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Mays professor Henry Musoma and student Ashton Robinson featured on “Ellen DeGeneres Show”

Kelli Levey Reynolds, September 21st, 2017

Ellen DeGeneres has joined the club – she is smitten with Emmett Robinson. The 10-month-old charmer is the son of single mother and Texas A&M junior Ashton Robison, who stirred a whirlwind of social media attention with her Facebook post two weeks ago. She thanked her professor at Mays Business School, Henry Musoma, for inviting her to bring Emmett to class when she didn’t have a babysitter.

The three of them were invited to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which aired Thursday (Sept. 21).

Musoma, a clinical assistant professor at Mays, teaches “Ethical Decision Making and Conduct” at Mays and “International Leadership” at the Bush School of Government and Public Service. He is also assistant director of the Mays Center for International Business Studies.

To recognize Musoma for his selfless service, Dean Eli Jones gave him the first Mays Business School Spirit Award on Sept. 14 after surprising Musoma in his classroom.

“One of the things that we pride ourselves on at Mays Business School is having a community that’s connected, a community that’s caring. That’s all part of our Strategic Plan,” Jones said. “But he’s not doing it for the Strategic Plan. He’s not doing it because of our culture, necessarily. He’s doing it because this is who he is.”

Mays Business School steps up to advance the world’s prosperity. Its mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,200 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.


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.

Mays students know that solving problems quickly and effectively is fundamental to success in today’s competitive marketplace. And, at the annual Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS) case competition, they put their abilities to the test.

The contest required students to solve an actual case that had been analyzed by ENFORM Technology. With only one week to develop a solution, the competing teams fine tuned their research and faced a stringent selection process judged by senior IT executives. Winners were selected from a pool of 25 undergraduate teams and five graduate teams. Each winning member received scholarships up to $400 and ExxonMobil gas cards.

The undergraduate team taking home top honors included senior information and operations management students Christine Lochte, Jennifer Boyer, Jenny Howard and Stephanie Lewis. Members of the winning graduate team were Jason Davis, Steve Schrib, Leslie Adkins and Matthew Edge.

“The case competition was a great learning experience for them and a wonderful way to expand job networking,” says CMIS Director Dr. George Fowler. “Our goal [at CMIS] is to enhance the education of students to give them great experience. I think this competition met all expectations.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs, Students

Sy Sternberg, chairman, president and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company spoke to Mays MBAs about the (some times) counterintuitive philosophy of the 156-year-old, Fortune 100 company he leads. He also discussed the events of September 11 and how New York Life responded that day. Sterberg shared his strategies in opening New York Life in international markets, as well as the importance of adhering to company values in every decision.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers

Some of the state’s best and brightest students got their first look at career opportunities during the college’s Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP). The weeklong camp, which was held in June, aimed to peak minority students’ interest in studying business, primarily at Texas A&M.

Funded by Ernst & Young, the first-year program was modeled after a nationwide program sponsored by the National Association of Black Accounts, which exposes African American students to career opportunities in accounting. While the Mays College’s version of the program also emphasized accounting, it also gave the 36 students a firsthand look at all aspects of business.

“The goal of the week was to teach the students certain business skills, primarily putting together a business plan,” says Dr. Thomas Lopez, assistant accounting professor and BCAP coordinator.

BCAP participants attended sessions on business management, writing business plans, presentation skills and using multimedia equipment, which were taught by college faculty members. And, to give them an example of how those tools translate to the business world, they took a daylong field trip to Ernst & Young in Houston and toured a client’s facilities, which just happened to be Enron Field.

“I think the students realized there are a lot of career opportunities in accounting and business,” says Lopez. “Some they hadn’t ever thought about.”

Many of the incoming high school seniors had not considered Texas A&M as a college choice prior to coming to campus, yet they left the program with a little taste of life as an Aggie, staying in residence halls with current Mays business students.

