Introducing Heider's New Faculty
Introducing Heider's New Faculty

Along with the largest freshman class to date, the Heider College of Business also welcomes several faculty and instructors starting this semester. We are happy to introduce the newest member of the Creighton community to you.

Abraham (Abe) Carr, PhD, CPA - Assistant Professor of Accounting

Assistant professor of accounting Abraham Carr, PhD, CPA, is excited to join a faith-based university with a commitment to serving others. It’s a philosophy with which he is familiar, having graduated from Brigham Young University, with both a Bachelor of Science in accounting and a Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree.

Carr worked in public accounting as a senior associate at Deloitte LLP, which, he says, informs both his teaching and academic research. He will draw on this experience to enrich student learning in the courses he will be teaching: auditing and advanced auditing.

“Many of our students will start their accounting careers in roles similar to that of my professional experience,” Carr says. “I believe this allows me to better prepare students for what they will face after they leave Creighton.”

Carr received his PhD in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned the Douglas Clarke Memorial Teaching Award. An active member of the American Accounting Association, he has presented at AAA conferences and meetings. His research interests center on auditing and, in particular, auditor motivation, audit documentation and workplace stress.

A successful professor, according to Carr, should possess three characteristics. The first is a sincere care and concern for his students. Second is a solid understanding of his field of study coupled with strong communication skills. Lastly, he says, a successful professor must possess a natural curiosity to inspire his students and propel his research.

Carr says he looks forward to joining the Accounting Department’s “rich heritage,” which includes preparing students for rewarding professional careers for nearly 100 years.

“I hope to add to this legacy by providing excellent training for students, enlightening research that increases our knowledge and understanding, and service to the University and community,” Carr says.


Jonathan Drake, PhD - Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Business Ethics

At its most fundamental, a professor is one who “professes.”  But for Jonathan Drake, PhD, this definition merely scratches the surface of what a gifted professor provides for his students. Certainly, professors must lecture on material that students, in turn, listen to and internalize.

But a truly good professor, says Drake, develops in his students careful reasoning, clear and effective communication, and competency in research.

As a new business ethics professor at the Heider College of Business, “I really see my main task as offering students skills that they can take with them and employ outside the classroom, or any academic setting, for that matter,” he says.

Drake joins the Creighton community from Texas Tech University, where he has been an assistant professor of philosophy. He has also served as guest lecturer at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Drake earned his BA in philosophy and economics at Bucknell University and pursued a PhD in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.

“I have spent my last seven years training, researching and teaching in philosophy departments in two very large public universities,” Drake says. “I hope that this somewhat unique background can help me to make interesting and worthwhile contributions to the programs here at Creighton.”

Drake will teach two courses: business ethics on the undergraduate level and business, ethics and society on the graduate level. He looks forward to teaching non-philosophy majors in a smaller classroom setting in which he and his students can interact on a meaningful level.

“I try to let my classroom sessions be guided by discussion, with ample student contributions and some steering on my part,” he says.

A member of the American Philosophical Association (APA), Drake has presented at conferences as close to (his former) home as UT Austin and as far afield as Vienna, Austria. His specialties include ethics, practical philosophy and epistemology.

Kevin Gomez, MA - Institute for Economic Inquiry Program Manager and Instructor of Economics

Teaching economics, developing programming, expanding professional networks and continuing his journey as a lifelong learner. These are just a few of Kevin Gomez’s professional aspirations, and the reason he is excited about his move to Creighton University, the Heider College of Business and the Institute for Economic Inquiry (IEI).

“I am very excited to work with such a productive and all-around awesome team at the Institute for Economic Inquiry,” says Gomez, who will serve as the institute’s program manager.

It’s a position that capitalizes on his experience in program development. He first cut his teeth in academic program development as an outreach coordinator at the DeVoe L. Moore Center, an interdisciplinary, applied public policy research and teaching center at Florida State University, and then as an MA fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, a non-profit, free-market-oriented research, education and outreach think tank.

Gomez has a BS in economics and statistics from Florida State University and an MA in economics from George Mason University. His blog, ReasonablEconomics, showcases the thoughts of graduate students and recent graduates on current events and the economics of everyday life. The blog also features posts on what Gomez calls “EconIcons.”

“My aim is to have this blog become a go-to as an educational resource,” Gomez explains.

In addition to his work with IEI, Gomez will teach two sections of Introduction to Microeconomics at the Heider College of Business.


Rose Jarmon, MBA - Instructor of Marketing

From her first job with McDonald’s Corporation to her time, most recently, at TreeHouse Foods, Rose Jarmon, MBA, has forged a marketing management career specializing in the food industry. She now brings this expertise to the Heider College of Business classroom as an instructor of marketing.

Jarmon earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism, with an emphasis in advertising, from the University of Oregon, and her Master of Business Administration, with an emphasis on marketing and sales, from Marylhurst University.

In addition to her time at McDonald’s Corporation, initially as a community marketing representative and then a marketing coordinator, Jarmon has served as a senior marketing manager at Reser’s Fine Foods in Beaverton, Oregon. She relocated to Omaha to work as a customer marketing manager at ConAgra Foods and assumed the same role at TreeHouse Foods before leaving the corporate setting to join academia.

Jarmon says she looks forward to sharing her “recent and relevant marketing experience in the business-to-business channel” with her Creighton pupils, “to show a different and viable career path for business and marketing students.” She will be teaching Principles of Marketing this fall.

Offering students guidance with career planning is of particular interest to her. Jarmon mentored interns while at ConAgra and is excited to continue this advisory role with her own students.

“Successful instructors propel students from the classroom into real-life experiences to help them grow not only as students but also as future leaders,” Jarmon says.


Mary Dana Laird, PhD - Associate Professor of Management

Following up her experience at a small liberal arts college with a graduate education at large state schools, associate management professor Mary Dana Laird, PhD, believes she will feel right at home at Creighton because it is “the best of both worlds.” Its small classroom size means students and professors are able to build strong relationships, yet its resources are more akin to larger universities.

For the past 10 years, Laird has taught at the University of Tulsa, where she has been nominated multiple times for the Mayo Excellence in Teaching award and has been recognized as Most Valuable Professor (MVP) by the school’s basketball team as well as Honored Professor by its football team.

Prior to her time at the University of Tulsa, Laird taught at Florida State University, where she earned her PhD in business administration with a focus on organizational behavior and human resource management. She earned her Master of Science in human resource management at Texas A&M University and her Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Southwestern University.

Laird is published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, has contributed to numerous book chapters, and is a frequent presenter at conferences. She is a current member of the Academy of Management, the Southern Management Association and the Society of Human Resources Management.

In addition to holding master’s and doctoral degrees in human resources, all of Laird’s work experience is in the HR field, which she believes is one of the most direct employment routes for management majors. 

“Human resource management is all about finding, motivating and keeping the best people,” Laird says. “What could be more important in business, and life, than that?”

Laird looks forward to forming strong relationships ­– with her students, colleagues and Omaha business professionals – at Creighton and says she hopes to engage her students through “interesting lectures, classroom discussions and hands-on learning with activities, simulations and projects” in the two courses she will be teaching this fall, Managerial Process and Organizational Behavior and Personal/Human Resources Management.


Donald Lux, MBA, MSITM - Instructor of Accounting

Donald Lux, BSBA’96, MSITM,’00, MBA’01, has found an academic home at Creighton. With three degrees from the Heider College of Business already under his belt, Lux is now pursuing a fourth: his Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA).

As one of the Accounting Department’s newest hires, Lux will add standing at the podium to sitting behind a classroom desk.

“Creighton means quite a bit to me, and now I get to experience a side of Creighton that I’ve never experienced before,” Lux says. “I know how much the decision as a teenager to attend Creighton impacted and shaped my life. I am looking forward to being able to be part of that for the current students.”

In addition to this distinct perspective, Lux brings with him a wealth of academic and professional expertise. He has worked in various capacities that range from programmer analyst to software engineer at First Data, Valmont Industries, Lease Team, Inc., Modis and PayPal.

“I have a wide variety of experience in the workforce that covered nearly every area of IT. Additionally, I worked at all different sizes of firms in unique positions that allowed me to use both my technical skills as well as my accounting knowledge to help those sides interface in the development of an accounting software package,” says Lux. “So I actually used my double major in the workforce in a position uniquely positioned for me.”

Lux will be teaching Accounting Information Systems and Principles of Managerial Accounting during the 2018-2019 academic year and will assume the title of professor of practice once he completes the DBA program in December. He is excited to join the Accounting Department and carry on its tradition of blending exacting academics with care for the individual.

“When I look back on my most successful professors, the two most important qualities were their level of care and the rigor they expected,” says Lux, who hopes to implement both in his Creighton classroom.

Alison Maloy, CPA - Instructor of Accounting

Even prior to joining the faculty at the Heider College of Business, Alison Maloy, CPA, gravitated to teaching. She has been a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and one of the aspects she likes most about her career in public accounting has been leading client training sessions. Both these passions, she believes, will translate nicely into the Creighton classroom.

Maloy is one of the newest additions to the Department of Accounting and will teach four sections of Introduction to Financial Accounting. She will also serve as faculty co-advisor of Beta Alpha Psi accounting honor society, along with accounting professor Tom Purcell, PhD, CPA.

Maloy earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting and business administration from the University of Kansas and continued on there to complete a Master of Science in accounting and information systems. The bulk of her career has been spent in public accounting, primarily with Fortune 500 companies and Big 4 accounting firms that include Conagra Brands, KPMG LLP, Anderson, Jones Lang LaSalle and Hyatt Corp. She funneled this experience into establishing her own firm, Lone Tree Accounting.

