UTSA Discover
UTSA Discover

2007 VOL.1, NO 1

The Road to Excellence
First Edition
Feature Stories
A Deadly Foe

Look Who's Talking—
In Two Languages

Tracking Transportation

Destroying to Protect

After the Dissertation
About Us

After the Dissertation

In the 15 years since UTSA offered its first doctoral program, the number of students, faculty and doctoral programs have soared. The university now serves 424 doctoral students through 20 programs.

In January, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved a proposal to add a marketing concentration to the existing doctorate in business administration. Yet another doctoral program, this one in psychology, also is being reviewed.

Although doctoral programs are relatively new for the university, graduates are putting their Ph.D.’s to use in classrooms, laboratories and the business world. Here are the stories of three of them.

HackardFrom Insurance Salesman to Professor
When Jim Hackard decided to return to school for his Ph.D., he did not quite realize what he was undertaking. He had completed his M.B.A. while working, and he didn’t anticipate the full-time commitment that is required when pursuing a Ph.D.

After a 30-year career as a life insurance actuary, most of which was spent at the San Antonio–based insurance, banking and investment company USAA, he retired and began his doctoral studies with the goal of becoming a professor. And it turned out that although he had underestimated the amount of work his degree would demand, he had been right about how much he would enjoy being a professor.

A member of the first cohort of the doctoral program in finance, Hackard was among the first to graduate. In August 2006, just three months after graduating, he became a professor at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville (SIUE), where he teaches a course on corporate finance and another on financial markets and institutions.

Hackard’s research interests include market microstructures, corporate finance and investments. He became interested in finance during his last 10 years at USAA, while doing financial forecasting and cash-flow testing.

He feels fortunate to have been part of UTSA’s doctoral finance program. “For a brand-new program, it’s been extremely successful in placing its students,” he says. “We’ve all ended up at good schools, and that speaks well of how much the faculty supported us in our job searches.”

Hackard is developing a life insurance course for next spring, and he says he’s still using what he learned in the business. “One of the things that led me to be a teacher was how much I enjoyed mentoring young actuaries when I was in that field. Now I really enjoy being in the classroom and helping students learn, and I continue to learn.”

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