Prospective students in a classroom

Mays grad leads students to first college campus experiences

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Categories: Featured Stories, Programs

Anna LubinskyAfter her final match at the NCAA Singles Championship in Athens, Georgia, Anna Lubinsky ended her college tennis career ranked 30th in the nation. And with a 109-46 mark, she holds the second highest record for wins in Texas A&M tennis history.

Regret isn’t in Lubinsky’s vocabulary. Neither is quitting: the 2007 summa cum laude finance graduate has decided to pursue her dream of playing professional tennis.

“I’ve heard if I don’t go for it now, fresh out of college, the opportunity will pass me by. I don’t want to have any regrets,” she says.

Earlier this summer, Lubinsky joined the $10,000 circuit in Dallas, the beginning tier for professional tennis. For every tournament won, players receive money from the $10,000 pool. Lubinsky is now training at home in Richardson before the tour begins in Fort Worth and then takes her to Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana and Missouri.

At Mays, Lubinsky took hold of opportunities outside the tennis courts as well. In summer 2006 she interned for International Management Group, which helped her plan combining her skills in both tennis and finance. After she retires from her tennis career, Lubinsky hopes to be an athletic director or chief financial officer for a professional sports team. “I’ve always known I wanted to do finance and tennis,” Lubinsky says.

During her four years at Texas A&M, Lubinsky was a member of Aggie Athletes Involved, co-program chair of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and was a contributing writer for 12th Man on Campus magazine. In 2005 Lubinsky was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Summer Circuit National Player of the Year. Then in 2006 and 2007, she was recognized for her doubles skills as the Line 2 Doubles Big 12 Champion. She concluded her career as the 2007 Southwest Regional Senior Player of the Year and Line 1 Singles Big 12 Champion.

For Lubinsky, tennis involves more than just athletic ability. Lubinsky received the Aggie Heart Award in 2006 and 2007. Coach Bobby Kleinecke writes, “Anna exemplifies what you would hope every student-athlete coming in will become. She leads by example both academically and athletically, and she steps up and makes the most of every opportunity.”

Perhaps Lubinsky’s greatest asset is her discipline. “The intensity of the curriculum in the business school really helped me develop as a student. It gave me discipline, which is a skill I’m very happy to have learned. I’ll carry it with me through life.”

Lubinsky’s full bio here.

— Lindsay Newcomer

Categories: Students

Robert Gates and Students

Senior management major Jeremy Duggins of Houston (second from left); senior marketing major Micah McDonald ’07 of Denton (third from left); and senior marketing major Robert Tuttle ’07 of Woodbridge, Va.(farthest right), joined fellow Corps of Cadets in presenting Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates with a pair of Aggie senior boots as a surprise in Washington, D.C. in March.

Gates knew that his senior boots were being made, but was not expecting them to be hand-delivered in Washington. The cadets hid in their car outside the Pentagon to keep the boots a surprise while Gates greeted an Iraqi official.

Categories: Students

Marketing Professor Sanjay Jain and new associate professor Allan Chen were invited to join the editorial review board of Marketing Science this summer. Chen, who started work at Mays in recent weeks, also fielded a request to join the review board of the Journal of Business Research.

Jain and Chen share a focus on pricing and behavioral economics in recent work, though both juggle other marketing specialties. Jain, who came to work with the marketing faculty in 2006, joined Texas A&M from the University of Maryland. Chen joined Mays this summer from the University of Miami.

— Staff Reports

Categories: Faculty

Murray Barrick
R. Duane Ireland

Professor Murray Barrick assumed duties as head of the Department of Management in July. Barrick takes over for Bennett Chair R. Duane Ireland, who is stepping down from his administrative role this summer to guide scholarly efforts as incoming editor of the prestigious Academy of Management Journal.

Barrick, also the Paul M. and Rosalie Robertson Chair in Business, was recruited to join the faculty at Texas A&M in 2006. He came to Mays from the University of Iowa, where a distinguished research record of nearly 50 academic papers in top-rated management and psychology journals made him a natural fit for Texas A&M’s storied management department.

The management faculty has long been considered a leading group of scholars in terms of research productivity and most-cited scholarly works. The Academy of Management Journal has ranked Mays’ management researchers 10th in research productivity. A more recent survey shows that in 2004 and 2005, the Mays management faculty was tied with Harvard as the second most research productive faculty. And in a fall 2006 retrospective article in the Journal of Management, Mays faculty members were among the most cited authors and most frequent contributors in the 30-year life of the journal.

The incoming department head upholds that trend—Barrick was recognized as the 5th most published author in the Journal of Applied Psychology and Personnel Psychology in the 1990s, based on category rank. Though his new role makes him administrative chief of an already-strong department, he hopes to continue to make time for his research on human resources, organizational behavior, and personality on the job.

The management department at Mays is now home to four academic journals:
» Bennett Chair R. Duane Ireland’s Academy of Management Journal
» The Journal of International Business Studies, which Professor Lorraine A. Eden takes over as editor this summer
» The Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal under co-founding editor and Distinguished Professor Michael A. Hitt
» The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, edited by Fouraker Professor Richard W. Woodman
» 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.
His biggest goal for the department’s continued success? To ensure that management’s nine assistant professors—who by rank are the newest researchers and teachers working towards tenure—continue to develop their skills and have adequate resources and guidance from more senior faculty.

“Maintaining our record of research excellence will be a challenge,” Barrick said. “We are generally regarded among the top five management departments in the country, and we want to strengthen that position. I’m excited to be able to work with such a productive group of scholars and embrace the challenge of working with and guiding the ongoing development of the excellent set of researchers and teachers we have in our assistant professor roles, as well as continuing to improve the strength and quality of the PhD program.”

Mays’ Interim Dean Ricky W. Griffin has a simple statement of gratitude for the leadership Barrick will offer as an internationally known researcher. “We are fortunate to have someone of Murray’s caliber willing and able to assume this position,” Griffin said.

— Sommer Hamilton

Categories: Faculty

Photo of overhead

*From a recorded interview

As told by
O.E. “Ed” Elmore
Senior lecturer in finance and management
Vice-president and shareholder of Hoelscher, Lipsey & Elmore, Attorneys-at-Law, College Station

The Virginia Tech shooting took place on Monday, April 16, 2007. On that day, I was self-absorbed with buying a car, so I really was almost oblivious to what happened. The same day, the students in my business law class were taking their most difficult examination of the semester, so I suspect that they were focusing more on that than they were on what was happening out in the real world.

On Tuesday the 17th, I asked some student workers in my office if their professors had talked about Virginia Tech in class, and they said no. Then Wednesday morning, the same students said that still nothing had been said about it. So I thought that it seemed to be like a white elephant in the room. Everybody knows it’s there, but nobody feels comfortable to talk about it. I certainly didn’t have any pearls of wisdom to give, but I decided to try to precipitate a little discussion about Virginia Tech in my classes.

I marched into the classroom prior to class on Wednesday, April 18, and on the white board of my business law class wrote the phrase “In loco parentis,” which means “in the place of parents” in Latin. It is a doctrine that has certainly been weakened in colleges. The question is, what parental role if any do colleges give to their students? Some students stopped chatting and looked at the phrase and thought what does that mean? And when the class started, I said, “Some of you have heard about the Virginia Tech shootings and various responsibilities of various parties, so since this is a law class, let’s see if we can approach this in a legal way.”

Many people questioned whether the Virginia Tech administration should have told students and faculty when the initial shooting took place. And I asked, is it possible that the administrators didn’t want to worry them the same way that students feel like it’s not necessary to worry their parents when they get sick during school? We discussed that for a few minutes and then I told them I would like to have a voluntary moment of silence. I bowed my head, so I don’t know what students did. Then we started class.

