Alumni Directory

Brett Agypt
Graduated: 2013
Manager of Workforce Analytics and Organizational Development for Voya Financial

770-850-7533
Brett.Agypt@voya.com

What are your greatest memories of OS?

As crazy as it sounds, my greatest memories of OS are the hours and hours spent discussing and debating the various articles, chapters, and books we read in our different courses.  It may seem ridiculous to someone that you can interrogate and challenge decades of organizational theory and still find practical implications for those experiences, but I have found that those conversations have prepared me more for my work as a practitioner than any technical or subject matter training ever could.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program?

I would say that the three top takeaways for me would be to:
a.    Always seek methodological rigor in your work
b.    Always ground any and all analyses (qualitative, quantitative, and everything in between) in theory
c.    Always look to your colleagues to make them – and yourself – better

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school?

Before you begin, understand that you are about to engage in the most grueling and rewarding experience of your life.  Invest in relationships with those who are sharing your experiences – they will provide stability, support, and sanity when you need it most.  

What job search tips do you have for current students?

Much like voting, apply early and often, and customize your application materials (and your CV or resume) accordingly to ensure you are positioned as well as possible for that role.  Also, consider the specific type of role you are seeking as well as the broader career experience and path that most interests you.  For instance, if you want to teach, do you want to do so in a setting wherein you’re primarily doing research and interacting minimally with students, or do you want to teach a 3-3 course load (3 courses in the Fall, 3 in the Spring) with lower research expectations?  If you’re considering the applied world, do you want to have deep but short-lived experiences with an organization that is typically characterized by a high amount of travel as well as compensation(i.e., an external consulting role), or do you want to have longer, more invested experiences with an organization (i.e., an internal HR or strategy role)?  It’s not as easy as one might think to jump from one role to the next, so consider what you want long-term before jumping into a career track.

What about for preparation for going on the job market?

If you’re going academic, look for research experiences early, even those that don’t especially interest you.  It is more important to get research reps, teaching experiences, and publications under your belt early than to study the single thing that you find most interesting.  Once you get a job, you can set your own research agenda and pursue it with as much vigor as you want.  Interestingly, it’s been my experience that, if you have the intellectual curiosity that drives organizational science graduate students at their core, then you will inevitably find your early research experiences will become compelling and engaging.

If you’re going applied, look for applied experiences early, and seek opportunities to touch human capital processes that may seem new, foreign, or just plain boring to you.  Understanding the subject matter informs your ability to change and improve it in an applied setting.  You will share that subject matter expertise with those who took the more traditional (i.e., non-academic) route to talent-related roles, but you will be able to apply your research skills to truly differentiate yourself and your contributions and improve the organization’s workplace as a result.

 

Joseph A. Allen, PhD
Assistant Professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology

402-554-6017
josephallen@unomaha.edu

 

Joseph is an assistant professor in industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Before he completed his doctorate in organizational science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) in 2010, he received his MA degree in I/O psychology at UNCC in 2008 and his BS degree in psychology from Brigham Young University in 2005.

His research focuses on three major areas of inquiry: workplace meetings, nonprofit organizational effectiveness, and emotional labor in various service-related contexts. He has more than 40 publications in academic outlets, another 10 under review, and many works in progress for a number of journals. He has presented more than 70 papers/posters at regional and national conferences and given more than 20 invited presentations on his research. His previous academic outlets include Human Relations, Human Performance, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Business Psychology, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, and Group and Organization Management. He serves as a reviewer for various journals including Motivation and Emotion, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Psychological Inquiry, and Academy of Management Journal.

He is an editorial board member for the Journal of Business and Psychology and was a member of the editorial board for a special issue on workplace meetings for Small Group Research. He serves as a fellow in the Center for Collaboration Science where he studies collaboration in high-risk occupations. He also directs the Center for Applied Psychological Services and the Volunteer Program Assessment at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (VPA-UNO). These activities have led him to consult for more than 200 nonprofit and for-profit organizations, including animal welfare organizations, human services organizations, retail conglomerates, and external talent management firms. His research has attracted internal and external grant funding including support from Mutual of Omaha and the Nebraska Health and Human Services Foundation.

 

What are your greatest memories of OS?

Working with various faculty members and realizing how much they care about the success of the students.  They don’t get enough credit for working with the students or for the amount of time and energy they put into the students. Because of their support, I could go to any of them with questions and they were all very helpful. 

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program?  

  • Continued collaboration with OS faculty. 
  • The teaching experience I was allowed to have while at UNC Charlotte and having a faculty mentor to guide me thru that process.  Being exposed to that in a more supportive environment helped me be more prepared for my role at Creighton.  It helped prepare me for dealing with students and teaching.
  • Making time to help others around you.  If someone, at some point, hadn’t taken an interest in me, I would not be where I am today. The faculty and students in the OS program tend to keep an eye out for those who they can help and serve.  I’m in essence trying to give back to the institution and process that helped me get here.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school?  

