Three SPS DBA Students Complete Full Research Dissertations


Please join us in warmly congratulating Dr. Brit Peek, Dr. Diane Rodriguez, and Dr. Joren Scharn who will be walking the stage in December 2019 to receive their Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degrees for successfully completing all the requirements of the program culminating in a full dissertation.

In the DBA program at the School of Professional Studies, students have the choice of pursuing a full dissertation over the course of a minimum of three semesters or selecting the presentation/publication/work-based project options to meet the culminating experience requirements of the 45-hour (minimum requirement) program successfully after finishing at least 33 credit hours of the core coursework. In the past, a majority of the graduating students have pursued the presentation/publication/work-based study options but all of that changed this year with three of our DBA students completing full dissertations and successfully defending them publicly in August, 2019. More than a total of 85 people attended the three Public Defenses that were held on August 21st– 23rd by Zoom conferencing and each student had the chance to get very meaningful feedback from the audience.

All three students started their individual research journeys in Summer 2018, when they worked on mixed methods research proposals for one of their classes. Once they explored the literature and found the potential for a meaningful contribution in their fields of interest, the students decided to take the dissertation path towards graduation. The titles and brief description of their dissertations are as given below. Please feel free to reach out to us if you would like more information about any of these dissertations.

Dr. Peek, who lives in San Antonio, worked on her dissertation titled “Affordable Care Act and Preventive Care Usage: A Mixed Method Analysis of Cardiovascular Care” under the direction and support from her dissertation committee, which consisted of Dr. Kruti Lehenbauer (Chair), Dr. Bob Kiser, and Dr. Alan Xenakis. The main goal of the dissertation was to identify whether the usage of preventive care for cardiovascular services such as cholesterol checks and blood pressure checks had increased after the Affordable Care Act mandated medical insurance for the population in the United States. Dr. Peek finds that when comparing pre-ACA and post-ACA data obtained from the MEPS National surveys that while the number of uninsured people decreased between 2009 and 2015, there was no substantial impact on the usage of preventive cardiovascular health services indicating that the ACA might not play a significant role in reducing the mortality rates directly associated with chronic cardiovascular diseases in the population.

Dr. Rodriguez also lives in San Antonio and worked on her dissertation titled “Preventive Care Usage in the United States: Does Health Insurance Matter?” under the direction and support from her dissertation committee, which consisted of Dr. Kruti Lehenbauer (Chair), Dr. Adam Guerrero, and Dr. Gregg Anders. The main goal of this dissertation was to test whether insured and uninsured people in the United States have distinct approaches to using preventive care services for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and general physical checkups using MEPS National Survey data for the year 2015. Dr. Rodriguez finds that there are distinct differences among people with and without health insurance and their approaches to preventive health care in general. Socioeconomic variables such as race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and income play a large role in both, the propensity to have health insurance as well as the propensity to utilize preventive care services.

Dr. Scharn, who lives in The Netherlands, worked on his dissertation titled “Understanding Employee Engagement: A Mixed-Methods Study” under the tutelage of his dissertation committee consisting of Dr. Kruti Lehenbauer (Chair), Dr. Adam Guerrero, and Dr. Diana Garza. The goal of this mixed methods dissertation was to identify whether the methods by which employers currently and traditionally attempt to measure “employee engagement,” are sufficient. Employee engagement is often considered to be one of the crucial intangibles that can impact employee productivity and employee satisfaction, and thereby the bottom line for companies! Dr. Scharn uses a three-pronged approach to his analysis by comparing the results from secondary datasets obtained from International agencies to a primary dataset created by collecting surveys from individuals working in the financial sector in the San Antonio region and then further testing the outcomes qualitatively by conducting personal interviews with a small sample chosen from among those that completed the surveys. His results indicate that while current methodologies capture some components of employee engagement, the measurements and surveys used are insufficient to accurately estimate employee engagement and related factors in the context of employee productivity.

SPS Doctoral Student Trevor Chayer Presented Airbnb Case Study at The International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship


UIW Doctor of Business Administration student Trevor Chayer presented “Revolutionizing the Shared Economy: How Airbnb Changed the Travel Industry” in Washington, D.C. on March 5, 2018.  The International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship was hosted by Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of the District of Columbia. Mr. Chayer and his co-author, Professor of Management and Chairman of the DBA Program Dr. Ryan Lunsford, examined how Airbnb facilitated its network of internet users to create a $30 billion peer-to-peer market, with more than 150 million travelers significantly contributing to the sharing economy and how Airbnb has formatively shaped the sharing economy phenomenon.

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SPS Doctoral Student Publishes Case Study Highlighting the Transformative Reutilization of Brooks City Base


Doctor of Business Administration candidate Ric Lowe published his case study “Brooks City-Base: The Astute Rebranding of a National Icon” in the Academy of Business Research Journal.

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SPS Doctoral Student Publishes Research on Military Retention


University of the Incarnate Word’s School of Professional Studies Doctor of Business Administration candidate, Rodney Kelley, published his study analyzing job satisfaction variables that impact re-enlistment by reserve component service members after he presented his findings in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in October.

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DBA Student Published Peer Review CPS Energy Case Study


Doctor of Business Administration Student John Soltau had his case study examining how CPS Energy manages disruptive forces published in Case Studies in Business and Management. Mr. Soltau investigated the major forces responsible for disrupting the utility space, namely, disruptive energy resources and energy efficiency/demand response, and he evaluated their influence on the sector.

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UIW Wins ACBSP DBA Poster Session


Ryan Lunsford, Professor of Management and DBA Chair, David Stein, EAP Director of Accreditation and Assessment, and Julie Weber, EAP Director of Marketing and Recruitment, submitted a winning poster for the ACBSP 2017 Conference. The poster outlined the Doctor of Business Administration recruitment and marketing techniques, highlighting the program’s development towards successful enrollment rates. Their session was well-attended and received positive feedback from both presenters and attendees.

DBA Poster Award Winners

Pictured above: David Stein and Dr. Ryan Lunsford

DBA Student Presents Crossfit Inc. Case Study


UIW Doctor of Business Administration student Trevor Chayer presented Is CrossFit Built for the Long Haul at the Academy of Business Research. His case study explored the unique business model of CrossFit Inc. and its fast rise from a small, obscure gym in California to a worldwide phenomenon. Chayer examined the CrossFit brand, its entrepreneurial model that enabled it to grow quickly and profitably, and the likelihood that its model will lead to sustainable, long-term profitability. Chayer concluded his case study presentation by considering recent controversies, criticisms, and lawsuits that CrossFit faces. Chayer is a Management Analyst in the United States Air Force at Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He has served separate tours in Afghanistan and Qatar in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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DBA Professor and Student Published in Widely Cited Journal of Business Case Studies


Dr. Ryan Lunsford, Associate Professor of Business at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, and Mr. Steven Ferrell, student in UIW’s Doctor of Business Administration Program, were published in the Journal of Business Case Studies. Their article “CPS Energy: Leading The Way To A Sustainable Future” presents the Nation’s largest city-owned and publicly-operated energy company as the model of what a sustainable, 21st Century energy company can be.

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