20th Annual Doctoral Symposium - Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Skip to Main Content

Welcome to the 20th Annual Doctoral Symposium

For two decades, the research symposium has been the signature scholarly event of the doctoral programs in business and education at the university. This is a chance to explore, question, and grow in appreciation for the work being done by students and guided by faculty

Digital Brochure (PDF)


Saturday, March 9

8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Saint Mary’s University Center and Zoom

Event Highlights

  • Continental Breakfast
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Breakout Sessions and Workshops
  • Poster Session
  • Panel Discussion
  • Awards

Schedule of Events

  • Check-in and Registration • 8:30 – 9 a.m. | Lobby 

    Continental Breakfast • 8:30 – 9 a.m. | Ballroom East 

    Program Directors Welcome • 9 – 9:30 a.m. | Ballroom East

    Join with Zoom: https://smumn.zoom.us/j/85688279920?pwd=M0M0YzJ0bjRsdFRkSVhRbU44b3JhUT09

    Meeting ID: 856 8827 9920
    Passcode: 709299


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    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
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    Webinar ID: 856 8827 9920
    International numbers available: https://smumn.zoom.us/u/kkno2LS0d

  • Dr. Paul Kotz

    Banquet East

    Title: Ed.D. Comp Exam Workshop 

    The session will explain the exam structure, purpose, preparation methods, and grading of the written and oral portions of the Ed. D. exam.

    Join by Zoom:

    Meeting ID: 840 3564 6146
    Password: 282555

    Dr. Raj Beekie – DBA Comp Exam Workshop

    (Banquet West)

    Title: Preparing for the DBA Qualifying Exams

    This interactive workshop is a learning forum for issues and ideas related to preparing for and taking the DBA comprehensive exams. The session will explain the exam structure, purpose, preparation methods, and grading of the written and oral portions of the DBA qualifying exams. Discussion and questions will be encouraged.

    Nathan Titman

    Conference Room 201

    Title: Dissertation Writing Resources from the Writing Center

    Join us for a discussion on writing issues that you are experiencing or anticipate with your dissertation, and, in this panel, Dr. Lucia Pawlowski of the Writing Center will offer resources based on what you express that you need.

    Join by Zoom:

    Meeting ID: 372 116 0241
    Passcode: aL02EX

    Mackenzie Stokes Xalix

    Conference Room 203

    Title: Working with IRB

    Learn about the process of submitting your research to the Institutional Review Board and ask questions to IRB staff.

    Join by Zoom: https://smumn.zoom.us/j/88178635312?pwd=TFV0SitaZ3VmRnF5WkV3MjZETlNmZz09

    Meeting ID: 881 7863 5312
    Password: 509311

  • Ballroom West

    Rustam Musevi, Ed.D Program

    Title: The Lived Experience of First-Generation Azerbaijani Immigrants in the Upper Midwest of the US During the 44-Day War Between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2020, a pivotal period marked by conflict and displacement.

    Abstract: This poster presentation offers a concise overview of a doctoral dissertation on “The Lived Experience of First-Generation Azerbaijani Immigrants in the Upper Midwest of the US During the 44-Day War Between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2020”, a pivotal period marked by conflict and displacement. Grounded in qualitative research and guided by phenomenological principles, the study aims to illuminate the intricate interplay of cultural identity, resilience, and adversity within the context of this diasporic community. The poster presentation will highlight key aspects of the research design, qualitative methodology,  ethical considerations, and steps taken to ensure validity and credibility in the study’s findings. By shedding light on the lived experiences of this unique community, this research contributes to a deeper understanding of the human dimensions of conflict, displacement, and cultural identity. It underscores the importance of qualitative inquiry in unraveling the intricate tapestry of individuals’ stories during adversity.

    Kennedy Lukoye, DBA Program

    Title: Cross sectional study on the experiences of return entrepreneurs from United States to Anglophone African countries 

    Abstract: The study is about learning the experiences including challenges and motivations by returning entrepreneurs from the United States to Anglophone African countries. My research question will be what are the experiences of returning entrepreneurs from the United States to Anglophone African countries. 