“Overall, I think the week went well and the students enjoyed themselves,” Lopez says. “I think it left them with a favorable impression of A&M and many of them told me they were planning to apply to A&M, which was one of the goals of the program.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs

The Mays MBA Program continues to rank among the best in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report‘s 2002 rankings. In the yearly rundown of the nation’s best schools, the program was named 45th among the 341 schools surveyed for the publication. For the first time ever, the college’s general management program was ranked by U.S. News, garnering the 25th spot among all schools in the category.

The rankings are based in part by information the Mays College provides the magazine, said Wendy Flynn, assistant director of the Mays MBA Program. Then, U.S. News & World Report surveys academics and recruiters to rate the schools.

“It’s nice to receive the recognition,” she said. “We are very excited to remain in the top 50 because it’s an important distinction. We are also very happy that the general management program appeared in the rankings for the first time ever.”

For more information on the rankings, visit U.S. News & World Report online.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs

“It seems that most people get into retail accidentally and that very few people plan to get into it,” said R. Bruce Bryant, senior vice president for Western Store Operations for Walgreen Co. during a recent visit to the Mays College.

While that may be true for some, students in the Mays College are preparing now for careers in the retailing field. And, through the Center for Retailing Studies’ (CRS) Executive-in-Residence Program, students have the opportunity to interact with business leaders, such as Bryant, who are shaping the retail industry.

During his guest session, Bryant recounted his experiences in the field, particularly the opportunities and challenges he’s witnessed during his 30-year career with Walgreen. Like many Mays students, Bryant was mesmerized by the industry and wanted to make it his career. “My dad had a wholesale grocery business that I worked at when I was in high school,” said Bryant, who serves on the CRS Advisory Board. “I loved it and went to college knowing that I wanted to go into retail.”

The interactive session also provided time for students to volunteer suggestions on how Bryant could help improve Walgreen’s retail efforts, ranging from offering more drive-through window services and removing clutter from storefronts.

For more than 15 years, the CRS has been bringing retailing executives to campus from numerous companies, including Payless ShoeSource, JCPenny, Hastings Entertainment, Zale Corporation, Pizza Hut, Walgreen and Mary Kay, among others.

To learn more, visit the Center for Retailing Studies online.

Categories: Departments, Programs

For the first time ever, the Mays MBA Program was named one of the top 100 MBA programs by the London Financial Times. The list, which includes schools from throughout the world, designated the program 67th overall and 16th among the 51 U.S. public institutions named to the list.

“We feel especially gratified that, in the first international ranking in which we were included, our fairly young program has held its own with the best of the best,” said Dan Robertson, director of the Mays MBA Program. “This is a unique ranking because unlike the BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, Gourman and Princeton reviews, the Financial Times ranking is international. It looks at programs, many of them long-lived, thought to be outstanding, not just in the United States, but throughout the entire world.”

To determine the rankings, the Financial Times conducts two surveys, including one of institutions offering graduate business degrees and the other of students who graduated from the programs three years ago. The surveys are designed to gauge career progression as accrued by earning an MBA, including salary, salary increments, and international mobility. The surveys also focus on institutional diversity and the quality of the schools’ research, looking at the number of journal publications by faculty members and doctoral graduates.

Because of the rankings are international, Robertson noted the Mays program will likely attract more interest from potential students around the globe. “As a result of our good showing in the Financial Times rankings, the Mays MBA Program will get more attention both from U.S. and international students,” he said. “We’re extremely gratified to be so well thought of among stiff worldwide competition.”

For more information about the Mays MBA Program, visit http://mba.tamu.edu.

Categories: Faculty, Programs

The Mays MBA Program has been ranked 14th in return on investment among regional business institutions, according to a recent poll released by Forbes magazine.

According to Mays MBA Program Director Dr. Dan Robertson, many rankings are narrow in scope and do not recognize value. “I delighted to see that the Forbes ranking focus on return on investment,” he says. “Since our program requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience, successful applicants are giving up income for two years in addition to the cost of graduate tuition and fees that they will pay. We encourage applicants to compare the value they receive from our program with the costs they will pay. Those who do so will find that the Mays MBA program provides one of the most attractive investments they will find available.”

