December, 2006 | Mays Impacts

Straight from the horse’s mouth—that’s where you’ll find the information with the most valuable price tag. So when Texas A&M’s Aggie Investment Club sponsored a trip to San Antonio as part of its travel series, being able to hear four successful entrepreneurs speak about their work experiences was an opportunity to jump at. What the students took from the trip was more than a few helpful words of wisdom—they witnessed the truth behind the phrase actions speak louder than words.

When the eight students arrived to their appointment this November with Mays Business School’s namesake Lowry Mays ’57, it wasn’t just his advice that impressed them. Senior finance major Madison Marceau says Mays was working on finalizing a deal for the sale of Clear Channel Communications when he heard that the students had arrived. To the group’s surprise, Mays dropped the call and asked that the students enter his office.

“He showed amazing commitment and the great Aggie spirit we always hear about,” Marceau said.

AIC travel series director Nichole Ledder, a senior accounting major, seemed to have taken a similar note. “The most valuable information that I learned is to always treat people as you would like to be treated—because people are the most important part of any business.”

In addition to their time with Mays, students also met with Valero CEO Bill Greehey, Lewis Energy president and CEO Rod Lewis, as well as David West “90, president and founder of FourW Restaurants.

“All were exceptionally kind and helpful,” Ledder said. “I think that the biggest encouragement came from the fact that all of the men we met with were some of the kindest, most considerate people I have ever met—and they were modest enough to consider themselves “ordinary.'”

The trip was open to all majors, but designed to accommodate motivated students who intend to open a business. The students who attended are from a broad array of majors, including accounting, finance, economics, land economics and real estate, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering.


Categories: Former Students, Students

Eight teams of future information technology professionals are winners of the 12th annual Center for the Management of Information Systems Case Competition held at Mays this October.

The competition offers MIS students the opportunity to sharpen their analytical, presentation and teamwork skills, says George Fowler, director of the Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS). “It challenges teams of undergraduates and graduate students to solve a real business problem posed by a company,” he said.

Solutions produced by the student teams are judged by business professionals, and winners are selected based on the originality, creativity and feasibility of their ideas. This October, students had a week to prepare a proposal for a business continuity and disaster recovery plan for a large energy corporation. Teams competed in separate undergraduate and graduate divisions. The case was prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“The students and companies involved just loved this year’s problem given the recent history of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” Fowler said.  “The situation posed was real world and timely, and the judges were really pleased with the students’ proposed solutions.”

The 2006 competition winners are:

Undergraduate

  • 1st place: Ninja Consulting with senior management information systems (MIS) majors Emily David, Eric Bookbinder and Kevin Dunnahoo.
  • 2nd place: Foresight Consulting with senior MIS majors Brandon Brickley and Michael Buller and senior marketing and MIS major Erik Hausmann
  • 3rd place: Puppy Dog Consulting with senior MIS majors Laura Duncan and Michael Knudson and junior MIS major Scott Perkins
  • 4th place: PerfectBox Consulting with senior MIS majors Ashley Baldridge, Robert Black and Sam Mason

Graduate

  • 1st place: IT Consulting with MIS graduate students Andrew Rolf, Felipe Torres and Pranay Jaiswal.
  • 2nd place: Sans Pareil Consulting with MIS graduate students Bhavani Radhakrishnan, Madan Sundaresan and Srivatsan Parthasarathy
  • 3rd place: Shadow Fax Consulting with MIS graduate students Jignasa Desai, Nimish Sheth and Preetam Shetty
  • 4th place: Negocio Consulting with graduate MIS majors Arunkumar Kotiedath, Jincy George and Maheshwar Dattatri

Each member of the winning teams received scholarships (1st place – $350; 2nd – $250; 3rd – $150; 4th – $100).   The third place team selected from each room during the first round also received a $50 scholarship. In addition to scholarships, the winners also received gas cards from ExxonMobil (1st – $200; 2nd – $150; 3rd – $100; and 4th – $100) and other corporate mementos.

The 2006 competition was sponsored by Anadarko, ExxonMobil, Dell, Deloitte, OfficeMax and PNM Resources. All are members of the CMIS Advisory Board. “The competition gives students great exposure to corporations,” Fowler said, “and it gives the companies the opportunity to contribute to the students’ education.”


Categories: Centers, Departments, Students

A dozen business students and Corps of Cadets members were inducted into the 26-year-old Gen. Ormand R. Simpson Corps Honor Society in November. The society is open to cadets whose academic potential and general personal conduct reflect credit upon both the Corps and Texas A&M.

Cadet members of the society can be identified by the blue-and-white citation cord worn on their cadet uniforms.