  • Work, work, work!  There is no satisfactory substitute, especially as a grad-student.  Thankfully, my wife and daughters were very supportive.  I could work long hours and they were always there telling me to keep going and get it done.  Also, “Celebrate the victories by climbing the next mountain.” Every time you achieve something don’t just sit there and think about how wonderful you are.  Take a little time to enjoy the moment but keep on task.  It is a marathon.  If you don’t keep on task you will never get it done.    

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  • First, please recognize I can only speak to the academic side of the job search. However, don’t be too picky at first in terms of the jobs you apply for. Although you should be selective to within a particular field (Management, I/O, Org. Comm., or Sociology), you also need to be open to opportunities you might not have considered before.  Due to the publication lag, you MUST begin working with a professor during your first semester on publishable projects. It could take up to 3 or 4 years to be published and being published is very important. For example: I applied for 30+ jobs in the summer of 2009 with no publications and a lot of things under review.  No one (absolutely, no one) wanted to talk to me at conferences or over the phone.  However, in October 2009, I had 5 manuscripts go to “in press”.  I then sent another 13 applications with this new information and received several interviews, invites, visits, etc.  The only difference in my CV was the publications.  Everything else, (e.g. teaching experience, dissertation progress, conference submissions, internships, consulting, etc.) was the same.  

What about for preparation for going on the job market?  

  • Publish or Perish
  • Gain teaching experience
  • Learn about the job search process in your first year
  • Keep track of everything you do
  • Get your vita started (look at examples of peers)
  • Be optimistic…OS students are seeing some real successes in a bad job market  

David Askay
Graduated: 2013
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, California Polytechnic State University

805-756-2559
daskay@calpoly.edu

What are your greatest memories of OS?

I value the relationships I developed with literally all of the OS faculty and other graduate students. I still appreciate the staggering effort that Dr. Rogelberg went through to help students accomplish their goals—he is the inspiring embodiment of servant leadership. I am also thankful to have witnessed Dr. Gossett delivering one of the NCA Legislative Assembly Meeting Minutes to the Organizational Communication Division. Despite returning home to California, I miss the vast opportunities for nature, breweries, and food that Charlotte and North Carolina offers.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • Specialized knowledge in an area that I am passionate about to the point that it keeps me up at night (mostly in a good way).
  • Faculty in four departments that are rooting for my success and will still make time to help me.
  • Five of the most transformative years of my life.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

Get over the impostor syndrome as quickly as you can. Seek out constructive criticism. Make time for exercise and enjoyment of life. Find the topics that you are truly passionate about.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

This is a useful website: http://academicjobs.wikia.com/wiki/Academic_Jobs_Wiki. However, avoid obsessively reading it every day for updates on the jobs you applied for.

What about for preparation for going on the job market? 

Start early—it is a full time job searching for and applying to jobs. Contact references early and inquire how you can make their lives easier when they write a recommendation for you. Be able to articulate how you fit within your discipline.

Ben Baran, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Management, Northern Kentucky University

baranb1@nku.edu

 
Ben Baran, Ph.D., is one of the few people in the world who is equally comfortable in a boardroom, a university classroom and in full body armor carrying a U.S. government-issued M4 assault rifle. An assistant professor of management at Northern Kentucky University, he was the 2012 recipient of the Haile/US Bank College of Business Dean's Citation for Outstanding Teaching. Also a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, his innovative consulting work spans a wide range of sectors and industries. When not working with dynamos of the business and academic worlds, he serves as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, a role in which he has led teams around the globe, from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan. He holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and communication from Villanova University and earned his master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology and Ph.D. in organizational science from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Visit: www.benbaran.com.
 

 

What are your greatest memories of OS?

The people—both faculty members and students—and the vibrant intellectual community that emerges on a continual bases from those relationships. The culture of the program has developed into one that truly rewards, supports, and expects scholarly activity, curiosity, and the practical application of science.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • A holistic appreciation for how organizations work from multiple disciplinary perspectives, which has helped me develop good research questions and provide better solutions in consulting situations.
  • A host of in-progress research projects and ongoing collaborative relationships with faculty members and others, which have helped me launch my career with ongoing productivity.
  • A well-rounded socialization to the academic life, which made for a smooth transition into my current work.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

