Mays Business School graduates Lisa Burton and Ann Strouhal have been named among the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA)’s 2017 Top Ten Business Women of the Year.

The Top Ten Business Women of ABWA honors women around the country who achieve excellence in their careers, education and community involvement. The women will be recognized at ABWA’s National Women’s Leadership Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn., in October. One will be chosen as the Top Business Woman of the Year.


Burton has worked for the Texas A&M University Career Center for four years with a focus on career advising juniors and seniors in Mays Business School. She earned her Master of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School in 2010 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Radio-TV-Film from Sam Houston State University in 1992. Burton also completed a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.

Burton is a member of the Leading Women Express Network (LWEN) of ABWA. She has served on LWEN’s board in several roles, including VP of Membership, VP of Hospitality and VP of Networking. She is currently serving as the advisor for the Texas A&M Student Chapter of ABWA and President-Elect of the Brazos County A&M Club.


Strouhal is owner of Strouhal & Associates in Pearland, Texas, and holds both the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Professional certification. Strouhal received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in 1981 and a Master of Business Administration in HR from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 2012.

Strouhal is also actively involved in her community as a member of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce, the Daughters of the American Revolution and St. Helen Catholic School Board of Directors. She is a member of the South East Express Network of ABWA.


Categories: Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M

TIAS Spotlight

From Texas A&M Today
(NOTE: V. Kumar will be working with Mays faculty researchers)
The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) has announced its 2016-17 class of Faculty Fellows—10 distinguished scientists and scholars who are nationally or internationally renowned for conducting groundbreaking research in chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, astronomy, atmospheric science, marketing or law.The newest class of Faculty Fellows includes members of the United States’ National Academies as well as representatives from major scientific or professional organizations in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany.Each Faculty Fellow will partner with one or more of the departments offering graduate degrees housed in Texas A&M’s 16 colleges or schools or at Texas A&M’s branch campus in Galveston. The Institute provides fellowships for graduate students to work with Faculty Fellows, as well as funding to support visiting graduate students and post-doctoral researchers affiliated with the Faculty Fellows.A long-time champion of the Institute, Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System provided the funds that launched TIAS in 2010. “The talent that the TIAS program brings to Texas A&M is causing everyone else in higher education to take notice,” Chancellor Sharp said. “It was money well spent to enrich the academic experience with such world-class scholars and researchers.”

TIAS Founding Director John Junkins

President Michael K. Young of Texas A&M University said, “This fifth class of TIAS Faculty Fellows offers truly outstanding credentials. In collaboration with our exemplary faculty, these Fellows will sustain the extraordinary trajectory of TIAS, inspire truly transformative intellectual experiences among our students, and advance the international reputation of the Texas A&M research enterprise.”

Provost and Executive Vice President Karan Watson said, “Each of these remarkable individuals offers a strong portfolio of world-class accomplishments in their fields. As we have seen with the previous four classes of Faculty Fellows, the research that will emerge from their collaborations with our own outstanding faculty and students will be exciting and extraordinary.”

Each year, the Institute selects its Faculty Fellows from among top scholars who have distinguished themselves through outstanding professional accomplishments or significant recognition. Former classes have included two Nobel laureates, a Wolf Prize recipient, a recipient of the Hubble Medal in Literature for Lifetime Achievement, a recipient of the National Medal of Science, an awardee of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, a recipient of the highest award in Architecture and a two-time recipient of the State Prize of Russia.

TIAS Founding Director John L. Junkins said, “This fifth class of 10 outstanding scholars have intellectual strengths centered in six colleges, however their scholarship impacts many disciplines. These Fellows being in residence afford our faculty and students extraordinary opportunities to collaborate one-on-one with top people in their fields. We expect game-changing and life-changing outcomes as a consequence.”

The Institute will induct the Faculty Fellows Class of 2016-17 at its annual gala in early 2017.

  • Christopher C. Cummins, Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Among the most innovative synthetic chemists of his generation, known for his impact on small molecule activation, Cummins is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a corresponding member


    Christopher C. Cummins

    Portrait of William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Mathematics and Applied and Computational Mathematics, Ingrid Daubechies

    Ingrid Daubechies


    Gerald Galloway


    Huajian Gao


    Maryellen Giger


    Robert Kennicutt Jr.


    Charles E. Kolb


    V. Kumar


    William M. Sage


    Thomas S. Ulen

    of Germany’s Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Cummins will collaborate with faculty-researchers from the College of Science and the College of Engineering.

