Milena Nikolova, PhD

Degree earned: PhD
Graduation date: August 2010
Main field of study: Marketing
Supporting field: Tourism
Dissertation title: “Brand Effects on Retrospective Evaluations of Past Consumption Experiences”

Milena S. Nikolova completed the Doctoral Program at the GW School of Business in 2010 and now holds a PhD in Marketing. Her research interests are in consumer behavior, specifically in the context of travel. Her dissertation explores the nature of retrospective evaluations of past consumption experiences and the impacts that current brand exposure can have on these evaluations.

During the six years at GWSB Milena worked as research assistant at the International Institute of Tourism Studies and instructor in the Master of Tourism Administration (MTA) program. She co-taught one of the most popular courses on the GWSB curriculum – the International Consulting Practicum, which engages advanced MBA and MTA students in real-world economic development assignments around the world.

Before coming to the US to join the GW School of Business, Ms. Nikolova worked for seven years with international development programs in Bulgaria where she is originally from. These included projects promoting competitiveness of priority sectors, public-private dialogue, capacity building for the public and non-governmental sectors, and public communications. She has worked for and collaborated with programs supported by USAID, UNDP, EU PHARE Program, World Bank, JICA, and others.

Currently, Milena is an international consultant and analyst working on economic growth projects around the world. Her extensive international work includes in-country projects in Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Georgia, Guatemala, Jordan, Montenegro, Panama, Serbia and Turkey. She is also the Managing Director of the European office of a small consulting company specialized in designing competitive market-oriented solutions for tourism businesses and travel destinations.

Along with consulting, Milena continues to work on research projects and academic publications in her field.


Philippe Duverger, PhD

Degree earned: PhD
Graduation Date: May 2009
Current job: Assistant Professor of Marketing, Towson University
Dissertation topic or title: “The effect of negative ties on the innovative consumers’ creativity: An emperical study of new service idea generation in a social network environment”

When asked about his experience with the Department of Marketing at GWSB, alumnus Philippe Duverger responded:
“The faculty exceeded my expectations in every way. The breadth and variety of the research interests and life experience of the GWSB PhD program faculty in general, and the Marketing Department in particular, provided the foundation for a great educational experience. The faculty also made every effort to be very welcoming, making for a great personal experience as well.”
Recent publications:

Duverger, Phillippe (2011), “Using Dissatisfied Customers as a Source for Innovative Service Ideas,” Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research , Forthcoming.

Hassan, Salah S. and Philippe Duverger (2010), “How Do ‘Leading-Edge’ Opinion Leaders Bridge the Innovation Gap? Advancing a New Adopter Category,” in Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 37, Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, eds. Duluth, Association for Consumer Research.


Michael W. Zeliff, PhD

Degree earned: MBA/PhD
Graduation date: 2003/2009
Dissertation topic or title: The use of personality profiles and value systems to identify successful sales executives
Current occupation: Currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for an advertising agency, JWT INSIDE and teaches part-time in the GWSB Department of Marketing

What special experiences during your academic study here in the Department of Marketing made an impact on your current career? “The faculty and staff from the Marketing Department greatly assisted me in my transition from the Marine Corps to civilian life by helping me outline the road map, educating me along the path and preparing me for success.”

Recent publications or presentations: In July he was notified that his article which was submitted to the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation was accepted for presentation at their Direct and Interactive Marketing Research Summit in October.

Affiliations with marketing organizations: Member of the American Marketing Association and active in the DC chapter.


Hamed Shamma, PhD

Degree earned : PhD
Graduation date : 2007
Current job : Assistant Professor of Marketing at the American University in Cairo
Dissertation topic or title : “A Stakeholder Perspective for Examining Corporate Reputation: An Empirical Study of the US Wireless Telecommunications Industry”

When asked about his experience with the Department of Marketing at GWSB, alumnus Hamed Shamma responded: “GWSB provided me with an unparalleled experience in marketing education. I gained extensive research knowledge; taught motivated, challenging and demanding students; participated in local and international conferences; and had ample opportunity to link marketing theory with marketing practice. The Marketing Department faculty made me feel right at home. It was the best three-and-a-half years of my life.”

