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A Message from Dean Steve Percy

Robert F. Scherer, Dean
Steven W. Percy, Dean

Since joining in July as the Interim Dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business, I have enjoyed meeting many of our talented faculty, staff, students and alumni and have been getting familiar with the pulse of our College. The College of Business is a vibrant community that is growing by leaps and bounds and continues to be an integral part of Cleveland State University. The Fall 2012 semester is coming to an end and we look forward to many noteworthy events and happenings in the coming months.

Global Business. Sustainability. Entrepreneurship. Healthcare. These themes are guiding us as we move through the 2012-2013 academic year, and we are developing exciting programs that will continue to enrich the College and Northeast Ohio and keep us on the forefront of innovation, research and business education.

We currently have two major searches underway – one for an Endowed Chair in Global Business and the other for a permanent Dean of the College. These two hires are critical as they will set the direction for the college and enhance its reputation for years to come. I am very committed and doing all I can to maintain and accelerate the College’s momentum so that we can attract the very best candidates and prepare the ground for their arrival.

This is certainly an extremely exciting time at the College for our students, faculty, staff and alumni. My door is always open and I welcome the opportunity to meet and engage with you in order to continue to advance our College in a successful direction.


Top of Their Class

Eight graduating seniors from the Monte Ahuja College of Business stood out among their peers in both the College and University. These students achieved a top level of academic performance with GPAs over 3.80. One student, Cheryl Kemp, was the College of Business nominee for Valedictorian. Get to know these amazing students!

David Braun

What was your major/minor? Management Information Systems
What are your plans after graduation? Continue working at my current role. Pursue an MBA after a year off.
What was your most significant accomplishment during your time at CSU? Completing my degree while working full-time.
What is your favorite part of Cleveland? Family, being close to home.

Mathieu Fortin

What was your major/minor? Accounting
What are your plans after graduation? I will be employed as a Staff Auditor at Ciuni & Panichi, a regional accounting firm located in Beachwood. My immediate goal is to obtain the four additional credits I require to apply for the CPA examinations. Following that of course is to pass the examinations and become a practicing CPA.
What was your most significant accomplishment during your time at CSU? To have been able to obtain meaningful internships which have increased my accounting knowledge and experience. Also, maintaining a good academic standing in order to graduate near the top of my class. These two factors were instrumental in obtaining post graduation employment.
What is your favorite part of Cleveland? My favorite parts of Cleveland are the art and food scenes that are so diverse around town.

Anthony Gleason

What was your major/minor? Accounting/Finance
What are your plans after graduation? To pass the CPA exam!
What was your most significant accomplishment during your time at CSU? 3.97 GPA on all Accounting Major classes.
What is your favorite part of Cleveland? The Browns, The Tribe, The Cavs, CSU, Playhouse Square, West Side Market, Public Square, The Warehouse District, Great Lakes Brewing Co., The Rock Hall, and much, much, more...

Christina Howards

What was your major/minor? Accounting
What are your plans after graduation? I plan obtain my CFE and CPA certification and begin my career as an Accountant.
What was your most significant accomplishment during your time at CSU? My most significant accomplishment during my time at CSU was being awarded the Becker CPA review scholarship and maintaining a high grade point average while working a full time job and raising a family.
What is your favorite part of Cleveland? My favorite part of Cleveland is the variety of music, restaurants and culture.

Cheryl Kemp

What was your major/minor? Marketing/Economics
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I hope to pursue my love of marketing by transitioning into a consultancy or agency based position because I love the constant excitement and new challenges that present themselves while working with a variety of clients. I would ideally love to get into an advertising agency that works with a variety of clients within the restaurant industry, so that my knowledge of operations in the area might be useful along with the marketing knowledge I've gained here at CSU.
What was your most significant accomplishment during your time at CSU? I think the balancing act of working full-time and being a full-time student was the biggest challenge that I've faced with both my academic and professional careers. Within my time at Cleveland State, however, I think I've turned out some of my best work through the opportunity to work with real clients in my Consulting and Online Marketing Strategy classes. The chance to write marketing plans for companies that have genuine marketing challenges and to know that they can really benefit from and implement the recommendations that my teams and I have put together in these projects has been very rewarding and has really pushed me to work my hardest here at CSU.
What is your favorite part of Cleveland? As a restaurant person, I love that Cleveland has become such a foodie town! I try to make an effort to try someplace new every time I go out to eat, and Cleveland definitely never disappoints me with a variety of fantastic options. I feel that I ended up in the best city I could for my college experience. Cleveland has such a variety of entertainment offerings from its professional sports teams in every major sport to its great restaurants and also breeds a variety of successful businesses, offering me plenty of opportunities to look forward to after graduation.

