Mays Business School Marketing Professor Leonard Berry co-wrote an article for Harvard Business Review on improving customer service in high-emotion customer experiences like cancer care. In “When the Customer is Stressed,” Berry and his colleagues identify reasons why certain services provoke high emotions. They also provide guidelines for ways organizations can design these services to better anticipate and respond to customers’ emotional needs.

The article is available online at and in the October 2015 print issue of the Harvard Business Review.

Berry conducted the research for the article with Scott W. Davis, a postdoctoral fellow at the Jones

Graduate School of Business at Rice University who studied at Mays; and Jody Wilmet, the vice president for oncology, diagnostics and hospital physicians at Bellin Health Systems in Green Bay, Wisc.

The team chose to focus on cancer care in part because Berry is conducting an ongoing study of how to improve the service journey that adult cancer patients and their families take from diagnosis through treatment, recovery and in some cases end-of-life care. So far, the research has involved interviews with more than 350 cancer patients, family members, oncologists, surgeons, oncology nurses, nonclinical staffers, and leaders of health care organizations, primarily at 10 highly reputed cancer centers in nine U.S. states.

Berry is a Senior Fellow with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass. He is Distinguished Professor of Marketing and holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He is the founder of Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies and served as its director from 1982 through June 2000. He is a former national president of the American Marketing Association. He has written the books Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic, Discovering the Soul of Service, On Great Service, Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality and Delivering Quality Service.



Categories: Faculty, Mays Business, News, Research Notes, Texas A&M, Uncategorized


(Editor’s note: Management Executive Professor Don Lewis coached two students to a first-place win in the pitch competition. Lewis is assistant director of Startup Aggieland, a business incubator that provides comprehensive training and mentoring for any Texas A&M student who wants to pursue a business.)
Texas A&M University students Brandon Sweeney and Blake Teipel were selected as winners of the first-ever Student Entrepreneurial Pitch Competition during the 2015 Southeastern Conference Symposium in Atlanta.Two other Aggies – Joey Gabriano and Tiffany Sanchez – also were recognized during the three-day symposium. Gabriano, an accounting major and bugler in the Texas Aggie Band, was selected to join the SEC Jazz Ensemble, and Sanchez was asked to exhibit her applied interactive art piece, “Prey.”Sweeney and Teipel are both Ph.D. candidates in materials science and engineering. Based on breakthrough technologies within the field, they have created an innovative and accessible solution to the problem of high-cost and unreliable, high-mobility prosthetic devices by using smart nanotechnology and next-generation materials for additive manufacturing (3D printing).  They operate their business with assistance from Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M’s student-run business accelerator.“This competition was a first for the SEC Symposium, and given the incredibly positive feedback we received from the students, judges and attendees, it proved to be a special aspect of this year’s event,” said Torie Johnson, executive director of SECU, the SEC’s academic initiative. “All 14 teams should be commended for their achievements, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for each of them.”
SECU LogoThe student entrepreneurial pitch competition included teams from each of the SEC’s 14 universities presenting their pioneering ideas to a panel of SEC alumni judges in two preliminary rounds. The top three teams moved on to the final round, where they presented their plans to a different set of judges and all SEC Symposium attendees.In addition, Anna Marie Wisniowiecki, a senior biomedical engineering major, and Gerry Cote, engineering professor and director of the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems, were acknowledged at the symposium for their roles as student and faculty ambassadors.Also, Paulo Lima Fihlo, professor of mathematics, was applauded for his presentation on enhancing math education through intervention technologies and gaming; Adam Rothstein, a third year student in the Master of Fine Arts in Visualization program, and Priscilla Villareal, a senior theater arts student, were the hit of the undergraduate mixer with their storyboard, film concept and character portrayal for Visual Arts in Film; and faculty members Tim McLaughlin, Department of Visualization, Cote and Duncan J. Maitland, biomedical engineering, all presented on panels related to STEAM to STEM, Creativity in Interdisciplinary Design and Best Practices in Research Partnerships.Organizers say the primary goal of the SEC Symposium is to address a significant scholarly issue by utilizing the range of disciplinary strengths of all SEC universities in a manner that expands opportunities for collaboration among SEC faculty and administrators. With that in mind, organizers chose “Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Driving a 21st Century Economy” as the theme for this year’s symposium.This event is also intended to display the research and innovation of SEC institutions for an audience of academicians, government officials and other stakeholders.

— This story originally appeared in Texas A&M Today.

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Wesley Rondinelli, MBA Class of 2017, (second from left) and his team received the second-place prize in the inaugural PepsiCo MBA Invitational Case Competition, held at TCU on Sept. 20. His teammates, randomly assigned, hailed from Duke, TCU and UT-Dallas.