A&M had Muster on Saturday the 21st, and on Sunday the 22nd, there was a long article in The Bryan-College Station Eagle that listed the names of all the people who were killed in the Virginia Tech shootings. It listed all the students, faculty, and so forth, and of course the shooter. So, I was thinking about that, and how the white elephant still seemed to be in the room. Then I thought, maybe we ought to have our own little mini-Muster during class and let A&M students remember the lives of those who died at Virginia Tech.

Student watching the Mini Muster
Ladies and gentlemen, these are the names of the 32 people that were killed at Virginia Tech…
On Monday the 23rd, I made an overhead and put it up in my classroom. I basically divided it up into undergrads, grads, and faculty, and then the last person I put on there was the shooter. And the students came in, with some curiousness, thinking what is that? I said, “Ladies and gentlemen, these are the names of the 32 people that were killed at Virginia Tech.” And then it got real quiet.

When everybody was there I said, “One of the things that has always impressed me about Texas A&M is that you do a wonderful job of remembering and honoring those persons who have died. You did that last Saturday night at Muster, and now I think it’s appropriate for us to remember and honor the memories of those persons killed at Virginia Tech.” I said, “In just a moment, I’m going to read the names of all the people on the board and I would like you to pick out a name of somebody on that board and agree that you will remember them as if their name was read out at a Muster.”

I paused for a moment, and one student said, “Rather than just picking out one person, can we just speak for all of the people?” And I said, “That’s totally appropriate, if you’d like to do that; we can speak for all the people up there.”

Respecting VT in Aggie fashion
As told by
Meredith Rigney ’06, master in real estate student
Meredith Rigney I knew immediately what the list was, but seeing it really hit me hard. He… put it all into perspective for me. When we began the mini-Muster I felt a peace in the room. Everybody answered “here” for the entire list. It was impossible not to because we owed them the respect to do so.
Professor Elmore discussed the teacher that died trying to stop the killer. Elmore questioned us about the role that a teacher plays and the trust that parents put in professors when they send their children away for school. He left the question open-ended and it was something I couldn’t stop thinking about.
I was glad that a professor would go out of his way to make sure that we had a complete understanding of what happened and how important it is to cherish every day. I was also glad to respect the victims in Aggie fashion. It was an experience I will never forget.
I read the first person’s name, age, major and hometown, just as it had appeared in The Eagle, and then I paused. Then people began to speak for them. It wasn’t like the whole class hopped up and yelled “Here!” at the top of their lungs. It was more reserved and almost reverential—it was quiet.

I said that I would take the shooter, because I knew that they were wondering what would happen when we got to that point. We read all the names and the students kept responding, and when we got to the shooter I said, “The last person who died was Cho Seung-Hui. May God have mercy on his soul.” And then we paused.

At that point I said, “You guys have got your cell phones, right? I want you to pick up your cell phones and call your mom or your dad. In just a minute, call them and tell them that this crazy professor told you to call and just tell them that you love them.” So all of a sudden you had this cacophonous sound of 40 people all in different parts of conversation, and bits and pieces that I got were essentially “Hi mom or dad, I’m calling you from class. There’s nothing wrong, but my professor encouraged us to call you because we’ve just been talking about Virginia Tech and I just wanted to let you know that I love you.”

I didn’t look at anybody. I just looked down at the floor and just kinda listened like I was a fly on the wall, you know. And then after a couple minutes we started class. I did the same type thing in my commercial real estate law class, but I felt like it was more striking in the other class because there are three times as many people.

So, I think our mini-Muster facilitated discussion between the students and their parents about the event. And maybe that was one of the most valuable things about the entire event. Without trying to sound too cute, I wonder, did the Aggie tradition of Muster, our mini-Muster and the Aggie tradition of Elephant Walk not in some sense call attention to the white elephant that was in the room? There’s this white elephant in the room, and we dealt with it, just as seniors face a white elephant at Elephant Walk. Their white elephant is the realization that they are graduating, and that their college days will soon be over. Our white elephant was the fact that we could just as easily have been the victims.

I think these traditions alongside our mini-Muster may have helped us deal with our white elephant in the room. Everybody had their opinion that they wanted to talk about, but the students might have felt inhibited about how they could do that. So I’d like to think maybe they felt comfortable enough in my class to talk about it.

Categories: Perspectives

Students next to FedEx logo
Master’s in marketing students Nathan Donohue, Hye-jin Kim,  Sonja Schulthesis and Kari Kelley worked on a Fed-Ex marketing team research project to uncover online consumer behaviors and retailer practices. In blue in the middle is Wendy Dawson, Retail and e-Commerce Specialist with FedEx.

A group of five master’s in marketing students were the working end of an intriguing consumer and retailer behavior research project sponsored by the FedEx Retail & e-Commerce Industry Marketing Team this spring.

Wendy Dawson, Nathan Donohue, Kari Kelley, Hye-jin Kim and Sonja Schulthesis conducted mystery shopping online of 40 retailers of apparel, electronics, entertainment and mass items. They researched such merchants as L.L. Bean, Gap, Dell, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and Wal-Mart, purchasing similar items within each category as they kept up with a scorecard on merchandising, checkout functions, shipping, returns and channel integration.

What emerged as best practices? Sites that showed progress toward checkout, that allowed integration of shipment tracking within the retail site, and sites that gave detailed customer product reviews. For apparel retailers, best practices included easy product size and availability charts and the option to show clothing on a model. For electronics, allowing for store pickup and for one-click easy checkout emerged as winning ideas.

The team also surveyed more than 1,000 online shoppers about their consumer habits, finding that the assurance of personal security, shipping incentives, ease of checkout and ease of return were the most important factors for these consumers. Another finding was that retailer loyalty programs emerged as a key factor in encouraging repeat purchases.

— Staff Reports

Categories: Students

Arvind MahajanBrazil, Russia, India and China, collectively known as BRICs, are the current buzz on everyone’s global economy radio as a result of their incredible economic growth. This growth has stemmed from compounding changes in each country: “All these things don’t just happen magically—they happen for a reason,” says Texas A&M Finance Professor Arvind Mahajan.

Mahajan, Lamar Savings Professor at Mays, is co-author of “A Future Global Economy to be Built by BRICs,” published as the lead article in the May 2007 issue of Global Finance Journal.

Researchers have linked BRICs as a potential team with China and India acting as dominant global suppliers of goods and services, and Brazil and Russia as their commodity and raw material suppliers. All four of these countries have experienced growth because of their advancement to global capitalism, which has been propelled by programs such as changing political systems, foreign investment and education. But BRIC countries still face major hurdles that may slow their rising economies.

Brazil’s economic position has improved because the demand and prices of its exports have risen, but primary surplus associated with higher taxes can lead to higher public debt. The INSS, Brazil’s social security administration, is pressuring the central government for increasing retirement expenditures while investment expenditures are declining as a fraction of its gross domestic product, or GDP.

High oil prices and a cheap ruble are the sources of Russia’s recent economic success. Its foreign debt has declined from 90 percent of GDP to only 31 percent and foreign reserves have leaped from $12 billion to $180 billion within a decade. Russia has abundant natural resources, but still faces problems because the country lacks strong legal, financial and democratic institutions.

A democratically elected government runs India, but its democracy has created obstacles of another kind. “Progress can’t be as swift because of democracy. Democracy can be bad news and good news—it’s bad because it makes everything move slower, but it’s good because if people aren’t happy, they can complain,” Mahajan says. Even with slower progress, India’s growth rate has exploded—it averaged a 6 percent increase over the last 25 years. If that growth rate continues, India’s economy (in terms of purchasing power) will equal that of the U.S. by 2050.

China has the most potential of the BRIC countries to become the next world leader. Mahajan says researchers joke that “China is the production center of the world and India is the huge back office of the world.” China is the biggest country by area, and with 1.3 billion people, it is also the most populous nation in the world. Needless to say, China’s overpopulation results in cheap labor and concentrated areas of poverty.

In an effort to control overpopulation, each family in China was allowed to have only one child. This has helped lower the population, but in the future, there may not be enough of the working-age population left to run China’s huge rising economy. The lack of regulations is also causing major problems. Pollution is so extreme that citizens are developing serious health problems from polluting agents. And as more people in China become educated and wealthy, they will demand more political rights.

In order for the U.S. to remain active in the global market alongside BRIC countries, Mahajan suggests that the U.S. must continue in the path of freely competitive and more efficient markets, pursuing policies encouraging innovation and rigorous education with new industry-specific strategies. “If we do things right, we can have the same strengths,” he says.

Students at Mays Business School can expect more opportunities for study abroad experiences, including those in BRIC countries. MBA students are studying in India this year and other students will have the opportunity to study at the University of Beijing. Mays faculty were also involved in starting a business school in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Mahajan, along with other Mays professors, plans to continue challenging Texas A&M students in their knowledge and understanding of the global economy, especially concerning BRIC countries. “The U.S. is on the first page of every country’s newspaper,” Mahajan says. “We know so little about these countries, and they know so much about us. We need to understand where people are coming from to know where they are going.”

—Lindsay Newcomer

Categories: Research Notes

Linda Perry
Perry earned the Outstanding Educator Award from the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants in 2001
“I don’t really see any downs. For me, it was the best time in the world.” That’s Texas A&M Senior Accounting Lecturer Linda Perry’s response to the question of her ups and downs of teaching at Mays.

After 24 years of teaching and advising students in the business school, Perry is retiring—but she’s not leaving empty handed. Perry was honored with the Association of Former Students Distinguished Teaching Award at the college level in 1992 and 2005 and at the university level in 1996. The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants named her Outstanding Accounting Educator in 2001.

“She’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever seen,” Andersen Professor and Accounting Department Head James Benjamin says. “Students simultaneously talk about how tough she is but also how great she is.”

Perry’s contributions to Texas A&M haven’t stopped at teaching. In addition to advising, she has been heavily involved with nominations for the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which selects 10 recent graduates each year to work in its program. Mays has had 19 students selected since the FASB post graduate program was founded, 12 alone under Perry’s tutelage.

Perry has enjoyed spending time with students outside of the classroom—whether it’s when they come for advice, or traveling to New York with OPAS students. “Anyone who’s spent any time with the students recognizes that we have the best university, and it’s because of the students,” Perry says.

Stolle leads a summer 2005 accounting class.
And it’s because of the encouragement from colleague and fellow 2007 retiree Carlton Stolle, Professor of Accounting, that Perry began to teach at Mays: “He’s the reason I’m here.”

With 42 years of teaching accounting at Texas A&M, Stolle established the longest career in the accounting department. “We came here in 1964 and this is home to us more than any other city we’ve lived.”

Stolle grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, and came within 10 minutes of being sworn into the Navy before he decided to go straight to college instead.

Stolle never planned on being a professor, but thousands of students and faculty have shown him that he took the right road. After announcing his retirement last summer, letters started pouring in from former students, sharing their appreciation and favorite memories from knowing him. Stolle was taken aback at a surprise retirement party last month. The room was filled with faculty, staff and former students and their families—some from as far away as Cincinnati.

“I’ve talked to some former students from the 60s and 70s and they feel the same way about him as current students do, showing that he’s very consistent. He’s a wonderful person, a great colleague, and will be hard to replace,” Benjamin says.

As Stolle came to turn in his key in June, he told a former student visiting him in his office, “This isn’t my last day up here—I’ll be around.”

Both Perry and Stolle are planning to spend retirement with their families. Stolle will retire in College Station with Sandra, his wife of 44 years, while making trips to New Jersey to visit son Brent ’98 and his family. And Perry is headed off to Charleston, Illinois, to support her husband Bill as he begins his presidency at Eastern Illinois University.

Benjamin explains the department’s challenge is to replace the retiring duo with some equally inspiring people. “We’ve hired some neat people, but they have big shoes to fill.”

Barry also retires
Information and Operations Management Assistant Professor Evelyn Barry was drawn to Texas for its warm weather and friendly people. And after five years at Texas A&M, the undergraduate students in her classes became an additional Texas favorite, she recalled as she retired this year.

“They were all so enthusiastic and they worked very hard for me,” Barry says. “I knew that this was not their only class, so I really appreciated their work. I really enjoyed watching them succeed.”

Barry grew up in Casper, Wyoming, and worked for the State of Wyoming Department of Administration and Information for 21 years before deciding to enter academics full time. She returned to her alma mater at Carnegie Mellon University and taught as an assistant lecturer, and then came to Mays in 2002 for her first faculty position.

“I knew when I came for my first interview that this [Texas A&M] was the job for me,” Barry says.

Throughout her career Barry has taught numerous courses, including database and lifecycle software management, and pursued research in software evolution and software volatility. She was honored with the Americas’ Conference on Information Systems 1999 Best Paper selection, and in 2000 she received the Research Proposal Award from the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems. She served as the 2004 Audio Engineer for the International Conference on Information Systems.

Barry is currently getting settled in her new home in Bridgeport, Nebraska. She recently moved there with her mother, and they will be living close to Barry’s sister and family. Barry plans to take on research consulting work, and is looking forward to having time for hobbies, such as photography.

— Lindsay Newcomer

Categories: Faculty

Neal GalpinWhen a U.S. firm and a foreign firm are both sued for the same reason in U.S. federal court, an American firm is more likely to win. Mays Assistant Professor of Finance Neal Galpin and co-authors found after studying 3,076 international corporate cases that whether they were antitrust, contract, employee, patent or product liability issues, the U.S. was consistently the favored team.

“There really is this problem. We needed to find out what was going on in the case and what a normal day was for these corporations,” Galpin says.

It turns out a normal day for an American corporation in an American courtroom finds the U.S. losing less often. Galpin and his team initially wondered if U.S. corporations tend to settle or get cases dismissed more, but after researching cases from 1995 to 2000, they found that American settlement and dismissal rates aren’t that different from foreign firms. However, when cases aren’t settled or dismissed, U.S. firms are still more likely to win: In 2000, a foreign corporate defendant had a 63 percent chance of winning a product liability lawsuit, while the U.S. had a 78 percent chance.

Galpin’s co-authored study, “The Home Court Advantage in International Corporate Litigation,” made headlines this winter in The Financial Times.

The research team entered the project with several questions. Researchers wondered if the type of country the foreign firm represents would make a difference in the likelihood of winning a case against an American firm. Perhaps if the foreign country shares similarity with the U.S.— say, English is the primary language or the religion is predominantly Christian— then would it have an advantage? But none of these specifics seemed to make a difference. “It’s more of a “you’re not from here’ mentality,” Galpin says of U.S. judges presiding over such cases.

U.S. corporations seem the most likely to win when they have trial by judge, as opposed to a trial by jury. U.S. judges may be more likely to sway to the side of the U.S. corporation, regardless of the specifics of the case, Galpin’s research finds.

A federal corporate lawsuit also tends to have a more negative affect on the foreign defendant: foreign stock prices are more likely to drop.

So what does this mean for business?

As countries outside the U.S. become more aware of the possibility of a home court advantage for U.S. firms in legal battles, those countries’ businessmen may be hesitant to trade and work with American corporations. “I think even the U.S. legal system realizes that this is a potential problem,” Galpin says.

“The Home Court Advantage in International Corporate Litigation” is forthcoming in the Journal of Law and Economics. Readers can find the paper here.

— Lindsay Newcomer

Categories: Research Notes