    Jose Canchaya, DBA Program

    Title: The Role of Carbon Markets in the Paris Agreement Emissions Reductions. Early Results and Perspectives

    Abstract: Climate change is a global challenge, with economic losses estimated at 10% of the global GDP by 2050 (Carbon Credit Capital, 2023). Douris and Kim (2021) showed that 45% of the deaths between 1970 and 2019 were accountable to natural hazards. One of the main actions taken to tackle global warming is the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 by 195 countries. Signatories of the Treaty, representing 98% of the global emissions (World Bank, 2023), commit to reduce or compensate their emissions by 55% by 2030 and be net-zero by 2050. The carbon market is a mechanism that countries are using to achieve their goals. Research data from Fujimori et al., Hof et al., and Rose et al. show that international reduction emissions trade can reduce the aggregated mitigation costs by 44-77% (as cited in Li & Duan, 2020). For Piris-Cabezas et al. (2023), the market has the potential to double Paris’ pledges. However, there is criticism against the carbon markets, stating that they have a limited impact on reductions and that they do not promote decarbonization and cleaner production (Green, 2021, Haya et al., 2023, Tvinnereim, E., & Mehling, M., 2018). The dissertation question is to assess the role that the carbon market has played in global emissions reduction under the Paris Agreement, testing if it has impacted reductions since 2015. The impact will be differentiated between developed and developing countries, and between high and low-polluting countries. This can add inputs for policies being discussed at a global level currently.

    Sekai Midzi, DBA Program

    Title: Breaking Gender Barriers: Examining the Impact of the Lily Ledbetter Act on Addressing Gender Wage Disparities and Overcoming Barriers for Women in the Construction Industry

    Abstract: This academic study focuses on the underrepresentation of women in the construction industry, examining various factors contributing to this problem, including workplace culture, entrenched gender stereotypes, and gender wage disparities. It is centered on the impact of the Lily Ledbetter Act, enacted in 2009 as a legislative effort to address pay discrimination and gender barriers in the construction sector. This investigation aligns with the United Nations’ 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, which include gender equality as a critical component towards ensuring equal opportunities for all individuals. The research questions explore the Lily Ledbetter Act’s influence on narrowing gender wage gaps, identify the barriers encountered by women, and assess its contribution to dismantling systemic obstacles. Female underrepresentation and lack of diversity remain problematic in the construction industry. Hence, an academic investigation delves into the multifaceted issue, examining the Lily Ledbetter governmental policy intervention. Overall, this academic investigation is expected to contribute significantly to the ongoing efforts to promote gender equality and diversity in the construction industry. The findings of this study could inform policymakers, industry stakeholders, and other relevant parties about the best practices that could be employed to create an inclusive and equitable workplace for all individuals.

    Robert Campbell, Ed.D Program

    Title: Developing a forced-choice scale measure of power and control factors relating to belief and relational dynamics to determine organizational belief and relational structure typologies.

    Abstract: I will be presenting the framework for my dissertation proposal. The project is the development of an instrument used to measure power and control factors based on the belief and relational dynamics that support and give structure to belief and relational structure typologies.The presentation will describe the typologies with their corresponding dynamics. Power and control factors will be defined and examples given. There will also be a description of the instrument and a brief explanation of the process to establish validity and reliability. Finally, for anyone who is interested, I will have available a copy of the instrument, the construct, and the scoring keys.

    Lacy Cannon, Ed.D Program

    Title: What are the lived experiences of Black Boys within the Education system in the Twin Cities School District?

    Abstract: Over fifty years after Brown vs. Board of Education, there is still an issue of the system of Education and Black Boys. Black boys are continually removed from classroom instruction, put in special education, or placed in a school building structure that resembles a prison. The purpose of this phenomenological study is to understand the experiences of Black Boys within the Educational system in the Twin Cities Minnesota. This paper will review literature, examine research, compare, and analyze data about the perception of Black Boys in the system of education. As we examine history we see the patterns of conflict and complexity between Black boys and the educational system. This conflict may also include the perception on how some staff see Black boys as “bad” in turn the tragedy is Black boys see themselves as bad. The literature review used will shed a light on the historical disenfranchisement of the Black Male within the system of education. This literature review will critique to remove any bias toward one outcome or another by using peer review and feedback from other researchers. This work will provide a local perspective on the perception of Black boys in public schools in the Twin Cities areas. The conclusion of the research will not be guided, but instead it will be based on the research. The teachers and staff view of Black boys will be the piece which will guide the conclusion.

    Doneva Carter, Ed.D. Program

    Title: The Impact of Neoliberalism and Capitalism on Black Homeownership

    Abstract: In my presentation, I will be discussing the impact of neoliberalism and capitalism on the black community with regard to homeownership. I will start by explaining the concepts of neoliberalism and capitalism and how they have shaped economic systems and policies in the United States.Next, I will delve into the historical context of homeownership in the black community, highlighting the discriminatory practices and policies that have hindered black individuals from accessing and maintaining homeownership. I will also explore the reasons behind the racial wealth gap and how it has been perpetuated by systemic barriers.Furthermore, I will examine the role of neoliberalism and capitalism in exacerbating the disparities in homeownership rates between black and white individuals. I will analyze how market-driven policies and practices have contributed to the commodification of housing, leading to gentrification, displacement, and a lack of affordable housing options for the black community.Moreover, I will discuss the potential solutions and strategies that can be implemented to address these issues. This may include advocating for policy changes, promoting community-led development initiatives, and fostering financial literacy and empowerment within the black community.Throughout the presentation, I will provide relevant data, case studies, and examples to support my arguments and illustrate the impact of neoliberalism and capitalism on the black community’s homeownership. I will also highlight the importance of understanding these dynamics in order to work towards a more equitable and just society.Overall, my presentation aims to shed light on the complex relationship between neoliberalism, capitalism, and homeownership in the black community, and to provoke critical thinking and discussions on how we can create a more inclusive and fair housing system for all. 

    Firazer Andarge, DBA Program

    Title: Sustainability of Micro-Finance in Minnesota 

    Abstract: This dissertation investigates the sustainability of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Minnesota. Over a 12-year period from 2010 to 2022. Employing a mixed-methods approach, the research combines quantitative analysis of financial data with qualitative insights gained through interviews with key personnel in MFIs. The study aims to identify key financial and non-financial performance indicators influencing long-term sustainability, providing valuable insights for businesses operating in the microfinance sector. The research employs convenience sampling to select 10 to 12 accessible MFIs in Minnesota, utilizing data sources from MFIs, microfinance networks, government authorities, NGOs, and international organizations. Instruments include structured questionnaires, financial statements, interviews, and statistical software for comprehensive analysis. The dissertation acknowledges assumptions, limitations, and delimitations, maintaining transparency in its methodology and ethical considerations. Ethical considerations are addressed through informed consent, confidentiality protection, transparency, and neutrality. Businesses in the microfinance sector will find this research relevant for optimizing operational efficiency, enhancing financial performance, managing risks, ensuring regulatory compliance, cultivating ethical practices, and contributing to financial inclusion and poverty reduction. The study positions itself to offer a comprehensive roadmap for microfinancebusinesses to achieve long-term sustainability and societal impact.

    Jack Wier, Ed.D Program

    Title: We Are In This Together: Examining Collective Efficacy Through Professionally Supportive Relationships

    Abstract: The research question is, “Do faculty in a K-12 school district who report a supportive professional relationship indicate a higher degree of collective efficacy than those without professionally supportive relationships?” The independent variable is the number of years the subject has been a classroom teacher. The dependent variable is the teacher’s sense of collective efficacy about his or her school. The value of this study is twofold; first, there is very little existing research on collective efficacy in K-12 schools; second, there is limited research on the impact of professionally supportive relationships on collective efficacy. The research site is a school district in Southern Minnesota. Participants were current and former employees with a sample size of seven per category. These employees were classroom teaching faculty with classroom teaching experience. Data were collected using the Social Exchange Relationship Scale and a modified version of the Collective Efficacy Belief Scale. Data analysis uses the Mann-Whitney U. Only item 15 achieved significance: “Team members who should be attending the meeting do attend most of the time.” This suggests that more exploration of current organization culture is worthwhile. The other 14 items were insignificant. Three of the insignificant items contribute useful practical information for future research. Practical contributions include knowledge of effective item wording, organizational culture at the research site and how participants convey information to each other.

  • Kelly Swenson, Ed.D. Program(Banquet East)

    Title: A phenomenological exploration of millennial special education teachers’ lived experiences in the midwestern region. 

    Abstract: It is no secret that K-12 institutions continue to grapple with the current and future challenges of teacher shortages, especially in special education. This issue has been further exacerbated with the lack of high-quality teacher retention, the ongoing global pandemic, and the influx of baby boomer retirees. As a result, the up and coming, mid-career professionals to fill these roles are today’s millennial teachers. While there has been an abundance of research examining why teachers leave the educational field, limited research is available on the lived experience, emotional labor, and coping skills required of special educators. This qualitative study investigates the lived experience of millennial special education teachers across the Midwestern region. This phenomenological, transcendental research analyzes and codes participants’ responses to open-ended interview questions and seven vlog reflections.Keywords: Coping skills, emotional expression, emotional labor, lived experience, Midwest, Millennials, phenomenological research, qualitative research, special education teachers

    Join Zoom Meeting Url:

    Meeting ID: 863 7294 7715
    Password: 119861

    Polly Tracey, Ed.D. Program (Banquet West) (Online) 

    Title: A Case Study for Effective Adolescent Literacy Instruction in Ontario, Canada

    Abstract: Studies on effective literacy instruction at the secondary level have identified best practices in literacy instruction (NRP, 2000; Snow, 2002). Yet, despite multiple efforts to address the literacy instructional needs of adolescents in the United States, growth in reading has remained stagnant, and achievement gaps continue to grow (NAEP, 2022; OECD, 2018). In 2003, the Province of Ontario began an educational initiative designed to increase literacy achievement, and since that time, adolescent achievement in literacy has continued to improve (Education Quality and Accountability Office, 2018-2019). This case study sought to uncover how 9th grade content area teachers in one secondary school in the Province of Ontario have successfully raised the literacy achievement of their students. Four categories emerged that illuminated a school-wide systemic change that supported the participants’ creation of pedagogy designed to increase the literacy achievement of their students. The categories included a school-wide literacy initiative, teacher engagement, pedagogy, and desired outcomes. The Organization Open-Systems Theory and Irvin et als (2010) Taking Action Literacy Leadership Model served as theoretical frameworks for identifying the interplay between systemic organizational change and secondary teachers’ pedagogy that effectively engages students with literacy.

    Join Zoom Meeting Url:

    Meeting ID: 824 9088 4243
    Password: 603822

    Ulrike ( Rike ) Harrison, Ed.D. Program (Conference Room 201)

    Title: What I learned about the process: An overview of my dissertation proposal, the IRB process, and my research so far.

    Abstract: My dissertation researches “How graduate business students integrate their understanding of ethics concepts into their decision-making process”.This is a presentation of my approach to preparing and defending the Dissertation Proposal, meeting the IRB requirements, and conducting research.

     Join Zoom Meeting Url: 
    https://smumn.zoom.us/j/8301311553?omn=89170618461 (share this link with participants)

    Meeting ID: 830 131 1553

    Kodjo Gagnon, DBA Program (Conference Room 202)

    Title:  Analysis of Development in Africa.

    Abstract: This research is a case analysis. It consists of identifying themes in Dr. Walter Rodney’s book “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.” Through the analysis of these themes, I will demonstrate how they have impacted the development of the continent of Africa.

    The eight (08) selected issues from the book are as follows:

    1. The Atlantic Trade
    2. Slavery
    3. Colonialism
    4. Exploitation
    5. Capitalism
    6. Corruption
    7. Underdevelopment
    8. Development

    This work will look for different contemporary authors who elaborated on the identical issues about the development of the continent of Africa. This study will find out what has been fulfilled and what remains to be done. This case analysis examines these themes for consistency forty years after the publication of the book in 1982. The issue is why should the continent of Africa be considered underdeveloped although it abounds immense riches and great minds?

    Research question: Analysis of developement in Africa (1982-2022): Four decades post Walter Rodney’s book “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” In 1982, are there any consistencies in the themes: The Atlantic Trade, Slavery, Colonialism, Exploitation, Capitalism, and Corruption?

    Join Zoom Meeting Url: 

    Meeting ID: 828 6216 5680
    Password: 486746

    Anthony Swaray, Ed.D Program (Conference Room 203)

    Title: African American adults with type 2 diabetes and self-management education: A phenomenological study in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

    Abstract:Research Question: What are the lived experiences of African American adults with type 2 diabetes and self-management education in the Twin Cities of Minnesota?

    Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that is associated with life-threatening complications due to poor management (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). Many scholars have studied type 2 diabetes, its effects on the human body, and diabetes self-management but no study has provided adequate information about the non-adherence behavior of African American adults with Type 2 diabetes. Based on the gap of non-adherence behavior, there was a need to conduct this research study to get answers to the non-adherence behavior of African American adults with type 2 diabetes.

    Join Zoom Meeting Url: 

    Meeting ID: 864 7197 4736
    Password: 829219


  • Noon- 12:20pm

  • Valuing Education – What Difference Does it Make? What Difference Can You Make?

    A panel of current students and alums talk about the value of their degree and how they are putting their knowledge to work leading ethical lives of service and leadership.


    Cindy Osborn

    • Cindy Osborn is currently a program manager at the State of Minnesota, managing two different environmental grant programs for the past 10 years. Before that, she worked in sales and owned and operated a small coffee shop. She was a nontraditional student, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Metropolitan State University at almost 40, Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership in the mid-forties, then stopped counting age and completed an Educational Doctorate in Leadership, both from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Most of the past five years of leisure time went into the development and defense of the grounded theory dissertation, How County Commissioners in the Rainy River and Lake Superior Basins, Minnesota, Prioritize Nonpoint Source Pollution Watershed Work. When not shuffling paperwork for the state, she enjoys taking part in several book clubs, curling, and traveling whenever possible.

    Annette Greely 

    • Annette Greely, MS, LNHA, HSE is currently the President/CEO of Jones-Harrison Residence in Minneapolis. Jones-Harrison Residence includes skilled care,short term stay, and assisted living.  Her previous experience includes operating assisted living, memory care, long term care administrations for skilled campuses. Greely holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, a Master’s degree in Gerontology from St. Cloud State University, and is a doctoral student working toward her ED.D in leadership from St. Mary’s University. Greely has been very active in LeadingAge Minnesota, recently serving as the 2019 Chair of the Education Committee.  She also was a 2019 team leader for LeadingAge’s Leadership. Fellowship program.  LeadingAge awarded Greely the “50 for the next 50” Leadership Award for Minnesota, and she was a 2017 LeadingAge National leadership fellowship graduate.

    Vera Ndumbe  

    • Dr. Vera Ndumbe is an esteemed organizational development consultant with a profound commitment to nurturing talent and fostering leadership and teamwork skills. Her journey in this field originated from her experience as a direct care worker to a senior leadership position within a nursing home, where she discovered her passion for enhancing the capabilities of individuals and teams. Dr. Ndumbe is deeply dedicated to forging cross-disciplinary partnerships and emphasizes the importance of quality and responsibility in both personal and professional development.
    •  As a mother of three college students, Dr. Ndumbe draws from her own life experiences to break down barriers and support other students through tailored one-to-one teaching experiences. She recognizes the significance of personalized education and its transformative impact on individuals.
    •  Dr. Ndumbe’s work extends across the State of Minnesota, where she champions equitable perspectives in advocacy, regulatory compliance, and strategies for addressing challenges related to the intergenerational workforce. Her compelling speaking engagements are marked by thought-provoking examples and effective methods that encourage reflective thinking among her audience, leaving a lasting impression on every room she enters.

    Sabrina Parsons-Hang 

    • Dr. Sabrina Parsons-Hang, DBA, MPNA, came from a military family where discipline, determination and drive was instilled in her at a very young age.  She is a Navy Veteran and after her military service, has been working at Hennepin County the last 6.5 years in Child Protection, Children’s Mental Health and Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS).  She has a passion for mental health, burnout and developing an assessment around what can be done to predict the onset of symptoms of burnout and empathy fatigue in various professions.  Dr. Parsons-Hang has continuously pushed herself, coached others and created a clear path of success for herself.  She is driven, motivated and looking to make a difference in the world through transferable skills she has inquired over the years.

