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Darla Moore School of Business


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Wanda Chaves

Title: Clinical Associate Professor
Department: Management
Darla Moore School of Business
E-mail: wanda.chaves@moore.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-0165
Office: Darla Moore School of Business, Room 406A
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
profile

Background

Wanda V. Chaves is a Clinical Associate Professor of Management in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Prior to USC, Chaves worked in several departments within the Walt Disney World Company: Training and Development; Organization Development; Executive Development; and at the Disney Institute as a curriculum designer of executive retreats.  She worked with the Chief Creative Officer at Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, Canada, to develop new innovation strategies and creativity practices to support the evolution and future direction of the company.  Her clients include Boeing Commercial Airlines, Deutsche Bank Private Banking Latin America; Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Tel Aviv, Israel; EuroCredit Bank in St. Petersburg, Russia; Verizon, Florida Blue, Sensus Metering Systems; and others.  Chaves has also developed collaborative projects with organizations such as Microsoft Games, Hasbro Toys, Converse, Sesame Street, The Dali Museum, Moonbot Studios, The Jim Henson Co., Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Clean the World, Shelter Box, the ELISAVA School of Design and Engineering in Barcelona, Spain, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR. 

Chaves taught as a full-time faculty member in the MBA and undergraduate programs at the University of Tampa and was later hired to start and manage the Business of Art and Design program at the Ringling College of Art and Design.  Chaves earned two B.A.’s in Psychology and French from the University of Tampa; and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida.

What courses do you teach?

Leadership in Organizations (MGMT 403), International Human Resource Management (MGMT 406), Consulting, and Honors Principles of Management (MGMT 371)

Why should a student take your class - how does your class help students become employable?

I focus on helping students to develop practical knowledge, skills, and tools that they can immediately apply in their internships, jobs, and own lives.  I bring the theories we study to life by sharing stories of real world situations.  As often as possible, I build consulting and experiential projects with external clients into my classes.  Students have the opportunity to work with executives, as well as to build their resumes and professional networks.

What do you research/what kind of projects are you working on?

I work on a wide variety of organization improvement, executive/leadership development, curriculum development, and innovation strategies/creativity practices projects. 

How do your research/projects make a different?

My projects help to build stronger, more creative, and emotionally intelligent leaders and organizational cultures.  My hope is that my work helps to create more fulfilling work environments and processes that tap into the talent and potential of all employees.

Briefly describe a few of your current projects.

I collaborated with a cross-functional team of leaders and the Chief Creative Officer at Cirque du Soleil to develop creativity practices and innovation strategies for the company. We explored Open Innovation Labs, Idea Pitching Jams, Online Idea Platforms, and more to address operational challenges and create new business opportunities.  We conducted a benchmark study of Fortune 500, 100 and other organizations across different industries to study their innovation best practices and cultures. While at CDS, I had the opportunity to walk on a high wire and to have several Cirque du Soleil makeup artists practice their new designs on my face!

How do you involve students in your projects?

The projects I do in my professional life very often lead to different experiential learning projects for the students in my classes.  Students work in teams on a variety of projects with real world clients.  The projects provide students with the opportunity to build their confidence, creativity, and professional presence; as well as their consulting, teamwork, leadership, and presentation skills.

What inspires you about your work?

In my work, every day and every person I encounter is different in fascinating ways.  I feel very fortunate to have a career that allows me to play a role in helping students, as well as business leaders, to continue to develop and grow creatively, professionally, and personally.  If we each continuously improve our self-awareness and leadership skills, we can all make our own individual, unique impact on others and the world around us.

What are you doing when you're not working?

I love to study foreign languages, explore the world, dance, spend time with my family and appreciate the magnificence of nature.