The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

May 23, 2008

GWSB 2008 School Celebration

Judith Muhlberg with daughter Erika
Dean Susan M. Phillips

More than 360 GWSB undergraduate students and nearly 500 graduate students received their degrees May 16. Two distinguished speakers addressed the class of 2008 at the diploma ceremonies. Peyton R. Patterson, M.B.A.,’83, chairman, president and chief executive officer of NewAlliance Bancshares and NewAlliance Bank delivered the graduate commencement address and Judith Muhlberg, a consultant for Gagen MacDonald, served as the keynote speaker for the undergraduate celebration.

Dean Phillips recognized Salvatore F. Divita during each ceremony. Divita, who joined the faculty in 1966, is retiring; he served as the School’s Marshall since the late 1960s. He will be a Professor Emeritus of Marketing.

Click here for more graduation photos.

GWSB Professor Heads West

Richard Green, the Oliver T. Carr, Jr, professor of real estate finance and director of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, has been named as director and Lusk Chair in Real Estate at the University of Southern California Lusk Center.

Jack Knott, Dean of the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development (SPPD) said, “Dr. Green’s distinguished work reaches across disciplines and sectors, allowing for the kind of comprehensive and innovative approaches to research and education that the Lusk Center was founded to pursue. I am confident that under Dr. Green’s leadership, the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate will further cement its position as the pre-eminent real estate research institute in the United States.”

Green begins his new job in August.

Graduate Students Uncork Wine Country Potential

GWSB tourism & hospitality management distance masters students and Bora Baki, Hillsborough Vineyard and Winery Owner (pictured in red jacket)

The third annual GW Accelerated Masters of Tourism Administration (AMTA) Capstone Case Competition, brought together students from across the U.S., and as far away as Denmark and Japan. Students competed to see which graduate team could develop the best sustainable tourism plan for Virginia’s wine country. The 27 GW Tourism & Hospitality Management distance masters students focused on how the state of Virginia could manage explosive growth in wine tourism.

The winning team included students from all over the world. Kim Brock is a full time teacher, and an event & meeting management major who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio; Rob Canton is from Tampa, Fla., is director of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Sports, Convention & Tourism Practice; Shannon Helvey is a resident of Iwakuni, Japan has dual majors in sport management and event & meeting management. Helvey was able to pursue her GWU program even though her military family moves around the world; and Kristina Salin is a sustainable destination management major from Canada.

According to AMTA Executive Director Reynald Brouard, the week-long competition, is the final hurdle for students graduating from the program. “Armed with knowledge gained during the AMTA program, students were able to tackle the challenges that face the Virginia wine-tourism industry,” said Brouard. “The ideas and proposals generated from the student’s presentations were innovative and professional consultant quality.”

In recent years, Virginia saw a rapid increase in wineries throughout the Commonwealth. Today, the state boasts 135 wineries and 262 vineyards, according to the Virginia Wine Board. Twenty years ago, there were approximately 35 wineries; today there are 135 licensed wineries.

“The growth in Virginia’s wine country is extraordinary.” said Brouard. “Last year, Travel & Leisure magazine ranked Virginia as one of the world’s top five up-and-coming wine regions. This assignment allowed students to apply their knowledge to a real situation.”

The Virginia Tourism Corporation approached George Washington University to consider studying the Commonwealth’s fastest-growing tourism segment.

“I am impressed with the quality of George Washington’s Graduate Tourism program. We looked forward to seeing the students’ recommendations for Virginia Wine Country. It was interesting to see new policy ideas and fresh marketing concepts,” said CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation Alisa Bailey.

Students were exposed to various leaders of the wine industry throughout the week. The mentors were winery owners, event organizers, destination-marketing experts, and wine association executives. Modeled on MBA case competitions, the AMTA students were divided into seven teams and judged by industry experts. The competition was designed to immerse students in a local tourism issue and allow them to provide recommendations for sustainable growth. Past AMTA case competitions tackled the Maryland Horse Racing industry and the National Harbor’s impact on the Washington D.C. convention and hotel business.

Diaspora Program Hosts International Workshop and Policy Roundtable

Diaspora roundtable panelists
Diaspora workshop participants

On May 15, the GW-Diaspora Program hosted two events that continued to promote GW as a center of excellence in diaspora research. During the day, leading scholars, practitioners, and policymakers from around the world participated in a workshop entitled, “Diasporas and Development: Sharing Ideas and Identifying New Frontiers.” During the workshop, papers were presented by representatives from multi-lateral organizations, including the World Bank, government agencies including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and area think tanks such as the Migration Policy Institute.

Several GW faculty presented their work, including: Jennifer Brinkerhoff, associate professor of public administration, international business, and of international affairs; Elizabeth Chacko and Marie Price, associate professors of geography and international affairs; Stephen Lubkemann, assistant professor of anthropology and international affairs; and Liesl Riddle, assistant professor of international business and international affairs.

Yevgeny Kuznetsov, senior economist at the World Bank, noted that the workshop was “a refreshing experience.” Leila Rispens-Noel, program officer for the Netherlands Oxfam-Novib observed, “It was heart warming to see so many committed people involved in migration and development issues. I learned a lot of new things that are helpful to our work in Europe.”

