Texas Tech University

Ph.D. Student Spotlight: Daniel Gullifor

November 30, 2017 | By: Kaitlin York 

Daniel Gullifor

Daniel Gullifor is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Area of Management of the Rawls College. He holds an MBA and B.S. in Business Management and Administration from Bradley University. In addition to several years' experience working in staffing and recruiting, he has completed internships with the St. Louis Cardinals and ConAgra Foods performing sales and service. He used these experiences to establish primary research interests in leadership, self-verification, core self-evaluations, emotional intelligence and work-family conflict. Read how the Rawls College is preparing him for his career in academia in the Q&A below.

Why did you decide to pursue your Ph.D. at the Rawls College?

The chance to work with such amazing faculty is what stood out to me. While I knew I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. in Management, I was struggling with where I wanted to apply, let alone enroll. Fortunately, I attended a conference where I was able to meet a member of the faculty from the Area of Management, Bill Gardner, Jerry S. Rawls Chair in Leadership, and our interaction couldn't have gone any better. After the conference, I applied to the program and enrolled the following year. I am now in my third year and Gardner is now both a co-author and the chair of my dissertation committee. I couldn't be any happier with my decision to pursue my Ph.D. at the Rawls College.

What do you like most about the Rawls College Ph.D. program?

While there are many things I like about the Rawls Ph.D. program, it is the people I value the most. Not only have the people been incredible to work with professionally, they're even better people outside of the workplace. Having moved to Lubbock from central Illinois, I was starting from scratch and knew building a life in Lubbock would be a challenge. However, everyone in the program made me feel welcome and part of the Rawls College family that it wasn't troublesome in the least. It is the people of the Rawls college to which I attribute much of my success.

How has the program been flexible when accommodating to your interests as a researcher and what research projects have you worked on?

The program and its people have been incredibly receptive to my research interests. When starting your doctorate, many programs expect you to simply work on professors' research projects, which are geared towards their own research interests. However, from day one in the Rawls College Ph.D. program, the faculty have been an integral part of me not only discovering my research interests, but also developing me into a researcher capable of pursuing these interests.

In addition to helping you discern your area of interests, the faculty encourage your participation in research projects early and often. While there is certainly much to be gained from doctoral seminars, few things develop your ability as a researcher like active participation in research. Our program takes a proactive approach and doesn't wait to get its students involved in research projects. Since starting here, I have been involved in multiple research projects. I have also published research and had opportunities to explore other research areas.

Have you had any opportunities to teach as a Ph.D. student and how have those experiences prepared you for your career?

Another thing our program gives you is the opportunity to teach as a Ph.D. student early in your program. I have already taught several sections of Organizational Behavior and anticipate I will teach several more times before I finish the program. Having completed both my bachelor's and master's degrees fairly recently, I am in a unique position where I can both relate to the students on a personal level and also provide them the knowledge, skills and abilities that are critical to their development. This is an incredibly rewarding experience that allows me to not only engage with the students and help prepare them for their careers, but also develop the skills necessary to be an effective professor for years to come.