Aggieland Credit Union donated $10,000 to the Master of Science (MS) Business program at Texas A&M University to fund five new companies created by graduate students enrolled in the integrated business experience course. The course is a key component of the “learning business by doing business” approach of the program at Mays Business School.

In the first eight weeks of the fall 2016 semester, students in the course identified a product or service they would like to sell, conducted market research to determine how their product would be received, developed a business plan for a new company and requested up to $2,000 in start-up funds from loan officers of Aggieland Credit Union. The learning objective for the students is creation, refinement and delivery of a fundamentally sound business case. The measure ofullsizerender2-1f their success was the outcome of the loan decision.

Each of the five teams was successful with their respective pitches, and Aggieland Credit Union agreed to provide the necessary capital for each company to move forward in executing their business. “The integrated business experience is a remarkable opportunity for students to gain insights and perspectives about running a business that are difficult to obtain in a classroom setting. Our team is delighted to be part of making this experience possible for the students,” said Jason Goodman, senior vice president/COO at Aggieland Credit Union, who delivered the check on Oct. 7.

For the remainder of the semester, the students will implement their business plans and run their companies. On behalf of their companies, some students are negotiating with manufacturers to produce their product ideas. Students from other companies are working with vendors to purchase the raw materials they will use to produce their finished products. All companies have launched sales efforts such as creating websites and social media platforms to use for selling their products.

Other aspects of running their business include delivering products to customers, collecting payments, and paying vendors or other creditors. At the end of the semester, each company will close their business. Each company will donate all profits from their respective companies to a non-profit organization.

The MS Business program is the newest graduate program offered in Mays Business School. The 36-hour, general business graduate degree offered to students who do not have a business undergraduate education. The program includes coursework in each functional area of business as well as business acumen courses such as business communications, value creation, career management, leadership, and ethical decision making. Students complete the program in an intensive 11-months of coursework and study.

“The integrated business experience course not only allows students to learn about business by doing business through their efforts to create and execute a small business, but it also allows the students to integrate concepts they learn in other courses (such as accounting, marketing, management, etc.) into their experience.” said `Jon (Sean) Jasperson, academic director for the MS Business program.

For courses in the program that the students have already completed or in which they are currently enrolled, the integrated business experience course helps them quickly realize the practical application of the concepts discussed in these classes. In addition, the students will be able to draw from their experience running a company as they complete the remaining courses during the spring semester.

Jasperson called the class “more than just another course on the student’s transcript.” “As the experiential focal point of the MS Business program, the integrated business experience provides students a means to bundle all aspects of their MS Business education together,” he said.

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MS Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and holder of the Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business, joined an elite group when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Ph.D. Project, a national group that works to increase the diversity of business school faculty members.

The award came during the Ph.D. Project’s annual Faculty Dinner, held in conjunction with the American Marketing Association (AMA)’s conference Aug. 5-6 in Atlanta. The AMA is a sponsor of the Ph.D. Project. About 100 of the Ph.D. project’s 200 Marketing Doctoral Students Association members attended.


Dean Eli Jones and Bernard Milano

The Ph.D. Project’s annual recognition of faculty members started in 2011 to honor commitment, involvement and inspiration, and to recognize “a select few who have greatly inspired many,” organizers said.

When presenting the Hall of Fame honor to Jones, KPMG Foundation and Ph.D. Project President Bernard Milano said: “You have been a wonderful role model and mentor to many, many people.”

In his acceptance speech, Jones said the Ph.D. Project stemmed from a need to increase the supply of underrepresented minority college graduates.

“One significant way to do so is to increase the minority representation at the front of the classroom,” he said. “In organizing the Ph.D. Project, what may not have been anticipated is the greater impact that this wonderful initiative would have on society.”

Jones added, “We are the light.  Let’s focus on our calling and keep pressing on to make a difference. Be still. Be the light.”

Jones also was presented with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMA’s Sales and Sales Management Special Interest Group (SIG), which provides programs designed to enhance selling and sales management scholarship, teaching and practice in an inclusive and collegial environment. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors the outstanding scholar who has made meaningful contributions to the field of sales through publications in top journals, teaching excellence, fostering professional development among others, and generally contributing to scholarship in the area of sales.

This year was the first time a charity component was added to the awards program to raise funds for the Ph.D. Project. Members of the AMA’s Sales SIG, as well as some of his friends and colleagues, gave personally to a charity in Jones’ name, and raised more than $14,000 – the highest raised by a single individual. The fund-raising component was a surprise to Jones until the afternoon he received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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

Tara Blasor, an accounting lecturer and assistant department head at Mays Business School, was selected as the 2016 recipient of the David Baggett Endowed Teaching Excellence Award.

Tara Blasor

Blasor is coordinator of the Internal Audit Certificate program and is responsible for developing a course for the MS-HRM program.

The annual award is intended to recognize extraordinary efforts and innovation in teaching effectiveness, curriculum development and student services in the accounting department.

The recipients receive a plaque and a cash award. The award ismade possible through an endowment created by Denise and David Baggett ’81. David, who graduated with honors with an accounting degree, is the senior partner of Opportune LLP.

Previous awards went to Kevin Roach in 2015, Joan Sanders in 2014, Karen Farmer in 2013, Shannon Deer in 2012 and Christopher Wolfe in 2011.

Categories: Uncategorized

Mays Business School alumni David G. Eller ’59 and Cynthia B. Taylor ’84 were among the 2016 Distinguished Alumni, the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University.

DA Medallion shot

Since the inception of the award in 1962, only 261 of Texas A&M’s 440,000 former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Awarded jointly by the university and The Association, this award recognizes those Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.

“Texas A&M’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni demonstrate the broad reach and influence of Texas A&M,” said Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. “This group includes fearless leaders and influencers in the fields of engineering, technology, energy, medicine, veterinary medicine, national defense, finance, education and philanthropy. Their stories truly display the power of a Texas A&M University education.”


Eller is a longtime biotechnology leader. He is co-founder, chairman and CEO of Celltex Therapeutics Corp. Previous positions include president of DuPont Pharmaceuticals-Europe; CEO and president of Virbac Corp.; and founder, chairman and CEO of Granada BioSciences. He served on The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents from 1983 to 1989, chaired it from 1985 to 1989, and was the first in A&M’s history to be designated a chairman emeritus; for a time, he was simultaneously System chancellor. He established the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences & Technology in Houston and has served on boards for the Texas Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston Partnership, Baylor College of Medicine, Hermann Hospital, Allied Bancshares, First Interstate Bank, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the Houston Ballet and the Rice University Energy & Environmental Systems Institute. He served eight years as an officer on active duty and reserves in the U.S. Army.

Cynthia B. Taylor ’84 is CEO of Oil States International, a diversified oilfield services company that she helped take public. She was among the first female CEOs in the energy industry, Houston’s first public company female CEO and one of only 50 female CEOs in the Fortune 1000. She is a board member for AT&Tand Tidewater Inc. Her business accolades include being ranked on the All-American Executive Team for Energy.


A former trustee of the 12th Man Foundation and member of Mays Business School’s Dean’s Development Council, she was named an Outstanding Alumna of Mays Business School in 2011. Recent awards include the McLane Leadership in Business Award; the Aggie 100 Summit Award; and the Women Former Students’ Network Legacy Award. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Texas Children’s Hospital and was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in 2014.

The recipients learned of their honor when surprised in their places of business and other locations by a group of university and Association representatives, including Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp ’72, Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young, The Association of Former Students’ 2016 Chair of the Board of Directors Dwain Mayfield ’59, Association President and CEO Porter S. Garner III ’79 and a Ross Volunteer, along with university mascot Reveille IX and her handler.

“Our 2016 Distinguished Alumni are an inspiration to Aggies everywhere,” Mayfield said. “Their varied professional pursuits and far-reaching influences across our Aggie Network are all strongly rooted in our core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.”

The Association of Former Students will further honor all recipients of this award during its annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Oct. 7. In addition, the 2016 recipients will be recognized during the Oct. 8 Texas A&M football game against Tennessee.

Categories: Uncategorized

Mays Business School placed 7th in the 2016 College Choice rankings.

Factors considered were cost of attendance (annual tuition), where each school falls in existing ra2016-Rankings-of-Master-of-Business-Administration-Programsnking data and each program’s reputation and track record in the business community. The data was gathered from U.S. News & World Report, individual school websites, The Economist, Bloomberg Business, and other public sources.

Find the full rankings here:


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


Texas A&M University placed third at the 2016 SEC MBA Case Competition, held Saturday at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

The University of Alabama placed first, the University of Florida placed second and Mississippi State University placed fourth.

At the competition, teams of four MBA students from every SEC university were presented a business case by Henkel, a multinational company that produces consumer and industrial products. The teams, who were separated into four divisions, proposed their solutions to a panel of judges, including Henkel executives, on Saturday morning in divisional rounds. The top proposals from each division moved on to the final round to determine the winner of the competition.

Team members from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School were Kendall Daniel, Lillian Niakan, Maulik Mehta and Jared Sprunk. In other awards given during the divisional rounds, Lillian Niakan was named Best Presenter in her division and Kendall Daniel won the Best Q&A Award. Full-Time MBA Director Shannon Deer accompanied the team and Dean Eli Jones surprised the team by joining them on Saturday for the finals presentations.

Before the competition, professors Janet Marcantonio and John Krajicek provided coaching on problem-solving and presenting.

Deer said the entire Mays community is proud of the team and the faculty coaches who helped them prepare. “The team represented Texas A&M well all weekend through polished presentations, excellent ideas and in their interactions with other teams,” she said. “The students worked very hard  before and during the presentation, which showed in their success in the competition.”

This marks the fourth year for the SEC MBA Case Competition, which provides an opportunity for SEC business schools to showcase their students’ skills at solving simulated, real-world problems that cover the spectrum of business disciplines. The 2017 SEC MBA Case Competition will be held at the University of Florida in Gainesville.



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


Jeff Miller ’88, president and Chief Health, Safety and Environment officer of Halliburton, will speak at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School April 14 as a part of Dean Eli Jones’ Executive Speaker Series. The program will begin at 12:45 p.m. in Wehner 114.

In his presentation, Miller will use his personal journey to share insights on career and leadership development. He will also discuss the many aspects of his current role at Halliburton, a world leader in providing products and services to the energy industry.

Jones said he is honored to welcome Jeff Miller back to Mays Business School. “Jeff has always sought roles throughout his business career that allow contribution through leadership, insight and analysis, building and improving business, making important changes to organizations and developing staff,” he said. “Mays Business School develops ethical leaders that display excellence in their business careers,” Jones said. “Jeff exemplifies this mission remarkably.”

Miller is on the Halliburton Board of Directors. He earned a bachelor of science in agriculture and business from McNeese State University and an MBA from Texas A&M. He is a 2012 Mays Outstanding Alumni Award honoree.

Miller was named president and chief Health, Safety, and Environmental Officer at Halliburton in 2012. He began his career with Halliburton in 1997 as director of financial reporting, and has held a number of leadership roles that have enabled him to work and live all over the globe. Before joining Halliburton, Miller worked for Arthur Andersen LLP for eight years.

He is also a certified public accountant and a member of the board of directors of Atwood Oceanics, Inc. Miller has continued to engage with Texas A&M as a member of the Advisory Council for the College of Engineering.

Categories: Uncategorized


Discrimination is sometimes discrete, often unexpected and usually not easy to address. Those were some of the remarks that emerged from “Mays Speaks,” as a panel of students, faculty and staff of Mays Business School shared their experiences at Texas A&M University and beyond from a range of different perspectives. The discussion came after a viewing of “Color Blind or Color Brave?” a TED Talk on unconscious biases by Mellody Hopson, an American businesswoman who is the president of Ariel Investments and the current chair of the board of directors of Dreamworks Animation.

The panel was the first in a series of programs planned at Mays to address diversity and inclusion. “Biases about race, culture, religion, age and other differences can create thought patterns and habits that cause us to behave in ways that impede our ability to meet our goals,” explained Annie McGowan, Professional Program director, who coordinated the event. “Some biases are deeply held but considered politically incorrect to act upon. Others are not intentional. We may not even be aware that they exist.”

Cultural acumen is an important leadership skill, and McGowan believes that proactive conversations about the unconscious biases that we all possess will help our students, faculty and staff develop the inclusive leadership skills that they need to navigate in the global society. Planning is underway for additional  “Mays Speaks” forums designed to increase awareness about important issues that are sometimes difficult to talk about.

Panelists from the spring event included students Ryan Zepeda, Azra Razvi, Timi Fadugbata, Olivia Williams, Kendal Galimore and Joshua Arey; faculty members Henry Musoma and Antonio Arrelola-Risa; and staff members Venita Mahajan, Shannon Deer and Kelli Levey.


Categories: Uncategorized

Laura Fulton ’85 trusts her inner guidanc16051_014e when making professional decisions. Her intuition regularly encourages her to accept positions that involve risk-taking and trying new things while also honoring her talents and what she enjoys doing. This approach has guided Fulton’s career from an entry-level auditing job at a public accounting firm to her current position as chief financial officer of Hi-Crush Proppants LLC and its publicly traded partnership, Hi-Crush Partners LP. Eventually, that inner guidance may lead her to the CEO office.

In a conversation with Mays Business School’s Business Honors students, Fulton noted that following her intuition led to career twists that surprised even her. “If you had asked me if I was going to be in the sand business and if I was going to be in charge of logistics, I never would have guessed it,” she said. “I’ve really tried hard to listen to myself and take advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves and then make the best of it. That’s something that Texas A&M teaches you more than anything.”

A career with breadth and depth

The CPA’s professional success is rooted in a career that – despite its twists and turns – allowed her to develop both breadth and depth of experience. Her first job after graduation was in Deloitte & Touche’s audit department. “Public accounting gave me experience doing a lot of different things, such as creating work papers and documenting specific action steps,” Fulton said. “I learned how to talk to someone who had 20-25 years of experience and ask, ‘What do you do? How do you do it? And why is that so important?’”

Fulton also credits her time at Deloitte with teaching her to lead others. “If I go back to the very beginning of my career at Deloitte, what they really taught me was a lot about leadership because you have to lead your audit team, tax team or consulting team,” she said. “I had the opportunity to lead recruiting teams and training teams.”

Her ability to lead, ask questions and think strategically proved invaluable when she was tasked with developing the Sarbanes-Oxley certification process while working at Lyondell Chemical Company, a centralized company with operations in the United States, Europe and Asia. “It was an incredible opportunity to create a process to document and test internal controls that no one in the United States had ever done before,” Fulton said. During that time, she also gained experience in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting and polished her leadership and management skills by turning a dysfunctional group of individuals into a world-class department.

Fulton’s next career move took her in an entirely different direction. She joined AEI Services, LLC, a decentralized company that operated in the emerging markets of South America and Eastern Europe. When AEI leaders decided to sell the company three years later, Fulton used her generous severance package to take a six-month sabbatical to do some soul-searching about her life and career.  

A few months after being laid off, Fulton began tapping into her intuition as she sought her next career challenge. “I always had the faith that I’m good at what I do and it will take some time, but I will find the right place,” she said, adding that she realized that she never worked for a small company. Six months after being laid off, Fulton found a match in Hi-Crush, a small company that was looking for someone with extensive accounting, management and leadership experience.

Using life lessons to inform business decisions

Fulton’s wide range of professional and personal experiences ground her day-to-day approach to business matters. Take employees’ paychecks. “Compensation is really important and very personal. I’ve learned that there’s no decision you’re going to make in this area that won’t have at least five different views of how you should have made that decision,” she said. “To try to come to a cohesive decision is a lot tougher than you think. As an accountant, I think there’s a logical answer. But no, this is a person’s paycheck and there’s emotion involved. Sometimes, you have to remember all those factors when you think about how you’ll make a decision.”

A family matter led Fulton to develop an increased awareness of the importance of communication during stressful times. She recounted how her son – who was 6 at the time – thought Fulton’s one-week break between jobs meant she was unemployed and that the family would soon be homeless. “He was picking up on things that I didn’t realize. He was overhearing me talking to my husband about, ‘Should I do this? Should I do that?’ He was hearing me make the decision and I didn’t realize how much he was paying attention,” explained the Houston Business Journal’s 2013 CFO of the Year for Small Public Company and Community Impact.  

“That taught me to realize that you have to think through who is going to be impacted by the things you do and the decisions that you make. You have to put yourself in their shoes and try to think about how they are going to interpret this decision. They don’t come from the same background that I have; they don’t have the same experiences that I have. What is it that I need to tell them that will give them comfort in a time of change?”

This lesson has been driven home because of the recent downturn in the oil industry. As people lose their jobs, Fulton is more conscious of trying to communicate what is happening and how the company is trying to help employees make a difficult transition. She also considers important factors when making business decisions, such as the date when a layoff will be made since the timing can mean another month of health benefits for laid-off employees.

The downturn in the oil industry also forced Fulton to take on the role of the company’s “chief agitation officer” who asks colleagues to think about potential devastating scenarios. “You really can’t ever anticipate how bad things can get,” she said. “You always say, ‘I’m going to plan for the worst and hope for the best,’ but you almost have to be more Draconian than that. All you can really do is deal with the hand that you’ve got right then and there and try to be as proactive as possible.”


Categories: Uncategorized

Marketing Professor Leonard Berry’s research article “Managing the Clues in Cancer Care” was recently published by the Journal of Oncology Practice. The paper provides a framework recommended for cancer centers to implement in order to improve their services.

It was written in collaboration with Dr. Joseph O. Jacobson, chief quality officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Brad Stuart, chief executive officer of Advanced Care Innovation Strategies ( in Forestville, Calif., and chief medical officer of Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (

The article outlines the importance of managing certain clues that act as stimuli to patients, eliciting either positive or negative emotions. These clues – identified as functional, mechanic and humanic – involve the perceived technical quality of the service, tangible aspects of the facility itself and the ability of the employees to interact effectively with the patients, respectively. Managing these clues well can make a frightening and emotional service experience much more positive in the eyes of the patient.

Berry is a University Distinguished Professor of  Marketing at Mays Business School and a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass. He has been an influential voice in the marketing and healthcare industries for many years. His research at Mayo Clinic and other high-performing healthcare facilities have translated into 10 books and extensive research on healthcare services. As a marketing professor at Mays Business School, Berry founded the Center for Retailing Studies and earned many awards, including Distinguished Achievement Awards in both teaching and research and the Lifetime Achievement Award at Mays.

For the full paper, go


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