Two long-time employees retired Aug. 31 from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, which is part of Mays Business School.
William “Judon” Fambrough stepped down after 39 years with the center. He has been one of the center’s most prolific writers and one of its most requested speakers. An attorney, Judon has written extensively about Texas property rights, including oil and gas, wind power, hunting leases and landowner liability.
Fambrough was a senior lecturer. He has held a joint appointment with the Agricultural Economics Department, where he taught Oil and Gas Law and Agricultural Law. He served in Vietnam as a Forward Observer, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He used his GI Bill to attend law school.
Assistant Director Claudia Orum retired after 27 years of service with the Texas A&M System.
Orum joined the Real Estate Center staff in March 2013, bringing with her 24 years of Texas A&M experience and 12 years of banking and corporate experience. She has overseen the business and financial aspects of the center, as well as the human resource functions.
Before joining the Real Estate Center staff, Orum was with Mays’ Center for International Business Studies for 15 years and the Texas Forest Service for eight. Prior to that, she worked for 12 years with the private sector in Houston.
Mays Professional MBA graduate Brett Garbs feels like anything is possible after starting his own business. Two years of researching, planning and working toward what often seemed like an unfeasible goal finally came to fruition when he and his wife Laci launched their company VaryActive in March 2016.
Brett and Laci Garbs founded VaryActive, a mobile app that helps users easily book seats in a variety of fitness classes.
Garbs is a Mays Professional MBA Class of 2015 graduate. He is now also co-founder and CEO of VaryActive, a free mobile app that allows users to search and book seats in a variety of fitness classes from CrossFit to Yoga, to Krava Maga and Piloxing, without having to sign membership contracts. His wife Laci is a Class of 2016 Mays Professional MBA graduate and president of VaryActive.
The Professional MBA program is offered at the CityCentre campus in Houston.
VaryActive is just one of many entrepreneurship endeavors generated by recent Mays Professional MBA graduates. Professional MBA Program Director Mike Alexander said many students have taken an increased interest in entrepreneurship. “Our students want to make a difference in the world – in the lives and well-being of themselves, their families, their business associates, customers and communities,” Alexander said.
Businesses like VaryActive start as class projects in the Mays Professional MBA Capstone course.The course is designed to encourage students to use their prior knowledge, their new knowledge and skills gleaned from the Mays MBA and their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to tackle a real-world business challenge. Some students turn their ideas into businesses, while others apply the knowledge and skills gained to other people’s startups.
A mobile app to add variety in your workouts
In the Capstone project, Brett Garbs collaborated on VaryActive with Marcos Mendez, a fellow Class of 2015 graduate. Brett Garbs and Mendez spent two years researching and planning their concept of a mobile app before partnering with local Houston app developer Whole Wheat Creative to launch VaryActive on all iOS devices.…Read more
Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School, completed the school’s leadership team by appointing Mary Lea McAnally as Director of Innovation and Strategic Planning effective Sept. 1. McAnally has served in the position as an interim for a year. She holds the Phillip W. Ljungdahl Chair in Accounting at Mays and served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs from 2011-2015. “I am pleased that Mary Lea will continue to facilitate our Strategic Planning Initiative. Together, we, Mays faculty and staff, with input from our Former Students, are crafting a vision for Mays that will unlock our potential to further rise as a nationally prominent business school known for engagement, innovation and impact,” Jones said. During previous appointments for the school, Jones named Duane Ireland to executive associate dean, where he served in an interim capacity for the past year. Ireland is a University Distinguished Professor and holds the Benton Cocanougher Chair in Business at Texas A&M University. He joined the Department of Management in Mays in 2004. Previously, he served two years as head of the management department. Annie McGowan was named Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Effective Sept. 1, McGowan will head the new Office of Diversity and Inclusion. McGowan is an associate professor of accounting and has served as the director of the Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) at Mays since 2008. Mike Shaub, Clinical Professor of Accounting, will take over as PPA director. Changes were also announced in the top administration of Mays MBA programs, which will have two academic leaders for the first time. Finance Professor Arvind Mahajan took the lead as associate dean for graduate programs and Accounting Associate Professor Mike Kinney became assistant dean. Mahajan, a Texas A&M faculty member since 1980, is a Texas A&M University System Regents Professor, Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and Lamar Savings Professor of Finance. Kinney is a KPMG Fellow. He teaches in the MBA and Executive MBA programs and the executive development programs, and has taught in the PPA. He currently serves as coordinator of the Ph.D. Program in Accounting. Bala Shetty, an information and operations management professor and holder of the Cullen Trust for Higher Education Chair in Business, returned to a faculty position after many years of distinguished service in various leadership roles, including serving the past year as the interim associate dean for graduate programs.
