Pandemic Pivots: The Impact of a Global Health Crisis on the Dissertation in Practice

  • Cassidy Alvarado Loyola Marymount University
  • Leyda Garcia Loyola Marymount University
  • Nikysha Gilliam Loyola Marymount University
  • Sydney Minckler Loyola Marymount University
  • Csilla Samay Loyola Marymount University
Keywords: research pivot, Dissertation in Practice, community-based research, COVID-19 pandemic, critical friend support


Five scholarly practitioners in an educational leadership for social justice doctoral program share their intentional, community-minded pivots during a global pandemic that disrupted their Dissertations in Practice (DiP). Embodying their Ed.D. program’s CPED framework (Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, 2019), the authors, at varying stages in the dissertation process, sought inventive solutions to COVID-19-related challenges that included the development of a new topic and research questions, adjusting study settings and participant pools, and embracing new methodologies to account for virtual-only approaches. Although uncertain how the global health crises would impact their DiP, by fostering a shared sense of community, the authors became critical friends, supporting each other in their personal, professional, and academic lives. Each narrative highlights the potential of oppositional praxis of threading identities of practice, reflection, and research–to respond creatively to the needs of their diverse research communities with compassion, vision, and agility.


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How to Cite
Alvarado, C., Garcia, L., Gilliam, N., Minckler, S., & Samay, C. (2021). Pandemic Pivots: The Impact of a Global Health Crisis on the Dissertation in Practice. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 6(2), 5–10.