Staff Contacts

 

Admissions Staff

 

Patti Cudney, Director, MBA Recruiting and Admissions

Patti and her team coordinate all aspects of the admissions process, including engaging with prospective students, making admissions decisions, and working with admitted students until they arrive on campus. You will interact extensively with Patti prior to coming to campus. However, you may only see her at events and in the office once you’re on campus since she will be recruiting the next cohort of students.

What is the best thing about your job?
I like the variety of people I get a chance to engage with. Through recruiting travel, I have visited 15 countries that I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
After earning an undergraduate degree in political science at the University of California, Berkley, I worked in public relations and government affairs consulting in San Francisco. I returned to school to earn an MBA in marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. I have spent the last 14 years working in MBA admissions, including at Southern Methodist University and Boston University.

What are you passionate about?
I love to dance. I took tap, ballet, and jazz as a kid and l always seem to be bobbing my head or tapping my toes to music (most of the time it’s just the music in my head).

What is your superpower in life?
Most of the space in my head is taken up by song lyrics, especially with songs from the late 70s through the 90s. I’m an excellent (annoying?) road trip or karaoke partner.

 

Katie Stober, Assistant Director of Admissions

Katie travels internationally to recruit students. She also responds to inquiries to Mays’ website and tries to encourage these candidates to complete an application. Katie also interviews candidates as part of the selection process. You’ll interact with Katie regularly as a candidate, but may only see her in the office or at special events once you’re a student at Mays.

What is your superpower in life?
Being the voice of common sense to tightly wound and anxious students, yet dismissing realism and possessing eternal optimism related to Aggie Football (“This is our year! We’re going all the way!”)

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
I served as Associate Director of Graduate Student Services at the Texas A&M Career Center from October 2012 to January 2018. I assisted Masters and Doctoral students in all majors (!!) in learning how to network, apply for jobs, interview to impress, and negotiate salary.

What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about helping students at times of transition in their life. During my time working at Texas A&M’s Career Center, it was exciting to help students transition from school to professional work. Now, as an admissions recruiter for our Full-Time MBA program, I’m doing the exact opposite: helping students transition from professional work back to being a full-time student.

What is something about you that few people know?
My first job in high school was as a clog-dance teacher. I also travelled to dance competitions as a competitive clog dancer. My mom probably still has the trophies somewhere.

 

Lessa Crawford, Admissions Coordinator

Lessa processes applications for Mays’ three MBA programs and other Master’s programs. She also works closely with Texas A&M’s International Student Services office in relation to recruitment. Lessa and the other members of the recruiting and admissions staff will serve as your main point of contact during the admissions process. Once you’re on campus, you will only see Lessa and her colleagues at special events and in the office since they will spend most of their time actively recruiting the next class of Full-Time MBA students.

What is your superpower in life?
My superpower is my desire to connect with others. I love getting to know others and understanding who they are on a deeper level.

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
I worked at Texas A&M’s Office of Graduate and Professional Studies before moving to upstate New York. I moved back to the Bryan-College Station area in August 2016 and joined Mays in September 2016.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
I am a professional photographer when I’m not working for Mays. When I’m not photographing weddings or taking family portraits, I photograph animals that need to be adopted.

What is something about you that few people know?
I love to write fictional stories. Eventually I’ll have at least one book published.

 

Joanne Byrne, Program Coordinator

Joanne advises Full-Time MBA students on financial aid options, which include scholarships, fellowships, and student loans. You’ll interact with Joanne as you go through the admissions process for our Full-Time MBA program. Once you’re on campus, you may still see her in the office or at special events.

What are you passionate about?
I love to encourage people to achieve their goals. The best thing about my job is that moment when students realize they can achieve their dreams with help from financial aid.

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
I worked in the banking industry for over 19 years. I then joined Texas A&M’s Scholarship and Financial Aid Department, where I worked for nine years before joining Mays.

What is your superpower in life?
I am always looking for the positive!

What do you love to do in your spare time?
I love to entertain! Spending quality time with family and friends is very important to me.

What is something about you that few people know?
My husband and I proudly raised two former students – Class of 2014 and Class of 2017.

 

Full-Time MBA Program Staff

 

Shannon Deere, Director of the Full-Time MBA Program

Shannon is responsible for the Full-Time MBA’s strategic vision, curriculum and program. She also teaches several Mays courses, including energy finance and accounting, and mentors students. You will interact regularly with Shannon throughout your graduate program.

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about students learning so they can make an impact and solve the world’s big problems. I strive to give students practical tools they can use immediately at work, whether that is technical finance or leadership skills.

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
I worked in public accounting, auditing upstream oil and gas companies. It was a fantastic experience where I saw the big picture of business and learned the value of hard work. I started when the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation first came out. A big part of my job was working with process managers to understand all of the processes in the business.

What is your superpower in life?
My superpower in life is my energy level. I move fast, I talk fast, and I can’t sit still. The shadow side of that superpower is that I have the attention span of a four-year-old.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
My husband and I rock climb once a week so you will often see us at A&M’s Rec Center. We also recently learned how to play the ukulele! On Saturdays in the fall we attend Aggie football home games or watch away games on TV. We are such big fans that we got married on Kyle Field!

 

Sarah Jaks, Assistant Director of the Full-Time MBA Program

Sarah serves as the academic advisor for every Full-Time MBA student. She will follow your academic progress and work with you to make sure you’re on track to completing your degree. In addition, she plans programs that will enhance your personal growth and development in areas such as leadership and team dynamics.

What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about lifelong education, personal growth, and development. I believe that everyone can continue to learn and grow; you just have to find something that interests you!

