Message From the Dean — April 2021

April 30, 2021

Dear GWSB Community,

I am delighted to announce our 2021 Commencement Keynote Speaker - Nate Morris (CCAS ‘03), Founder of Morris Industries, and its signature asset, Rubicon, a widely acclaimed software company focused on waste and recycling. Nate will speak to our graduating class on May 13 - sharing his lessons learned in founding the sustainable software solution company, now operating in 22 countries on 5 continents with a valuation in excess of $1 billion.

Indeed, GW is a thriving launchpad for innovation, and an entrepreneurial mind-set is one of the defining qualities of our students and alumni in GWSB. 

In April, the GW New Venture Competition concluded following months of preparation. GWSB students performed exceptionally well - with a total of $67,500 awarded across six teams

  • Nicole Clines (MBA ‘21) Contactless Policing is a contactless traffic stop networking application called the Contactless Policing Interface & Identification System (CPIIS). 
  • Dominique Tolbert (MBA ‘21) Mesean Spices is a line of spice blends inspired by global flavors, inviting you to explore culture through cooking.
  • Aizhan Daniyar (BS '21) Osean Seafood brings vegetarians and health-focused consumers nutritious, vegan, delicious, and affordable seafood substitutes to support the sustainability of our ocean. 
  • Carter Pew (BS ‘23) Sa'akom Farms is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit seeking to alleviate poverty in Cambodia through the implementation of innovative, vertical hydroponic farming. 
  • Leelie Selassie (MBA '21), Jaime Sarmiento-Monroy (MBA '21), Brendan Jones (MBA '21) Tesfa Medical Center, a novel cancer center in Ethiopia, improves breast and colon cancer survival by 20% over 5 years.

I want to congratulate the winning teams, and all of the students who advanced their entrepreneurial ambitions throughout the competition. 

As we look forward to the 2021-22 competitions of both Pitch George and NVC, for inspiration I recommend the Bicentennial short documentary A New Venture and our April George Talks Business interview with Ximena Hartsock. As a GW alumna (GSHED ‘04), Ximena shared her expertise from founding Tech Apprenticeships and co-founding Phone2Action.

GWSB Good News

  • Online On the Rise: We received accolades for our Online MBA programs in April. GWSB moved up eight spots in the QS Online MBA Ranking 2021 to #18 and in the new Fortune Best Online MBA ranking out this week we debuted at #14. This new recognition is a continuation of our Online MBA programs rising. Earlier this academic year we moved up in the U.S. News and World Report rankings to #20 and reached #4 in Poets&Quants. 
  • Which MBA? Fortune Education interviewed Liesl Riddle, associate dean of graduate programs, in the article 7 types of MBA programs - and how to choose the right one for you. Analyzing MBA education choices, Dr. Riddle provided her insight on both Online and Global MBA programs.
  • Human Resource Community: GWSB was recently granted a SHRM Student Chapter and have appointed student leadership. Through the GW SHRM Student Chapter, students will connect with alumni and professionals, organize events and job opportunities for graduating students.
  • Focus on First-Gen: Incoming MBA student Skye Blanks was featured in the GW Today article about first-generation students at GW. Blanks is also a member of the class of 2023 GW Presidential Fellows

Faculty Expertise

Awards and Recognition

  • Senay Agca, Professor of Finance and National Science Foundation, Program Director - Economics, Science of Broadening Participation, Future Manufacturing, Bioeconomy/Biotechnology, will be awarded the NSF Director's Award for Superior Accomplishment. This is Professor Agca’s second award within a year at the NSF. In August, Agca received a certificate of achievement for her contributions to COVID-19 research.
  • Gil Appel, Assistant Professor of Marketing, was a finalist for best paper of 2020 in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS). The paper, on the Future of Social Media Marketing  was downloaded 219,000 times - the most in that JAMS issue.
  • Linda Maddox, Professor of Marketing, selected and advised 18 GWSB undergraduate students who participated in the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). Judged by ad industry officials, the national competition includes more than 150 schools working on a $10 million-dollar campaign for real-world client Tinder. In April, the team competed and came in first in District 2. They will now advance to the national final on June 3.  Good luck to our students, we know you will make us #GWSBproud!
  • Katherine Min and Jinny Ryu, GWSB undergraduate students, have been selected as finalists in an e-Fest entrepreneurship challenge. The work emanated from a decision models course they took in the fall.
  • Vanessa Perry, Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor of Marketing, is the recipient of 2021 Thomas C. Kinnear/Journal of Public Policy & Marketing Award from the American Marketing Association. Dr. Perry has been recognized again for her 2018 research exploring diversity, consumption and community in gentrifying neighborhoods with Sonya A. Grier.
  • Emily Schmid, GWSB undergraduate student, was a GW Research Showcase winner in the Economics and Business section for her work, Studying the COVID-19 Impact on Firms: Text Mining of MD&A Reports. Emily was also selected for the IDDEAS program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania earlier this semester.  

Events and Reminders 

  • GWSB Signature Bicentennial Event, Responsible AI answered questions from engaged guests and I recommend catching it on our GWSB YouTube channel if you couldn’t participate live. 
  • Commencement Celebrations 2021 are less than two weeks away and we cannot wait to celebrate your achievement with you. If you’re a graduating student please RSVP for your undergraduate or master’s and doctoral celebration. 

As we close the semester, I wish all of our students success throughout exams and final papers and projects. And reflecting on this past academic year, I am thankful for our GWSB community that has worked so hard and so well together. Collectively, we have lifted the school to new heights - and done so during difficult times through entrepreneurial spirit, keen intellect and sustained effort.

Over the summer we will continue our strategic planning that will advance the values that matter most to the school. I look forward to sharing more details with you and to the fall when we continue the Bicentennial celebration and begin a new semester together.

Stay well and stay strong,

image - Dean Anuj Mehrotra signature

Anuj Mehrotra, Ph.D.