Participating MBA programs were Wharton, Duke, Maryland, Washington University, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Rice, UT, UT-Dallas, TCU, University of Houston and SMU. It was only open to first-year full-time MBA students.

Also representing Mays were Alex Bardeguez and Rongchao Lu.

2nd Place Team

Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Faculty members who are helping develop leaders of tomorrow with new skills in entrepreneurial thinking and creativity were recognized at the Sept. 19 Aggie football game. Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones and special guest David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna (right) were joined by professors Carol Lafayette and Charles Samuelson.Jones and Cordani on Kyle Field

Categories: Faculty, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Henry and Judith order rings_alt1Henry Musoma often quotes one of his favorite sayings: “Your network is your net worth.” Recent events indicate the Mays Business School lecturer is a very rich man.

On Nov. 20, a group from Musoma’s network will give him an Aggie Ring, a coveted symbol of the Aggie Network that dates back more than 100 years. Students must earn 90 hours and a 2.0 GPA to be eligible to order a ring. Aggie Ring Day is one of the most anticipated milestones in an Aggie student’s career – and as Musoma will attest, in a former student’s career, too.

Musoma lost his ring several years ago and hasn’t replaced it. But anyone who knows him knows he is an Aggie through and through, personifying the core values of the institution: Excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.

Musoma spoke in mid-August to Grad Camp, an orientation for graduate and professional students, about one of his favorite topics: networking. Last week, event director and AgriLife Extension Program Specialist Kevin Andrews said Musoma made such an impact on him and on those present, he felt compelled to rally the students in his agriculture class, ALED 441, to raise funds to buy Musoma a replacement ring.

“He is well-liked and respected across campus, and I knew a lot of people would come together with small gifts to make a big difference,” Andrews said. Besides, the project was a lesson for his students to learn “you don’t need one person doing all the work, but rather a lot of people each doing their small part,” he said.

The ring is a small token of appreciation for all Musoma  has done since he arrived on campus from Africa years ago, Andrews said. “If you were to take all of the hours Dr. Musoma has spent on evenings and weekends speaking to student groups, inviting students into his home or mentoring young Aggies, and multiplied that by even minimum wages, he has invested enough into Texas A&M to have paid for a replacement Aggie Ring,” Andrews explained. “Even though he could afford his own replacement ring, Aggies take care of Aggies. He has given all of us something far more valuable than money – he has given us his time.”

The day Andrews came to Musoma’s office to tell him about the ring, Musoma was hosting a team from Phillips 66 who were visiting Mays. They were filming a video about a trip Musoma and Mays recruiter Corey Stone took with 14 students to Africa last summer. This was the second year that Phillips 66 sponsored the trip, and a team from Africa visited Mays last summer in return.

Judith Vincent, general auditor of Phillips 66, was nearby when Andrews delivered the news to Musoma. “The look on Dr. Musoma’s face – the sheer shock and pride and appreciation – just really touched me. It was very special, and it made me want to go get my ring.” Vincent graduated 30 years ago and never ordered her ring.

The pair immediately drove to the Association of Former Students to order her ring on the final day for a Nov. 20 delivery. Vincent said, “Every time I look at my ring, I will have so much pride because it will remind me of Dr. Musoma and the impact he has had.”  Nov. 20 will be a big day for Musoma and Vincent. That’s when they plan to pick up their rings, then go dunk them – an Aggie tradition. Most people drop their ring into a full pitcher of beer, then drink it to retrieve the ring. Musoma and Vincent are still working on details of their big day.

“I am taking a vacation day and coming to College Station,” Vincent said. “I wouldn’t miss it, and I wouldn’t miss being there when Dr. Musoma gets his ring. It’s going to be a very special day.”

Andrews said he is hopeful the group’s project reaches beyond Musoma. “Already, we have the funds to purchase an additional female Aggie Ring in his name, and we will continue to give as many scholarships in his name as possible,” he said. “I see no more fitting tribute for such a selfless servant than to keep this gift going for those who deserve it.”


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 6,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M

Shannon Deer has accepted the position of Full-Time MBA Program Director at Mays Business School, effective Dec. 15. The director serves as the senior leader and administrator of the Mays Full-Time MBA Program and the MBA Program Office.

