Grad secures position with help from doctoral faculty
By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau
Pursuing his Doctor of Business Administration degree at Grand Canyon University was never about chasing a specific position in his career. Instead, Dr. Steven Mohler simply was dedicated to answering this question in his dissertation: How can marketing influence the sustainability of small/medium enterprises?
But when he had an opportunity to apply for a tenure track position at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) in November, he had a problem: He needed his doctoral degree to qualify for the position, and his dissertation hadn’t been reviewed yet.
Fortunately for Mohler, the College of Doctoral Studies was eager to help. His dissertation review was expedited, allowing his program to wrap up in December.
Since then, Mohler was offered and has accepted the position and says his doctoral experience got him ready for the role.
“It helped prepare me to do research and publish and give me a solid foundation for those activities,” he said.
But it still wouldn’t have had the same impact if not for the hustle by his dissertation committee, led by the chair, Dr. Kevin McClean.
“I had a wonderful dissertation chair,” Mohler said. “He was very helpful, very supportive and went to bat for me several times at the college to make sure that the process continued on.
“The dissertation process was intense learning, a lot of project management, a lot of self-motivation and some frustrating times just getting through the process, but it was a good learning experience.”
Mohler said he also received support from his wife, Debra, and a peer in Indiana who was completing a program at GCU.
GCU’s DBA program also allowed him to flourish within an accredited online program that allowed him to teach full time and continue to travel and spend quality time with his grandchildren.
With his new role starting around the same time as the World Health Organization’s announcement of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, Mohler, who normally works from home, hasn’t had to adjust his day-to-day routine too much. Though he describes the pandemic as “terrible,” he also views it as a learning experience, specifically in terms of converting to online formats and the economy.
“Most students that we teach at IUPUC are not online, they’re traditional students, and this has forced them into an online environment, so we’re learning how to use Zoom,” he said. “The other piece is, I also teach micro and macro economics classes and, at least in all my years, I’ve never seen a situation where they essentially shut down the world economy. So this is a great opportunity for students to look around them and say, ‘Wow! This is new.’ We can learn from it, we can discuss what’s going on and really see some economic principles in play.”
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected]