Faculty Spotlight | Prof. Jason Kozak, MBA Program
"While many of my students are not specifically looking for a Human Resources degree, the information I focus on in class is relevant and beneficial to anyone who is an employee or manager."
Prof. Jason Kozak, MBA Program
- Business Administration (MBA)
- The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business
Can you provide a glimpse into your educational and career background?
I graduated from Towson University with a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing, and a year later with an MBA in Management from Loyola University. In the early part of my career, I was in financial services and banking; with most of the time spent in management at M&T Bank. I then served as the Chief Operating Officer for KIPP Baltimore, Inc., a renowned national education organization.
About nine years ago, I intentionally changed my career trajectory to focus on Human Resources. I am currently an HR Manager within the Maryland Department of Transportation in addition to teaching at Hood College in the MBA program.
As a professor, do you have a certain teaching style? What would you like your students to take away from your classes?
My goal and style are to ensure students walk away with a base of knowledge that is relevant in their lives. I try to focus on issues and matters that are likely to be encountered in one’s life or career. While many of my students are not specifically looking for a Human Resources degree, the information I focus on in class is relevant and beneficial to anyone who is an employee or manager.
If I can provide an environment where students are better informed, know their rights in the workplace, and they can leave with tools and resources to be a better manager; I feel that embodies my style. I bring actual life examples, cases, and experiences to the classroom.
What motivated you to join the Human Resource (HR) field?
I shifted my career and certifications to Human Resources because of a very positive and impactful experience and interaction I had with a Human Resources Director many years ago. I was young in my career and at the time, it was my first interaction with Human Resources. Throughout the process I was involved in, the Director was compassionate and fair, and turned a potentially negative experience into a very positive one. I want to be that person to others.
I want to be the person who champions employee’s rights; the person who treats people with respect and dignity; the person who genuinely cares about employees and who seeks to help them; and the person who can make a difference- making the employee and the organization better. I found fulfillment and the best way to achieve that was to lead within an HR department.
What made you choose Hood College?
I first thank David Gurzick, Ph.D. for believing in me and providing this Hood College teaching opportunity. I’ve said this to all my classes: my experience with Hood students has been fantastic. I enjoy the diversity and backgrounds of the students, I enjoy the students' work ethic and desire to engage and learn, and I enjoy the knowledge and perspective they bring. I am grateful for the students and classroom interactions as I personally take away a great deal of knowledge.
Any other relevant or interesting information that you would like to share?
I am going into my twelfth year of teaching in higher education; entering my fourth year at Hood College. I drive about two hours each way to teach in the evenings, but I truly love the campus and what Hood’s graduate students have to offer.