The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

March 12, 2010

School of Business Moves Up in BusinessWeek Rankings

GWSB’s undergraduate program has jumped 14 spots to 51st place overall in BusinessWeek’s rankings of business schools. BusinessWeek also had high praise for the academic quality of GWSB’s undergraduate program, rating it No. 23 among 111 programs.

“These rankings reflect GWSB’s efforts to continually improve our high academic standards and provide students with real-world experience and in-depth career management strategies,” said Lawrence Singleton, GWSB associate dean for undergraduate programs. “From the very beginning, we prepare our students for success in the global economy.”

The overall ranking is based on student satisfaction surveys, post-graduation outcomes and academic quality. The 2010 score was combined with results from student surveys in 2009 and 2008.

The academic ranking, meanwhile, is based on average SAT scores, the ratio of full-time faculty to students, average class size, student internships and the hours that students spend each week on course work.

“The recognition of our undergraduate business program as one of the best in the nation demonstrates the caliber of students we attract and our efforts to strengthen the undergraduate program and the whole GW School of Business,” said Susan M. Phillips, dean of the school. “We focus on teaching excellence, scholarly research and innovative curricula to challenge students and deliver an outstanding education for them.”

See the BusinessWeek Best B-Schools of 2010 list.
Watch GWSB students talk about why their school is highly rated.

Board of Advisors Unveils Dean’s Legacy Fund

Mitch Blaser, chairman of the Dean’s Board of Advisors, served as master of ceremonies at a dinner held by the board during its spring meeting.

The GWSB Dean’s Board of Advisors used its March 3-4 meeting to launch the Dean’s Legacy Campaign, a philanthropic effort designed to honor Susan Phillips and the advances at the School during her 12 years at its helm. The board pledged more than $275,000 to support the new Phillips Undergraduate Investment Portfolio and Duquès Hall and Funger Hall art collection, two priorities tied closely to Phillips’ legacy.

The fundraising goal for the legacy campaign is more than $700,000. To makes a gift, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 202-994-8157 or give online.

Twenty-two board members from New York to California came to campus for Phillips’ final board meeting as dean. The group’s agenda included discussions on academic and philanthropic priorities, GWSB’s investment portfolio classes and distance learning programs. Don Lehman, executive vice president for academic affairs; John Kudless, interim vice president for development and alumni relations; Murat Tarimcilar, associate dean for graduate programs; and Phil Budwick, director of GWSB’s Capital Markets Trading Room, gave presentations.

The board also used the meeting to launch its emeritus group, the Dean’s Encore Circle, to recognize members with more than 10 years of service.

Chaired by Mitch Blaser, BBA,’73, and the parent of a GW student, the Dean’s Board of Advisors is a group of alumni, parents and friends providing ideas, support and resources as GWSB continues its push to become one of the Top 25 business schools in the nation.

GWSB Research Reveals Consumer Behavior at 2008 Olympics

Lisa Delpy Neirotti has returned from the Vancouver Olympics in time to talk about her students' analysis of previous Olympics in China.

Three-quarters of the people surveyed about the Beijing Olympics believed China was the appropriate country to host the games, according to a GWSB report detailing consumer behavior of spectators at the 2008 games.

The “Behind the Scenes at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games” report was prepared by students attending the games as part of a class taught by Dr. Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of tourism and sport management. The students’ analysis of spectator feedback at the games has been given to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Highlights include:

  • More than 75 percent of spectators felt that Beijing was the appropriate host for the games.
  • More than 75 percent of survey respondents felt that the air quality was what they expected or better.
  • About 10 percent of those at the games knew someone who did not attend the games for political reasons.
  • Each spectator spent an average of $934 per day attending the games; the amount includes hotel accommodations, local transportation, entertainment, tickets and miscellaneous expenses.
  • Some 67 percent of those questioned said Beijing marked the first Olympic Games they attended.

“Conducting these surveys provides an engaging learning experience for students,” said Dr. Delpy Neirotti. “Interviewing spectators gives students the chance to learn more about consumer behavior while interacting with spectators from around the world.”

Since the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, two GWSB surveys have tracked spectators’ responses, collecting data from more than 500 spectators who traveled at least 50 miles to attend the games. For the 2008 games, the “Olympic Spectator Motivation and Satisfaction Survey” asked people why they attended the games, how they became aware they were taking place and how satisfied they were with the overall experience. The “Olympic Economic Impact Study” for Beijing focused on how much spectators spent.

Financial Services Alumni Share Experiences at Wall Street Seminar

For a second year in a row, The George Washington University Luther Rice Society brought together leading alumni in the financial services industry for a Wall Street symposium. The March 2 discussion in New York was moderated by New York Times Senior Financial Writer Diana B. Henriques, BA, ’69, and was mentioned in the Times.

