Welcome to Doctor Tales!

Welcome! Doctor Tales is a new blog to help doctoral students succeed during and beyond their academic journeys.


Welcome! Doctor Tales is a new blog to help doctoral students succeed during and beyond their academic journeys. We are Dr. Bessie DiDomenica (PhD) and Dr. Patricia Mason (DBA), two doctors who took the journey. We recently earned our doctoral degrees and offer our strategies for other doctoral candidates to succeed.

We also embrace our new roles as scholar-practitioners, and encourage others to take their education beyond the classroom.

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My Passion For Animals and My PhD

I’m sitting here with my best buddy, Oscar. He’s a rescue cat. A few years back, I had a young rescue cat, Mr. Bean, who suddenly stopped eating and was not his usual self. He crouched in dark corners, didn’t play much or enjoy socializing. His condition was never fully diagnosed, but I gave Mr. Bean medication to comfort him.

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Disparities in Rural Missouri

The article from the Chronicle of Higher Education about Kennett, Missouri really got me thinking about disparities. Kennett, Missouri is about 35 miles south of my house. My dad was born in Kennett. My mother was from Cardwell, Missouri which is a little further south and closer to the Arkansas line. Places in rural areas like the Bootheel of Missouri tend to have more health problems than better educated and larger cities in the United States.

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Snapshot of Food and Water in 2017

Food and water are basic needs for all life on Earth. Life includes nature (everything not made by humans), animals and people. On that note, here’s a list of food and water stories that connect to all life.  Tops stories include palm oil, alternative food sources, smart water for cities, ocean health, and the Great Barrier Reef.

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Tips to Engage (Not Bore) People at Academic Conferences

Last month, I started planning my conference and publication agenda for 2018. Some of the best projects are collaborations and I decided to reach out to my LinkedIn groups. I found a conference on urban food systems and sent a message to see if anyone was interested in a presentation or workshop. I want to make my presentation fun and exciting, something that’s hard to find in the world of academic conferences.

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Best Top 20 Doctor Tales Blogs for 2017

Doctor Tales is celebrating 15 months of blogging in December! Happily, Dr. Patti Mason and I have posted a blog each week for over a year. We started DTB to share tips and survival strategies for graduate students. And yes, survival is the key word. DTB offers a solid toolkit of ideas to foster your academic and career success. In that spirit, here’s a list of our top 20 favorite Doctor Tales blogs for 2017. In 2018, we’ll continue to give you more ideas for your toolkit. Stop by anytime and join our email list. Thank you!!  PS: Can you guess our favorite blog? Happy Holidays and Good Tidings in 2018!

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Shoku-iku: How Food Policy Works in Japan

Shoku-iku is the Japanese word  for “eating education” or food education. Since 2005, the Basic Law of Shoku-iku has been Japan’s national food policy. It serves as a “blueprint for conscious eating.” Starting in kindergarten, students learn to connect health, nutrition, food, and the environment. More than 4,000 diet and nutrition teachers teach in public schools. The result: 3.7% of Japan’s adult population is obese (around 2.8M people out of the total adult population of 86M). This is striking because 38.2% of the US adult population is obese (around 73M people in the total adult population of 219M). We’re talking obese, not overweight. How is Japan reducing obesity in adults, while obesity continues to rise in the US? What can we learn from Shoku-iku?

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Food Swamps: A New Urban Reality

This week, I learned about a new trend in food policy. A study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity identified the presence of another source for obesity in adult populations: food swamps. Unlike food deserts (communities with limited access to healthy and affordable food), food swamps reveal the imbalance between excess fast food restaurants over healthy food choices. These neighborhoods have more drive-up restaurants and easy access to unhealthy foods compared to grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Food swamps are a better predictor of obesity rates than food deserts. And they are another tool to find ways to reverse the tide of obesity in adults.

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