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Archive for May, 2011

May 23 – My 5 Year Anniversary at NCU

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

May 23 (tomorrow) is not only my birthday – it’s also my 5 Year Anniversary at Northcentral University and my work to earn a PhD in Business Administration.

Reflecting back over this experience, I have learned so many things:

-How to apply statistics to real world situations
-Memorizing APA rules is a heck of a lot easier than using the new version 6.0 book
-How to mail merge using MS Word
-Paying in advance to lock in tuition is a smart thing to do, even though I had to borrow some money
-Paying off a student loan early feels marvelous
-I am more productive in the mornings, and so getting up early to work on papers is better than working on them in the evenings after work
-A 24″ monitor is an absolute necessity – and I wish I had bought it sooner.
-Using TWO monitors is even smarter
-RefWorks is not all its cracked up to be
-Old-fashioned printing journal articles and holding them in 3-ring binders works well
-Buy typing paper and ink on sale; also Staples gives credit for used ink cartridges
-An L-shaped desk is a great asset
-I am messy but organized
-My best reminder is “STAY ON TASK” written on a sticky note
-Be patient with myself
-Cultivate relationships with mentors and always be courteous
-Getting my feelings involved in owning my topic is worthless
-Do whatever your chair says to do
-Read everything about my topic that I can get my hands on
-Other people don’t care about my topic like I do
-My husband is understanding and supportive
-Save everything on the computer, in Dropbox, and on usb jump drives….computers die and suck everything with them
-Filing cabinets are a necessity
-I’ve learned to smile and not get so discouraged when friends and co-workers say, “You are going back to school for a PhD? Why?” I think the “face” they make after they say this is what hurts the most…
-Read the NCU forums, but engage only rarely
-Support and encourage everyone who contacts me through this blog
-I write better every year (I recently looked at some of my MBA papers – OUCH!)
-I can do what I put my mind to doing!

Data collection begins: Procurement Research Survey Invitation

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

I began sending out written invitations to purchasing managers by mail today. I figured out how to use mail merge in Word – and it is a lifesaver!! I ran out of stamps after addressing about 75 envelopes. I have 200 more letters ready to go and will send them after picking up more stamps on Monday.

Here is a copy of the Procurement Research Survey Invitation letter:


Purchasing Manager

Greetings [COMPANY NAME] Purchasing Manager,

You are invited to participate in a dynamic new research study entitled Dimensions of Purchasing Social Responsibility in Sustainable Supply Chain Organizations being conducted for a dissertation at Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Arizona. The purpose of the study is to compare, analyze, and evaluate the dimensions of purchasing social responsibility (PSR) based on whether or not a firm identifies with voluntary public sustainability reporting.

The Sustainable Procurement Questionnaire will be available for a short period of time. To access the survey, please type this link into your Internet browser address bar:


The data collected in this study are confidential and anonymous, and shown only as aggregate data for analysis and interpretation.

As a thank you to research participants, at the close of the survey you may enter a drawing for two books about sustainability:

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins

Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

Your participation in this study will contribute to a growing body of knowledge about corporate purchasing policies related to sustainability. I am happy to answer any questions that may arise about the study.

Thank you for your time,

My signature

My Name

My Chair, Ph.D.
Dissertation Committee Chair

Northcentral University
Attention: Institutional Review Board
10000 E. University Drive
Prescott Valley, Arizona 86314

Progress Update

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

My pilot study went well and I received some great comments and suggestions. Thanks to everyone who helped out. My chair tells me that just a couple of paragraphs about the pilot study will be appropriate for the DM.

I’ve been very busy pulling together addresses of companies to which I will be sending the invitation letter. Since I was not able to find a list, I am looking up each company and copy/pasting to a spreadsheet, which I will merge into Word. I get bored quickly doing this so my progress has been slow.

On the personal side, this morning I added some books and things to eBay, see my listings here. Last night we went to the Ironhorse Restaurant in Ashland, VA, and had a great Mother’s Day dinner – just me and Husband. Of course, we miss the children, but we will be heading to Georgia/Alabama in June. So this Mother’s Day it’s just the two of us. In the morning yesterday, we did some houseclearning, so we were ready for a relaxing (and romantic!) meal at the Ironhorse Restaurant. Ashland is a beautiful town with train tracks (hence, “ironhorse”) right through the middle of town. I think we saw four trains while we ate dinner.

Happy Mother’s Day!!