March, 2005 | Mays Impacts

Undergraduate students in the three-year-old Texas A&M University chapter of Students in Free Enterprise launched a new ethics-based program, bringing 72 fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students to campus in February to become an “Aggie for a Day” and learn about A&M’s core values.

Whooping and leading yells for one another, the Bryan-College Station elementary students could also drill each other on the Aggie Code of Honor after they learned from Aggie football players and Corps of Cadets members how to apply ethical behavior to their daily lives.

The 31 members of the Mays Business School student-founded A&M chapter of SIFE, one of the largest student organizations in the world, started the project as part of their mission to educate different age groups in the community about business ethics. The Aggie team also works with fourth-graders at Bryan’s Bonham Elementary to develop business plans for a school-supply store they helped the young students create, and teaches the principles of global economics through “Penci-Cola,” an interactive program for second-graders sponsored by Coca Cola.

The mostly business undergraduates who compose SIFE outline how they seek to make an impact on their community before a panel of local, then national, CEO and entrepreneur judges in annual SIFE competitions. As part of the process, Mays adviser Cindy Billington said, students have the chance to breathe life into what they’ve learned at Mays, defining a need and finding a way to help fill it.

“We are watching them practice what we teach,” said Billington, an assistant director of Graduate Business Career Services. “We’re instilling principles at a very young age to where they don’t know any different, they’ll just do it automatically in the business world.”

Categories: Faculty, Programs, Students

Peggy Cunningham, a 1992 Mays marketing PhD graduate, has been named the Ontario regional winner of PriceWaterhouseCoopers-Canada’s 2004 Leader in Management Education awards.

Cunningham is an associate professor of marketing at the School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where’s she been on the faculty since 1989. She specializes in marketing strategy and marketing ethics, and was instrumental in offering the first of such courses at Queen’s in the early 1990s. She is the founding director of the new Queen’s Accelerated MBA for Business Graduates program, taking the program from concept to launch.

Four regional awards are given out by PriceWaterhouse Coopers andCanadian Business magazine to honor faculty who are exceptional classroom teachers and who have also helped improve the practice of management in Canadian organizations.

Cunningham, author of two best-selling textbooks in marketing and marketing management, has such clients as General Motors and the Credit Union Institute of Canada to her credit.

Categories: Former Students

The 7th annual career fair, hosted by the Center for Retailing Studies, connected companies to a population of retail-minded students who have a demonstrated commitment to retailing through marketing and management classes and an affiliation with the Center’s retailing certificate and enhancement programs.Hundreds of retail-minded students passed resumes to representatives of 25 companies at the Retailing Career Fair in early February.

Companies including Wal-Mart, Neiman Marcus, Foley’s and JCPenney Company Inc. converged on Wehner’s first floor for the six-hour event. An on-the-spot relationship developed between students pursuing retailing and companies hoping to find employees and interns enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their businesses.

“This is the only career fair we come to for interns,” said Christy Lermer, a Crate & Barrel regional trainer. “I’m interested in people that have a passion for products and service, and that’s what students get here. That’s one of the reasons we feel great about hiring Aggie interns.”

Categories: Centers, Students

Telling students in February that only 25 percent of her job is buying, Bronstein outlined the aspects of the retailing industry that buyers oversee, from creating a business plan to developing a relationship with vendors to working with stores on merchandise presentation.Foley’s buyer Pat Bronstein gave students in Center for Retailing Studies Associate Director Cheryl Holland Bridges ‘ marketing class a sneak peak at her life balancing sales figures and keeping an eye on the latest juniors fashions.

It was Bronstein’s third semester to guest-lecture at Mays. She has 30 years of experience in buying and managing sales and is sought-after as one of the best buyers in the company to train and develop new retailing leaders. During the talk, Foley’s recruiter Jacob Rodriguez also presented the Center for Retailing Studies with a $13,000 sponsor check to help the center continue its programs in retailing education.

Bronstein also gave the more than 50 students gathered a glimpse at some items in Foley’s spring lineup for juniors. Laughing at the mixed reaction to her personal pick for a spring juniors edge-of-fashion seller — the knee-length Bermuda short — Bronstein said that with her years of experience in buying, she was afraid of not following her instincts.

“As a buyer, you have to follow your senses,” she said. “If you’re always going to be safe, then it’s never going to be anything fun. You just have to put the risk out there and test the waters.”

