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Spears Business welcomes Executive Ph.D. Cohort X

Monday, October 11, 2021

Media Contact:
Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 | [email protected]

The Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University welcomes Cohort X to the
Ph.D. in Business for Executives program.

Students will begin their three-year, AACSB-accredited doctoral program for the 2021-2022
academic year. This program allows organizational leaders to earn a doctorate while
continuing their full-time careers. The program is designed to bridge academic study
and business practice through a rich, research-based curriculum. 

“We are excited to welcome the 10th cohort to our nationally recognized executive
doctoral program,” said Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School of Business. “This
diverse group of executives come from a variety of backgrounds including oil and gas,
higher education, and technology and medical fields. We can’t wait to see what awaits

Executives from Cohort X (2021-2024)

Prashant Budhale: Budhale is the Vice President of Technology for SONIC/Inspire Brands and is responsible
for all aspects of technology supporting more than 3,500 restaurants, more than 300
franchisees and over $5 billion in revenue. He has worked for Pizza Hut, Fujitsu America
and Capgemini US. Budhale earned his MBA (finance) from Butler University. 

Lance R. Coffman: Coffman is the Regional Business Consultant for Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University
in Springfield, Missouri, where he has assisted business owners in increasing sales
by over $10.7 million last fiscal year. He accomplished this through one-on-one consulting
and expanding experiential learning programs to pair clients with several new classes
and departments. Coffman earned his MBA from MSU.

Bill Fairhurst: Fairhurst is President/Co-Founder of Riverford Exploration, an oil and gas exploration
and production company and an oil and gas consulting business with offices in The
Woodlands, Austin and Dallas. Fairhurst has also held positions at the University
of Texas-Austin, Lee College, and Eagle Oil & Gas, Co. He has an MBA (finance) from
the University of Houston and a master’s degree in geology from the University of

Dan Gregory: Gregory is Vice President of Administration at Concordia University Texas where he
serves as operational and strategic lead for facilities management, capital projects,
land planning and acquisition, campus police, auxiliary businesses, environmental
stewardship, risk management, insurance, compliance, contracts and legal. Gregory
earned a master’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Texas-Austin
and a master’s in construction engineering management from the University of Alabama
at Birmingham.

Jesse D. Meldru: Meldru recently became CFO at StaffDx. He has more than two decades of diverse experience
leading management and financial success with global and domestic organizations in
a variety of industries, including healthcare. Meldru earned a master’s degree in
professional accounting (taxation emphasis) from Colorado State University and an
MBA (finance emphasis) from Georgia State University.

Natasha P. Poularikas: Poularikas serves as an Instructor for Marketing and Supply Chain Division at the
University of Oklahoma. She previously worked for MidFirst Bank, the Hess Corporation
and Burlington Resources. She earned her MBA (finance) from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Robert E. Sapién: Sapién is a Distinguished Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the
University of New Mexico and serves as Chief Medical Officer for sapienWELLNESS. Sapién
received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine,
and a master’s of medical management at the University of Southern California’s Marshall
School of Business. He has been a practicing physician since 1986. Sapién completed
hypnotherapy training at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America in 2005 and is a co-founder
of the International Board of Hypnotherapy.

Angela T. Schwartz: As Services Practice Leader for Microsoft Corporation, Schwartz leads an organization
of 300 consultants, engineers, project managers and technical delivery managers working
with federal government clients to perform platform migrations to the Cloud, infrastructure
modernization, cyber security hardening including addressing the people change management,
process, and governance aspects of Cloud Services migrations. She earned her MBA from
Mercer University.

The Executive Ph.D. program is also accepting applications for Fall 2022. Applications
are due Feb. 1. For more information visit: