The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

June 28, 2010

GW-CIBER Grant is Renewed

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the GW Center for International Business Education and Research (GW-CIBER). The grant begins on Oct. 1 and runs through 2014.

“We look forward to continuing our mission to serve as a national resource for issues of critical importance to international business,” said Jennifer Spencer, director of GW-CIBER, which is housed at the School of Business.

GW-CIBER launched in 2006. It is one of 33 CIBERs around the country working to make U.S. businesses more competitive globally by supporting research, education and outreach programs to advance international business education. Faculty involved with GW-CIBER engage in cutting-edge research, and the program emphasizes multicultural and multinational business expertise.

GW-CIBER also oversees a global business project initiative in which students provide consulting expertise to businesses in other countries.

CIBERs, usually affiliated with universities, work individually and in collaboration with one another to foster global business connections. They form a powerful network of programs and services to help U.S. businesses.

“GW-CIBER plays an increasingly important role in preparing students, businesses, policymakers and professionals for the worldwide economy of the 21st century,” said Susan M. Phillips, dean of the School of Business. “It is a critical link in making U.S. businesses more competitive.”

Faculty Develop New Methods to Detect Security Threats

Refik Soyer, GWSB professor
of decision sciences and
statistics, is a co-principal
investigator for the project
to analyze security threats.

A team of professors from GW’s Institute for Integrating Statistics in Decision Sciences (I²SDS) is developing a new method for analyzing national security threats. Instead of using verbal expressions of threats, such as “code orange,” the new system will use probability and statistics to provide a more accurate and precise prediction of a pending threat. This research is funded through a three-year $776,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

“It is a vast undertaking to assess and predict the presence of harmful biological, chemical or nuclear agents,” said Nozer Singpurwalla, professor of statistics and decision science and lead principal investigator at GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS). “Our aim is to investigate the mathematical underpinnings of the way threats are analyzed and develop a formal structure under which information from a multitude of sources can be integrated, assessed and articulated with greater precision. The outcome will be a more comprehensive depiction of the full range of potential impacts,” said Singpurwalla.

Refik Soyer, GWSB professor of decision sciences and statistics, and Tapan Nayak, CCAS professor of statistics, are co-principal investigators of the project, “Statistical Algorithms for Threat Detection via Sensor Networks.” I²SDS is housed in GWSB, and is a collaborative partnership with the Department of Statistics at CCAS and the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS).

“We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for this three-year grant,” said GWSB Dean Susan Phillips. “Our involvement with the NSF highlights the assets of the school of business through our location in the nation’s capital, the breadth and level of faculty expertise and our ability to help address the challenges facing the U.S. Government and, ultimately, the world.”

Dean’s Legacy Campaign Builds GWSB Art Collection

The Dean’s Legacy Campaign supported the purchase of art including Tet Holiday, a painting by Vietnamese artist Pham Binh Chuong, which now hangs on the 4th floor of Duquès Hall.

The Dean’s Legacy Campaign, a philanthropic effort chaired by the School of Business Board of Advisors to honor Dean Susan M. Phillips’ accomplishments at the School during her 12 years at its helm, has raised $675,070 to date. The legacy campaign will support the new Phillips Undergraduate Investment Portfolio and the school’s art collection.

GWSB has already reached its goal for the art collection. Duquès Hall and Funger Halls are now home to four, newly purchased paintings. An additional two more were donated by John, BBA ’66, and Judith Hughes Day.

Lead donors to the Dean’s Legacy Campaign are GW Trustees and advisory board members Mark Shenkman, MBA ’67, and George Wellde, Jr., MBA ’76. Three other benefactors’ gifts also made a significant impact – GW Trustees and advisory board members George Coelho, MBA ’77, and Steve Ross, BBA ’81, and Board of Advisors chairman Mitch Blaser, BBA ’73.

The legacy campaign’s goal is $715,000. Remaining gifts will be earmarked for the Phillips Student Investment Fund, an endowed portfolio to be managed by undergraduate business students. To make a gift, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 202-994-8157 or give online and designate “Dean’s Legacy Campaign.”

GWSB/Chei-Min Paik Writing Award Winners Announced

The George Washington University School of Business has awarded the 2010 Chei-Min Paik writing awards to two GWSB alumni. The award is funded through the Chei-Min Paik Endowment Fund, which honors former GWSB professor Chei-Min Paik and his distinguished teaching career. The goal of the fund is to encourage GWSB students and faculty to pursue original research on contemporary management issues.

Top prize of $2,000 went to Daniele Mazzon, MBA ’09. He and obtained his CPA license in 2010 and now works as an auditor for KPMG, LLP. In the midst of the recent economic meltdown, Mazzon wrote a paper titled “Fair-value accounting and the current economic crisis: could fair-value accounting be blamed for igniting the current economic meltdown?” The paper was aimed at demonstrating that these accounting regulations, present in both U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), were not to be blamed and provided a different perspective on the value and importance of fair-value accounting.

Second prize of $1,000 was awarded to Paul Kalinowski, MBA ’10, who wrote a paper entitled “The Chevron Corporation: CSR Report Evaluation, Model Analysis and Initiative Recommendation.” The paper analyzed the most recent Corporate Responsibility Report for Chevron, identifying policies, programs and outcomes of the company’s corporate responsibility initiatives. Using several Corporate Responsibility models, it identified best practices as well as the issues that were not being addressed properly by the company. It assigned Chevron a grade and made recommendations that would allow the company to become a strategic practitioner of corporate responsibility.

Kalinowski works for The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently completing the department’s first ever Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan.

GW Net Impact Attains Gold Chapter Status

GW’s Net Impact chapter recently achieved gold chapter status. The graduate student organization focuses on ways that business can make a positive net social, environmental and economic impact. Only seven percent of Net Impact chapters attained gold. The gold chapters are “characterized by energetic members, dynamic leadership, and excellence in all that they do,” according to Net Impact.

Mark Starik, chair and professor of strategic management & public policy, says the award is a tribute to the GW-Net Impact chapter’s commitment to building the organization and activities, such as creating a green roof on the Elliott School for International Affairs. “There is a growing recognition that social and environmental issues in business are important,” said Starik, a faculty advisor to GW’s-Net Impact chapter. “It’s another indication that GWSB places a high priority on these critical issues.”

GW-Net Impact is now among an elite, international group of 15 Gold Graduate Chapters. With Gold status, GW-Net Impact will continue to attract students who are eager to engage in socially and environmentally conscious business practices. For more information, click here.

African American Alumni Reunion Honors GWSB Alumni

The Honorable BJ Penn, GWSB MS ’00, is congratulated by members of the GW Black Alumni Assoc. - Beverly Bogerty, GWSB ’00, Chair; Titilola Williams-Davies, GWSB ’07 & ’09, Membership Chair; and James Walker, CCAS ’07, Marketing Chair.

The Third Annual African American Alumni Reunion, held June 4-5 in Washington, D.C., highlighted the achievements of the Honorable BJ Penn, GWSB MS ’80, former acting secretary of the Navy and newly appointed GW Trustee. The reunion featured a reception with GW African American faculty and staff.

GWSB Launches Executive Education Program in Sustainability Management & Policy

Scott Sklar, president and founder of the Stella Group, Ltd., a renewable energy brokerage firm in Arlington, VA, speaks to students during the first GWSB Executive Education Program in Sustainability Management & Policy, held June 18. The daylong session was designed for business, government and non-profit executives interested in developing organizational sustainability plans and in sharing ideas about implementing and evaluating these plans.

GW Connection Helps Former GWSB Students Succeed

It has been a hectic few years for the little Foggy Bottom Grocery on F Street. A local landmark since 1946, it lost its dilapidated look when it reopened in March 2010 after a long renovation. Rechristened FoBoGro, it is bright with new floors, fresh paint and a little something for everyone, including a sandwich deli, groceries, a diverse wine and beer selection, a cigar humidor and a bulk-candy section.

The shelves also hold some of the new management team’s food favorites: for CEO and former GWSB student Kris Hart, freshly baked cinnamon buns do the trick, while for Chief Operating Officer Matthew Devlin Keating, BBA Economics and Public Policy, ’06, it’s a taste of his upstate New York home, regional Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce.

While students at the GW School of Business, Hart and Keating made the store their snack stop. In the process, they became close with its owner, Meseret Bekele, whom they affectionately called Aunt Mayze. By the time the pair left school, entrepreneur Hart had opened his first business just down the street, Relaxed Tans. Then came a proposition he couldn’t refuse: Aunt Mayze offered to sell him the grocery store.

Hart lined up other friends, Chris Kiple, GW BA International Affairs,’06; Seth Rosenzweig, BBA,’01; and Chief Development Officer and current GW senior Daniel Blake at the Elliott School for International Affairs; and Keating. They set to work transforming the three-story structure.

When development and renovations began, Hart and Keating were surprised to find so many GW alumni come into their plans.

“Vendors, consultants, architects, investors, lawyers, even our landlord. GW alumni are everywhere,” said Keating. “The network has been huge,” agreed Hart, as they discussed the lasting impact connections made in the School of Business – and throughout GW – have had on their success. They cited the networking opportunities they had as students and acknowledged the power of alumni as a resource, especially those who stay in DC after graduation. Current students help with bookkeeping and other tasks.

The owners’ personal relationship with the Foggy Bottom neighborhood and the GW population has also contributed to their success. FoBoGro’s grand opening included a cookout next door in Anniversary Park with free food, wine and beer, drawing about 200 students and neighbors.

Tucked among thousands of students, residents and visitors in nearby hotels, FoBoGro is a welcome amenity in an area that contains few small food stores or quality lunch locales. Many of the people working behind the counter are GW students.

“If you build a brand that is new, fun and fresh, you’ll attract motivated employees who are invested in that brand,” says Keating. “And I think we’ve added to the neighborhood with our brand.”


Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative: Comparatives and Lessons Learned

The GW Center for Latin American Issues and the Strategic Studies Institute of the United States Army War College will present a colloquium featuring Carolina Barco Isakson, Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, and Arturo Sarukhan, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, moderated by Alex Crowther, research professor of national security studies of the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.

When: Tuesday, June 29 2010, 10:30AM to 12PM
Where: The George Washington University
Duques Hall, Room 151
2201 G St NW
Washington, DC 20052

This even is open to the public and free of charge, but RSVP is necessary. Please click here or fax name, title, organization, telephone and email to (202) 994-5225 to register.

Getting Ink

The Financial Times covered incoming School of Business Dean Doug Guthrie's appointment to GWSB. Guthrie was also covered in a story for the GW Hatchet about his plans to improve the school’s rankings. Using GW’s location, high- profile organization contacts, and a stronger media presence, Guthrie aims to propel the School of Business into the top-25 ranked business schools. Guthrie was also cited in a Bloomberg Businessweek article about his goals as Dean. He emphasized the importance of ethics, leadership, social responsibility and globalization to make the School of Business distinct among other business schools.

A study co-authored by Guthrie and an NYU Stern professor on the “digital competence” of brands in China was covered in both the Earth Times and The study looked at luxury brands and found a large disparity in digital competence across prestige brands in China. While 80 percent of brands in the study maintain a Chinese language site, only 10 percent are e-commerce enabled.

Larry Yu, chair and professor of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management Department, was recently quoted on excellence in customer service at The Ritz-Carlton in an article for business and finance website Minyanville. Yu said he uses the hotel as an example in classes because of its attention to customer service.

Popular blog Dcist featured a story on the 17 students, led by Lisa Delpy Neirotti, professor in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, who traveled to South Africa to study the effects of the World Cup on economic and social change on the country. The blog called them “lucky-ducks” for getting the chance to go to the games.

Tim Fort, the Lindner-Gambal Professor of Business Ethics, discussed how trust is essential to modern business in an article for Ford Motor Company’s website He emphasizes that Ford’s human rights policy brings together the trust of suppliers, employees and regulators.

A team of professors in the Institute for Integrating Statistics in Decision Sciences who are working on a national-security threat-detection system were covered by Nozer Singpurwalla, professor of statistics and decision science, Refik Soyer, professor of decision sciences and statistics, and Tapan Nayak, CCAS professor of statistics, are researching more accurate and precise predictions of pending threats.

A Washington Post story recently covered the entrepreneurship of former GWSB student Kris Hart and fellow GW alumni who opened local businesses Relaxed Tans and Spa and the FoBoGro grocery store and deli.


GWSB’s Capitol Advertising Club took first place in the District 2 competition and moved on to the National competition in Orlando, Florida on June 10. They competed against 18 teams, winning the first-ever “Best use of Marketing Research” Award sponsored by Ad-ology, an AAF research partner. Each year, GWSB’s Capitol Advertising Club competes in the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC).

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