Preparing highly skilled executive-level leaders

The Madonna University online Master of Science in Business Leadership (MSBL) prepares confident, knowledgeable, and highly skilled leaders for management and executive-level positions across a range of business sectors. The degree emphasizes interpersonal communication, team-building, conflict resolution, critical thinking, and data-informed strategic decision making. As a result, MS in Business Leadership graduates possess elite leadership skills that maximize effective performance of individuals and teams in both multicultural and global settings.

Business Leadership Degree Learning Objectives

Through the online MSBL degree program, students utilize information systems, data analysis, and quality standards to assess and optimize organizational performance for strategic goal achievement. They are challenged to take prominent leadership theories and apply them to solve real-world problems in organizational performance.

Additionally, MS in Business Leadership students exhibit advanced written and oral communication skills that are expected of a leader and allow them to efficiently and effectively disseminate impactful strategic information.

The rigorous and engaging online MSBL curriculum explores industry-leading topics that foster accelerated growth in leadership ability, including topics such as conflict management, contemporary leadership, technology management, organizational leadership, managerial accounting, ethics and corporate responsibility, and multicultural business communication. Dive deeper into the complete degree requirements of the MS in Business Leadership curriculum.

Online Structure Designed for Working Professionals

The Master of Science in Business Leadership degree is taken entirely online through either full- or part-time study. Structured to fit the scheduling needs of busy professionals, the courses are offered in both eight and 16-week sessions, allowing students to build an individualized plan of study that balances home, work, and academic responsibilities.

Madonna University’s online virtual classroom experience through Blackboard is highly interactive, fostering meaningful connection and collaboration between students and instructors. The faculty members teaching the MSBL courses have diverse backgrounds in leadership across a wide range of fields and are passionate about sharing their experience and expertise with Madonna students.

Specialize the Master’s Degree Experience with Professional Certificates

Business Leadership master’s students also have the opportunity to personalize their degree experience through a certificate in a cross-functional discipline. These professional certificates help students pursue greater specialization and an exciting career path tailored to their interests and goals.

Career Opportunities with an MS in Business Leadership Degree

Graduates of the online MS in Business Leadership degree are equipped and ready to take on prominent leadership roles across all sectors of the business world. Technical knowledge gained through the degree curriculum combined with refined interpersonal skills open up diverse career opportunities, such as:

  • Training and development manager
  • Human resources manager
  • C-level executive
  • Sales manager
  • Non-profit executive
  • Consultant 
  • Project manager
  • Management analyst

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the MS in Business Leadership degree program are required to submit the following items in consideration for admission: 

  • Completed online application for graduate admission
  • Official transcript showing evidence of a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale 
  • Note: A GPA average below 3.0 will be reviewed for conditional admission
  • Two letters of professional recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Admission interview with Graduate Chair

This master’s degree program welcomes students with or without a business undergraduate degree; all academic and professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Learn more about Madonna University's graduate admission requirements.

Step Confidently Into Executive Management

Through Madonna University’s online Master of Science in Business Leadership degree, students acquire leadership skills and technical knowledge to assess and optimize the organizational performance of individuals and teams for strategic goal achievement.

If you’re interested in becoming a skilled executive-level business leader, request more information about the master's degree program or start your application today!



Criminal Justice Leadership Certificate

 The Criminal Justice Leadership certificate is geared for students interested in a advancing key leadership role within the criminal justice field. 

Learn More

Financial Crimes Compliance Certificate

The Financial Crimes Compliance certificate prepares students to address the growing field of fraud, financial and white-collar crime investigation. 

Learn More

Non-Profit Leadership Certificate

The Non-Profit Leadership certificate is designed for students who work in the non-profit sectors to understand the qualities that set great leader apart.

Plan of Study

Operations and Global Supply Chain Management (Certificate)

Students will learn the key types of decisions made by operations and supply chain managers. The certificate focuses on how to solve complex problems, along with the necessary tools and techniques to make informed decisions to efficiently manage local and global supply chain organizations.

Plan of Study

Quality Management Certificate

The Quality Management certificate is geared for students to learn the different business principles that help improve processes and create efficiencies. 

Plan of Study

Faculty Bios

Dr. Tara Kane, Ph.D.Dean, School of Business
Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Eastern Michigan University 

M.S.B.A. Madonna University

B.S. Madonna University 


734-432-5429, Maerten's Building, Room 119

Dr. Tara Kane, Ph.D.

Dr. Tara Kane is the Dean of the School of Business at Madonna University and serves as the Program Director of the Masters in Criminal Justice Leadership and Intelligence. Prior to this appointment, she served as the Interim Dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences after chairing the Criminal Justice Program from 2013-2019. She joined the full-time faculty at Madonna University in 2013 coming from the West Bloomfield Police Department where she retired as a Detective/Sergeant of Investigations.

She completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration from Eastern Michigan University and is an alumnus of Madonna University, earning her M.S.B.A. in 2008 and her B.S. in 2002.

She teaches in the area of organizational leadership, criminology and special topics, with subject matter concentration on vulnerable populations and sexual assault. Her scholarship interests include the suspected abuse and neglect of children, domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

She is a trainer for the State of Michigan and is actively involved in providing professional development for law enforcement professionals on the signs of interpersonal violence and best practices for victim centered investigations. She is engaged in Title IX initiatives related to sexual assault on college campuses and serves as a faculty leader for Madonna’s chapter of Pi Gamma Mu-an international honor society for the Social Sciences.

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Dr. Nermine Atteya, Ph.D.Associate Professor, Management and Leadership

Ph.D. Cairo University/Case Western Reserve University

M.A. American University in Cairo

B.A. Cairo University


734-432-5366, Maerten's Building, Room 114

Dr. Nermine Atteya, Ph.D.

Dr. Atteya has more than 30 years of expertise in Business & Management teaching, research, Consulting and Professional Training. She taught & made research at several universities including HEC- Montreal, the University of Montreal Graduate School of Business in Quebec, Canada, the State University of New York, the University of Toledo, OH and as well as overseas.

Her research publication list involves more than 45 peer reviewed articles, conference presentations and proceedings where she got the Best Paper Award. She is a board member in the Business and Entrepreneurship Research Society, NY & an editorial member and a reviewer in several peer reviewed journals & conferences including ASAC, Canada & Academy of Management, USA. She has supervised many theses & been a member in the examination board of others. She has consulted for a significant number of organizations (Hospitals, Airlines, Banks, Global, Multinational, Government & Privately-owned, small, medium-size and large).

She received many awards for her community development efforts particularly in the field of Adult education & women & youth empowerment. Her research interests include Quality Management, Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, E-Business, Customer Relationship Management & High Performing Hospitals.

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Dr. Clara Chen, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Finance and Accounting

Ph.D. University of New Orleans

M.A. University of Wisconsin 


734-432-5373, Maerten's Building Room 120

Dr. Clara Chen, Ph.D. 

Dr. Clara Chen is an Assistant Professor of Finance in the School of Business. She joined the faculty of Madonna University in 2018. She has previously taught as a full-time faculty at Providence University (Taiwan) and Stockton University (New Jersey) and online part-time faculty at Northcentral University and Argosy University. She earned the master degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Later, she graduated in 2011 with a Ph.D. degree in Financial Economics from University of New Orleans.

Clara teaches courses at both the ungraduated and graduate levels, including Business Finance, Global Finance, and Life Cycle Financial Planning. Her research interests include corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, and cash holdings. She has refereed papers published in Journal of Empirical Finance, Emerging Markets Review, Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, and Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies.  Moreover, several of her papers have been presented at the conferences of Financial Management Association, Southwestern Finance Association, Eastern Finance Association, and Pacific Basin Finance, Economics, Accounting, and Management. 

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Dr. Jessica Cummings, J.D.Chair, Graduate Programs
Assistant Professor, Business Law

J.D. Michigan State University

B.A. Kalamazoo College


734-432-5354, Maerten's Building, Room 108

Dr. Jessica Cummings, J.D.

Jessica Cummings is an Assistant Professor in the Management and Marketing Department. She began teaching in 2004 as an Adjunct Assistant Professor.

She completed her BA at Kalamazoo College in Human Development and Social Relations. While at Kalamazoo, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain, work in London, England, and complete an internship with Women Against Abuse Legal Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jessica completed her JD at Michigan State University College of Law and has years of experience practicing law.

Jessica is a member of the Farmington Public Schools Board of Education where she has served as secretary and president. As a trustee, she serves the interests of the district and the entire school community.  

She has over 20 years of leadership, professional, and teaching experience. Jessica is passionate about supporting students, increasing student achievement for all students, and helping students have fulfilling and rewarding educational experiences.

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Dr. Matilda Isaac-Mustapha, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Quantitative Systems, Management and Marketing

Ph.D. Eastern Michigan University

M.S.B.A. Madonna University

B.S. University of Windsor


734-432-5371, Maerten's Building, Room 110

Dr. Matilda Isaac-Mustapha, Ph.D. 

Dr. Mustapha is an Assistant Professor of Quantitative Systems, Management, and Marketing in the School of Business at Madonna University. She also brings 9 years of corporate experience in Quality management to the academic setting. She received her bachelor’s degree in science, a Master’s of Science in Business Administration (Quality Management) and a Ph.D. in Technology Management.

Dr. Mustapha focuses on developing research and analytical skills for both graduate and undergraduate students. She has taught a variety of courses ranging from business statistics, strategic management, leadership and ethics, research methodology, computer science, management information systems and operations management. She has also taught business management courses for Madonna University programs in Mainland China.

