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Dr. David Haas

Chairperson and Associate Professor of Management

Difference Maker

Nominator: Jonathan Bradshaw '10

Jonathan's Memories: When I first met Dr. David Haas, I had no idea what I wanted to do after I finished school. We met my junior year while I was pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration. I didn't know it at the time, but I was meeting the most influential professor that I would study under at KU. At the beginning of my second semester, junior year, I needed to take a business elective, and I basically picked Dr. Hass's Introduction to Logistics class out of a hat. I didn't even know what logistics was. 

While taking Dr. Haas's class, I began to develop a curiosity in global logistics (how businesses moved goods around the world). Dr. Haas's passion for logistics was contagious, and his real-world experience in the field (he was a retired lieutenant colonel and worked as a logistician for the Army before he became a professor) made the subject interesting and made me want to learn more. Once he recognized my interest in the field, he told me about a certificate program for supply chain management and logistics that KU offered, and he noted that I had already taken some of the classes required to earn it. I decided to pursue it, and I went to my guidance counselor to set up my class schedule accordingly. As I moved through the certificate program, I went from merely having an interest in the subject to seriously considering the pursuit of a career in the field of logistics. I expressed this interest to Dr. Haas, and he helped me put together a resume, and also gave me his contacts in the area so that I could get my resume out there and start the job hunting process.

One day during class, Dr. Haas mentioned that there would be a job-seminar with the General Services Administration (GSA) after class. I didn't have class during the seminar, so I went to see what it was all about, and brought my resume. Two weeks later, I received a call from LT. Chris Napierkowski, who said he was looking over my resume and wanted to talk to me about a career as an officer in the United States Navy. I wasn't even sure how my resume had moved from the job conference into his hands, but who cared! Finally! I actually had an employer pursuing me, rather than the other way around. I knew I had to at least hear him out, so we talked for a while and I wrote down some information.

I emailed Dr. Haas that night, and asked him to set aside some time for us to talk in his office. When I told him I got a call from a Navy recruiter, his eyes lit up. I recognized instantly how excited he was for me, though I certainly wasn't sold on the career from one short phone call from a recruiter. I asked him every question I could think of about a career in the Armed Forces, and he told me about his experiences and how much the military had to offer. He'd traveled around the world, been responsible for millions of dollars in government funds and the careers of hundreds of soldiers. He explained that I would be given more responsibility early on in my career than my peers entering the private sector, and that I would be constantly challenged. He also told me about the sacrifices involved with this career choice, of which there are many. He didn't pull any punches. Dr. Haas wanted me to get a full scope of the opportunity that was before me.

After taking some time to think about it, I went ahead and put my application package together to become a supply corps officer, which is, essentially, a naval logistician. Dr. Haas wrote me an excellent letter of recommendation as a part of my package, which I have kept to this day. My package went before a board of officers who would choose which applicants were accepted and which were rejected. The selection rate for that nationwide board was highly competitive, and only 6.9 percent of applicants were selected to go to Officer Candidate School and begin their naval careers. My grades were ok, but not outstanding-but I was still selected!

If Dr. Haas hadn't mention the GSA job conference, my resume would've never made it into LT. Napierkowski's hand, and I would've never been in this position. In addition, I knew that Dr. Haas's letter was what made my package stand out and ultimately got me selected. I completed Officer Candidate School and got ordered to the guided missile cruiser, USS CHOSIN (CG 65), and the rest is history. I've traveled the world, been put in charge of my own division of 30 sailors and $1 million in equipment and even been at the helm of a warship. This career has already been incredibly rewarding for me, and has given me a leg up on my peers in terms of the management skills I've developed. The experiences I've had here have been truly unique, and it's all thanks to Dr. Haas. Without him, I'm not sure where I would've ended up after school.

Unfortunately, in the midst of a busy career, I lost contact with Dr. Haas. In early 2013, while trying to find his contact information online, I instead found his obituary. He had passed away a few months earlier. Of course, I had already thanked him for his help while I was at school, but I wanted to relay my experiences to him, tell him sea stories...just let him know how I was doing, and tell him that none of this would've happened without him. I owe him so much. That is why I knew I had to write a nomination for Dr. Haas, as a "professor who made a difference." I will forever be in debt to Dr. Haas for seeing something in me, and taking the extra time to help guide me as I transitioned from college into my military career. For me, he made all the difference.

Dr. Haas passed away in December 2012

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