Lead Story

Center for Retailing Studies announces partnership with (R)Tech Center for Innovation

Andrew Vernon, March 19th, 2018

The Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) proudly announces its partnership with the (R)Tech Center for Innovation. Texas A&M becomes one of 10 inaugural affiliate universities to align with the (R)Tech Center, organized by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and create a retail-tech talent pipeline.

RILA is the trade association for America’s largest and most respected retailers, representing more than 200 members. The partnership between Texas A&M and RILA strengthens corporate relationships with current CRS partners like H-E-B and Dollar General, while connecting CRS with other top retailers such as Best Buy, The Home Depot, and Apple.

The (R)Tech Center for Innovation, launched by RILA in 2017, focuses on helping retailers navigate the industry’s transformation through research, innovative technologies, and creating a culture of innovation – exposing retailers to the technologies and innovations driving change in retail.

“For 35 years, Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has promoted retailing as an aspirational career choice. Our graduates possess the business acumen to drive sales at America’s largest companies. The partnership with RILA enhances our ability to train students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and build essential technical skills so they can become transformational leaders in retailing,” said Kelli Hollinger, director of the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M.

The (R)Tech Talent Pipeline will attract and expose young graduates with tech backgrounds to opportunities in the industry, helping shape a 21st-century retail workforce as retailers continue to innovate.

“We are excited to bring innovation to the forefront of retail and provide a test bed for new concepts, technologies, and user experiences. Supported by strong research in the area of design, augmented reality and consumer behavior, we expect this will lead to significant new insights into today’s consumer, and what retail of the future will hold,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Hillman was among the Outstanding Doctoral Alumni from Mays Business School in 2008.

Beginning this year, RILA and the (R)Tech Center for Innovation will address the need for recruiting employees with technical skills in three phases. Phase one will focus on four strategies that initiate the talent pipeline: hosting hackathons that expose students to retail challenges, facilitating a global case competition for creative student ideas, creating multi-use experimental stores with physical locations on select campuses, and launching an online certification specifically for mid-to-senior-level retail executives to educate them on innovative trends. Phases two and three will involve a program to recruit new talent into the industry and help retailers build tech skills in-house.

For more on this announcement, visit www.rila.org.

Starting Aug. 1, Dr. Robert Gates assumes the top position at Texas A&M University. The former CIA director takes over as university president upon the departure of Dr. Ray Bowen, who is stepping down after eight years of service.

This will be a return for Gates, as he served as interim dean of the Bush School of Government and Public service from 1999-2001. Prior to that post, the Kansas native spent 27 years with the CIA, serving six presidents, as well as nine years with the National Security Council.

Categories: Texas A&M

Curious as to how construction on the college’s new Cox Graduate Business Center is progressing? Well, now you can keep tabs on the new building right from your desktop.

A Web camera is tracking construction on the 66,000- square-feet (gross) expansion. The facility, named after Kay and Jerry ’72 Cox, is slated to open in fall 2003.

To check out the Web cam, visit http://wehner.tamu.edu/Cox-GBC/ or visit the Cox Business Center site for more photos and information.

Categories: Featured Stories, Uncategorized

Launching successful new technologies requires more than just having a bright idea and garnering financial support. Today, the secret to developing commercial applications lies in knowledge management and building networks, says management professor Albert Cannella.

Director of the college’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), Cannella recently addressed academics and industry practitioners at a technology innovation issues seminar, sponsored by Texas A&M’s Technology Licensing Office and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

“People with different kinds of knowledge have to get together and share it,” Cannella observed. “Knowledge creation and development occurs within people and virtually never in isolation. It is an inherently social process. The days of the lone inventor in his garage producing a world-changing product are largely in the past.”

Cannella sees Texas A&M as the perfect environment within which to initiate such network building, beginning with bringing together researchers from different colleges. Then, he says those relations must be expanded into the community to draw in those who want to turn basic research knowledge into particular applications.

“The more that people with different knowledge get together in interactions, the more likely it is that problems and solutions will come together,” Cannella said. “I see this networking as a bottom-up process. Get people involved, build success stories, and others will be drawn to the technology commercialization process.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Six faculty members have been awarded the designation of Mays Faculty Fellowship effective Sept. 1. These professors receive $15,000 for four years to support their research and supplement their summer salary. The fellowships are based on past research performance and potential for future research opportunities.