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Programs

Distinguished Professor of Marketing Len Berry found his research on another distinguished list at The Sloan Management Review: That of top-seller with two articles on which he was lead author ranking in the top ten best-selling reprints in the corporate market during fall 2004.

The quarterly review is published by MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Berry is the only author to appear twice on the “Top 10 Best Sellers” list in the corporate market.

Ranked No. 1 is “Listening to the Customer — The Concept of a Service-Quality Information System,” co-authored with former Mays colleague A. Parasuraman. Coming in at No. 8 is “Managing the Total Customer Experience,” co-authored with Lewis P. Carbone and Stephen H. Haeckel.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

Marketing Professor Venkatesh Shankar and co-author Ruth N. Bolton of Arizona State University were recognized during the American Marketing Association’s Winter Marketing Educators’ Conference in February.

Their paper, “An Empirically Derived Taxonomy of Retailer Pricing and Promotion Strategies,” won an honorable mention in the Journal of Retailing‘s William Davidson Best Paper Award competition. The Davidson awards — first prize and honorable mentions — are given annually to authors of leading retail-marketing articles published in the Journal. Awards are given two years after a paper’s original publication to allow for evaluation of the research’s effect on the field.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

Mario Gonzalez, a Bryan native who graduated from Mays Business School’s land economics and real estate master’s program in 1999, was honored in January as one of San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” rising stars.

That distinction puts the 32-year-old vice president of development at San Antonio-based real estate developer Koontz McCombs in the Business Journal‘s 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame. The newspaper’s goal is to honor young businessmen and community leaders who are making a difference in their industries, in San Antonio and in the business world.

Gonzalez was nominated by his CEO at Koontz McCombs after five years of work that helped take the company into multifamily housing development. His projects have boosted the firm’s image and its ability to become involved in other projects.

“It just means to me that it works to use my very simple formula: To try hard and believe in what you do,” Gonzalez says. “I hope to continue to grow as quickly as I have already done.”

Categories: Former Students

D. Bruce Edwards, a 1991 Mays accounting graduate, became Texas A&M associate vice president for finance in February.

Edwards, who was director of operations finance at Delta Airlines in Atlanta, took over the position vacated by Thomas Taylor on Jan. 31. Edwards now oversees the budgets under senior vice president and chief financial officer K. Sue Redman.

“We are very excited to have attracted a person of Mr. Edwards caliber to this position. He will bring a corporate perspective to the Division of Finance operations,” Redman said in making the announcement.

Edwards holds a BBA from Mays and an MBA with a finance concentration from the University of Texas.

Categories: Former Students, Texas A&M

Pamela M. and Barent W. Cater ’77, of Kemah, have committed $300,000 to endow a faculty fellowship at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. This gift, which creates the Pamela M. and Barent W. Cater ’77 Faculty Fellowship, will support the teaching, research, service and professional development activities of a Mays Business School faculty member.

“The Caters’ outstanding gift will help us attract and retain the rising stars of business faculty,” Dean Jerry Strawser said.

In addition to his undergraduate degree in economics from Texas A&M, Barry has an MBA from Mays Business School and is a retired managing partner of Accenture. Pam is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, and their son Colin currently attends the University of Texas.

“Pam and I feel fortunate to be able to support this great university which has meant so much to our family,” Barent Cater said.

Categories: Departments, Donors Corner, Former Students

Mays Business School’s MBA program at Texas A&M University has again been ranked among the top 100 global MBA programs by the London Financial Times, coming in at No. 22 among U.S. public universities.

Financial Times considers key components in rankings, including “value for money,” in which the Mays MBA program was ranked No. 1 among U.S. public institutions and No. 3 in the United States.

In another ranking determinant important to those seeking a valuable place to earn an MBA, Mays was ranked second in the country and fifth in the world based on the percentage of the graduating class of 2004 who had jobs three months after graduation.

Since 2001, Mays’ program has consistently rated high on the Financial Times rankings of the 2,600 MBA programs worldwide, indicating that Mays is among the top 5 percent of programs in the world.

“The program is clearly gaining a reputation for taking business education to a more advanced level,” said MBA program director Carroll Scherer. “We’re preparing students to create and sustain value in today’s business environment.”

In the January 2005 Financial Times rankings, the Mays MBA program was also ranked No. 88 overall in the world and No. 54 among all U.S. programs.

Categories: Faculty, Programs