The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

January 15, 2010

GWSB Donors Rally Despite the Economy

Karen Ancillai

Karen Ancillai has taken over as GWSB executive director of development and alumni relations at a time that few would envy. The U.S. economy is in turmoil and philanthropic giving is sliding.

But Ancillai, BA, ’97, says GWSB donors are bucking the trend, recognizing that the School’s need is even greater now.

“The effort I’m leading is to connect alumni with each other and to GW and the School of Business in personal and philanthropic ways,” said Ancillai, who assumed the helm of the School’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations late last year. “That could manifest itself in becoming a mentor or recruiting students or making a financial gift. It could also be guest-lecturing in a class or joining an advisory board.”

She acknowledged that many people are feeling squeezed by current economic problems. “But they also recognize more than ever the importance of making gifts to support education,” Ancillai added.

GW President Steven Knapp has repeatedly stated that his top priorities include building a worldwide alumni community and making GW a place for lifelong learning. Ancillai said GWSB alumni have listened to that message – and responded. The development staff raised $5.6 million last year during one of the toughest fundraising seasons in the School’s history.

“The School of Business is in a really special place, and we have a few board members who like to stay our stock has never been higher,” she said. In addition to its new state-of-the-art Duquès Hall, the School is recruiting highly qualified and competitive students who are motivated and ambitious.

“Sometimes I think what is really special about the School of Business is that we have so many longtime faculty members who have stayed in touch with former students, helping them with their professional development,” Ancillai said. “It’s a natural for those alumni to give back because GW is still part of their lives.”

Ancillai knows what it’s like to have GW as an inseparable part of her life. The alumna, originally attracted to GW by the community engagement of its students, not only loved her college experience but she met her husband at the University – on the eighth floor of Thurston Hall – while she was student of political communication.

Her career path took her to development work at Northeastern University School of Law and a master’s degree in education, but GW drew her back – and she’s glad it did.

“At the end of the day, I can go home and say it’s more affordable for a student to come to this University or for a faculty member to continue his or her research because of something I did today.”

Career Center Hosts Open House

Career consultants Sylvan Von Burg, left, and Randy Cramer ,at the table on the far right, meet with students during the Spring Open House held Jan. 15 at the F. David Fowler Career Center. The“Cocoa and Career” gathering welcomed students back from the break, introduced them to career coaches, and offered an overview of the center’s services. More than 15 students attended workshops at the open house and about 20 took part in on-the-spot resume reviews. Food and hot cocoa were served.

GWSB Launches Online Version of Magazine

GWbusiness, the GWSB flagship publication, has gone online.

The twice-a-year magazine now exists in an electronic format, accessible at the School of Business Web site. The e-version of GWbusiness was launched on Jan. 4.

“We redesigned our Web version of GWbusiness magazine, making it a true online magazine,” said Molly Brauer, GWSB executive director of marketing communications.

“It has a clean modern layout to accommodate multimedia presentations. The user-friendly navigation is instantaneous, and the format is flexible and more appealing to advertisers.

“The design incorporates the market-research principles that led to the design of leading online magazines, from Forbes to BusinessWeek,” Brauer added.

GWbusiness online joins the other GWSB publications now carrying advertising. Both the print and online versions of the magazine, as well as this electronic newsletter, offer advertising options. There are also special rate packages for businesses and individuals seeking to advertise in all three.

For more information, contact GWSB Advertising Consultant Thomas Loper, or 202-994-4057.

Getting to Know: Mark Grace

Name: Mark Grace

Title: Director, Executive Education Programs

Job duties: I focus on short-term certificate programs for professional capacity-building. I’m out talking with executives and businesses about their lifelong learning needs. Internally, I look at what the faculty is doing to identify new things that could draw professional people to our programs. I’m also interested in government and corporate partnerships that will strengthen the School.

Years at GW: Just six weeks!

Best part of working at GWSB: I like the way the School jumps on innovation and creativity as elements that are important for the business community.

What co-workers do not know about me: I’m not afraid to take unusual backpacking trips to small, out-of-the-way places. My last trip was to Nicaragua. My next one is to Lebanon.

Family: I’m on my own except for Griffin, my 21-pound Welsh terrier.

Favorite things to do on the weekend: My weekends are grounded by two constants: yoga sessions on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning and a morning catch-up coffee with a friend.

Favorite vacation spots: I just came back from Portugal but, believe it or not, the place that most recently fascinated me was Nebraska. It sounds like a cliché but there really are places of quiet beauty there.

Favorite book: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Tuchman.

New Year’s Resolution: To take a glass-blowing class in Hyattsville.

Googling at GWSB

There’s something new in the GWSB newsletter: Google Ads.

The right-hand column of the newsletter is running Google Ads and the move is already paying off. Only advertisements relevant to our readers will appear and every time they’re clicked, they’ll bring revenue to the newsletter. It’s another component in our effort to make GWSB publications sustainable.


