Be careful what you wish for and grateful for what you receive, Jeff Miller, president and chief health, safety and environment officer of Halliburton, said during a recent talk at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School.
“If I had gotten what I thought I wanted, I would have been terribly short-changed,” he said of his career and personal life. “I have received even more than I had envisioned I would.” He also passed along advice he received from his grandfather: Always shine your shoes, have a good haircut, be on time and have a pen and a piece of paper on hand to capture important words from others. He also advised writing down your goals so you can remind yourself of them. …Read more
Arvind Mahajan of Mays Business School has been named a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University, an honor he will retain for the remainder of his career.
Texas A&M President Michael K. Young announced this year’s recipients of the award, which former Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates established in 2003 to underscore the importance of teaching at a major research university. Two award recipients each spring are given a $25,000 stipend. The other recipient this year was James Herman of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
“Dr. Herman and Dr. Mahajan epitomize the essence of teaching excellence here at Texas A&M and are, thus, richly deserving of this high honor and all the benefits that accompany it,” Young said. “I wish them continued success in their stellar careers.”
Mahajan is a Regents Professor and the Lamar Savings Professor of Finance at Mays. He joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1980. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Delhi in India, an MBA at the University of Scranton and a Ph.D. at Georgia State University. He is widely recognized as an outstanding educator who has inspired thousands of students and business executives around the world.
He is widely published and is a recognized scholar in the area of international business and corporate finance. His contributions to the university’s teaching mission have been recognized with numerous awards over several decades. In addition to receiving multiple college-level teaching awards, he is a three-time recipient of The Association of Former Students’ university-level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.
Mahajan teaches in the MBA Program and has been director of the Aggies on Wall Street program in the Department of Finance since 2013. He also serves as director of the master’s in finance program and the Certified Financial Analyst Institute Partnership Program.
He is well-regarded by his peers, former and current students, and business executives. “He is known as a demanding, deeply caring and highly effective teacher,” said Mays Dean Eli Jones. “He also is known for using innovative teaching materials and bringing his vast knowledge of Wall Street into the classroom.”
Nominations for the Presidential Professor awards are made by students, faculty members and deans in each of the university’s colleges. Faculty Senate representatives review each nomination and narrow the list that is sent to the president for the final selections.
Mahajan will be recognized at the Mays commencement ceremony on May 14.
Lorraine Eden, the Gina and Anthony Bahr (’91) Professor in Business at Mays Business School, has been elected incoming president of the Academy of International Business (AIB). The AIB is the leading association of scholars and specialists in the field of international business. Established in 1959, AIB currently has more than 3,000 members in 85 countries. Beginning Aug. 1, 2106, Eden will serve a three-year term on the AIB executive board – as president-elect (2016-2017), president (2017-2018) and past president (2018-2019). As president, Eden will preside over all meetings of the academy and the AIB Executive Board, appoint and instruct all committees, and lead the strategic direction of the academy. She will also supervise the functions of the other officers and of the executive director. “During her term as president during the 2017-18 year, Lorraine will have the opportunity to set the direction of international business education and research on a global scale,” said Julian Gaspar, executive director of the Center for International Business Studies at Mays. “This is also an opportunity for Mays Business School and Texas A&M University to be at the forefront of global business education, research and outreach.”
The Mays Business School Department of Accounting and Professional Program (PPA) recognized several former students for their outstanding achievements and continued support of the accounting program at Texas A&M. The recipients will be recognized at a dinner with faculty and peers on May 2 that coincides with the 25th anniversary of PPA. The Accounting Hall of Honor recognizes annually those who have contributed to the growth and success of the accounting program over an extended period of time.
The initial honorees are Billy Atkinson ’72, Randy Cain ’82, Randy Hill ’83 and David Baggett ’81.
Atkinson is chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority.
Cain is the vice chair and southwest region managing partner for Ernst & Young.
Hill is an audit partner at KPMG.
Baggett is the managing partner of Opportune LLP, an energy consulting firm.
Jim Benjamin, head of the Department of Accounting, said he considers the four inaugural inductees particularly deserving of the recognition. “They have all been very successful during their careers and have in common a love for Texas A&M University and intense support for the accounting program.”
– The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a PPA graduate whose collective body of work has resulted in a substantial incremental change in the business community, the accounting profession, and/or the lives of those that practice accounting. The initial recipient is Gary Brauchle ’95, who is executive vice president and CFO at Tallgrass Energy Partners, L.P.
-The Rising Star Award recognizes a recent Professional Program graduate who is making a substantial impact on society through business acumen, exceptional leadership or entrepreneurial success. The initial Rising Star Award recipient is Doss Cunningham ’04. Cunningham is managing partner and CEO of Woodbolt International.PPA Director Annie McGowan said while the selection process was challenging given the many successful and diverse PPA graduates, she believes Brauchle and Cunningham reflect the success of the PPA and will be great role models for current students.
Mays Business School at Texas A&M University won second place at a Seeking Alpha national stock pitch competition in New York City in March, coming out ahead of teams from Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown and the University of Texas at Austin. Along with teams from 14 other universities, Mays Business School finance majors Joshua Kim ’17, Blake Shirk ’16 and Brandon Shirk ’16 and graduate student Thomason Waldo ’14 submitted their stock pitch to a panel of expert judges, which included editors from Seeking Alpha, Goldman Sachs equity research analysts and hedge funds professionals. The Texas A&M students’ pitch analyzed Stamps.com, Inc. “The judges and contestants were openly impressed with the quality of presentations from the Texas teams,” Kim said. Seeking Alpha is a crowd-sourced website for financial markets and also partners with universities around the world to bring stock pitch competitions to college campuses.
Good Bull Advertising, an agency team of 20 students from the advanced advertising class at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, took 3rd place in the district-level National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). Hosted by the American Advertising Association, NSAC provides more than 2,000 college students with real-world experience in advertising campaign development. Each team developed a professional-quality plan book and pitched their ideas to a panel of advertising experts. The Mays team, led by marketing Professor Lisa Troy, began working with their corporate client Snapple last summer. The students then spent months performing in-depth research to gain insights on their client. This semester, they focused on building a fully integrated marketing campaign and perfecting their presentation. Good Bull Advertising’s campaign revolved around the slogan, “Stuff Happens.” “Digital and print ads were created to communicate the campaign’s message and support various promotional tactics that included “a ‘Start Stuff’ New Year’s Resolution activity, ‘Make Stuff Happen’ recycling events and ‘Celebrate Stuff’ promotions recognizing Snapple’s 45th anniversary,” explained Troy. They also created a website, retail display and six-pack carrier, and designed a socil media campaign for the product. The team placed 3rd at the competition in Lubbock April 15-17. Marketing major and account executive for the team Julia Gaas commented that the group’s professionalism and business acumen gave them a unique advantage. “Our campaign was grounded by numbers, business strategy and research more so than most other campaigns,” she said.
The team members are:
At the first “Teaching Courageously” event, hosted by Mays Business School’s Academy of Learning and Teaching (MALT), eight faculty members from Mays Business School spent 20 minutes experimenting with new methods of teaching.
Held over three sessions throughout the day, the event drew 60 people from around Mays to participate and give feedback to the courageous faculty members. “I believe that ‘Teaching Courageously’ reflects the spirit of MALT, which is to enhance the culture of teaching and learning and provide a space for each of us to experiment with new ideas,” said MALT Coordinator Kris Muir, a lecturer at Mays.
With the expressiveness of a Ted Talk speaker, accounting Professor Karen Farmer dove right into the day’s assignment for her simulated class of three students. She drew a diagram on the makeshift “whiteboard” – a sheet of paper on the wall behind her – and gave her “students” a framework for reading an article she gave them: consider the “Good, the Bad, and the Bottom Line.” The students read silently to themselves, making notes on their own diagrams. Then Farmer invited to students to discuss their personal takeaways.
“This is a variation of an assignment I’ve done before in class,” Farmer said, who has been teaching ACCT 329 “Cost Management and Analysis” for eight years at Mays. Before, she had simply read the article aloud for the class, she said, like telling a story. But she wanted to find a way to better engage her classroom of 160 students. “Storytelling is an effective way to get students’ attention. With a discussion, I can still use storytelling, but in a large setting without having to be the primary storyteller. This way, students can tell their own stories.”
As they enjoyed refreshments, the faculty members received feedback from their simulated classrooms, comprised of an assortment of faculty, staff and students. Accounting major Corey Smith ’17, a student in Farmer’s 329 course, participated in the discussion and said he liked the new way Farmer presented the material.“Changing the style of the class is helpful to get students to ‘check in’ to the learning process,” Smith said.
“My job is one part teaching material and nine parts getting students to care,” Farmer said. “Some students think this kind of activity isn’t relevant to the class. But this is a way that I can add value to my course. Material is much more than tests. In fact, my subject – cost management and analysis – has a lot of real world applicability.
