At the Center of It All

GWSB Undergraduate News

August 24, 2012

NEW! A Welcome Greeting from Your Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies


Dear GWSB Students,

I wanted to wish you all a warm welcome to the new school year!  For some of you, this will be your first fall at GW, and for others, it might be your last fall before you graduate.  No matter how long you have been on campus, you are a part of the GWSB community, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to get to know you and provide you with a world class education.

I am honored to be serving as the Undergraduate Dean and to be working with our outstanding advising and program staff.  Ms. Julianna Hutchins is now in charge of advising and is coordinating our team of Undergraduate Student Experience Advisors.  We are all very excited to work with you in the coming year and have many co-curricular programs for you to get involved in.
Please feel free to come by the Undergraduate Programs office and Advising Center to say hello, ask questions, and get more involved in your community!  We have a number of opportunities for students to take an active role in their education, beginning with some exciting programming in the next few weeks, specifically GWSB Welcome Week events and Back2Business (a fair put on by the Undergraduate Business Association).  Back2Business will take place on September 14, from noon-2 pm in Kogan Plaza, and there will be informational booths, cupcakes, and more.  I will be there to meet you all at the table dedicated to our new reading programs, which many of you participated in this summer. Also, you can follow me on twitter for updates and events @gwsbIsabelle.
Once again, welcome or welcome back to the GWSB community!  I look forward to getting to know you all and to the new school year. 
Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs

NEW! Study Abroad Events

Study Abroad Open House

The Office for Study Abroad is hosting an open house on Wednesday, August 29th from 10am-4pm in the Marvin Center, Suite 505. All study abroad advisors will be available for walk-in advising during this time. Stop by to check out our new office and learn more about your study abroad options!

Regional Information Sessions

Thinking about studying abroad next semester? Come to a regional information session to learn more about your program options, scholarship opportunities, and the application process. The info sessions will be held the first three Fridays of the semester. For more information and to view the full schedule, please visit our website.

GW Study Abroad Fair 2012

Monday, September 24
Marvin Center Grand Ballroom

Stop by the annual Study Abroad Fair to learn about the hundreds of program options available to you each semester!

NEW! How GW Ranks in the Princeton Review

For over two decades, the Princeton Review has crafted a list of the best 377 universities for students to find out information on everything from rankings to student contentment to teaching styles- 62 categories in all. The information is gathered from surveys of over 122,000 students. The latest book goes on sale, and rankings can be found on their website, as well.

Here are some of the rankings for GW!

#3 College City Gets High Marks
#3 Most Politically Active Students
#13 Best College Dorms

NEW! Opportunities for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Interested in getting paid for conducting research with a faculty member? If so, please visit our website and complete an application here.  Please contact Rick Hess at for more information!

About the REU Program:

The Research Experience for Undergraduates program in the School of Business cultivates and supports research partnerships between undergraduate students and School of Business faculty members. The REU program provides opportunities for undergraduate students to work as part of the team on a faculty member's research project or to participate in a case competition requiring intensive research. The REU program engages undergraduates fully in the learning process and enables them to gain an appreciation of the role of research in business. For the academic year 2011-2012, we had 19 undergraduate students participating in the program working with 16 faculty members on diverse research projects.

Current Open REU Positions:

  • • Professor Paul Swiercz is looking for a student to help him with a case study on the Peace Corps:

Research Description:
Research in support of a case on staffing policies of the Peace Corps.
Working Title: Peace Corps.: The Shortest Career You Will Ever Love. The Peace Corps is unique because it has a strict limit on the length of appointments for professional staff. We will investigate the origins of this policy and its consequence for Peace Corps performance.

Preferred Student Qualifications:
Library/ archival research
Interviewing skills
Project management
Word and Power Point familiarity

Length: one semester or until project completion. 5-10 hrs per week 

  • • Professor Edward Cherian PHD is looking for a student to help him continue his Healthcare IT research in the Spring of 2013.

Please contact him at

Or, if there is another topic you have in mind, feel free to grab a professor and submit a proposal!
E-mail for more information!

NEW! Student Highlights Section: What I did on my Summer "Vacation."

Colleen Tan

Colleen Tan is a rising sophomore at The George Washington University in the Honors Program and School of Business. This summer, she is interned at the US Department of Treasury Office of Management and Budget. She helped budget analysts organize, validate, and calculate budget data for Treasury and its bureaus. Her projects included compiling Treasury budget activities in a Program Inventory, documenting Treasury congressional deliverable assignments from congressional bills and reports, and guiding new technological initiatives for SharePoint and Wiki within the Treasury Office of Management and Budget.

