The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

May 8, 2009

Volkswagen Executive and Former SEC Commissioner Named to Address the Class of 2009

Cynthia Glassman, former U.S. undersecretary for economic affairs at the Department of Commerce and former Securities and Exchange commissioner, will serve as the keynote speaker for GWSB’s undergraduate celebration on Friday, May 15, 2009, at the Charles E. Smith Athletic Center. Following that ceremony, Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, will deliver the 2009 GWSB graduate celebratory address.

“We are delighted to have two outstanding speakers, one with a distinguished record in public service and the other with a remarkable career in private industry,” said Susan Phillips, dean and professor of finance. “I know that our graduates will be inspired by both and learn a great deal.”

After receiving his MBA from the University of Cologne in 1985, Jacoby began his career in the industrial sales department at Volkswagen. In 1988, he relocated to Volkswagen of America where he was responsible for pricing the commercial vehicle line. He has served in a number of key positions with the company, including head of controlling at Volkswagen Audi Nippon KK in Japan, general office manager and head of the Asia-Pacific region.

From 2001-2004, Jacoby was president and chief executive of Mitsubishi Motors Europe, headquartered in Amsterdam. He returned to Volkswagen in 2004 to lead the group sales strategy department. He subsequently assumed his current position as president and chief executive of Volkswagen America, where he is responsible for U.S. automotive sales.

Dr. Glassman spent more than 35 years in the public and private sectors working on financial services regulatory and public policy issues. She served as undersecretary for economic affairs at the Department of Commerce from 2006-2009. While at the Department of Commerce, she was the principal economic adviser to the secretary of commerce and oversaw two major agencies: the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau.

Between 2002 and 2006, Dr. Glassman served as commissioner on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She was closely involved in developing and voting on the regulations implementing the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as a number of other regulations covering corporate governance and financial markets.

For more commencement details visit

GWSB Earns Top Spots in BusinessWeek’s Undergraduate Specialty Rankings

When eleven undergraduate business specialty programs were ranked recently by BusinessWeek magazine, five of GWSB’s undergraduate programs received Top-10 national rankings, and four more were among the Top-25. GW’s operations management program ranked No.1.

“We are pleased to be at the top of the class in a variety of key areas,” said Lawrence Singleton, associate dean of undergraduate programs. “It’s clear that our students recognize our efforts to provide them with a preeminent education.”

GWSB’s top rankings include:

  • Operations Management: No. 1
  • Sustainability: No. 5
  • Quantitative Methods: No. 7
  • Corporate Strategy: No. 8
  • Marketing: No. 8
  • Macroeconomics: No. 13
  • Business Law: No. 14
  • Accounting: No. 22
  • Ethics: No. 24

As part of BusinessWeek’s “Best Undergraduate Business Schools Specialty Programs” ranking, senior business majors were asked to grade their school programs on a scale of 1 to 5 in 12 academic areas, including operations management, sustainability, marketing, accounting, quantitative methods and corporate strategy. Based on the student feedback, scores were calculated for each of the 101 ranked schools in each specialty area.

GW Picks Up the Tab for Veterans

Founder of GW Veterans, Brian
Hawthorne, served two tours of duty
in Iraq.

Brian Hawthorn has served his country since 2003. Now he’s taking the fight from the battlefield to the classroom. The 24-year old founder of GW Veterans has been working to help campus veterans pay for their education, and now he is seeing the fruits of his labor.

At an April 28 news conference, President Steven Knapp pledged The George Washington University’s commitment and investment in undergraduate and graduate education for Veterans under the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s Yellow Ribbon Program. Yellow Ribbon-qualified veterans attending GW as undergraduate students will receive free tuition. Those attending as graduate students will receive a significantly discounted tuition rate.

“I started here at GW in August of 2008 and have been working on this issue since my first day on campus,” said Hawthorne.

Under the plan, Yellow Ribbon Program-qualified undergraduate veterans can attend GW for free. The University will pay 50 percent of remaining tuition and fees after base GI Bill benefits are applied, with the Veterans Administration contributing the other 50 percent. The program represents a GW investment of approximately $18,000 per year, per veteran. For graduate programs, GW will pay up to $3,800 per year, per veteran, and the VA will match this amount. The average Yellow Ribbon-qualified veteran will attend GW’s graduate programs at a 55 percent discount. All GW graduate programs will participate.

