Alumni Spotlight: Gary Dennis

Major: MBA

Graduation Year: 2010

What are you doing now?

Executive Director of The Jessye Norman School of The Arts

How did your time at AU prepare you for where you are today?

It taught me that it is unreasonable to expect outcomes for which you haven’t aligned your incentives to support.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known while an undergrad?

That being present and positive makes hard work a lot easier.

What person or course most influenced you while at AU? How?

Virtually every professor in the Hull College of Business influenced me in some way. Dalton Brannen was tough, forgiving, and encouraging. Peter Basciano is whip smart and practical. Jim Grayson is an operational and analytical genius. James Mayes is common sense and loyal friend. Pamela Jackson effortlessly sorted through to the things that really matter both professionally and personally. Cathy Slade is fearless and Nabil Ibrahim’s mind for understanding and sharing his understanding of statistics was awe inspiring. Simon Medcalfe may have inadvertently influenced me most. He didn’t accept mediocrity and certainly didn’t reward it. I think he, more than anyone else really reinforced the idea that incentives drive behavior. It’s been a core part of how I operate in my job and in the community at large.

What advice do you have for students interested in your field?

It’s the same advice I give myself, but don’t always take. Be present, be positive, and do things for the right reasons. The rest will work itself out.

What do you miss most about AU?

The Hull College of Business has some of the area’s best and brightest staff and students. It’s a great crowd.

What are one or two of your proudest professional and/or personal accomplishments that you’ve experienced after graduating?

My oldest daughter graduated from nursing school a few years ago and my youngest daughter joined the U.S. Coast Guard. On a professional level, I’m proud that we’ve transformed our corner in Augusta to a bright and vibrant place for community and creativity, and that our students come back every year to be a part of our teaching and development staff. It’s great to see the impact on our kids over time.

Written by
Tim Rausch

Tim Rausch is a Communication Strategist in the Dean's Office at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

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Written by Tim Rausch

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The James M. Hull College of Business is accredited by AACSB International and offers outstanding, highly-engaged business education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.