The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

December 19, 2008

School of Business Faculty Members Named Dean’s Research Scholars

The George Washington University School of Business named four faculty members as 2009 Dean’s Research Scholars. They are Alexandre Baptista, assistant professor of finance; Wenjing (Wendy) Duan, assistant professor of information systems and technology management; Gergana Jostova, associate professor of finance; and D. Christopher Kayes, associate professor of management.

Baptista is an expert in portfolio theory, risk management, and asset pricing.



Duan’s areas of expertise are the economics of e-commerce, electronic marketplaces, and Internet marketing; online user-generated content; and online communities and social networks.


Jostova is an expert in finance and investments.



Kayes focuses on management learning and change, learning styles, organizational development, and learning in groups.


Each year, Dean Susan M. Philips selects full-time faculty members with a record of distinguished published and current ongoing research to be Dean’s Research Scholars for two academic years. Dean’s Research Scholars receive a $25,000 summer-research stipend and reduced course loads during the regular academic year. These accommodations provide the scholars with time off from teaching during the academic year and in the summer so that they may concentrate on their research. Each scholar also receives a $3,000 annual budget to defray research-related expenses.

Business School Colloquium Focuses on Growing Presence of China, Russia, and Iran in Latin America

Iran could serve as a conduit for terrorism
funding, says Douglas Farah.

U.S. neglect of Latin America has allowed Russia and China to exert greater influence in the region, according to experts at a colloquium sponsored by the Center for Latin American Issues (CLAI) at the School of Business and the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College.

Douglas Farah, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, told participants at the Dec. 5, 2008, gathering that Iran is also gaining a toehold, largely through new energy deals with Venezuela.

The Clinton administration failed to engage Latin America and the Bush administration’s attention was diverted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, opening the way for Russian investment in the energy sector, the panelists said. Russia also became an important supplier of military and satellite equipment. China, meanwhile, turned to the region for soy beans, iron, copper, and other goods, funding infrastructure projects – including roads and ports – to help facilitate those trade lanes.

“This is part of an ongoing foreign policy trend. It’s not just Russia interested in Latin America, but Latin American governments interested in Russia – to buy military goods and to sell commodities,” said Stephen Blank, research professor of national security at the Strategic Studies Institute.

Panelists agreed that the new players should be watched but disagreed on whether they represent a threat to the United States. They predicted that falling oil prices will diminish the clout of Russia and Iran but increase the influence of China.

Blank said Russia’s interest in the region stems as much from anti-U.S. sentiment as from commercial and strategic plans. But he downplayed the impact, saying Russia is not economically competitive with the United States and “has no vision of where Latin America should go, or do, or be, or what role it should play in the world.”

Still, he noted, the United States should be concerned about Russian military equipment destined, through Venezuela, for insurgent groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He said Russia may seek to build a diplomatic bloc to oppose U.S. interests in the United Nations or to form a natural gas cartel detrimental to the United States.

Commercial interests have also drawn China to Latin America, said Evan Ellis, an associate at strategy consulting firm Booz, Allen and Hamilton Inc. He said China may be using Latin America to take advantage of benefits under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Ellis described China as an important “supplier of investment and technology.” He pointed out that Chile, Peru, and Venezuela, are working to establish themselves as gateways to Asia while “Venezuela and some others are giving China special access and preferential terms.”

School of Business Hosts Chinese Executives

Kate Manolakos

2008 GWSB Executive Development Program Participants

The GW School of Business Executive Development Program (EDP) this month successfully completed its third, joint, executive-education event with China’s Tsinghua University School of Public Policy and Management. Thirty senior-level executives from China’s public administration sector attended a two-week series of lectures focused on business strategy and public management. The curriculum addressed business ethics, sustainability, human resources, strategic planning, project management, and financial management and markets. GWSB professors also offered insights on the financial climate in the United States and the economic implications for China and the global economy.

The program sought opportunities outside the classroom as well, working with globally focused organizations to give participants exposure to experts in the fields of economics, climate, and technology. In addition to traditional educational media, participants also visited local monuments and viewed an open session in the U.S. House of Representatives after touring the Capitol.

GWSB’s joint educational venture with Tsinghua University gives senior-level executives access to a global and progressive curriculum designed to complement the participants’ management knowledge.

Dean Susan M. Phillips, Hollywood Producer, and Stay-at-Home Mom Named Judges for “Hot Mommas” International Case Competition

What do the executive producer of the popular box-office hit “Lord of the Rings,” a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), the most influential woman in social media, and the Dean of the GW School of Business have in common? They are all on the “Hot Mommas” judging panel announced on December 10. Case writers in the competition, which runs through January 31, have a chance to see their story published in a Prentice Hall textbook, and featured in PINK magazine.