This year’s recipients include: Ramona Paetzold, management; Powell Robinson, information and operations management; Arun Sen, information and operations management; Mike Wilkins, accounting; Manjit Yadav, marketing; and Jing Zhou, management.

The college uses part of the general endowment given by Lowry Mays to fund a total of 15 fellowships at one time, says Dr. Ricky Griffin, executive associate dean. Last year, five fellowships were awarded. Next year, up to four more will be given.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Each year, the American Accounting Association (AAA) recognizes outstanding dissertations. Receiving the honor this year is Tanya Benford, an associate professor of accounting.

Benford was recipient of the 2002 AAA Information Systems Section Outstanding Dissertation, which is determined by academics that teach and/or conduct research in the field of accounting information systems.

Doctoral students could nominate their own dissertation or be nominated by a member of their dissertation committee. Benford was nominated by Professor James E. Hunton, the co-chair of her dissertation committee, at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

She will officially receive the award in August at the annual AAA meeting. Benford received her B.A. and M.B.A. from Indiana University and Ph.D. from the University of South Florida.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Texas’ top business leaders now have a chance to voice their opinions about the state of the economy.

Thanks to a partnership between the college’s Real Estate Center (REC) and Compass Bank, businesses are being surveyed about their thoughts for future economic conditions. The survey, called the Business Leaders Confidence Index (BLCI), targets organizations with at least $5 million in sales.

Execs answer questions about sales, profits, hiring, expenditures, interest rate expectations and the state/national economic outlook. Results of the survey are compiled on a quarterly basis.

According to Jim Leigh, an associate professor of marketing, the index provides information to business leaders in Texas, as well as provides good exposure for the college’s REC.

To access results of the survey, visit www.blcindex.com.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

The Department of Management recently honored 16 undergraduate scholarship recipients at a recent banquet. The students have an average grade point average of 3.8 and are very involved on campus and in the community.

This year’s recipients are pictured with academic advisor Kristi Mora (far left). They include (second from left): Chad Eckermann, Ryan Reynolds, Erin Pounders, Sarah Neely, Nathan Piwonka, Julia Belyavskaya, Cherisse Robinson, Carol Treece, Katrina Saugier, and David Russell. Not pictured are: Kelle Ammerman, Brandon Crisp, Derek Franks, Elizabeth Priolo, Heather Thornon and Ryan Tooley.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Students

In a shrinking universe, the world is your backyard, and the first rule of being a good neighbor is to get to know the neighborhood. And, through the Mays College’s Center for International Business Studies (CIBS) 38 MBA and master’s students will do just that this summer.

“Globalization is the current watchword,” said Julian E. Gaspar, director of the center. “The world is becoming increasingly integrated, and although globalization has always existed, it’s increasing at a faster pace. Trade and investment barriers are being brought down as more and more countries throughout the world embrace free trade and the free enterprise system.”

This movement opens tremendous opportunities yet poses incredible challenges for business, Gaspar added. That’s why it is imperative Mays students are exposed to the world business scene — in order to gain respect and adapt to different cultural, economic and political environments.

Making the world their classroom, the graduate students will study international business as part of one of four programs in Germany, France, and India. The four international experiences scheduled for this summer share a focus on educating American graduate students about the cultural, political and economic factors that make each country’s business environment different and about effective strategies for conducting operations in each setting.

“The Mays College encourages as many students as possible to participate in these opportunities to study abroad,” Gaspar said. “Employers today are looking for people who can work in diverse environments, and these overseas educational programs give students a chance to dip their feet in international waters.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs, Students

Marketing professor Bill Pride was recently honored for his dedication to teaching, as the Southwest Federation of Administrative Disciplines presented him the 2002 Outstanding Marketing Educator Award.

Pride, whose research interests include promotion, advertising and marketing education, has authored two introductory textbooks, “Principles of Marketing” and “Principles of Business.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Each year the college recognizes outstanding doctoral students for their contributions in and out of the classroom. Receiving the award for teaching this year include: Gia Chevis, accounting; Bongsug Chae, information and operations management; Todd DeWitt, management; and Eileen Wall, marketing.

Students recognized for their outstanding research contributions include: Andrew McClelland, accounting; Soo Min Toh, management; Julie Guidry, marketing; and Funda Sahin, information and operations management.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Students