Through a mentorship during his time as an MBA student at the University of Nebraska–
Lincoln, Andrew Hanna found a passion for teaching and research. The influence from faculty and a love for people led him to pursue a Ph.D. to make this his life’s work.
Hanna joined the College of Business in 2005 as an international business major with a minor in Japanese and graduated in 2009. He stayed in Nebraska with his wife to raise their two daughters. Hanna co-managed Gameroom, a local used video game and electronics store, with a friend. He also began volunteering with the Lincoln Northeast Kiwanis Club and served as president from 2014-15. They raised over $250,000 to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus and became one of the world-leading clubs for donations to the effort. Despite the successful fundraising, Hanna knew he wanted to return to school.
Hanna began his MBA coursework in January 2015 and worked for Dr. Sam Nelson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management. Helping Nelson teach classes in entrepreneurship sparked Hanna’s interest in earning his Ph.D.
“Helping Sam teach entrepreneurship made me realize the importance of having good instructors. He always made classes engaging and fun and I hope I can provide the same value to my students as he has. He changed the way I framed the profession and made me excited to get a chance to be a part of academia.”
When Hanna decided to get his Ph.D., he maxed his spring course load with 18 credit hours, since admissions for the program only open during the fall term. He became one of the five students admitted that year. In August of 2016 Hanna graduated with his MBA on a Saturday. His Ph.D. program began the following Monday, giving him one day off between the two programs.
Currently in the second year of the Ph.D. program for business, Hanna specializes in management. His research interests include organizational behavior and research methodology, specifically structural equation modeling.
“I have always loved studying and understanding people and organizational behavior is all about just that: people. The topic allows us to consider the human side of business, looking at things through a novel lens we don’t usually consider in a lot of classes,” said Hanna. “My interest in research methodology comes entirely from being assigned to Dr. Larry Williams (Director of the Survey Research and Methodology Program and Donald and Shirley Clifton Chair of Survey Science) my first semester. He peaked my interest in the subject and greatly influenced me when it came to this area.”
Hanna plans on becoming a professor of management at a university after he receives his doctorate.
“I want to find a good fit that allows for me to continue my research and emphasizes the importance of high-quality teaching,” said Hanna.