What Would You Like To Research?

CapstoneDid you know that Hood College has a flourishing doctoral program? Working together in cohort groups that take core classes together and support each other, candidates who complete the 3-year program will receive their Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) or Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA). The first cohort has reached the exciting step of working on their capstone project, with each student’s research focusing on their specific area of interest.

With participants coming from different sectors and with varied backgrounds and interests, the topics of the capstones are anything but uniform. The common thread is that all projects are purposeful ways for the candidates to benefit their communities and themselves.

John Mauck is a Human Resources Director with an interest in generational differences. His research, Identifying the Characteristics of Gen Z, is looking at Gen Zs, born between 1998 and 2013, the generation currently growing up and entering the workplace. John explains, “I have watched the workplace change with both Gen Xers and Millennials entering the workplace.   Both generations provided a different impact. There is very little research identifying the characteristic of Gen Z, which made the topic even more appealing.” As workplaces and workers change with each generation, John wants to “help prepare business leaders for what is to come when attempting to attract and retain Gen Z.” As a human resources manager, this is a challenge that John is currently dealing with and would be researching even if he wasn’t working on his doctorate.

Linda Chambers is a Supervisor of Special Education for Frederick County Public Schools. As an educator, she sees disproportionally high numbers of suspensions and special education identifications for students from minority groups. Nationally, African American students are three times more likely to be suspended than their peers. Her research will evaluate a program to help determine interventions for behavioral issues before suspension is considered. Focusing on students in Kindergarten-2nd grade at several Title I schools, which teach some of the most at-risk students. Her goal is to provide the Board of Education with recommendations on how to improve practices to reduce these identifications. Her eventual hope is to “publish outcomes nationally to inform decision-making in school systems to make a difference for students in order to safely access their learning and become beneficial members of society–no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, or religion.”

Jonathan Spaans, a senior manager for Fisher Bioservices in Rockville, is researching on middle management. His topic is Middle Manager Impact to Knowledge Management and Incremental Innovation Potential. Jonathan wants to “give new meaning to middle management and how it contributes value.” He believes that middle managers are not just “people who basically carry out ideas and goals from upper management without specifically contributing directly to innovation”. Goals of this research include how to help train new managers to help them contribute as well as to find out how middle managers can best contribute to the welfare of a company.

Joshua Work is an Assistant Principal at Frederick County Public Schools. As a teacher and member of the United States Marine Corps Reserve, he wants to continue his leadership skills. His research focuses on how to select and prepare school principals. His topic, Principal Selection and Succession Planning, allows him to explore “the preparation of future leaders for school districts.” His goal is to not only learn about this for himself, but to “add to the research about principal selection and leadership planning practices.”

Eric Louérs Phillips is the Supervisor of Accelerating Achievement and Equity for Frederick County Public Schools. He is researching how leadership styles impact the effectiveness of implementing equity initiatives. He notes that some of these initiatives have been successful within organizations and others have not. He wants to “gain a deeper understanding into why some leaders are able to effectively implement equity initiatives within their work unit, while their colleagues within the same organization do not have the same success.” His research can help him, and others, support leaders and their initiatives.