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Alliant student Alex Howland won a $1.7- million “Ideas to Innovation Challenge” grant from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

The grant will allow Howland and his collaborators to develop and implement their innovative idea by funding the creation of a “virtual world” that will foster global learning and collaboration among MBA students over the next two years.

The project will result in the creation of an immersive, virtual world in which students can design a lifelike avatar and interact in real time, much like the popular online game platform “Second Life.” In this virtual environment, students will collaborate in global teams, socialize and network, receive coaching and attend seminars.

Howland partnered with Alliant Adjunct Faculty member and Internship Supervisor Dr. Ron Rembisz on the project, which was awarded following a worldwide competition. He also worked in collaboration with fellow students Eric Bunyan and Eric Roth, and the Rady School of Management & Leadership at the University of California San Diego (UCSD).

This grant builds on a previous $25,000, 2nd place grant won from GMAC in a 2011 international competition. Following that award, the dean of UCSD’s Rady School contacted Howland to suggest the partnership with him and his colleagues, which led to this larger grant.

The awarding organization, GMAC, is a non-profit educational organization of graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT®) exam.

Learn more about the Consulting Psychology PhD program, a part of Alliant International University's California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP).

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