September, 2006 | Mays Impacts - Part 3

Mays is among the top 20 public undergraduate business programs, moving up a place to tie for 18th public in U.S. News & World Report‘s “Best Colleges” 2007 rankings. The report, released in August, puts Mays tied for 29th overall in the nation, a bump up from 30th in 2006.

In individual discipline rankings, management is 12th public (down a spot from the 2006 list) and tied for 17th overall. Accounting, which first debuted on the list last year, is now ranked tied 18th public and 25th overall.

Categories: Programs, Students

Management scholars at Mays are among the most-cited and most-published authors in 30 years of the Journal of Management. That includes the efforts of former journal editor and Executive Associate Dean Ricky W. Griffin, who in just three years as editor in the 1990s published more than half of the most-cited articles in the journal’s history.

In an August 2006 retrospective on the first 30 years of the Journal of Management, the journal’s 10 past editors take account of the growth of the scholarly journal. The journal is ranked 5th in the management field in terms of impact, and 7th in terms of citations.

Under Griffin’s editorship from 1990 to 1992, he invited submissions, reviewed or accepted 16 of the top 30 most frequently cited articles in theJournal of Management. Those are research articles whose findings and insight became source material for other research.

Griffin, a Texas A&M Distinguished Professor and holder of Mays’ Blocker Chair, also had the highest counts of any of the journal’s editors for the average citations per article, in 1991 averaging 88.5 citations per article. That compares to just 24.5 average citations per article in 1989, the year before he was editor. “I made a strategic decision from day 1 to aggressively solicit manuscript submissions from well-established and highly visible scholars in the discipline,” he explains in the August issue of Journal of Management.

The journal also delves into its author history, examining the researchers whose works became the most-cited in the journal and the authors who were the most frequent contributors. On the list of the most-citedJOM article authors are Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Management and Mays’ Foster and Conn Chair holder Michael A. Hitt, with two of the 30 most-cited studies, and Mays’ Management Department Head and Bennett Chair R. Duane Ireland with one.

Hitt is also top in the prolific category during the first 30 issues of the journal: he is ranked second with 12 articles. Ireland came in on the list of most frequent journal authors with six articles, and Mays Professor of Management Gareth R. Jones is among the most prolific authors with five.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

Numbers have always come easily to the Martins. Especially multiplication.

When they were almost born, doctors said to expect twins. Then triplets. Then, with three babies squirming around in nurses’ arms on the day of their birth, one more grabbed the doctor’s pinky finger and it was settled: quadruplets.

Now some 23 years later, the family’s number sense might lean more toward balance sheets and accounting standards than times tables. That’s because three of the four quads are accountants, each set to begin their careers in auditing at

Categories: Students

Texas A&M has always exemplified the things Barnett L. Gershen’s mother first taught him. Those lessons were remembered this month when Barnett and his wife Sam, of Houston, committed more than $1 million to establish the Barnett L. ’69 and Sam Gershen Learning Endowment at Mays.

After his father’s death when Barnett was very young, he and his mother made a living with a janitorial company they ran from the family garage. Hard work and dedication formed a part of Margie Gershen Abrams’ legacy for her young son.

Those values, reinforced in his business undergraduate course work at Texas A&M, helped Barnett build the family-owned Associated Building Services into one of the largest privately-owned building maintenance companies in the nation with more than 13,000 employees. When he considered how to repay Texas A&M for its influence on his early life, Barnett said he looked no further than Mays.

“This business school looks like it’s serious about making a difference in education and in the world,” says Barnett, who earned a BBA in management from Texas A&M in 1969. “What a good place to start helping other people get the same opportunities that I had.”

The Gershen Endowment will support the life and advancement of the business school through its faculty, students, facilities and technology.

“The Gershen name will always occupy a prominent place in our school and, through this learning endowment, will provide us with the opportunity to pursue new initiatives and increase existing strengths,” said Dean Jerry Strawser. “The Gershens are a wonderful example to our students of how to help others and make a difference in the world.”

After graduating with his BBA in 1969, Barnett headed to the University of Texas for an MBA, which he earned in 1971.  He served in the U.S. Army, retiring as captain.  Throughout his life, Barnett worked in Associated Building Services, serving as CEO for more than 30 years until 2004, when the company merged to create one of the largest maintenance companies in the United States.

Barnett spent a year and a half implementing major initiatives as vice president of organizational development at Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc. He set up Gershen Consulting, LLC, in early 2006. He is now a senior management consultant and investor helping businesses take their practice to the next level. Barnett is a 2004 Mays Business School Outstanding Alumni and member of the Mays Dean’s Development Council.

His wife Sam is retired from a career of commercial property management, and now focuses on the family’s own properties as well as charitable activities. The couple has four children and four grandchildren, Shelby, Connor, Abby and Riley. Barnett’s son Louis is an award-winning student chef, and his daughter Mallory is a pre-law student on scholarship at Tulane. Sam’s daughter Karen, Class of ’87, is a teacher at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and her son David, Class of ’89, is a consultant.