Biljana Petrovic

What was your major/minor? Double major; MLR (HR track) and Organizational Leadership (Management Track)
What are your plans after graduation? I plan on starting my career and practicing HR in the healthcare field.
What was your most significant accomplishment during your time at CSU? Maintaining my GPA was my most significant accomplishment during my time at CSU. I never really worried about my grades or GPA; things just came easy to me. I didn't care if I got a B or a C. But after transferring to CSU from Tri-C, I really wanted to give it my best and earn those A's, and it definitely paid off!
What is your favorite part of Cleveland? The nightlife and entertainment.

Yelena Zinina

What was your major/minor? Accounting
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation I am planning to sit for the CPA and start my career. After getting experience in the field, I am planning to get my masters or MBA, which ever will be preferable for my career path.
What was your most significant accomplishment during your time at CSU? The most significant accomplishment during my time at CSU was participating with my friends in a Beta Alpha Psi competition sponsored by Deloitte at the regional conference in Chicago. We took second place in that competition. I was really proud to represent my college and even more proud to bring the award and recognition to CSU.
What is your favorite part of Cleveland? It's a very difficult question. I love Cleveland. I love local and Broadway shows at Playhouse Square. I love restaurants and nightlife in downtown. I love Cleveland parks. I love sailing on Lake Erie. My list about favorite parts of Cleveland is really endless.

(Not pictured: Charleen Burns)


Fall Wrap Up

The Fall semester at the Monte Ahuja College of Business was a very busy one.

HR Awards
Three members of our College were recognized by ERC and SHRM at the 2012 HR Awards. Dr. Vickie Coleman Gallagher won for HR Student Advisor; Olga Nagdaseva won for HR Student; and Dr. Tracy Porter was a finalist. These two professors and our student really demonstrate excellence in the field of HR.

“The SHRM/ERC Award for Student Chapter Advisor was a humbling experience. I'm so delighted that the students and my colleagues took the time to nominate me. But my leadership would not have been possible without their talent and energy. I also could not have accomplished a successful year without the support of Mary Hrivnak (the prior chapter advisor) and Tracy Porter, my co-advisor. It is truly a team effort and an honor!” Dr. Vickie Coleman Gallagher

“I am passionate about the pursuit of career in Human Resources. The receipt of HR Student of the Year award, presented by Cleveland SHRM and ERC, is a significant personal achievement and my academic peak. More importantly, it was a tremendous honor to represent Monte Ahuja College of Business, Cleveland State SHRM, and to be recognized by Northeast Ohio's HR experts.” Olga Nagdaseva

Amplified Wind Solutions Executive Team
Nathan Forbes, CEO of Rock Gaming, speaking at the 2nd Annual Real Estate Conference.

2nd Annual Real Estate Conference
In early October, the Department of Finance and the Paul J. Everson Center for Real Estate Brokerage/Agency and Markets hosted its 2nd Annual Real Estate Conference. This year’s conference was a huge success, with attendance and sponsorships up significantly from the year before. A dynamic group of speakers gave updates on the real estate industry and what, specifically, is happening in Cleveland. Presenters included Nathan Forbes from Rock Gaming (owners of the Horseshoe Casino) and Jill Akins from Van Auken Akins Architects who spoke about the Cleveland waterfront plan. The committee is already hard at work planning for next year’s conference. Stay tuned for details!

Level III CFA
Hearty congratulations to Monte Ahuja College of Business alumni Tanu Rishi, MBA and Shadie Andraos, BBA-Finance who passed Level III of the prestigious CFA program. The CFA program includes a series of three rigorous exams that must be passed sequentially as one of the requirements for earning a CFA charter.

Said Shadie, “The CFA designation is very well received, and increases my credibility when approaching clients and peers within the industry. Additionally, being a candidate has helped me network with others in the city and to build a solid network.”

CIS Cooperative Education Program
The CIS Department announced the launch of its Cooperative Education program (Co-Op), an experiential education opportunity that integrates workplace experience with the classroom. Through this program, a CIS student's academic preparation is enhanced through practical experience. Students alternate semesters of work and study, beginning the summer after their sophomore year. The degree will be completed in five years with the equivalent of one year of meaningful CIS/IT experience.

Participating in the CIS Co-Op program can be beneficial for a student's CIS career. They earn academic credit towards their degree and all Co-Op positions are salaried which can help pay for tuition. By participating in a Co-Op, students can explore different areas of professional experience and career opportunities within the CIS/IT field as well as develop and apply communication skills. Companies often use Co-Op programs to recruit full-time, entry-level professionals, so this program becomes a unique networking opportunity for a CIS students. Contact Dr. Sharen Bakke for more information.


Featured Student: Niki Zmij

Terence Motsi
Niki Zmij

At the Monte Ahuja College of Business we have some very talented students. MBA student Niki Zmij is no exception. Founder and CEO of Amplified Wind Solutions, Niki has won several small business competitions including COSE’s Business Pitch Competition and JumpStart’s Student Business Idea Competition and is on her way to becoming a truly successful entrepreneur. Get to know Niki!

Projected Graduation Date: August 2013

Proudest achievement so far from your time at CSU: Shortly after I began my MBA, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Majid Rashidi, Chair of the Engineering Technology Department, and Terry Thiele, Director of Sustainable Product Strategies at Lubrizol, to commercialize Dr. Rashidi’s Wind Amplification System (commonly known as the wind turbine at Progressive Field). This technology has the ability to produce up to 6 times more electricity than a stand-alone turbine. This was about a year ago, and since then I have founded a company called Amplified Wind Solutions, and we already have begun raising start-up capital.

Future plans/goals: For Amplified Wind Solutions, our near-term goal is to sell the Wind Amplification System within the telecommunications industry, as it has an expressed need for alternative power solutions. Cell tower sites are significant contributors to both operating costs and CO2 emissions, and power supply to cell sites is a key issue for network expansion in remote or rural locations, and in the event of power outages. This technology can be a sole energy source for cell tower sites, and address all of these issues.

For me personally, I want to achieve success with Amplified Wind Solutions, and continue down the path of an entrepreneur. Through this experience, I have realized how exciting and fulfilling this type of work can be. I hope to make this the first of many start-up ventures in my lifetime.

How has CSU helped you towards achieving your future goals? If it weren’t for CSU, I would not be where I am today, nor would I have such a clear idea of what I can accomplish in the future. The support I have received from the faculty and administration of the Monte Ahuja College of Business has been essential to my success. Dr. Oya Tukel in particular has inspired me with her dedication and entrepreneurial spirit, and I can never thank her enough for her mentoring and guidance. Additionally, she is the one who helped make Amplified Wind Solutions a reality, as she introduced me to Dr. Rashidi and Terry.

What do you like to do when not at school? When I am not at school or working, I am rock climbing. I became really passionate about the sport about 2 years ago, and I try to take at least one big outdoor trip a year. I have climbed in several beautiful places such as Indian Creek, Utah; Yosemite National Park, California; Kentucky; and West Virginia.


2012 Hall of Fame Induction

Collette Appolito
2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (l-r): Andrew Jackson, Dean Steve Percy, Janet Kramer, Ron Auletta, Ken Misener, Joe Krysh

On September 21st the Monte Ahuja College of Business inducted three alumni and one executive-in-residence into the Hall of Fame. These four individuals have all excelled in their respective industries and demonstrate the effectiveness of a business education. They serve as an inspiration to current business students and support the mission of our College. Congratulations to our newest inductees!