  • Go hard or go home. To be blunt, if you really want to succeed while getting your Ph.D. and set yourself up for future success, you need to work very hard. To make that enjoyable—which is, thank goodness, entirely possible—focus your efforts on those areas that interest you and/or involve people with whom you work effectively.
  • Focus on what’s important. That means you need to keep your eye on the prize—expend most of your effort on activities that directly support degree completion and making you attractive to future employers.
  • Build relationships with both your fellow classmates and with faculty members. Both the academic and practice sides of OS are surprisingly small worlds, and investing time in those social connections is crucial. This will help you professionally down the road, and it will help you deal with the many stressors of your doctoral journey. It’s tough to succeed if you act like you’re an island—so try not to be a loner. Socialize with each other, go to conferences, and get active in local professional groups.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  • For those seeking academic jobs, know the professional associations for your academic discipline and get active in them (e.g., Academy of Management). Those associations typically guide much of the hiring processes—or at least the first steps—within academic disciplines.
  • Keep in mind that your chances of finding jobs to which you’d like to apply are obviously best if you are open geographically. Also be aware of the wide variance in types of academic institutions in terms of size, research-to-teaching balance, tenure expectations, etc

What about for preparation for going on the job market?

  • If you want an academic job, you must have publications. Getting research published can take a long time, so get started in your first year.
  • Learn the process for your academic discipline. Start by talking with current faculty members. Then, keep learning on your own. Also try to learn about the subtle aspects of job applicants that may make you more attractive to employers. For example, some business schools like for their professors to have at least some non-academic experience.
  • You also need to be able to convince people with whom you’ll be interviewing that you’re actually going to finish your degree. Therefore, it’s best to have at least successfully defended your dissertation proposal prior to interviewing.
  • When you apply and interview, do so with a keen understanding of the university to which you’re applying. Know about their mission, their various institutes and centers, and common interests between you and their current faculty members. Prepare good questions to ask during your interviews.
  • Understand that being on the academic job market can feel like a second fulltime job. It’s draining and time consuming. So plan accordingly and be prepared.

Gregory Berka
Graduated: December 2014
Assistant Professor of Management at Queens University of Charlotte

704-655-4647
berkag@queens.edu

What are your greatest memories of OS?

The closeness that I felt with members of my cohort after surviving the first semester (or the first month, or the first week). How helpful every person was in helping me to find my way. I mean “find my way” both from the perspective of helping me to make sense of the program and helping me to figure out what I wanted to do after the program. Meeting and falling in love with my wife, Heather Gordon. Having a little Organizational Science baby with Heather. Hearing about and congratulating others in the program on all the success they found professionally and personally.  

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • The ability to design and conduct effective research, as I was not a researcher when I started.
  • Confirming that I truly desire to be a teacher, as I suspected before I started. I was able to teach seven classes while a PhD student.
  • Positive, strong, and wonderful relationships with OS faculty, alumni, and current students.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

  • Try everything, but don’t be afraid to stop doing the things that you are sure you don’t enjoy (unless they are program requirements).
  • Talk to everyone. Learn about others. See how you can help them. They are very likely to help you as well.
  • Figure out how to make the work-life balance or fit that suits you. It may be tricky in the first semester. But, after that, figure out what is important to you outside of school and do those things. This will make you enjoy life (and school) so much more.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  • I would say to pursue the thing that you want to do more than anything else. Why not? You can start looking for jobs or positions early, so start looking for your ideal job. Maybe it will work out.  People often say, “Well, I’ll take this (less desirable) job now, but hopefully it’s a stepping stone to the job that I really want.” I say that you just successfully managed five years of intense training. You are going to graduate with a PhD. Now is the time to shoot for the ideal job.After re-reading the above, I should add that I feel incredibly fortunate to have my ideal job. I’d like to also add to be honest with the people in the program, other students, and those close to you outside of the program about what it is that you’d like to do. Even if the thing you want to do changes, that’s okay. You know the thing you want to do more than anyone else, even the people who you feel know you very well.

What about for preparation for going on the job market? 

  • Be positive. Or focus on the positive. Even when things don’t look very bright, try to find something positive in the future. The process is not fun, but knowing that the end result is a position where you are happy may help you to stay positive along the way.

Daniel Bonilla
Graduated: May 2013
Manager of Workforce Analytics, Research, and Studies, Ingersoll Rand

704-655-4647
daniel.bonilla@irco.com

 

Daniel works at Ingersoll Rand as the manager of workforce analytics, research, and studies. In this role he takes organizational data and uses it to derive insight for the business through analysis and reporting. He works on competency assessment, linkage analysis, employee engagement analysis, and predictive analytics among other topics. 

What are your greatest memories of OS?

The fun hallway conversations with intelligent people. Our conversations at work are just not as much fun!

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you have taken away from the program?

  • My statistical training
  • The problem solving I learned in class. We called them research methods, but it’s the same thing.
  • Friends for life.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school?

  • Actually invest in work/life balance. Do it. Don’t just talk about it. Do it. Take a weekend off, put the computer away, do something that has nothing to do with school.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  • Don’t take your internships lightly. Show some hustle. This is your best bet in getting a job.

What about for preparation for going in the job market?

  • If you are going applied do some research on the company and the senior leaders. Be prepared to talk about them intelligently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marisa Carson
Senior Talent Management Advisor, TIAA-CREF

303-626-4284
marisa.carson@tiaa-cref.org

 

As a member of the Performance and Talent Assessment Center of Excellence, Marisa focuses on providing solutions to drive employee performance, strengthen leadership bench strength, reduce succession risk, and enable employee development and career mobility.

What are your greatest memories of OS?

My greatest memories involve working closely with students and faculty across disciplines, engaging in spirited conversations both in and out of the classroom, and frequently being challenged to contemplate diverse perspectives and apply new theories and ideas to “real-world” problems. 

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • A strong network of friends and colleagues.
  • Skill in conducting quantitative and qualitative analyses.  This skill differentiated me as a candidate on the job market and is something that I regularly use in my current role.
  • The ability to apply the knowledge I gained during graduate school to the design and execution of real-world talent management strategies.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

  • The best advice I ever received (which came from Dr. Beth Rubin) was to "bite less and chew more." You will be overwhelmed by the opportunities that come your way (which is part of the fun of graduate school), but it is important to learn to be selective about the opportunities that you choose to pursue. Choosing wisely will allow you to reap the greatest benefit from each experience. I would also recommend taking your statistics classes seriously (and saving your notes!) - whether you go academic or applied, both quantitative and qualitative analyses are likely to be an important part of your life.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  • Build a strong network of friends and colleagues during your time in school and leverage this network as you enter the job market. Make sure that your friends and colleagues are familiar with your career goals/interests and aware that you are beginning your job search, as this will allow them to pass along relevant opportunities (a favor which you should reciprocate).

What about for preparation for going on the job market? 

  • Prior to entering the job market, it is important to think critically about what matters to you in a job. Move from simply asking yourself, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” to considering how your values, interests, and preferences might shape the type of jobs you pursue and the environment in which you choose to work.  For example, do you tend to thrive in team environments or prefer to work alone? Are you willing to travel? Relocate? What type of work do you want to do on a daily basis (e.g., research, data analysis, training/facilitation/teaching, project management)? Answering these and similar questions – and then doing your due diligence in researching organizations or universities in which you are interested – will help to ensure that you land in a job that is a good fit.

 

 

 

 

Sharon Doerer
Manager, Talent Manager, TIAA-CREF

704-988-2546
sharon.doerer@tiaa-cref.org

 

Sharon joined TIAA-CREF in August, 2013. She provides expertise in support of TIAA-CREF’s annual Culture Survey used to measure employee engagement and other strategic employee perception measures. Sharon is also responsible for managing TIAA-CREF’s HR awards and rankings program. She also provides support for various organizational effectiveness initiatives and programs.

At TIAA-CREF, Sharon provides internal consulting services related to monitoring employee engagement and organizational effectiveness. She also facilitates goal setting and action planning based on results of the annual employee engagement survey. She works closely with the lines of business, Internal and External Marketing, Diversity and Inclusion, and other corporate areas to ensure internal consistency between TIAA-CREF’s awards and rankings outcomes and internal employee perceptions of the organizational culture.

What are your greatest memories of OS? 

My fondest memory of OS is the camaraderie that developed between and among the students and faculty. For me, the camaraderie was indicative of a supportive environment; one that was challenging yet encouraging.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you have taken away from the program?

  • The ability to think of and manage projects from end-to-end.
  • The ability to ask the right questions to understand organizational problems and issues.
  • The ability to work with many different people and recognize that there is value in different perspectives.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school?  

  • I would advise new students to focus on what has to be accomplished in the short-term while planning for longer-term projects. I suggest working “backward” from deliverables. This allows for enough time to complete projects by hitting key deadlines on or ahead of schedule. This process worked really well for me. I was never behind in graduate school.

What job search tips do you have for current students?  

  • Be patient and leverage all of your networks, both social and professional. Use job search engines such as Indeed.com and LinkedIn.

What about for preparation for going in the job market?  

  • Do your research on the organizations or schools you are interestedin, just like you would for a research paper. Use due diligence from the very beginning. Understand what issues the organizationis facing or what sets it apart from others so that you are fully prepared asyou go into the interview.

Kate Frear
Graduated: 2014
Assistant Professor of Management

864-503-5204
kfrear@uscupstate.edu

Assistant Professor of Management, Johnson College of Business and Economics, University of South Carolina Upstate


 

What are your greatest memories of OS?

