Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (GCBA)

Representative Faculty


Can Murat Alpaslan, Ph.D.

Can Murat Alpaslan, associate professor, Management Department, has a Ph.D. from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He also holds an MBA and a B.S. in mechanical engineering. His multidisciplinary research approach focuses on the causes, consequences and management of large-scale crises. He is the recipient of the 2011 David Nazarian College of Business and Economics Outstanding Graduate Faculty Teaching Award and is an editorial board member of The Academy of Management Learning & Education. His articles have been published in journals such as Harvard Business Review, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, and Journal of Management Inquiry. He is the author of Swans, Swine, and Swindlers: Coping with the Growing Threat of Mega-Crises and Mega-Messes (Stanford University Press), July 2011 (with Ian Mitroff).

Ardavan Asef-Vaziri, Ph.D.

Ardavan Asef-Vaziri is an associate professor at the Department of Systems and Operations Management. He earned his B.S. in industrial engineering from Arya-Meher University of Technology, his M.S. is engineering management from the University of Southern California, and his Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Toronto. Dr. Asef's research revolves around applications of optimization and simulation in logistics and freight transportation, managing business process flow, and project management. His recent research grants are from METRANS and the Leonard Transportation Center. He is a five-time winner of CSUN Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Awards, and a three-time winner of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics publication award. Dr. Asef's publications have appeared in IIE Transactions, European Journal of Operations Research, Journal of Operational Research Society, International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Computers and Operations Research, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Maritime Economics and Logistics, and International Journal of Agile Systems and Management. Dr. Asef was recognized as the College of Business and Economic Research Fellow of 2009, the most prestigious scholarly award in the college.

Mu-Sheng Chang, Ph.D.

Dr. Mu-Sheng Chang received his Ph.D. in Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management from Temple University. He also holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in Business Administration from Tunghai University (Taiwan). Dr. Chang's research interests are in risk management and insurance, with an emphasis on how alternative risk transfer via self-insurance is employed to help corporations cope with workers' compensation loss exposures. His research has appeared in the Journal of Insurance Regulation. Prior to joining the Department in 2011, Dr. Chang taught at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and served as Director of the Personal Financial Planning program. His teaching interests are in the areas of financial management, retirement planning, and life and health insurance.

Deborah Cours, Ph.D.

GCBA Program Academic Lead

Deborah Cours, professor of marketing, completed her Ph.D. at UCLA and joined the CSUN faculty in 1994. She teaches general business and marketing courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs and electives in small business consulting and integrated marketing communications. Dr. Cours's academic research focuses on interpersonal influences on consumer behavior, applied to family and advertising contexts. She also publishes, with her marketing colleagues, on pedagogical use of experiential learning and client-based projects. She was the founding director of the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business and Entrepreneurship at CSUN and serves as the College's director of graduate and evening programs. In 2004 she was recognized by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the San Fernando Valley's "Top 40 Under 40." She received the 2007 Volunteer Service Award from the CSUN Alumni Association on behalf of the MBA alumni chapter. She also serves on the board of directors for the CHIME Institute, a nonprofit organization and national leader in the development and implementation of a unique model of inclusive education.

Vicentiu Covrig, Ph.D.

Vicentiu Covrig, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Finance, Real Estate and Insurance. His primary research interests are in international finance, investments and portfolio management. His recent research focused on the home bias of international investors and trading characteristics of institutional investors. Professor Covrig has been published in several journals, including the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Empirical Finance, the Journal of Futures Markets, among others. He served as a consultant to the Thailand Securities Analysts Association, and taught in professional programs in Singapore. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Rajabali Kiani-Aslani, Ph.D.

Raj Kiani, Ph.D., EA, Real Estate Agent, is a professor of accounting at CSUN. He has a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. He earned his M.S. degree from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management, and an M.S. degree in accounting from the College of Accountancy, University of Tehran, Iran. He has an Enrolled Agents (EA) license from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to practice taxes since 1995, and a Real Estate license from the State of California to practice real estate since 1979. Dr. Kiani teaches management/cost accounting, financial accounting and taxation. He also has five years of accounting experiences with an oil company and a CPA firm. Professor Kiani has been published in Journal of Accounting Review; Journal of International Taxation; The Tax Adviser-AICPA; International Business and Economics Research Journal; Journal of Business Economics Research; The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge; Review of Business Research; Applied Business Research; and Journal of Business Case Studies. Professor Kiani-Aslani is the recipient of the 2011-2012 CSUN Accounting Professor of the Year award.

Anton Lowenberg, Ph.D.

Anton D. Lowenberg, Ph.D., is a professor of economics at CSUN. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Simon Fraser University in Canada. He is co-author of The Origins and Demise of South African Apartheid: A Public Choice Analysis (University of Michigan Press, 1998) and International Economic Sanctions: A Public Choice Perspective (Westview Press, 1992). In addition, he has published numerous articles on international political economy, particularly economic sanctions, and on public choice theory and the South African political economy.

Leah Marcal, Ph.D.

Leah Marcal has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She has been teaching microeconomics and international trade at CSUN for 15 years. For the past seven years, she served as the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics assessment director. Dr. Marcal has worked as an assessment consultant for several universities in California and also works for Al Buraimi University College in Oman. She has published numerous academic articles on student performance in business and economics courses. Prior to working at CSUN, she was a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas. Her research there examined the impact of federal retraining programs on trade-displaced workers. Her current research interests include rising U.S. income inequality.

G. Michael Phillips, Ph.D.

G. Michael Phillips, Ph.D., has been published widely in the areas of finance, economics and statistics. His current research focuses on aspects of portfolio and investment management, particularly as related to individual financial planning decisions. He received his B.S. with dual majors in economics and mathematics from Illinois State University, and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Phillips joined the CSUN faculty in 1985. He previously taught at the University of Southern California and was an economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

William W. Roberts, Ph.D.

William W. Roberts, Ph.D., is a professor of economics, chair of the Management Department, and director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center. He teaches courses in economics, management and interdisciplinary studies at CSUN. His specialties are in money and banking, regional economics, business and economic strategy, and environmental economics. He also spent a year teaching in Singapore. Professor Roberts is co-author of a money and banking textbook and has been published in numerous professional journals, including the Journal of Finance and the Journal of International Economics. His current research is in evaluating educational outcomes.

As director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center, Professor Roberts collects, assembles, analyzes and disseminates data on economic and demographic trends in the Valley. He prepares and presents the annual CSUN San Fernando Valley Economic Report that details demographic and real estate trends in the Valley. Dr. Roberts also prepares monthly updates on the San Fernando Valley real estate market, is often quoted in local newspapers and heard on local radio stations.

Thomas Lee Wedel, Ph.D.

Thomas Lee Wedel, Ph.D., earned his B.S. in mathematics and a M.S. in information systems from UCLA, and his Ph.D. in business administration with a major in decision analysis from the University of Southern California. His research interests include productivity measures and information systems case developments. He has designed, supervised design and/or served as project leader in the implementation of more than 30 large-scale custom software systems in the areas of pension fund administration, manufacturing and sales prospect management. He also designed and served as project leader for Financial Administration/3000 accounting software, Lasersoft/PC electronic forms design, and SalesBase/PC sales prospect tracking software.

Melanie Williams, J.D.

Melanies Williams, J.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Business Law at CSUN. She teaches courses including traditional business law core courses and marketing law, intellectual property law, ethics and the MBA introduction to contemporary business cross-disciplinary course. Her areas of academic research include antitrust law, intellectual property, comparative law, biotechnology, small business programs and pedagogy. Recent publications include Too Close for Comfort: Application of Shareholder's Derivative Actions to Disputes Involving Closely Held Corporations, UC Davis Business Law Journal (with Allan B. Cooper and Kim Greenhalgh) and Estimating Monopoly Power with Economic Profits, UC Davis Business Law Journal (with Michael A. Williams, Kevin Kreitzman and William M. Havens). Professor Williams earned her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. She is a member of the State Bar of California and practices in the areas of civil litigation, business matters and intellectual property. She is president emerita of the Pacific Southwest Academy of Legal Studies in Education and volunteers as a CASA (court-appointed special advocate for children) and with the ASC Foster Care Project.

Zhong-Guo Zhou, Ph.D.

Zhong-Guo Zhou, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and joined CSUN in 1998. He has taught seminar courses in financial theory and policy and investment analysis at the graduate level. He has also taught investment analysis and management, futures and options, financial management, corporate financial policy, and mergers and acquisitions. His research interests include asset pricing, capital market issues and emerging markets, with publications in journals such as Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting,China & World Economy, The Chinese Economy, International Journal of Business, Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, Journal of Real Estate Research and Econometric Reviews.