Management major Sharrissa Stratton ’17 said she had no idea what to expect when attending the Teaching Courageously event. “But as I left I felt refreshed as I was reminded of why I am here at Mays Business School. I was reminded that though exams are very important, learning from the professors’ stories, passions and ideas could be one of the greatest connections between a student and professor.”
For Farmer, enriching her curriculum with “Teaching Courageously” is all a part of her larger mission as an educator. “Why are we teachers? Because we want to give back,” she said. “We’re trying to mold the business leaders and managers of tomorrow.”
Forty students from across the Texas A&M University campus convened at Startup Aggieland April 15 to experience a high-impact, fast-paced entrepreneurial experience over a 72-hour period. 3 Day Startup, hosted by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, connects student entrepreneurs with mentors. It challenges students to work in diverse teams of students from various majors, classifications and backgrounds. Budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas on Friday, hoping to be chosen by the other participants as one of six teams to participate in the weekend event. From the 22 pitches, six were chosen for the three-day adventure.
The teams formed on that Friday afternoon to work on business models, customer validation and prototypes of their infant businesses. On that Friday evening they researched their idea through the night, hoping to understand their concept and their customers. With the Lean Canvas business model as their guide, they focused on the problems, solutions, key metrics and competitive advantages. Team leader Austin Thompson ’19 said he found the Lean Canvas model helpful in developing the idea. I felt as though it really made us not only evaluate the design, but go into depth as to why our idea was going to be successful.” To help with student business ideas, mentors from the local community came to give feedback, input and pivot points to teams. Mentors included business professionals, attorneys specializing in intellectual property and Texas A&M faculty and staff. 3DS team leader Hannah Cartwright ’19, said, “I learned so much from the mentors at 3DS. They were all so willing to help and guide us in the right direction. I value all of their advice so much.” On Saturday the teams went out into the field to discover what potential customers thought about their idea. Thompson led a startup that ventured to create the best coffee maker on the market. He says, “At first I felt very awkward walking up to random people and asking them about their coffee-drinking habits. Most people were very happy to help, however, which made me more comfortable with the process.” Overall, 3 Day Startup gets students to be creative, start something new and dig deep into their entrepreneurial roots. The weekend culminated in a showcase of the six startups, in which they each gave a 15-minute pitch to six pro panelists. The pro panelists consisted of businessmen, entrepreneurs and startup enthusiast from the surrounding area. Startups ranged from integrated home audio solutions to a healthy sweets company offering cookie dough balls for consumers with a desire to eat a healthy, all-natural sweet snack. There isn’t any monetary prize involved. The winners have earned the opportunity to work with mentors in the business world to further advance their ideas.
As Lemonade Day approaches, members of Startup Aggieland are embracing the opportunity to give back to the youth of this community and the mission of Lemonade Day. Students in Startup Aggieland – Texas A&M University’s business accelerator, managed by Assistant Director Don Lewis with the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School – are helping local children prepare for the seventh annual Lemonade Day in Bryan-College Station, set for May 1. In 2007, Lemonade Day founder Michael Hothouse had a vision to empower youth and teach them about business in a way they could understand – a lemonade stand. While running their own stand, the foremost objective of this program is to demonstrate the value of setting goals, developing a plan and giving back to the community as young entrepreneurs. As a part of the BrightMinds Foundation in College Station, this event has had success in bringing the community together and spreading the mission and spirit of Lemonade Day. For every child who participates in the event, there is a mentor to support and encourage them through their experience. Freshman mentors from the Startup Living Learning Community (Startup LLC) were given the opportunity to assist the Boys & Girls Club during Lemonade Day. These students live on campus in the “Dormcubator” and explore entrepreneurship in a Management 289 course taught by Mays Lecturer Shelly Brenckman, who is marketing coordinator at Startup Aggieland. Brenckman’s students act as a support team to encourage grade-school children during Lemonade Day and spend time teaching them about entrepreneurship leading up to the event.