GWSB Access to

We are excited to announce that all GWSB faculty, staff, and students now have full access to the Financial Times' interactive web portal,! It can be accessed from any campus computer.  provides electronic access to the Financial Times' news content.  In addition, recently added new educational tools to enhance the business curriculum.  We are hoping that full-text access to and Education Tools will a very useful supplement for courses for the next academic year. Education Tools

FT Education features applications such as Clippings and MBA Newslines. Clippings can be set up to bookmark and store relevant articles and materials for reference, while also using comments to help explain aspects and facilitate discussion. Newslines is an annotation tool that adds notes to articles to provide background or explanations of key concepts and implications. Both of these applications can be used to facilitate discussion and debate over articles and emerging stories. Another key piece of the education learning tool is the research service with years of archives and data for reference.
Other features in addition to the Education platform include the ePaper and FT Lexicon. The ePaper is a digital copy of the full print addition with the ability to save, store, and share articles in PDF format. FT Lexicon is a reference and glossary of investment, financial, and business terms with explanations and examples.

Interview with Max (Zixiang) Chen, Winner of the White House Youth Sustainability Challenge Project

Max (Zixiang) Chen

1. What is the White House Youth Sustainability Challenge Project? How did you find out about it?
The White House Youth Sustainability challenge is a contest dedicated to showcasing the best sustainability efforts by young Americans. Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, launched the White House Youth Sustainability Challenge in May. They asked youth from around the country to show they are doing in their communities to foster sustainability in the form of a video. I found out about this contest through Net Impact.

2. How did you come up with ideas for your video? What was your brainstorming process like?
The inspiration of using a tree to tell my "growth" actually came to me while I was running in Dumbarton Oaks park one day. Immediately, I ran to the nearest bookstore to buy a notebook and a pen, sat down in the Starbucks next door, and wrote out my entire script in 2 hours. Most of the other videos were about one project that the other contestants are working on, but my video is more about my growth as an individual: from when I started an environmental community service group in high school to my current role as VP of Green GW. I love to tell stories, and so I just felt as though a story represented myself better than just an individual action.
I shot the video at grove of trees near Roosevelt Island. I taped pictures of my "growth" to the trees, using different branches to symbolize different things I've been involved in. I recorded the narration beforehand, and then just played the recording as I panned from picture to picture.

3. What was it like competing for votes? What did you do to gain a competitive advantage?
I think I get my competitive spirit from having run varsity cross country and track in high school. As a result, I oftentimes imagine challenges as track races in my mind, and I keep myself motivated with race quotes from track (silly, I know, but it works!).
I entered the contest about a week later than most of my competitors. However, within less than 48 hours, I went from 11th place (last) to 3rd place with 140 votes. The next day, I reached first place. Ever since then, I kept going back-and-forth with the other top three entries until the end. In order to gain more votes, I tried tapping into every connection and network I had. I created Facebook event, asked people I’ve met at sustainability conferences, posted in LinkedIn and Facebook groups, used so many email newsletters, tweeted at influencers, and asked all my friends and family... and their friends and family. I was obsessed because I wanted this so badly.
The final tally of votes was me-691, Johns Hopkins-489.
However, when you take a closer look at it, what I won was popular vote, not judge's choice. So, yes, all my experiences in sustainability were important, but what mattered much, much more was all the friends I was able to gain through those experiences.

4. How did your business knowledge help you during this contest?
The School of Business is just phenomenal in terms of teaching us how to communicate ourselves effectively, and that’s really what this contest was all about. Additionally, GWSB has been so supportive in all my business and sustainability endeavors, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. For example, last year I had the opportunity to represent GWSB at the Athgo International’s Climate Change & Constructive Entrepreneurship conference at the World Bank and at William & Mary’s Corporate and College Collaborative on Sustainability conference.

5. Why do you think it is important for business majors to learn about sustainability?
We all live in a changing world where the topic of sustainability is unavoidable, especially in terms of business because business is how our society functions. Business majors have a huge advantage in affecting change in society because businesses are unlike nonprofits in that business managers work from the inside-out. As a result, business has the potential to be a powerful catalyst for positive change in our society. Business is a set of tools, whereas sustainability is a set of values, and the combination of business and sustainability gives us the ability to act upon our values in a convincing manner.

6. Now that you've won, what happens next? What's the prize/reward?
In addition to the honor itself, my video was shown at the recent Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and I will be attending a special event at the White House on August 31 that features the winners!

7. What are your future goals/plans?
Career-wise, I definitely want to do something business and sustainability related, but am still not sure what it is specifically; the possibilities are endless. I would love work in an environment where I can justify ethical and sustainable decisions with business knowledge.

8. Anything else you'd like to share with the GWSB community?
I would love to see more business and sustainability courses available for undergraduates in the School of Business since there currently are (shockingly) none! If anyone is interested in the same, please contact me.

GW Tutoring Initiative

GW Tutoring Initiative provides tutoring services for GW students in a variety of courses. In addition to individual sessions, we also have drop-in sessions that students can utilize throughout the semester free-of-charge, and online tutoring through Smarthinking. Please visit the GW Tutoring Initiative website for more information.

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NEW! A Welcome Greeting from Your Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies

NEW! Study Abroad Events

NEW! How GW Ranks in the Princeton Review

NEW! Opportunities for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

NEW! Student Highlights Section: What I did on my Summer "Vacation"

GWSB Access to

Interview with Max (Zixiang) Chen, Winner of the White House Youth Sustainability Challenge Project

GW Tutoring Initiative

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