Four alumni who found themselves at the epicenter of the financial crisis shared their first-hand experiences. They were Abby Joseph Cohen, MA, ’76, senior U.S. investment strategist at Goldman Sachs; James Runde, MS, ’73, special adviser and former vice chairman at Morgan Stanley; Ira Sorkin, JD, ’68, the SEC enforcement expert and white collar defense attorney who represented Bernard Madoff; and Darryl Steinberg, JD, ’89, managing director and senior tax counsel at Lehman Brothers.

Alumnus Funds Writing Prize

Paul Williams

When alumnus Paul Williams completed his PhD in Management Information Systems in 2004, one thing troubled him: He feared that more emphasis needed to be placed on writing.

“There is a lack of attention paid to writing skills in colleges and universities across the country and around the world,” he said. “We expect our graduates to take positions of responsibility in corporations, but when they’re asked to write point papers and memoranda and position papers, I fear they will fail.

“What will The George Washington University do when its brilliant students go out and they can’t write? It tarnishes the reputation of the school,” he said.

In an effort to remedy that, Williams is funding the MSIST Semi-Annual Writing Excellence Award for graduate students in the Information Systems Technology programs. The award program is supported by Williams and his wife, The Washingtonian magazine publisher Catherine Merrill Williams, through the Merrill Foundation.

Managed through the Department of Information Systems and Technology Management, the $2,050 spring award and $2,050 fall awards will each go to an assigned paper that meets high standards for writing quality, assignment compliance and proper use of grammar and style. The papers can have multiple authors. Under terms of the prize, the money will be used toward the following semester’s tuition.

“We didn’t want the students writing for the award, rather we wanted them to respond to a regular course assignment – any course in the master’s program in information systems,” explained Williams, the director of Special Projects in the Department of Student Affairs at Strayer University.

Although Paul Williams is involved in efforts to improve student writing skills at Strayer, he had a very personal reason for launching the prize at GWSB.

“I spent five years at The George Washington University – a year getting my master’s degree and four years getting my PhD,” he said. “I felt that I received a lot from the school, a lot of knowledge, a lot of interest, a lot of caring.

“If I’m going to give back to a community, I should give back first and foremost to the community that gave me something invaluable,” he added

New Provost Joins GW

Steven Lerman

Steven Lerman is joining GW as provost, executive vice president for academic affairs and as the A. James Clark professor of civil and environmental engineering, effective July 1. Dr. Lerman leaves the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he serves as vice chancellor and dean for graduate education.

“Dr. Lerman understands George Washington’s aspirations, its unique position in Washington and the world and its extraordinary opportunities,” says GW President Steven Knapp. “He has a strong record of engaging students and working collaboratively and effectively with colleagues. Those skills will help us build an ever stronger faculty, raise the university’s stature and continue to enhance the academic experience of our students.”

Dr. Lerman, who will serve as second-in-command to Dr. Knapp, began at MIT as a student, earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and a Ph.D. in Transportation Systems Analysis. He joined the MIT faculty in 1975 as assistant professor of civil engineering and rose through the ranks, serving as chair of the faculty twice, as dean of graduate education since 2007 and as vice chancellor since 2008.

“The combination of GW’s incredible faculty, staff and students, talented leadership and its location in the nation’s capital makes this one of the most exciting educational institutions in the world,” says Dr. Lerman. “This university has done great things in its history, but I believe that its future holds even greater promise. I am privileged that GW has asked me to be a part of it.”

Dr. Lerman succeeds Donald R. Lehman, Ph.D. ’70, who is retiring after 38 years with the University. Lehman remains the university’s chief academic officer until June 30 and will function as senior adviser to the president until Dec. 31.

As part of a reorganization, Dr. Lerman will serve as the chief academic officer for GW’s nine colleges and will oversee all programs and offices associated with student life on campus. For more details on the new appointment, visit GW Today.

CLAI Examines Recession’s Impact on Mexico

The Center for Latin American Issues at GWSB sponsored a Feb. 24 panel discussion titled “Mexico’s Financial System and the Impact of the Global Recession.” The event included presentations by Ignacio Deschamps, chairman and CEO of BBVA Bancomer and chairman of the Mexican Banking Association, and Santiago Levy, vice president of sectors and knowledge at the Inter-American Development Bank.

Brand Innovation During Economic Slowdown

(From left): Dr. Salah Hassan, chair and professor of marketing, with Bruce Himelstein.

Hospitality industry guru Bruce Himelstein discussed global brand strategy when he gathered with MBA students on Feb. 17 for a presentation titled “Brand Innovation During the Economic Slowdown: Luxury or Not?!”

This event was sponsored by the Department of Marketing in cooperation with the GWSB Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Himelstein, an award-winning authority on innovative brand marketing, was the driver behind several successful campaigns for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. As Ritz-Carlton’s corporate senior vice president of sales and marketing, his most notable campaigns included “Blow the dust off the Lion and Crown.”

The American Marketing Association awarded the 2007 AMA-DC Hall of Fame honor to Himelstein, who also serves on the Luxury Institute Advisory Board.

Dishing It Out at Miriam’s Kitchen

As part of their coursework, tourism and hospitality management students learn the business of running a food-service operation. But in late January, they joined faculty on the other side of the table – literally.

Professors Larry Yu and Stuart Levy led a group of 12 students in preparing, serving and hosting dinner for nearly 200 guests at Miriam’s Kitchen, a Foggy Bottom nonprofit that provides free, homemade meals and case management services to more than 4,000 homeless men and women each year.

GWSB’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management has committed to providing Miriam’s Kitchen with a group of volunteers for the dinner shift on the third Monday of every month. This volunteer opportunity at Miriam’s Kitchen, several blocks from campus at 2401 Virginia Avenue NW, runs from 4-6:30 p.m.

GWSB faculty, staff and students interested in volunteering should contact MTA student Carolina Escolan at

In Memoriam

Rear Admiral Peter DeMayo, a former member of the School of Business Board of Advisors, passed away Dec. 11 in Alexandria, Va. Rear Admiral DeMayo joined the U.S. Navy in 1958 and retired in 1990. For 10 years, he was vice president for contracts at the company that would become Lockheed Martin. Admiral DeMayo will be buried with full military honors April 26 at Arlington National Cemetery. Read an obituary of Peter DeMayo in The Washington Post.


Larry Donnell Layne, a long-time George Washington University School of Business employee, passed away on March 2. Mr. Layne, who was employed at GW for 15 years, will be deeply missed by staff and students alike. See an obituary for Larry Lane in The Washington Post.


Getting to Know: Caroline Broder

Name: Caroline Broder

Title: Associate Director of Media Relations

Job duties: Media relations for the School of Business, social networking strategy and the GWSB newsletter.

Time at GW: Two weeks.

Best part of working at GWSB: Being in an academic environment, surrounded by smart, talented people.

What co-workers do not know about me: Music is a fairly big part of my life outside of work. I’m a massive music collector, concert goer and appreciator!

Favorite things to do on the weekend: See live music, run, read, visit friends and if I can fit it in, take a yoga class.

Favorite vacation spots: Internationally, London and Turkey. Closer to home, the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Favorite book: I still return to E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India every few years. I find relevance in the story to global issues that persist today. I like anything author Jhumpa Lahiri writes. I’m also a big fan of David Foster Wallace, David Sedaris and the pop-culture musings of Chuck Klosterman.


International MBA Case Competition – March 19-20

GWSB’s International MBA Case Competition focuses on the nonprofit arena, with the University tapping a range of leading foundations and other nonprofits as potential case clients. Students analyze an issue facing a particular organization and present their findings and solutions. This year’s group of MBA students will be competing for cash prizes, as well as the honor of being added to their list of previous distinguished winning teams.

The 2009 competition featured teams from 18 universities from around the world.

For more information, visit:

SEAS Seminar on Entrepreneurship

A panel discussion titled “Access to Capital” will include the participation of Elias Shams, CEO of Searchles and CEO and founder; Lou Wagman, vice president of Trump Photonics; and Howard Tischler, CEO of exORG. The event is part of a four-part seminar series on entrepreneurship hosted by the GW School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

When: Wednesday, March 24, 6 p.m.
Where: Funger Hall, Room 103

For more information, see

Gender Leadership: What Happens When Men and Women Join Forces in the Workplace

Molly Shepard (left), Peter Dean (right)

Molly Shepard and Peter Dean, authors of Breaking Into the Boys’ Club: 8 Ways for Women to Get Ahead in Business, will explore the changing dynamics of gender in the workplace as seen through the vantage points of power, ego, communication and change – and their profound effect on organizations.

The event is free and open to graduate students and faculty. It is co-sponsored by the F. David Fowler Career Center and The Leader’s Edge, an international leadership development, executive coaching and consulting firm. Students should RSVP in GWorkSB.

When: Wednesday, March 31, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Where: Duques Hall, Suite 61

Maxon Lecture Focuses on Transparency in Financial Reporting

Robert Herz (left), Sir David Tweedie (right)

Robert Herz and Sir David Tweedie, the 2009-2010 Robert P. Maxon Lecturers, will discuss “Greater Global Transparency in Financial Reporting: Lighting the Path for Investors.” Herz is chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Tweedie is chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board. Binyamin Appelbaum of the Washington Post will moderate the gathering.

When: Wednesday, April 7, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: Jack Morton Auditorium, Media and Public Affairs Building, 805 21st Street, first floor.

For more information, visit ICR web site.

Save the Date - April 15-16

The GW Business Plan Competition and the GW Entrepreneurs Round Table awards ceremony are teaming up for first ever GW Summit on Entrepreneurship. The two-day event highlights and promotes the creative, innovative and pioneering efforts of entrepreneurs in the GW community. In addition to an awards luncheon and ceremony, the Summit on Entrepreneurship includes panel discussions on different aspects of entrepreneurial endeavors, poster sessions for students to present their business ideas and networking opportunities for alumni, students and friends.

The Summit on Entrepreneurship is sponsored by GWSB, its Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence and the GW Alumni Association. The main event of the summit is the GW Business Plan Competition, directed by John Rollins and sponsored by Rick and Annette Scott, parents of a former GW student.

When: Thursday, April 15, and Friday, April 16
Where: Funger and Duquès halls and other campus locations.

For more information on the Summit on Entrepreneurship, contact Jillian Krupski, associate director of development and alumni relations at 202-994-4803,; or John Rollins, director of the Business Plan Competition.


James Bailey has been invited to speak at the Congressional Institutes Annual Chief of Staff retreat on March 19. This is a special event for all chiefs of staff from both the U.S. House and the Senate. Dr. Bailey’s presentation is titled “Before the Floor: Bringing Leadership Best Practices to Congressional Offices.” Dr. Bailey is the Tucker Professorial Fellow of Leadership and director of GWSB’s executive development programs.

Kristin Lamoureux presented “Meetings that Give Back: Travelers’ Philanthropy and Voluntourism” at the annual DMAI Destination Showcase meeting, Feb. 25. She made the presentation along with Martha Honey from the Center for Responsible Travel. In addition, Dr. Lamoureux, director of GWSB’s International Institute of Tourism Studies, has been invited to address the National Park Service Tourism Policy Council, speaking on the topic of sustainable tourism. The council helps drive tourism-related policy within the National Park Service.

Miguel Lejeune, assistant professor of decision sciences, was plenary speaker at the International Colloquium on Stochastic Modeling and Optimization, in New Jersey. The title of his December speech was “Linear Reformulation of Probabilistically Constrained Optimization Problems Using Combinatorial Patterns.”


Ismail Dalla, visiting lecturer of International finance and business, co-authored “The Potential Role of a Robust Domestic Capital Market in Promoting Economic Development and Modernizing the Financial System: The Case of Korea” (PDF) for the Global and Entrepreneurial Finance Research Institute at GWSB. Other authors on the report are Ted Barnhill, Yoon-Shik Park and Rak-Yong Uhm.

Getting Ink

Dean Susan Phillips was interviewed by CNN Money and Fortune magazine about the vacancies at the Federal Reserve. In the March 2 story headlined “The Fed Needs to Fill its Vacancies Quickly,” the dean commented on the June retirement of Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, whose departure will leave three vacancies on the seven-member board of governors. “Operating with five governors is a problem,” said Phillips, a former Fed governor. “But when you get down to four, then it’s time to get moving.”

Scheherazade Rehman, professor of international business, was featured on television’s “Colbert Report,” talking to Steven Colbert on March 3 about the debt crisis in Greece and how it is affecting the European Union.

Susan Aaronson, professor of trade policy, was interviewed by Bloomberg for a March 3 story headlined “Google Wants U.S. to Weigh WTO Challenge to China Censorship.” BusinessWeek was among the publications that carried the story.

Mark Starik, chairman and professor of strategic management and public policy, appeared in a video report on the Huffington Post. In the “Business + Stealth Greening = Fail” report posted March 9, Dr. Starik said businesses that want to promote their “green” leadership need to be vocal about it. Frank Sesno, director of the GW School of Media and Public Affairs, interviewed Dr. Starik. Watch the video at The Huffington Post.


The GWSB TechCast Project led by William E. Halal, professor emeritus of management technology and innovation, was cited extensively in a recent report by the National Academies of Science and Engineering. The report, “Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies,” described TechCast as one of the top three forecasting systems advancing the state-of-the-art. The report included TechCast’s homepage, a typical forecast and several graphs. Halah developed TechCast in his ISTM 233 Emerging Technologies course.

Class Notes

Gail Farrelly, DBA, ’81, was featured as the “Last Word” person in the March Journal of Accountancy.

Harvey S. Jacobs, BBA, ’80, has launched a real estate column titled the “House Lawyer” to appear bi-weekly in the Saturday Real Estate Section of the Washington Post. Jacobs will cover all aspects of residential real estate law, addressing concerns of buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and small investors.

Michael J. McDermott, MBA, ’80, is working for Secure Mission Solutions Inc., a leading provider of cyber physical and network security systems.

Jeffrey R. Miller, MBA, ’95, has joined Dow Jones & Co. as the vice president and marketing director of consulting services. He leads the global organization integrating digital information and technology to improve enterprise and financial businesses’ sales and marketing, supplier management and collaboration and social media functions.

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