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Professor of Management Earns Accolades, Leads Students to Success

What do Cirque du Soleil, Costa Rican coffee and student success have in common? Enter University of La Verne Professor of Management Issam Ghazzawi.

Ghazzawi has received multiple honors this school year.  His case study and Instructor’s Manual titled “Cirque du Soleil: An Innovative Culture of Entertainment” recently received the International Academy for Case Studies Distinguished Research Award at a conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Co-authored by La Verne Adjunct Professor Teresa Martinalli and Mary Palladini, a professor from Cal State Dominguez Hills, the case delves into the study of teamwork and organizational culture, within the internationally known entertainment phenomenon.

“I will be using the case and accompanying Instructor’s Manual in my courses pertaining to organizational behavior and organizational design,” Ghazzawi said.

In addition, Ghazzawi published another case study this year.  “Café Britt: A Costa Rica Pride” and its accompanied Instructor’s Manual were published in the Business Case Journal. A study on the expansive growth and culture of Café Britt, the project received the “Best Case Award at the 2013 Western Case Writers Association annual meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ghazzawi currently uses the 32 page case as part of the MBA course he teaches, Designing Effective Organizations, and his students often incorporate Britt coffees and sundries into their presentations about the internationally recognized and ever-growing organization

In addition to researching, teaching and writing case studies, Ghazzaw, a Sam Walton Fellow, has been the advisor to the student service organization Enactus, for the past eight years.

The University of La Verne chapter of the national organization was honored as a finalist in April 2014 for the 2013-14 Campbell’s Let’s Can Hunger Project Partnership.

Under Ghazzawi’s advisement, 60 student members collected more than 85,000 pounds of food which was distributed to various homeless shelters and charities throughout the Los Angeles area.

“Like a sports team, we do training to get ready,” Ghazzawi said. “If you’re serving Enactus, you need to be really active. One must lead or it won’t go anywhere.”

It takes a leader to lead and Ghazzawi is setting that example every day.


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