Later that evening participants attended a policy roundtable entitled, “How Diasporas Can Affect Development Policy: Transatlantic Perspectives.” Head of Public and Congressional Affairs at the Regional Delegation for the U.S. and Canada, at the International Committee of the Red Cross Mark Silverman, gave the opening address. GW’s Jennifer Brinkerhoff moderated a thought-provoking discussion among four panelists each representing different sectors in the policy-making process: (1) a research institution (Fantu Cheru, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden); (2) an NGO (Leila Rispens-Noel, NOVIB, the Netherlands); a diaspora organization (Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie, Africa Foundation for Development, United Kingdom); and a government agency, Thomas Debass, U.S. Agency for International Development).

Funding for both events was provided by the GW-Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the GW University Seminar Series on Diasporas, Policy and Research, and the Elliott School for International Affairs. To learn more about the GW-Diaspora Program visit

GWSB Students Meet with Patent and Trademark Office Representatives

USPTO Deputy Director Margaret J. A. Peterlin congratulates the GW School of Business team and GWSB Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Public Policy James Thurman.

Winners of the George Washington School of Business 2008 International Business Case Competition met recently with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) senior management to present proposed solutions to the pressing issues of patent pendency and backlog at the USPTO.

The competition brought together 18 teams of M.B.A. students from around the world to provide recommendations on alleviating the backlog and patent pendency challenges. USPTO is the first federal agency to serve as a case study for the competition.

GWSB Professor Participates in Uzbekistan Conference

Stuart Umpleby makes a presentation to Uzbek students via video conference.

Stuart Umpleby, professor of management, spoke to Uzbek students during a video conference titled, “How to do Research.” The audience included Uzbek students planning to apply to study-abroad programs in the United States and young faculty

members who are participating in the State Department’s Junior Faculty Development Program. Since 1994, GWSB has hosted about 150 young professors as part of the program.

Getting to Know: Donny Truong

Title: Web Developer

Job Duties: Design and maintain the School of Business websites.

Years at GW: Five months

Best part of working for the GWSB: The educational environment, which allows me to work and learn at the same time.

Favorite place on campus: Jazz jam sessions in the music department.

What co-workers don’t know about me: I am a Miles freak. I can listen to Miles Davis all day long. He helps me get my creative juice flowing.

Family: My lovely future wife, my wonderful mother. I also have two sisters in the U.S. and three sisters and a brother in Vietnam

Favorite things to do on the weekends: Visit my mom in Lancaster, Pa., go to Vietnamese restaurants, or simply chill.

Favorite Book: “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris

Favorite vacation spots: Las Vegas, Niagara Falls, and of course Vietnam.


Howard Beales, associate professor of strategic management and public policy, testified before the House Financial Services Committee on a consumer protection issue, the Credit Repair Organizations Act, on May 21.

Krishna R. Kumar, associate dean for research and doctoral studies and professor of accountancy, presented, “Auditor capacity stress and audit quality: Market-based evidence from Andersen’s indictment,” in April at the 2008 Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association held at Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The paper was co-authored with Stephen Hansen and Mary Sullivan, assistant professors of accountancy.

Liesl Riddle, assistant professor of international business & international affairs, George Hrivnak, management doctoral fellow, and Tjai Nielsen, assistant professor of management, presented, “Bridging Two Worlds: The Challenges of Transnational Business Incubation,” at a conference sponsored by Laurier University’s Centre for Nascent Entrepreneurship and the Exploitation of Technology in Waterloo, Canada, April 28 – May 1. Riddle and Nielsen also presented, “Policies to Strengthen Diaspora Investment and Entrepreneurship: Cross-National Perspectives,” at the United Nations’ group meeting, in New York on May 13, 2008; “Diaspora Homeland Investment: The Catalyzing Role of Non-Governmental Organizations,” at the third International Colloquium on Corporate Political Activity, in Paris on May 21-23, 2008. Riddle spoke at the second annual Heritage Summit sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in Washington DC, on May 16, 2008. Her presentation was on, “The Transnational Value of Diaspora Communities.”

Grant Awards

Frank Anbari, assistant professor of decision sciences and Young Kwak, associate professor of decision sciences, received a research grant from IBM Center for the Business of Government. Anbari and Kwak also received a $30,000 grant from the Project Management Institute to study the impact of project management of allied disciplines, they completed the project last December. Their findings are published in “Impact on Project Management of Allied Disciplines: Trends and Future of Project Management Practices and Research.

Getting Ink

Douglas Fretchtling, professor of tourism and hospitality management, was quoted in the article, “Museum puts you at scene of crime.” The article was about the opening of the new National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington. Fretchtling commented on the museum’s cover charge. “I think there’s an uphill fight for a new museum opening, charging that much money and presuming to attract families,” said Douglas Frechtling. (5/20)

Class Notes

Mitchell E. Blaser, B.B.A, ‘73, has been promoted to senior vice president and chief operating officer of Ironshore Inc. Blaser has been with Ironshore since Day 1. He was cited as being, “a terrific partner and constantly thinking about Ironshore.” CEO Robert Deutsch said, “His involvement includes all facets of our business. I can’t imagine, nor do I want to, what Ironshore would be like without his tenacity and dedication.” Blaser serves as the Chair for the GWSB Dean’s Board of Advisors.

Brian Kressin, M.S.P.M, ‘04, completed a two-year consular position in Taipei, Taiwan, in June 2007. He recently returned to the U.S. to study Russian, and he will leave next month to work at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for a two-year consular tour.

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