Dr. Mustapha is involved in several research projects including “The Symbolic Interactionist View on Transnational Education, Managing Virtual Teams, Ethical Organizational Climate, Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence and Examining the Paradoxical Relation between Socio-Technology Optimization and Marxist Theory of Alienation. She has co-authored in highly referenced scientific and business journals and has presented in both domestic and international conferences.

Dr. Mustapha is a professional chair member of International Economics Development and Research Center (IERDC), a member of Decision Sciences Institute (DSI), and a member of the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement-Honor Society (SCLA-HS). She is also a honorary faculty member of Delta Mu Delta.

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Dr. Michael Johnson, Ph.D. Professor, Computer Science

Ph.D. Wayne State University

M.S. Michigan State University

B.S. University of California, San Diego


734-432-5527, Maerten's Building, Room 113

Dr. Michael Johnson, Ph.D. 

Professor Michael Johnson has been a full-time faculty member at Madonna University since 2004. He obtained his B.S. degree at the University of California, San Diego where he majored in Computer Engineering and minored in Mathematics. He then moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he worked for two years as a software engineer for GTE.

After working in the Chicago area for AT&T Bell Labs for the next two years, he moved to Michigan to attend Michigan State University where he graduated with a Master's degree in Computer Science. He then completed his college studies at Wayne State University in 2003 when he earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

His main area of concentration is foundational Computer Science and he has taught a wide variety of computer science courses ranging from the introductory Computer Science course all majors take to the upper level Computer Architecture and Artificial Intelligence courses. His favorite subject to teach is any class that covers software or web development.

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Dr. Michele Lewis-Watts, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Director, Sport Management

Ph.D. Wayne State University

M.Sp.A. Ohio University

B.S. North Carolina A&T State University 


734-432-5649, Maerten's Building, Room 107

Dr. Michele Lewis-Watts, Ph.D.

Michele Lewis Watts, Ph.D. is Director and Assistant Professor, Sport Management at Madonna University.  She has more than 25 years of experience in sports and event management, starting her career at the Detroit Pistons followed by stints at several area non-profits in guest services, program development, youth development, operations, and business development. Lewis Watts’ also served as Vice President of Events for the 2006 Super Bowl XL Host Committee and Vice President of Events and Community Outreach for the 2009 Final Four Organizing Committee.

 She completed her Ph.D. in Exercise and Sport Science at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) on the impact of gender stereotypes on the gender and athletic identities of middle school African American girl athletes. She is often asked to speak on issues of race, gender, and equity in sports throughout the state.

A former collegiate volleyball player, she coaches youth volleyball and is a co-founder of the Detroit Volleyball Coaches Association. She has been recognized as a distinguished volunteer through the Association of Fundraising Professionals and coach of the year from the Michigan Recreation and Park Association. She joined the board of Detroit PAL in 2011 and currently serves as Board Vice Chair and chair of the Women’s Committee, which supports the organizations Girls Changing the Game initiative.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from North Carolina A&T State University (Summa Cum Laude) and a Masters in Sports Administration from Ohio University. A former member of the semi-professional, champion Detroit Demolition women’s tackle football team, Lewis Watts resides in Southfield, MI, with her husband Anthony.

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Dr. John McCulloch, J.D., C.P.A.Assistant Professor, Accounting

J.D. Detroit College of Law

B.B.A. Walsh College


734-432-5349, Maerten's Building, Room 111

Dr. John McCulloch, J.D., C.P.A.

John McCulloch is an Assistant Professor of Accounting in the School of Business. He joined the faculty of Madonna University in 2020 to teach accounting courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

He has previously taught as a full-time faculty member at Siena Heights University and was a part time faculty member at Eastern Michigan University as well as University of Detroit Law School. He earned his Juris Doctor from Detroit College of Law and his Bachelor of Accountancy from Walsh College.

John has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. He was managing partner of his own public accounting firm and has served as an elected official in county government. Because of his passion for higher education, John is a member of the Oakland Community College board of trustees where he served as Chairman of the Board. He is also President of Michigan Protection and Advocacy, whose mission is to advocate and protect the legal rights of people with disabilities.

John’s hobbies include traveling and restoring classic automobiles.

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Frank Notturno, M.B.A.Associate Professor, Management and Marketing

M.B.A Fairleigh Dickinson University

B.B.A. The Pennsylvania State University


734-432-5358, Maerten's Building, Room 109

Frank Notturno, M.B.A.

Mr. Frank Notturno is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Management in the School of Business. He joined the faculty of Madonna University in 2003, having previously taught as a full-time professor at the following schools: Louisiana State University, Misericordia University (Dallas, Pennsylvania), St. Mary's College (Notre Dame, Indiana), Owens Community College (Perrysburg, Ohio), St. Mary's (Orchard Lake, Michigan). He has also spent more than seven years as a Department Chair at Owens Community College and St. Mary's College (Orchard Lake, Michigan).

