Mona Anita K. Olsen
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Mona Anita K. Olsen is a British-American entrepreneur and academic. She identifies as a third culture kid. By the time she was twelve years old, her family had moved 7 times and lived in 4 countries: the U.K., U.S., Australia, and Japan. Olsen is the Founder and President of the Board of iMADdu (I make a difference, do you?) Inc., an educational nonprofit (501c3) based in Fairfax, Virginia that launched in 2010, and an owner of a business in Norway. Olsen joined the Cornell University faculty in 2013 and is an Assistant Professor at The School of Hotel Administration. She was the Academic Director of the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship . Mona Anita was a Fulbright Fellow in Education to Norway, awarded by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in 2012-2013.
Olsen is currently studying the Norwegian language and Sogetsu Ikebana. Olsen received her PhD in Education from The Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. At graduation in 2013, she was highlighted by President Ángel Cabrera as one of the four graduating students that embodied the Mason idea: innovative, diverse, entrepreneurial and accessible. Olsen also holds a Masters in Management of Information Technology from The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Science with Distinction from The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. She attended Nishimachi International School  in Tokyo, Japan.
As an assistant professor, she developed and currently teaches courses focused on entrepreneurship theory and practice. She is the recipient of a Small Private Online Class (SPOC) grant from the Office of the Vice Provost to create HADM 4180x MAD Clouds: Making a Difference with Cloud-Based Technology in Entrepreneurial Business Planning, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies Small Grant for the course development of Global Conversations with Entrepreneurs, and the Luigi Einaudi Chair Innovation Grant for the International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) Norway, where she serves as Cornell’s representative.
Olsen launched the Connect Entrepreneurial Hotelies mentor network during her first year as faculty at Cornell University. The program involves connecting young alumni and current students with alumni of the school who have had successful entrepreneurial ventures. She also helped to have the Entrepreneurship Concentration established at The School of Hotel Administration.
She was a recipient of the Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship and Fulbright Grantee to Norway. She also served at the 2014 Fulbright Enrichment Seminar in Oregon and the 2015 Fulbright Enrichment Seminar in Pittsburgh, being sponsored by the United States Department through the Institute of International Education.
She has also chaired a series of roundtables at Cornell that bring students face to face with alumni for discussions revolving around entrepreneurship and technology to support her research. Olsen published From Concept to Impact: Beginning with the End in Mind Highlights from the 2015 Cornell Hospitality Entrepreneurship Roundtable in 2015.
While in Norway, she worked on the Operations & Venue Planning for TEDx Stavanger 2013. Fulfilling one of her child dreams, Olsen founded iMADdu – an educational nonprofit organization. Standing for “I Make A Difference, Do yoU?”, iMADdu empowers young entrepreneurs through mentoring and participation in its Student Apprenticeship Program (SAP). Through iMADdu, Olsen brought the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour to George Mason University. A former research faculty member at George Mason University, Olsen served as the Assistant Director of Mason Small Business Development Center at the Office of Research & Economic Development.
Work for Cornell University
Olsen has been very active in trying to push forward the goals and objectives of her alma mater. She was involved in the segment Hotels make high-tech part of high-class on the CBS Morning Show video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fRXGLJVQ94.
Olsen teaches HADM 3135/6135: Conversations with Entrepreneurs and has several guest lectures posted on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/monaanitaolsen. In addition to the classes Olsen instructs she is always working with students in the capacity of independent studies or teaching assistants in order to help them reach their entrepreneurial goals.
Olsen has been active in photography since childhood. She actively posts photos of her travels on her website and incorporates these photos into her lectures. In 2016, Olsen visited 12 different countries.
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