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Meet the Concordia MBA Faculty

 

Elise Brazier, Ph.D. - MBA Program Director

Leslie Blanke, Ph.D. | Brian Cronin, Ph.D. | Joselito (Jojo) Estrada, Ph.D.

Dr. Donald Christian - Dean, College of Business

 

 

Elise Brazier, Ph.D.

Dr. Elise Brazier serves as the statewide program director and assistant professor for the Concordia MBA program. She is an accomplished scholar, business professional and has published and presented on topics that have included the state of higher education - job outlook, capital project financing, bond referendum strategies, 2+2 agreements, program development, and online learning.

With an entrepreneurial spirit and love for business, Dr. Brazier has held consulting roles to help businesses grow and prosper, including launching her own Internet company with her husband, in which they successfully built and later sold in 2005. She began her early career working in accounting-finance industries for KPMG Peat Marwick, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, and Deloitte & Touche, while later transitioning into higher education, serving in both faculty and academic administrator roles. Dr. Brazier is a first generation college graduate and is a strong advocate for education and lifelong learning.

Dr. Brazier earned her Ph.D. in educational administration and policy from The University of Texas at Austin, and holds a Masters in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in management science from Alaska Pacific University.

 

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Leslie Blanke, Ph.D.

Dr. Leslie Blanke is an Adjunct Professor of Economics in the Concordia MBA program, where she teaches Managerial Economics and Quantitative Methods & Statistics. She has served on the Concordia MBA application committee, and she has taught Law & Economics and Microeconomic Principles at St. Edward’s University.

Dr. Blanke received a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University in 1984 and began her career in product-level financial analysis for Hallmark Cards, in Kansas City. In 1995, she completed her Ph.D. in Economics from Southern Methodist University. After graduation, Dr. Blanke began a litigation consulting practice through the Forensic and Litigation Services Practice of KPMG, in Dallas.

Outside of teaching, Dr. Blanke sits on the Board of Trustees at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy and serves as its Academic Committee Chair. She is also Vice President of the St. Michael’s Academy Thrift Shoppe Executive Committee and Chairman of the St. Austin Catholic Parish Investment Committee. She is Co-Chairman of the Tufts University Alumni Admissions Program in Austin.

She and her husband David live in Austin and have two children.

 

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Brian Cronin, Ph.D.

Dr. Brian Cronin is an adjunct professor of organizational change and development. He has a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with more than 10 years of experience in leading strategic workforce development and organizational assessment studies. Dr. Cronin has conducted a variety of projects related to these areas of expertise for public sector entities, including the Texas Governor's Office, Transportation Research Board (TRB), the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He has also conducted personnel research projects for several branches of the U.S. military as well as the states of Alabama, Virginia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Florida. For each of these studies, he has provided comprehensive workforce solutions.

Dr. Cronin also routinely publishes and presents research for national audiences on related topics such as improving staffing procedures, the use of technology in human resources initiatives, and large-scale skill assessment efforts. He has successfully delivered more than 50 presentations at professional conferences and association meetings.

 

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Joselito (Jojo) Estrada, Ph.D.

Dr. Jojo Estrada is an adjunct professor of Economics in the MBA program at Concordia University – Texas. On a fulltime basis, he works as an economist with the Local Government Assistance and Economic Development Division of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. In this capacity, he conducts economic impact analyses of issues pertaining to industry recruitment/retention, job creation/loss and policy initiatives involving local and state economic development.

Prior to Dr. Estrada's current position with the Comptroller’s Office, he worked as an economist for 18 years in a variety of professional settings. He held teaching, research and extension service appointments with Mississippi State University (Cooperative Extension Service), University of Texas at Brownsville (School of Business) and Texas A&M University-Galveston (Department of Maritime Administration). Outside of academia, Dr. Estrada worked as an economist for state agencies in Louisiana and Mississippi and as a senior economist with an international consulting firm.

In addition to professional responsibilities, Dr. Estrada maintains a keen interest in a number of academic activities. He holds memberships in several organizations (Network of Border Economics and National Defense Transportation Association and has published 25 research papers on regional economic development topics in peer-reviewed academic journals, professional conference proceedings, and technical reports. He has also served as a conference session chair/reviewer for a number of organizations (Academy of Economics and Finance, Southwestern Economics Association, and the Southern Agricultural Economics Association).

Dr. Estrada possesses a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Mississippi State University (1992), a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Fordham University in New York (1988), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines (1985).

 

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Dr. Donald Christian

Dr. Christian, accomplished musician and former band director, serves as the Dean of the College of Business for Concordia University Texas, a position he has held since the fall of 2005.  Over the past five years, Dr. Christian has grown the Bachelor of Business Administration program by over 70%, making it the largest and fastest growing traditional program on Concordia’s campus.  He has also engaged the community in the growth of the College by bringing together an advisory board of well-known Austin business people, establishing a monthly speaker series which spotlights leaders from the Central Texas region, and partnering with different not-for-profits that provide real-life experiences for select Concordia students.

Dr. Christian received his Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix where his research and dissertation focused on the correlation between leadership skills and interagency collaboration among organizations.  His teaching expertise is in the areas of leadership and management, and was chosen as one of the finalists for the Neeb Teaching Award at Concordia in the spring of 2008.  He is also one of the authors of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) entitled Providing a Campus Life that Develops Leaders.  Recent speaking engagements have included the IACBE National Conference, the Austin Leadership Forum, and the International First Year Experience Confernece. Prior to his work at Concordia, Dr. Christian served in a variety of leadership positions, including Headmaster of Lutheran High North in Houston, Texas; Parish Life Administrator at Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Houston; and as a high school band director.  He earned a Masters in Music and Wind Conducting from the University of Cincinnati in 1986 and completed his undergraduate work at Concordia University Chicago in 1981.


Don is married to Deborah Christian who teaches English and serves as the College Admissions Coordinator for Concordia Academy, a 9-12 Lutheran High School in Austin.  They both love to travel, read, and enjoy a good glass of wine with a gourmet meal.

 

You can learn more about Dr. Christian by visiting his Leadership Home Page - or by reading his weekly blog entitled Thinking About Leadership, or by following him on Twitter.

 

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