Deer has been the assistant department head and a senior lecturer in Mays’ Department of Accoun13160_019ting since 2007. She has been a leader in bringing energy industry related courses to Mays. She founded the Certificate in Energy Accounting  and developed related courses for the program. She received the Professional MBA Faculty Teaching Award two years in a row for her work in the energy finance course she developed for our MBA programs. She also teaches Excel and math boot camps for the Executive MBA and Full-Time MBA programs. Deer has spearheaded several innovative teaching methods in Mays, including implementing a flipped course model in her classes. She has coordinated many high-impact experiential learning opportunities for students through case competitions and business simulations, including the Halliburton Energy Case Competition.

Deer graduated from Mays with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in finance. She is a CPA. She is also pursuing a Ph.D. in adult education at Texas A&M University. Before returning to Texas A&M, Deer worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she served large SEC filers as well as large private exploration and production companies. In addition to the Professional MBA Faculty Teaching Award, Deer has received numerous teaching recognitions, including the Association of Former Students Distinguished Teaching Award, the Ernst & Young Teaching Excellence Award, Mays Faculty Teaching Fellow and the Baggett Teaching Award. She was also honored to serve as a Fish Camp (freshman orientation camp) namesake in the summer of 2013.

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Mays Business School’s Full-Time MBA program ranked in the top 10 among U.S. public programs at 9th among U.S. public and 24th overall in the 2015 Forbes “Best Business Schools” ranking. This reflects an increase of six positions in the overall rankings and five positions in the U.S. public universities from the last ranking in 2013.

The Forbes ranking reflects return on investment – the salary alumni earn over five years as compared to the cost of the MBA program. The results are based on a comparison of alumni earnings in their first five years out of business school to their opportunity cost. To learn more about the ranking and methodology, visit

The Mays program is considered a leader in academics and in return on investment. In addition, Forbes ranks Texas A&M’s Mays Business School as 1st in all U.S. schools in years to payback – at 3.3 years. The accelerated pace of the 16-month Full-Time MBA program and Mays’ commitment to providing competitive scholarships result in a high-caliber MBA education at an affordable cost.

“This is a confirmation of the commitment to excellence by our MBA faculty, staff and students,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “The lessons learned at Mays are priceless, and the specific skills are organic to each class. Through a portfolio of personalized and high-impact educational experiences, our students learn to become more than business people, they learn to become leaders.”

Jones added: “I know the impact the program makes on lives. The Mays MBA Program certainly transformed my life.”

The 2015 employment rate of program graduates is strong at 94 percent placement within 90 days of graduation. Financial Times also ranked Texas A&M’s Full-Time MBA program as “Best Value for the Money” in the U.S. in its 2015 ranking.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.





Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M


Bala Shetty, right, hosts alumni at Dean Eli Jones’ reception at CityCentre.

Mays Dean Eli Jones ’82 enjoyed a welcome celebration Aug. 27, when about 150 current and former Full-Time, Professional and Executive MBA students gathered in Houston CityCentre. Dr. Jones’ wife Fern and Mays faculty and program staff were also in attendance.

The event was a way to introduce Jones and to reach out to Mays alumni, which are 58,470 strong.

Jones is recognized as a visionary leader, sales management expert, accomplished researcher and passionate teacher. His return to College Station is a homecoming for the Houston native and three-time alumnus. He earned his bachelor’s in journalism at Texas A&M and his MBA and Ph.D. in marketing at Mays, and he has strong family ties in the Lone Star State.

Jones assumed deanship of Mays on July 1, 2015, having previously served as dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. Under his leadership, the Walton College of Business raised $32.9 million in FY2014, launched a 100 percent online General Business Degree, expanded the Executive MBA program and signed partnership agreements with schools in China, Brazil and Panama.

Jones returns to Mays at a time of growth and upward trajectory. The Executive MBA Program is 6th among U.S. public schools (Financial Times), the Full-Time MBA Program is 16th among U.S. public schools (U.S. News & World Report) and the Professional MBA program is ranked 21st among U.S. public universities (U.S. News & World Report).



Jones lauded the school’s strength and reputation, and said it was an honor to be invited back to work at his alma mater. He told the group assembled, “I can’t talk about it too much without getting emotional, but Mays changed me. The MBA program at Mays changed my life.”

In 2012, Mays planted the Aggie flag in Houston at CityCentre to serve area businesses, working professionals and former students with MBA and other business programs. CityCentre is home to the Executive MBA program, which requires at least 10 years of professional work experience, including seven years of managerial experience, and the Professional MBA Program, a 22-month program designed for working professionals. Mays also offers custom executive development programs at CityCentre through its Center for Executive Development.

