The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

June 5, 2009

Students from Around the World Meet for Class

Students from GWSB's project management distance-learning program listen as their classmates make a presentation.

Ehab Hamouda has been a School of Business student since 2003, but his first day on campus was last month. Hamouda, a telecommunications officer from Saudi Arabia, earned his master’s degree in May. He was part of the GWSB project management distance-learning cohort.

Hamouda’s connection with the program has evolved. “At the beginning, I felt like I was being rejected and I didn’t feel like I was part of the team,” he said. “The residency makes me feel like a part of campus.”

Twenty students took part in this year’s project management master’s program residency week. “It’s our distance students’ final requirement for completing their degree and the last experience they have in our project management program,” said Frank Anbari, GWSB assistant professor of project management. “It’s the first time the distance students meet their classmates and professors face-to-face.”

During residency week, students attend classes and work on group projects. Hiram Smith, a business analyst from Bristow, Va., joined the on-campus program in 2006 as a part-time student but, when his job relocated, he became a distance student. “I finished my last two semesters online,” he explained. “Not much changed, just the method.”

GWSB’s project management program launched its distance option in 1998, allowing students to pursue a degree from virtually any location in the world. This year’s cohort included students from across the United States as well as Egypt, Dubai and Bolivia. To learn more about the distance learning program, visit

Professor Gives a Corporate Ethics Lesson

Professor D. Jeffrey Lenn speaks to GWSB alumni during the “It’s Just Good Business” event.

The School of Business Office of Alumni Relations held a third installment of “It’s Just Good Business” in New York City on May 21. The lecture series features GWSB faulty members and alumni speaking on current events related to corporate social responsibility.

D. Jeffrey Lenn, GWSB professor of strategic management and public policy, spoke about how corporate and managerial ethics impact business and the community at large. Presenting the group with a case of corporate ethics, Dr. Lenn, who is also associate vice president of academic operations at The George Washington University, engaged alumni in an interactive discussion.

Audience members were divided into two groups, with one group examining what constitutes a healthy business and the other looking at what defines a healthy community. Alumni shared their thoughts, sought the opinions of their peers and brainstormed over how to bridge the two concepts.

To illustrate a point on corporate ethics, Dr. Lenn asked the participants to explain what they would do if they made the strategic and ethical decisions in their organizations.

The professor also discussed how GWSB’s new Global MBA Program is teaching students the importance of corporate social responsibility. Mitch Blaser, BBA, ’73, hosted the event at the New York office of property and casualty insurer Ironshore. Blaser is chairman of the Dean’s Board of Advisors.

“It’s Just Good Business” continues this fall. Watch for details in upcoming issues of the newsletter. If you wish to suggest topics for the series, please submit them to

GWSB Co-Sponsors Labor Conference with Bureau of National Affairs

The Department of Management at The George Washington University School of Business and the Bureau of National Affairs will co-sponsor “New Frontiers in Labor and Employment Policy: Ensuring Good Jobs, Fair Treatment and High Performance in a Turbulent Economy.”

June 11, 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
June 12, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Cafritz Conference Center
800 21st St., NW
Washington, D.C.

The forum, led by the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), will focus on policy issues around union organizing, pension and health care benefits and other themes for which legislative debates are anticipated. The forum will also consider state and industry-level challenges in rebuilding the “American Dream” at the same time it explores assumptions about the workforce, unions, employers and other stakeholders.

The forum is structured as a series of seven workshops and four plenary sessions featuring panels of legislators, labor and management practitioners and leading researchers. This public policy dialogue addresses some of today’s most pressing problems.

For details and to register for the event, visit

New Alumni Program Kicks Off in Boston

A new GWSB series, “Stimulating the State," debuts in Boston on June 15.

The lifelong learning series launched by GW Alumni in Boston will examine the current economic situation and the impact of stimulus funds on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The program features presentations by Daniel J. LaPlante, senior vice president and senior portfolio manager at Citizens Bank, and Meredith Ballou, GWSB BA, ’07, who serves as chief of staff for Massachusetts Rep. David P. Linsky.

