Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Great Doctoral Degree Hunt: Part 1

365 Days: day 28
Photo by ~John~
By Leah MacVie

Hello everyone! My name is Leah MacVie and I'm going to be guest posting on my 'Great Doctoral Hunt' over the next few weeks. This is a cross-post series from my site I'd love to hear about your experience, so please feel free to comment here on Peoplegogy or at
Going back to school and 'finishing up' has been something on my mind for a while. I was the first on both sides of my family to complete even a Master's, but I still don't know if that's enough. When I've asked great people like Gardner Campbell or Scott Chadwick this question, they usually reply with "Well, what do you want to do?" and my answer always is "I'm not sure." Their eyes get quizzical and then they usually reply with "That's actually OK, and probably better." Though I don't know what my future holds for me, I don't want to be in a situation where I'm limited if I don't have a doctoral degree. After countless conversations with my hubby about what is the best cost and time choice for us, I've decided to start narrowing down my search, but to keep it open to different degree options. This series will document my progress over the next few weeks.

Mission 1: Identify an Ideal Situation

Because I am employed full time, my ideal and preferred situation is to enroll in hybrid program where I visit the campus at least once a year to connect with peers and instructors in the program and attend the rest of the classes online. Because attending classes outside of my institution is in no way covered by my employer, I will be cost-conscious during my search. I will also be on the lookout for other financial-coverage perks, such as applying for scholarships or financial aid opportunities. As for the subject, I am looking for a topic that combines all my interests (education, informal learning, social media, technology) or allows me to customize my degree. Although I would prefer a Ph.D. program, I will also be on the lookout for exceptional Ed.D. programs as well.

Mission 2: Connect with Individuals Who Performed Similar Searches

I thought it would first be helpful to read first hand accounts by individuals who have gone through this type of search before in order to see what search methods they used. These are the resources I found:

Mission 3: Begin to Collect Programs

I am using my Google Booksmarks to collect hybrid programs in the states and programs I am interested in abroad.  Although the list is public and you can search for it ("doctoral programs" by leahmacvie), Google has not built in the sharable URL feature yet which prevents me from linking it here on the post. However, here is a bit of the list I have going so far: My goal over the next few weeks is to keep accumulating options. Then I will compare them in spreadsheet so that I can dwindle it down to the final 3 that I will apply to. I am still searching for more individuals who have documented their hybrid Ph.D. searches and hybrid programs, but this info is not easy to come by. If you know of anyone or programs not currently listed, please send me the info. I will be very grateful!

Leah MacVie is a blogger, instructional designer, photographer, and former graphic and Web designer. She possesses a BFA from the University at Buffalo and a Master’s in Educational Computing from the SUNY College at Buffalo. In her spare time, she is focusing on finding out more about DIY and informal learning. You can read more at

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Doing it Big in 2012

This year is starting out to be awesome! Not only will I be presenting at a state conference next month, I will be Skyping into a university in the U.K. to conduct a talk on using social media to develop Personal Learning Networks. To top that off, I have been making great strides with my dissertation, and your boy was featured in an article on I also have a piece posted on PhD2Published.

Everything is beginning to fall in place. I am positioning myself to become an expert in the educational applications of social media, while gaining the academic credibility needed to teach at a university. As more opportunities become available, I will share them on this blog. I feel psyched.

Will Deyamport, III, is an Ed.D. Candidate, an education thought-leader and online content creator. His blog, PEOPLEGOGY, focuses on life and career developments. In addition to his 11 years of experience in education, he has interned with the likes of Ingrid Stabb and J. T. O’Donnell. Currently, Will is working on his dissertation, which focuses on using Personal Learning Networks to support the individual professional learning needs for teachers.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Interview with Makeup Artist, Blogger and Beauty Editor Melissa Rich

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

Melissa Rich is a beauty editor, correspondent and make-up artist from the Washington, DC area. As the saying goes, "when you look good, you feel good" and Melissa's passion is to encourage and help women recognize and utilize their full potential. Connecting with women worldwide, Melissa has become the must-have girl in the online beauty community.

Through her experience with modeling and as an on-air talent for a local news and entertainment portal, Melissa became a self-taught artist and the go-to-girl for beauty advice amongst, family, friends and coworkers. Melissa felt there was a need of simplicity for everyday women looking for beauty advice and trends online, so in April of 2009, she launched

Will: Tell the readers about yourself. Where did your passion for makeup come from?

