Alana’s CV & Research

About Alana

My early research focused on the development process for wrap around services for secondary students about to dropout of school. What we found is that we needed a modular suite of services because their life situations were all slightly different and so required a broad set of options to reach them. DoctoralNet employs the same lessons here, and once again this strategy is successful.

E. Alana James

Alana is a career educator, and author who was fortunate enough to work in online education as it began. This experience threw her into the traumas and intricacies of graduate student isolation. Now an examiner for universities, her early work saw her mentoring over 50 EdD and DM student through to completion. Her experience that, no matter how the pathways to completion were delivered, students stumbled at the same places threw her into a decade of research on: PhD completion, award winning dissertations and theses and what makes them different, leading to the elements required in graduate student socialization and new conceptual models in technology enhanced learning (TEL).

Now an educational entrepreneur, Alana focuses on how TEL can help universities equalize the graduate student socialization experience, at very little per student cost. Consulting with universities with the goal to reduce their “all but dissertation or thesis,” or “slow to complete” graduate population, she researches, writes and presents findings, each in their own way aimed at re-igniting discussions of socialization within university programs.

An author for Sage Publications with three textbooks, Dr. James currently is working on exposing aggregate engagement data as she raises questions and provokes innovative answers to the questions: “What can technology do to push back on the increasing isolation experienced by our graduate students?” “What does socialization mean in a digitally driven, knowledge based university environment?”

Alana's CV & Research

May 2005 - EdD
Teachers, College, Columbia University, NYC, USA
Dissertation: “The Use of Participatory Action Research to Create New Educational Practices for Homeless and Highly Mobile Students”
Committee Chair: Bob Monson, Chair
May 1998 - MBA
Regis University, Master of Non-Profit Management
Thesis: “Studying Collaborative Process in Non-Profit Management”
May 1976 - BFA
Colorado University, Fine Arts
Graduated Summa Cum Laude
Initiate Phi Beta Kappa
DoctoralNet Honored as a High Potential Startup
€50K award by Irish government
Faculty Excellence Award
Jones International University – Department of Online Education
Grant by a Group of Philanthropic and Government Agencies
$35K total donated to support research and projects focused on improving education for students who were homeless or highly mobile
Mixed Methods Evaluation of Graduate Digital Professional Development
Principal Investigator - DoctoralNet Ltd, Cork, Ireland
Evaluation of Web-based Professional Development
Principal Investigator - National Center for School Engagement
Colorado Participatory Action Research
Principal Investigator
2013 to Present
DoctoralNet and MastersNet Ltd
Global Digital Professional Development
Founder, CEO
  • Our team, including my own work, deliver 90+ webinars a year to 45K+ Masters and Doctoral students across 14 universities in three countries
  • Write and develop online materials
  • Build self-assessments and other Graduate self directed learning tools
  • Coordinate messages to encourage adoptions of tools
Jones International University, Walden University, Colorado Technical University
Masters and Doctoral Students Advised
32 Doctoral Candidates graduated with my mentorship from 2006-2012 Most in educational leadership, as well as six as a Doctor of Business

James, E. A. (in press). The hidden curriculum and graduate school.

James, E. A., & Slater, T. (2014). Write Your Doctoral Dissertation or Thesis Faster: A Proven Map to Success. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage Publications.

James, E.A., Slater, T., Bucknam, A., (2012). Action research for business, non- profits and public administration: A tool for complex times. Thousand Oaks, CA. USA: Sage Publishing.

James, E. A. (2009). Participatory action research as professional development: Creating new education practices for homeless or highly mobile students in the United States. Berlin: VDM Verlag

James, E. A. (2008). Participatory action research: Data driven decision making for school leaders. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Selected Book Chapters, Journal and Conference Publications


James, E. A. (2019). Doctoral Platforms and Apps for Professional Development and Student Support, Chapter 1. In Kwong (Ed.), ICT in Doctoral Educaton. USA: IGI Global.

Stokes, J., Keegan, R., Brown, M., & James, E. A. (2019). Digitalisation of Higher Degree Research and Its Benefit to Postgraduate Researchers. In Kwong (Ed.), ICT in Doctoral Educaton. USA: IGI Global.

James, E. A. (2019). Deans and technology: Working together to improve Postgraduate education, retention and completion. Paper presented at the World Conference on Online Learning, Dublin, Ireland.

James, E. A. (2019). Changing the Postgraduate landscape: Students use of digital professional development tools. Paper presented at the World Conference on Online Learning, Dublin, Ireland.

James, E. A. (2019). Students vote with their attendance: Data and discussion from research on DoctoralNet ltd tools. Paper presented at the Researcher education and development conference, Kings College, London, England.

James, E. A., & Leasure, D. (2017). The Vision of Integrated Technology Across the Lifecycle of Postgraduate Education: Improving both Student Experience and Administrative Ease (whitepaper). from DoctoralNet Ltd

James, E. A., & Leasure, D. (2017). The Vision of Integrated Technology Across the Lifecycle of Postgraduate Education: Improving both Student Experience and Administrative Ease (whitepaper). from DoctoralNet Ltd

James, E. A. (2017, Tuesday October 17th). Nothing new here, just a whole lot of goodness: using technology from healthcare for postgraduates. Paper presented at the World Conference on Online Learning: ICDE 2017, Toronto, CA.

