February, 2007 | Mays Impacts

Simply making par isn’t something that many businessmen are willing to settle for. Same goes for senior accounting major Trey Todd, a member of the 14th-ranked Texas A&M Men’s Golf Team. Now a member of the Professional Program at Mays, Todd has achieved excellence on the course—and hit a hole-in-one in the classroom.

Todd chose Texas A&M after being recruited at a qualifying tournament by Head Coach J.T. Higgins. Red-shirting his freshman year allowed Todd five years for an education at Texas A&M, and a clear view through the Mays program that likewise allows Todd to earn a BBA in accounting and a master’s in a business discipline, all in five years.

“I’ve always liked accounting,” Todd said. “When I found out that I could still play next year, and get a master’s, the Professional Program worked nice.” While making it into the Professional Program is a task in itself, this golfer managed to achieve a ranking of 79th in the nation—and Academic All-Big XII honors in 2005-2006.

The Texas A&M Men’s Golf Team consists of 14 members, but each week before a tournament the men must first face each other for the opportunity to travel. Since only the top five make the trip, Todd’s been keeping his swing in check. He made the trek to Scotland this fall to play in the International Collegiate at St. Andrews Bay, and hopes to travel to Hawaii this month to appear in the John A. Burns Challenger Cup.

Todd’s juggling of work and play will settle this summer. For 10 weeks, Todd will be part of a new team—playing the role of tax intern for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Time management has been vital in Todd’s success as a student athlete. Doing homework on airplanes has become a common take for Todd. But when it comes to balancing work and play, he knows the course. To remain multi-successful, he says, “sometimes you have to bite the bullet and get down to business.”

Categories: Students

Coleman Chair in Marketing Venkatesh Shankar has been invited to join the Board of Advisors for the INFORMS Marketing Science Conference. This is the leading conference for quantitative researchers in marketing, and it attracts 700 to 800 researchers a year.

The board is a distinguished group that includes Pradeep Chintagunta of the University of Chicago; Dominique Hanssens of UCLA; Don Lehmann of Columbia; Dave Reibstein and Barbara Kahn of Wharton; Teck Ho and Tulin Erdem of UC Berkeley; Gavan Fitzsimons and Rick Staelin of Duke; Steve Nowlis of Arizona Sate; and Laura Peracchio of Wisconsin. The board is led by David Montgomery, Professor Emeritus at Stanford.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

For college students, being a role model is not uncommon. Active mentorship is an even bigger shoe to fill. But leadership is a vital quality in business, and each semester students from Mays Business School voluntarily walk that path. Mays’ eight M.B. Zale Leadership Scholars participate in the “Teens in Retailing” program to give business direction through visits with A&M Consolidated High School students.

Zale Scholars mentored students in a co-op class this fall about academic and professional career planning in retail. Zale Scholars, who are hand selected for the prestigious program that provides specialized learning opportunities to top students in pursuit of retailing careers, know that finding a career is only half the battle—getting an education must come first. So they advise students on how to prepare academically, and then how to get the job. Presentations on dressing for success, applying for college and interviewing skills are a priority for Zale Scholars—showcasing Mays while encouraging early professional development for 60 high school students.

Many students find a keen interest in retail because they already work in the field. Zale Scholars tell the younger students how a part-time job selling shoes in a department store or operating a cash register can develop into a successful career.

The program is a professional development tool for the scholars, too. While learning to work together to form presentations, they learn to communicate as a group. While giving advice to a room full of students, they communicate as leaders.

“The program is important to Zale Scholars because it broadens our horizons and gives us great experience with public speaking,” said Ashley Harris ’07, Student Retailing Association president and Zale Scholar.

Being a mentor and role model is a tall order, but Zale Scholars are a perfect fit. “We can really tell that they value our advice and opinions,” Harris said. “It’s both fun and rewarding. I realize now how much I’ve learned and how much I have to share from my experiences at Texas A&M University.”

Categories: Centers, Students

A paper authored by Distinguished Professor Michael A. Hitt and PhD candidate Tim R. Holcomb has emerged on ScienceDirect as one of the 25 most downloaded articles in the Journal of Operations Management for the past quarter. And this is a paper that has not yet appeared in print; it’s only been available online since June 2006.

ScienceDirect averages 36 articles downloaded per second from its 11 million users, making its massive journal and article databases a true indicator of trends in scholarly thought.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

Mays accounting PhD candidate Michael Drake is one of only 10 doctoral scholars in the nation this year to be awarded a $25,000 Deloitte Foundation Fellowship. Drake was among applicants from 100 universities across the United States who vied for $5,000 in support during a final year of course work and another $20,000 funding for dissertation work.

He is the second Deloitte Fellow in as many years from the Department of Accounting. The Deloitte Fellowship program, part of the non-profit arm of accounting services firm Deloitte & Touche, has provided financial support to outstanding students in doctoral accounting since 1956. Past Fellows include Mays accounting professors Anwer Ahmed, Mary Lea McAnally and Linda Myers.

Drake’s research focuses on financial accounting and reporting, and examines how capital markets use accounting information. He holds a master of accountancy from Brigham Young University and spent two years as a staff accountant for Ernst & Young in Salt Lake City before beginning his PhD program at Mays Business School.

“I am delighted that Mike will receive this significant grant as it will allow him to focus more of his time on the completion of his dissertation,” said James Benjamin, accounting department head. “This award reflects positively on Mike’s ability and the quality of our doctoral program.”

Categories: Students

When Rob Rynarzewski decided to attend Texas A&M University, he had two things on his mind: livestock judging and business. Now that he’s making plans to graduate from Mays with a degree in marketing, he leaves with two aspects of a business education: detecting quality and marketing it—with a side of record-setting to his name.