Melissa: I have always loved makeup since I was little. I used to love watching my mom put on her makeup and transform from beautiful to even more beautiful. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup outside the house, but my mom allowed me to play dress up at home. As I got older my mom became more relaxed with the rules, so I could wear lip liner, lip gloss, and eye shadow. Once I started college, I started wearing more makeup and after a while I became the go-to-girl among my friends, family and coworkers for makeup tips. That’s what inspired me to start my beauty blog, in spring of 2009, to share my knowledge of beauty and hair products and tips with women worldwide.

Will: Did you go to school or were you self-taught?

Melissa: I’ve never gone to school for makeup artistry. I’ve been self-taught through trial and error – what works, what doesn’t work and I’m still learning. I go through magazines, books, watch tutorials on Youtube and practice on myself and others.

Will: What do you like most about what you do? What are the drawbacks?

Melissa: When it comes to makeovers, I love how women react when they see themselves beautified. It makes me feel good, that they feel great. With blogging, I love feeling connected to my followers and other bloggers. I wouldn’t say it’s a drawback, but, blogging is a 24/7 job -- I find the content, edit, manage the blog, promote on social networks, respond to all comments/emails, produce and publish the videos, monitor stats, and so much more. So at times, it can be a lot, but, it’s my passion.

Will: Describe your approach to make up and skin care? Walk me through your beauty regimen.

Melissa: If you don’t take proper care of you skin, no amount of makeup will ever help, so skin care is essential. I used to work at Sephora, and working there taught me a lot about skin care. Before I would just wash my face in the morning and at night and that would be that, but now, because I experience acne from time to time and I’m in my late twenties, I have to consider products that help fight acne and that are anti-aging.

My beauty regimen in the morning consist of: Cleansing my face with a cleaner that fights acne, applying correcting serum to my face – helps fade post-pimple pigmentation and evens skin’s tone and texture, applying an oil-free moisturizer to my face to keep my face hydrated, I apply eye primer to my eye lids to keep my eye makeup from creasing, oil-free face primer which helps my makeup last longer. As far as makeup, I usually go with a natural look, neutral eye shadow, black eyeliner and mascara, bronzer, highlighter under the eyes for a glow, lipstick and finishing powder.

In the evenings, I remove my makeup with wipes, apply cleanser, toner, serum and finally apply moisturizer. I exfoliate twice a week.

Will: Are the most expensive products better than the more affordable ones? What products are you most ardent about?

Melissa: I can wear L’Oreal, Milani, and CoverGirl and also wear the more expensive brands, like Make Up Forever, NARS or Laura Mecier. I think it all depends on the product, the look you’re trying to achieve, and what works for you. The only thing that I won’t go cheap on is skin care products. I have oily skin and as I mentioned earlier, I break out from time to time, so the products that I like usually more expensive than drugstore brands.

Will: What are some of the biggest mistakes you see women doing?

Melissa: One of the biggest mistakes I see women doing, is wearing the wrong color foundation, and I’ve been guilty of that myself. The proper lighting is key. Also, since we tan more in the summer, you should have a different color foundation for the summer than for the other seasons. Sometimes you have to do a little mixology to find the right color foundation.

Will: What tips do you have for work? Can those looks transition to evening?

Melissa: For a work appropriate look, going neutral is always safe. Try warming your cheeks with a peachy or bronze blush, a neutral or pink lipstick, mascara and a thin line of eyeliner.
To transition to evening, apply a thick line of eyeliner and a darker shade of lipstick.

Will: For women of color, what are the challenges you see?

Melissa: The biggest challenge for women of color is finding the right color foundation. We come in some many different beautiful shades and unfortunately, a lot of brands don’t offer a great variety for us.

Will: Give me a 5 minute makeup routine women can use in the morning.

Melissa: Five minutes isn’t enough time if you’re doing full face makeup (foundation, blush, eyeliner, mascara, blush). I actually did a video titled, “10 Minute Makeup Tutorial” for the working woman on the go. I think it’s important for women to invest in themselves, whether it’s spending more time in the morning to apply makeup, working out or reading a new book every month. I always like to put my best face forward, you never so know you might run into or meet. So if I don’t do anything else, I will take my 15-20mins in the morning to beat my face.

Will: What do you want women to know about makeup that I didn’t cover in this interview?