“Hot Mommas,” housed at GWSB, is an award-winning leadership project that raises the self-efficacy of women and girls through exposure to role models. The project produces case studies that explain the factors that influence a woman’s success. At the conclusion of the competition, all submitted cases will be made available online to educators and others. The goal of the project is to produce the world’s largest library of women’s case studies.

“I’m delighted to have such a diverse panel, because role modeling isn’t about just one set of skills. Our judges and case writers embody a range of personal and professional abilities that you would expect to see in authentic role models,” said Kathy Korman Frey, founder of the Hot Mommas Project and GWSB adjunct professor of management.

Judges will read a maximum of five cases then rate them on quality of professional/business and personal issues addressed, as well as discussion questions, teaching notes, appendices, and links.

For a complete list of the judges, to participate in the project, or to nominate a dynamic female role model over age 18, visit or email Winners will be announced March 10 in conjunction with International Women’s Day.

Hospitality Management Graduates Honored at Luncheon

MTA graduates and GWSB faculty

The Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management hosted a December 11 luncheon to honor the winter graduates of the Masters of Tourism Administration (MTA) Program.

Those honored were: Nadda Al-Jawini, Keith Dokho, Brandi Gaines, Natalie Gempesaw-Pangan, Eneida Fernandes, Emily Grinstead, Zalfa Hamidaldean, Shawndra Herry, Lindsay Hill, Susan Joo, Anton Jergens, Aaron Leong, Madeline Mitchell, Patrick Perico, Jonathan Pizzoli, Clay Socha, Tiffany Sy, and Tuo Zhang.

Getting to Know: Jake Messersmith

Title: assistant professor of management.

Job Duties: Research and teach in the areas of human-resource management and entrepreneurship.

Years at GW: Five months!

Best part of working for the GWSB: Insightful and supportive colleagues.

Favorite place on campus: Does Potbelly’s count?

What co-workers don’t know about me: I’ve ran four marathons and 12 half marathons in the past five years.

Family: Amber is my lovely wife, and she is an assistant professor at James Madison University.

Favorite things to do on the weekends: We enjoy traveling and exploring the neighborhoods in and around D.C. I also enjoy watching college football, running and an occasional round of golf on the weekends.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Bar Harbor, Maine.

Favorite Book: “American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson” by Joseph Ellis.


William E. Halal, professor emeritus of information systems and technology management, held a seminar and book-signing for his new book, “Technology’s Promise.” The November 19 event was attended by Deans Susan M. Phillips and Prabir K. Bagchi, ISTM Chair Richard Donnelly, students, and faculty. Halal noted that he is trying to define an active role for GWSB emeritus faculty by maintaining his office, contributing to his department, and continuing his scholarly work. His presentation focused on results of the TechCast Project, which is the basis for the book.

TechCast is a major forecasting project that uses a sophisticated Web site to pool the knowledge of high-tech executives, scientists, engineers, academics, consultants, futurists, and other global experts.

Getting Ink

Susan M. Phillips, dean and professor of finance appeared on a Bloomberg News segment about the Federal Reserve dropping interest rates to a record low. Phillips said it was a bold move by the Fed. She believed the goal was to keep the banking system afloat and in good shape. (12/16)

Hossein Askari, Iran Professor of International Business and International Affairs, was quoted in the Newsweek article, “Telephoning Tehran: Obama wants to talk to Iran. But are they ready to listen?“Hossein Askari, an expert on Iran and business professor at George Washington University, says the Obama administration should capitalize on Tehran’s economic hardships and ‘develop even more effective sanctions’ to tighten the screws (National Interest). Then the new White House should wait – six to 12 months – before negotiating,’ Askari says. ‘Under duress, Iran is much less fanatical than rhetoric would have it seem.’” Askari also co-authored the article “No end to financial disorder” for Asia Times. “The United States economic recession that the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared two weeks ago had started in December 2007 – a recession that the world had suspected for quite some time – is likely to be a significant one,” wrote Askari.

Jennifer J. Griffin, associate professor of strategic management and public policy, was mentioned in an article by Guy Sigley in Corporate Public Affairs magazine. Sigley wrote about one of the seminars Griffin conducted during the annual Corporate Public Affairs Institute held in June at the Melbourne Business School in Australia. “When it was debrief time, Jen Griffin worked the lecture theatre like, well, an American. Full of life, born for the stage and covering more kilometers than Moneghetti, she harangued the crowd, drew out our strategies, and turned the whiteboard into a brilliant collage of half baked ideas, catastrophic decisions, and misguided ideals.”

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