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‘You are needed’: School of Business, Economics and Technology celebrates hooding ceremony

Graduates receiving their hoods at the School of Business, Economics and Technology hooding ceremony in Ransdell Chapel include, from left: Front row–Rose Carter, Gabriel Alejandro de Freitas Forero and Gwendolyn Blue. Back row– Mark Mann, Stephanie Baldwin, Jason Roop and Micah Spicer. (Campbellsville University Photo by Gerard Flanagan)

By Gerard Flanagan, news writer/photographer/social media, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.—Three years ago, eight doctoral students began a journey on an “unfamiliar road,” according to Dr. Pat Cowherd, dean of the School of Business, Economics and Technology at Campbellsville University.

“That road has been full of bumps and holes along the way,” Cowherd said at the School of Business, Economics and Technology hooding ceremony recently in Ransdell Chapel. “At times, some of you became lost and almost changed direction. But, you pursued your journey and made it to your destination.”

Doctoral students who were hooded are as follows: Stephanie Michelle Baldwin of Demossville, Ky.; Gwendolyn Durham Blue of Louisville, Ky.; Rose Anne Carter of Campbellsville, Ky., assistant professor of business at Campbellsville University; Gabriel Alejandro De Freitas Forero of Louisville, Ky., assistant director of Louisville Education Center (LEC) graduate business programs; Mark David Mann of Mt. Washington, Ky., director of the LEC; Jason Glenn Roop of Campbellsville, Ky., director of the Virginia Ponser Flanagan Technology Training Center; Micah Spicer of Owensboro, Ky.; and Kiran Kumar Palla of Prospect, Ky., director of the placement center and instructor in business at LEC.

“Now, we can rejoice and celebrate,” Cowherd told the hooding candidates. “You are awesome. You supported each other along the way. I believe I can safely say some of you reached your destination largely because of the support of your group.”

She reminded them now was their time to “venture out and make new discoveries and create new knowledge, provide understanding and problem-solving.”

“You are needed and equipped to help build a better world,” Cowherd said.

Cowherd shared two quotes with the hooding candidates to equip them for the next step in their lives and careers.

The first quote Cowherd shared was from Madeline Albright, United States secretary of state from 1997 to 2001: “Have the wisdom to recognize the best in others while always demanding the best from yourself.”

The second quote was from actress Jessica Lange: “Be present. I would encourage you, with all my heart, to be present. Be present and open to the moment that is unfolding before you, because ultimately, your life is made up of moments.

“Don’t miss them being lost in the past or anticipating the future.”

Dr. Preston Jones, professor of management, gave the opening prayer.

Dr. Rick Casey, associate dean, professor of business and director of the Ph.D. program, welcomed the hooding candidates and their families and friends to the ceremony.

“You have developed the skills to be successful in your career path,” Casey said. “Graduation is a time of life that will never come back, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than with family and friends.

“To you, the family and friends that are here today, thank you for all you’ve done for our graduates. Without your support and encouragement, this day would not have been possible.”

Dr. Karen Rush, Ph.D. faculty lead professor and professor of business, provided a closing prayer to the graduates.

The hooding candidates, listed by the chair of their dissertation committee and the title of their dissertation, are as follows:

Palla—Dr. Rick Casey, chair; “The Impact of Emotional Intelligence and Multiple Intelligence on Team Performance in the Information Technology Sector”;

Roop—Dr. Rick Casey, chair; “A Qualitative Study on the Leadership Traits of People with Substance Use Disorder”;

Spicer—Dr. Preston Jones, chair; “Clergy Retention Among Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Pastors in Kentucky: A Phenomenological Study”;

Baldwin—Dr. Preston Jones, chair; “The Impact of Leaders’ Emotional intelligence and Sub-Crises Events on Follower Perceptions of Crisis Leadership (In) Effectiveness”;

Carter—Dr. Mark Fulford, professor of business, chair; “A Proposed Predictive Model for Non-profit Higher Education Institution Insolvency to Strengthen Existing Measures and Aid in Managerial Decision-Making”;

De Freitas—Dr. Rick Casey, chair; “A Quantitative Study on Students’ Perception of Online Versus Face-to-Face Education”;

Mann—Dr. Preston Jones, chair; “No More Stereotypes: Exploring the Work Value Priorities of Generation Z”; and

Blue—Dr. Mark Fulford, chair; “The Impact of Mentoring on the Career Advancement of African American Women to Leadership Management Roles in Business.”

The dissertation committee supervises a student’s dissertation work, determines the acceptability of the dissertation and serves as the final examining committee.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that has enrolled up to 12,000 students yearly. The university offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, masters, bachelors, associate and certification programs. The website for complete information is