Jessica Parker, Ed.D. – Founder & Owner

I’m a researcher and educator who is passionate about demystifying the research and writing process for scholars. My research interests are at the intersection of technology and education; I am particularly intrigued by the potential of generative AI for academic purposes, exploring how this technology can revolutionize how we conduct research, teach, and learn. I invite you to follow my research journey on ResearchGate.

I have worked with a diverse range of researchers and scholars, and I continue to teach Doctor of Health Sciences students at MCPHS University. Before founding Dissertation by Design, I was a Senior Research Director and managed several grants with the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Northeastern University School of Nursing. My Ed.D. (Northeastern University, 2017) is in Organizational Leadership. I am a reviewer for the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, and Journal of Professional Nursing. Outside of my professional life, I’m an avid reader, surfer, and snowboarder. 

Kirstie Eastwood, M.Sc. – CEO & Statistician

As a statistical consultant, entrepreneur, dedicated educator, and philanthropist, I bring a unique blend of skills and passions to my work. Since 2015, I have served as a statistics lecturer at Nelson Mandela University, and I have been a statistical consultant since 2016. My passion for people, teaching, numbers, and community upliftment fuels my work.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of teaching statistics to hundreds of students, both statistics majors and those from other disciplines. I’ve also guided over 500 quantitative researchers across various fields, from the inception of their projects to the completion of their theses or articles. I thrive on the diversity of current research I encounter in my work and enjoy the rich interactions that come from teaching and consulting with fellow researchers.

I hold an M.Sc in Mathematical Statistics and graduated as the top student across all faculties and among 6000 graduates at Nelson Mandela University. I firmly believe in Nelson Mandela’s words, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Mathematics and statistics are often viewed as challenging subjects; however, I’ve found that it’s often not a lack of aptitude, but rather fear of the subject that hinders a person’s ability to excel. I am committed to dismantling this barrier and focusing on the practical aspects of quantitative research, rather than overwhelming individuals with theoretical ideas and frameworks that are difficult to apply to real-life research.

Many of the individuals I’ve worked with have previously taken a statistics course but struggled to translate their skills into practical methods for their own research. My mission is to bridge this gap, connecting the theoretical training often provided with the practical applications necessary for successful quantitative research.

Tess Lawrence, BA Hons. – Executive Assistant & Billing Coordinator 

I am a dedicated professional, known for my follow through and commitment to the task at hand. I completed my Honors in Psychology in 2021 at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. I am currently studying towards my Master of Research in Psychology, with special focus on equine-assisted therapy and children, and I intend to qualify as a Counselling Psychologist in the future.

I am all about empathy and support. Whether through my studies or while working, I am passionate about helping people and am continuously developing my interpersonal skills to effectively do so. My background in psychology has equipped me with the ability to connect with a diverse range of people.

I have been within the educational sphere since 2018, assisting neuro-diverse children excel within their academic journey. This is where my passion for people has flourished and developed. I take special interest in childhood development and growth.

On a personal note, I am a lifelong animal lover and intend on joining my passion for animals with my passion for helping people. I have also completed various courses in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy practices, Therapeutic Riding practices and Psychological Developmental courses.

Jacquelyn A. Bialo

Jacquelyn A. Bialo, Ph.D., MPH – Academic Writing Coach, Professional Editor, Statistician

I wear multiple hats at Dissertation by Design. Whether I’m coaching, editing, or providing statistical consultation, my greatest satisfaction comes from combining these roles. I specialize in crafting Chapter 1 of dissertations, particularly those challenging initial paragraphs.

My interdisciplinary background, encompassing statistical measurement, psychology, and public health, has equipped me to work with a diverse range of individuals in various settings. My experiences range from providing support services for refugees to serving as a school psychologist. My dissertation delved into fairness and validity in cross-group comparisons, examining how specific responses to survey items can lead to bias in scores.

I have taught as an adjunct professor at Georgia State University and have reviewed for esteemed publications such as the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment and Studies in Educational Evaluation.