His professional experience has been in the area of sales and sales management, and he has been an entrepreneur in the Southeastern Michigan music industry for over eleven years.

Mr. Frank Notturno is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Management in the School of Business. He joined the faculty of Madonna University in 2003, having previously taught as a full-time professor at the following schools: Louisiana State University, Misericordia University (Dallas, Pennsylvania), St. Mary's College (Notre Dame, Indiana), Owens Community College (Perrysburg, Ohio), St. Mary's (Orchard Lake, Michigan). He has also spent more than seven years as a Department Chair at Owens Community College and St. Mary's College (Orchard Lake, Michigan).

His professional experience has been in the area of sales and sales management, and he has been an entrepreneur in the Southeastern Michigan music industry for over eleven years.

He completed his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, specializing in Marketing and Accounting in 1982 at The Pennsylvania State University, and his Master's degree in Business Administration, specializing in Marketing in 1986, at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He was also a candidate in the doctoral program in the Marketing Department at Louisiana State University for a brief time prior to commencing teaching. He teaches in the areas of marketing and management.

His interests include sales, marketing and management of musicians and music venues. His research has been in the area of sales and sales management and he is the co-author of the textbook, Effective Selling, 8th Edition, Hair, Notturno, Russ

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Kathleen Richard, M.A.Chair, Undergraduate Program
Director, Associate Professor, Hospitality and Tourism Management

M.A. Central Michigan University

B.S. Michigan State University


734-432-5533, Maerten's Building, Room 115

Kathleen Richard, M.A.

Kathleen Richard is Program Director for both the Hospitality and Tourism Management program and also the Merchandising and Retail Management concentration in the School of Business. She joined Madonna University full time faculty in the 1980's from Oakland Community College Business Department. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and an M.A. from Central Michigan University.

Prior to her academic teaching career, Kathleen was a buyer for Hudson's Department Store, based in Detroit Michigan, now known as the Macy's Department Store Group. While employed at Hudson's, Kathleen also held positions as Corporate Training Director and College Management Training and Recruitment Coordinator.

Her research areas of interest include Consumer Behavior and retail buying trends and hospitality industry trends and research. Her work with students includes supervising internships for students in both Hospitality and Merchandising. Her business network associations is an essential ingredient to assist students in finding a compatible internship placement for their personal career goals.

Kathleen has consulted with corporations in both the areas of Hospitality and Merchandising such as Macy's Corp. Polo Ralph Lauren, Somerset and Twelve Oaks malls, Marriott Corp. Andiamo's, Detroit Convention Bureau and various private clubs in the area. Her favorite courses taught include Consumer Behavior, Principles of Retailing, Retail and Merchandising Management and Property Architecture and Interiors.

She oversees programs at both the Madonna University main campus and the Macomb University Center. She is always open to working with existing students and alumni on career counseling, job search and academic planning. Keeping in touch and a part of the business community is crucial to her success as an instructor.

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Annamarie LaCasseSenior Coordinator

B.S. Eastern Michigan University


734-432-5355, Maerten's Building, Room 119

Annamarie LaCasse

In 2017, Anna earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University, where she majored in Communication, as well as Language, Literature, & Writing. Anna’s passion for higher education led her to Madonna University in 2018.

Prior to the School of Business, she worked in multiple areas including the former College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Office of the Registrar, the College of Education and Human Development. Anna is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Madonna’s Higher Education Administration program, with plans to graduate in December 2021.

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Shannon Gass, M.A. Academic Advisor and Retention Specialist

M.A. Madonna University

B.S. Wayne State University


734-432-5347, Maerten's Building, Room 122

Shannon Gass, M.A. 

In 2015, Shannon earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Wayne State University, where she majored in Business Administration and Marketing. After graduation, Shannon worked at a marketing company in Livonia in account management. In 2016, Shannon began working at Madonna University in the Registrar’s Office and started her role as an Advisor/Retention Specialist in June 2018.

She completed her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Madonna University in 2019. Shannon is involved in the MI-ACE Women’s Network and was the 2018 co-chair of the Young Women, Strong Leaders conference for the network. She is passionate about helping students and helping them develop as leaders.

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Lindsay Rucinski, M.B.A.Director of Curriculum, Program Assessment and Accreditation

M.B.A. Madonna University

B.S. Madonna University


734-432-5361, Maerten's Building, Room 121

Lindsay Rucinski, M.B.A.

Lindsay has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and an MBA with a certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Madonna University. She been employed in the higher education field for over 15 years now and has held positions in the admissions office and the School of Business at Madonna University as an academic advisor and currently as the Director of Curriculum, Program Assessment and Accreditation. Away from work, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her husband and her two little boys, Aiden and Jacob.

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