Ronald A. Auletta, BBA ’98, MBA ‘01
CEO & President, Xaloy, Inc.
Member of Monte Ahuja College of Business Visiting Committee

Andrew Jackson, BBA ‘82
President & CEO, AJ Automotive Group
Member of Monte Ahuja College of Business Visiting Committee and founder of Jackson Family Scholarship at CSU

Janet L. Kramer, MBA ‘83
President, National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Ohio Buckeye Chapter
Member of Monte Ahuja College of Business Visiting Committee

Kenneth T. Misener, Executive in Residence MBA Health Care Administration
Director of Strategic Planning, Perspectus Architecture


Featured Department: Marketing

Steve Kirk
Faculty of the Monte Ahuja College of Business Marketing Department

The Marketing Department at the Monte Ahuja College of Business provides cutting-edge marketing research and education to our students. The department has a balance of outstanding research and teaching faculty members. The department’s highly productive research faculty have published in top marketing journals such as the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and the Journal of Business Research.

The most important and core focus of the department is to provide superlative education to our students.  Faculty members identify and select the most innovative and rigorous course materials to enrich student learning. The Department provides abundant opportunities to students for in-depth and engaged learning. Most classes offer hands-on learning experiences to students by engaging in real world marketing projects.

The Marketing Department has recently embarked on several new initiatives. These include curriculum update and enrichment and a phased introduction of exciting new courses such as Sports Marketing, Healthcare Marketing, Innovation and Creativity in Marketing, Marketing Entrepreneurship, Not-for-Profit Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Marketing Research practicum.

In addition, the Marketing Department recently established a Center for Marketing Research. The goal of the Center is to make much needed, high quality marketing research and analytics resources available to Northeast Ohio companies, as well as to provide extensive real world marketing research experience to students. Professor Ashutosh Dixit, Interim Chair of the Department of Marketing, serves as the Center Director. The Center will become a core resource to CSUs internal clients, Northeast Ohio small and medium sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, local and federal government agencies and the Cleveland community, leading to growth in the local and regional economy. He says, “Taking ownership of our actions, being mindful of others, coupled with leveraging our skills and strengths with enthusiasm and courage, will provide us with high quality results. Engaged learning, teamwork, interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships will transform our students, faculty, stakeholders, and provide a boost to our economy.”

Other initiatives include a ten-day instructor-led visit to England where students conduct marketing research; instructor-led short trips to France, Abu Dhabi, South Korea, Belgium and Netherlands; an American Marketing Association (AMA) student chapter; and a Marketing Research Club for undergraduate and graduate students. The Department is steadfastly dedicated and committed to student achievement and success through high-quality research, engaged learning and selfless service.

Featured Center: ITAC

United Arab Emirates
ITAC Program Director, Nate Ward

As one of our Outreach and Business Centers, the International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC) serves an important role in helping small- and medium-sized businesses grow through exporting. Program Director, Nate Ward, gives us some more details about this Center, which is funded by the Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

What are some services and upcoming events sponsored by ITAC? The International Trade Assistance Center at Monte Ahuja College of Business is part of a statewide economic development network dedicated to helping small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The ITAC helps guide companies that have an overseas sales opportunity, understand foreign markets, develop a longer term export strategy, and streamline export business practices. Our centers basically act as an auxiliary international department for SMEs. We are a standing, ready resource they can access for free at any time. In addition, we help connect businesses to various state and federal export-specific grants and services in foreign countries.

This coming spring we will host regional workshops on topics on intellectual property protection, trade financing programs, trade documentation and highlight emerging countries such as South Africa and Nigeria.

What is the ITAC's importance within the Monte Ahuja College of Business? The ITAC offers free counseling to CSU students looking to make a career in international trade, offers reduced rate admission to international business workshops, helps bring internship opportunities, at the center itself, area companies or government organizations. Additionally, the ITAC brings companies that provide graduate and undergraduate classes opportunities for business case studies.


Keep Us Informed!

Do you have news you want to share or story ideas for Dialogue? Faculty, Staff and Alumni - send us an update about your recent personal or professional milestones. You may also include a photo. Email j.zuckerman12@csuohio.edu.



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