  • Ingrid Daubechies, James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University – One of the world’s most cited mathematicians recognized for her study of the mathematical methods that enhance image-compression technology, Daubechies is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Daubechies will collaborate with faculty-researchers from the College of Science and the College of Engineering.
  • Gerald Galloway, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, University of Maryland – Regarded as the leading flood-management expert in the United States, he is known for his work on the Galloway Report, a federal study that focused on the Great Flood of 1993 along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Galloway is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Public Administration. He will collaborate with faculty-researchers at Texas A&M University at Galveston.
  • Huajian Gao, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Engineering, Brown University – Known for his research into micromechanics, the basic principles that control mechanical properties and behaviors of materials in both engineering and biology, Gao is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the College of Engineering.
  • Maryellen Giger, A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology and College Vice-Chair for Basic Science Research, The University of Chicago – An expert in computer-aided diagnosis as well as digital signal and image processing, Giger is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the College of Engineering as well as with scientists and clinicians in the Texas A&M Health Science Center, the Houston Medical Center and local hospitals.
  • Robert Kennicutt Jr., Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy, University of Cambridge – Best known for his work on the Kennicutt-Schmidt law, which relates gas density to star-formation rates, Kennicutt is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society in the United Kingdom. Kennicutt will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the College of Science.
  • Charles E. Kolb, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aerodyne Research Inc. – A leader of one of the world’s most prominent research institutions specializing in atmospheric chemistry, air quality and climate, Kolb is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award. Kolb will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the College of Geosciences.
  • V. Kumar, Regents’ Professor and the Richard and Susan Lenny Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing, Georgia State University – An acknowledged expert on marketing research methods and customer relationship management strategy, Kumar has been recognized with eight lifetime achievement awards. Kumar will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the Mays Business School.
  • William M. Sage, James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence in Law and Vice Provost for Health Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin – Nationally known as an expert in national health care reform including market principles driving access to health care, Sage is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Sage will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the School of Public Health, the College of Medicine, the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the School of Law.
  • Thomas S. Ulen, Swanlund Chair Emeritus at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law – Author of pioneering textbooks and journal articles that examine a variety of issues related to economics, legal scholarship and legal education. Ulen serves on the Board of Directors and is a founding member of the American Law and Economics Association. He will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the School of Law and the College of Liberal Arts.



Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Research Notes, Texas A&M

From Texas A&M Today:

Two dozen top experts in data science across academia and industry will gather at Texas A&M University this week for a campus-wide conference to address the latest developments and next big breakthroughs in big data.

Advances in Big Data Modeling, Computation and Analytics is set for Sept.23-24 in the Stephen W. Hawking Auditorium within the Texas A&M George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy. The two-day conference will feature four keynote speakers – Michael Jordan (University of California, Berkeley), Robert Schapire (Microsoft), Nilanjan Chatterjee (Johns Hopkins University) and Susan Athey (Stanford University) – and four invited sessions on various aspects of big data, including modeling and applications, computing, business and industry.

Texas A&M statistician and co-organizer Bani K. Mallick says registration is closed for the conference, which reached maximum capacity nearly a month ago. Event festivities will kick off Friday (Sept. 23) at 9 a.m. with a welcome from Texas A&M Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Karan L. Watson and conclude Saturday (Sept. 24) with two concurrent introductory tutorial sessions on data science and cloud computing, respectively, set for 3 to 5 p.m.

Activities are slated to run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with an hour-long break for lunch. Each invited session will feature short talks from multiple speakers representing five global corporations (Microsoft, IBM, ABB Inc., EDP Renewables, Smart Blade-Germany) and 12 universities, including five Texas institutions. Friday also will feature a 5 p.m. poster session and reception at the University Club in Rudder Tower.

The conference, hosted by the Texas A&M Department of Statistics as part of the big data theme semester unveiled earlier this year by Texas A&M Dean of Science Meigan Aronson, is jointly sponsored by the College of Science, Dwight Look College of Engineering, Mays Business School, the Institute for Applied Mathematics and Computational Science and the Southeastern Texas Chapter of the American Statistical Association.

For additional information, including a complete schedule of events and speaker abstracts, please visit the conference website at

(Note: Marketing Professor Venkatesh Shankar is on the planning committee for the conference).

Categories: News, Texas A&M

Each fall for the last four years, the “Dealmakers in Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)” course has provided high-performing Mays Business School students a unique opportunity to be immersed in the world of mergers and acquisitions.

In this highly competitive and innovative program, select MBA, Professional Program in Accounting and undergraduate students learn the real-world dynamics of corporate and financial mergers and acquisitions from experienced M&A professionals in a fast paced environment. M&A leaders from around the country serve as guest lecturers, leading students in dynamic role plays, class discussions, case studies and team competitions on actual deals.

The course uses actual completed transactions to address a variety of topics, including finding the right deal, applying valuation methods and techniques, determining deal pricing, financing and capital structure, developing negotiation skills, evaluating contracts and deal memoranda and identifying diligence issues.

The program was founded by Mays alumni and M&A professional Drew Koecher ’88 who envisioned a professionally led case study program to give Texas A&M students exposure to, and a competitive edge in, the M&A disciplines of investment banking, transaction advisory, private equity and corporate deal making. Working closely with Mays Accounting Professor and Department Head James Benjamin, Koecher developed the course, which was launched in the fall of 2013.


