Eight teams of future information technology professionals, all students at Mays, are winners in the annual Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS) Case Competition.

Students had a week to prepare a proposal for a brand-name international manufacturer and marketer. Their task? To demonstrate the ability and know-how needed to provide installation, configuration and support services for the global identity and access management system for the vendor. Information technology industry experts who form the board of advisors for CMIS judged teams on their originality, creativity and the feasibility of their ideas.

Members of winning teams received scholarships and ExxonMobil gas cards. First-place took away $300 each in scholarships and $100 in free gas; second scored $200 scholarships and $75 scholarships; and third and fourth place winners earned $100 and $50 scholarships and $50 and $25 gas cards, respectively.

Winners are:


  • 1st-place team of: Richard Ewers, Erik Hausmann and Heather Simpson
  • 2nd place: Emily Davis, John Quanrantello and Josh Rizzo
  • 3rd place: Amy Allen, Eric Bookbinder and Elizabeth Gillespie
  • 4th place: Brennan Bice, Chris Haycraft and Chris Trotter


  • 1st place: Subrata Chakrabarty, Jill Rosenberry and Jane Wang
  • 2nd place: Brijesh Patil, Nimish Sheth and Preetam Shetty
  • 3rd place: Srivatsan Parthasarathy, Bhavani Radhakrishnan and Madan Sundaresan
  • 4th place: Sundar Krishnamoorthy, Seepika Gupt and Raja Srinivasan

The 2005 competition, held Oct. 27, was sponsored by Anadarko, ExxonMobil, EDS, Dell and SAS, all corporate members of the CMIS Advisory Board. It’s the 11th annual event.

Categories: Centers, Students

At the International Association of Business Communicator’s 17-state Southern Region Conference in College Station, only four people from the Texas A&M University System were honored with the esteemed Silver Quill award. Two of them represent the best at Mays.

Real Estate Center Graphic Designers Robert Beals II and J.P. Beato III won an Award of Merit for designing the center’s quarterly journal, Tierra Grande. Beato also won for his design of the center’s 2003-2004 annual report and 2005 calendar.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Programs

Leave it to an Aggie business student to save a U.S. government agency nearly $2 million on a single summer project. Senior finance major Jennifer Campbell spent a summer 2005 internship with the Department of Commerce — and in only one of many high-level assignments, she saved the department more than $1.8 million with a reconciliation of staff counts submitted by the State Department under the Capital Security Cost Sharing Program.

In the cost-sharing program, State determines how much to charge other government agencies for the use of U.S. diplomatic facilities in foreign countries. Campbell found 17 international cities were there were major discrepancies in State’s count of total Commerce employees in those embassies. After weeks of correspondence with overseas posts, she verified that 61 positions were incorrectly charged to Commerce. That resulted in a cost savings of $1.83 million ($30,000 per position per year).

Categories: Students

Center for Executive Development Administrative Assistant and Program Coordinator Pam Curry is a 2005 recipient of the President’s Meritorious Service Award. That makes her the first Mays employee in five years to win the honor, which recognizes the university’s top employees and their dedication to work and the people around them.

Since a move from the Undergraduate Program Office in April, Curry has handled the center’s billing, accounting and office tasks as well as programming for law enforcement training and U.S. Army MWR (morale, welfare and recreation) development programs.

In another win for Mays, Wehner Custodial Staff Crew K was named the team recipient of the President’s Meritorious Service Award. During a breakfast in the crew’s honor, Dean Jerry Strawser thanked the team for their commitment to the Wehner Building’s constant upkeep. “Everyone who comes into this building tells me how professional it looks, how taken care of,” Strawser said. “Thank you for your dedication.”

Categories: Centers, Faculty

Information and Operations Management Professor M. Scott Poole, also a professor of communication, was named a Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association in recognition of a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication.

Honorees must have had at least 20 years of scholarly contributions since earning their PhD. Poole is the second A&M professor to earn the distinction. Only 11 scholars have been named since 1992.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Best known for his research on master teaching, Marketing Professor Jeffrey Conant was one of four finalists to compete in the 2005 Society for Marketing Advances Sherwin-Williams Distinguished Teacher Competition at the recent SMA annual conference. Conant lectured to a standing-room only crowd on the crafting of a master teacher.

Two pieces by Conant and fellow teaching-investigators Denise Smart and Craig Kelley were also among the three most-cited Journal of Marketing Education articles, according to Sage Publications. The trio’s December 1999 and April 2003 articles on marketing education for the year 2000 and the new millennium were No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, on the list.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

Biomedical engineering PhD student Saurabh Biswas won $10,000 to help further the commercialization of a colon cancer early-warning technology, taking 1st place in the Idea to Product (or “I2P”) International Competition in early November. Student teams from leading universities in three continents — including top idea-generating students from Stanford, Penn State and Purdue — competed for $25,000 in prizes in the competition, held in Austin on the University of Texas campus.

