Over the past 20 years, Dr. Flor has designed and taught a variety of research courses, mostly at the doctoral level—including those focusing on research philosophy, quantitative / statistics, qualitative, mixed methods, action research, and program evaluation / policy analysis–and has chaired a diverse array of dissertation committees where he actively mentored his students through the entire dissertation journey. Over the past 8 years, much of his work has focused on serving as a reviewer of dissertation proposals for both Scientific Merit and as a member of an Institutional Review Board for research ethics. It has been through this unique role serving as a gatekeeper—along with his role as a comprehensive exam grader–where he had the opportunity to review dozens of dissertation proposals and really begin to uncover and identify the core competencies which doctoral students most frequently struggle to master in critically reviewing the literature, conceptualizing their study, determining the ethical dimensions of their work, and presenting their work in a clear, concise, and scholarly manner necessary for gaining approval of their projects. By having a direct line into all three phases of the doctoral program—coursework, comprehensive exam, dissertation—Dr. Flor not only was able to recognize common developmental patterns across core competency domains, but also uncover what appear to be some key “success factors” that those who move through their program with “relative” ease seem to have in common (e.g., attention to detail, an open and inquisitive mind, ability to take and work with feedback, etc.).
Below are comments, most from a variety of students with whom Dr. Flor has worked in teaching research courses but also in his work in reviewing dissertation proposals and mentoring which speak to, among other things, his passion for teaching and facilitating the learning of those with whom he works, his ability to provide in-depth and detailed comments and feedback on student’s work, his ability to help students understand complex concepts, and his commitment to developing the next generation of scholar-practitioners and researchers.
Student / Mentee Testimonials
NOTE: Most of these comments have not been edited from the author’s original content, and may include grammatical errors.
Your comments are perceived as the olive branch I needed to move forward and complete the remaining pieces of my paper for your review. This has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination, and I know that the knowledge I will and have gained from your tutelage will make considerable contributions to my forward movement as an instructor, assistant professor and scholar-practitioner.
Dr. Flor provided timely and tailored feedback. His scholarly grasp of the material was astonishing.
Dr. Flor has an amazing commitment to the doctoral transformation. He is knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter; he pushes you to go further.
Dr. Flor provided the most complete feedback I have seen in taking over 30 online graduate and post-graduate courses. (He) strives to bring everyone student that can pass his class to the highest post-graduate academic level!
I requested Dr. Flor as my dissertation mentor after attending several of his colloquial classes, where I was impressed with his extensive theoretical and methodological knowledge. Once I started the dissertation process, I came to appreciate not only his procedural knowledge, but also his ability to help me develop into a scholar-practitioner, while guiding me through the intricate web of academic merit, ethics review boards, and statistical analysis. To anyone engaged in a capstone research project, Dr. Flor would be an invaluable asset to have in your corner.
I wanted to thank you so much for your feedback and critiques of my work. You truly inspire me to be a better professor. Since taking your class I realize just how important feedback is to students. I have incorporated that aspect of your style for my students which are yielding great results. I can’t imagine how many hours you dedicate to us but I know it is far more than any professor I have ever taken before and it is very much appreciated by me directly and from my students who indirectly have felt your influence even without knowing you. Of my 120 students I have seen remarkable strides in the level of their work as a result of more feedback.
As one of your colleagues I can tell you that I learned more from you than in all of the courses I took or taught in research methodology. I am very grateful to you. I think differently now – and it has not only helped me as an instructor, but in my role as a consultant.
NOTE: This was from another faculty member who had several mentees go through Scientific Merit Review with me, and therefore was a part of the feedback loop and coaching, both to him and his student.
I’d like to thank you for taking the time (to) perform the teleconferences, they have truly made a difference in my understanding of the material…I can detect the passion and compassion in your voice; you have a great love for what you do. Thank you again for the detailed explanations, examples, and clarifying points and I wish there were more like you…I know you have inspired me and based on the conversations from the three teleconferences as well as the posting on the discussion board, I am not alone in my view.
To those considering Dr. Flor as Dissertation Consultant / Coach / Mentor:
I had had two other mentors prior to Dr. Flor and, while I gained some insights regarding the dissertation process from each of them, neither offered a holistic approach brought by him. He helped me to thoroughly understand and accept the whole dissertation process for what it was and always will be; very challenging but necessary! Early on in our mentor/mentee relationship, Dr. Flor helped me navigate through this incredibly daunting process that is wrought with complicated political and academic perspectives, unknown and ambiguous processes and procedures, uncertain timeframes, and then the arduous intellectual nature of preparing, writing, rewriting, editing, and crafting a dissertation.
Few faculty are able to accomplish this type of coaching and mentoring due in a large part because of their own workload and inability to emotionally and intellectually attach themselves to the work being done by their mentee. This entire research process can be compared to directing a huge movie production – from Titanic to Hurt Locker, depending upon your research approach respectively, qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Unfortunately, the dissertation researcher is incredibly alone without any of the bit-players that help support this massive production. It is a lonely time except for your connection with a mentor who cares and can engage with you at the level and in the manner that Dr. Flor is committed to providing to those with whom he works.
