Gill PhD business students and alumni

Carmen Galang with current Gustavson PhD students
Dr. Maria Carmen Galang and current Gustavson PhD students

 We're honoured to help

Students, faculty and staff are all dedicated to pull out your strengths so you can gain the most from your program. The PhD Program Office at the Gill Graduate School holds a wealth of information and is a good starting point for prospective and current PhD students seeking assistance.



Carlo Brighi

Education: Bachelor in Business, Economics and Social Sciences; International Business & Finance (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, 2013) including an exchange semester at the Sonoco International Business Department at the Darla Moore School of Business (University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA, 2011); Master of Science in International Business Administration (University of Vienna, Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics, Vienna, Austria, 2016)

Background: Prior to starting the PhD program at the Gustavson School of Business, Carlo spent four years as part of a research team at the Institute for International Business at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. He grew up in Italy and moved to Vienna, Austria in order to pursue his passion for business studies. Before joining academia, he worked for several years, first in marketing research and subsequently in finance, for both large multinationals and small local enterprises. On the academic side, he has been involved in multiple research projects, mainly focusing on sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), cross-cultural management and responsible global leadership. Carlo has represented Gustavson through his paper presentations at the Western Academy of Management, the Academy of International Business, and the European International Business Academy.

Research interests: Carlo’s research interests span from responsible management practices and CSR, to cross-cultural management and language diversity, with a particular focus on emerging economies.


Juan Francisco Chavez Ramirez

Juan Francisco Chavez Ramirez

Education: Bachelor in Anthropology (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2006); Master of Arts in Development Studies (Erasmus Rotterdam University, 2011)

Background: Prior to coming to the Gustavson School of Business, Juan Francisco worked several years in different public and private organizations, in leadership and/or consulting roles. His experience has focused in areas such as business policy and strategy, sustainability, stakeholder management, and human and indigenous rights. Similarly, his expertise has focused in extractive industries and rural communities.

Research interests: Juan Francisco’s research interests can be situated in the intersection of business policy and strategy, social issues in management, and sustainability. In particular, he is interested in the role of businesses in local and global governance, the impact of business operations in society and the environment, the development of new capabilities to sustain competitive advantage in contexts of social and environmental pressures, business ethics debates, among other related topics.

S. Koray Demircan

S. Koray Demircan

S. Koray Demircan

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration (METU, Turkey, 1999); Master of Business Administration (Michigan State University, USA, 2007).

Background: Prior to starting at the Gustavson School of Business PhD program, Koray worked for the Undersecretariat for the Foreign Trade and Ministry of Economy of Turkey. He worked on drafting and negotiating bilateral and multilateral services trade agreements. He also held two diplomatic posts as the commercial counsellor both in Nairobi/Kenya and Tunis/Tunisia for five years. As the commercial counsellor, Koray supplied counselling services to many companies about engaging in international trade and investment activities at different locations.

Research Interests: International Business and International Entrepreneurship


Trevor Israelsen

Trevor Israelsen

Trevor Israelsen

Education: Bachelors of Arts, History (Utah State University, 2014); Masters of Arts, History (Miami University, 2016).

Background: Most recently, Trevor worked as the assistant director for Miami University’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship where he developed an appetite for research and teaching in entrepreneurship and strategy. In addition, he has a passion for writing and narrative which emerged from his academic background in history in which he specialized in studying organizations, cultural change, and the history of ideas.

Research interests: Entrepreneurship; Strategy; Historical organization studies. For additional details please see Trevor’s profiles on Googlescholar and Researchgate.



Komal Kalra

Komal Kalra

Education: Bachelor’s of Commerce (Honors) (Hans Raj College, University of Delhi, India, 2010); Masters in International Management, specialization: International Business (IE Business School, Spain, 2012); Certificate programs in Strategy & International Business (London School of Economics & Political Science, London, 2009).

Background: Prior to starting the PhD Program, Komal was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Rural Management Anand, India at the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Enterprises, and was involved in helping set up entrepreneurship incubation hubs in different industrial sectors. Previously, Komal has worked at Deloitte Touch Tohmatsu.

Dissertation title: Exploring Within-Subsidiary Diversity: The Impact of Language on the Transfer of Knowledge.

Most of the existing research has analyzed the differences in language at the national level. In her dissertation, Komal notes that diversity and variations within countries can be as important as differences between countries, because this diversity is reflected in the workforce employed by the Multinationals. Using India as her empirical context, Komal uses Social Identity Theory to understand the impact of linguistic diversity within the subsidiaries of Multinationals on the transfer of knowledge from the headquarter.