Past entries in the I2P International have stepped up university patenting efforts, led university technologies to be licensed, and even spawned new companies.

Biswas first championed the colorectal cancer early-detection technique, based on technology from the Texas A&M University System Technology Licensing Office, during the Ideas Challenge organized this spring by Mays’ Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE). He took second place at that event in May, winning $2,000. And with CNVE’s sponsorship and continued guidance, he advanced the technology’s commercialization appeal in Austin.

The technique — with patents pending in the U.S. and Europe — has the potential to identify the altered genes associated with colorectal cancer a decade before cancer strikes.

Biswas’ first-place win at I2P earned him the first-ever A&M spot in UT’s global MOOT CORP Competition, a world-renowned business plan competition in which aspiring entrepreneurs solicit start-up funds from experienced investors. Competitors from schools around the globe come to UT each May to present their business plans to panels of investors. CNVE will help Biswas team up with Mays MBA students, who can address the key business issues in the idea for MOOT CORP.

The student’s success takes the entry from the Ideas Challenge — held every spring and open to any student on the A&M campus — to one of the highest levels in seeking new funding opportunities for a commercially viable technology.

“Saurabh is an outstanding student, a business-savvy researcher and a great presenter,” CNVE Director Richard Scruggs said. “We are happy to have sponsored him and are looking forward to helping him with the MOOT CORP competition.”

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Students

“We vacuum salesmen are rarely welcomed so warmly, “David Oreck says, smiling in response to the loud “Howdy!” that filled the room he shared with expectant MBA students in October.

Oreck is the face of a personalized selling philosophy that has made his lightweight vacuum a household name since 1963. That he still calls himself a simple salesman is evidence of his strategy in business and in life.

You’ve seen him on commercials and late-night TV infomercials, bright red bowling ball suspended above his head and held aloft only by the suction power of his 8-pound Oreck XL. You’ve probably locked eyes with the gracefully aging man as he explained the Oreck challenge that gives you a guaranteed out if you don’t love his vacuum cleaner.

“There is such a namelessness and facelessness in business,” Oreck said. “You have to look at a TV ad like you’re talking to one person, eyeball to eyeball. Everybody makes claims, but who do you believe? You’ve got to give them that person to believe in.”

In what Oreck told Mays MBA students is the “age of the marketer,” he warned students that the strength of their marketing is the strength of their product. Holding aloft on one arm a Timex that tells time just as well as his snazzier Rolex, Oreck — the 2003 American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year — told students they must never forget that brand, quality and customer loyalty are the only items that set products apart.

His premium yet lightweight vacuum models, first introduced in hotels, gained a niche despite expert warning that they weren’t heavy enough to clean properly. It turns out consumers wanted to take the hard work out of housework, he said.

“As you sit here rip-roaring to go, filled with energy, I’ll tell you as a business man to keep the fundamental things in mind,” he said. “You have to offer the customer a benefit, a reason to buy. And mind you, friendliness still goes a long way.”

Categories: Executive Speakers, Programs, Students

Marketing PhD student Tarun Kushwaha’s dissertation proposal, “Essays on Multichannel Marketing,” has been selected to receive an honorable mention award in the Levy and Weitz Doctoral Dissertation Competition, sponsored by the Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research at the University of Florida.

As an honorable mention award winner, Kushwaha will receive $1,000. In addition to the cash award, his accomplishment will be formally recognized at the American Marketing Association 2006 Winter Educators’ Conference in February. His dissertation proposal was also a finalist at Penn State’s eBRC doctoral dissertation competition.

The marketing department will match Kushwaha’s award with $1,000 that he can apply to dissertation research. It’s part of a policy department head Rajan Varadarajan has instituted to reward external recognition for doctoral work.

Categories: Departments, Students

Works by four marketing professors are in the top 10 — including a No. 1 ranking — on the list of the 50 most-cited articles published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science as of October 2005.

Coming in at No. 1 most-cited: Center for Retailing Studies Director David Syzmanski’s co-authored Winter 2001 Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science article, “Customer Satisfaction: A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Evidence.” That paper was written with Mays marketing PhD graduate David H. Henard.

Third most-cited is Distinguished Professor Leonard Berry’s “Cultivating Service Brand Equity” JAMSarticle from Winter 2000. And eighth on the list is department head Rajan Varadarajan and Mays Research Fellow Manjit Yadav’s Fall 2002 JAMS paper, “Marketing Strategy and the Internet: An Organizing Framework.”

Syzmanski’s August 2001 paper “Why Some New Products Are More Successful Than Others,” again co-authored with Henard, is also fifth on the list of the most-cited articles between 2000 and 2005 in theJournal of Marketing Research.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Research Notes