“Now The George Washington University is considered a leader in the academic world for its support of veterans,” Hawthorne said.

GW’s commitment provides for 360 veteran students to benefit during the 2009-2010 academic year. Based on current enrollment, that target is expected to cover all GW Yellow Ribbon-qualified undergraduate and graduate students. GW estimates its overall investment at approximately $2.5 million for the next academic year.

To learn more about the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) visit To contact GW Veterans, e-mail

14th Annual GWSB Board of Advisors Award Results

Since 1995, the Dean’s Board of Advisors has recognized outstanding faculty, staff and students annually. The honorees are nominated by their peers, and the winners will receive a monetary prize. This year five people will be honored at the May 14 awards ceremony at Betts Theatre in the Marvin Center.

Howard Rubin, BBA, ’81, will present the awards. A member of the GWSB Dean’s Board of Advisors, Rubin will describe how GW influenced his career and why it is important for alumni to give back to GW.

Murat Tarimcilar

This year, Murat Tarimcilar, associate dean for graduate programs and associate professor of Decision Sciences, will be honored with the Outstanding Faculty Award for his work on the Global MBA program.

Philippe Duverger, president of the GWSB Doctoral Student Association, will receive the Outstanding Doctoral Candidate Award for his commitment to the School’s faculty, staff and students.

Justin Bakewell, who served recently as president of the MBA Association, will receive the Outstanding Graduate Student Award; during his tenure, the organization saw a 130 percent increase in funding – opening doors to additional career search and professional development activities.

The Outstanding Undergraduate Student honor will go to Betsy Smith, who graduates this year. Smith founded the Business Council and helped organize the Mintz Sophomore Getaway.

Virginia “Ginny”

For her work in Dean Susan Phillips’ office, Virginia “Ginny” Hammell has been named recipient of the Outstanding Staff Award. Hammell’s job requires her to juggle multiple responsibilities, which did not go unnoticed by her peers. Her nomination letter was signed by more than 12 School of Business members who described her as a “miracle worker” who provides invaluable assistance to her colleagues.

The BOA awards ceremony starts at 4 p.m. and the public is invited. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.; seating is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Garbage Helps GWSB Team Win Entrepreneurial Award in California

L to R - Joe Monfort, MBA, ‘08 and John Tilleman, MBA, 08 of Solarcycle.

Used plastic bags and chip bags are the key materials in the product that nabbed a GW School of Business team the top prize in a global business competition.

GWSB team SolarCycle, which includes Joe Monfort, MBA,’08, John Tilleman, MBA, ’08, and Drew Durbin, won third place and $5,000 in the 10th annual Global Social Venture Competition. The international competition at the University of California, Berkeley, promotes the development of social ventures that leave a measurable, positive, impact on society or on the environment. All teams must include at least one MBA student from an accredited business school.

SolarCycle’s main product is a low-cost reflective material that can replace mirrors in solar applications for developing countries. The product is made from used plastic bags and the foil interiors of chip bags.

“We’ve designed this product to help low-income urban Africans turn a local trash problem into a cheap, green and revolutionary new product that can assist rural people with both solar cooking and water pasteurization,” said Monfort.

The group also designed a pasteurizer that can purify water for an entire village for 10 years at a cost of only $350.

The $25,000 top prize went to Prasetiya Mulya Business School in Indonesia for its low-cost bricks made from cow dung. The $10,000 second prize went to mPedigree Logistics from Dartmouth University. It developed a product that helps pharmaceutical companies identify counterfeit drugs.

The contest received more than 300 submissions from over 100 universities in 23 countries.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Floods GWSB Students with Career Advice

Anita Blair, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, speaks to students in the GWSB’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership class. Adjunct Management Professor Kathy Korman Frey teaches the class and invites real-life role models to share their success stories.

