Monte Ahuja College of Business News Archive

2012 News

Japan’s Foreign Minister Commends Monte Ahuja College of Business Professor Toshinori Munakata

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced on July 12th, 2012, that Dr. Toshinori (Tosh) Munakata, Professor Emeritus of the Computer and Information Science Department at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio has been awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation. This honor is conferred on individuals and groups, each year, for outstanding efforts and valuable contributions to mutual understanding and friendly relations with Japan. This year, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs chose to award this prestigious Commendation to only 62 individuals and 18 organizations worldwide.

In receiving this highly coveted award, Professor Munakata is recognized for his significant achievements in information science and numerous efforts and accomplishments in promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.

Professor Munakata has contributed greatly to the field of information science in both the United States and Japan. On three separate occasions, he was awarded the University Merit Award for Excellence in Research by Cleveland State University. He was also awarded the College Legacy Award in Research in 2007. In Newsweek Japan’s special 25th anniversary issue published in May 2011, the magazine selected Dr. Munakata as one of 25 Japanese people who “changed the world.”

During his career, Professor Munakata published a graduate level artificial intelligence textbook that covers new fundamental aspects of the field. His textbook has received excellent evaluations and is used in classrooms worldwide. Professor Munakata has also promoted the development of information science by serving as Editor of two influential and widely known computer science journals: IEEE Expert (now IEEE Intelligent Systems) and Communications of the ACM.

Professor Munakata has also been instrumental in linking information science studies in the United States and Japan. Through the influential journals that he edited, Professor Munakata introduced the achievements of many Japanese researchers to an international audience. He also facilitated the publishing of journal articles translated from English to Japanese and contributed greatly to clarity of the Japanese text. Professor Munakata also supported the development of information science in Japan by giving informative lectures and taking part in joint projects.

Because of his many valuable contributions to both the field of information science and to enhancing relations between the United States and Japan, Professor Toshinori Munakata will be honored at an awards ceremony later this year.

College Appoints New International Trade Assistance Center Director

Cleveland State University's Monte Ahuja College of Business is pleased to announce the appointment of Nate Ward as the Director of the International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC).  

Mr. Ward brings international experience within manufacturing and banking as well as diverse cultural and linguistic knowledge to the ITAC. He most recently worked at the Vitamix Corporation in the internationalconsumer products department. There, he worked through importer/distributors in over 30 countries to sell high-end consumer kitchenwares.   Mr. Ward brings over seven years ofexperience in sales, logistics, marketing, pricing, research, and product development – all with an international focus. Prior to Vitamix, Mr. Ward worked for Charter One Bank in international money transfers. In addition to studying in six countries, he holds an International MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College, an MA from McGill University of Montreal. He speaks multiple languages including French, Spanish and Japanese.

The ITAC will provide export assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in northeast Ohio to promote growth through exports. The ITAC is hosted by Cleveland State University's Monte Ahuja College of Business, Global Business Center and funded by the Ohio Small Business Development Center.

For further information about the services offered by the International Trade Assistance Center at the Monte Ahuja College of Business, please visit Cleveland's ITAC on the web or contact Nate Ward at 216.523.7347 /

CSU Business Students Place Third in National Case Competition

A team of three Cleveland State University MBA students from the Monte Ahuja College of Business placed third in the KeyBank/Fisher College of Business Minority MBA Case Competition this year. The team, coached by Dr. Elad Granot, included Ilda Beqiraj, Wanda Cruz-Knight, Alejandro Sardina, and Vladimir Sheinfield.

Among the 18 teams that competed in the 2012 event, CSU placed above all other Ohio schools, including The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati and Kent State University. CSU beat Penn State and several other nationally ranked schools to finish third. The University of Washington and UCLA finished first and second respectively.

This is the fourth time in eight years that CSU has placed in the top four. In the competition, organizers propose a business problem, and teams are tasked to create solutions through a written thesis. Teams have 30 days to present their submissions to a panel of KeyBank executives, who act as judges.

"The strong performance of our MBA students in the KeyBank Case Competition shows their ability to analyze real-world business problems and develop effective plans to create solutions," said Robert Scherer, Ph.D., Dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business.

