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DBA Program

UD’s First Doctor of Business Administration Graduates

Date published: Dec. 5, 2017

UD's First DBA GraduatesThis fall, three Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) students successfully defended their dissertations to become the first DBA graduates from the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas.

As part of the first cohort of DBA students, this ceremony marked a very special occasion for David Rogers, Simone Meskelis and Raymond Pasko who received their doctoral hoods at the December Commencement Ceremony at Irving Bible Church.

The DBA program at the University of Dallas was launched in 2014 as the first and only AACSB-accredited DBA program in Texas to provide a rigorous research-based experience for business professionals.

Rogers, a Senior Director of Business Intelligence at Raising Cane’s, was the first DBA candidate to successfully defend his dissertation on Oct. 20, 2017. His research, which explores managerial knowledge acquisition and assimilation aims to help companies gain insights into how they can improve hiring decisions and role assignments of managers to maximize organizational learning and innovation.

Rogers has management and analytics leadership experience at a variety of firms including EY, NCR, Home Depot, JCPenney, RenaissanceRe and Fannie Mae. He holds an M.S. in Management from the MTechnology Management Sloan School and a B.S. in Computer Science from Florida State.

Upon completion of the three year program, Rogers notes, “It feels so amazing to be a successful member of the inaugural cohort. I’m really proud and appreciative of the program we’re building. The program was rigorous and that makes it all the more satisfying to have completed it.”

Simone Meskelis echoed Rogers, “I feel honored to be part of this group. It's rewarding to see how far we've come together. I feel like the students helped shape the program and make it what it is right now.”

The support of classmates in the program has been a unifying theme among all.

“The diverse background that we had within the cohort certainly enriched the exchange of ideas and experiences. The professors did an amazing job of preparing the classes so that we would have productive discussions,” said Meskelis, whose research focuses on understanding what affects employee engagement by exploring how personality and leadership behavior interact to impact engagement.

Meskelis is a sales systems manager at Essilor as well as an adjunct professor of management in the Gupta College of Business and Fundacao Dom Cabral, in Brazil. Meskelis received her bachelor’s degree in economics from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais before completing her MBA at Fundacao Dom Cabral in Brazil.

The third DBA graduate, Raymond Pasko’s research concerns millennial employees and what companies can provide them in terms of work-related attributes in order to increase their retention.

“I am hopeful that my research will enable companies to increase millennial employees' satisfaction and unlock the secret to keeping them in their companies.”

Pasko received his MBA in management from Auburn University and a bachelors of science in business administration from Loyola College.

“My favorite part of the DBA program was learning how to become a researcher,” said Pasko. “It may sound easy given the vast resources available through university libraries or vehicles such as Google Scholar, but it really isn’t; it is something that you have to learn to do. Thanks to the help of the UD faculty and the other members of my cohort, I have learned how to search out the publications and research that support and inform my own personal research interests.”

Each DBA graduate noted their fellow students and faculty members as being instrumental to their success in the program.

Pasko noted, “There are many faculty members that have been special to my learning journey, but the one that truly stands out for me is my dissertation chair, Dr. Rosemary Maellaro. Rosemary was always, always available for me throughout the process. Because I am on an expat assignment and live in London, we had to do the bulk of our collaboration over the phone. Despite this time difference, Rosemary was always available for me and offered the perfect balance of support, praise and critical feedback that was necessary to keep me motivated and energized through the exhausting journey of completing my dissertation.”

Rogers also noted the dedication of his dissertation committee, “Dr. Sue Conger and Dr. Rich Miller were both amazingly supportive and involved, contributing their time, perspectives, and guidance.”

Likewise, Meskelis said, “As the chair of my committee, Dr. J. Lee Whittington went above and beyond to make sure I was giving my best and he did an awesome job of inspiring me and guiding me to the finish line. Additionally, I was really touched by how committed Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs Dr. Greg Bell was to our group. He would always go an extra mile to make sure we had everything we needed to excel.”

While each graduate plans to use their degree in new ways — including staying in industry, transitioning to teaching and continuing to do research — each is equally as excited to be a part of this year’s graduating class.

“After three and a half years, I’m not sure what to do with my free time,” jokes Rogers.

Are you a proven business professional looking to expand your breadth of knowledge and abilities in leadership, innovation and customer engagement? Explore the top-ranked DBA program at the University of Dallas.