Business cadets who were inducted for 2006 include:

  • Alan Alberts, accounting graduate student
  • Chase Gentry, sophomore business major
  • John Griffin, sophomore business major
  • Matthew Hester, junior business major
  • Robert Kimbrough, senior management major
  • Cody Miklis, junior finance major
  • Justin Partlow, senior management major
  • Scott Phillips, sophomore business major
  • Robert Poirier, junior business major
  • Austin Stobaugh, junior business major
  • Michael Thomas, sophomore business major
  • John Walker, junior accounting major

Categories: Departments, Staff

Mays can lay claim to three Texas A&M President’s Meritorious Service Award Winners for 2006. The university president presents the awards annually to recognize 20 of the university’s top employees and a team in honor of their dedication to work and the people around them.

Winners this year are:

  • Marketing Administrative Assistant Glenda Bessler, who’s spent two decades assisting Distinguished Professor of Marketing Leonard L. Berry
  • Career Services Coordinator Jodee Bailey, who won the team award as part of the Career Center coordinators group. Though Bailey is officially a Career Center employee, she’s housed in the Undergraduate Programs Office and for the past two years she’s helped Mays undergraduates prepare to go after the jobs and opportunities they desire.
  • Patricia Walker, team leader of Wehner Crew K (janitorial). Walker is on a winning streak: She and Crew K won the team award in 2005.

This marks two years in a row for Mays wins. In 2005, Center for Executive Development Administrative Assistant Pam Curry, along with Crew K, were honorees.

Categories: Staff

Brandon C. Coleman, Jr. ’78 Chair in Marketing Venkatesh Shankar has the second most cited article in two years of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, from 2003 to 2005.

“On the Efficiency of Internet Markets for Consumer Goods,” co-authored with Brian T. Ratchford and Xing Pan in spring 2003, was the lead article for its issue. It’s rating as second most-cited for its time period means fellow researchers were not only interested in the paper’s findings, but included its findings as a starting point

This isn’t the first time Shankar has made news this year: in October, he was named among the top 20 area editors of Marketing Science during the last two and four years. And this spring, a winter 2006 Sloan Management Review article he co-authored with several top Mays marketing faculty was among the top 10 most popular articles to appear in the highly-regarded journal.

Categories: Faculty, Research Notes

Ninety students from a dozen universities wrapped up their final trades in style, with some earning returns higher than 50 percent in the Texas A&M Inter-University Financial Trading Competition hosted this fall by Mays’ Reliant Energy Securities & Commodities Trading Center.

Students from such schools as Penn State, the University of Toronto and Texas A&M competed individually from their schools in October, mock trading in two sessions over the course of the month on a Global Forex Trading (GFT) platform that streams live price data for 60 foreign exchange pairings. They were each granted $50,000 in mock accounts to execute trades and had to factor in real-world news events that affected the foreign exchange market as part of their trading strategy.

Just like traders in the real world, prize money is distributed according to performance—winnings are based on a student’s percentage return in relation to first place in each division. Undergraduate and graduate divisions each split $3,000. Top winners in the undergraduate division included Penn State’s Bret Crell, Toronto’s Shenguan Yang and Villanova’s Aaron Juratovac. Top winners in the graduate division are Alexander Dean of Fairfield, Arpit Sheth of Renssalaer Polytechnic and Tai Hong (Steven) Leung from Toronto.

Now in its second year, the inter-university competition grew from a field of six schools and 30 students finishing the competition in 2005 to 14 participating schools and 90 students this year. GFT’s trading software allows students to trade in the same environment as hedge fund managers and other professional traders who trade currencies to profit from fluctuating foreign exchange rates.

The international competition, organized by professors in Mays’ Reliant Trading Center, develops skills of undergraduate and graduate students interested in fundamental trading, technical trading and foreign exchange rates.

“We’re succeeding at enabling students to trade with confidence,” says Detlef Hallermann, organizer and program leader for Mays’ Reliant Energy Securities and Commodities Trading Center.

Categories: Centers, Programs

Anders Enevoldsen is tackling excellence in the classroom and on the football field—European football, that is. Attending Mays Business School this fall as an exchange student from the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, Enevoldsen also specialized in helping the Texas A&M’s men’s club soccer team dominate regionals and earn a bid to the NIRSA Championship Tournament at Arizona State University.

When Enevoldsen arrived in College Station this August, he didn’t know the place or the people who lived here. But like most from Europe, he did know the game of soccer. So when he saw a flier to try out for the men’s club soccer team, he took a shot, scoring a spot as an inner mid fielder and a team of friends.

“I made a lot of new friends who introduced me to new friends…so by playing soccer with them, I got a way in the social circle,” he explains.

The team made it to the quarterfinals at the NRISA Championships in Tempe, Arizona, losing to Ohio.

