March, 2004 | Mays Impacts

Finance student Matt Soileau was one of three members of Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets to receive a Doherty Award during the university’s graduation and commissioning ceremonies in December.

Doherty Awards are given to the most outstanding cadets to be commissioned through each of Texas A&M’s ROTC programs: Army, Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps.

Soileau served as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Cadets and was commissioned into the U.S. Army. The two other Doherty Award recipients were 2nd Lt. Matt Henley of San Antonio, Texas, and 2nd Lt. Dustin Hammit of Georgetown, Texas. Henley, a civil engineering graduate, was commissioned into the Air Force, and Hammit, a history graduate, was commissioned into the Marine Corps.

Categories: Departments, Students

Texas A&M’s chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) hosted “The Duel in Aggieland,” a regional financial case competition Jan. 15-17.

At the competition, teams developed a realistic solution to financial problems faced by an immigrant family in the United States. Student teams represented five universities, including Northeastern State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas State University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Pan American.

Teams from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University won first and second place, respectively. The two teams will advance to the national competition, “The Duel in the Desert,” held at the University of Arizona March 4-6, 2004.

Texas A&M’s team, which received a bye for hosting the regional competition, will also advance to the national competition. In its first year (2002-2003), the team was named Rookie of the Year at the national competition.

One of the highlights of “The Duel in Aggieland” was a banquet with keynote speaker Red Cashion, a 1953 Texas A&M graduate best known for his NFL officiating career. Cashion is chairman emeritus of ANCO Insurance Managers and chairman of the Student Loan Fund for The Association of Former Students.

SIFE has active chapters on more than 1,500 colleges and university campuses in 37 countries, enabling students to apply their classroom experiences to develop and implement educational outreach programs that teach the principles of market economies, entrepreneurship, personal financial success and business ethics.

Categories: Former Students, Students

Mays students review published research by Mays faculty during a recent reception in the Cocanougher Special Events Center. During 2003, Mays faculty published more than 40 articles and 12 textbooks.

Categories: Centers, Faculty

“Take out a piece of paper and write the word ‘problem’ on it,” Joyce Durst told MBA students crowded around the tables in Mays’ Cocanougher Special Events Center. “As I go through these slides, tell me what problems you see.”

Durst recounted the story of Infraworks, a firm that develops, markets and sells digital file security systems. She explained the start-up company’s strategy was much like that of others in the late 1990s. Venture capitalists couldn’t throw enough money at Infraworks, although the firm’s product and pricing strategies weren’t efficient or effective, Durst explained.

When Durst took over as president and chief executive officer in 2001, the firm was on the verge of bankruptcy. She drew upon her 18 years of software experience from BMC Software and IBM to turn the company around.

Through her experience at Infraworks, Durst said she learned how to ask the tough questions. She encouraged Mays students to do the same.

“As you look at the companies you want to work for, whether big or small, you need to ask the due-diligence questions,” said Durst, who graduated from Texas A&M in 1984 with a BS in computer science. “Make sure you talk to people that work at the company and ask about the management team, corporate culture and financials.”

And in the current era of mismanagement, Durst advised the students to seek companies that value integrity because “life’s too short to work for people you don’t respect.”

Categories: Former Students, Programs

The Center for the Management of Information Systems’ (CMIS) fifth annual Women in Information Technology centered on helping students build their careers. The event drew students from Texas A&M as well as Prairie View A&M, Texas A&M International and Corpus Christi.

The half-day conference gave students multiple opportunities to interact with women in the IT profession through both round-table discussions and an interactive panel.

The panel was facilitated by Gwendolyn Wright-Morris, a senior programmer analyst with FedEx and featured Pam Crawford, manager of strategy and optimization at ConocoPhillips; Elaine Gordon, director of software testing at Dell; Julie Yancey, director of recruiting and training at FedEx; and Andrea Jacaman, director of TXU’s retail customer systems program.

Panelists discussed what they believe are essential components of “Career Building,” which was this year’s theme.

“I cannot say strongly enough that everything in life is about continuing education,” said Crawford. “Whether it’s an advanced degree or on the job, don’t ignore chances to grow.”

Categories: Centers, Executive Speakers, Students, Texas A&M

Mays junior Michael Duckworth has been awarded a spring 2004 Freeman-ASIA Scholarship. The prestigious national award provides $5,000 for undergraduate students to study in East and Southeast Asia.

