Alex Howlandis a doctoral candidate in the CSPP Consulting Psychology program in San Diego. As an intern with the Organizational Consulting Center and with Rembisz & Associates, an international management consulting firm, he consulted with organizations in the areas of management coaching and assessment, strategic planning, program evaluation, and team development. Alex has also served as a statistics tutor, a teaching assistant, and an adjunct faculty member at Alliant, teaching courses in data management.

In 2011, Alex published his second-year research project, co-authored with Ashley Spetch and Dr. Rodney Lowman, in the Journal of Consulting Psychology. The article examines the relationship between employees’ use of an Employee Assistance Program and absenteeism over three years at a large national Canadian retail corporation. The article was highlighted in the APA Monitor. Alex has also been awarded a Small Research Grant from the Society of Consulting Psychology to support his dissertation research, which will explore the relationships between individuals’ interests, abilities and personality characteristics.

Also in 2011, Alex, in partnership with Dr. Ron Rembisz, was awarded second place and $25,000 in phase 1 of a global ideas2innovation competition held by the Graduate Management Academic Council (GMAC). The competition sought the best ideas to improve graduate management education globally.

A year later, GMAC held phase two of its competition, seeking proposals from universities to implement the winning ideas from phase 1. Alex and colleagues Dr. Rembisz, Eric Bunyan and Dr. Eric Roth, in partnership with the Rady School of Management at UCSD, submitted a proposal to implement their initial idea. The proposal was awarded $1.7 million over two years. Alex will be employed as the project manager over the course of the grant. The grant 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.