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UpFront: Welcome Back

Robert F. Scherer, Dean
Robert F. Scherer, Dean

It is with great excitement that I welcome you back to the Monte Ahuja College of Business for the Spring 2012 semester. I would like to draw your attention to some very important events that transpired over the past few months, and inform you of some opportunities available to you in the coming months.

We are pleased to announce that we have reaffirmed the quality of our business and accounting programs by maintaining our accreditation by AACSB International. We are extremely proud of this distinction. We hope that you, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, share our pride, as this increases the value of our degree programs. Only 643 business schools, or less than 5% worldwide, have earned this distinguished hallmark of excellence in management education, of which only 177 have earned specialized accreditation for their accounting programs.

Professional Development
In 2011 the Professional Development Center, formerly known as the Executive Development Center, expanded its portfolio of relevant, industry driven training courses for professionals. The 2012 calendar of course offerings will be announced in early February 2012 with courses beginning in early April.

Engaged Learning
As an integral part of a metropolitan university, the mission of the Monte Ahuja College of Business is to prepare the workforce that drives the economic vitality and sustainability of the broader community. To that end we continue to strive to provide students with the opportunity to learn through hands on experience.

You'll read in this issue about a talented group of students who developed a commercialization plan for an innovative modular Wind Speed Amplification system based on a design by Dr. Rashidi at CSU. They have advanced to the semi-final round of competition in the national Clean Energy Challenge.

A group of marketing and international business students recently completed a study tour in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. During Spring break our operations students will visit China.

Look for more news and information in the coming issues of Dialogue. Or find us on Facebook for real-time news and scholarship announcements.

Make it a great semester!

College Maintains Business and Accounting Accreditation by AACSB International

AACSB Accredited

In October 2011 our College underwent a rigorous review of our business and accounting programs by AACSB International, the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in business and accounting. We are proud to announce that we have maintained our business and accounting accreditation by AACSB—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Only 643 schools of business, or less than 5% worldwide, have earned this distinguished hallmark of excellence in management education, of which only 176 have earned specialized accreditation for their accounting programs. To maintain accreditation a business program must undergo a rigorous internal review every five years, at which the program must demonstrate its continued commitment to the 21 quality standards relating to faculty qualification, strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and achievement of learning goals in degree programs. AACSB Accounting Accreditation requires the satisfaction of an additional set of 15 standards that are specific to the discipline and profession of accounting.

"We're all very proud of this achievement. It is due to the dedication of our faculty to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service to the community. I'm also very proud of the commitment by our staff to this important team effort," said Robert Scherer, Dean of the College.

Among the commendations cited by the AACSB Peer Review Team were our portfolio of global business and export trade programs—programs that twice earned the Ohio Governor's Export Award and more recently the President's E Award; our establishment of a Diversity Council to engage minority students; and our certificate program in Sustainable Business Practices offered to professionals and students.

The achievement will be recognized in April at the 2012 AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

CSU Team Advances to Semi-finals in Clean Energy Challenge

Amplified Wind Solutions Executive Team
Amplified Wind Solutions Executive team (L to R): Rahul Sukheja, Patrick Mohney, and Niki Zmij.

A team of CSU business and engineering students, led by Dr. Oya Tukel and Dr. Majid Rashidi, was selected as a semi-finalist in the Clean Energy Challenge 2012, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Clean Energy Trust. This is a significant achievement since more than 100 applications were submitted to compete for $250,000 in cash prizes.

Clean Energy Challenge is a first-in-class business competition that seeks to find Midwest clean energy businesses with the potential to bring innovations to the marketplace. Applicants compete in either the Early Stage Business track or the Student Challenge.

The team, comprised of MBA students Niki Zmij and Rahul Sukheja, engineering student Patrick Mohney, and Terry Thiele, director of sustainable product strategies at Lubrizol, developed a commercialization plan for an innovative modular Wind Speed Amplification system based on a design by Dr. Rashidi at CSU. The business plan introduces consumers to a new understanding that wind turbines do not have to be placed in high wind areas, costing millions of dollars in investment, in order to generate adequate electricity. 

The team is also working very closely with the Urban Development Law Clinic at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, which provides student associates with the opportunity to work on real legal problems under the supervision of clinical professors. Their services include assisting with the incorporation of the company, intellectual property and patent protection, and licensing.

The Amplified Wind Solutions team will compete with 18 other semi-finalists on February 29 and March 1 in Chicago, IL. The winner of the Student Challenge will represent the Midwest at the U.S. Department of Energy’s national competition in Washington for a chance to win the $100,000 grand prize.

For more information about the Clean Energy Challenge, visit:

College Expands Portfolio of Professional Development Courses

Professional Development
Learn more about the courses offered by the Professional Development Center

The Professional Development Center at the Monte Ahuja College of Business, formerly known as the Executive Development Center, has expanded its portfolio of relevant, industry driven training courses for professionals.

For more than a decade, the Center has been the training provider for the Northeast Ohio business community. It has long been recognized as the leader in delivering open enrollment and customized applied training, as well as in preparing business professionals for industry recognized certifications, such as the CMA, CPA, PHR and SPHR exams.

In 2011, the Division of Continuing Education was decentralized, and the Professional Development Center was chosen to assume responsibility for the Business & Management and Computer & IT subject areas. A wide selection of courses and training were delivered successfully in late 2011, and a full year round calendar of expanded offerings will bereleased on February 6, 2012 with courses beginning in early April. Click here if you would like to receive the course schedule via email.