Bruce D. Broussard ’84, CEO of Humana, will speak at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School on Sept. 29 as part of Dean Eli Jones’ Leadership Series. Broussard will speak from 11:10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. in Wehner 113, also known as Ray Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
No American university has turned out more Fortune 100 company CEOs than Texas A&M, according to a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking. Broussard is CEO of Humana, a Fortune 100 company. He earned his BBA in finance and accounting from Texas A&M.
Jones said he is honored to welcome Broussard back to Mays Business School. “Bruce is a great example of our vision to develop the Mays Transformational Leader: Responsible, ethical leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets and vision, who have strong business competencies and personify selfless service.”
Broussard joined Humana as president in December 2011 and became chief executive officer on Jan. 1, 2013. Under his leadership, Humana is creating an integrated care delivery model that is expected to drive lower costs, enhanced quality, improved outcomes and a better member experience. With its holistic approach, Humana is dedicated to improving the health of the communities it serves by making it easy for people to achieve their best health.
Broussard brings to Humana a wide range of executive leadership experience in publicly traded and private organizations within a variety of healthcare sectors, including oncology, pharmaceuticals, assisted living/senior housing, home care, physician practice management, surgical centers and dental networks.
Broussard’s visit is part of an effort at Mays Business School to disseminate impactful knowledge to the Texas A&M University campus and beyond. Past speakers have included Cigna Corporation president and CEO David Cordani, Halliburton President Jeff Miller and Dean’s Distinguished Scholars VK Kumar, a marketing visionary, and Luk Van Wassenhove, a supply chain thought leader.
Paid parking is available nearby in Lot 72 of the Texas A&M University campus.
At the upcoming CurrentlyMAYS discussion series, Mays Business School students will see first-hand how to become better leaders and decision-makers. The two-part series will feature Mays professors and administrators who will lead students in a discussion of current events through the lenses of different business disciplines.
The Mays deans will lead the first session at 10 a.m. on Sept. 9 in Wehner 190. Dean Eli Jones will discuss current issues from a marketing perspective, Executive Associate Dean Duane Ireland from a management viewpoint, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Marty Loudder from an accounting lens, and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Arvind Mahajan from a finance perspective.
The series has been organized by the CBK (Core Business Knowledge) Faculty Committee, a team of Mays faculty who want to encourage students to make decisions by drawing on their competencies in all of the different business functions they study in Mays’ required courses.
Sandi Lampo, clinical associate professor of marketing and chair of the committee, said she believes CurrentlyMAYS is an opportunity to prepare students to be transformational leaders.
“Developing transformational leaders is a key component to our new Mays Business School vision,” Lampo explained. “Mays transformational leaders are ‘responsible, ethical leaders with a vision and strong business competencies.’ We feel that CurrentlyMAYS will highlight the importance of looking at business situations from multiple perspectives and encourage our students to see the value in all of their Core Business courses, not just the ones in their major, to become transformational leaders in the marketplace.”
The Mays department heads will lead the second session of CurrentlyMAYS in the spring semester.
The Mays Business School’s interdisciplinary Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Program (“STEM to Stocks”) kicked off its 2016-2017 program year with an orientation on Aug. 8. This year’s class is the largest yet, at 77 students, including 40 Texas A&M undergraduates who are taking advantage of the program’s Accelerated Admissions (4+1) option. The mission of the MSF is to help students with non-finance undergraduate degrees launch finance-related careers.
MSF Program Director Kevin Moore and Assistant Director Allison Hayes were joined at the orientation by Arvind Mahajan, the newly appointed Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, and Sorin Sorescu, head of the Department of Finance. Kristi Shryock, Executive Director of Interdisciplinary Engineering Programs, joined the orientation to award almost $35,000 in program scholarships earned by Texas A&M engineering students.
The students also met the program’s Career Management Center team, including Director Kim Austin, Associate Director Desiree Wilson and Associate Director for MS Programs Mitch Lederman, as well as Senior Career Coordinator Lisa Burton. Last year, the program achieved 94 percent full-time job placement and 100 percent internship placement for domestic students.
Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and holder of the Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business, received two awards and two other faculty members were recognized during the 2016 Summer Educators Conference of the American Marketing Association (AMA), held Aug. 5-6 in Atlanta. Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the American Marketing Association’s Ph.D. Project, a national group the works to increase the diversity of business school faculty members. The Ph.D. Project’s annual recognition of faculty members started in 2011 to honor commitment, involvement and inspiration, and to recognize “a select few who have greatly inspired many,” organizers said. This year was the first time a charity component was added to the award. Members of the AMA’s Selling and Sales Management Special Interest Group (Sales SIG) gave personally to a charity in Jones’ name, and raised more than $14,000 – the highest raised by a single individual. The fund-raising component was a surprise to Jones until the night of his award. When presenting the Hall of Fame honor to Jones, KPMG Foundation and Ph.D. Project President Bernard Milano said: “You have been a wonderful role model and mentor to many, many people.”
Venkatesh Shankar (left)
Jones also was presented with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMA’s Sales SIG, which provides programs designed to enhance selling and sales management scholarship, teaching and practice in an inclusive and collegial environment. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors the outstanding scholar who has made meaningful contributions to the field of sales through publications in top journals, teaching excellence, fostering professional development among others, and generally contributing to scholarship in the area of sales.
Mays faculty members who were recognized at the conference were marketing professors Venkatesh Shankar and Manjit Yadav.
Manjit Yadav (left)
Shankar was recognized with the 2016 Outstanding Area Editor Award for the Journal of Marketing (JM). Yadav was recognized as Outstanding Reviewer for JM.
Jones said of the school’s positive representation at the conference: “Part of our mission is to create a vibrant learning organization. The awards garnered recently are a testament to the quality of our people and the vibrancy of our culture. People make the place. I’m pleased with the culture we’ve created and the desire to continuously improve it.”
Faculty members from other Mays departments have also been recognized in recent months:
Management Professor Lorraine Eden won the inaugural Woman of the Year award from the Women in the Academy of International Business, a special-interest group within the Academy of International Business. She was presented the award at the annual AIB meeting in New Orleans in June.
Alina Sorescu has been invited to join the editorial review board of the top-tier Journal of Marketing Research.
A paper University Distinguished Professor of Management Murray Barrick co-wrote won best paper in Personnel Psychology. It was titled “Personality and Leadership Composition in Top Management Teams: Implications for Organizational Effectiveness.”
University Distinguished Professor of Management and Executive Associate Dean Duane Ireland was on a team that won the 2016 Journal of Management Scholarly Impact Award for “Signaling Theory: A Review and Assessment.” His colleagues were Brian L. Connelly, Trevis C. Certo and Christopher R. Reutzel.
Management Assistant Professor Mike Howard’s paper won a “Best Paper” honor from the Business Policy and Strategy division of the Academy of Management. “The Influence of Founder Collaborations on Venture Knowledge Quality” was co-written with Warren Boeker, Sandip Basu and Arvin Sahaym.
Management Assistant Professor Stephen Courtright received a Best Reviewer Award from the Academy of Management Review.
James Abbey, Assistant Professor in the Deparment of Information and Operations Management, was invited to and joined the Editorial Review Boards for two top-tier journals: Production and Operations Management Journaland Journal of Operations Management. Abbey also received a “Best Reviewer Award” for review work at Production and Operations Management Journal and was recognized for “Outstanding Review Work” at the Production and Operations Management 2016 Annual Conference.
Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and holder of the Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business, joined an elite group when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Ph.D. Project, a national group that works to increase the diversity of business school faculty members.
The award came during the Ph.D. Project’s annual Faculty Dinner, held in conjunction with the American Marketing Association (AMA)’s conference Aug. 5-6 in Atlanta. The AMA is a sponsor of the Ph.D. Project. About 100 of the Ph.D. project’s 200 Marketing Doctoral Students Association members attended.
Dean Eli Jones and Bernard Milano
The Ph.D. Project’s annual recognition of faculty members started in 2011 to honor commitment, involvement and inspiration, and to recognize “a select few who have greatly inspired many,” organizers said.
When presenting the Hall of Fame honor to Jones, KPMG Foundation and Ph.D. Project President Bernard Milano said: “You have been a wonderful role model and mentor to many, many people.”
In his acceptance speech, Jones said the Ph.D. Project stemmed from a need to increase the supply of underrepresented minority college graduates.
“One significant way to do so is to increase the minority representation at the front of the classroom,” he said. “In organizing the Ph.D. Project, what may not have been anticipated is the greater impact that this wonderful initiative would have on society.”
Jones added, “We are the light. Let’s focus on our calling and keep pressing on to make a difference. Be still. Be the light.”
Jones also was presented with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMA’s Sales and Sales Management Special Interest Group (SIG), which provides programs designed to enhance selling and sales management scholarship, teaching and practice in an inclusive and collegial environment. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors the outstanding scholar who has made meaningful contributions to the field of sales through publications in top journals, teaching excellence, fostering professional development among others, and generally contributing to scholarship in the area of sales.
