Kayla Gritzmacher and Joe Smith have successfully defended their dissertations.

Concordia is celebrating its inaugural Doctor of Business Administration graduates this year. Two individuals have successfully defended their dissertations and met the requirements to earn their doctoral degree in business.

Kayla Gritzmach

Director of Special Services Hospice for Advocate Aurora Health

“Effects of Nurse Burnout on Patient Fall Rates in Long-term Care”

On her dissertation topic:

I have felt deeply connected to the topic of burnout, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. I have witnessed it firsthand and seen the impact it has on the dedicated nurses I have worked with. As a leader, I have also experienced burnout and know how it feels, both mentally and physically. Even during my dissertation journey, I stepped away from being a leader for the last year of the program due to recognizing the need to have a better school/work/life balance.

With my dissertation topic, I wanted to find something that allowed me to positively impact the healthcare industry, and I felt that this topic would help shed light and continue the discussion around what causes and mediates burnout, along with what impacts burnout has on patient outcomes.

On Concordia:

Concordia University has done an excellent job fostering a sense of community among my cohort, starting on day one of the program, which is crucial in a successful doctoral journey. A study conducted by Byrd (2016) revealed that a cohort experience, a face-to-face on-campus orientation, faith, prayer, and spirituality all contribute to a strong sense of community among students enrolled in an online doctoral program. It is a proven fact that a strong sense of community significantly impacts the success of online doctoral students.

Personally, I have experienced each of these factors during my journey. These, along with the support of my fellow classmates, are what have helped me to be successful. I am forever grateful for the experience and opportunity Concordia University has provided, and I am looking forward to being able to use my new skills and knowledge to continue research in the healthcare system.

Joe Smith

Director for Bureau of Weights and Measures for the State of Wisconsin 

Perceptions of State Government Employees on Diversity and the Citizen Outcomes from Diversity in Government” 

On his dissertation topic:

Growing public and organizational awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has contributed to additional training on DEI within workplace organizations. A gap not observed in prior research is attempting to understand diversity perceptions of state government employees before administering additional organizational DEI training. My research topic utilizes the Reaction-to-Diversity Inventory (RTDI) survey instrument to examine employee perceptions of diversity within a state government organization (De Meuse and Hostager, 2001). The RTDI assesses employees’ positive and negative perceptions of diversity in emotional, behavioral, judgments, personal consequences, and organizational outcomes categories.

This study determines the impact on diversity perceptions regarding the state governmental employees’ headquartered job location, non-mandatory training attendance, and employee gender. Outcomes of this research include new training and outreach efforts that could improve positive perceptions of DEI for governmental organizations seeking to strengthen positive DEI perceptions in their workforce.

I chose this topic because workplaces continue to become more diverse and I wanted to find ways to support diverse teams. Measuring workplace diversity perceptions can uncover areas where employees have positive workplace diversity perceptions and negative workplace diversity perceptions. Organizations can utilize the strengths of the employees to find ways to tailor training on DEI topics in an impactful way. 

On Concordia:

I enjoyed the CUW DBA program. The facility and colleagues were supportive and pushed me to accomplish more than I could have ever imagined. The ability to maintain working full time and draw from my workplace experiences during the CUW DBA program helped me to become a better leader. I highly recommend CUW’s DBA program as I feel I have gained more confidence in the workplace due to my greater emphasis on a scholar-practitioner approach to workplace problems. 

Want in?

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is the highest accredited academic business degree at Concordia University. In this program, you will identify and research the challenges organizations are facing in today’s evolving business environment.

There is a focus on developing applicable knowledge and skills. Your growth as a scholar-practitioner will change your mindset when encountering complex issues and new business opportunities. With the completion of a dissertation, you will gain the confidence and expertise to a be an impactful leader in business.