Professional Development Center instructors are business experts with experience in training. They provide real world instruction on business management and IT competencies essential for success, including:

  • Human resources and organizational development
  • Quality, operations, and supply chain
  • Accounting and finance
  • Management
  • Business communications
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • IT management and strategy
  • Web design and development
  • Sustainable business
  • International business

"This is the perfect time to realize individual and organizational growth by partnering with the Professional Development Center to meet the goals of a new year." said Marie Herlevi, Program Manager of Outreach and Business Centers.

The Center offers easy online registration. Discounts are available for students and alumni, and for organizations enrolling multiple employees. CSU Staff Development Funds can be applied to courses. The Professional Development Center offices are located in BU216, and courses are delivered on the Main Campus, and at the West Center in Westlake.

To make the move towards individual and organizational goals today, visit or contact Marie Herlevi at 216-523-7278 or

Featured Student: Terence Motsi

Terence Motsi
Terence Motsi

Terence Motsi is in his second year of the Doctor of Business Administration program. His academic focus is global business. Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, Terence arrived in the U.S. in 2007 after completing a Bachelor of Business Studies in marketing in his home country.

Terence came to CSU after earning an MBA from Clarion University in Western Pennsylvania, where his professors spoke highly of the DBA program at Cleveland State.  After researching the program and comparing its costs to others, CSU was the logical choice.

Terrance, like all of the DBA students, is steadfast in his dedication to his doctoral studies. He strives to balance his research and teaching responsibilities.  He currently teaches Intro to International Business at the Monte Ahuja College of Business. Upon graduation, he would like to pursue a career teaching international business and marketing.  

In his “spare time” Terence enjoys playing soccer in a recreational league in Parma.  He is also active in a Spanish soccer league.  “It gives me an opportunity to get in a few games when I’m not studying.” Despite the sheer number of hours he spends on his research and course work, Terence still finds time to read for personal enjoyment.  His favorite topics are African history and economic history. He also enjoys watching documentaries on economics and history.

Terence says that he is really impressed with the direction of CSU.  “There is such a positive feeling with all of the expansion and new programs that are being developed by the University—the medical school idea is really amazing."

Featured Alumni: Collette Appolito, BBA '93

Collette Appolito
Collette Appolito, BBA '93

As Senior Government Aggregation Representative with FirstEnergy Solutions, Collette Appolito manages government relations with elected officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania to provide aggregation services to residential and small commercial customers. Based in Akron, Ohio, FirstEnergy Solutions is the competitive, unregulated subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., that comprises the nation's largest investor-owned electric system.

Collette served as the president and executive director of The Presidents' Council and Presidents' Council Foundation, an organization that builds economic empowerment and entrepreneurialism by advancing African-American businesses in Northeast Ohio. Collette has quadrupled funding, launched a popular new program to mentor high school sophomores, and raised public awareness of The Presidents' Council through targeted media and community relations' activities.

Prior to joining The Presidents' Council, Collette was appointed director of Cleveland's Office of Equal Opportunity, where she managed a budget of $1 million and 15 employees, who were responsible for administering and monitoring compliance of the Minority- and Female-owned Business Enterprise Program. Working for the city's Department of Economic Development, Collette managed compliance agreements with the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads. She also developed and managed a $20.4 million budget, overseeing noise and safety mitigation and residential sound insulation programs.

Collette earned a bachelor of business administration in finance from Cleveland State University. She transferred to Cleveland State from Cal State-Fullerton. She had a good experience at CSU and fondly remembers the late Dr. James Webb as a professor that impacted her.

When asked what advice she would have for current students she said, "Make sure to keep connected and maintain good relationships. You never know when you may meet someone again." She also suggested finding a mentor who can help you stay focused. "Zero in on what you want and be willing to ask others for help."

She is a member of the 2008 class of Leadership Cleveland and was honored as a Crain's Cleveland 2008 Woman of Note. Collette serves as president of the board of Cleveland Public Theatre, chair of the board development committee for the Alzheimer's Association Cleveland Area Chapter, board member for Cleveland Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, and former mentor to the Civic Innovation Lab. Collette firmly believes in giving back. "It's important to serve on non-profit boards to help develop who you are. It teaches you to work with a group of people to reach a common goal."

Former Lubrizol COO Joins College as Executive in Residence

Steve Kirk
Steve Kirk, Executive in Residence

Steve Kirk, the recently retired chief operating officer of Lubrizol Corp has joined the college of Business as an Executive in Residence. Mr. Kirk will work closely with Dr. Granot, Director of the Executive MBA, Accelerated MBA, and Mobile Accelerated MBA programs to provide executive and project coaching to Executive MBA students as well as to promote the program in the Northeast Ohio business community.

Kirk earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Cleveland State University in 1979. He serves on the board of directors of Robbins & Myers (NYSE: RBN), Vocational Guidance Service, and the CSU Foundation. Kirk also served as the chairman of the Dean’s Visiting Committee from 2008-2010.

Students Tour Abu Dhabi and Dubai

United Arab Emirates
CSU students leave their mark on the UAE.

Donna Davisson, lecturer of international business, led a group of 16 students on a company tour of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The tour, which ran from January 5-15th, offered students a unique perspective of both local business practices and cultural viewpoints present within the UAE.  The companies visited during the tour included the Cleveland Clinic, Masdar City, Mubadala, and Fibrex. While in the UAE, students also took time out for a dessert safari and a tour of the Ferrari theme park, as well as a visit to the world’s second largest mosque.

Class Notes

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