The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

January 23, 2009

GW Float Marches in Presidential Inaugural Parade

Photo Courtesy of Benjamin Solomon, BBA,'08

Some George Washington University students had an enviable view of the 56th Presidential Inaugural Parade: They rode on the university’s float.

The 70-foot-long float – stretched across two trailers – featured a globe, a real-time stock ticker, and students representing the University’s nine schools and colleges. A student-built mini-Baja vehicle, a low-cost off-road vehicle designed for performance, also graced the float.

GW was among 1,300 organizations that competed for a spot in the parade.

The last time GW was represented in a presidential inaugural parade was in 1949 when Harry S. Truman became the 33rd U.S. president.

Business School Marks Tourism Program Anniversary

Reynald Brouard (left), director of the AMTA program, presents an appreciation gift to keynote speaker Joseph N. Pelton (right).
Participants at the AMTA anniversary celebration enjoy a post-presentation reception.

GWSB’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Accelerated Master of Tourism Administration (AMTA) Program with, among other things, a presentation on the future of space travel and tourism. Joseph N. Pelton, director of the Space & Advanced Communications Research Institute (SACRI) at The George Washington University, gave that keynote address at the Jan. 14, 2009, event.

The author of 25 books about space, satellites, and the impact of technology on society, Pelton is also founder and vice chairman of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, a vice president of the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) Foundation, and founding president of the Society of Satellite Professionals International.

Also on the anniversary program, which included a celebratory reception, was a panel discussion by three AMTA alumni: Linda Robson, MTA, ’05; Alison Slattery, MTA, ’00; and Florian Herrmann, MTA, ’09. They discussed “The Impact and Importance of the AMTA Program and The Future of Tourism.”

A Professor’s Legacy: The Chei-Min Paik Endowment Fund

Recently retired after more than four decades at The George Washington University School of Business, Chei-Min Paik is not ready to end his lifelong commitment to excellence in education. He will continue to be a part of GWSB – and play a significant role in promoting academic development – through the new Chei-Min Paik Endowment Fund.

Initial funding for the endowment came from a generous gift from Paik and his wife, Dr. Inja Paik. The fund, which honors the professor and his distinguished teaching career, also received an unprecedented matching contribution from the University.

The goal of the fund is to encourage GWSB students and faculty to pursue original research on contemporary management issues. This year, it is sponsoring an awards competition for outstanding student research papers – undergraduate or graduate. As the endowment grows, Paik hopes to expand its scope to include support for other academic initiatives, including international collaboration on faculty research, conferences, and student and faculty exchange programs.

“GW has been very good for my professional development and career,” said Paik. “Throughout my academic endeavors, I have benefited from scholarships and fellowships.”

GWSB Hosts Discussion on Transnational Criminal Organizations in the Americas

What: Experts will discuss “Transnational Criminal Organizations in the Americas: Responding to the Growing Threat” with a focus on Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, and Mexico. The event is hosted by The George Washington University School of Business.

When: Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009; 10 a.m. — Noon

Where: The George Washington University School of Business
Duquès Hall, Suite 451 (use 22nd St. entrance, between G and H streets)
2201 G St., NW, Washington, D.C.
Foggy Bottom—GWU Metro (Orange and Blue lines)


  • Luis Bitencourt, professor of national security affairs, Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
  • James Ferrer, Jr., director, GW School of Business Center for Latin American Issues
  • Max Manwaring, senior research professor, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College
  • Manuel Suárez-Mier, professor of economics and finance, American University School of International Service
  • Phil Williams, professor of international security, University of Pittsburgh

Cost: This event is free and open to the public. To register, please visit CLAI’s Web site at

The GW Center for Latin American Issues is a premier center for the pursuit of scholarship and academic excellence on issues pertaining to Latin America and the Caribbean. Through its programs and activities, the center seeks to further academic study and research on major Latin American issues and on how those issues affect the interests of states within and beyond the region; to accelerate the development of human resources, including the professional skills and competencies of public servants and managers; to propagate the ideals of political and economic democracy throughout the region; and to foster greater mutual understanding among the peoples of the hemisphere.

Last Call to Participate in the GWSB “Hot Mommas” Research

This is the final week to join educational history by serving as a “Hot Mommas” role model. The deadline for the case-study competition is January 31.

“The Hot Mommas Project has received a great deal of support from the GW community, the social media community, and individuals who understand the importance of mentoring,” said Kathy Korman Frey, GWSB adjunct professor of management and founder of the women’s leadership initiative. “I hope women will answer the call to action and nominate a dynamic female role model now so they can share their story before the competition deadline.”