James, E. A. (Spring 2017). Retrieving graduate revenue from the edge: solving inequitable socialization for Masters & PhD students with graduate technology support platforms. Organizational Development, 35(1), 67-83.

James, E. A. (2015). Three top technological strategies for postgraduate doctoral success. eLearning industry (Thursday 11, June, 2015).

James, E. A. (2008). Studying and improving connection and inclusion in online professorship: Dealing with the dark side. Teacher Education Practices-Queen's Conference Proceedings 2008.

James, E. A., & McKay Epp, B. (2007). The third year outcomes of participatory action research facilitated online. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association, Annual Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, 5-8, September 2007.

James, E. A. (2006a, September 2006). Implementing a national program for educators to use PAR to study disadvantage: What works? Paper presented at the ECER 2006, Geneva.

James, E. A. (2006b). A study of PAR for educators developing new practise in areas of educational disadvantage. Educational Action Research, 14(4).

James, E. A. (2005a). Drop outs or early school leavers: A comparative study between Ireland and the US. Essays in Education, 13(2005), 1-13.

James, E. A. (2005b). Prospects for the future: Use of participatory action research to study issues of educational disadvantage.  Journal of Irish Educational Research, 24(2-3), 199-206.

Special Presentation: “Using Graduate Digital Professional Development for Masters and Doctoral Students: Research Results” Council Of Graduate Schools Annual Meeting in Washington, DC USA 2018.Special Presentation: “Using Graduate Digital Professional Development for Masters and Doctoral Students: Research Results” Council Of Graduate Schools Annual Meeting in Washington, DC USA 2018.

Presentation of Research, “Students Vote With Their Attendance: Making Digital Postgraduate Professional Development Meaningful to Students & the University,”Identity, Agency, and Choice – personal approaches to researcher development18th October 2019 | King’s College London | London, United Kingdom

Council of Graduate Schools, Supporting Member
International Society for Organizational Development and Change

DoctoralNet Ltd

Owner and manager – Mission to improve graduate education around the world through partnerships in research, technology development, supervision and the development of new models/pedagogical ideas.
Providing online, training at a distance across a variety of topics.

Online Consulting Professor and Doctoral Mentor: 2005 – 2013

  1. Walden University: Minneapolis, MN –
  2. Colorado Technical University: Colorado Springs, CO –they have adopted my second book for their university focus on action research
  3. Jones International University – Chair of Doctoral program from 2007-2009

Course Author Online Education: 2007-2009

Jones International University
Colorado Technical University

Designed and Wrote Programs for University

Jones International University
Colorado Technical University

Director of Education Services: 2002 -2006

Center for Research Strategies: Denver, Colorado

Site Coordinator and Technical Assistance Manager: 2000- 2003

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University: Sites in Colorado and Texas

Program and Research Consultant: 2000 – Present

A variety of school, not for profit organizations, departments of education and national service organizations in the United States and Europe

Coordinator of State Incentive Grant Partnership: 1999 -2000

Colorado Foundation for Families and Children: Denver, Colorado

Project Coordinator: 1995 – 1999

Catholic Charities: Denver, Colorado

Business Entrepreneur: 1982-1995

PaZaZZ Studios: Denver, Colorado and New York, New York

Public School Teacher: 1976-1982

Lyons Jr-Sr High School, St. Vrain Valley Schools: Longmont, Colorado

General Member Board of Directors
International Society Organizational Development and Change
Peer-Reviewed Articles for:
Educational Action Research Journal
Organizational Development Journal
Kinsale, Co Cork,
Teach elderly citizens aqua aerobics and wellness techniques
Actons Leisure Centre

Dual Citizenship: United Stated and Ireland / European Union

Alana's Art

I believe that to live a creative life is to have life sprit at my back – it is glorious and something I have always wanted… read more

Alana's Art

Work Pre 2020

From 1976 to 1990 I saw my future as a famous artist!  The Zappa quilt opening in 193 ended that and I put off my art career until later in life

Alana's Art

The Family Series

Sometimes my family feels dark and dangerous and I see people acting out of less than their highest or truest selves.  At other times it helps me understand the meaning and value of love across differences.

Alana's Art

The Personal Transformation Suite

A circle can contain all there is of our inner and outer life – This series branches towards the mandala series which I see as the mainstay of my work.

Alana's Art

Color & Emotions: A Research Project

I LOVE PROCREATE!  It is the tool I always wanted for art, a mix of digital and everything else I know how to do.  This series is for YOU to vote on – what brings up emotions or ideas for YOU?

Alana's Art

Beach Art

Drawn mostly on the Dock Beach at Castlepark, Kinsale, Co Cork this series progresses at the speed of one a month – LOL, in good weather.  The drone work gets better as well.

Alana's Art


Where the circle contains the TRUTH of our inner and outer work.  With a nod to Tibetan mandalas, this series contains my heart and my understanding of life.  Drawings, paintings and Procreate digital works.