Meet St. Petersburg College’s new Dean of the College of Business! In June, Dr. Emmanuel Hernandez-Agosto joined SPC, bringing with him expertise as a Business Incubator Manager, as well as in entrepreneurship and community development, and 15 years of experience in higher education in the areas of marketing, recruitment, curriculum development and accelerated learning programs for adult learners. He holds an MBA from Universidad Metropolitana, and a doctorate in business administration with a specialization in management from Universidad del Turabo.
In previous years, I was an Associate Dean running the professional studies school at the Universidad Ana G. Mendez in Puerto Rico. I remember the excitement and challenges that came with that. I believe I saw the opportunity in this role to reignite the intrapreneur in me, and through it, I could be part of a community of allies who support upward mobility for our students.
The immediate way we plan to create a positive impact is by focusing on assisting minority groups to learn and benefit from what a business degree can do to their future. We’ll assess our curriculum to ensure our relevance to all.
How did you come to specialize in entrepreneurship and community development?
I’ve always had an interest in social enterprises. As I was working on my dissertation, I focused on studying business incubators and the impact these had on the communities in which they were located. This led me to work on some innovative projects that foster economic development. I worked on a grant to develop a network of business incubators for micro-businesses in Puerto Rico, and I also worked in various entrepreneurial training programs led by students and me in the Bay County area. We invested over 10,000 hours of service that helped create over ten businesses. It was fulfilling and very dynamic.
What was your first job? What lessons do you still carry from that experience?
If we are talking about a paid job, I would say it was cleaning water tanks. In Puerto Rico, most homes use water tanks, in case the city service stops working. Working on top of roofs under the beating sun made me realize the value of those who work in the trade field. This experience also made me realize the importance of work in general, but precisely how valuable the work is in those areas that might not require a degree. It taught me about hard work, the importance of a work ethic, and how to treat others fairly.
What do you love doing outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, taking road trips around nature and playing chess and volleyball.
What do you need from SPC and surrounding communities?
I certainly don’t know it all, so I’m always looking for input from community members, students, and others who can help us shape the future of the College of Business and its impact on the communities we serve.