What was incredibly helpful was Dr. Flor’s ability to see your work as well as you and understand the relevance it holds for the scholar/practitioner perspective while whole-heartedly cheering you on. His insight and vast knowledge of fundamental and contemporary literature is unsurpassed. As a novice researcher, I was tugged and pushed in multiple directions while easily distracted by other researchers, colleagues, teachers, and the plethora of literature, theories, and sample dissertations that were tossed my way to try to ‘copy’ by others in the program. Dr. Flor provided the subtle nudges to steer me through the mess of conflicting messages to a meaningful and valuable discussion about what made my own research relevant and then how to craft the research process to come to conclusions that made sense. Dr. Flor was my secret weapon to completing my dissertation and it is with heart-felt thanks and appreciation that I recommend to anyone looking to get honest and insightful feedback to consider him as a dissertation coach or consultant.
Just want to add that it has been an honor learning with you…I have always enjoyed your advice, comments, and insight…I value your opinion and am glad you are willing to share.
I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you on down the road somewhere.
Please find attached my paper. It has been quite the growing process. I so look forward to your comments, feedback and direction as I know this is a step down the path towards greater learning and growth. Thank you so much for everything this quarter, it has truly been an amazing experience!
The best to you! 🙂
I wanted to take a minute to send you a message of gratitude for the feedback you provided on my assignment. This course is the first one I have had with an instructor that puts so much extra time and energy into feedback and grading. You seem to take things seriously, and I wanted you to know that I can tell and I really appreciate it.
This is also the first class I have had where I have scored less than a 99/100 on an assignment. It has been humbling, but I have learned so much from this experience in your class. I think you may be the first instructor to really “read” and consider what I have written. I do not mind receiving lower grades if I can grow from the experience. I am growing so much this quarter. I am grateful. You are challenging me to be better and that is why I came back to school. It feels so great to be challenged.
I am interested in learning what it takes to become a passionate instructor. I would love more than anything to eventually use my degree to become an educator. I would love to stop what I do right now and enter the world of teaching. I do not want to do things the way I have seen others teach, however. I want to teach the way you teach. Could you provide any recommendations for how to begin the process?
Anyway, thank you for the experience, so far. I look forward to a successful journey and cannot wait to continue.
I have to let you know that it was your STRONG leadership and guidance that brought me through this (project). Your handouts and helpful tips made the difference. But more than that – it is the excitement with which you approach teaching that is rather infectious (pun intended) and kept me wanting to produce good work for you.
Thank you much,
Ohh I am so pleased to hear that. I am always questioning and over analyzing sometimes; so this feedback is very good for me to hear. Thank you. I must say though as I mentioned in my other response the effort that you put into providing me feedback and learnings is valued more than you will ever realize as I strive to intellectually grow and develop further. You have been a “huge” part of my learning, thus the reason I was so excited to have the great opportunity to have you as my professor twice. You are one of those professors who I will never forget because of the tremendous impact you have had on my learning, most specifically challenging and pushing to learn in a different manner.
Hi Dr. Flor
I want to share with you that I am learning so much in this course, and only wish I had taken your course earlier in my coursework. I have only “3” courses left and feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. Nevertheless, your tools, guidance, conf calls, and handouts are extremely valuable! I have learned to sharpen my APA skills, but more importantly, finally (and humbly) learning the difference between qualitative and quantitative articles.
I feel lucky to have you as a faculty member, especially knowing that you grade comp exams and truly care about helping us to be successful…I appreciate you taking the time to further expand our learning experience.
Hello Dr. Flor,
Attached you will find my project for you assessment.
I would like to really recognize the thoroughness of your review and the intentionality you demonstrated throughout the course to make that we as PhD learners can grasp concepts and ideas that were extraneous to us.
Please receive my most sincere appreciation for your work.
I feel that this subject has illuminated many areas that were some what faded in my thinking, and have provided me with an opportunity to explore my inner self, and my assumptions about reality, knowledge and ways to develop it. More firmly, I have developed my axiological understandings as to how to ontologically approach a paradigm and a phenomena with the purpose of epistemologically evaluating for the purpose of exploring it or explaining it with the intentions of expanding knowledge.
I cannot tell you how much I have learned…from your feedback. I plan to emulate your style and approach in my current job at (major soft drink company) and in my future career in education. You provide sound feedback, grounded in examples of what you are looking for that is clear, concise, and leaves little room for confusion. I appreciated that. Take care,
Good evening Dr. Flor,
Here is my prospectus… I tried to adhere to all that I have learned from you and I can say I am better for having you these last two semesters. You also brighten my day with your review of my project by not only pointing out my weaknesses but congratulating my growth. It helps to know (I) have inched up some and I will continue to practice all that you have taught. You are a great professor and you have inspired me to be a better professor. It is your critical analysis and the high expectations of us that help us to grow. Again, thank you for an intriguing, overwhelming, hard, and most important of all a great learning experience. You are the best. So here is my paper, do what you do. Correct it. Smile. Be blessed.
Hi Dr. Flor
Are you teaching this course next quarter, or in the Fall? My friend is deciding when to take it, and I mentioned to him that he wants you as faculty. I shared with him how much I have learned because of the high bar you have set for the learners. A high bar, by the way, which is very much appreciated by me!!!
Your passion for teaching this subject is evident!
I think this course is the best example of what I originally thought a doctoral program was suppose to be like. It is stretching me beyond my self perceived limits and although I do not always like it. I am learning a tremendous amount and really appreciate your advice and counsel.