Academic Dissertations in the News

What Jill Biden’s Dissertation Reveals About Her Approach to Higher Education

19 February 2021

It turns out that Jill Biden, the presumptive First Lady, has thought deeply about community colleges. In fact, she wrote her dissertation at the University of Delaware about how to improve retention at two-year colleges.

So what did she conclude? And what does it say about her thinking on higher education, as she prepares to move into the White House? Read more at by Jeffrey R. Young, Nov 20, 2020

Inside the new world of online dissertation defenses

15 January 2021

Emojis, grandmas logging in, and kudos from strangers: How MIT students have finished their PhDs during the pandemic. by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office, May 22, 2020

For generations, dissertation defenses have been crowning moments for PhD candidates. Now, with the pandemic limiting activity on the MIT campus from mid-March onward, moving dissertation defenses to Zoom has been a necessary adjustment. Read the full story at

How to Write a Dissertation During a Pandemic

6 November 2020

Many doctoral students feel a crisis of purpose amid Covid-19: Should they bother to keep writing? By Leonard Cassuto

There’s not much good to find in a destructive pandemic, but here’s one potentially positive outcome: Covid-19 may bring graduate schools to a long-needed reckoning with the dissertation requirement. The coronavirus has effectively blown up the ....

Continue reading at

Dissertation on Mesolithic man and boar interaction wins Prehistoric Society acclaim

26 October 2020

An Archaeology and Anthropology graduate has been recognised by Prehistoric Society for her dissertation research into the relationships between Mesolithic humans and wild boar.

Kate's dissertation research was inspired by her pet pigs which led her to develop an interest in their Mesolithic relative, the wild boar. She noticed that there was a lack of information on Mesolithic wild boar and how humans would have interacted with this intelligent and often dangerous species.

Continue reading at University of Manchester

Recent UNMC dissertation on 1918 Pandemic cited in New York Times

21 March 2020

Kristin Watkins, 1915 University of Nebraska Medical Center disseration titled, It Came Across the Plains: the 1918 InfluenzaPandemic in Rural Nebraska was cited today in The New York Times.

Dr. Watkins writes in the abstract, "Amidst all the horror there was some humor, as Santa got arrested forbreaking the quarantine and well-meaning children raised the money to pay his fine." But the "most over-arching conclusion based on the evidence from this study is that nothing can completely protect you from influenza, and some rural communities may have a false sense of security if they think influenza cannot reach them. This study shows that influenza can and will spread anywhere geographically, even to the most remote locations.Few things can stop pathogens in pursuit of infection. Read the entire dissertation at