College Maintains Business and Accounting Accreditation by AACSB International

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 excellence, 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

A team of CSU business and engineering students, led by Dr. Majid Rashidi and Dr. Oya Tukel, 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 student team, comprised of MBA students Niki Zmij and Rahul Sukheja, and engineering student Patrick Mohney, along with 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 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:

2011 News

Monte Ahuja College Expands Portfolio of Professional Development Courses

The Professional Development Center at the Monte Ahuja College of Business now offers a newly expanded portfolio of relevant, industry driven training for yourself and every employee in your organization. Courses include business and management, computer & IT, and industry certification prep courses. Open enrollment sessions are now available with easy online registration. Group discounts, on-site training, and customized courses are also available. More »

Alumnus Monte Ahuja Donates $10 Million to CSU. College of Business named in his honor

Local entrepreneur and Cleveland State University alumnus, Monte Ahuja, has donated $10 million to CSU to fund scholarships and an endowed professorship in business. The majority of the money will be earmarked for scholarships in business, with a portion dedicated for scholarships in engineering. The gift will also fund an endowed professorship in business, the Monte Ahuja Endowed Chair of Global Business. The endowed chair will enable CSU to enhance its focus on global business by recruiting a leading scholar in the field. More »


College of Business Receives Presidential “E” Award for Exports

May 16, 2011

The Nance College of Business today was awarded the Presidential “E” Award for Exports by U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. organization may receive for making a significant

“Our Nance College of Business and its Global Business Center fundamentally elevate Northeast Ohio global success through unparalleled service to the export community.  We are honored to accept the Presidential “E” Award for Export Service– and to join a select group of organizations that are responsible for moving the President’s National Export Initiative forward,” said Robert Scherer, Dean of the Nance College of Business.  “Since 2007, the Global Business Center has served over 2000 participants in its programs to support business practitioners as they overcome key exporting challenges.”

The Nance College of Business and its Global Business Center, both integral parts of the global emphasis at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, deliver export service through international business-focused academic programs, applied research, extensive collaboration with valued private and public partners such as the U.S. Commercial Service, and superior training programs like GlobalTarget – an innovative year-long mentorship program.

“Exports are a key driver of America's economic recovery,” said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.  “President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015 in support of several million American jobs, is a robust, forward-looking trade agenda with an emphasis on domestic job growth.  The Nance College of Business is being honored today for making significant contributions toward fulfilling that agenda.”

“I congratulate you on your significant export achievement. It is organizations like yours that will help us meet or exceed the President’s NEI goals. Your institution provides an example we hope more American companies will follow,” Locke added.

The Nance College of Business values its relationship with the Cleveland U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC,) and businesses, students, and faculty benefit from this highly effective collaboration.  Cleveland USEAC is a key partner on the GlobalTarget program, and Nance and Cleveland USEAC consistently partner on events for the global business practitioner.  This partnership results in high-quality programming and assistance to Northeast Ohio companies seeking to export and allows for programming that is both responsive and forward thinking to meet the business challenges of today and tomorrow.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service office network in 108 U.S. cities and more than 75 countries which helps U.S. companies export. Criteria for the award are based on four years of successive export growth, usually accompanied by a rising percentage of export sales within total sales. An applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in making the award.

All nominations are reviewed by the “E” Award Committee, which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, and includes representatives from ExIm Bank, and the Departments of Labor, State, and Transportation.

President Kennedy revived the World War II "E" symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. Thus, the "E" Award Program was established by Executive Order 10978 on December 5, 1961.

A total of 27 U.S. companies were presented with the “E” Award at the May 16, 2011 World Trade Week ceremonies in Washington, D.C.

College Joins Prestigious Group of Organizations Approved by Project Management Institute to Provide Project Management Training

Dr. Oya Tukel, Chair of the Operations and Supply Chain Management Department has indicated that the Monte Ahuja College of Business has been approved by the Project Management Institute to become a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) effective June 1, 2011.

PMI R.E.P.s are educational organizations that have demonstrated that they are capable of providing world-class effective project management training. Through PMI’s rigorous quality criteria for course content, instructor qualification, and instructional design, R.E.P.s provide the project management training necessary to earn and to maintain Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Program Management Professional (PgMP)® and other PMI professional credentials.