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
I worked with adult, graduate, and off-campus students in Texas A&M University’s Department for Student Life for eight years. In that role, I also coordinated prevention education on topics such as power-based personal violence.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
I have limited spare time since I’m pursuing a Ph.D. in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications from Texas A&M. When I do have time, I enjoy spending it with family at our home in Shiner where our beagles have free reign.

What is something about you that few people know?
Few people know that I’m a sixth-generation Texan.

What is your superpower in life?
My superpower in life is my ability to make room for dessert, especially cupcakes.

 

Mays Career Management Center Staff

 

Mitch Lederman, Senior Associate Director

Mitch is responsible for Mays Career Management Center’s coaching programs, which work with students from the three MBA programs and eight Specialty Masters programs. These coaching programs are designed to guide students so they learn to become the CEOs of their careers and personal lives. As a student, you’ll interact regularly with Mitch and also seek his assistance after you graduate.

What is your superpower in life?
Taking a small smoldering ember and turning it into a raging inferno (in the career management realm).

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
My career experiences have spanned corporate to entrepreneurial environments, large and small companies, established to start-up businesses, as well as institutions of higher education. I have worked in engineering, project management, finance, treasury, executive search, and leadership and operational roles.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
I enjoy hanging out with my wife, working out in the gym, managing my investment portfolio, antiquing, and gardening and landscaping.

What is something about you that few people know?
I’m radioactive from having spent time at Three Mile Island shortly after its nuclear meltdown (just kidding about the radioactive part).

 

Sarah Bugh, Associate Director

Sarah serves as a career advisor to students in Mays’ MBA and Specialty Master’s programs. She provides personalized career coaching in career exploration, career/internship search strategies, professional communication, and interviewing. You’ll work with Sarah throughout your MBA program and can seek her assistance after graduation.

What is your superpower in life?
The idea of GRIT, as discussed by Angela Lee Duckworth in her TED Talk, “Grit: The power of passion and perseverance,” resonates with me. My superpower is to work hard in the face of difficulty or adversity and to rise stronger from a moment of failure in order to achieve and even surpass initially set goals.

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
After earning a master’s degree in Labor and Human Resources from The Ohio State University, I worked as an HR advisor and site recruiting coordinator for a large energy company. I then moved into an employer development role with Texas A&M’s Career Center before spending three years at The University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, where I advised full-time MBA students. I returned to Mays in May 2016 to work with our graduate students.

What are you passionate about?
I love coaching and mentoring others. Prior to serving as a career coach, I enjoyed playing and coaching soccer.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, quilting/crocheting, CrossFit, and running (trail/road).

What is something about you that few people know?
I served as a White House intern in 2003.

 

Desiree Williams, Associate Director of Employer Relations and Campus Recruiting

Des works closely with employers who are interested in recruiting Mays MBA and MS students. She also strives to build relationships with new employers by informing them about Mays various graduate programs and how our students can be a great fit for their company and recruiting needs. You will interact with her as a student when you work with Mays Career Management Center.

What is the best thing about your job?
I enjoy knowing that I have a direct impact on changing the trajectory of a person’s professional life. This impacts not only them as an individual, but their entire family as well.

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
I initially had a very successful professional career in technology working across a variety of industries. I then joined Texas A&M’s Career Center, where I held a similar position to what I do now with Mays Career Management Center.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
I spent most of my spare time keeping up with my husband and two boys. I’m active with the Boy Scouts as an adult leader and volunteer at the Aggieland Animal Shelter and Brazos Valley Food Bank. My husband and I compete in triathlons, scuba dive, and enjoy most outdoor activities.

 

Patti Urbina, Associate Director for Employer Development

Patti strives to expand Mays’ pool of potential employers while also maintaining long-standing relationships with employers who hire Mays graduates. In her role, she meets with employers and attends networking events and employer events. You may see Patti in the Career Center or at networking events.

What is your superpower in life?
Making connections and striving to make an impact. I enjoy talking to people and determining: Who else do they need to know? What can they do together? Where do their interests intersect?

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
My entire career has been spent at Texas A&M. I have had the great fortune of working at the department, college, university, and system level. I directed the support for Texas A&M’s branch campus in the Middle East and provided support to research and technology consortia in petroleum engineering and advanced telecommunications. I also conducted HR training and studied Human Resource Development at the PhD level.

What are you passionate about?
Using humor in teaching, learning, and supporting others.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
Travel! Madrid, Seattle, Tucson, and northern California are our most frequent stops. I work part-time and in addition to traveling, I enjoy practicing yoga, swimming, watching soccer with my husband (Ala, Madrid!), and visiting our children and grandchildren.

What is something about you that few people know?
Twice I have had a bull charge at me.

 

Sandy Raymond, Administrative Coordinator

Sandy is the administrative coordinator and office manager for Mays Career Management Center. She works closely with graduate students, Career Management Center staff, and corporate recruiting staff to schedule appointments and interviews (including in-person, video and phone interviews). Sandy also assists with planning events for the Full-Time MBA program. You’ll regularly interact with Sandy while you’re a student at Mays and may work with her once you graduate.

What is your superpower in life?
My family and faith are my superpowers. My family members have always taken great pride in all of my accomplishments throughout life. I have worked in different industries and held many different positions so I’ve obtained a lot of knowledge during 40 years of employment.

What did you do prior to joining Mays?
I initially worked as an office manager for manufacturing and insurance companies. I then spent five years working in The Texas A&M University System Human Resources department and Office of the Treasurer before joining Mays Career Management Center in May 2016.

What are you passionate about?
I have been married to my high school sweetheart for more than 40 years. We raised two children who are now responsible adults (and have children of their own). I now am caring for our elderly parents.

What do you love to do in your spare time?
I love camping, hiking, golfing, gardening and spending time with my family.