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Embrace The Process – Dr. Eric Street’s Dissertation Experience

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Dr. Eric Street, center, with Academy faculty Dr. Fred Cromartie and Dr. Brandon Spradley.

By: Dr. Fred Cromartie and Dr. Brandon Spradley |

The United States Sports Academy continues to strive to meet its mission of making contributions to the field of sport by preparing men and women for the profession of sport. Today, the spotlight shines on Academy alumnus Dr. Eric Street.

Street works as an Adjunct Professor of Sports Management at Midway University (KY) and as a Master Trainer at LA Fitness International. He has previously taught at the University of Kentucky and for the Academy in Dubai. Street is also a soccer coach for Paris High School.

The dissertation is often times the most challenging part of completing a doctoral degree. Street’s dissertation focused on the perception of hooliganism within NAIA collegiate soccer players. Street was interviewed to talk about his experience in the dissertation process and provide helpful advice for doctoral students in the Academy’s program. Here is a synopsis of Street’s advice. You can watch the full interview by clicking on the video below.

What advice would you give doctoral students in selecting a dissertation topic? “The best advice I could give is to select something that you consider very interesting to yourself, that you won’t get bored with.”

What advice would you give doctoral students in selecting their dissertation chair and committee members? “I think to select a chair, you need what I would consider an alpha male or an alpha female. You need a strong personality that can manage things because that person is responsible for the other people on the committee. Dr. Cromartie was awesome for me. I mean he was a perfect fit. I never worried about anything in terms of things getting done. Things were always returned to me in a timely manner. As far as the other members are concerned, I would select someone who is really good at statistical analysis and has research interests that aligns with yours. You want someone who’s kind of in your ballpark in terms of your research.”

What was the most challenging part of the dissertation process and how did you overcome it? “I think the timeline. If I can give one bit of advice to any graduate student seeking a PhD or doctorate, it would be that the slightest delay can cost you nine months. I was working with soccer players. There was no way to collect data if the school was out, so that slight delay was a very big challenge, and I learned my lesson with that.”

What advice would you give doctoral students to help them cross the finish line and complete the dissertation? “There’s no substitute for hard work. I mean, you have to have a goal. You have to have a mindset that you know this degree is going to get me where I want to be, and I know so many people that are ABD. My biggest saying in terms of crossing that finish line is, find your reason why you want to do it, and just persevere. I can come up with any excuse not to write anything. But in that situation, during the dissertation phase, that has to be your number one priority besides family and so forth. It took me two years and nine months, and I worked pretty hard.”

Describe your overall experience and what you learned as a student in the Academy’s doctoral program. “It was a great experience. I couldn’t have imagined a better doctoral experience in terms of the one on one, and the hands on feedback was always spot on. My committee and my committee chair got me through the finish line. I’ve heard some horror stories, but at the Academy, I had no fear of that. I had a successful defense, and overall, it was a great experience for me.”

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