This year was the first time a charity component was added to the awards program to raise funds for the Ph.D. Project. Members of the AMA’s Sales SIG, as well as some of his friends and colleagues, gave personally to a charity in Jones’ name, and raised more than $14,000 – the highest raised by a single individual. The fund-raising component was a surprise to Jones until the afternoon he received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The fall is a natural time to assess the status of the programs at Mays Business School. Two of the three MBA programs at Mays have grown in size over last year, with enrollment in the Full-Time MBA is up 16 percent to 74 students and the Executive MBA is up by 5 percent, to 46 students. Enrollment of underrepresented minorities is up from 9 percent in 2015 to 19 percent.
Students in the Professional and Executive MBA programs hail from a cross-section of industries, including petroleum/energy, consulting services, consumer products, manufacturing and pharmaceutical/health care.
Beginning this semester, Mays MBA programs have two top academic leaders for the first time. Finance Professor Arvind Mahajan was named associate dean for graduate programs and Accounting Associate Professor Mike Kinney is assistant dean. Both positions began Aug. 1.
Mahajan said he is optimistic about the future of the MBA programs. “Notwithstanding the challenges facing the MBA market nationwide, Mays stands ready to meet these challenges successful and with confidence.”
Patti Cudney, director of MBA Recruitment and Admissions, said Mays is pleased to welcome such strong and diverse groups of students this year. “Our new students bring a wide variety of educational, professional and personal experiences into our classrooms to share with and influence one another through the learning process,” she said. “We look forward to the contributions they will make during their time at Mays and as they impact their communities in the future.”
Shannon Deer, director of the Full-Time MBA program
The Full-Time MBA is renewing its focus this year on problem solving, which was integrated into the program starting the first day of orientation. For the first time this year, orientation culminated in a case competition hosted by FTI Consulting and Mays. The purpose of the case competition is to help students get accustomed to problem-solving earlier in the program. On July 29, 74 students competed in their academic teams. They had limited time over two days to research the case, but their orientation focused on preparing them to solve problems, tackle cases in class, and excel in case interviews common in the MBA job search. On their first day of orientation, they did several problem-solving activities.
The current students of the 18-month program have an average of 4.5 years of professional experience.
Julie Orzabal, director of the Professional MBA program
Mays welcomes 46 members of the Executive MBA Class of 2018 to the Texas A&M University campus Aug. 1-4 for Residency Week. Residency Week kicks off the program with a series of foundational modules focusing on problem solving and data analytics as well as professional competency modules that include business communication, team building and management, leadership and relationships.
The 18-month program is held at CityCentre Houston. It targets mid- to high-level professionals with a minimum of 10 years of experience, with preference given to candidates who have at least seven years of progressive and significant organizational responsibilities. Preference is given to applicants who are innovative leaders with potential for contributing to the learning experience and the ability to balance multiple commitments within a team-oriented environment. This year’s class has an average of 15 years of experience.
Michael Alexander, director of the Professional MBA program
Students in the Professional MBA are taking on the world as their classroom, and those between their first and second years of study are on a trip to Marrakech, Casablanca and Madrid. Last year, program participants traveled to Vietnam, and the previous year they visited Budapest, Bratislava and Prague. This is the first year the group’s travels will cover two continents.
“The students in the Professional MBA program go out of the country to learn, to bond, and to potentially be transformed,” said program Director Michael Alexander. “The world is getting smaller, but there are still significant local differences – cultural, political and certainly business differences. We want students to become more aware and familiar of how to best conduct business globally as a key part of their MBA education.”
In addition, he said, the students continue to solidify their Aggie Network within the cohort by spending time in cultural events in each destination. At the end of the week, the students exemplify the Aggie value of “selfless service” by giving back to a local NGO (non-governmental organization) – learning, participating and reflecting.
The 22-month program targets students with at least two years of professional work experience and current full-time employment. Classes are held at CityCentre Houston. This year’s class members have an average of 6.4 years of professional experience.
The MBA programs continue to receive national recognition. Mays is ranked as the 5th best business school for networking, while the Full-Time MBA Program is ranked 8th among U.S. public schools by Bloomberg Businessweek and Financial Times, and 9th among U.S. public schools in U.S. News & World Report and Forbes.
The Professional MBA Program was ranked 18th among U.S. public schools by U.S. News & World Report. The Executive MBA program was ranked 1st among public schools in Texas and 4th among public schools exclusively in the U.S. by Financial Times.