To determine the monetary returns of an MBA degree, Forbes researchers sent out questionnaires to 20,000 MBA graduates from the class of 1996. The participants, who represented 104 U.S. and international schools, provided Forbes salary information for the year before they began their studies and for 1996 and 2000. Then Forbes compared the sum of five years’ pay with an estimation of the students’ median salary had they not received an MBA.

Mays MBA students who graduated in 1996 could expect to receive median salaries in 2000 of $81,000. This equals out to a five-year total gain of $53,000 more than they would have earned had they not sought an advanced business degree.

“In the Mays MBA Program we teach the importance of business organizations creating and sustaining value” Robertson says. “I am happy to point out that we practice what we teach.”

Categories: Faculty, Programs

In today’s tight economy, developing a personal competitive advantage has become more important than ever. At the 2001 Women’s Leadership Forum, sponsored by Graduate Women in Business, Mays graduate students learned how to develop the strategies necessary for successful careers.

“In today’s economic environment, it’s important to stay positive and look at the things that will help you become an effective leader,” said panelist Elizabeth Fratantuono, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Developing a network has become even more important today because that is often where you will find another job.”

Joining Fratantuono on the panel was Catherine Ghiglieri, president and CEO of rateGenius Inc.; Cynthia de Lorenzi, southwest regional director of The Concord Coalition; and Renee Armstrong, quality leader of GE Aero Energy Products.

Shell Oil Corp., Schubert Associates and PricewaterhouseCoopers supported this year’s event.

Categories: Programs, Students

Texas certified public accountants and attorneys were brought up to speed on the latest federal tax developments at the Department of Accounting’s 18th annual tax seminar.

Held in Rudder Tower on the Texas A&M campus, the two-day seminar covered The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, as well as other significant legislative, administrative and judicial developments.

The seminar began in 1984 to make area practitioners aware of the newly formed graduate tax program, as well as to provide more networking opportunities for graduate tax accounting students, says Shelton Tax Professor Dr. Dennis Lassila, who has overseen the event since 1993.

“Now the primary goal is to provide continuing education opportunities to area CPAs,” he explains. “Each year we focus on the latest developments in tax law and the important changes that have taken place over the past year.”

The various sessions were led by Mays faculty members as well as various taxation and accountancy experts from Big 5 and area firms. Attendees could receive up to 16 hours of Continuing Professional Education Credit for Texas CPAs for participating.

Lassila says funds generated from the seminar have been put toward several student scholarships. The scholarships are specifically designed to recognize deserving graduate students from the Department of Accounting’s Professional Program.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs

This month we bring you the remaining new faculty members who have joined the staff this fall.

S. Trevis Certo
Assistant Professor, Management

-B.A. in Economics, Rollins College, 1995
-M.B.A. in Management, University of Florida, 1997
-Ph.D. in Strategic Management, Indiana University, 2000

Don’t let Dr. Certo’s recent graduation date fool you. A former teaching assistant at the University of Florida, associate instructor and a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University, Dr. Certo has had ample experience inside the classroom. He joins the Mays College as an assistant professor and teaches business and corporate strategy.

Outside the classroom:
When he’s not pursuing his intellectual interests of initial public offerings and boards of directors, Dr. Certo can be found on the basketball court or spending time with his four-month-old son, Skylar.

Traci Haigood
Visiting Professor, Marketing

-B.S. in Marketing, Texas A&M University, 1992
-M.S. in Marketing, Texas A&M University, 1995
-Ph.D. in Marketing, Texas A&M University, 2001

With a diploma from Bryan High School and three from Texas A&M, there’s no doubt that Dr. Haigood is nothing short of a full-blooded Aggie. But, it is her proven industry experience that enhances the quality of her principles of marketing and consumer behavior classes. Formerly employed in Dallas as a marketing research analyst and a marketing consultant, Dr. Haigood researches advertising strategies and strategies relating to brand equity.

Outside the classroom:
After a long week of teaching marketing courses, Dr. Haigood unwinds by exercising or curling up with a good book. She also enjoys traveling, especially with her identical twin Staci.

Prabakar Kothandaraman
Assistant Professor, Marketing

-Degree in Chemical Engineering, BITS, PILANI (India)
-M.B.A. in Marketing, Xavier Institute of Management
-Ph.D. in Marketing, Penn State

With five years of experience in engineering software applications marketing and three years of teaching marketing at Xavier Institute of Management on his résumé, Dr. Kothandaraman has joined the Mays faculty to teach research for marketing decisions and business to business marketing.

On A&M:
“Texas A&M University is appealing because students don’t [automatically] accept what the professors say,” he explains. “They question everything, which makes a higher quality of education possible.”

Outside the classroom:
In his spare time, Dr. Kothandaraman enjoys listening to classical music and playing his violin. He has performed at Penn State to raise money for India’s cyclone relief fund.

M. Scott Poole
Professor, Information Systems Management

-B.A. in Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin, 1973
-M.S. in Communication, Michigan State, 1976
-Ph.D. in Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin, 1980

Dr. Poole can’t seem to get enough of Aggie students. After teaching speech communications classes for the past six years, he is now adding teaching groupware and collaborative technology to his teaching portfolio. Dr. Poole’s experience as a consultant for such entities as the Internal Revenue Service, Texaco and the Wisconsin and Minnesota state governments enables him to provide a richer understanding of communications and technology for his students.

Outside the classroom:
While Dr. Poole’s academic interests include organizational communication, group and team effectiveness, organizational innovation, and impacts of common technologies on people and organizations, his personal interests range from gardening, traveling (especially to Ireland) and coaching his son’s chess club at Rock Prairie Elementary School.
Sharda Prabakar
Lecturer, Marketing

– Degrees in Economics and Law, Delhi University (India)
-Master’s in Marketing, Penn State

Professor Prabakar knows what it’s like to stay busy. Teaching marketing research, studying legal issues in emerging electronic markets, and caring for her 11-month-old baby, her schedule is constantly full. Professor Prabakar has also published several articles focusing on her area of specialization and is married to Dr. Kothandaraman, who is also a new addition to the Mays faculty.

Outside the classroom:
When time allows, Professor Prabakar enjoys listening to music, dancing and playing tennis.

Art Smith
Senior Lecturer, Finance

-B.S. Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M
-M.S. Agricultural Economics, Texas Tech
-Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M

Dr. Smith’s ties to A&M started long before he landed his current position as a senior lecturer. A member of Texas A&M’s class of 1971, he served in Squadron 2 of the Corp of Cadets. Dr. Smith currently operates Agricultural Risk and Marketing Services and is a part-time member of the Mays faculty, teaching energy risk management.

Outside the classroom:
Although Dr. Smith may be a tried and true Aggie, his experiences range far beyond the College Station city limits. After graduating with his master’s degree from Texas Tech, Dr. Smith joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in El Salvador. Additionally, he has been employed with the Farmer’s Cooperative Service, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Wall Street Mercantile Exchange, Langham-Hill Petroleum and E.A. Trading Company.
Carol Wiggins
Lecturer, Information & Operations Management

-B.S. in Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1994
-M.S. in Management Information Systems, Texas A&M University, 2001

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 1994, Professor Wiggins put her technical knowledge into action, working as a systems engineer at Texas Instruments. She then joined the university’s math department as a systems analyst and later a Bryan-based company focusing on Web and database design. Since earning her master’s degree in May, Professor Wiggins has joined the college’s faculty as a lecturer of systems analysis and design.

On Teaching:
“What I like best about teaching at A&M is that it’s a totally new and different experience from anything I’ve ever done before,” she says. “I’ve always liked helping people learn how to do new things, so teaching is an ideal fit for me.”

Outside the Classroom:
In her spare time, Professor Wiggins enjoys quilting, cooking, and taking her four-month-old daughter, Catherine, on walks.

Categories: Departments, Faculty