Originally a native New Yorker, I moved to Atlanta for graduate school and have since embraced the southern lifestyle, even owning a pick-up truck. If I can make such a transition, I’m confident that you can successfully complete your dissertation. My role is to guide and support you on this journey, leveraging my diverse expertise to help you achieve your academic goals.

Dissertation Coach, Dissertation Consultant

Jennie Brame, Ed.D. – Dissertation Coach

As a full professor with over 15 years of experience working with undergraduate and graduate health professions learners, I bring a wealth of knowledge and a deep passion for leadership and coaching to my role. I firmly believe that mentoring is the key to helping others achieve their goals, providing both inspiration and support.

I hold an Ed.D. in Administrative Leadership with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction from Carson Newman University. My dissertation delved into leadership development among academic leaders in higher education health profession programs. I am driven by a passion for curiosity, innovation, and the thrill of discovery.

My primary research interests lie in interprofessional, health sciences, and educational research. I have worked closely with graduate-level learners to develop and apply new strategies in evidence-based care and education. I am particularly interested in exploring creative innovations related to improving educational approaches, faculty development, and enhancing inter and intra-professional relationships.

In addition to my teaching and research roles, I am a reviewer and team member for the Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum. I also serve on the editorial review board for the Journal of Dental Hygiene and have published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Nurse Education Today, Nursing Education Perspectives, and the Journal of Dental Education.

When I’m not teaching, mentoring, or writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, exploring the great outdoors, running, and settling down with a good book. My professional and personal pursuits reflect my commitment to lifelong learning, mentorship, and a balanced lifestyle.

Alison Clark, Dissertation Coach

Alison J. Clark, Ph.D. – Dissertation Coach

With a career spanning 32 years in public education, I’ve served in various roles, including teacher, lead teacher, assistant principal, and principal. I currently serve as an adjunct doctoral committee member at Concordia University Chicago and as an adjunct faculty member at the State University of New York at Old Westbury. My dedication to education was recognized in 2020 when I was honored as a National Distinguished Principal and New York State Elementary Principal of the Year.

I hold a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago, earned in 2016. My passion for empowering educators and fostering leadership development inspired my doctoral research, a multi-case study exploring suburban elementary principals’ practices and perceptions as change leaders in relation to capacity building for sustainable school improvement. My publications and presentations focus on capacity building, change leadership, response to intervention, K-12 and higher education partnerships, and the role of technology in enhancing educational settings for students and educators. I firmly believe that doctoral candidates are lifelong learners who must remain reflective as they navigate the realities of becoming researchers.

In supporting studies focused on pre-K-12, higher education, and workplace research, I guide students through their learning process by providing direct and actionable feedback. My goal is to build capacity, empowering others to effect change through opportunities for collaboration, voice, reflection, and growth. A colleague recently reminded me that we all entered the world of education with the primary goal of being a teacher. This resonates deeply with me, and I strive to keep this purpose at the forefront of my decisions, always aiming to support others in reaching their fullest potential.

Debra Jean, Dissertation Coach

Debra J. Dean, Ph.D. – Dissertation Coach & Statistician

I am a passionate researcher, writer, and speaker with a love for sharing knowledge. I’ve had the honor of delivering a TedX talk and speaking at DisruptHR, experiences that have allowed me to share my insights with a broad audience. My primary goal is to guide students through their dissertation journey, helping them navigate the process with less frustration and confusion.

With 25 years of corporate experience in quality assurance, data and innovation, and business intelligence, I bring a wealth of practical knowledge to my academic pursuits. Since 2015, I have been teaching at the university level, specializing in both quantitative and qualitative research. My current teaching portfolio includes courses such as Quantitative Research Methods, Leadership Development, Leadership Analytics, Enterprise Data Management, Descriptive Analytics, Corporate Ethics & Data Privacy, Business Decision Making, Managing Business Analytics, Analysis of the Organization, Data Acquisition, Data Mining, and Marketing that Informs the Strategic Plan. In addition to my teaching roles, I’ve served on numerous dissertation committees, both as a Chair and a committee member, further enhancing my understanding of the research process.

On a personal note, my husband and I are proud parents of six children and grandparents to six grandchildren. We recently moved from Colorado to Kentucky, trading mountain hikes for the charm of the Bluegrass State. Whether I’m hiking in the mountains or enjoying a day at the beach, I find joy in the balance between my professional pursuits and personal life.

Dissertation Coach, Dissertation Consultant

Annie (Andrea) Flynn, Ph.D. – Dissertation Coach

As a research psychologist, my overarching goal is to leverage psychological research to address and, ideally, solve complex social problems. I am also deeply passionate about supporting adult learners from diverse backgrounds. I adopt a strengths-based approach, recognizing and harnessing each individual’s unique gifts and talents, as I firmly believe that success is not a “one size fits all” concept.

I obtained my master’s degree and Ph.D. in Psychology from DePaul University in 2009. Since then, my research has primarily centered on identifying strategies to support underrepresented students in higher education. My most recent research, employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, focuses on first-generation college students.

Beyond my personal research, I have been a part of numerous research teams. For instance, I coordinated an evidence-based study evaluating clinical services provided to urban youth of color. In another project, I conducted research on over 1,000 adolescents and adults recovering from substance abuse issues. I have also had the privilege of working closely with a cognitive psychologist, a neuropsychologist, and a clinical-health psychologist. These experiences have provided me with a robust background in a diverse range of disciplines.

I consider myself fortunate to genuinely love my work. When I’m not immersed in research, I cherish spending time with friends and family, tending to my garden, staying active through exercise, and indulging in a good book. My work and personal life are a testament to my commitment to lifelong learning and the pursuit of knowledge.

Dissertation Coach, Dissertation by Design

Candace Hall-Wurst, Ph.D. – Dissertation Coach

Whether qualitative or quantitative, I relish the challenges of research. I appreciate every stage, from design to data collection and analysis, through to implementing findings into practice. I am equally passionate about collaborating with others to accomplish their goals throughout these stages.

I possess an interdisciplinary background with a PhD in International Development, delving into the intersections of sociology, economics, and political science. My dissertation employed social network analysis to juxtapose social learning processes in individualistic and collectivist societies. Not only did I reside in South Korea for three years to conduct my research, but a portion of my dissertation is also penned in the Korean language (hangul). While I have mentored students from various disciplines, my personal research is currently predominantly published in the realms of public health, geography, and sociology. On a professional note, I have co-authored over 25 peer-reviewed articles and two books. Additionally, I serve on the editorial boards of two journals and have conducted peer reviews for more than two dozen journals and book publishers. Originally from Atlanta, GA, I’ve found solace in the majestic mountains of East Tennessee. Outside of work, I immerse myself in activities with my four cherished ones. We are enthusiasts of camping, hiking, and broadly, traversing the globe (with a tally of 35 countries and counting).

Dissertation Coach, Dissertation Consultant

Lydia K. Manning, Ph.D. – Dissertation Coach

As a seasoned gerontologist, educator, and entrepreneur, I bring a wealth of experience to the field of aging. With two decades dedicated to enhancing the lives of aging individuals, my commitment to this field is unwavering. I own a consulting company where I apply my gerontological expertise to assist companies, organizations, and individuals in addressing the opportunities and challenges associated with aging.

In 2011, I earned my Ph.D. in social gerontology from the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. My dissertation delved into the lived experience of spirituality among women aged 85 and older. Post-doctoral studies led me to Duke University’s Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, where I researched the interplay between resilience and religion for older adults under an NIH T-32 grant.

My academic interests lie in the intricate issues related to aging, health, and well-being. On a social level, I am passionate about advocating for justice for older adults and dismantling ageism. This commitment permeates all aspects of my work, from the courses I teach to the students I mentor.