Research for the “Hot Mommas” project is supported in part by a gift from Rand Construction founder Linda Rabbitt, MA, ’72. The goal of the project is to increase self-efficacy in women and girls by identifying role models and providing free online access to their stories. All women interested in serving as role models can enter the case-study competition.

“Hot Mommas” winners will have the opportunity to have their stories published in a leading Prentice Hall textbook and PINK magazine. They also will be eligible for thousands of dollars in prizes. Nominations can be made by e-mailing

To read the case study of GW alum, Siddhartha Vasey, click here. To learn more about the project visit

Getting to Know: Elif Ekingen

Title: Associate Director, Analytics and Enrollment Management.

Job Duties: Working with the numbers for any reason.

Years at GW: Four months.

Best part of working for the GWSB: Working in an international environment and being surrounded by intelligent colleagues.

Favorite place on campus: Lisner Auditorium

What co-workers don’t know about me: I am a scuba diver who is afraid of diving in the ocean.

Family: All my family members live in Ankara, Turkey. I moved to the United States two years ago to marry my wonderful husband, Erkan, who is my only family here.

Favorite things to do on the weekends: I love exploring different facets of the D.C. area. Visiting museums, taking photographs, and biking around the city are my favorites.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Kas on the southwestern coast of Turkey.

Favorite Book: I love reading and it is really difficult for me to pick just one favorite book. “Jitterbug Perfume” by Tom Robbins, “The Dispossessed” by Ursula Le Guin, and “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting” by Milan Kundera are my all-time favorites.

Getting Ink

Susan M. Phillips, GWSB dean and professor of finance, was a contributing writer for U.S. Exchequer. The publishers asked a group of nationally recognized experts how they would advise the secretary-designate. Phillips’ piece was titled, “Help the System Unwind Its Toxic Assets but Develop the Exit Strategy.” (Fall 2008)

Kathy Korman Frey, adjunct professor of management and associate director of GWSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE), was a guest on Federal News Radio’s “Amtower Off-Center” show. Frey and other guests discussed the lack of women in the executive suite and the boardroom, the perspective women bring to business, why women are often overlooked for senior positions, the myth of “SuperMom” women who can do it all, and role models and mentoring for the next generation of female executives. (11/10)


Young H. Kwak, associate professor of decision sciences, was selected to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Management in Engineering.


ICSB Plays Major Role at USASBE Conference: The annual conference of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) brought together entrepreneurship scholars and educators from around the world. The conference in Anaheim, California, focused on best practices in entrepreneurship education and program development, with recognition given to the model academic programs, pedagogy, and outreach efforts in the United States. George Solomon from the GW Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE), hosted by the Department of Management, won the award for Innovative Pedagogy for Entrepreneurship Education. For a conference recap by GW School of Business students Michael Battaglia and Charde’t Durbin, click here.

Welcome to Dynamic Korea: The 54th ICSB World Conference will be held from June 21-24 in the business hub of Seoul, Korea, under the theme of “The Dynamism of Small Business: Theory, Practice, Policy.” The conference will provide an arena for active learning and discussion among distinguished international scholars, consultants, professionals, corporate and business leaders, and leading government officials from around the world. Details on the 2009 ICSB World Conference are available at

Class Notes

Lisa C. Clark, MBA,’87, founder and CEO of Textiles for Thinkers and the Thinker Clothing brand, will have her products featured on the Warner Brothers television show “Big Bang Theory.” On Jan. 19 and Feb. 2, Warner Brothers was to use Thinker Clothing for costumes. The brand is also being carried by Target, Scholastic, Las Vegas Fashion Week, and for franchising in India. For more information, visit

Justin Plunkett, BBA, ’96 and Lisa Plunkett (Coppola) BS,’98, welcomed their second child, Tyler Thomas Plunkett, in July 2008. Additionally, Justin was recently promoted to director of territory sales at Cardinal Health, where he leads the Mid-Atlantic regional sales force servicing the independent retail pharmacy and alternate-care markets.

Melvin R. Bielawski, MS,’70, who has retired from the Department of Defense, is providing technical consulting support to the U.S. Army and various contractors in the Washington, D.C., area. Bielawski also has been busy writing several books. His most recent publication, “The Corner: A WWII Era Story of a Neighborhood,” tells the story of a Polish-American neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio. It details the community and its men from the late 1930s through the immediate post-World War II era. Bielawski is also the author of “Secession,” “P.O.W. Camp 78 Zuffenhausen, Germany,” and “A WWII Era German/American Love Story.”

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