Supervisor: Wade Danis.

Research interests: Komal’s research lie at the intersection of international business and cross-cultural management. Her areas of interest include comparative management, within-country heterogeneity, linguistics, and knowledge transfers. Komal has presented at the the Academy of International Business, Western Academy of Management, Academy of Management.

Teaching interests: Komal is currently teaching undergraduate international business and business research courses, and has worked as a teaching assistant in IB, business and sustainability, and research methods courses in the past.


Shazia Karmali

Shazia Karmali

Education: BSc Integrated Science: Life Science (UBC 2005); MSc Public Health: Health Services Management (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 2007)

Background: Prior to entering the PhD program in 2010, Shazia spent six years as a manager at the BC Provincial Health Services Authority involved in strategic planning and program development for population and public health. Shazia spent some time in India with the Aga Khan Health Services and in Afghanistan for the Ministry of Public Health. While a PhD student, Shazia received the Best Paper Award, Healthcare Management Division for her paper “The Effect of Professional Identity on Comprehensiveness in Strategic Decision Making: Physician Executives in the Canadian Healthcare Context”. Shazia has also been invited and presented her paper at the Western Academy of Management, the European Group for Organizational Studies, the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada and at the Academy of Management (OMT Division).

Dissertation: Growing “local food”: Actors, language and the evolution of meaning through revolutionary institutional change.

Shazia’s dissertation aims to analyze the emergent and evolving meaning of “local food” in Canada. Through her dissertation, she hopes to understand how interested field level actors have used meaning to either promote institutional change or, alternatively, to promote institutional maintenance. Shazia plans on conducting her research using recent advances in big data analytics, specifically topic modelling.

Supervisor: Roy Suddaby

Research interests: Exploring the evolution of and measuring changes in meaning over time; exploring dynamics between authenticity and legitimacy

Teaching interests: Organizational behaviour and strategy

Sanaz Matin Koosha

Sanaz Matin Koosha

Sanaz Matin Koosha

Education: Bachelor in Architecture Engineering; (University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran, 2007); Master of Science in Project Management and Construction (University of Tehran, Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture, Tehran, Iran, 2012).

Background: Prior to starting the PhD program at the Gustavson School of Business, before joining academia, Sanaz spent five years working as project coordinator in the Oil & Gas and Building industry for several local enterprises. On the academic side, she became interested in organizational behavior and theories while she was working on her thesis titled: Review and Analysis Correlation between Contingency Variables and Project Management Office Characteristics & Search for a Typology of PMOs in the Project Oriented Organization of Construction Industry in Iran. She has represented her thesis finding through her paper which was published in the International Journal of Project Management.

Research Interests: Sanaz’s research interests span from change management and human resource management, to cross-cultural management and organizational behavior.



Saeed Rahman

Saeed Rahman

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration (Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, 2002); Master of Business Administration (North South University, Bangladesh, 2006), Master of Science (Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom, 2008); Master of Business Administration (University of Windsor, Canada, 2013)

Background: Saeed possess more than 10 years’ professional experience working in various multi-national and multi-cultural environments. In addition, Saeed served as core faculty of the School of Business at the North South University in Bangladesh where he taught undergraduate students courses on Business Ethics & CSR, Marketing and Introduction to Business and worked as a research assistant during his time in his Masters programs at the University of Windsor and at Queen Mary University of London in the UK. Immediately prior to his PhD, Saeed was working as an Experiential Learning Researcher at the University of Windsor.

Dissertation: Growing Food in Turbulent Times: Knowledge about Organization-Nature Interdependence as a Source of Adaptive Capacity and Resilience for Firms and Ecological Systems. In his dissertation, Saeed notes that few studies in the organization and natural environment literature have focused on how organizations can and do create a broader repository of dynamic capabilities to cope successfully with challenges of climate change and ecosystem degradation. Saeed’s research attempts to fill this gap by contributing to building a theory of organizational resilience that provides insights into how organizations continue to sustain competitive advantage amidst such natural environmental turbulence. His achievements have been recognized with a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Graduate Fellowship ($21,00 for 2 years) and very recently, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship ($20,000 for 2 years).

SupervisorMonika Winn

Research interests: Social-ecological systems (SES) perspective; agriculture, agri-food and climate change; ecological knowledge; resilience theory; climate change governance; business strategy and environmental sustainability; knowledge-capabilities link; dynamic capabilities perspective; business ethics and organizations in developing countries; reverse innovation.

Teaching interests: Saeed has more than 4 years’ experience of teaching both introductory and advanced BCom courses on Business ethics and CSR; Principles of marketing and international marketing; and Business decision making. His teaching interests also include corporate sustainability and strategic management.

Emily Salmon

Emily Salmon

Emily Salmon

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, Human Resources and Leadership Management (Camosun College, Victoria, BC, 2014); Master of Business Administration (Queens University, Kingston, ON, 2018).

Background: Prior to coming to the Gustavson School of Business, Emily Salmon worked several years in an indigenous organization, providing oversight & leadership within the Human Resources field. Her experience has focused in areas such as conflict mediation, human resources strategy, and the integration of indigenous culture within the organization.

Research interests: Emily’s research interests are broad, but incorporate factors such as organizational culture & identity, corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and organizational behavior, with a particular focus on the intersection of these topics with indigenous culture.



Michael Silla

Michael Silla

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration (University of New Brunswick, Canada, 2005); Master of Science, Business Administration (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, The Netherlands, 2011).

Background: Prior to starting at the Gustavson School of Business PhD program, Michael worked as a research assistant for the Erasmus Research Institute of Management, in the Partnership Resource Center. Michael has a Charted Certified Accountant designation from the UK, and spent 5 years in auditing and finance in Ethiopia for the private industry.

Dissertation: Cleaning up the big muddy: psychological ownership and escalation of commitment in an entrepreneurial setting

Michael is motivated to explore the determinants of escalation of commitment on entrepreneurs and their ventures to develop a better understanding of why (and when) entrepreneurs are susceptible to escalating commitment effects. In addition, he explores the role of psychological ownership (Belk, 1988; Pierce et al., 2001) as a key variable in understanding escalation of commitment in an entrepreneurial setting as entrepreneurs are likely to develop psychological ownership over their venture.

Michael argues that consequently entrepreneurs will be motivated to protect and nurture the new venture in light of any negative feedback that they receive from the environment. Moreover, the psychological ownership that entrepreneurs develop for their venture will trigger territorial behaviours that will motivate entrepreneurs to construct, communicate maintain, defend and restore their attachment to their venture (Brown, Lawrence & Robinson, 2005), which will also lead to escalation of commitment.

SupervisorGraham Brown

Research area: Entrepreneurship, international business, organizational behaviour and organizational theory


Dr. Sarah Easter

Dr. Sarah Easter

Current position: Assistant Professor: College of Business Administration, Abilene Christian University, USA

Sarah Easter's work with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness revealed the importance of boundary spanners for the success of diverse organizations. Learn more


Dr. Mike Szymanski

Dr. Mike Szymanski

Current position: Assistant Professor: EGADE Business School, Mexico

Mike Szymanski's research explored how bicultural individuals can impact team performance, using the lens of sport. Learn more


Dr. Anirban Kar

Dr. Anirban Kar

Current position: Post-doctoral Fellow: Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

Anirban Kar conducts research in the areas of Positive Organization Scholarship and Social Issues in Management. He also works in the GLOBE project and provides support to the International Programs at Beedie School of Management, Simon Fraser University.


Dr. Helena Zhu

Dr. Helena Zhu

Helena Zhu's dissertation focussed on the role of delegation and the success of entrepreneurship startups.

What's the best part of taking a PhD at Gustavson as a student?

  • faculty and staff are friendly, easy-going and are willing to give you their time and their excellent support 
  • faculty is open to suggestions and guide you to make the program work for you
  • international visiting students provide a wonderful opportunity to expand your knowledge and provide new points of view to challenge your way of thinking
  • small class sizes offer a great opportunity to engage with the material and are taught by very passionate people that care about and have expertise in the topic areas
  • program is well rounded

What advice do students have for incoming PhD students?

  • Pace yourself. It's normal to feel overwhelmed but don't let that consume you, enjoy the ride!
  • Your fellow students are a huge part of your support system so be sure to take a breather, relax, and get to know them.
  • If you're in the program you have what it takes. You're smart enough so when things get tough, don't doubt yourself. The only thing you have to do is not give up!
  • Close mentorship with professors
  • Creative and challenging research opportunities available from Year 1
  • Shared offices on the fourth floor of the Business and Economics building, with dedicated classroom space for PhD Business classes
  • Access to all office equipment and software essentials for maximum productivity
  • UVic has some helpful resources for new students.
  • The best source of information regarding costs and types of housing in Victoria (both on and off campus) is the UVic Housing website. Most students at the doctoral level find private apartments for rent.
  • Prospective students who are planning to move to Victoria with their families are encouraged to apply for Family Housing at the same time as applying for admissions to the program: