Dean Eli Jones recently announced appointments of new leadership. Duane Ireland was appointed to executive associate dean after serving in an interim capacity for the past year. Annie McGowan was named Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Arvind Mahajan (FINC) will take the lead as associate dean for graduate programs and Mike Kinney (ACCT) will become assistant dean. Mike Shaub will become director of the Professional Program in Accounting (PPA).

Duane IrelandIreland served in an interim capacity for the past year. “The interim position allowed us to get to know each other as colleagues and close work partners and enabled members of the college to work more closely with Duane in his new role,” Jones said. “The feedback I received was very positive.”

Ireland is a University Distinguished Professor and holds the Benton Cocanaugher Chair in Business at Texas A&M University. He joined the Department of Management in Mays in 2004. Previously, he served two years as head of the management department.

Annie McGowan was named Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Effective Sept. 1, McGowan will head the new Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which aims to realize Mays’ strategic vision as a vibrant learning organization that respects differences and embraces connectedness. “Annie will work with members of our college in the areas of cultural sensitivity and inclusion, diversity in student recruitment and retention and community relations,” Jones said.

McGowan is an associate professor of accounting and has served as the director of the Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) at Mays since 2008. Mike Shaub, Clinical Professor of Accounting, will take over as PPA director when McGowan steps into her new role.

annieheadshot-2“I am very excited to lead Mays Business School’s strategic effort to foster an inclusive environment where future leaders develop the cultural integrity to honor and leverage individual differences to achieve a competitive advantage,” McGowan said. “If academic institutions are to sustainably supply sufficient numbers of trained graduates to meet the needs of the workforce, diversity must be embraced as a mission imperative. Further, empirical evidence confirms that more diverse learning environments lead to improved problem solving and critical thinking skills because students that learn in them are better able to conceptualize multiple perspectives.”

McGowan will report to Dean Jones and work closely with Christine Stanley, Vice President and Associate Provost of Texas A&M University.

Changes were also announced in top administration of Mays MBA programs, which will have two academic leaders for the first time.

Presidential-Award-Pic-March-2016-IMG_5272Finance Professor Arvind Mahajan will take the lead as associate dean for graduate programs and Accounting Associate Professor Mike Kinney will become assistant dean. Both positions begin Aug. 1.

After many years of distinguished service in various leadership roles including serving the past year as the interim associate dean for graduate programs, Bala Shetty, an information and operations management professor and holder of the Cullen Trust for Higher Education Chair in Business, will return to a faculty position.

Mike KinneyMahajan, a Texas A&M faculty member since 1980, is a Texas A&M University System Regents Professor, Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and Lamar Savings Professor of Finance. He has served as director of the Aggies on Wall Street Investment Banking Program and the MS (Finance) Program, and as associate director of the Center for International Business Studies and the Center for International Business Education and Research.

Kinney is a KPMG Fellow. He teaches in the MBA and EMBA programs and the executive development programs, and has taught in the PPA. He currently serves as coordinator of the Ph.D. Program in Accounting.

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

Sixteen veteran entrepreneurs from across several states spent hours last week studying and learning the ins and outs of launching their new business endeavors through Texas A&M University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. After presenting their business plans to their peers and esteemed mentors, the participants each went home excited to begin their personal and professional passions, taking along with them the wisdom, advice and much-appreciated guidance shared with them over the eight-day residency.

In its ninth year to be hosted by Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), the 2016 EBV program once again served veterans with a military service-linked disability who have started or are interested in starting their own business. The national EBV program was launched in 2007 by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and in 2008, added Texas A&M University to a consortium that now includes 10 additional universities across the nation. Each university in the consortia makes a strong commitment to support this nation’s veterans and help to guide them down the path of starting and maintaining a successful business venture.

At Texas A&M, the EBV week is filled with expert lectures, one-on-one mentoring from volunteer entrepreneurs, access to tremendous resources, a lot of food and a full dose of the Spirit of Aggieland. …Read more

Categories: Centers, Departments, Management, Mays Business, Programs, Texas A&M

Mays Business School hosted an inaugural visit to Texas A&M University of distinguished faculty from The University of Havana in Cuba. After meeting with Mays Professor Don Lewis, assistant director of Startup Aggieland, and with Professor Richard Lester, executive director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), through Mays’ Center for International Business Studies, faculty were invited by CNVE to visit Lewis and Lester this summer in Aggieland. Lewis and Lester met the faculty in January while leading Texas A&M’s first study abroad trip to Cuba.
Three professors from The University of Havana accepted CNVE’s offer, including Anicia Garcia Alvarez, Jose Luis Perello Cabrera and Humberto Blanco Rosales. Alvarez and Rosales are expert economists, while Cabrera is a tourism expert. The cadre arrived in Texas from New York on May 31, but not without challenges as airplanes were late or diverted to different airports and required last-minute, late pickups.

During their first day on campus, Lewis introduced his Cuban guests to representatives with the Association of Former Students (AFS). The AFS provided a tour of campus, including visits to the George Bush Presidential Library, Kyle Field and Memorial Student Center. On the second day, Cuban faculty toured Mays Business School with management faculty members, including Department Head Wendy Boswell and Professor David Flint. Katy Lane with the Center for International Business Studies also joined the tour.

“This inaugural visit by faculty from The University of Havana is the start of a new global collaboration for Texas A&M with a country that has been closed off to Americans for a half-century,” explained Lewis. “The opportunities for both universities are endless and exciting. We look forward to sharing research and innovations with the Cubans and helping each other through joint initiatives.”

Former AFS Chair Jorge Bermudez, a retired Citibank executive and Cuban-born immigrant to the U.S., hosted Cuban faculty on a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank. Lewis’ students from his 2015 study abroad class and Startup Aggieland joined the visiting faculty membesr in Downtown Historic Bryan for the monthly “First Friday” event. AFS President-Elect Phil Miner, founder of The Miner Corporation in San Antonio, hosted the visitors on a tour of NASA and the Port of Houston – then attended an Astros game at Reliant Stadium.

The Cuban faculty members toured the Engineering Innovation Center on June 6 with engineering faculty Magda Lagoudas and Rodney Boehm, then enjoyed dinner at Christopher’s. The next day, they visited the College of Architecture, where Dean Jorge Vanegas hosted a tour of the Live Lab and Viz Arts programs, in addition to the BIM Cave. Faculty later visited the Corps of Cadets Museum and Miramont Country Club, then celebrated new faculty friends from architecture and Mays at Sodolack’s Original Steakhouse, where Rosales was surprised with a “Texas-sized” steak that hung over the serving platter.

On June 9, the day before the end of their 11-day visit, visiting faculty delivered presentations on tourism and the economy in Cuba for a classroom of Texas A&M University faculty, students and former students after a breakfast at Startup Aggieland. Upon their return to Cuba, Cabrera wrote Lewis a note:
“Dear Don. I want to thank all (for) their attention and efforts on the days we were there, where we learned the ways to achieve greater development. The days we stayed, were exploited to the maximum, at least for me. Convey my thanks to all (who) shared their time and chores: Shelly, Abby, Phil, Richard; and others. It is painful for us not to correspond with the same attention. At least for now…see you soon!”

Lewis will return to Havana in January 2017 with another group of students from Texas A&M for a two-week immersion experience in Cuban culture and entrepreneurship. Students will stay mostly in hostels. For more information about the trip, email Lewis at or go to

Read a past student participant’s blog here:

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Programs, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has expanded its campus entrepreneurship program, Blackstone LaunchPad, to three Texas universities: Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at Dallas. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, $3 million grant will establish a partnership between the three institutions to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and offer opportunities to the universities’ 130,000 students, regardless of major, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system.
Blackstone photo2“Texas has a strong business environment and is a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman, CEO and co-founder. “As universities look to the private sector to expand their capabilities and provide experiential opportunities to their students, we are pleased to help meet that need and deliver the tools and resources to build strong enterprises rooted in the state and connected to a global network of entrepreneurs.”
The announcement was made at the UT Dallas Visitor Center Atrium, and speakers included Blackstone Chairman, CEO and co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman; co-founder and CEO of Vengo Labs (a Blackstone LaunchPad venture) Brian Shimmerlik; and executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation Amy Stursberg. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Britt Harris, chief investment officer at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, were also scheduled to deliver remarks, but were unable to attend due to severe weather.
…Read more

Categories: Centers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Startup Aggieland, Students, Texas A&M

_Q4A0149-43During the three-day event, 45 research papers were presented in rapid succession. Following only 20 minutes of content overview, scholars received feedback about their topic’s relevancy and potential for application in a business setting from academic peers and industry executives.  …Read more

Categories: Centers, Departments, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

The 2016 Raymond Ideas Challenge saw an impressive array of student ideas, as usual. The winner were announced at an award reception May 4.

The annual competition challenges students of all majors and classifications to dream up and pitch their “big idea” for a great product or service. Members of the business world and academia judge the submissions and the top 40 entries are named finalists. Finalists then present their ideas to a panel of business professionals.

By participating in the challenge, students have the opportunity to network with judges, develop business concepts and improve their writing and presentation skills.

The top awards went to:

    • First place ($3,000): Commercializing Low Earth Orbit with a Turnkey CubeSat Product Trent Tate, Dakotah Karrer, Vince Rodriguez and David Smith
    • Second place ($2,000): ReGrub Ryan Woolsey and Blake Harvey
    • Third place ($1,000): Motley Tool McCalley Cunningham and Dayana Hansley

The prizes for Best Video Pitches were awarded to:

    • First place ($1,000): IceMe Shravan Shetty, Aakash Jain, Yeshwanth Ja and Rishub Mishra
    • Second place ($500): Pool Reilly Mickelson, Mauricio Degregori and Colin Brady
    • Third place ($250): GiftHer Allison Kornher

The following teams were Honorable Mentions ($500):

    • WireSpare Blake Harvey
    • BAT-MoBIKE Service Center Pradeep Subramanian Srinivasan,
    • Quick Clip Reminder Shelby Polasek and Vanessa Galindo
    • DeHydraTect – Dehydration Detection Pacifier Magy Avedissian, Nga Tang, Grace Fletcher, Scott Herting and Jose Wippold

Learn more about the results of previous Ideas Challenges competitions. 26835627415_c52b03439b_o

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


Startup Aggieland’s TriFusion Devices will compete in the 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition April 14-16 at Rice University in Houston.

The team will compete with top universities for more than $1 million in prizes in four categories: Life sciences; information technology/web/mobile; energy/clean technology/sustainability and other. The team with the best investment opportunity will win $450,000, including seed funding and the opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ Marketsite.

Teams will also compete for $5,000 in the People’s Choice Award, which will be announced at the RBPC Awards Banquet on April 16.

TriFusion Devices, cofounded by Blake Teipel and Brandon Sweeney, Ph.D. candidates in Materials Science and Engineering, has developed customizable 3D printed prosthetic leg devices. MBA student Britton Eastburn also joined the team.

Since spring 2015, the team has taken top honors in multiple competitions, winning first place at CNVE’s Raymond Ideas Challenge, the inaugural SEC Pitch Competition in Atlanta and at the Baylor Business Plan Competition in February 2016.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award is open through 1 p.m. April 16 at

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

gI_67033_Shelly BrenckmanShelly Brenckman, marketing coordinator at Texas A&M University’s Startup Aggieland, was named the 2015 International Brand Master, announced competition sponsor, Educational Marketing Group, Inc. (EMG) This international award, now in its seventh year, is presented annually to an exemplary educational brand manager. Brenckman took top honors for her ability to create a story-centered brand while utilizing creative and traditional marketing techniques with zero dollars in the marketing budget.

Startup Aggieland, powered by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, keeps Brenckman busy as the only full-time staff member in the 1 1/2 employee program. She developed the name of the program and brand identity through strategic story telling techniques. In addition, she utilized guerilla marketing, event promotion, social media platforms, and media releases. Brenckman collaborated with Texas A&M’s Marketing & Communications division to get their support for distribution and to amplify Startup Aggieland’s message with their own media releases. She worked with campus publications to help spread the word about Texas A&M’s student startups and accelerator, including Aggiebound magazine for future students and their parents, and The Battalion student daily.

One of the first things that Brenckman did was to organize a stylish photo shoot to showcase Startup Aggieland students as part of its branding. These photos helped the brand have a consistent theme throughout all digital and print materials so it would be easily recognizable and stand out. The brand was also promoted using t-shirt marketing, event/mobile app marketing, and giveaways Brenckman carefully protects the Startup Aggieland brand so it is not overused and maintains its mystique. She also has utilized popup banners to promote Startup Aggieland’s academic partners and sponsors, as well as the brand itself.

“When I think of Startup Aggieland, I think of Shelly,” said Rodney Hill, presidential professor, former assistant dean, and founding board member of Startup Aggieland. “She helped raise it from an idea, nourished it to where it is a nationally-recognized business accelerator for students, and now faculty, too. During her involvement with Startup Aggieland, the three-year-old program has been showcased at the White House in Washington D.C. and students in the program have earned many awards at international pitch competitions. Shelly is the marketing soul of Startup Aggieland, having come up with the name and brand identity.”

Brenckman competed against two other strong finalists to win top honors in the International Brand Master competition. Katie Kempf, alumnae relations and special events, Ursuline Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, and Johanna Lowe, head of marketing, communications, and engagement, University of Sydney, Australia, were runners up. Brenckman competed with an initial field of seven exceptional nominees, five of whom hailed from the United States, one from Australia, and one from United Kingdom.

“We are honored to recognize Shelly Brenckman’s outstanding marketing skills. She conceived the Startup Aggieland brand and produced extraordinary results while working as the sole full-time staff member, making her a standout in the competition,” said Bob Brock, EMG president.

Colleagues in education branding will be able to hear more from Brenckman, as EMG will honor her success with a series of interviews during the coming months.

More information on the 2015 International Brand Master and Startup Aggieland, can be found at

# # #

Shelly Brenckman wears many hats at Startup Aggieland as the facility’s only full-time employee since May 2013. Although her title at Startup Aggieland is marketing coordinator, she also serves as a mentor, event planner and office manager with some responsibility for managing student workers and representing Startup Aggieland at outside events. She helps Assistant Director Don Lewis with strategic planning, creating new programming and developing related course curriculum. In particular, her work focuses on donor development, sponsor and speaker recruitment, and recruitment of mentors and new student entrepreneurs. As marketing coordinator, Shelly is the webmaster and social media manager, as well as the mobile app manager. She creates all branding for Startup Aggieland and communicates the facility’s story both internally and externally through print, radio, social media and gorilla marketing. As a mentor, Shelly has advised nearly every student venture launching from Startup Aggieland and some that never became official clients. She also has advised former students and remote-learning students in other states. Shelly connects student startups with funding and board members by tapping her extensive network of alumni, administrators and CEOs. Shelly manages the 44-bed Dormcubator on campus, a residential program for freshmen and sophomores that is operated by Startup Aggieland as a Startup Living Learning Community. She teaches MGMT 289: Introduction to Entrepreneurship for Mays Business School, a multi-disciplinary course for Dormcubator students.

The International Brand Master award was established in 2009 to bring recognition to the outstanding work of extraordinary educational brand marketing professionals from around the world. Since then, EMG received nominations from countries including Portugal, Belgium, Scotland, Netherlands, Australia, England, Canada, and the United States. This year, a blue-ribbon panel of volunteer international judges from the United States, Ireland, and England reviewed supporting materials provided by the nominees. Nominees were asked to provide responses to a number of questions related to their brand’s strategy, tactics, and provide results as well as provide several letters of support from colleagues. The judges narrowed the pool of seven nominees to three distinguished finalists. Two from the United States, Shelly Brenckman, Texas A&M University’s Startup Aggieland, and Katie Kempf, Ursuline Academy, and one from Australia, Johanna Lowe, University of Sydney. Votes to determine the winner among the three finalists were cast by brand stakeholders and fellow branding professionals from around the world. Over 120 individuals voted from around the world. The winner was chosen by a combination of public votes and the judges’ scores. For more information see:

This year’s judging panel included:

  •     Elizabeth Allen: Director of Online Communications at the American School in London in London, United Kingdom
  •     Jennifer Collins: Grants Administrator at SEAL Legacy Foundation in Virginia, United States
  •     Eilis O’Brien: Director of Communication and Marketing at University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland
  •     Seth Odell: 2013 International Brand Master Winner and Vice President of Creative and Marketing Strategy at Helix Education in Utah, United States
  •     Dr. David Peck: 2014 International Brand Master Winner and Vice President of University Relations at Azusa Pacific University in California, United States
  •     Kay Zimmerman: Associate Vice Provost Marketing & Partnership Development and Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President for Academic Outreach & Entrepreneurship at North Carolina State University DELTA in North Carolina, United States
  •     Travis Brock: Chair of the 2015 International Brand Master Award committee, and Director of Business Development and Social Media for Educational Marketing Group, Inc. in Colorado, United States (replacement judge)

EMG is a full-service, integrated brand development and marketing agency that provides custom-tailored research, brand development, creative, development, new media services, and media services for universities throughout North America. Headquartered in Parker, Colorado, the company was established in 1997 and has operated in the higher education arena exclusively for 19 years. Clients have included Colorado Community College System, North Carolina State University, Washington State University, Virginia Tech, Cal Poly, Dalhousie University, University of Victoria, University of Colorado, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Wyoming, and many others. More information can be found at

  • written by Educational Marketing Group

Categories: Centers, Departments, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M

Bahr and Graham photo

Anthony Bahr ’91 (left) and Jay Graham ’92 funded the Petroleum Ventures Program.

The business and engineering colleges at Texas A&M University are partnering in a new entrepreneurial training program to better prepare undergraduate and graduate students interested in the oil and gas industry.

The Petroleum Ventures Program (PVP) is a certificate program funded by a $12 million gift by Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, business partners in Houston-based WildHorse Resources Management Company. Both Bahr and Graham graduated from Texas A&M with petroleum engineering degrees: Bahr in 1991 and Graham in 1992. The partners’ gift stemmed from Bahr and Graham’s personal experience in identifying the industry importance and student benefit of providing business experience to engineering students, as well as the market value of graduating finance students with a specialization in the oil and gas industry.

“Thanks to the generosity and foresight of Mr. Bahr and Mr. Graham, Texas A&M has a magnificent opportunity to have an even more prominent role in providing intellectually transformative learning experiences that are so vital to our state and nation,” said Texas A&M University President Michael Young. “The entrepreneurial emphasis for the program reflects their expectation of excellence and their success – success to which they attribute in part to what they learned here at Texas A&M. It is very fitting that this bold new venture takes advantage of the strengths of both our engineering and business programs, offering an interdisciplinary experience that will well serve our students, presenting them with a competitive advantage among their peers as they enter the workforce.”

This academic collaboration between Mays Business School and the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering will foster teamwork among petroleum engineering students and students in the Department of Finance at Mays. Students will take courses and work together on projects, and a Petroleum Business Impact Lab will be established.

The first classes for the PVP Certificate Program will be offered in Fall 2016. …Read more

Categories: Centers, Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

First-year MBA student Alycia Crandall stood outside the back doors of the Cocanougher Center with her unofficial fifth teammate in the MBA Venture Challenge: a full-grown horse. Her mission: to deliver a compelling elevator pitch convincing each of the 75 judges in attendance to come listen to her team’s analysis of RevaTis, a new veterinary medicine research company commercializing stem cell services for thoroughbred horses.

MBA Venture horse

The elevator pitch competition was the first round of the MBA Venture Challenge, a seven-day experiential competition held annually in collaboration between the MBA Program and the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), both at Mays Business School.

In this year’s challenge, 63 first-year MBA students formed into 15 teams and selected from a pool of 25 early-stage companies seeking advice and analysis on their market opportunity and growth strategies. Each year the MBA Venture Challenge creates high-stakes competition between the teams, for both sponsored cash awards and course credit, as well as high-value effort and insights for the participating firms.

The MBA Venture Challenge asks the MBA student teams to provide a clear, unbiased and business-oriented evaluation of their selected firm’s market and financial viability. The CNVE sources these early-stage firms from its position in the Aggie and local entrepreneurial ecosystem, utilizing partners such as the Aggie Angel Network, A&M System Technology Commercialization, the Research Valley Innovation Center, Seed Sumo, Innovation Underground and the TEEX Product Development Center. These businesses come from a wide variety of industries, from internet media to medical devices; consumer technology to animal health.

The MBA teams are allowed only one week of direct contact with company representatives, but are provided feedback and guidance from industry and university mentors, including the MBA Program Faculty. MBA Program Director Shannon Deer explains: “Venture Challenge is so beneficial to both our students and to the companies participating. The MBA Program has completely integrated the Challenge into our students’ course work, evaluating their analysis and recommendations for course credit.”

After seven days (and long nights) of preparation, evaluation and analysis, the MBA Venture Challenge culminates in a full-day competition that starts with an elevator pitch round, two full rounds of preliminary presentations, then a finals round of presentations from the top six teams. Throughout the presentation rounds, teams are scored by an audience of invited judges from CNVE’s network of business, academic and entrepreneurial community leaders. Each round requires the teams to present a concise but in-depth analysis of the venture and provide meaningful recommendations to the venture’s leadership on how to best address their shortcomings.

CNVE Director Blake Petty describes the MBA Venture Challenge as a unique and valuable experience for all participants – students, ventures and judges. “It has always been aimed at offering the MBA students an impactful experience introducing many of them to the unique aspects of leading and launching a new business,” he said. “As a meaningful – and powerful – side effect, the participating companies and judges receive valuable insights, critique, analysis and recommendations toward pivots and improvements their new ventures can make to enhance their likelihood of success.”

The winning MBA teams were announced at a networking and awards reception immediately following the Challenge on Feb. 19:

  • First Place ($5,000, sponsored by Aggie Angel Network) – James Hammond, Tien Le, Brian Newbury and Jordan Nielson (Block Party Suites)
  • Second Place ($3,000, sponsored by Research Valley Innovation Center) – Jonathan Macrae, Eva Martinez-Salinas, John Dexter and Saurabh Kulkarni (ADVENTURE GURU)
  • Third Place ($2,000, sponsored by JBKnowledge) – Jason Morgan, Lillian Niakan, Raj Sridharan and Sneha Das (Scepter Medical Devices)

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