“As a mentor, I help people become Independent Scholars.
As an Independent Scholar, I help individuals and organizations gain critical insights and knowledge not found anywhere else.”
–Kate Burrows, Ph.D.
The reason I chose the less-traveled path of Independent Scholarship over the “tenure-track” life is simple: it enables me to learn more and to do more for my clients.
How being an Independent Scholar
benefits both me and my clients.
The main advantage for me is academic freedom. Unlike academia where certain subjects are stigmatized (e.g., academic papers about living with a Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI))– and because I’m not concerned with tenure – I’m able to choose to work on any projects I care to. I can also work only for clients I prefer, all while setting my own schedule.
Benefits to my clients come naturally out of this different approach that I’ve taken. It means they can get answers to key business questions through real-world research that goes beyond what is typical of academic research. I can help brainstorm concepts and plan projects, then serve as project manager. With extensive experience in market analysis, I can also conduct in-depth market research on behalf of my clients.
My skillset further includes:
- Thoroughly reviewing and analyzing the literature
- Directing focus groups or interviews
- Coding qualitative data
- Performing basic quantitative data analysis
- Writing up research findings
- Coaching through all stages of the thesis/dissertation process
- Coaching through all stages of academic writing
- Putting findings into polished reports or PowerPoints
- Creating syllabi and other teaching materials
If you love details…
Throughout my working life, I’ve pursued a wide range of subject areas and adopted diverse roles. To learn the specifics, please click on any of the following links:
How I mentor people who want to become Independent Scholars.
One example involves a Ph.D scholar who had never published before and how I helped her publish two papers with more on the horizon. As a mentor, I help clients clearly define their goals, finish their dissertations and develop research strategies that are not taught in grad school, while also guiding them in developing a portfolio. I’ve actually remained friends with many of my mentees and even collaborated with several.
As an Independent Scholar, I serve proudly on the board of The National Coalition of Independent Scholars. I’m also a member of the Northwest Independent Scholars Association, the American Sociological Association, the Pacific Sociological Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Moreover, I am the Research Manager and board member of Research and Conversations about Bipolar Disorder, Inc.
Examples of my published research papers can be found here.
As a teacher and instructor, I’ve taught students online and in-person in groups that numbered from two to 110, including both graduate student and undergrads. I’ve also developed curricula and created what I believe is engaging syllabi, which has always been inspired by my students. My objective is to guide students into viewing the world with a new set of eyes that can literally transform his or her world view.
My academic background.
After attending a small liberal-arts college in Portland, Oregon, for my undergraduate degree, I moved to New Jersey and fulfilled all the requirements for my Ph.D. at Rutgers University. Later, I finished my dissertation at Portland State University in Portland.
An overall perspective.
A sociologist by training, I’m drawn to medical and mental-health technologies, especially with respect to social constructivism as well as to the pathologicalization nature of the biological model of health and medicine. I also focus on social control and the concept of normality as it relates to both physical and mental health. In fact, I’ve published several papers on the expanding use of the medical model of mood disorders.
To this point I’ve published nine articles in peer-reviewed formats. Right now, I have three other articles and one edited volume that have been accepted and are in the publication process.
Currently, I’m delving into the social control of medical technologies. This includes cochlear implants for deaf individuals and, more recently, advances in pharmaceutical technology. Also of great interest to me is the phenomenology of psychosis and how using unique new qualitative methods (such as directed drawing and co-produced interviews) enable us to study psychosis from a new perspective.