Sarah Tuskey joined the first cohort of the Executive Ph.D. program in Fall 2016.

On the lookout for an executive doctoral program in business that emphasized research, she had been regularly monitoring the membership list of the Executive Doctorate in Business Education Council (EDBAC) to see what new programs were underway or about to launch.

“When I noticed Virginia Tech had joined the EDBAC, I reached out to learn more,” Tuskey said. “A few weeks later, I was on a call with the program’s director, Dr. Chakravarti, who shared the vision for the program with me. What he described was everything I was looking for in a doctoral program grounded in research, including the opportunity to collaborate and attend classes with full-time Ph.D. students and to be mentored by tenured faculty in my research field. I knew right away I had to be a part of what was being built at Pamplin.”

Tuskey, who graduated from the program in Summer 2021, currently serves as dean of faculty for the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus. Prior to taking on this role in early 2020, she served as Associate Dean of Faculty and Department Chair of Business at the Kendall Campus; and Department Chair of Business, Technology, and Engineering at the Homestead Campus. During her nearly 10-year tenure at the college, she has collaborated with both internal and external stakeholders to develop workforce-aligned academic programs and secure resources that advance the institution.

“As a manager, I have always been curious about the perception of self and how that influences behavior in the workplace,” Tuskey said, whose concentration in the Executive Ph.D. program was management.

Her research interests on identity at work, employee well-being, and technology implications for employee attitudes and behavior drove her dissertation on "Identity at Work: Balancing Demographic-related Identity in the Workplace and the Impact on Extra-role Behaviors and Turnover."  She has presented her work at Academy of Management; Southern Management Association; and Industry Studies Association conferences, and has been published in the Academy of Management Proceedings; Journal of Management; and Human Resource Management.

Tuskey said that, in addition to the rigor of the Ph.D. program and incredibly impressive fellow cohort members, she most appreciated mentorship from the faculty, especially her chair, Bill Becker, who was instrumental not only guiding her as a student, but also providing ways of growing her research.

“In my current role at the college, I see the power of opportunity and what it can do for students. Dr. Becker’s guidance, mentorship, and encouragement is something that I will forever be grateful for,” she said.

Tuskey also learned an important life lesson during her academic pursuit: persistence. “No matter how many rejections you receive, no matter how impossible or insurmountable or daunting something may seem, just keep trying,” she said.

“Being a student in the Executive Ph.D. program changed the way I think, the way I approach problems, and even the questions I ask,” said Tuskey. “To anyone considering it, I would say this: the program will challenge you in ways you never even considered and it will not be easy. But you will become a better researcher, a better scholar, and leave the program knowing that you have the capability to contribute and advance new knowledge.”