I loved working closely with my cohort during the first two years, being involved in OSSI each May, tackling large-scale research projects with the PALM lab, and building relationships with peers and mentors who are now my colleagues and collaborators.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • I can speak, read, and teach multiple disciplinary languages
  • I understand and appreciate the various stakeholders affected by organizational phenomena
  • I learned that I can both work hard and love what I do

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

  • Figure out when to satisfice
  • Be open minded your first couple of years, and sharpen your focus (on topics and projects) as you near graduation

What job search tips do you have for current students?

Talk to several people who have been through the process! And do not underestimate the power of your academic or professional network—to my surprise, I received several opportunities simply because my mentors called or emailed their colleagues on my behalf.

What about for preparation for going on the job market? 

Know the different career paths that are available before applying or interviewing. For example, some students may not know that there are different types of universities, which offer different career paths, in academia (e.g., teaching-oriented vs. research-oriented). The same is true of applied/industry jobs (e.g., internal consulting vs. external consulting).

Tonya Frevert
Graduated: August 2015
Postdoctoral Fellow at UNC Charlotte

Woodward Hall 230-B
704-687-5606
tfrevert@uncc.edu

Tonya is an NSF-funded Postdoctoral Fellow in the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte. Through an intersectional lens, she studies the effects of categorical differences on worker outcomes, diversity and inclusion in STEM education, active learning pedagogies, and organizational change.

As an interdisciplinary researcher and teacher, she has presented at conferences across management, psychology, sociology, women’s studies, and computer science. She has co-authored three book chapters on work-life balance and has published in Sociology Compass. She has taught courses in the Departments of Sociology and Psychology at UNC Charlotte and in the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte. Prior to academia, she worked for over 15 years in the business sector, with experience in the retail services, transportation, and architecture/engineering industries.

She holds a BS in Applied Behavioral Science from Penn State Harrisburg as well as an MA in Psychology from Northern Arizona University. She earned her MA in Sociology and her PhD in Organizational Science from UNC Charlotte.

What are your greatest memories of OS?

The people and sense of community that grew and developed from the early years of the OS program to the recent celebration of our 10th anniversary in 2016. Getting to know students, faculty, and their family members has kept me engaged in a way that was unexpected when I started this journey.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  1. It’s a cliché, but finding my place and my passion on this big blue marble. It took me awhile to find it.
  2. A lifelong community of colleagues and friends who continue to teach me and push me forward.
  3. The confidence to ask big questions and the skills and determination needed to answer them.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

In the wise yet succinct words of Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic.” Know that you are going to have some bad days and will wonder why “you did this to yourself.” Keep pushing forward and celebrate your milestones, big and small. Maintain good relationships with both faculty and your peers and be nice to the administrative staff—you will not get through your program without their help. Lastly, always know where your towel is.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

Be open to different opportunities. A job or organization that doesn’t look promising or interesting might surprise you. Be aware that the job search is very time consuming; work lots of time into your schedule to job hunt and submit applications. Be prepared for rejection. It just comes with the territory.

What about for preparation for going on the job market? 

Put effort into your job application portfolio. Start keeping your CV/resume up-to-date from the moment you begin graduate school. You will be surprised at what you forget you have accomplished after several years of graduate school endeavors. Nurture your relationships with faculty and supervisors, as you will need them to write strong, positive letters of recommendation on your behalf. And ask your recommenders—well in advance of deadlines—if they are willing to support you with a positive reference.

Jianhua Ge
Graduated: May 2015
Assistant Professor of Management, Renmin University of China

jge1@uncc.edu

What are your greatest memories of OS?

The people and the culture! It is a really supportive community and you may have the greatest opportunity to work with scholars from multiple disciplines. Members of the OS group are lovely and helpful. I do not like American food but I really enjoyed and often miss the parties, meetings, and all the happy time we created together.    

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • Be open-minded
  • Learning by doing
  • Working harder

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

From now on, PhD is not the most important thing, but everything!

What job search tips do you have for current students?

If you are interested in working in China, please contact me.

Heather Gordon
Graduated: June 2010
Lead HR Consultant, Duke Energy

980-373-1972
heather.gordon@duke-energy.com

 

Responsible for determining business strategy and rollout with: succession planning, leadership/team assessments, executive coaching, performance management, and team effectiveness.

What are your greatest memories of OS? 

It would be the group sessions with all the students andfaculty together where we would all share ideas regarding research topics. I heardsuch diverse perspectives on topics I wasn’t very familiar with and began thinkingof things in different ways than what I was used to.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you have taken away from the program?

  • The opportunity to approach an issue or problem with various methods and ways of thinking. The interdisciplinary approach really pushes you to think differently and has continued to help me in my professional career.
  • The incredible network of colleagues/friends- both students and professors.
  • The ability to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze robust data to tell a story and help businesses make decisions.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school?  

  • Ask questions and be open to new experiences, research and opportunities.

What job search tips do you have for current students?  

  • Network! Get out there and meet some of the great people who are doing what you want to do.

What about for preparation for going in the job market?  

  • Make sure you have a strong grasp on statistics and analysis (something that differentiates you throughout your career).

Andrew Loignon

Research Interests:

I’m interested in the areas of talent management, psychological measurement, and how these can be informed by and integrated with research from other disciplines.

 

What career would you like to pursue after graduation?

 

After graduation, I’d like to work in the public sector either with a federal or state government organization.  This could either be an internal position or as a consultant.

What are your Academic Background and Major of Study? (i.e. previous undergrad or masters colleges attended)?

I have a BA in Psychology and MS in I-O Psychology.

What faculty are you working with and what are you working on with them? (i.e. through your GA)

I am working with Dr. Dave Woehr on research concerning human capital, variability in personality, criteria for aggregating variables within multi-level research, and self/peer assessments of team performance.

Do you have any practical/business/professional experience? If so, tell me a little about these experiences.

Prior to joining the OS program at UNCC, I worked as a Research Associate for the American Institutes of Research (AIR) for two years.  While at AIR, I helped develop and validate a selection system for a federal agency and built a performance evaluation system for teachers in Mississippi.

What excites you most about beginning the Organizational Science program?

I’m excited about expanding my current knowledge beyond I-O psychology and exploring its intersections with other disciplines.

What about the program and/or graduate life has been most surprising?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of resources that are afforded to graduate students.  Specifically, the space, technology, and social support provides with a number of tools for being successful.

What are some of your hobbies/interests/ what do you do for fun?

In my free time, I enjoy cycling, spending time with friends,

What is your favorite Movie?

My favorite movie is The Big Lebowski.

What is your favorite Food?

Anything with Old Bay on it.  Literally.  Anything.

Tell me an interesting fact/trivia about yourself.

One interesting piece of trivia is that I have a metal plate in my ankle and some screws from an injury I suffered while playing football in high school.

What would your recommendations be for prospective students?

I would recommend prospective students reach out to faculty and current students to learn about the program.  There’s only so much that website, or other printed/electronic sources, can tell you.

Erika Lopina
Graduated: August 2015
Assistant Professor at Elon University

ecarello@uncc.edu

What are your greatest memories of OS?

The OS mentor/mentee program was—and is—a wonderful part of my OS experience. 

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  1. Intellectual curiosity
  2. Appreciation for interdisciplinary research
  3. Enthusiasm for understanding organizational phenomena

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

Seize the time you have because it is fleeting.

What about on preparation for going on the job market? 

Have a clear sense of who you are, what you want, and what you will be able to contribute to the organization(s) you are pursuing.

Work Address

100 Campus Drive, Elon, NC 27244

Work Phone

336-378-5641

Work Email

elopina@elon.edu

Amin Makkawy

amakkawy@uncc.edu

Research Interests:

I have two areas that I am interested in investigating. I am interested in investigating work place diversity and cultural impacts on organizational dynamics. My second area of interest involves the implementation of technological innovations in organizations, and how organizations can use technology to their advantage through evidence based practices.

 

Do you know what career you would like to pursue after graduation? If so, please tell me about it!

 

This is really more of a work in progress… I am committed to research and the application of research to the work place though. Whatever I do I want to take this full circle approach of conducting and applying research.

What faculty are you working with and what are you working on with them? (I.e. through your GA)

I am working with Dr. Long on a scale development project. We are developing a scale that will be used to measure how employees interact with technology in the work place, and the impacts of this interaction on various workplace dynamics I am also working with Dr. Dominick on a more applied project regarding technology use in the work place.

What excites you most about beginning the Organizational Science program?

Interdisciplinary, interdisciplinary, interdisciplinary! The mix of learning qualitative and quantitative methodology, the development of competencies that will allow me to conduct and apply research to organizations, and involvement in an excellent community of scholars! (These are just a couple of things that excite me about the OS program.)

What about the program and/or graduate life has been most surprising?

The amount of information that I learn about myself through engagement in graduate level course work.

What are some of your hobbies/interests/ what do you do for fun?

Books, socialize, follow stocks, music, news maniac, learning about a diverse array of topics, trying/preparing new foods, learning about cutting edge technology, an interest in understanding different cultures…

What is your favorite Food?

Too many to list!

What would your recommendations be for prospective students?

If you want to join a community of scholars that are passionately dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of organizations through a diverse array of methodologies, OS at UNCC is for you!
 


 

Samantha Paustian-Underdahl
Assistant Professor of Management, Florida International University

770-423-6324
scpaustian@gmail.com

 

Dr. Sam Paustian-Underdahl is a professor, researcher, and consultant whose work is dedicated to enhancing employee and organizational well-being and effectiveness. Her research focuses on the work-family interface, gender and diversity in organizations, and leadership, in the context of work and organizations. Her research is published in premier academic journals including the Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP), the Journal of Organizational Behavior (JOB), the Journal of Management, and the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (JOOP), among others, and has been presented at international and national conferences.

In addition to her academic experiences, Dr. Paustian-Underdahl has gained valuable external and internal human capital consulting experiences working with Strategic Management Decisions and Ingersoll Rand. As an instructor to MBA students, she applies her practical knowledge and experience in attracting, engaging, motivating, and retaining employees, to supplement student learning related to the core concepts of organizational behavior. Additionally, Dr. Paustian-Underdahl served as the assistant editor for the Journal of Business and Psychology (JBP) in 2011, and currently serves on the editorial board for JOOP and JBP, and is an ad-hoc reviewer for JAP, JOB, and Human Resources Management.

Dr. Paustian-Underdahl holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Georgia, as well as a M.A. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and a PhD in Organizational Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

What are your greatest memories of OS?

I really enjoyed seminar classes and Current Topics classes where we were able to brainstorm ideas with each other. It is great having such an eclectic group of scholars to discuss and solve research and applied problems with. Also—all of the great food at our events!

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • Conceptual and research KSAs, interdisciplinary framework, both applied and academic experience

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

  • You should figure out what research topic(s) really drives you. What are the issues that you wonder about regularly? Study those things. This will keep you going. Also, work hard. Grad school is the kind of experience where what you get out of the program depends on what you put into it. Finally, be strategic with who you choose to work with. Try to collaborate with folks who will support your career goals, and help you achieve them.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  • Networking may be the biggest factor here. Go to conferences and talk to people. Start working with people at other schools. Attend doctoral consortia and make connections with folks there. Also, be realistic—only apply to places where you would actually take a job offer.

What about for preparation for going on the job market? 

  • It is helpful to determine the kind of job you want as early as possible, and to really prepare for that kind of job market. Also, by attending consortia early on, you will start to see the CVs you will be competing with. This is very motivating and can help you focus on the right kinds of schools for you. Get feedback on your CV before you send it out to schools. Also, practice your job talk in front of some OS professors and students, get feedback (and use it), and tailor your job talk to the school you are going to.

April J. Spivack
Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

920-424-7195
spivacka@uwosh.edu

What are your greatest memories of OS?

The people are definitely the basis of my greatest memories of OS. There were so many highly intelligent and interesting people, representing diverse backgrounds, interests, and disciplinary perspectives. This led to heated debates and amazing sparks of insight. We also had so many hearty laughs in the midst of a lot of challenging work.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • The inability to ever use the word “phenomenal” without seeing Dr. Rogelberg’s face in my mind saying it in his special way with his widening blue eyes and a smile.
  • Friendships formed in the trenches with people that have my deepest respect. It’s true that in those most trying moments in life, when you are facing great challenges like graduate school, you can form the most meaningful relationships of your life.
  • A greatly enhanced interdisciplinary knowledge base and a renewed passion for my work.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

  • Be open minded early on, taking on diverse projects and topics. Pay attention to which of those projects you find most stimulating and enjoyable. Use those feelings as a compass guiding you to an interest area that you can be passionate about. Then, FOCUS on the area of your passion, and trim out the extraneous activities. By focusing on your passion, not only will you work harder, but you will enjoy the process of graduate school immensely. 

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  • I presented my thoughts on this question and the next one as a “passing the torch” event before I left the program. I believe the program still has my PowerPoint slides to share. I guess my overarching piece of advice, however, would be:
  • Be true to yourself. First, think long and hard about what you really want for your life and what you want to be doing (i.e., researching, teaching, consulting, etc.). Dream big. Next, give yourself permission to seek it and believe that you deserve it. Then, actively pursue your desires. Yes, this involves a lot of networking and building relationships with diverse groups of people. Be creative in your approach and let your passion for your goals shine. You will find opportunities will flock to you like a moth to a flame. Be open-minded when those opportunities present themselves. Sometimes the best ones come from unexpected places that you never heard of before. :)

 

Oscar Jerome Stewart
Graduated: May 2016
Assistant Professor of Management, San Francisco State University

What are your greatest memories of OS?

  • Bonding with my cohort mates over dinner, over test preparation, at conferences, etc.
  • OSSI
  • The OSCARs
  • Defending my dissertation!