Melissa: It’s funny, when I meet women who don’t wear makeup, the inclinations that they have about it, but slowly but surely, they convert over. Wearing makeup isn’t about covering up your flaws or being “fake”, it’s about enhancing your features. Just as we wear bras and handbags, it’s an accessory. A pretty inexpensive accessory, compared to the trendy handbags and shoes, if you ask me. Believe it or not, looking natural requires makeup too. Of course, you don’t have to go all glammed out like Beyonce, you can still keep it minimal. Try something new for a change, and I promise you, you’ll look and feel amazing. When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you do good.

Will: Final thoughts?

Melissa: Be good to yourself.

Making Dreams Reality

By Abdul-Rahmaan I. Muhammad, MSW

My name is Abdul-Rahmaan I. Muhammad. I am the Dream Chaser #1 and the founder of The Dream Support Network, an organization created to support, encourage and inspire Dream Chasers to live the life of their dreams. Through membership in The Dream Support Network, I provide daily written Dream Energizers (affirmations to inspire Dream Chasers) and motivational videos. I also conduct the Dream Chasing 101 workshop and individual Dream Consultations to his members. On January 8, 2012, The Dream Support Network will open their first location in Rockville, CT. The purpose of the location is to provide an incubator for dreams through workshops, trainings and events; as well as, providing a positive space for start up businesses, individuals and most importantly Dream Chasers.

I believe everyone has dreams but most of the time individuals aren’t held accountable to making their dreams reality. I challenge anyone that wants to live a more fulfilling life to create a Dream List and from the Dream List to chose 12 dreams they will accomplish in 12 months (12 for 12) and email it to me at or come in person to the location in Rockville.

Muhammad received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Tougaloo College, in Tougaloo, MS and received his Masters in Social Work degree from Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also a brother of the Beta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Muhammad is married to his beautiful wife, Dayeshell and is the proud father of three children, Aminah, Amirah and Amir.

The Dream Support Network isn’t Muhammad’s first business endeavor. He is also the Executive Director/Founder of My People Clinical Services. My People Clinical Services was founded in 2005 and is currently one of the leading community based agencies in Connecticut. My People Clinical Services has served over 4,000 children and families through their six core programs: Father to Father, Therapeutic Services, Therapeutic Support Staff, Supervised Visitation, Supportive Apartments and Female Empowerment Program.

For more information about the Dream Support Network, visit our website or visit our location at 29 West Main Street, Rockville, CT. For more information about My People Clinical Services, visit our website at

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Review of The Connected Educator

In her book, The Connected Educator, co-written by Lani Ritter Hall, Nussaum-Beach illustrates what being a connected educator is all about. In addition to learning about the latest research and trends relating to social media and professional development in the 21st Century, readers get a glimpse into the authors’ own experiences and journeys through their vignettes. This adds a personal element to the text, which shows the reader how becoming, “connected” is, to some extent, an individual journey. On that same note, the authors put the power into the reader’s hands to start or enhance their own journey with a variety of social media tools. It is refreshing to see authors guide readers in trying new tools and actually take part in connecting and collaborating with others. This is a powerful way to get their message across.

As an educator with an interest in personal learning networks, there are several aspects that I appreciate from this book. First, the sections on different tools that promote connected learning and building a connected learning community are both concise and informative. They also offer excellent guidelines for those who are new to social media and PLNs. Finally, I really like how The Get Connected sections offered step-by-step instructions on different social media tools that encouraged application of the concepts mentioned throughout the book. I highly recommend The Connected Educator for any educator who is interested in taking control of their own professional learning as well as who seeks collaboration and connections with other educators.

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach is a veteran twenty-year educator. She has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor, and digital learning consultant. Currently, she is completing her dissertation for her doctorate in educational planning, policy, and leadership at the College of William and Mary.

She is the owner and founder of 21st Century Collaborative, LLC, a digital learning consulting business through which she regularly delivers keynotes and workshops, along with supporting nonprofits in their grant work. Through Powerful Learning Practice, which she cofounded with Will Richardson, she works with schools and districts from across the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, and Australia to re-envision their learning cultures and communities.

Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics of 21st century reform, teacher and educational leadership, community building, and educational issues impacting marginalized populations such as the homeless.

Sheryl lives near the Atlantic Ocean and spends her spare time playing on the water with her four children and dachshunds Itchy, Bane, and Abby.