SEAS Seminar Series on Entrepreneurship

How I Got Started: Getting Your Idea off the Ground

Date: Jan. 19
Time: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Funger Hall, Room 103
2201 G Street NW
Washington, DC

Ashok Jha SEAS ’92, co-founder and CEO of Adnet Systems, Inc.
Scott Gessay SEAS ’88, CEO, President and founder of FGM, Inc.
Elias Shams SEAS ’96, CEO, Searchles, CTO and founder,
Moderator: John Rollins, GW School of Business

Sponsor: GW School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Engineer Alumni Association

To register, visit


Sanjay Jain, assistant professor of Decision Sciences, published a paper titled “Recommended Practices for Homeland Security Modeling and Simulation” in the Proceedings of the 2009 Winter Simulation Conference. The paper was co-authored with C.R. McLean of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The annual Winter Simulation Conference is organized by seven professional organizations, including the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences and the American Statistical Association.

William C. Handorf, professor of finance, published “The Panic of 2008: Bank Failure and Commercial Real Estate” in the Winter 2009 edition of Real Estate Review. The Editor’s Overview praised the paper, saying “If you read only one article in this issue, go for the Panic of 2008 by William Handorf, a professor at the George Washington University’s School of Business.”

Young Hoon Kwak, associate professor of Decision Sciences published the article “Comparando Gerenciamento de Projectos e Seis Sigma” (in Portuguese) in the December/January 2010 issue of Brazilian project management magazine Mundo Project Management.

Vanessa Perry, associate professor of marketing, co-authored with Carol M. Motley, “Where’s the Fine Print? Advertising and the Mortgage Market Crisis,” in the Fall 2009 issue of California Management Review.

Getting Ink

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of tourism and sport management, was quoted in a Dec. 24, 2009, Wall Street Journal column, “Taking the Plane to the Game,” that examined the sports travel sector. Neirotti told columnist Scott McCartney, that an estimated “10% to 15% of fans at regular-season professional sports events are visitors from out of town.” She also said 27% of all travel expenditures are trips that involve some sports – from golf games and skiing to kids’ soccer tournaments to major attractions like Super Bowls and Olympics – and that sports travel is a $182-billion-a-year business.

Susan Aaronson, adjunct professor of strategic management, is featured in an article in the Jan.24 issue of BusinessWeek. The story focuses on Unocal Corp.’s estimated $30 million payment in a human rights case. The case “shows that corporations have both direct and indirect human rights responsibilities,” Aaronson told the news magazine in the article headlined “A Milestone for Human Rights.”

Ismail Dalla, a visiting instructor in the Department of International Business, was quoted in a Dec. 29, 2009, article titled “Appetite For Higher Risk May Lead To Another Crisis, Says Economist.” According to the Malaysian news service, Dalla said interest rates, yield curves, and the global financial markets may have settled down but pension funds and other investment funds are not able to match pre-crisis earnings. “When that happens, there will an appetite for higher risk to see higher returns because interest rates are low and financial assets have to back up. So, when it heightens, another bump within the next two to three years is unavoidable,” Dalla said.

The December 2009 issue of the MBA Newsletter spotlighted GWSB’s accounting and finance programs. The article recommended the Master of Accountancy program, saying “GW offers the Master of Accountancy, a flexible program tailored to individual interests and career objectives in accounting, financial management and tax practice.”


A recent article by Young Hoon Kwak, associate professor of Decision Sciences, was chosen by Harvard Business Reviews Publishing to appear as a case study in its teaching materials series. Kwak’s article, “Towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for Infrastructure Development,” originally appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of California Management Review (Vol. 51, pages 51-78). It was selected by Harvard Business Reviews Publishing for its Fall 2009 collection of “Brief Cases.”

Vanessa Gail Perry, associate professor of Marketing, was selected as the second recipient of the Journal of Consumer Affairs’ best paper award. Perry was honored for her article “Is Ignorance Bliss? Consumer Accuracy in Judgments about Credit Ratings,” in the Summer 2008 (vol. 42, No. 2) issue of the journal. The award recognizes leading high-quality scholarship. A committee chose Perry’s work from refereed research articles published in the 2007 and 2008 issues of the journal.

Class Notes

Tiane Harrison, BBA ’01 was named one of PR News 15-to-Watch in the corporate and nonprofit PR category. She was honored at the PR News PR People Awards Luncheon in December. For details, visit PR News Online.

Zach Cutler, BBA ’09 launched his own D.C.-based marketing consulting firm. The Cutler Group, a full service marketing firm, provides branding, public relations and business development services. “Much of my knowledge and motivation required to start this venture came from my years at GW,” said Cutler. He currently employs three GW students as interns.

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