Graduate Faculty Focus | Adam Cubbage, Sr., DOL

Adam Cubbage

“I was drawn to Hood College’s academic reputation, the quality of the professors and the campus community. I checked out every college and university between here and D.C., and this is where I wanted to go.”

Adam Cubbage, Sr., DOL


  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Business Administration (Doctorate)
  • Organizational Leadership (Doctorate)


  • The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business

Adam Cubbage, Sr. is a current student in Hood College’s doctorate in organizational leadership program and adjunct professor in The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business. Before Hood, Professor Cubbage earned his bachelor’s degree in public policy from Penn State and his master’s degree from University of Maryland’s Smith Graduate School. Along with his involvement teaching and taking courses at the college, Cubbage competed in this year’s Three Minute Thesis competition. We spoke with Cubbage about his experiences teaching, being a doctoral student and competing in the Three Minute Thesis.

Could you briefly explain your career and educational background?

After graduating from Penn State with a bachelor’s in public policy, I was commissioned into the U.S. Army. After 10 years on active duty, including two combat tours, I became a defense contractor and worked for Battelle Memorial Institute. During that time, I attended night school at UMD’s Smith Graduate School, where I earned my master’s degree. Shortly after that, I worked at Gallup World Headquarters and a few other places until I started a consulting company in 2016. Then, in 2019, I took the leap and started the doctorate in organizational leadership (DOL) program at Hood College.

What drew you to Hood College?

I was drawn to Hood College’s academic reputation, the quality of the professors and the campus community. I checked out every college and university between here and D.C., and this is where I wanted to go.

What interested you about the DOL program?

The curriculum aligned with my professional goals and interests. Its focus on practical leadership skills, innovation in organizational contexts and incorporation of the latest research and strategies in leadership made it very attractive. The fact that this program uses a cohort model was one of the deciding factors for me.

Could you briefly describe the thesis you presented?

Working professionals in Maryland organizations perceive there to be a leadership deficit.

What preparations did you do for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition?

Besides the obvious part about actually doing the research, I spent weeks telling anyone and everyone who would listen to me about my research.


The aim of the 3MT Competition is to succinctly explain one’s research to a nonspecialist audience. So, I thought there was no better way to “practice” for the competition than by actually doing it. This helped me tremendously tailor my presentation.

Overall, what was the competition like? Do you have any takeaways from it?

The competition was great. It’s simultaneously fun, informative and nerve-wracking. You get to listen to other scholar-practitioners talk about research they are passionate about and it’s very impressive.


My biggest takeaway is how fast three minutes actually goes. There are so many things we think are “important” and that we just have to share with an audience. But when you try and squeeze all that in to three minutes, you quickly realize how difficult it is.

Would you have any advice for people interested in participating in the next 3MT Competition?

Do it! It will only make you a better and more confident scholar-practitioner. Your research does nobody any good if you cannot explain it.

Are there any fun facts or trivia about yourself that you would like to share?

I am a diehard Philadelphia sports fan. I grew up in Philly, and my father took me to see Ron Jaworski and Harold Carmichael (Eagles), Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt (Phillies), Julius “Dr. J” Erving & Moses Malone (76ers), and Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent (Flyers). The early 1980s were a great time to be a kid and a Philly sports fan.

Inspired by Adam Cubbage’s experiences at the 3MT Competition? Ready to #GOFURTHER in your career? Learn more about Hood College’s doctoral programs, such as organizational leadership, by clicking here.