    Anne Swearingen  

    • Anne Swearingen is the President and founder of 6 Tangerines Consulting, LLC.  She has over 20 years of industry experience from Boston Scientific, 3M and Convatec.  She has been leading change and improving processes across businesses for the duration of her career.
    • She has established new functions and teams, implemented new digital tools, and transformed how the Medical and Clinical Affairs organization works.  She has an affinity for partnering with Key Business partners (Sales/Marketing), Compliance, Regulatory and Quality departments to ensure cohesive and efficient functioning with all stakeholders. 
    • Since 2017, Anne has been an adjunct professor at St. Cloud State University (MN) in the Masters of Applied Clinical Research Program, educating the next generation of researchers on the dynamic and exciting world of research. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in their Doctor of Business Administration Program.
    • Anne has been recognized as a collaborative thought leader with a pragmatic approach, leading teams and working groups to new levels of excellence and efficiency. She is a Shared Leadership Coach and is credentialed as a Sustainability Mindset Indicator Coach.
    • Anne has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from University of Windsor, a Master’s in Nursing from University of Tennessee, a Master’s in Business Administration from Union University, and her Doctorate in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

    Keith Anderson   

    • Having worked in the IT industry for over 30 years, Keith started his career as a project manager, eventually moving into program management and managed services director roles. More recently, Keith has focused on business development efforts, including developing, negotiating, and implementing IT outsourcing contracts with organizations such as Taco Bell, Maersk, Grainger, and Abbott. Keith earned a DBA from Saint Mary’s University, an MBA from St. Thomas University, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. He is continuing his education this fall, entering the Industrial Organizational Psychology program at Auburn University. Keith also holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification through the Project Management Institute. Since receiving his DBA, Keith has transitioned into a new role with his existing employer, using his process and organizational behavior knowledge to develop and integrate new technologies, such as AI, into the company’s existing services portfolio. Outside of his day job, Keith volunteers with the Project Management Institute, serving on the Scholarship Committee for PMI-MN. Keith has also recently started pursuing a position as an adjunct professor in business management and organizational behavior.

    Ningue Arpellet  

    • Dr. Divine N. Arpellet has a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) specializing in Business Economics and Finance at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMUMN). Her doctoral research covered the impact of US Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) on the economic development of African countries, the case of ECOWAS. She had also obtained a Master degree in management of international business at SMUMN and a Bachelor of Science in economics at Georgia State University.
    • Professionally, Dr. Arpellet is a consulting manager in the digital transformation of order-to-cash for multinational corporations (MNCs) at the CFO practice of a $55 billion-revenue firm. Dr. Arpellet is overall an experienced professional in finance operations that has worked in various industries supporting the expansion of US MNCs on the global market by way of overseeing their financial controls, managing their revenue during merger & acquisitions in Europe, and cross-culturally aligning their SOPs. Dr. Arpellet has a certification in project management, and she is currently pursuing a certification in management accounting (CMA).
    • In the community, Dr. Arpellet showcases economic activism by volunteering on the boards of nonprofit organizations contributing to the amelioration of Minnesotans’ standard of living, particularly minorities. As such, she is the current vice chair of a community clinic, Axis Clinic; the former vice chair of Minnesota African United (MAU) where she created a committee geared to create win-win trade and investment opportunities between Minnesota and Africa; the former Finance chair at 50/50 Leadership which is a nonprofit supporting the economic equity for women, and she was also the Governance chair at Merrick Community Service which is a nonprofit supporting the needs of the elderly and at-risk populations in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
    • Dr. Arpellet aspires to contribute to the growth of African economies as well as the Minnesotan economy by educating, engaging, and advocating for the intensification of a lucrative win-win partnership amongst the two parties.