Locally, I am actively involved in the Age-Friendly and Dementia Friendly Movements in Oak Park and River Forest, IL. My work in these movements is a testament to my dedication to creating a more inclusive and understanding environment for our aging population. Through my varied roles, I strive to make a positive impact on the lives of older adults and contribute to a more age-friendly society.

Dissertation Coach, Dissertation Consultant, Qualitative Methodologist

Veronica Richard, Ph.D. – Qualitative Methodologist

Before joining Dissertation by Design, I held various academic positions, including adjunct, assistant, and associate professor roles at the University of Northern Colorado, Indiana University Northwest, and Concordia University Chicago. My experience spans working with undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students, primarily in the fields of literacy and research methods.

Throughout my career, I have been an integral part of nine research teams, many of which were grant-funded and dedicated to supporting at-risk youth. Our primary focus areas included literacy development, social and behavioral skill development, and teacher development. This work underscored the importance of fostering partnerships among diverse stakeholders and how these collaborations can drive change and advocacy.

I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado in 2010, specializing in Applied Statistical Research and Research Methods with a cognate in Reading. My extensive training and experience in qualitative methodologies, methods, and literacy have equipped me with a unique skill set. My dissertation delved into the experiences of secondary preservice teachers with content area literacy practices, employing diverse and innovative data collection and analysis methods.

In addition to my academic and research roles, I serve as a reviewer for several esteemed journals, including Qualitative Research in Psychology, Emerging Adulthood, and the International Journal of Research and Methods in Education. My work is driven by a commitment to amplifying voices that are traditionally marginalized or silenced. I strive to embody this commitment in my pedagogy, research, and mentoring practices.

One of my primary objectives is to help others navigate and gain confidence in scholarly discourse. I believe in empowering individuals to become confident, articulate contributors to their respective fields, and I am dedicated to supporting them on this journey.

Karen Rosenberg, PhD. – Dissertation Coach

I am a dissertation consultant and coach who is passionate about partnering with writers to help them succeed on their educational journeys. As a doctoral student in women’s studies, I gained extensive experience in interdisciplinary qualitative research methodologies as well as text-based methodologies like discourse analysis. My dissertation examined criminal legal responses to violence against women in Canada and the United States, a project that involved collecting and analyzing qualitative interview data as part of a comparative case study. My multi- and interdisciplinary background allows me to adeptly navigate diverse fields, quickly identifying core research questions and synthesizing key literatures.

After the birth of my first child, I pivoted from researching violence against women to centering my work on supporting academic writers. I directed the writing center at the University of Washington Bothell for over a decade, coaching student and faculty writers as well as leading faculty development programs. I then transitioned to McMaster University as a graduate writing specialist, consulting with doctoral students in the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences to provide tailored guidance through their dissertation writing process.

My approach blends pragmatism with compassion, equipping writers with efficient, effective strategies to meet their goals.

Louise Vincent, Ph.D. – Qualitative Methodologist

I have been an academic for over 25 years. I have authored more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and books.
My passion is demystifying academia and developing the research abilities, knowledge, and confidence of a new generation of researchers. I love helping researchers choose the appropriate research design and methods for the questions they are curious to answer.

I have traveled to many parts of the world assisting Ph.D. and M.A. candidates and academics in every discipline imaginable with a range of research endeavors, including proposal writing, writing for publication, qualitative data methods, qualitative data analysis, NVivo, literature reviews, and the use of theory in qualitative methodologies.

My research specialty is in the field of the politics of the body – an interest in ways in which social and political power relations can be understood to be enacted through, on and in the bodies of citizens.

In my downtime, I enjoy traveling, reading, and playing competitive lawn bowls.


Dissertation by Design does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, and genetic information, or age. Dissertation by Design strives to be a safe space for anyone who belongs to a historically marginalized group. We welcome all clients from these groups as we are aware that academic spaces have not traditionally served people of color and people whose gender identities and/or sexual orientation are not heteronormative. We will do our best to create spaces where clients neither need to hide nor share these important aspects of their identities.