Awardees are then expected to share their experiences with their home campus to encourage study abroad by others and to spread understanding of Asia in their home communities. Through his Freeman-ASIA Scholarship, Duckworth is participating in the Soonchunhyang University program in South Korea.

“The Soonchunhyang University program seemed to be the perfect opportunity to get my foot in the door while at the same time getting a better grasp of how the world operates separate from the United Sates,” said Duckworth, who is earning a certificate in international business at Mays. “One of the more important concepts I hope to gain from this international experience is how other nations view Americans and the way they deal with business.”

John Borcherding, a December 2003 Mays graduate from Dallas, participated in the spring 2003 Soonchunhyang program. As a result, Borcherding is now living in Korea and working for Signium International under a three-year contract.

Categories: Students

Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) presented its first Retailing Educator of the Year award at the National Retailing Federation’s 93rd Annual Convention in January. The award, which marks the first of its kind on a national level, is a partnership between CRS, JCPenney Company and the National Retailing Federation.

David M. Syzmanski, center director and the JCPenney Chair of Retailing Studies, says the award was established to recognize retailing faculty for their dedication.

“The idea was to provide a forum for recognizing the hard-working faculty who continually work toward educating tomorrow’s retailing leaders,” says Syzmanski, a professor of marketing. “These are people who provide the factual foundation, as well as instill the necessary enthusiasm for retailing to thrive and students to thrive within a retail setting.”

The inaugural Retailing Educator of the Year award was presented to Dr. Brenda Sternquist, a professor of merchandising management at Michigan State University.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty

Mays doctoral graduates Dr. Kathleen Seiders ’95 and Dr. Glenn Voss ’94 have been selected to co-chair the 2005 American Marketing Association Winter Marketing Educators’ Conference.

The conference, “Understanding Diverse and Emerging Markets, Technologies, and Strategies,” will be held in San Antonio in February 2005. It will focus on the ways in which sophisticated marketing technologies allow marketers to better understand buyer behavior, and in turn, reach diverse segments more efficiently.

Seiders is an associate professor of marketing at Boston College. Her research has been published in the Journal of Marketing, Organizational Dynamics and the Journal of Retailing, among others.

Voss is an associate professor of management at North Carolina State University. His research has been published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Research and Journal of Retailing, among numerous others.

Categories: Former Students

Former students Al (Lynn) Merritt ’64 and Jerry Brown ’59 spent a day meeting one on one with Mays graduate students as part of Graduate Business Career Services’ Executive in Residence Program. The program brings retired corporate executives to campus to give MS and MBA students real-world advice and guidance based on their decades of experience as senior-level decision makers.

Merritt and Brown spent the day in one-hour, individual sessions discussing with students their career goals, providing practical advice and assisting with job and internship searches.

Merritt, who earned his both his BBA and MBA from Mays, was a former marketing, sales and management executive with Ford Motor Co. Brown earned a BS in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M and served as former group vice president-USA for Amoco. Merritt and Brown will be back on campus in March to visit with students, joining them will be Joe Ernst, a retired HEB marketing executive and retired U.S. Army General.

Categories: Centers, Executive Speakers, Former Students, Programs

Funding was recently completed for the $500,000 Ljungdahl/PricewaterhouseCoopers Chair in Accounting, named in honor of former Mays faculty member Dr. Philip Ljungdahl, who died in an automobile accident in 1989. The endowment supports excellence in teaching and quality research in accounting.

Ljungdahl, who joined Mays in 1970, taught more than 10 different accounting courses and served as chair for more than 30 master’s and doctoral students during his tenure at Texas A&M. He received a Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from The Association of Former Students, the Outstanding Teacher Award from Mays Business School and the Student Council Award for Distinguished Faculty-Student Relations.

“We have consistently faced a very competitive market for qualified accounting educators,” says Department of Accounting Head Jim Benjamin. “This significant endowment will increase our ability to attract and retain outstanding faculty — those with similar interests in teaching, scholarship and mentoring students as Phil Ljungdahl.”

Long-time Mays supporters F.R. Bennett ’27 and the partners and staff of PricewaterhouseCoopers funded the endowment. Bennett, who owned an insurance business in Dallas until he retired in 1970, created eight scholarships and four chairs at Mays before he passed away in 2002.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has previously endowed several scholarships, a graduate fellowship, a faculty fellowship and two professorships in the accounting department, with a combined current value of exceeding $2 million. The firm is also currently funding an accounting excellence endowment as part of Texas A&M’s One Spirit, One Vision campaign.

Categories: Departments, Donors Corner, Faculty