LaPlante will present an economic overview. Ballou will discuss the role of the governor and the legislature in distributing stimulus funds. The speakers will take questions from the audience following the presentations. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The “Stimulating the State” series features GWSB alumni or alumni connections speaking on the economic stimulus plan’s impact on specific states, allowing other alumni to see how the stimulus package affects their communities. The idea for the program came from Jennifer Johnson Hrycyszyn, GWSB MBA, ’97.

For more information or to register, contact or click here.

Facebook/Twitter Contest Winner

Congratulations to alumna Lila Lee, the winner of our Facebook/Twitter Contest.  By signing up for GWSB news on Twitter or Facebook, she won a bag of GW School of Business goodies.

Getting to Know: Jessica Ortiz

Title: Undergraduate Academic Adviser

Years at GW: Almost two months.

Best part of working at GWSB: It is exciting to have the opportunity to work in a highly recognized business school and university.

What co-workers do not know about me: I learned to speak English while my father was stationed in Germany. My first language is Spanish.

Family: My husband and I have been married for four years and have a very independent 2-year-old boy.

Favorite things to do on the weekend: Spending time with my husband and my son and finding fun things to do around Washington, D.C.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Puerto Rico. For me it is not really a vacation spot, it’s home.

Favorite Book: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee.


Doug Frechtling, professor of tourism and hospitality management, presented “Clarifying and Extending the Tourism Satellite Account Brand.” It was one of the keynote addresses at the International Conference on Tourism Statistics in Bali, Indonesia. The United Nation’s World Tourism Organization sponsors the conference every five years. More than 300 delegates from 60 nations attended this year’s gathering. (4/1)

Stuart Umpleby, professor of management, presented “Reflections on Russian and American Conversations on Cybernetics and Systems Theory” at the Thinking and Making Connections: Cybernetic Heritage in the Social and Human Sciences and Beyond conference in Stockholm, Sweden. (11/10/2008)

Robert Weiner, professor of international business, presented “Speculation and Oil Price Volatility” at the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual energy conference in Washington, D.C. (April)


Young Hoon Kwak, associate professor of decision sciences, and Frank T. Anbari, assistant professor of decision sciences, published “Availability Impact Analysis of Project Management Trends: Perspectives from Allied Disciplines” in Project Management Journal, Volume 40, No. 2, 94-103.

Getting Ink

Doug Frechtling, professor of tourism and hospitality management, was quoted in the article “Sand dollars: Deals amid the Atlantic dunes” in According to the online publication: “In a sluggish economy, people are more likely to vacation closer to home, and a beach destination is a car trip away for many from New England to Florida and the East Coast’s population centers. He’s convinced vacation rentals will weather the recession. ‘People still go on vacation, partly because they feel they earned it,’ Frechtling said.” (5/26)

D. Christopher Kayes, professor of management, was interviewed on a Bloomberg Television segment on AIG’s CEO successor. Reporters looked at claims that the new CEO’s salary should not exceed that of President Barack Obama. “We estimate that somewhere between $17 million and $24 million is the actual direct and indirect compensation for the president. There are a lot of additional perks that aren’t accounted for in salary alone,” Kayes told the news show. (5/27)


Elias G. Carayannis, professor of management science, was awarded the International Association for Management of Technology “Research Publication Award.” The honor is given to top researchers in the management technology field based on the number of times they are published in Top 10 management technology-related journals.

Tjai M. Nielsen, professor of management, has won the GW 2009 Bender Teaching Award. The awards recognize undergraduate, graduate and professional teaching. Each award provides a $500 prize to be used by the recipient for faculty development activities, such as travel to professional meetings, or the purchase of teaching equipment or materials. Nielsen also was recognized this year with the GWSB Outstanding Teaching Award.

Class Notes

Asim Kamdar, MBA, ’95, was appointed director of new product development at Colloquy in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Daniel Tropp’s, BBA, ‘06, saw his business, TeachSpaceNY, mentioned in the New York Times article “Not a Dive After All.” is a real estate company that helps teachers find affordable housing in New York. (5/15)

We want to hear from you!

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