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Darla Moore School of Business


Wanda Chaves

Title: Clinical Associate Professor
Department: Management
Darla Moore School of Business
Phone: 803-777-0165
Office: DMSB 406A
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Wanda Chaves


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.

International Human Resource Management (MGMT 406), Talent Management (MGMT 405), Leadership in Organizations (MGMT 403), and Honors Principles of Management (MGMT 371)

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. I build experiential projects with into my classes that give students the opportunity to build their resumes and professional networks.

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

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.

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!

The projects I do in my professional life inspire the experiential learning projects that I create for the students in my classes.  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.

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.

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



Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.