  • Cindy Osborn, Ed.D Program (Conference Room 201)

    Title: Presenting Complex Data to Elected Officials

    Abstract: How do county commissioners in the Rainy River and Lake Superior Basins prioritize nonpoint source watershed pollution work? A grounded theory. Six county commissioners in NE Minnesota participated in hour-long interviews to find out what information they needed to make decisions about implementation of watershed work. Nonpoint sources of water pollution are usually unregulated and efforts to mitigate or prevent pollution from entering lakes, streams, and rivers are voluntary. There are many studies about planning and engaging the community in adoption of practices. There was a gap in the literature about governing bodies and implementation. Support of county commissioners is critical for funding, staffing, and promoting the projects. In the face of tight budgets, complex natural environments, political views, and difficult science, it can be very difficult to fund and prioritize these activities. The Watershed Model emerged as guidance for watershed professionals to provide information and to include intentional and focused outreach to elected officials throughout the process of planning and implementation. These data were more generalizable to the state and topics than expected. The model and approach can be applied to other complex data that practitioners need to present to elected bodies to gain their support. 

    Join Zoom Meeting Url: 

    Meeting ID: 830 131 1553

    Saeid Moshtaghi, DBA Program (Conference Room 202)

    Title: Marketing strategies in higher education industry

    Abstract: My research question circles around applying appropriate marketing strategies for private language institutions which could lead them to student attraction, target audience retention, and a higher profitability. These mentioned marketing strategies could help institutions acquire competitive advantage among their rivals in this specific industry.

    Join Zoom Meeting Url: 

    Meeting ID: 828 6216 5680
    Password: 486746

    Keith Anderson, DBA Program (Conference Room 203)

    Title: An Investigation of Ethical Culture as a Moderator to the Relationship Between the Self-Importance of Moral Identity and Moral Disengagement of Professional Project Managers

    Abstract: Unethical conduct within organizations continues to be a problem. Although governmental incentives have motivated many organizations to define and implement formal ethics and compliance programs, many researchers have questioned the mechanism assumed to link organizational policy to improved organizational behavior. The underlying model asserts that 1) regulatory-based incentives will increase the prevalence of corporate ethics and compliance programs, 2) the ethics and compliance programs will improve the ethical culture of organizations, and 3) the improved ethical culture will result in more ethical behavior by employees. While ethical culture has been linked to many positive outcomes, its relationship to individual ethical behavior is tenuous. The purpose of this study was to test the relationships between ethical culture, moral identity, and moral disengagement for individuals who routinely work within multiple ethical cultures and subcultures, such as professional project managers. The two research questions for this study were:

    1. What relationships exist between moral identity, moral disengagement, and ethical culture within the context of project management?
    2. Does the project manager’s employer’s ethical culture moderate the relationship between moral identity and moral disengagement of professional project managers?

    After a review of the extant literature, the methods, findings, and implications are discussed.

    Join Zoom Meeting Url: 

    Meeting ID: 864 7197 4736
    Password: 829219

    Tiray Johnson, DBA Program (Banquet East)

    Title: A Grounded Theory Study; hiring practices as experienced from an adjunct faculty perspective. 

    Abstract: The use of adjunct faculty is widespread among academic institutions. There is little to no uniformity as to how adjunct faculty come to teach for these academic institutions. This research study sought to identify the hiring practices that are prevalent to procure the services of adjunct faculty. This study took a grounded theory approach to guide and structure the research. A semi structured questionnaire was delivered for 27 presiding adjuncts to gather a holistic approach to the data collection. The participants were in the adjunct capacity from various academic institutions and were examined to capture their experiences with academic hiring. This study explored the hiring processes that adjunct faculty experienced as reported by the individuals themselves. A purposive sampling method was used by a population of professional adjuncts. A comparative analysis was used to code the results, with the attempt to develop and document a process or theory. The study was able to isolate three primary theoretical categories that were developed from the data analysis of how adjunct faculty procure positions in academia. 1) The casual hiring practice consist of an initiation, contact and an overture; 2) The informal hiring practice is composed of an applicant initiation, a response contact, a colloquial consultation, and an overture; 3) The formal hiring practice consist of an initiation, contact, a screening and evaluation, a selection and an overture. The findings from this study were able to confirm and support the use of an existing model used for hiring faculty. A Model for the Selection of Members of the Faculty was created by J.L. Marks in 1979 to provide a better understanding of the process of faculty selection. Using the results of this study allows for adjunct faculty to prepare for the circumstances that they face in acquiring the positions that they seek. The results of this study also allow institutions to take notice and possibly review their own hiring practices viii so that they can either standardize their hiring practices and/or ensure that they are operating as intended in terms of process and effectiveness   

    Join Zoom Meeting Url:

    Meeting ID: 863 7294 7715
    Password: 119861

    Milphamilpha Blamo, Ed.D Program (Banquet West)

    Title: The lived experiences of Liberian certified nursing assistants working in nursing homes in Minnesota.

    Abstract: The growing population of elderly citizens coupled with the vast loss of nurses due to the COVID-19 pandemic has created a high demand for nursing assistants in the state of Minnesota. The governor has engaged in dire recruitment measures to help fill this gap by calling on the National Guard and funding training programs for nursing assistants. This gap has reportedly been filled by different immigrant groups across the state of Minnesota. Experiences of certified nursing assistants (CNA) from different countries and ethnic groups have been studied, but absent in the literature were the experiences of Liberian CNAs. There was a significant influx of Liberians into the United States after the civil war broke out in their country, leaving them to find a new place to call home. Thousands of families and individuals immigrated to other African countries and the United States, several of them landing in the state of Minnesota. Some entered the field of nursing, as they strived to create a better life for themselves and their families. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the experiences of Liberian CNAs working in nursing homes in Minnesota. The population for this study was Liberian-born CNAs. The sample size consisted of 10 Liberian CNAs; nine females and one male ranging from ages 20-50. They had a high school diploma or some college experience with an average of five years of experience in the field and were all currently employed at nursing homes in Minnesota. Participants were recruited using purposive sampling and interviewed using open-ended questions related to their experiences on the Zoom platform. Interviews were transcribed using Otter.ai and a manual coding book was created yielding the following findings: (a) participants shared their intrinsic and extrinsic reasons for becoming a certified nursing assistant; (b) participants are overwhelmed by their workload and daily routine; (c) participants experienced cultural shock in the process of becoming and working as a certified nursing assistant; (d) participants remain dedicated to their roles as certified nursing assistants. The study has implications for the Minnesota Department of Health, employers of CNAs, as well as current and aspiring CNAs.

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    Meeting ID: 824 9088 4243
    Password: 603822

  • Jack McClure, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education

    Banquet East 

    Title: Organizational Learning: In Which Minnesota Nice Goes Missing

    Abstract: This is a presentation based on the work of Dr Chris Argyris. His theories of action, double loop learning and models I and II form the basis for his understanding of how learning might happen in organizations. The presentation summarizes key points from his work, highlighting key concepts and their application. This version of organizational learning is challenging, and people focused. It has formed the basis for work by Peter Senge (Fifth Discipline) and many others. The interpersonal dynamics and belief structures at the root of these ideas resonate very clearly with those who understand them prompting head shaking and occasionally even laughter. The principles clearly illustrate some foundational flaws in the way we approach effectiveness. Whether or not we can do anything about them is, perhaps, another matter.

    Join with Zoom: https://smumn.zoom.us/j/86372947715?pwd=YnZIZ1Q5VmNzdHNlNHJucTJad2drdz09

    Meeting ID: 863 7294 7715
    Password: 119861

    Michelle Wieser, MBA, Ph.D., Dean, School of Business and Technology

    Banquet West

    Title: Career Outcomes and Perspectives on Workplace Equality by Gender and Race

    Dr. Michelle Wieser, Dean of the School of Business and Technology, will share findings from her research on career outcomes and perspectives of graduates from over 60 business schools in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She will present the outcomes of her most recent study along with insights on how her research on this topic has evolved from her original dissertation research in 2016 through four comprehensive studies that examine a number of factors by gender, race, and their intersection. Dr. Wieser will also share her approach to quantitative research (from a formerly non-quantitative person!) and the almost infinite stories that can be told from the data. If you are considering or are in progress with a quantitative study, interested in research outcomes by gender and race, or both, this session might inspire your approach to research and/or share some interesting findings that fuel Dr. Wieser’s passion for equity and inclusivity in the workplace.

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    Meeting ID: 824 9088 4243
    Password: 603822