Marketing PhD Kartik Kalaignanam is the 2006 winner of the Product Development Management Association’s Doctoral Dissertation Competition. The competition aims at fostering academic research on innovation and new product development.

Kalaignanam will present his work at the October PDMA conference and return in 2007 to present his results. He also wins $2,500 and a two-year membership to the PDMA.

Accounting PhD student Kirsten Cook also learned in August that he’s the winner of the Best Paper Award for the 12th Journal of the American Taxation Association Conference in 2006. His paper, “Stock Price Reaction to a Reduction in the Capital Gains Tax Rate: Evidence from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997,” earned him a $1,000 prize.

Categories: Departments, Research Notes, Students

W. Mike Baggett ’68 will be presented with the American Jewish Congress Torch of Conscience award at a gala dinner in Dallas in October.

The Southwest Region of the American Jewish Congress annually presents the Torch of Conscience Award to distinguished men and women whose qualities of moral courage, love of liberty and community service exemplify the noblest of our heritage and ideals.

Baggett, who has an accounting degree from Mays to accompany his J.D. cum laude degree from Baylor University School of Law, is chairman and CEO of the top-tier Dallas-based law firm Winstead Sechrest and Minick. He is also a member of the executive committee of the State Bar of Texas, president and chair of the Dallas Bar Association, a fellow and member of the board of the Texas Bar Foundation, fellow of the American Bar Association and chair of fellows, Center for American and International Law. His civic involvement in the Dallas area includes being chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, director and member of the executive committee of the greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, director of the Dallas Citizens Council and chairman of Downtown Dallas.

His contributions to Texas A&M include service as a yell leader, class agent, 1987 president of the Association of Former Students, 1995 chairman of the Texas A&M Foundation, 1996 Outstanding Alumni at Mays and 1998 Distinguished Graduate of Texas A&M.

Categories: Departments, Former Students

Center for Retailing Studies Director Cheryl Holland Bridges has been appointed to serve as a member-at-large on the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executive Association board of directors. The D/FW association promotes ideas exchange between Metroplex retailers.

Categories: Centers, Faculty

Associate Professor of Accounting Connie Weaver, one of Mays’ newest faculty members, received the American Taxation Association (ATA)/Deloitte Teaching Innovation Award in August, along with Bryan Cloyd from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The $5,000 award honors innovations in tax courses and encourages creativity and experimentation with new ideas, such as a novel use of a learning technique or introduction of original cases to classroom study.

Accounting Professor L. Murphy Smith won the Outstanding Published Manuscript Award from the American Accounting Association’s Gender Issues and Work-Life Balance Section in August. He and co-authors Katherine T. Smith and E.V. Mulig won for their spring 2005 Journal of Business Ethics article “Application and Assessment of an Ethics Presentation for Accounting and Business Classes.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

The ability to confidently say, “I know a good product when I see one,” is something you can learn at Mays Business School. But for Rob Rynarzewski, senior marketing major and member of Texas A&M’s nationally undefeated Livestock Judging Team, recognition of quality isn’t something he learned at Mays—it’s what got him here.

Rynarzewski, like most of his teammates, was recruited by Texas A&M after excelling on a livestock judging team at a junior college level. Recruited while attending Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, Rynarzewski’s All-American judging status is likely what caught the eyes of Texas A&M recruiters.

Livestock judging teams evaluate and rank cattle, sheep, swine and goats on their quality for reproduction and for market. This year’s team has surpassed the competition since their first national contest in January, helping team members dot the map with competition wins in Phoenix, Denver, Jackson, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The team has maintained an undefeated status never before accomplished by an A&M judging team.

At the 2006 Arizona National Livestock Show in the Senior College Livestock Judging Contest, Texas A&M was the “high team,” winning “top team” in all judging categories. And Rynarzewski placed 4th as an individual.

Rules for collegiate livestock judging limit a student to one year of eligibility, bringing a new team in each December. Rynarzewski’s hard work, though, as a livestock judge has opened the doors for a business education from Mays that will last a lifetime.

His well-developed history of identifying quality products has given him an edge for marketing at Mays—but chances are he’ll be the judge of that.

Categories: Departments, Students

Marketing Professor and Brandon C. Coleman, Jr. ’78 Chair Venkatesh Shankar is the new chair of the Marketing Strategy Special Interest Group for the American Marketing Association Academic Division. He takes on the role for the next two years, with a vice chair in Mays’ marketing PhD graduate Satish Jayachandran, now an associate professor at the University of South Carolina.

Shankar’s goals? To help shape the research agenda for marketing strategy and develop ties with academics who don’t participate in the special interest group.

Shankar is also the 2006 Direct Marketing Educational Foundation’s Robert B. Clarke Outstanding Educator. The educator award recognizes an academician’s overall achievement in direct and interactive marketing education, and is based on their record of teaching, writing, research and speaking. Past winners have come from such schools as Harvard and NYU.

Ford Chair in Marketing and E-Commerce Rajan Varadarajan was selected to give the honored guest address at the closing banquet dinner of the Marketing Doctoral Students’ Association Conference in August. He also accepted a role in August as associate editor of the Journal of Marketing Research

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Mays will honor this year’s Outstanding Alumni Award winners in College Station on Sept. 28.


M.L. “Red” Cashion’53, CPCU, chairman emeritus of Anco Insurance and a retired NFL referee.

Daniel “Dan” Feehan ’73, president and CEO of CashAmerica, Inc.

Thomas P. Richards ’65, chairman, president and CEO of Grey Wolf, Inc.

You can learn more about how far our alumni have gone in our November issue of Mays Business Online.

Categories: Former Students

Director of Real Estate Programs Cydney Donnell stood next to the chair of American Campus Communities, Inc., while he rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Aug.10.

Donnell, also a board member for American Campus Communities, is one of the Association of Real Estate Women’s 100 Women Real Estate Leaders for the 21st Century.

American Campus Communities is one of the largest publicly traded real estate investment trusts solely focused on student housing in the United States. Including its 38 owned student housing properties, the company provides management and leasing services at a total of 52 properties, representing 31,700 beds located on or near college and university campuses.

Categories: Centers, Faculty

The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship’s “2005 Fund-Raising Survey,” an analytic report revealing the dos and don’ts of successful fund-raising, shows that companies who seek help from outside resources increase their odds of reaching fund-raising goals.

CNVE, whose mission is to provide education and assistance to entrepreneurs, based the report on a survey of 80 Texas technology companies that had sought venture capital funding in 2004. The survey revealed that companies casting a wide geographical net, one that extends beyond their own state, are more likely to be a key player in the numbers game.

Whether you are seeking funding from management, venture capitalists, grant sources or family, the process of obtaining investment funds is exhaustive. According to the survey, most companies seeking capital funding focused their efforts on two types of capital sources with several contacts from each. On average, companies made 22 presentations in front of potential investors before they sealed a deal.

The survey showed too that companies taking advantage of independent outside advisors have higher success rates than those that do not. Of the companies that sought outside advisors to secure venture capital funding, 78 percent were successful in raising 90 percent of their targeted investment goals. This clobbers the mere 22 percent who reached the goal independently.

In conjunction with the center, Texas A&M MBA candidates Jonathan Jones and Santiago Cornejo conducted the survey and compiled data. The survey was the first of its kind and will be conducted annually by CNVE to help identify trends.

Find a copy of the “2005 Fund-Raising Survey” at

Categories: Centers, Programs, Students

Business and medicine may go hand in hand, but it’s not often that they’re dealt to the same person. For Delip Patel, though, pairing up an M.D. with an MBA is the draw of choice.

After completing his first two years of med school at the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center’s College of Medicine, Patel entered Mays Business School this summer to conquer a new endeavor—an MBA.  While the rest of his classmates are starting their third-year clinical clerkships at Scott & White in Temple, Texas, Texas A&M’s first M.D./MBA dual degree student has taken a leave of absence from med school to spend the next year in the halls of Wehner.

Although the approach to business and science classes are not completely aligned, Patel developed good study habits in med school. “It’s a totally different mindset,” he said. “My whole foundation was in science, so the transition into med school was easier…[but] med school taught me how to manage large volumes of information at once, so I’m better suited to study business.”

Since doctors must make decisions regarding their medical practice, and not just help patients, Patel wants a business degree to aid in knowledgeable choices. “When I make a decision,” he said, “I don’t just want to make a decision—I want to know why I’m making that decision.” Patel, who has no business background, says Mays will be his source for understanding business processes in the medical field.

While Patel’s next few years of academia are laid out for him, his medical field of specialty is not yet set, and thanks to the plethora of possibilities made available through the dual degree program, that’s the beauty of it. “The opportunities are endless,” he said, “that’s the excitement of the future that I look forward to.”

Categories: Faculty, Texas A&M