Mays honored its outstanding staff of faculty researchers, mentors and service providers this week in an annual meeting to close out the fall semester.

For the first time, the school recognized the work of faculty mentors who were instrumental in the creation and maintenance of small-group learning communities for 781 business freshmen. This fall was the first semester all incoming first-year students were invited to join their peers in weekly group meetings with student and faculty mentors. More than 160 faculty and upperclass students formed a network of support and resources for these business freshmen. Faculty also paired one-on-one with 60 business Regents Scholars, who are first-generation college students.

Faculty mentors were nominated for Mays awards by the students they helped guide this fall. Associate Professor of Finance Sorin Sorescu and Accounting Senior Lecturer Lanie Thornton were the first recipients of Mays’ Regents Scholars Mentor Award. Accounting Lecturer Mary Stasny and Keith Swim, Jr., management clinical associate professor, were likewise the inaugural honorees of Mays’ Freshman Business Initiative Mentor Award.

Administrators also honored the work of staff members with the Outstanding Staff Awards for 2006. Winners, cited for their dedication to their work and coworkers and their unfailing good humor in the face of challenges, are: Linda Huckaby, administrative assistant in Mays’ Undergraduate Program Office;Karen Rabroker, business coordinator II in the Executive MBA and Master’s Program Office; Teresa Warner, business associate III in the Department of Finance; and Phyllis Washburn, administrative assistant in the Department of Management.

Mays Distinguished Achievement in Research Awards were presented to Coleman Chair and Professor in Marketing Venkatesh Shankar and to Ekkehart Boehmer, an associate professor of finance and Mays Research Fellow. Mays Research Fellowships were awarded to: Wendy Boswell, associate professor of management and director of the Center for Human Resource Management, a two-time fellowship winner; Professor of Marketing Sanjay Jain; Assistant Professor of Marketing Alina Sorescu; Associate Professor of Finance Sorin Sorescu, also a two-time fellow; Management Associate Professor Laszlo Tihanyi; and Assistant Professor of Management Elizabeth E. Umphress.

“It’s hard each year to name just a few of the incredible staff and faculty we have on hand for these awards,” Dean Jerry Strawser said. “We are truly blessed to work with such a wonderful group of colleagues.”

Categories: Faculty, Staff

Thomas Britton “Britt” Harris IV ’80 is the new chief investment officer of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). Harris, a leading institutional investor for more than 25 years, will oversee the investment division of the TRS fund—the sixth largest public pension fund in the U.S.

TRS delivers retirement and related benefits that have been authorized by the state Legislature, and manages a more than $100 billion trust fund established to finance those benefits.

Harris, a BBA finance graduate, has been CEO of Bridgewater Associates, chief investment officer and president of investment management corporations for both Verizon and GTE, and managing director for Asea Brown Boveri. He has also held a steady hand in service, returning to Mays to guest lecture and, in 2006, to provide the vision behind a series of courses that expose students to the top business works and general literature classics and to the top icons of business.

Categories: Former Students

Accounting Professor L. Murphy Smith shot this award-winning photo, titled “An Eye on the River Thames and Parliament,” during a flight on the London Eye in July 2006. Smith’s photo won second prize in the faculty category from Texas A&M’s Phi Beta Delta during International Education Week on campus this November. Phi Beta Delta is an honorary society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

A paper penned by three Mays accounting scholars for next year’s American Accounting Association Financial Accounting and Reporting section meeting is already on the Social Science Research Network’s top 10 downloads list.

“Executive Stock Options, Missed Earnings Targets and Earnings Management: Evidence from Book-Tax Difference” is authored by Associate Professor Mary Lea McAnally, PhD student Anup Srivastava and Associate Professor Connie D. Weaver.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

A dozen master’s in land economics and real estate (LERE) students got down to the basics of residential real estate—landscaping and painting—as part of a Habitat for Humanity build in Bryan this November.

Though LERE students typically find themselves in the investments and commercial management side of real estate, they took a turn instead creating a nice environment for a pair of family homes. This was the first Habitat build for students from Mays’ LERE Association, whose mission is to further student development in commercial real estate through service, professional networking and continuing education outside the classroom.

Categories: Students

Research on perceptions about corporate women and the U.S.-firm advantage in corporate lawsuits earned two Mays faculty members mention in both the Financial Times and U.S. News & World Report this fall.

The front page of the Financial Times‘s Dec. 13 USA edition chronicles results from a study co-conducted by Assistant Professor of Finance Neal Galpin. What did they find? That foreign firms sued in U.S. courts are more likely to lose than their American counterparts. Non-U.S. companies lose more often and lose more money in the U.S. legal system, the study found.

The Oct. 2 edition of U.S. News & World Reportincludes an overview of findings from the 2005 edition of a multi-decade survey on the views of men and women in business toward females in powerful positions. The study, which appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 2006, was co-authored by Mays’Dwayne Whitten, assistant clinical professor of information and operations management. The authors find that, in general, supportive attitudes of women as executives have increased significantly since 1965. But the 2005 research found that men tend not to acknowledge that females still face barriers for success—even though women say they still encounter them.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

In a survey of Mays Business Online readers this November, the majority of 235 respondents rated the e-magazine’s quality as “good” and reported the site as “fairly easy to navigate.” While 85 percent of respondents indicated they’re most interested in reading about Mays news and events, stories about former students and the unique achievements of faculty, staff and current students weren’t far behind.

We also heard from many about what else we need to focus on and what we can do to improve. Though there was not a consensus, several respondents asked for more details on the smaller donations that are the lifeblood of any institution. Look for those details this spring, when we’ll turn our attention to the subject of smaller gifts of support that add up to big impacts for our business students and programs.

Categories: Uncategorized

Following in her father’s footsteps and earning an MBA was just another life mission for retired Navy officer Michele Falkenau ’04. After graduating from Mays and starting a new career, Falkenau decided it was time to give back to the institution that helped her accomplish her self-assigned duty—with the help of her father.

Falkenau’s pride and appreciation for Texas A&M motivated her to encourage her father, Clifford, to establish the Falkenau Family Foundation Excellence Award, an estate gift estimated at $60,000. The pair of father and daughter MBAs also decided to include the preference in their gift of supporting a graduate student at Mays.

Texas A&M’s Foundation Excellence Awards provide scholarships to students from under-represented groups, including minorities and students from economically disadvantaged areas and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. “I think that [former[ President Gates’ focus on increasing diversity is critical to the continued development of Texas A&M,” Falkenau said, “and we wanted to support that initiative.”

Falkenau said the financial support she received when attending Texas A&M made a huge impact on her family’s decision to support scholarship awards for students.

“Support for graduate students is critical to allow us to recruit outstanding talent to Mays,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “As former MBA students, the Falkenaus realize the important role that financial support plays in graduate programs and have stepped up to the plate to support this most important initiative.”

Clifford A. Falkenau received his MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth in 1940. He worked for GE, Sylvania and Martin Marietta, but it was his final job in a senior civilian position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon that gave him the most pride. Now retired, Clifford resides in Annapolis, Maryland.

Michele’s MBA from Mays, which she earned in 2004, has allowed her to work in the credit card industry. She is employed by Citibank in Jacksonville, Florida.

Categories: Donors Corner, Former Students, Programs

Mays Business School has long been known for the quality of its management research, but the stakes just got higher: the management department now houses two more top-rated academic journals and a new entrepreneurship journal.

Management Department Head R. Duane Ireland was just named editor-elect of the prestigious Academy of Management Journal. International business expert Lorraine Eden, a management professor, will start vetting manuscripts this summer as editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Studies. And Distinguished Professor Michael A. Hitt is serving as founding co-editor of a new journal in the field of entrepreneurship: the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. The trio of journal editors joins Fouraker Professor Richard W. Woodman, who is already editing the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science from his office at Mays.

Hitt also previously served as editor of Academy of Management Journal, making Mays one of only three schools in the 50-year history of that journal to have had two Academy of Management Journal editors on faculty. The University of Washington and University of Oregon are the only other schools to hold that distinction.

Ireland, also Bennett Chair in Business, served as associate editor of the Academy of Management Journal for three years. No stranger to the research management role that an editor must fulfill, Ireland has also been associate editor for Academy of Management Executive and consulting editor for Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. He is a Fellow in the Academy of Management, has published more than 70 scholarly articles and is a co-author of 10 books.

Eden will assume editor-in-chief duties for the highly rated Journal of International Business Studies in January 2008, making her the first woman and second Canadian to take on the role for the Academy of International Business.

Hitt’s Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal is a new creation sponsored by the Strategic Management Society. That’s the same society that publishes the Strategic Management Journal, one of the most prestigious journals in the management field. Hitt’s emphasis on the strategy of new ventures and the management of innovation are guaranteed to produce important academic results that will advance knowledge of entrepreneurship. The new journal is scheduled to publish its first issue in 2007.

Management faculty members are also associate editors and members of editorial boards for some 35 other scholarly publications, including Organization Science, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Management and Journal of Business Venturing.

“The Mays management faculty has long been dedicated to the importance of giving back to the scholarly community through editorial service,” Ireland says. “People are asked to serve as members of editorial review boards and are selected as editors on the basis of the quality of their published research and in light of their ability to provide constructive and timely feedback to others when reviewing manuscripts for journals. Our management faculty remains widely recognized for the high quality of its research and for its skills in handling editorial responsibilities.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

The joy of Christmas has varied meaning for everyone, but for those who feel that it’s better to give than to receive, Mays is the place to be. Under the supervision of Clinical Associate Professor of Management Keith Swim, several hundred management students teamed up for the fifth year in a row to give—this year to 90 children of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in Bryan-College Station.

From MP3 players and computers to bikes, dolls and action figures, about 450 wrapped gifts are collected one day before finals each December. Swim’s student elves sort the wrapped goodies—with shiny tags and metallic bows—and line them down a new-toy scented hallway at Mays. And finally, each child’s Christmas bag is stuffed with gift selections, piled in Swim’s makeshift sleigh, and off to DFPS they’re sent.

These gifts are by no means hand-me-downs. The children request five things they want to see under the tree on Christmas morning.  Swim’s students then choose gifts to buy, wrap them and drop them off for sorting—last year’s gifts totaled more than $6,000.

“The students are the ones who should get all the credit,” Swim said. “They are the ones who buy the presents and make these kids have a great Christmas.”

Swim started the tradition of giving when a colleague at Blinn College was diagnosed with a brain tumor around this time five years ago. He asked his students to bring gifts to help out the single mother on Christmas morning. And that they did—coming up with a truckload for each of her three kids.

Since then, Swim has organized Christmas giving each year depending on the needs of the community. Once, a student in class told Swim that his younger brother was in the burn center in Galveston. Instead of focusing on only the one little boy, management students collaborated and brought stuffed animals for all the children in the hospital.

Students also get their friends involved: this year, one sorority pitched in and bought a child an iPod; a group camped out to buy MP3 players; the tennis team donated a tennis bag; and several former students have been back to satisfy the wish lists. After Thanksgiving every year, the phone in Swim’s office buzzes constantly with offers of gift donations and help.

Regardless of the cause, students at Mays have proven willing to give. With a week’s worth of final exams ahead, one management student joined a line of donors outside Swim’s door with $46 in hand this December. Why the irregular amount? “It’s just what I feel like giving.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Students