Startup member Clare Fuller, a freshman, commented on the experience thus far and said, “I’m very excited to work with the children and help them understand the value of becoming an entrepreneur.” Lemonade Day is inspiring not only the minds of youth, but also everyone who is involved with it. Startup freshman Maris Moreno said that, “Lemonade Day will be one of the most rewarding experiences for me through Startup Aggieland thus far. Just working with the kids showed me how much potential they have and how much we can really push them to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.” Students from Startup Aggieland and Entrepreneurship Society, both powered by CNVE, began their four-part mentorship training in March in preparation for the big day on May 1.“The group we are working with is known as the ‘torch club,’ and it consists of a select group of students that have exhibited leadership, good behavior and outstanding potential,” Moreno said. According to Startup Aggieland student worker Tara Schickedanz, one of the students involved in the mentoring program, “Volunteering for Lemonade Day taught me a lot about how our society is striving to make our world a better place. It encourages children to be entrepreneurs and I was given the chance to help make that happen.” In addition to the students’ involvement with the Boys & Girls Club mentor program, Startup Aggieland has also invested their efforts throughout multiple events leading up to Lemonade Day. One of these events includes backpacking stuffing. For every child who registers, there has been a volunteer who puts together a backpack full of resources for the big day. These resources included a 14-lesson Entrepreneur Workbook that teaches the kids all about creating budgets, customer relations, repaying investors and more.
What started as a celebration at the Texas A&M Foundation to express appreciation to Phillips 66 for a $500,000 donation soon transitioned to a tribute to the company’s generosity and ties to Texas A&M University. Brian Bishop, the development officer for Mays Business School, surprised Judith Vincent, general auditor of Phillips 66, during the luncheon, saying he wanted to express the college’s appreciation for all the company has done. He gave her a plaque designating Phillips 66 as Mays’ 2016 Corporate Sponsor of the Year. Vincent has been instrumental in coordinating the company’s gifts to Mays, which have helped fund annual trips to Africa for several Regents’ Scholars.“Your willingness to listen and engage with our students made the recognition for P66 very easy,” Bishop said.“We look forward to working with you and your team for many years to come.” The clear glass plaque reads: “Mays Business School is proud of the corporate partners who invest in the academic and professional development of our students. These generous contributions allow us to accomplish our mission of creating knowledge and develop ethical leaders for a global society.” Vincent said she was touched by the unexpected award. “We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished together in a short four years,” she said. “Our partnership works because of aligned values and shared objectives, but our partnership thrives because of the amazing people at Mays and the Foundation that I get to work with. The administrators and faculty I work with are committed, passionate and care deeply about the success of the students. I could not ask for better collaborators. Again, we deeply appreciate the recognition.” Before the luncheon, Sonya Reed, senior vice president of human resources at Phillips 66, spoke of how impressed she has been with Texas A&M since joining Phillips 66 and moving to Houston 10 months ago. “A&M is a special place – and one that people are clearly passionate about,” she said, noting how her observations fuel her fascination with the culture of organizations – their inner life, character and behavior. “In my experience, you can quickly figure out what a particular culture encourages or discourages, and whether there’s a common sense of purpose. We know that culture determines the level of trust in an organization as well as its overall health and vitality. From colleagues I’ve learned that A&M has a strong, distinct, values-based culture.” Reed said the partnership between Texas A&M and Phillips 66 has been far-reaching. “Currently, 271 Aggie graduates are working in a range of engineering and business positions at our company – including the CEO,” she said. “And Texas A&M is the company’s top resource for interns and new hires for our university recruitment efforts.” One of those partnerships is the SHIELD Scholars Program, which currently has 24 Aggies enrolled. It awards $3,500 scholarships to full-time students who are recruited by Phillips 66 and who demonstrate leadership abilities, involvement in student and professional organizations and an interest in a career in the energy industry. In addition to financial support, SHIELD Scholars participate in enrichment activities such as career development, leadership seminars, lecture series, community service and visits to Phillips 66 locations. Texas A&M is one of 10 universities participating in the program. Partners in discovering the world In another partnership, Phillips 66 helps Mays send 15 college sophomores each summer on a two-week expedition in Africa. The students are all Regents’ Scholars – first-generation college students. “For a few of them, this trip was their first time on an airplane and outside the U.S.,” she said. “For many, it was their first opportunity to explore a new part of the world and learn about its many cultures. And for all of them, it presented challenges that advanced their maturity. The bond between A&M and Phillips 66 keeps getting stronger.” Tyson Voelkel, president of the Texas A&M Foundation, said he has been impressed by the company’s focus on values and its generosity with Texas A&M students. “I don’t call it a gift, I call it an investment in our university and our students.” Henry Musoma, a lecturer at Mays, accompanies the students to his homeland of Africa each summer. He described a correlation between Phillips 66’s dedication to the students and his favorite quote: “You can count the number of seeds in an orange, but you can never count the number of oranges in a seed.” “Their company culture is grand in that it is sowing in a universal field,” he said. “Phillips 66 sponsors our programs because it is the right thing to do. Their sponsorship is matched by their active participation in our programs. They are fueling a renewed sense of purpose, passion and power in our student population.”