Cynthia Klein ’15, who lives in Tyler and serves as chief strategy officer of Mentoring Minds, traveled to Houston for the Executive MBA program until she graduated last May. She returned for the reception to honor Jones and to reconnect with some of her classmates. “The most valuable part of the program is being in a classroom not only with top-notch professors – the most seasoned, typically – who bring the theoretical part of business, but also your class of real-world professionals who bring their experience and we talk about what’s really happening in the world and balance that with the theoretical part of business,” she explained. “What it has really done for me is enabled me to think in ways I’ve never thought and bring that to my own workplace.”






Categories: Alumni, Mays Business, News, Programs, Staff, Texas A&M

Fifteen business freshmen from around Texas traveled abroad on their summer break, and each one says he came home changed.

Accompanying the Regents’ Scholars (first-generation college students) were Mays Lecturer Henry Musoma and Recruiter Corey Stone, as well as Courtney Meadows, senior advisor for university relations at Phillips 66 – the corporation that sponsored the trip.

The tour began with an overnight stay in Dubai, then took the group through Capetown, Cape of Good Hope and Stellenbosch, South Africa; Lusaka, Kitwe, Luanshya and Livingstone, Zambia; and Chobe National Park, Botswana. They toured companies such as Investec, Copperbelt Energy Corporation and PWC.

The trip broadened the horizons – literally – for many of the students. About one-third had not flown before. For 10 students it was their first time outside North America, and for 11 students, it was their first trip outside the Western Hemisphere. Four had gone on the Paris Trip with the Century Scholars, a handful have traveled to Mexico to see family. One student was born in Vietnam, another in Colombia.

Susan Blanco called the trip “a journey to more possibilities.” She considers their visit to Zambia the highlight of the trip, especially a day in Luanshya, when the group hosted a field day for the children in the nearby community. With money donated by Texas A&M faculty, staff and former students, two moonwalks and a water slide were rented, and Blanco said it was clear the gift was a luxury for the children, who ran to the Aggies with open arms and smiles.

She wrote in a reflection, “As we traveled from city to city I saw the great desire for prosperity that Africans possessed. There were women with babies on their backs desperate to sell us goods for little to no cost. I witnessed an endless amount of children, with such determination and hunger for an education, walking barefoot just to get to school. This experience was truly a blessing in my life, it served as a reminder of how lucky I am to be where I am.”

She said the experience motivated her to better herself and give to others. “Seeing the Zambian students so eager to come and receive an education motivated me to be someone who can facilitate that for them and return the hospitality.”

She wrote of the intense heat in Dubai and the beauty of Cape Town, South Africa. “Unfortunately, Americans have this misconception of Africa. They expect to find rural lands full of tribes living in poverty, and that is definitely not the case with Cape Town,” she explained. “Cape Town is growing and fully industrialized.”20523277515_eeb3a39401_k

The group visited Robben Island and saw the very cell in which Nelson Mandela was held prisoner. Many of the students were shocked to discover that former prisoners were now employed as tour guides within the very walls that one day held them prisoner.

“Our tour guide spoke about his past experience with such serenity that I was truly moved,” Blanco recalled. “It amazed me how I saw no resentment for the injustice he went through. It was amazing to see how someone could be treated so poorly and not have any hate in their heart. It seemed as if forgiveness truly set him free.”

The group also visited the hospital in South Africa in which the first successful heart transplant was performed. “The story the led up to the transplant was a bit bittersweet, a man after losing his wife and daughter simultaneously had the grace to give the consent so his daughter’s heart could be used to save a dying man’s life,” Blanco said.

Another student on the trip, sophomore accounting major Sayra Torres, said the trip changed her perception of Africa. “Most people think of poverty, diseases, and dirtiness when we think of Africa. However, I was proven very wrong, and I would like to get the correct picture across,” she said. “What I saw when visiting was development, desire to be better, strong willing people, and an amazing culture. They’re just like us, ambitious and wanting more for themselves.”

Torres called the trip “very enriching,” and said it opened her mind to many more things in life. “It made me believe that I can do anything in life. It gave me the motivation to do more than just the limit,” she wrote. “The experience of living and studying in another country was so eye-opening, it tested preconceptions and habits I wasn’t even aware were so ingrained in me. I also learned that we have to be able to adapt and be very flexible. Not every country is like America, which is why we shouldn’t expect them to be that way. This trip definitely changed my life for the better, I returned a different person with bigger goals, more knowledge, and tools to be a better global leader.

Torres advises students to pursue at least one study-abroad trip while in school. “If you believe you can’t, you CAN! Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you can. Your only limitation is how far and wide you dream,” she said. “Don’t let your dream die before you even wake up.”

20523307035_cf01523c1c_kABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.




Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M