“I have played many roles in the world of business,” says Maloy, who has traveled extensively to such places as London, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai and Moscow for work. “The work and life experiences those trips afforded me were nothing short of priceless, and I am excited to bring accounting to life for my students through sharing stories about my work experiences.”

An effective professor connects with her students, Maloy maintains, through class dialogue and interactive classroom activities.

“If a student is engaged in the classroom, then they are able to grow. It’s my job to present the course material in a way that makes that connection,” Maloy says.


Keith Olson, CFA - Instructor of Finance

You could say Keith Olson, CFA, is “in the Creighton know.”  The former Beirne Wealth Consulting executive spoke at the 2015 Creighton Business Symposium, and for the last two and half years, he has been an adjunct instructor of finance at the Heider College of Business. Olson is also enrolled in the College’s Doctorate of Business Administration program, with an anticipated graduation date of December 2019. Upon degree completion, he will teach investment and financial modeling courses.

“My dream job is to start a new chapter of my career teaching at Creighton University,” says Olson. “I believe that I am well-positioned to blend the best of practical experience with academic rigor.”

And it is a wealth of practical experience. Olson’s long career has moved the native Nebraskan to New York City to work in global portfolios with Brown Brothers Harriman Company, to Tokyo to build Brown Brothers’ investment office, to Montreal, Canada, as director and senior portfolio manager of Asia-Pacific equities for Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, and to Hong Kong, first as director and senior portfolio manager for Bowen Capital Management and then as co-founder and director of Environmental Investment Services Asia Limited.

Olson believes his time abroad – over three decades – will enrich his students’ classroom experience and provide them with a unique global perspective.

“Ethics is also a subject I have a lot of experience in and am passionate about passing along to our students,” he adds.

Olson graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and economics. Five years later, he earned his MBA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Now, after 30 years of corporate experience, he returns to the classroom, as student, instructor and soon-to-be assistant professor of finance.  


Sarah Singletary Walker, PhD - Associate Professor of Management

Joining the Heider College of Business’ Marketing and Management Department is a homecoming of sorts for Sarah Singletary Walker, PhD, associate professor of management.

The daughter of an Air Force non-commissioned officer, Walker spent a portion of her youth in Bellevue, Nebraska. Now she returns to the state to continue her academic career as a professor and a researcher, having spent nine years in the Marilyn Davies College of Business at the University of Houston-Downtown.

Walker graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She then attended Rice University, earning first a master’s and then a PhD in industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology. She has a keen interest in research, with her primary areas of concentration being diversity and inclusion within organizations.

Walker also brings to the Heider classroom industry experience. She followed up her stint as a consultant by establishing her own consulting firm, SW Consulting Group.

“As a scientist-practitioner, I believe in the marriage of theory and practice, and I seek to provide both to my students,” says Walker, who will be teaching Managerial Process and Organizational Behavior and the MBA-level Leadership and Organizational Behavior, says. “As a scientist, I love research in general and conducting experiments in particular. As a practitioner with consulting experience, I have an understanding of some of the issues organizations face and seek to provide evidence-based recommendations.”

Walker is a frequent presenter at professional and academic conferences, and her work has appeared in such esteemed publications as the Journal of Applied Psychology and Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The principal investigator of two federally funded grants, Walker hopes to seek external funding for research projects conducted at the Heider College of Business.


Jim Zboja, PhD - Associate Professor of Marketing

A balance of classroom expertise, research accomplishment, industry experience and a service mindset is what associate professor of marketing Jim Zboja, PhD, will bring to the Heider College of Business as one of the Department of Marketing and Management’s newest faculty members.

“The energy of the faculty is amazing,” Zboja says. “There is a real sense that Creighton values its faculty and that faculty members value, respect and appreciate one another. In turn, it is clear that faculty members extend the same to their students.”

Zboja comes to Creighton from the University of Tulsa, where he has taught since 2008. Prior to this, he was an assistant professor of marketing at Eastern Michigan University.

Zboja majored in marketing and minored in psychology at Middle Tennessee State University, where he earned both his BSBA and MBA. He graduated from Florida State University with a PhD in marketing. His research interests include consumer perceptions of sales pressure, consumer entitlement and interpersonal influence in sales and organizations.

Zboja is an active member of the Academy of Marketing Science and the American Marketing Association. He has contributed to and served as reviewer for numerous academic and professional journals and is a frequent presenter at marketing conferences. His students have recognized his contribution to the classroom with the Mayo Teaching Excellence Award and the Most Valuable Professor award. 

A successful professor, Zboja believes, is a combination of subject matter expert and mentor who genuinely cares about his students and engages them both in and out of the classroom. He will live this philosophy in his Marketing Research courses, which he will teach on both the undergraduate and undergraduate levels.