Faculty

 

Christine Janssen-Selvadurai
Director of the Entrepreneurship Program, Gabelli School of Business
Co-Director, Fordham Center for Entrepreneurship and the Fordham Foundry

Christine Janssen-Selvadurai is the director of the entrepreneurship program at the Gabelli School of Business and co-director of both Fordham’s Center for Entrepreneurship and the Fordham Foundry, a small-business incubator in the Bronx launched in 2012 in partnership with New York City government agencies. Her commitment to hands-on entrepreneurship instruction, based on a constantly changing curriculum designed to sync with present-day conditions, has helped to make entrepreneurship one of the most dynamic and fast-growing programs in undergraduate business at Fordham.

Dr. Janssen-Selvadurai came to Fordham with significant business-world experience. Her background in marketing, market research, new product development, business development, consulting and business writing spans nearly a quarter-century. In her career, she focused on consumer goods, interior design, education, information technology and financial services. She also was founder and president of Denken Research & Consulting, a boutique firm in New York City providing end-to-end research, writing, educational and consulting services for small businesses.

Before joining the Fordham faculty in 2009 as an adjunct professor in Fordham’s College of Liberal Studies, Dr. Janssen-Selvadurai taught for four years at the Mountbatten Institute, a New York-based international internship program affiliated with the U.K.’s Cambridge University. Once at Fordham, she taught Principles of Management in the Gabelli School of Business and then became a full-time lecturer in fall 2010. She oversaw the 2011 launch of the Gabelli School’s concentration in entrepreneurship and has since helped to develop the program into what it is today.

Dr. Janssen-Selvadurai holds a BS in marketing from the University of South Florida, a global MBA in communication and information systems and finance from Fordham and a PhD from New York University, where her dissertation focused on entrepreneurship among women.

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Mitchell Fillet
Co-Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and the Fordham Foundry
Lecturer in Finance 

Mitchell Fillet, a lecturer in finance and business economics at the Fordham Schools of Business, spent more than 20 years working in various departments of the nation’s leading investment banks. He was a senior vice president at Merrill Lynch and then a senior vice president at Prudential Securities. At both companies, his focus was on investment banking, structured finance and client relations.

At the same time, Professor Fillet began his teaching career in New York University’s division of management education, providing instruction in managerial accounting. He then moved on to spend nine years teaching at Fordham’s Graduate School of Business at Lincoln Center, where his courses included Money and Banking, Capital Markets and Mergers and Acquisitions. In 1987, he was awarded the title of distinguished lecturer in finance. Subsequently, Professor Fillet went on to teach for the New York Society of Security Analysts, offering the economics preparation course for the CFA Level 1 exam and earning NYSSA’s Investment Professional award.

Before his return to Fordham in fall 2012, Professor Fillet taught finance and entrepreneurship at Rutgers University. He is now co-director of Fordham’s Center for Entrepreneurship and has a leading role at the Fordham Foundry, the university’s incubator for Bronx-based businesses. He also teaches finance in the undergraduate Gabelli School of Business.

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Kate Combellick
Clinical Associate Professor of Communications and Media Management

Kate Combellick is a clinical associate professor of communications and media management at the Fordham Schools of Business. Throughout her tenure, Professor Combellick has contributed significantly toward Dean Donna Rapaccioli’s ongoing efforts to internationalize the undergraduate Gabelli School of Business.

Informed by her communications background and strong interests in social justice and Fair Trade, Professor Combellick has coordinated service-learning at the Gabelli School for more than a decade. She has been instrumental in developing connections between Fordham and countries such as Kenya, where, for many years, Fordham business students developed relationships with artisans to market their Fair Trade goods to American consumers.

In 2012, Professor Combellick established a new set of links between the Gabelli School and the nation of India. She has developed and presently teaches three Fair Trade-related courses — Fair Trade and Microfinance; Entrepreneurship and Fair Trade; and Spirituality, Fair Trade and Social Justice — each of which now incorporates a study tour to India.

Professor Combellick runs the International Service Learning Program and oversees its business connections to Kenya, Bolivia, and India.

