About Mona Anita
Mona Anita K. Olsen is the creator of Yogibana (weaving Yoga + Ikebana in 12 steps) and founder of Innovation Barn AS in Borhaug, Norway. She also serves as an Associate Professor (Førsteamanuensis i Hotelledelse) at the University of Stavanger and currently teaches courses in hotel management and event planning in the Norwegian School of Hotel Management.
Previously, Olsen was an assistant professor at the School of Hotel Administration in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and the Academic Program Advisor for General Education of the VinUniversity Project. Olsen was a Faculty Fellow for Risley Residential College for the Creative and Performing Arts. As an assistant professor, she developed and taught courses focused on entrepreneurship theory and practice. Olsen led Cornell to win a grant from Norway's Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). Olsen also wrote the grant to lead Cornell's participation in the International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) Cuba, a core initiative of the Institute of International Education's Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education, which seeks to increase the number of international partnerships between higher education institutions in the U.S. and Cuba. 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 HADM 4133/6133: 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 was an Engaged Cornell Fellow and created the Seed the Bloom Program (sowing ideas, cultivating community).
From 2013 to 2016, Olsen served in the academic directorship of the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Cornell. Olsen led initiatives to expand and enrich the Pillsbury Institute's multifaceted work on entrepreneurship education. She engaged partners at all levels to integrate the work of the Pillsbury Institute into ongoing efforts within the Hotel School, Cornell University more broadly, and internationally, including engagement with entrepreneurs at all stages, Cornell alumni, entrepreneurs in residence, academics, and corporate affiliates.
Prior to joining the Cornell faculty, Olsen was a U.S. Fulbright Grantee to Norway, awarded by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Olsen embraced her experience in Norway, where she focused on growing iMADdu, the educational nonprofit (501c3) she founded in 2010. iMADdu stands for "I Make A Difference, Do You?" and empowers young entrepreneurs through mentoring and participation in its Student Apprenticeship Program.
Olsen was the assistant director of the Mason Small Business Development Center at the Office of Research and Economic Development at George Mason University. She also worked as a worldwide sales analyst for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
Olsen holds a Bachelor of Science with Distinction (Hotel Management) from Cornell University, a Masters (Management of Information Technology) from the University of Virginia, and a PhD (Education) from George Mason University. Olsen is a certified Sogetsu Ikebana and Yoga (C-HYI) Instructor.