The Operations and Supply Chain Management Department is now authorized to award 45 PDUs to students who take OSM 422 Project Management or OSM 622 Project Management both of which are taught by Professor James Muller who is a PMI certified trainer. Dr. Tukel further indicated that MBA and undergraduate students can take these courses as electives to meet their degree requirements and at the same time earn PDUs. For further information please contact Dr. Tukel at 216.687.4741 or

Newsweek Names Toshinori Munakata one of 25 Influential Japanese People Respected by the World

Newsweek Japan, an international edition of Newsweek celebrating its 25th anniversary, has selected Toshinori Munakata, Professor of Computer and Information Science, as one of the "25 Japanese people respected by the world". This special section published in the May 18, 2011 edition profiles Tosh as an "Artificial Intelligence Researcher."


College Partners with Shaker LaunchHouse

The Monte Ahuja College of Business will be supporting economic development and entrepreneurial efforts at the recently-opened Shaker LaunchHouse, located at 3558 Lee Road, near Chagrin Blvd in Shaker Heights. The center will aid early stage entrepreneurial efforts, LaunchHouse incubator companies and small businesses.

The agreement was adopted at a special meeting of the Shaker City Council on March 14 after recommendation by the Shaker Heights Economic Development Department.

CSU business students and staff will work with the LaunchHouse, the City of Shaker Heights, and its Community Improvement Corporation to attract and assist companies and promote economic development in Shaker Heights and Northeast Ohio.

"This is a unique opportunity for both Northeast Ohio and for our college," said dean Scherer. "We and the LaunchHouse team were already co-sponsoring a business plan competition, so this was a natural and welcome next step. We will also be joining the 2011 Innovation Fund application for Third Frontier funding. We look forward to a long-term relationship that will be very good for both parties – and for Northeast Ohio business generally."

The college will locate an office for CSU staff and graduate assistants at LaunchHouse, and will fund a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) counselor to support incubator companies and traditional small businesses. Graduate students and the SBDC counselor will assist companies by providing market research, assisting with business plans, providing technical support and counseling, as well as referring clients to a network of service providers.

"We look forward to taking this next exciting step in our relationship with CSU and the College of Business," said Todd Goldstein, LaunchHouse. "Their business students are forward thinking, innovative, and a vital ingredient in the growing Cleveland startup community."

The college will also provide marketing support to promote seminars, workshops, and services in general as funds are available, and assist the City in identifying funding support for LaunchHouse and its program activities.

Global Business Center is named "Nonprofit Exporter of the Year" by the Ohio Department of Development

The Global Business Center has been awarded an Ohio Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award for helping more than 35 local companies, such as Hyland Software and Vita-Mix, increase their global exports. Read more»

NSHMBA Graduate Assistantship Program

CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business and the Cleveland Chapter of The National Society of Hispanic MBA’s through the University Partnership Program will award one graduate assistantship to any full-time new student pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree during the 2012-2013 academic year. Applicants must possess an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and graduate GPA of 3.0 (if applicable) and must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Preference will be given but is not limited to students of Hispanic heritage or students with a demonstrated commitment to the Hispanic community. Assistantship will cover In-State Tuition for up to nine credit hours and a period of up to five semesters. A stipend is paid for the 20 hours per week of work.

Applicants must be admitted to Cleveland State University’s College of Graduate Studies and submit the graduate assistantship application no later than February 1st.  
Applicants must submit their application with notification that they are at least scheduled to take the GMAT (final award is based on full admission to the program).  Announcement for NSHMBA Graduate Assistantship will be made on March 15, 2012.

In addition, please send an email confirming interest in the NSHMBA graduate assistantship to Dr. Elad Granot:

The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) is a professional organization that was created in 1988 to “foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development in order to improve society.”

The Cleveland Chapter's mission is to promote leadership, development and networking opportunities for Hispanic business professionals in Northeastern Ohio.


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Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Monte Ahuja College of Business
2121 Euclid Avenue, BU 420
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Monte Ahuja Hall, Room 420
1860 E. 18th Street
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: 216.687.3786


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