Polar Bears and Light Bulbs Spotlighted at Climate Conference

Mark Starik, chair and professor of strategic management, shows a photo of a polar bear jumping onto melting ice to highlight the impact of climate change.
Scott Sklar, president of The Stella Group, holds up a special LED light bulb. The men were panelists at GWSB’s third annual Climate Action Conference held April 22-23.

Brazilian Government Officials Graduate from Minerva Program

The Spring 2009 Minerva Group.

A group of Brazilian mid-career, public-service officials graduated on April 22 from the Minerva Program, a semester-long program focusing on economic theory, economic policy and good management practices.

The Minerva Program is managed by GWSB’s Center for Latin American Issues (CLAI) and has been in operation since 1994. More than 370 Brazilian government officials have graduated from program, which provides civil servants with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of public administration and to acquire the economic expertise needed to advance Brazilian public-private cooperation. The participants discuss a broad range of theories and concepts related to Brazil’s position in the global economy. The Spring 2009 graduates have returned to Brazil with the tools to accelerate the country’s economic progress.

To learn more about the Minerva program, please visit

Twitter and Facebook Contest Extended

The contest to win free GWSB gear just for signing up for Twitter or Facebook has been extended to May 25. Join one or both of the GWSB groups before the deadline and you will be eligible to win a bag of GW School of Business goodies. Current Twitter and FaceBook followers and fans are automatically entered in the contest. To sign up, go to the GW School of Business home page. The winner will be announced May 28 on Twitter. Good luck!

Also, if you administer a FB or LinkedIn page that targets the GWSB community and you need high resolution logos or photos, please contact GWSB Web Developer Donny Truong at

Getting to Know: Marlon Vann

Title: Senior Secretary

Job Duties: Organizing and maintaining files of records and correspondence; presenting information to students and faculty in one-on-one and small group situations; and scheduling room reservation requests for faculty and staff.

Years at GW: Two months

Best part of working at GWSB: The people I work with are great. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to spend my day with.

What co-workers do not know about me: I co-founded a hip-hop band in 1994 called Restoring Poetry In Music. We have three albums and a few videos on YouTube.

Family: Most of my family lives in Philadelphia. I have four sisters and one brother.

Favorite things to do on the weekend: Visiting friends and family I don’t see often.

Favorite Vacation Spot: London, England. I have a few friends who live there.

Favorite Book: Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”


Jennifer J. Griffin, associate professor of strategic management and public policy, presented, “Linking Corporate Responsibility and Financial Performance: Strategic Corporate Responsibility in a Global Economy,” at the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association (CRO-A) spring meeting. (4/23)

Getting Ink

Susan Phillips, dean and professor of finance, was quoted in The International Economy magazine article “How Much Will China Grow.” Phillips said: “I am picking a forecast for China’s real GDP growth of 5–8 percent, but I emphasize that my choice is more a “pick” than a “forecast.” (Winter 2009)

Susan Aaronson, associate research professor of strategic management and public policy, was a guest on “Meet the Press — Australia.” She spoke about the April 2 G-20 London Summit. (4/26)

James Bailey, the Ave Tucker Professorial Fellow of Leadership and chair and professor of management, was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about the law firm leadership program offered at the GW College of Professional Studies. (5/4)

GWSB’s Business Plan Competition was featured in the Washington Business Journal article “George Washington University hands out cash to winners of business plan competition.” (4/22)

The U.S. State Department linked to the GWSB Web cast of “An Agenda for the Americas,” a half-day colloquium of panel discussions organized by the GWSB Center for Latin American Issues. The State Department also posted news about the conference on its Web site. (4/7)

GWSB’s MBA Program was mentioned in a BizEd magazine article. (May/June 2009)


Class Notes

John Herman, BBA,’86, was mentioned in the New York Times article “Two new plans to fix the system.” Reporter Joe Nocera highlighted Herman’s “Split-the-Difference” plan for homeowners who owe more than their houses are worth. “In this plan, underwater homeowners would be allowed to refinance their mortgages at below-market interest rates, using a government entity like Fannie Mae, thus allowing for larger mortgage amounts than they would otherwise be able to afford. Then, the homeowner would have to go to the existing lender and pay off the old mortgage — but the lender would have to take a haircut equal to the amount of the subsidy being provided by the government.”

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