It’s no wonder that Enrique Mu, PhD, MBA, MS, teaches a course on innovation and change. He thrives on them.
"You need to look for interesting opportunities," he says. "Meet
people you might never have met. See a movie that you might not
typically go to. Do things you wouldn't usually do. Otherwise,
nothing new will ever happen."
Enrique Mu PhD, MBA, MS is Co-Director and Associate Professor of Carlow University's MBA Program
Opportunities are at the intersection of what you know and what
is new to you, he adds. Originally from Lima, Peru, Mu is adept at
recognizing new opportunities—and seizing the moment.
Before arriving in Pittsburgh to get his MBA and subsequently
work for Black Box Corporation,
Mu ventured around the globe as vice president for a multinational
firm and was responsible for several multimillion-dollar online
banking automation projects in Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and
Chile. He went on to become director of the MBA-MIS program at the
University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business.
Today, Mu is co-chair of Carlow's MBA program. He is also
founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of the Analytic Hierarchy Process and U.S. director
for the Latin American Society for Strategy, and he was recently
selected as conference chairman for the upcoming 2014 International
Symposium on the Analytic Hierarchy Process in Washington, D.C.
Mu's expertise in Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a
prioritization and selection methodology, is at the heart of a
brand new study that has caught the eye of the international law
"About two years ago," explains Mu, "I was asked to teach a
course in scientific inquiry in Carlow's Master of Fraud and Forensics program."
This field was new territory for Mu, and as he reviewed the
fraud and forensics course literature, he uncovered an alarming
fact: eyewitness police lineup identifications have only a 55
percent ratio of success—and a misidentification rate of about
He soon learned that lineup misidentification is the most common
cause of wrongful convictions of innocent people in the United
States-a trend Mu suspected he could reverse. As he taught, his
exposure to the forensic field led to an opportunity to apply his
AHP expertise to the eyewitness identification problem.
Partnering with former Carlow professor Rachel Chung,
and with seed money from Carlow's Grace Ann Geibel Institute for Justice and Social Responsibility, Mu took a
new AHP approach to eyewitness identification: examining pairs of
suspects instead of the traditional sequential lineup. Pairwise
comparison is at the core of the AHP decision methodology in which
Mu is an expert.
What they discovered, says Mu, may become "a game-changer in
eyewitness identification." The new approach increased the
successful identification rate to 88 percent and decreased the
false identification rate to 17 percent.
After receiving high praise from reviewers at Harvard
University, Columbia Teachers University, and the University of
Pittsburgh, Mu and Chung applied for and received supplemental
Geibel Institute funding. They are currently polishing their
results and aim to present them to the law enforcement community
and The Innocence Project, a
national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to
exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals.
In the meantime, Mu's work continues to be well-received around
the globe-the new approach to eyewitness identification earned a
"best paper" award at the 2013 International Symposium of the
Analytic Hierarchy Process in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Such success is due, in large part, to Mu's ability to seek and
seize those serendipitous connections.
Like the fact that Mu loves to dance merengue-which is how met
his wife, Milagros Pereya-Rojas, the executive director of the
Latin American Studies Association at Pitt. You just never know.
A few years back, Mu surprised the Carlow community by dancing
merengue with the Student Government Association during halftime at
a Carlow Celtics basketball game. Who knew?
"My students, they think of me just as a professor," he laughs.
"When I show them my dancing video clips, they are shocked."
Professor Mu projects videos of salsa—and moves to the music—during one of his MBA classes to demonstrate serendipitous connections in innovation
Mu's disarming sense of humor keeps his MBA students fully
engaged—even during late-night classes after a long day of work. He
often plays Latin music and pulls out his dancing or soccer video
clips when he's lecturing about innovation and change.
You see, he tells his students, you need to seek out new
experiences, which in turn will lead to unexpected opportunities.
Don't underestimate the potential of surprise and novelty—after
all, you never know what might turn out to be a real
Learn more about Carlow's Master of Business Administration program
Learn more about Carlow's Master of Fraud and Forensics program