The disciplines in which the Terry College grants its highest academic degrees — accounting, economics, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and risk management and insurance — are extremely taxing disciplines that require not only a keen mind but the kind of dedication that stems from an inner belief that this is the most important work to which the degree candidate can aspire. While many of Terry’s Ph.D. grads maintain a foothold in the business world, through prior experience or as consultants or advisors, all seven profiled in these pages have anchored their careers in academia, as teachers or administrators — or sometimes, both.
Perhaps that’s because in academia, they found a way to indulge an indelible trait they all share: insatiable curiosity, and the drive to either do — or enable — research that informs private enterprise and public policy.
Terry Ph.D. grads also laud the nurturing atmosphere that exists in Athens, which made all the academic rigor both inspiring and worthwhile. And nowhere is that nurturing atmosphere more palpable than in Terry’s MIS department, where professor Elena Karahanna creates a family-like experience.
“We call her ‘Mom’ and we call ourselves ‘siblings,’” says Kent State professor Greta Polites (PhD ’09), referring to Karahanna and her doctoral program classmates. Karahanna was not only Polites’ dissertation advisor, she sometimes babysat for Polites’ children. Karahanna also invited students to her home for Thanksgiving dinner.
Years later, drawing upon their experiences at Terry, these Ph.D. grads become teachers — and mentors — to their own flock.
This helps explain why these Ph.D. grads remember the life-long friends they made at Terry — with both classmates and their professors. Years later, these former students have become mentors — and counselors — to their own flock of students.