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  1. A dissertation and research program that reflects my interests. I do not take that for granted. Many students (in our program and elsewhere) fall in line with their advisors’ interests. I was very fortunate to be able to start a career trajectory in a niche that fits my interests. Our program is very amenable to students charting their own paths.
  2. Interdisciplinary thinking: Knowledge and phenomena do not exist within disciplinary silos. Disciplines, while obviously useful, serve as blinders for how we understand the world. Our program helps to grow us as scientists who study organizations for a more holistic understanding than many of our counterparts.
  3. Lifelong friends and colleagues: From my cohort to my fellow OS grad students to faculty to Kimi, I have made connections I anticipate lasting for quite some time.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

  • First and foremost, embrace adulthood. This is a job, and more importantly, a career step. You are an adult, not an undergraduate. Make your own career decisions; do not allow your advisor or other faculty to do it for you.
  • Treat the OS program like a game of chess, not checkers. Think more broadly than 1, 2, or 3 moves ahead. In other words, sacrifice some things like social activity for the 4, 5, or 6 years you are in the OS program to best set yourself up for success for the next 40 years. Still, social activity is important for your sanity, don’t work 15 hours a day 7 days a week.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  1. See the documents I gave to Alex Dunn for the Job Search Support Group.
  2. Join the Job Search OS support group

What about for preparation for going on the job market? 

  1. See above.

Izabela Szymanska
Graduated: August 2015

Jane Thomas
Graduated: August 2015
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior & Human Resources, Purdue University Calumet

Benjamin Uhrich

buhrich@uncc.edu

Research Interests:

I am interested in topics under the Occupational Health Psychology umbrella, such as workaholism, work-life balance, and occupational safety. However, I am open/looking to learn about other topics and methods of research, which is why the OS program was a good fit for me.

 

What career would you like to pursue after graduation?

 

As of right now, I would like to work as an external consultant for a private firm. However, I really enjoy teaching. My answer to this question will probably change half of a dozen times over the next three years. 

What faculty are you working with and what are you working on with them? (i.e. through your GA)

I am working with Dr. Yang Cao on research that will help us to understand why some universities adopt interdisciplinary doctoral programs and others do not. 

What excites you most about beginning the Organizational Science program?

I will be learning how to look at my research questions of interest through the perspectives of different disciplines. I look forward to the challenge and intellectual growth that learning about three other disciplines will bring.   

What about the program and/or graduate life has been most surprising?

Teaching is fun and lesson planning is difficult!

What are some of your hobbies/interests/ what do you do for fun?

I am very physically active and enjoy playing team sports and disc golf.  I aspire to learn about photography, cooking, and how to play the guitar, but progress on those interests has been a little slower.  

What is your favorite Movie?

Here's a few: Gladiator, True Romance, Crash, Old School, and Top Gun. Did I cover enough genres?  

What is your favorite Food?

Cheesy Mexican food with a massive pile of chips and salsa.  

Tell me an interesting fact/trivia about yourself.

I love to travel. When I was 21 years old, I went to Japan for 11 weeks to lifeguard... yes, I said lifeguard! A couple of years ago I took a two-month, solo backpacking adventure to nine European countries as well. 

What would your recommendations be for prospective students?

Spend time figuring out what your intellectual interests are (know that these will constantly change) and find a professor with similar interests that will let you work on their research projects. Even if you just conduct the experiments, hopefully they will let you see how the entire project is planned and executed. This kind of experience is invaluable at the undergraduate level because it will help you understand the research process, learn more about your area of interest, and look excellent on your graduate school application.  

 

Marla Wadsworth
Senior Engagement Advisor, Press Ganey Associates

704-355-1000
mdboughton@gmail.com

 

As a member of the Advisory Services team, Marla works with leaders of healthcare organizations to strategically engage employees and physicians in order to improve the patient experience. This client engagement work includes data analysis, consulting support on communication plans and survey design, and completion and delivery of executive presentations.

What are your greatest memories of OS?

Even though it was a stressful and sleep-deprived year, my favorite memories come from my first year in the program. We all learned a lot and bonded during late nights in Colvard.

In reflecting back, what are the top three things you are taking away from the program? 

  • The ability to incorporate a macro and a micro perspective.
  • The ability to do both quantitative and qualitative research and analysis.
  • The ability to handle change and ambiguity.

What advice do you have for new students on how to succeed in graduate school? 

  • Take advantage of the great opportunities that come along, and try not to overextend yourself. Have a good support network that can help you through the stressful times.

What job search tips do you have for current students?

  • Join professional groups and academic societies. Their events and conferences provide opportunities to meet people who can help you navigate the job market, and members often post jobs on their listservs.

What about for preparation for going on the job market? 

  • Take advantage of internship opportunities and opportunities to teach. Both will give you valuable experience and skills regardless of whether you go applied or into academics.