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Laura Gonzalez
Assistant Professor, Finance and Business Economics

Laura Gonzalez joined the Fordham faculty as an assistant professor of finance and business economics after completing her PhD in finance at University of Florida. Before beginning her doctoral study, she simultaneously earned an MBA in finance and an MA in foreign languages and literatures — English, French and Spanish — at Southern Illinois University. She also studied for multiple degrees at once as an undergraduate at Bilbao, in Spain, earning a BS in electrical engineering at the same time as BAs in piano music performance and education.

Professor Gonzalez’s research focuses on financial institutions, corporate finance and entrepreneurship. She has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics and has extensive experience as an ad-hoc journal reviewer. Her research has been presented at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, in addition to other national and international institutions and conferences in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Certified by Harvard Business School in case method teaching, Professor Gonzalez instructs undergraduate and graduate students in entrepreneurship, financial institutions, case-oriented corporate finance and venture capital, investments and international finance. She has been a coach and screener for student business-plan competitions in New York City.

Professor Gonzalez has industry experience in both finance and engineering. On the finance side, she worked for three years as an import entrepreneur with partners in China, India and Canada; as a consultant for Prolider on Spanish transnational firms; and for the Southern Illinois University Foundation. In engineering, she pursued a two-year research and development collaboration with Telefonica, the leading communications provider in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets.

One of Fordham’s most frequently interviewed and quoted business faculty members, Professor Gonzalez has appeared in print and broadcast media in the United States and abroad, in multiple languages. Her ever-growing list of citations includes CNN, Thomson Reuters, The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, CCTV-America, CBS, ABC, NY1 TV, Global Post, Los Angeles Times, The Telegraph (London), Fund Strategy Magazine (UK), TV Tokyo, IE Business News India, CCTN China, The Epoch Times (Chinese version), Business Insider, HITN TV, The Ledger, Impacto News, La Opinion (Los Angeles),International Business Times and The Baltimore Sun.

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Michael Pirson
Assistant Professor of Management

Michael Pirson joined the Fordham Schools of Business as an assistant professor of management systems in 2008. A scholar of humanistic management, which holds that business and commerce ought to advance human dignity and society, Professor Pirson helped to establish an undergraduate sustainable-business concentration at Fordham. He teaches courses such as Social Entrepreneurship, Fundamentals of Management and Principles of Management, and his work spans the undergraduate and graduate levels.

A native of Germany, Professor Pirson has worked and lived in Switzerland, France, China, Costa Rica and the United States. Before beginning his academic career, he worked for an international consulting group for several years and then started his own private consultancy. He has worked for and with businesses, nonprofits, embassies, political campaigns, and local and national governments.

Professor Pirson is the social entrepreneurship track chair for the Oikos-Ashoka Global Case Writing Competition in Social Entrepreneurship. He is also a founding partner of the Humanistic Management Network, an organization that brings together scholars, practitioners and policymakers around the common goal of creating a ‘life-conducive’ economic system. In that capacity, he is the co-editor of the Humanism in Business book series, published by Palgrave-McMillan.

Professor Pirson is a research fellow at Harvard University and serves on the board of three social enterprises in the United States.

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Alyssa Martina
Adjunct Instructor

Alyssa R. Martina is passionate about serial entrepreneurship, having launched multiple ventures in the media space. Her extensive experience informs her teaching at Fordham, which focuses on the topics of innovation and management.

After serving for five years as legal counsel to one of the nation’s largest state judicial circuits, Ms. Martina launched Metro Parent Magazine in 1986 to fill what she perceived as a void for parents in southeast Michigan. She was clearly onto something: The publication has grown into a “parenting bible” for more than 250,000 readers.

Ms. Martina has since brought three other magazines into existence: two other parenting magazines and a resource for African American families that developed into a publication called B.L.A.C. (Black Life Arts and Culture). Meanwhile, the online version of Metro Parent has won three national awards for best parenting web site.

The newest venture on Ms. Martina’s horizon is a social-networking site and app called memloom. It is focused on sharing media safely and has a 2013 launch date.

Ms. Martina earned an MBA with the highest distinction from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a JD from Wayne State University. She teaches at the University of Michigan Law School and at Wayne State University in addition to Fordham, and she has co-authored a business law textbook and a journal article on universal design in higher learning. She delivers frequent guest lectures, advises clients on legal issues related to entrepreneurial matters, and serves as a mentor to female and student entrepreneurs.

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