From left: Brian Hasson, Jamey Darnell and Jose Iglesias.

Doctor of Business Administration Class of 2017: Where are they now?

One year ago, this month, the Warrington College of Business Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program conferred the degrees of its inaugural class. Fourteen students received their doctoral degrees as part of the first class, many of which immediately put their education in action as faculty members at higher education institutions across the nation. We checked in with some of the members of the inaugural DBA class, including Dr. Brian Hasson, Dr. Jamey Darnell and Dr. Jose Iglesias, about what they’re up to now and how the DBA program helped them get there.

Dr. Brian Hasson – Assistant Professor of Accounting, Florida Southern College

Q: You, of course, have your DBA from UF. What other degrees do you have and from what institution(s)?

Dr. Hasson: “I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Financial Management) from Florida Southern College and Master of Accountancy from The University of South Florida.”

Q: Prior to completing the DBA program at UF, what was your career path?

Dr. Hasson: “I spent eight years in public accounting in the audit practice at Deloitte, followed by 16 years in a variety of leadership accounting and finance roles, primarily in the banking, insurance and software industries, including roles as Controller, Director of Financial Reporting, CFO and VP of Finance. My professional experiences include leading multiple implementations of accounting information systems, integrating the accounting and financial reporting functions of acquired businesses, hiring and developing accounting and finance teams and co-founding a start-up software business.”

Q: What position are you in now, and at what institution? What are your responsibilities as part of that position?

Dr. Hasson: “Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Accounting (tenure-track) at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. I teach foundations of financial accounting, foundations of managerial accounting and accounting information systems in the undergraduate program and accounting research in the Master of Accountancy program. I also serve as the Director of our Institute for Accounting Excellence and as the Faculty Advisor for Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting honor society. I am also responsible for conducting and publishing research at a significant enough magnitude and volume to warrant tenure. My research interests include behavioral accounting, auditor professional skepticism, and financial accounting and disclosure. I currently have two research projects under way focused on auditor skepticism and one dealing with PCAOB inspection implications.”

Q: What was the most beneficial element of the DBA program for you?

Dr. Hasson: “There isn’t one thing that stands out. Rather there are a few that were quite beneficial. First, the quality of the people in the inaugural cohort was very high. That allowed me to work with and among a community of very smart, experienced and thoughtful people. Iron sharpens iron, and I feel strongly that I benefited from the exceptional nature of the DBA students in my cohort. Second, the quality of the professors in the program is high end. Collectively, they were inspiring, supportive and encouraging, demanding, honest and critical. I recall a comment during our first two weeks on campus, ‘We are not getting the JV team.’ Preeminent scholars taught in the program throughout, which added greatly to the experience. Finally, my dissertation chair, while not a member of the DBA faculty, was a great resource, guiding my research and my writing. I learned a great deal from working with him preparing for my dissertation defense and that has continued after graduation (he has agreed to co-author a paper based on my dissertation, for submission to a peer-reviewed journal).”

Q: How did the DBA program prepare you for your current position?

Dr. Hasson: “The program provided me with tools to design and conduct original research (several methods) that I expect will help me become a productive researcher.”

Q: How have you seen what you learned in the DBA program be directly incorporated in your current role?

Dr. Hasson: “So far, how to write in a scholarly manner and how to distillate and critique existing research. A substantial amount of time is spent in the DBA program reading and critique existing research. That focus has allowed me to become a better consumer of academic research, which I believe has helped me become a better researcher.”

Dr. Jamey Darnell – Clinical Assistant Professor, Penn State

Q: You, of course, have your DBA from UF. What other degrees do you have and from what institution(s)?

Dr. Darnell: “I hold a BS in International Business from Pepperdine University and an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird.”

Q: Prior to completing the DBA program at UF, what was your career path?

Dr. Darnell: “Community college professor. I previously enrolled in an AACSB accredited Ph.D. program, but it was not a good fit for me.”

Q: What position are you in now, and at what institution? What are your responsibilities as part of that position?

Dr. Darnell: “I am a Clinical Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, as well as an Assistant Director, Intercollege minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Director, New Ventures Cluster all at the Smeal College of Business, Penn State University.

I teach entrepreneurship classes for the Management and Organization department in the Smeal College of Business. I am also the Assistant Director for the university wide entrepreneurship minor and the director for the New Ventures Cluster at Smeal within that minor.  These two director roles entail teaching, coordinating classes & curricula, and advising students.”

Q: What was the most beneficial element of the DBA program for you?

Dr. Darnell: “First and foremost was the AACSB accredited terminal degree. I also learned to be a consumer of academic research to incorporate into my teaching and other scholarly activities.”

Q: How did the DBA program prepare you for your current position?

Dr. Darnell: “Specifically, I got interested in Entrepreneurship as a second area of specialization when taking a course with Dr. Mike Morris. I was also able to take advantage of opportunities like participating in the Experiential Classroom and getting involved with academic organizations like the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).”

Q: How have you seen what you learned in the DBA program be directly incorporated in your current role?

Dr. Darnell: “First, my enrollment in the DBA program afforded me the opportunity to apply for and get a visiting professor position at an AACSB accredited university (USF Sarasota-Manatee) as DBA student status counts as “Scholarly Academic” for AACSB. Second, I was able to gain experience in this position teaching entrepreneurship and incorporating the principles learned in my DBA classes, the Experiential Classroom, and activities with USASBE. I was then able to leverage this job experience into a fulltime permanent offer from both USF-SM and PSU.”

Dr. Jose Iglesias – Assistant Professor of Management, University of South Carolina – Beaufort

Q: You, of course, have your DBA from UF. What other degrees do you have and from what institution(s)?

Dr. Iglesias: “I hold a BA in Business Administration – UNIFACS, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, a BS in Psychology – Kennesaw State University, Georgia – USA, an MBA from Mackenzie University, Sao Paulo, Brazil and started working on an MS in Organizational Behavior – New York University.”

Q: Before completing the DBA program at UF, what was your career path?

Dr. Iglesias: “I was born in a family of entrepreneurs. I started my career at the age of 15 in my home country of Brazil. At that time, while attended high school I worked with and learning from my father about how to navigate the waters as our family business grew in the very turbulent Brazilian economy.

My family is originally from Spain and immigrated to Brazil in the late 50s because of Franco’s dictatorial regime. As most Spanish and Portuguese immigrants, they worked hard to eventually establish their own business. My father started working as a baker alongside with his two brothers and later on started his first business with my grandfather. I was inspired to follow their entrepreneurial spirit and started my own business as a management consultant a few years later.

Two of the most amazing experiences I had was to work as a consultant for FIAT Brazil and to provide training to entrepreneurs in small municipalities in Northeastern Brazil. I would travel for 8 hours in dusty and bumpy roads to meet amazing people who were coping with a lot of adversities. That experience provided me with a great example on how to thrive in such adverse conditions.

It was then, in 1994, that I discovered my passion for teaching and mentoring. In 1999, I started my master’s degree at a top business school in Sao Paulo. I met my beautiful wife in grad school, and life was great. But then, in a beautiful night, drinking a nice Italian wine with my wife, we made the toughest decision of our lives: to leave behind established lives and careers in Brazil and move to the U.S. with our two-year daughter.

At that time, I was a clinical professor of management, and she worked as an IT executive for a multinational company. We made this decision because, after we finished our MBAs, my wife got accepted into a Ph.D. program in Atlanta. I decided to put my career on hold to support her academic goals and became a stay-home dad.

A few years later, after our daughter entered elementary school, I finished a second bachelor’s degree in psychology at Kennesaw State University while working as a college instructor at its Department of Foreign Languages. Upon my wife’s graduation, we moved to New Orleans and then she supported my goal of pursuing graduate studies in the U.S.

I got accepted at the MS in organizational behavior at New York University and continued working as a management consultant. I then learned about the new DBA program at UF and decided to apply the following year. Meanwhile, my wife got a job offer in the Midwest, and I got a job as a college instructor at University of Wisconsin La Crosse. It has been a long journey of personal sacrifice, uncertainty, and resilience – our friends and family in Brazil thought we were crazy, but looking back, I think it was definitely worth it.”

Q: What position are you in now, and at what institution? What are your responsibilities as part of that position?

Dr. Iglesias: “Until last May, I was a tenure-track assistant professor of management at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I am now thrilled to start the next chapter of my life as an Assistant Professor of Management (tenure-track position) at the University of South Carolina Beaufort this fall. Besides teaching classes in management and having fun doing research, I will participate in several university activities such as university committees and community outreach. I will also advise students and student organizations, and help strengthen the business school’s relationships with the business community.”

Q: What was the most beneficial element of the DBA program for you?

Dr. Iglesias: “The DBA at the University of Florida provided me with the possibility to interact with, to learn from, and to develop relationships with highly professional and recognized professors in their fields. They understand not only the demands of a doctorate program, but also the fact that DBA students are active professionals and need a differentiated academic approach, or attention, compared to more traditional Ph.D. students. I am grateful for the mentoring and support I have received from all professors, in particular, Dr. Deb Mitra, Dr. Gwen Lee, Dr. Andy Naranjo, and Dr. Elias Dinopoulos. Besides, the focus on research and the emphasis on the integration of academic research and students’ corporate experience differentiates the UF DBA from other programs in the U.S. Finally, the program did a great job of putting together a great group of students who supported each other during our DBA journey.”

Q: How did the DBA program prepare you for your current position?

Dr. Iglesias: “I chose the DBA program at University of Florida was because of its highly qualified team of professors. The program’s emphasis on research methods and critical analytical thinking is just amazing. I have written several term papers which, along with my dissertation, are now the springboard for publications in academic journals. Because of the DBA at UF, I was able to develop further my skills in academic research, learn how to write a research paper and understand the world of academia better. The program has prepared me so well that I started a tenure track position as an assistant professor of management one year prior to my graduation.”

Q: How have you seen what you learned in the DBA program be directly incorporated in your current role?

Dr. Iglesias: “As I mentioned, the academic research skills developed during the doctorate years provided me the opportunity to teach my students to appreciate the importance and the impact of academic research in their professional life. Nowadays, I believe that developing and practicing critical thinking is the pathway for being a successful professional. To me, an appreciation for meaningful academic research is one of the most important lessons I teach to my students.”


The Doctor of Business Administration at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business prepares students for careers in higher education, as well as consulting and other business professions, by integrating the theory and practice of business with the context of current issues that the business world faces. To learn more about the Warrington College of Business Doctor of Business Administration, please click here.