Receiving my hood from Dr. Alan Clayton-Matthews, September 28, 2016.
Sean del Solar of the City of San Marcos, California has (so far) the best Facebook comment about my newly minted doctorate.
A Doctor, an Engineer and an Attorney walk into a bar, the bartender asks “what can I get you Jonathan?”
Yup, I really like that one!
That pretty-much says all that needs to be said.
In just a few days, on Wednesday September 26, 2016, the entire 8th Cohort of the Doctor of Law and Policy (DLP) program at Northeastern will be hooded, the traditional manner by which a new academic doctor is created.
We stand then bow before our professor, who places the hood over the head and drapes it over the back of our gown. Once hooded, we are recognized as doctors among our peers.
I am so happy and privileged to be a part of the 8th Cohort, the first Cohort that as a group finished on schedule and will all be hooded on the same day.
Pictures to follow.
I’m pushing for NEU’s Doctor of Law and Policy (DLP) program to establish a formal volunteer mentor program for mew doctoral students enrolled in the program. I’d like to see new DLP students paired up with DLP program graduates (such as yours truly, ahem).
Rather than merely advocating for a mentor program, in my usual style, I’ve simply adopted a new student in Cohort X to mentor sans permission. Yeah, that’s my style. Not surprisingly–and to the credit of the program administrators–they seem to have looked in the other direction while I mentor my mentee informally.
The DLP program is a gateway for very special doctoral students who aim to make a difference in their professions. DLP Grads can help keep that gateway open by mentoring.
Dr. Jonathan Kramer, DLP Cohort VIII
Two weeks ago yesterday I successfully defended my thesis; two weeks from right now I’ll be in Boston at the hooding ceremony. It feels very strange to not be devoting many hours each week to thesis research, writing, obsessing, correcting, and more of the same. In truth, I miss it.
I do have another major writing project, which I’ll be describing in detail in a coming post.
Today, Gerry Lederer, a respected wireless attorney at the government law firm of Best Best and Krieger, commented on Facebook regarding my thesis defense slides. He asked several appropriate and very probing questions. With his kind permission, I quote his comments and questions here along with my reply. I’ve cleaned up a few bits of the text for readability.
Gerry Lederer: I read [your thesis defense slides] and they are brilliant. How long did it take for the professors to keep up to you? I know I had to read them a couple times. By the way, [your] GPA was rather ridiculous. Not sure I would have had the guts to publish my grades at the beginning of the process. Do you fear than any of the slides will be used against you in future proceedings? Or have some of the community groups questioned your outlook as to whether or not their homes’ values are impacted by the presence of a cell tower?
Jonathan Kramer: Gerry, old friend, I deeply appreciate your questions/comments.
I made a decision at the beginning of this journey that I would be transparent as a student and [as] a researcher. On the wise counsel of my program inspiration and chief supporter, Professor Neenah Estrella-Luna, I started my personal blog, JonathanKramer.com to make that goal a reality.
I knew that posting my thoughts and my grades would risk [negative] public exposure, and they already have. I have had to answer questions about my research from several of the jurisdictions I serve, sometimes in response to resident complaints that I am biased. Each time I have been charged, I have unreservedly agreed with the charges of bias: I am biased to discovering [actual] facts, rather than simply accepting assertions as facts. In fact (pun intended), I am currently responding to a new set of resident assertions in one of my client jurisdictions and I will respond the same way: look to the facts, not to the fears, to find the truth.
I have been fully prepared for years to lose clients for political reasons [over my research and findings]. [It’s] a worthy trade for gaining knowledge for the public. I expect to lose at least two or three major government clients within the first few months following publication of my full thesis, and that will not diminish my life by a single iota (Matthew 5:18*).
This doctorate has only whet my appetite to do more and deeper research in the same [subject matter] area. I have the great fortune to have the intellectual honesty to follow where the facts lead without fearing who will be offended. Maybe I can convince Northeastern University College of Professional Studies to let me do post-Doc research to better see where those facts lead.
* Huh? I’m quoting the New Testament? Sure. Have to cite research sources. jlk
I stand by what I said in reply to Gerry’s query. Even if the truth is unpleasant to some, I’ll take transparency and honesty even when the results are surprising, uncomfortable, or unprofitable.
Today I submitted the conclusions chapter of my thesis to my co-P.I., Professor Neenah Estrella-Luna. This is a huge milestone for me, and I remain on track to defend on August 30th.
PS: It’s also a huge relief. The writing is done. All that remains are to address the very few edits to the preceding chapters received from both of my P.I.s and my second reader, Dr Ed Kammerer, J.D., Ph.D. jlk
PPS: Someone else very happy with the submission of my final chapter is Christina R. Sansone. She’s been waiting for me to finish this for a long time. I’m happy she’s still talking to me. Now it becomes my primary job, Chris.
Good luck to Evadne Hagigal, who will be defending her Doctor of Law and Policy doctoral thesis on Friday, August 12th. The title of her thesis is, The Unintended Consequences of Federally Mandated Minimum Wage Increases: An Examination of Employment Trends and Employers’ Perspectives.
(UPDATE: She successfully defended her thesis, and will be Dr. Hagigal on September 22nd, and hooded on September 28th. Great!!! -jlk)