Recent Publications :

Shamma, Hamed and Salah S. Hassan (2011), “Integrating Product and Corporate Brand Equity into Total Brand Equity Measurement,” International Journal of Marketing Studies , 3 (1), 11-20.

Shamma, Hamed M., Robert F. Dyer and Marilyn L. Liebrenz-Himes (2011), “Customer Relationship Management in Professional Service Organizations: An Application to the Building Industry,” International Journal of Customer Relationship Marketing and Management , (2) 2, 1-15.

Shamma, Hamed M. and Salah S. Hassan (2009), “Customer and non-customer perspectives for examining.”


Andrea Mazzu, MBA

Degree earned: MBA
Graduation date: 2006
Current job: Market Metrics

How did your experience at The George Washington University Business School with a Marketing concentration influence the path of your career?

“I knew coming into college that I wanted to work in Marketing, but through my different marketing courses, and with guidance from professors, I was able to pinpoint where my strengths and interests lie in the field of Marketing: market research, advertising, and events.”

What one class/professor/topic influences your career decision after graduation?

“Professor Tolba has been a great help to me. I truly enjoyed the marketing research class I took with him, and when I came to my senior year I needed some guidance and career advice. Professor Tolba helped me match my interests with certain positions and really gave me insight into what to expect and look for in my job search.”

Can you share one interesting story that applies to your experience at GWU Department of Marketing?

“My favorite aspect of the Marketing program at GWU is that the classes are broken down into the smaller fields within Marketing, such as Advertising and Market Research. I think this really helps students figure out the areas of Marketing they are most interested in. Also, I felt that all of my professors offered more than just lectures. They all have work experience to offer students, which I found very valuable.”


Ahmed Tolba, PhD

Degree earned: PhD
Graduation date: 2006

Current job: Assistant Professor of Marketing, Department of Management, School of Business, The American University in Cairo

Dissertation topic or title: “Integrating Customer-Based Brand Equity with Brand Market Performance: An Empirical Investigation of the U.S. Automotive Industry.”

When asked about his experience with the Department of Marketing at GWSB, alumnus Ahmed Tolba responded: “ The five years spent at GWSB were extremely beneficial, and clearly shaped my academic career. The support I had from all Faculty and Staff at the Department of Marketing was exceptional. The environment allowed me to enhance my research knowledge, develop my teaching capabilities and plan my academic career. I ended up joining the top university in my country. It was a great experience!”

Recent Publications:

Tolba, Ahmed (2011), “The Impact of Distribution Intensity on Brand Preference and Brand Loyalty,” International Journal of Marketing Studies , 3 (3), August.

Tolba, Ahmed and Maha Mourad (2011), “Individual and Cultural Factors Affecting Diffusion on Innovation,” Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies , 5, April.

Hassan, Salah S., Maha Mourad and Ahmed H. Tolba (2010), “Conceptualising the Influence of Lead Users and Opinion Leaders on Accelerating the Rate of Innovation Diffusion,” International Journal of Technology Marketing, 5 (3), 203-218.


Stephen H. Craft, PhD

Degree earned: PhD
Graduation date: 2001
Current job: Dean, Michael E. Stephens College of Business, The University of Montevallo
Dissertation topic or title: Marketing & Globalization

When asked about his experience with the Department of Marketing at GWSB, alumnus Stephen Craft responded:

“I am enormously pleased with my doctoral experience at The George Washington University. Before entering the doctoral program, I spent nearly 10 years in industry including senior-level marketing positions in product and brand management. Therefore, I began my doctoral studies with a great deal of applied experience in the field. GW provided the training in research methods and advanced theory in the field that brought context to my industry experience. The national and international reputation of The George Washington University lent significant credibility to my degree, and that continues to open doors in my career.”