Aside from his stardom on the field, Evenoldsen will graduate from Copenhagen Business School in May 2007 after only three years—a standard in Denmark. The timing isn’t the only difference between the two countries’ approaches, he said: The teaching style is also fairly different. “There is a more practical approach in the business school here,” he says. “There’s not as many real-life cases in Denmark, it’s more logic.”

The idea of the “Aggie family” lured Evenoldsen to Texas A&M. School and life activities are very separated in Denmark, he said: each day, you go to class and then you go home to study.

“I chose Texas A&M because I wanted the college experience, with spirit,” he said.

Apparently he found what he was looking for. While business will be his career, and the soccer field is a second home, he’s grown accustomed to a new field since his arrival in the states. When asked what he’ll most remember about his experience at Texas A&M, he answered as many Aggies do—”the football games!”


Categories: Students


An interdisciplinary article from Mays’ finance and accounting departments is among the top 5 on a list of the top 25 articles downloaded in the Journal of Corporate Finance.

The article, “The Interaction Among Multiple Governance Mechanisms in Young Newly Public Firms,” appeared in the journal in June 2006 and is the third most-downloaded in the journal’s records. It is co-authored by Associate Professor of Finance L. Paige Fields, Associate Professor of Accounting Mike S. Wilkins and former finance PhD student Tammy Berry ’00.

Journals and social science networks keep track of number of downloads as a measure of how much interest a paper generates among readers and subscribers.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes, Students

Cydney Donnell “81, director of real estate programs at Mays, was chosen for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts’ 2006 Industry Achievement Award for her career’s work promoting real estate trusts and investment advantages. She is the first woman to ever receive the award.

The award was created to honor professionals who have contributed to the real estate industry and to the programs of the national association. Real estate investment trusts, known as REITs, pool funding from multiple investors to purchase and manage income properties such as multifamily housing and retail centers. REITs are traded on major exchanges, just like stocks.

Donnell, a 1981 Texas A&M finance graduate, has been one of the REIT industry’s strongest advocates in the investment community. She personally campaigned for the investment advantages of REITs among the leaders of major European institutions. From 1986 until 2003, she worked with European Investors, Inc, one of the first firms to offer dedicated REIT funds. She was principal, managing partner and eventually chair of European Investors’ investment committee and head of its real estate securities group.

Donnell’s advocacy of REITs wasn’t limited to Europe. She also spent time on Capitol Hill making sure the industry’s agenda was heard. “Her contributions in meetings with congressional leaders and their staffs were always invaluable, because Cydney was telling the REIT story from an investor’s point of view,” said Steven A. Wechsler, president and CEO of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. “And that was incredibly compelling.”

This isn’t the first major industry recognition for Donnell: She was also voted one of the Association of Real Estate Women’s 100 Women Real Estate Leaders for the 21st Century.

Since joining Mays in 2003, Donnell has created and taught new graduate and undergraduate courses in portfolio management and real estate capital markets within the Department of Finance. She agreed this spring to lead the department’s real estate programs, overseeing its speaker series and the Master’s in Land Economics and Real Estate.


Categories: Centers, Faculty, Former Students, Programs

MBA students Bill Attar, Pat Gosselin, Marie Hollinger and our first-ever MBA/MD student Delip Patel joined forces with a team of student engineers to take 3rd place in the University of Texas’ 2006 Idea to Product or “I2P” International Competition in November.

In work overseen and organized by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), the MBAs fleshed out business applications and commercialization potential for F.I.R.E., “First Incident Response Equipment,” which uses radio frequency and sensors to communicate with first responders in an emergency situation. R.J. Hegedus, Andrew Arnold, Michael Edgar and Michael Water, all engineering technology majors in Texas A&M’s Dwight Look College of Engineering, developed the technology during a senior capstone course.

The Texas A&M team finished behind student teams from Imperial College London and Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College. Over the course of the next two months, the engineering students and MBAs will develop a full business plan complete with financial projections to submit to this spring’s biggest new venture challenges: the Big XII New Venture Competition and Rice Business Plan Competition.

“If you build it, customers don’t necessarily come,” said CNVE Director Richard Scruggs ’77. “The combination of a good product and sound business plan brings success. In this collaboration, we want everyone to learn from each other so that everyone has ownership in the product and the process.”

This is the second year win for a CNVE-coached project: Biomedical engineering PhD student Saurabh Biswas won $10,000 to help further the commercialization of a colon cancer early-warning technology when he took 1st place in the Idea to Product challenge in 2005. Biswas went on to win the first-ever BigXII New Venture title and placed fifth in the Rice Competition in early 2006.

Categories: Centers, Programs, Students