, all the wonderful comments that were coming back from his clients about Dr. Jefferson’s story, about Dr. Miles’s appearance and can’t wait for you guys to meet Dr. D. Anthony Miles.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:16:30] Dr. Lisa Orbé-Austin is an imposter syndrome expert. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had imposter syndrome. Anybody who has anything to do with a doctoral degree, you better have your hand. I have heard it time and time and time again from folks on my podcast. Guess who got through the dissertation process? From my own students, from students that I’ve talked to over the years. Everybody feels this imposter syndrome at some point in their life. And Dr. Lisa Orbé-Austin has written the book, literally written the book on this. So great advice coming from her.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:17:03] Then Dr. Marlo Rencher, one of my favorites. She is a culture, a business anthropologist. And I told her that was the very first time I think I have ever spoken to a anthropologist and certainly a business anthropologist. And she said that she was honored to be the first anthropologist. Very interesting. She characterizes herself as a little bit of Dilbert meets Indiana Jones. And so I think that was very apropos. She works in Detroit and helps businesses and sort of an incubator like setting. We’ll have some wonderful stories and advice to share with you.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:17:35] Dr. Terry, Rouse is part of my unmasculine. We we work under the same coach. She’s a child behavioral expert, and she helps parents deal with some of these issues related to their children and helps parents to understand what’s going on with the child and how to bring that child to to where you would you would like it to be behaviorally.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:17:58] Dr. Kassandrea sorry, Kassandrea Sereno. Dr. Kassandrea Sereno is a college preparation expert and had her on my podcast some time ago and scheduled an appointment with her afterwards because my son in high school had informed me that I want to go to medical school. And I said, oh, my God, we’ve got to figure out how to do this. And so I called Dr. Sereno and she was wonderful. And she’ll she’ll be a great help in explaining how some of this works. If you have kids that are of the age of getting ready to ascend to college or going through college and want to continue their education. She’s a great resource. But in addition to that, just the experience that she brings is is wonderful.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:18:41] Dr. Hoby Wedler is an entrepreneur, a chemist and a visionary. And he is he’s very, very interesting. He is a he’s a completely blind has been since birth, if I remember what he told me correctly or very early on. And he. He graduated in organic chemistry. He got his Ph.D. in organic chemistry for those of you familiar, the way that material is presented is highly visual. And he he developed a number of innovations while he was in graduate school to help him through graduate school. It was amazing. And then he’s done all sorts of fun things since then, like as one example, hosting truly blind taste tests for the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. I thought that was a super cool story and all, and I’m sure more of it, but excellent and fun person for us to talk with.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:19:30] And then and then finally, I have on the docket Dr. Andrea Wong, and we are not quite sure she’s one of our, again, our students with Expand Your Authority. And she’s not quite sure if she’ll be able to make it Monday, but very excited to talk to her. She’s a child performance expert and her book is on the things that you can do to help your child perform, not just in the classroom, but in general. And it’s a really interesting and fun reading. I can’t wait for her to talk about that.

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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.