School of Leadership and Professional Advancement

705 Libermann Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.5600
Fax: 412.396.5072

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Business Ethics Faculty

Leadership Core Faculty

Marilyn C. Backus, Ethics and Compliance Professional, Alcoa

 Marilyn implements Alcoa’s vision of excellence by developing, managing and improving global ethics and compliance training and communication tools, Alcoa’s Guide to Business Conduct and its annual corporate Business Conduct and Conflict of Interest Survey Certification process since 2000.  She also developed and implemented Quality Management processes and networks as a Team Facilitator and Adult Trainer at Alcoa Technical Center.

Virginia GerdeVirginia Gerde, M.E., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Management

Virginia is the director for the Beard Center for Leadership in Ethics at Duquesne University. She teaches applied business ethics, organizational and information ethics, and sustainability. Her research focuses on corporate economic, social, and environmental performance and has been published in Business & Society and the Journal of Business Ethics.


Janie FritzJanie M. Harden Fritz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication & Rhetorical Studies

 Janie is director of the B. A. and M.A. programs for the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies.  She completed the Ph.D. in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Fritz’s research focuses on communication processes that connect, sever, and restore the ties that bind individuals to the institutions of which they are a part. She is coeditor (with Dr. Becky L. Omdahl) of Problematic Relationships in the Workplace (Peter Lang Press, 2006) and co-author (with Dr. Ronald C. Arnett and Leeanne Bell) of Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference (Sage, 2009).   Dr. Fritz’s work has been published in Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Communication Research Reports, Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, Communication Monographs, Journal of Business Communication, and Journal of Mediated Communication, among others.

Dana JarvisDana Jarvis, Adjunct Professor of Business Ethics and Management

 Dana teaches graduate level courses in ethics, diversity and management.  A former U.S. Marine who has worked in management consulting and human resources, Dana has developed corporate universities, performance management systems, employee engagement programs and leadership enhancement initiatives.  He is a frequent contributor to Dear Workforce, an international online publication of Workforce Management.


Alyson LyonAlyson Lyon, President, Higher View Coaching & Consulting

 Alyson is a founding partner and CEO of Higher View Coaching & Consulting in Pittsburgh. She is a certified executive coach, business consultant, advisor and retreat leader. Alyson is a founding member of the Graduate School of Coaching, is a member of the Pittsburgh Coaches Association; the American Society for Training and Development; and the Organizational Development Network. She holds a MBA and also has received her professional human resource certification, and an executive coaching certification from the International Coach Federation.  Her corporate/law firm management experience has spanned from strategic long-range planning, human resources and diversity initiatives to finance/accounting, marketing/PR, facilities management and computer systems. Alyson has held several leadership roles in the legal profession as the executive director for Kabala & Geeseman, P.C; the U.S. Top 200 law firm Fox Rothschild, LLP; and, as systems manager for the Horty Springer & Mattern law firm in Pittsburgh.

Perry A. Minnis, Director, Ethics, Compliance & Advisory Services, Alcoa

 Perry is responsible for implementing Alcoa’s Ethics and Compliance Program worldwide.  Perry is a member of the board of directors of the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association, a professional association that promotes ethical business practices and serves as a forum for senior ethics and compliance officers to exchange ideas for designing and enhancing ethics and compliance programs.

Vanessa RattenVanessa Ratten, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Vanessa earned her Ph.D. from the University of Queensland, Australia. She has taught courses at universities both in the United States, Australia and China including Social Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, Technological Management, Marketing Management and International Business.  She has published in numerous journals including the Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Journal of High Technology Management, European Journal of Innovation Management, Journal of Management & Organization, International Journal of Educational Management, Thunderbird International Business Review and the International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management. She has co-edited a book “Handbook of Research on European Entrepreneurship” (Edward Elgar, 2008) and “Handbook of Research on Asian Business and Entrepreneurship” (Edward Elgar, 2009).

Elisabet Rodriguez DennehyElisabet Rodriguez Dennehy, Adjunct Professor of Business Ethics

Elisabet has a B.A. in Psychology, a Juris Doctorate, and an M.A. in International Affairs. Her business expertise is in strategic consulting work regarding the presence, retention and promotion of women in private sector.  She currently teaches courses in Business Ethics, Information Ethics, and Diversity in the Workforce.  Elisabet is currently writing book on how to navigate the complexities of gender and culture in the workforce amidst the new global economy.

David Saiia, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Management and Sustainability

David specializes in strategy and sustainability in his teaching and research. He has published and presented papers in national and international venues addressing business, society and sustainability.

David WasieleskiDavid M. Wasieleski, Assistant Professor, Leadership and Change Management
David completed his doctorate in Business in the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. He received a B.A. in Economics and a Certificate Degree in Accounting from Pitt, and an M.B.A. from Duquesne University. David’s recent research focuses on individuals’ biological propensity for ethical behavior and its effect on workplace relationships.  He teaches ethics, organizational behavior, and public policy at Duquesne.


James WeberJames Weber, Ph.D., Professor of Business Ethics and Management

Jim is the coordinator of the ethics core for the Master of Science in Leadership Business Ethics program and has taught, researched and spoken on ethical decision-making and organizational ethics for more than twenty years.  He has authored dozens of articles on business ethics and is the co-author of Business and Society, 13th edition (McGraw-Hill).


Tracy Yaggi, Adjunct Professor of Business Ethics and Management

Tracy is a Pennsylvania-licensed attorney, who works in the Pittsburgh-based Office of General Counsel for a large multi-national law firm.

Mary A. York, MA, Human Resources Consultant

Mary is an independent consultant focusing on Human Resources solutions. Formerly, she was the Chief Learning Officer for Conemaugh Health System. Her clients include financial institutions as well as government and non-profit organizations. Mary’s expertise is in talent development, change management, OD, compensation and reward systems. Her professional career included Executive Human Resources positions with Marconi (an international telecoms organization, where she built global human resources function), PNC Financial Corporation, and Integra Financial Corporation (now National City). Mary also has over 15 years’ experience in the diversified financial services industry. She holds a Masters degree in Counseling, Education and Psychology and has completed several Human Resources and Leadership Development Programs.  Mary has served as the director for civic groups including the Allegheny County Commission for Workforce Excellence.  She has been a guest speaker for several organizations and has had articles published in HR and Financial magazines.