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First DePaul Business Doctorate Students Graduate

One of several “firsts” at Class of 2018 Commencement

This year’s Driehaus College of Business’s commencement featured four “firsts.” The college graduated its first class of Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) students and the first alumnus from its undergraduate actuarial science program. The ceremony was held for the first time at the Wintrust Arena, DePaul’s new home for Blue Demons Basketball in the South Loop. Misty Johanson, the college’s new dean, also had the honor of handing diplomas to graduates for the first time.

More than 1,500 members of the Class of 2018 participated in the college’s commencement for undergraduate and graduate business students June 10. Six DBA graduates received their diplomas and were ceremonially hooded: Karen Bartuch, Adam Cockrell, Kari Costello, Brandon Hendrix, Tammy Higgins and Erica Wagner. The DBA students finished the three-year, research-intensive program by completing dissertations on subjects that ranged from the culture of creativity among Millennials versus Generation Xer to influences that affect employee ethical decision-making and behavior.

Bartuch, director of Strategy and Research at Sandstorm Design, a brand experience agency, says the DBA program “had a profound impact on the way I approach business and the importance of evidence-based management. Professionally, the program has opened doors for me that didn’t exist before.”

“The program taught me how to be a better business leader and to approach problems in scientific ways, as well as examine topics I love, such as innovation and creativity, in a deeper and more meaningful way.”

Joshua Murner was the first to earn a bachelor’s degree from the business college’s actuarial science program, which was launched in 2015. “It provided me with a strong mathematical background, but also gave me the tools to be able to strengthen and advance my career in the business world,” he says. “Through the curriculum and guidance of the program’s faculty, I was able to complete three exams for the Society of Actuaries and launch my career.” Murner is now on the actuarial career track as an analyst with Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Co., a Chicago pension consulting firm.

View a gallery of photos from the Driehaus College of Business Commencement 2018: