About OLE

If you are working with today’s youth in universities around the world, you understand the importance of incorporating online tools in your pedagogy. The Online Learning Excellence (OLE) Initiative is designed to bring online education’s early adopters to you for a crash course in online learning.

From digital photography to race car driving…even childbirth courses, online learning is exploding in popularity. Last year, a Stanford University computer science professor opened enrollment to an online course and 160,000 people showed up. The roster for this one online course nearly exceeds the population of Fort Lauderdale, Florida or Hino, Japan. Buoyed by this affirmation, major universities and new startups alike are defining, prototyping, coding, partnering, and delivering the future of adult education right now. If you are teaching business or entrepreneurship at the college or university level, you understand the importance of incorporating online tools in your pedagogy. Until now you have been making do without training or meaningful dialogue with experts or similarly minded educators. The OLE² initiative and conference addresses this inadequacy, bringing online education’s early adopters to you for a crash course in online learning and an informed exchange of innovative teaching methods.


OLE Team

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
Associate Teaching Professor of Management, The George Washington Univeristy (GWU)

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy is currently an Associate Teaching Professor of Management at the George Washington University's School of Business, where he teaches entrepreneurship in the accelerated MBA program and the online GW Healthcare MBA program. Dr. El Tarabishy was awarded Most Outstanding Core and Elective faculty voted by students in 2012 and 2011. He developed the first Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Creativity courses offered to MBA students throughout the school of business.

Dr. El Tarabishy is also the Executive Director of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), the oldest and largest non-profit organization across the globe devoted to advancing small business research and practices. ICSB is a coalition of more than a dozen national organizations across the globe and represented in over seventy countries.

Dr. El Tarabishy created and managed the Global Entrepreneurship Research and Policy Conference (ICSBGW) that is hosted at the George Washington University and that ICSB is a partner. The ICSBGW conference connects the latest and most cutting edge of entrepreneurship research to the most pressing and important national and international policy to promote entrepreneurship and SMEs. The intersection of these two important topics makes the conference vital for global development.

Dr. El Tarabishy worked at the World Bank in the Corporate Strategy Group. He helped develop and manage their technology strategy for the Development Marketplace Program. The program's mission was to identify and support creative cutting-edge solutions to the most pressing world social and economic concerns. To date, the Global Development Marketplace competition has disbursed over US $65 million in awards to 400 winning proposals.

Dr. El Tarabishy currently published his new book titled – Information Technology for Small Business –Managing the Digital Enterprise by Springer. The book covers digital innovation and use of social media for small and medium businesses. He presented his work at national and international conferences around the world and published research articles in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, Journal of Private Equity, and others. Dr. El Tarabishy consults and conducts executive training for several national and international organizations, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the World Bank.


Dr. Geoff Archer
Associate Professor of Management, Royal Roads University
Director of the Eric C. Douglass Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies

Dr. Geoff Archer is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Management, the Director of the Eric C. Douglass Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the Faculty Advisor for Royal Roads’ Chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). Geoff has about fifteen years of entrepreneurial work experience as both a principal and an adviser. Immediately prior to entering academia, he worked as an intrapreneur, starting businesses inside of ExxonMobil, Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo!, Inc. Current engagements include; BalQon (manufacturer of 100% electric Class 8 trucks), Human Energy Xchange (manufacturer of exercise bikes that generate electricity), Mathalicious (creator of compelling mathematics lessons), and MiStudent.com (an internet portal that promotes college students’ personal finances and financial literacy). Geoff holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy from Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute, a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, an M.B.A. from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, and a PhD in Business Administration from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. Geoff’s research interests are at the intersection of entrepreneurship & sustainability. Current projects include a forthcoming book on Environmental Entrepreneurship and academic journal articles on microfinance, cleantech venture capital, and appropriate technology.


Dr. Norris F. Krueger
Entrepreneurship Northwest

Clinical professor of entrepreneurship (2003-2005) and program manager for TEAMS (2003-2005), a joint venture of Idaho TechConnect, the Idaho National Laboratory, the Inland Northwest Research Alliance and member schools, now Entrepreneurship Northwest (2003-present). Built national award-winning network of entrepreneurship professors in Inland Northwest, funded by Kauffman Foundation, INEEL, INRA, ISBDC and Idaho TechConnect. Tech transfer and technology commercialization; social entrepreneurship and enterprise development in support of Idaho Science and Technology Strategic Plan and in support of regional faculty.


Dr. George T. Solomon
Associate Professor of Management, The George Washington Univeristy (GWU)
Co-Director, CFEE
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Small Business Management (JSBM)

Dr. Solomon is currently the Co-Director for the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) and Associate Professor of Management, The George Washington University, School of Business and serves as Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Small Business Management. Dr. Solomon is the Past President of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) and the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).

From 1976 until 2004, Dr. Solomon held various managerial positions at the SBA including Director of the Office of Special Initiatives and Deputy Associate Administrator for Business Initiatives Education and Training where he managed a staff of six to fifteen professionals.

Dr. Solomon has published and edited over 130 articles, books of readings, book chapters, reference materials and proceedings articles in both the areas of Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management and Organizational Behavior & Dynamics. He is a colleague of the Creative Education Foundation, a Justin G. Longenecker Fellow of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a fellow of the Small Business Institute Director's Association and a Wilford White Fellow of the ICSB. He currently serves as chair for the Wilford L. White and was past chair of the Justin G. Longenecker Fellows. He is one of only four individuals in the United States to be so honored by all three organizations.

In 2011, he received the Max Wortman Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship for his work in entrepreneurship education. In 2009, he received the "Innovative Teaching Pedagogy Award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship ant the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Award for Innovation in Free Enterprise Education from the Freedom Foundation. In addition, in 2009, he was recognized for his truly outstanding leadership by the Academy of Management for his three year tenure from 2007-2009 as Best Paper Proceedings editor and was recognized by the Emerald Literati Network as an Outstanding Paper author for the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development.

In 2008, the Acton Foundation honored him as one of 28 outstanding entrepreneurship educators and the Emerald Literati Network designated his article "An Examination of Entrepreneurship education in the United States" for its Highly Commended Award. Dr. Solomon serves as the Academy of Management's Best Paper Proceedings Editor from 2007-2009.

In 1984, he was one of five federal employees worldwide to receive the Arthur S. Flemming award for excellence in government management making him only one of four people to receive this award in the history of the US Small Business Administration. In 1986 and 1993, he received the George Washington Freedom Medal in Economic Education from the Freedom Foundation. Dr. Solomon has been elected to Beta Gamma Sigma and Delta Mu Delta, National Business Honor Societies and Omicron Delta Kappa, National Honor Leadership Society.

He was awarded the Small Business Institute Director Association's Distinguished Service Award in 1988. In 1997, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship selected Dr. Solomon as the "Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year" for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

In 1996, Dr. Solomon and two colleagues were awarded the Best Graduate Entrepreneurship Program in the United States from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Since 1974, Dr. Solomon has worked with, advised and consulted with over 200 small business owner mangers and entrepreneurs on a variety of topics ranging from marketing to cash flow analysis. Dr. Solomon has delivered major speeches and workshops worldwide and has worked with a number of well known national and international organizations on developing strategies to assist small and medium entrepreneurial enterprises.

Dr. Solomon received his Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) from The George Washington University School of Government and Business Administration, 1982, with a major in Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management and Organizational Behavior & Development. He was the first individual at that time, to receive a doctorate in entrepreneurship/small business management from a major accredited school of business. He received his: (MBA) from Suffolk University in 1972; (BBS) from Central Connecticut State University in 1971 and (AS) from Norwalk Community College in 1969.


Dr. Charles H. Matthews
Distinguished Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management,
Founder and Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research;
Director; Small Business Institute® (SBI),
Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati

Dr. Matthews is an internationally recognized scholar and innovative teacher in the field of entrepreneurship. His teaching and research interests include: strategy, entrepreneurship, leadership and decision making. His research is published in Small Business Economics, the Journal of Small Business Management; the Journal of Small Business Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Regional Development; Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research; Family Business Review; The International Journal of Operations & Production Management; The Center for the Quality of Management Journal; Quality Management Journal; Industry & Higher Education; and New England Journal of Entrepreneurship. He has been quoted in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Industry Week, Forbes, Business Week, and Inc. He was a columnist on entrepreneurship and innovation for The Cincinnati Post from 1998-2001, currently writes a column for The Cincinnati Enquirer. An award winning teacher, Dr. Matthews has taught over 5,000 students ranging from freshmen to doctoral students to executives, from individual instruction to classes of 540. He has facilitated over 500 faculty-guided, student-based field case studies and has served as a consultant to numerous organizations including many family businesses. In addition to his consulting practice, Dr. Matthews has entrepreneurial and family business experience in the automotive, photographic, and real estate industries.


Dr. Katia Passerini
Associate Professor of Management Information Systems (MIS)
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Katia Passerini is Associate Professor and the Hurlburt Chair of Management Information Systems (2006-2012) at the School of Management of the New Jersey Institute of Technology where she teaches courses in MIS, knowledge management, and IT strategy.

She has published in refereed journals and proceedings (Communications of the ACM, IEEE IT Professional, Communications of AIS, Society and Business Review, Journal of Knowledge Management, Computers & Education, Journal of Educational Hypermedia and Multimedia, IEEE Internet Computing) and professional journals (Project Management Network, Cutter IT Journal, Cutter Benchmark Review), particularly in the area of computer-mediated learning, IT productivity, and knowledge management.

Dr. Passerini’s co-authored book on “Information Technology for Small Business: Managing the Digital Enterprise” (Springer, 2012) discusses how small and medium-sized businesses can leverage today’s mobile and “as-a-service” technology to thrive in highly competitive global environments.

Katia’s professional background includes multi-industry projects at Booz Allen Hamilton (now Booz & Co.) and the World Bank where she focused on information technology projects in Europe, North America and the South Pacific. Katia is a certified project management professional (PMP®) and worked on various projects in the automotive and telecommunications industries and higher education. Some of her projects included business process management, balanced scorecard definition, business needs analyses and gaps assessment, benchmarking, evaluation of IT investments feasibility and outcomes.


Dr. Jefrey R. Alves
Dean, Sidhu School of Business
Wilkes University

Alves joined Wilkes in 1997 as Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and director of the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. As professor and director of the Kirby Center, Alves developed the entrepreneurship major in the business school and the entrepreneurship concentration in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. He also chaired the entrepreneurship and leadership studies department.

Alves led development and implementation of the Sidhu School’s required two-semester freshman year integrated management experience course requiring students to operate a team-based business, combining principles of business, financial accounting and entrepreneurial process. He also played a leadership role in developing and implementing the seven semesters of personal and professional development courses required of all Sidhu students. A Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow, Alves also established the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program at Wilkes and served as advisor to its ten-time regional champion SIFE Team.

Prior to joining Wilkes in 1997, he was president of Vergason Technology, Inc., a technology-based company named to the “Fast-Track 500” as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. From 1983 to 1996 he was a principal in three businesses and worked in corporate development at Corning Inc. As assistant professor of finance and entrepreneurial studies at Babson College from 1978 through 1983, Alves developed and taught the capstone courses for one of the first entrepreneurship undergraduate majors and graduate concentrations in the United States

Alves supports economic development in northeastern Pennsylvania through participation on several loan committees and as a member of the boards of directors of the Scranton Enterprise Center and the Innovation Center at Wilkes Barre. An active member of the U.S .Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), he served as program chair, vice president of the individual entrepreneur division, vice president for finance, vice president for divisions, vice president programs-elect, senior vice president programs, president-elect, president and immediate past president. He has represented UASBE on the board of directors of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) and currently serves as senior vice president of finance and control.

Alves is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and was a captain in the Air Force. He earned a master’s degree in finance from Southern Illinois University and a doctorate in business administration with a concentration in finance and small business from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Dr. Pasi Malinen
Professor of Innovative Business
University of Turku, Turku School of Economics (TSE), Finland

Prof. Pasi Malinen has been active in entrepreneurship, innovation, business modelling, SME management and fast growth research during the past 20 years. He is one of the key lecturers in entrepreneurship and innovation in University of Turku as well as in international programmes in various universities, and is a Board Member of International Council for Small Business (ICSB) the world’s leading organisation for small business and entrepreneurship educators and researchers. He has led and evaluated several knowledge-intensive business development and training programmes internationally (funded e.g. by the UN, European Space Agency, EU) aimed at entrepreneurs as well as at academic audiences (on bachelor, master, doctoral levels). He has published 100+ publications in his field of interest.