As part of Texas A&M’s Livestock Judging Team, Rob Rynarzewski and his teammates made history at their final livestock judging competition as Texas A&M students on Nov. 13. Winning the International Livestock Judging Contest in Louisville, Kentucky, was tremendous, as was going undefeated for the entire season. But the record-setting feat wasn’t complete until the team members won every cattle, sheep, swine and reasons division.

“It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment when I reflect back on what we had done. To be able to compete with the caliber of universities that we did and come out victorious is amazing,” Rynarzewski said. “To think of all the teams that have ever judged, and even they didn’t go unbeaten, makes me realize how good we really are.”

Texas A&M individual standouts were Blake Bloomberg as high-scoring individual, Kyle Culp as second high-scoring, Christian Schroeder as fourth high-scoring, and Jon DeClerck as tenth high-scoring.

“We knew from being in the judging circuit that no team had ever gone unbeaten, and that was our goal from the start,” Rynarzewski said. “Little did we know we could accomplish it.”

Categories: Programs, Students

Joseph E. Coombs, assistant professor of management, was named a 2006 Journal of Business Venturing outstanding reviewer for his thorough and fair evaluations of research manuscripts under review for publication.

The Journal of Business Venturing ranks in the top 10 percent of all business journals tracked by the Social Science Citation Index. The success of such journals depends on the quality feedback of its scholarly reviewers, who point out problems and suggest improvements for each research article that appears in print.

Coombs is among the newest group of faculty hires at Mays. He was previously on faculty at the University of Richmond and James Madison University, and has two dozen papers published or in progress. He is on the editorial review board for the Journal of Business Venturing and the Journal of Small Business Management. In 2000, he and a co-author won the Fast Company Best High Potential/Fast Growth Paper Award.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

James Randel “Randy” Matson ’67, long-time fundraiser and Olympic gold medalist, retired in January from the Texas A&M Foundation as senior philanthropic officer.

His efforts at the Foundation centered on major gift fundraising and helping former students and friends fulfill their charitable giving goals. In this role, he contributed to the success of One Spirit One Vision, the university’s $1 billion capital campaign. To date, the seven-year campaign has raised more than $1.4 billion.

Matson, a BBA marketing graduate, redefined the sport of shot put in the 1960s and 70s. When he was just a freshman at Texas A&M, he took the silver medal in shot put at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Another highlight in 1965 came when he set the world record for shot put at the age of 19—70 feet, 7 3⁄4 inches at a meet on Kyle Field. Two years later Matson broke his own world record with a heave of 71 feet, 5 1⁄2 inches. In 1967 Matson received the Sullivan Award—the highest award given to an amateur athlete in the United States. And in 1968 he became the Olympic gold champion shot putter in the Mexico City games.

He began his Texas A&M fundraising career in 1972 as director of the annual fund for The Association of Former Students and served as the association’s executive director for 20 years. During his tenure, the annual fund grew from $1.75 million to $5.5 million. He oversaw construction of the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center and establishment of the Bonfire Relief Fund following the bonfire collapse in 1999. Matson was named Outstanding Alumnus of Mays Business School in 1998 and a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University in 2001. He retains the title of executive director emeritus of The Association of Former Students. Matson joined the Texas A&M Foundation in 2003.

“I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to attend Texas A&M University and represent this school through track and field,” Matson said. “My time with The Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Foundation has been very rewarding—it’s the way I chose to give back to Texas A&M and I certainly will miss my work here.”

Matson and his wife of 40 years, Margaret, have three children: Jessica ’91, Jim ’93, and Cole ’96, and six grandchildren.

Categories: Former Students

Four business graduates and Student Body President Nic Taunton, a finance major, are among the 15 members of the new search committee formed in January to find former Texas A&M President Rober M. Gates’ replacement.

The former students are Jerry Cox ’72, namesake of Cox Hall; Bill Flores ’76, president of The Association of Former Students’ board of directors; Lupe Fraga ’57, a Texas A&M System Regent and owner of Tejas Office Supply; and Royce Hickman ’64, CEO of the B/CS Chamber of Commerce.

Gates left Texas A&M in December to become the nation’s secretary of defense. Former Texas A&M Foundation President Ed Davis is serving as interim president as the search for a permanent university president commences.

The search will take roughly six to nine months. The search committee is tasked with screening and interviewing candidates before making a final recommendation to Texas A&M University System Chancellor Michael McKinney.


Categories: Former Students, Texas A&M

The accounting department has again broken the national record for the number of graduates it sends on to postgraduate technical assistantships with the standards-setting Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB.

May 2007 BBA accounting and MS finance graduate Rebecca Chesney will become the 18th student from Mays to join FASB’s year-long technical assistant program. She is one of five nationwide graduates to report to FASB this July, and she’ll join the SEC-backed organization’s efforts to set and improve standards for financial accounting and reporting. Postgraduate technical assistants serve the FASB for one year and then continue their careers with major public accounting firms.

No other business program comes close to the number of technical assistants Texas A&M has sent on to FASB’s competitive program. Only the University of Wisconsin-Madison can count its FASB placements in the double digits, with 11 as of summer 2007.

Since 1973, issuers, auditors and users of financial information have depended on the FASB for procedural guidance and education. Administrators there hand-pick technical assistants such as Chesney, who spent last spring in an auditing internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ New York offices and a summer retail accounting internship with ConocoPhillips.

“The assignment provides an incredible learning experience for the participants,” said James Benjamin, head of the Department of Accounting. “It’s a major jump start to their careers in the accounting profession.”

The FASB internships are not the only area in which accounting graduates have excelled. In 2006, three Mays graduates ranked among the top 10-highest scoring individuals taking the CPA exam in Texas. They are Carrie Carson ’05, Christopher Simpson ’05 and Mahtaj Wallin ’03.

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students