Categories: Donors Corner, Former Students

Mays’ former students continue to make news within their industries. Here’s a roundup of the top honors they’ve netted.

• Charles Tomkovick, marketing PhD graduate, received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire, marking the second time the professor of marketing earned the award. Tomkovick joined UW-Eau Claire’s faculty in 1992, and has been a nominee three times for the CASE/Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professor of the Year. His teaching and research focuses on product and brand management and marketing principles and strategy.

•Joe B. Foster ’56, a BBA and petroleum engineering graduate, was inducted in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor in September. Foster was in leadership roles at Tenneco Oil Exploration for more than 30 years before founding Newfield Exploration Co. in 1989. He now chairs the oil and gas exploration company’s board. Foster is a 2001 Mays Outstanding Alumnus and was named a Texas A&M Distinguished Alumnus in 1997. At Mays he established the Joe B. Foster ’56 Chair, now held by Distinguished Professor Michael A. Hitt.

• Hollinden Marketing, run by MBA graduate and Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship advisory board member Christine Hollinden, was named 18th among the top 50 fastest-growing woman-owned companies by The Houston Business Journal. The marketing firm also earned a Bronze Quill award from the Houston chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators for its promotion of the inaugural 2005 Aggie 100.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Former Students

A winter 2006 Sloan Management Review article co-authored by several top marketing faculty members is among the top 10 most popular articles to appear in the well-known journal.

“Creating New Markets Through Service Innovation” is on the “most popular” list athttp://sloanreview.mit.edu/smr/popular/. The article is co-authored by marketing faculty members Distinguished Professor and Zale Chair Leonard L. Berry, Coleman Chair Venkatesh Shankar, Assistant Professor Janet T. Parish, Assistant Professor Susan Cadwallader and marketing PhD candidate Thomas Dotzel.


Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

The damage and annoyances created by Internet hackers and security breaches are a common threat to business. Since 2004, Mays’ student group Digital Defenders has been striving to do something about these nuisances—safeguarding cyberspace via awareness.

“The Digital Defenders was created to work with Texas A&M’s Center for Information Assurance and Security in an effort to unite students with a common interest in all aspects of security,” explained Paul Wiggins, founding member and past president of Digital Defenders and a management information systems graduate student. The group provides opportunities for students to see the latest cyber defense technology and hear from experts in computer security.

With the help of Evan Anderson, Mays’ E.D. Brockett Professor of Information and Operations Management, members of Digital Defenders do more than just attend a monthly meeting. These 35 students are actively working with on security improvement with such companies as PricewaterhouseCoopers, SunGard, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Bank of America and Texas Instruments.

“Hackers form a terrorist-like community which deliberately intends to disrupt the assets and work of computer users and businesses,” Anderson said. Business attacks cause disruptions of Internet security by hurting availability for consumer transactions, which can tarnish a company’s reputation for integrity and confidentiality and instill fear in customers.

What hits closer to home, though, is the everyday risk for personal computers. Digital Defenders has some tips to help protect your PC:

  • Stay up on security news.
  • Be cautious about what personal data you post on the Web.
  • Keep your systems patched with security updates, and properly configured with security settings.
  • Use a personal firewall.
  • No peer-to-peer file sharing.
  • Use antivirus software.
  • Use strong passwords on all accounts. Safeguard and change them periodically at regular intervals.
  • Surf responsibly.
  • Use e-mail responsibly.
  • Be cautious about providing personal/sensitive information.

Digital Defenders has helped students gain qualifications for jobs with law enforcement and government agencies such as the National Security Agency, consulting firms specializing in assessing threats to businesses, technology firms such as Microsoft, and financial organizations including Bank of America, American Express and Travelocity.


Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty

Mays’ doctoral students continue to be highly active in research within their disciplines. In the past academic year, 49 percent of PhD candidates had a manuscript published or accepted for publication or made a major conference presentation. That’s an increase from 47 percent in the 2004-2005 academic season.

Recent activity from Mays’ PhD student population shows the burgeoning researchers are already making headway for the upcoming year.

  • Management PhD candidate Tim R. Holcomb earned a $1,000 award to attend the doctoral workshop at the 26th Annual Strategic Management Society International Conference in Vienna, Austria, in October.
  • Gautham Gopal Vadakkatt, a marketing PhD student, received the UIC Kauffman Award, covering his accommodation and registration fees, to participate in the 2006 University of Illinois at Chicago Research Symposium on Marketing and Entrepreneurship held in August.
  • Marketing PhD Mona Srivastava won $500 to cover her travel and lodging for the interdisciplinary conference titled “Ethical Dimensions in Business: Perspectives from the Business Academic Community,” to be held at Notre Dame in October.

Categories: Programs, Students