(pictured: Drew Koecher, Sean Murphy, Tim Torno and Larry Gies)

After the inaugural year, Sean Murphy ’94, also a Mays alumni and M&A professional, assumed leadership of the class, and along with Koecher, strengthened the course by welcoming Tim Torno as executive professor, and introducing a new group of M&A leaders as guest lecturers at Mays. Torno has more than 35 years of successful executive-level business experience, including 25 M&A transactions while he was a chief financial officer.

“This is the type of high impact, hands-on opportunity that we try to provide for our high-achieving students in Mays,” Benjamin said. “The innovative style of team role play with actual case studies led by practicing M&A leaders, together with the academic stewardship of Tim Torno, is truly unique at Mays and among most business programs. I am confident that this course will continue to meaningfully impact the lives and professional careers of our students.”

Koecher and Murphy continue to be intimately involved in the program, leading classes and hosting M&A professionals from around the country as case presenters. Selected presenters have included:

Larry Gies, founder and CEO of Madison Capital Partners;

Kent Wallace, partner of The Sterling Group;

 Tom Keene, founder of Southlake Equity;

– Mark Miller, CFO of Sabre and ActiveNetworks;

Doug Aaron, CFO of HollyFrontier;

Jeff Hull, managing partner of Highlander Capital;

Mark Dufilho, managing director of corporate finance, Houlihan & Lokey;

 Francis Carr, managing director of The Sterling Group;

– P. Scott Ozanus, deputy chairman of KPMG;

Joe Colonnetta, partner, HBC Investments;

Carolyn Burke, chief integration officer of Dynegy

Gies had this to say about his experience with Mays’ Dealmakers program: “Imagine working on a real deal in an auction environment with teams valuing, strategizing and bidding to try to win the prize. This was the environment in our classroom at Texas A&M. The students I encountered in this class during my two years were so incredibly impressive and resourceful; I would hire any one of them to help me build a business.”

Students interested in investment banking, corporate M&A, private equity, transaction consulting or other investment and/or transaction professional services roles are encouraged to apply. Standout qualities for applicants include strong academic performance, leadership skills, meaningful classroom involvements and a commitment to move outside one’s comfort zone in a challenging, fast-pace team environment.

For more information about the program, visit

Categories: Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s Master of Science in Human Resources Management was ranked second in College Choice’s 2016 ranking of Best Masters in Human Resources Degree Programs.

The ranking considered academic reputation, student retention, networking and internships opportunities. Data was gathered from individual school websites, other rankings sites, and the U.S. News and World Report site.

Find the full rankings at:

Categories: Mays Business, News, Rankings, Students, Texas A&M

Damien Harmon delivered his message about building trust with customers — who he called “boss”— to a packed house of nearly 500 students, faculty and staff at Mays Business School on Sept. 7. Harmon, the vice president of operations at Bridgestone Retail Operations, was the featured speaker of the 19th annual M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture Series, hosted by The Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School.


Journey onward

A father of six and a former NFL player, Harmon began his career in retail while working as a store manager for Best Buy. Overseeing $16 million in sales annually, he demonstrated his ability to lead and know different types of people. He was soon selected to oversee the opening of Best Buy operations in China and Turkey.

From an early age, Harmon’s success was credited to his mother for her entrepreneurial spirit and determination to see her children do well in life. Growing up in small town Gary, Indiana, academic study became the promise to a broader world. Through his mother’s encouragement, he developed an outside-the-box mindset that would propel him forward.

Logging upwards of a million miles a year to implement and grow Best Buy’s international business, Harmon developed expertise in marketing and store operations with the electronics giant, before joining Bridgestone Retail Operations.

Harmon’s eagerness to embrace challenge became the foundation for his current role as vice president of operations, leading to development of its strategic customer experience platform. He also maintains direct responsibility over retail operations, supply chain, IT, customer retention and service capability. …Read more

Categories: Centers, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Programs, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

In the first CurrentlyMAYS session, the four deans of Mays Business School discussed current events from their various perspectives. Most of their conversation with students centered on a case study using Mays as a business model. The players were Dean Eli Jones as CEO, Executive Associate Dean Duane Ireland as COO, and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Arvind Mahajan and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Martha Loudder as division heads.
currently-maysModerator Sandra Lampo, a clinical associate professor of marketing, said any successful business requires all the various disciplines. Jones concurred, and said, “This is one of the most complicated businesses I have encountered. There is usually a clear line of sight to the ultimate customer. What makes this business exciting and a challenge is there is not clear single customer.”
Some customers include the Texas Legislature, which helps fund the school financially; students who are enrolled; parents who are invested; prospective employers; faculty and staff who support the programs; the Texas A&M University campus; and the state of Texas.

“Professors and administrators are in the business of knowledge,” Loudder said. “In our business, we create new knowledge through research. Each of us start as professors with a narrow, technical expertise in our own fields. But as we advance in our careers and moved into administrative positions, we have understand the big picture and broaden our horizons to better understand other fields.”

The deans advised students that they can stay current by keeping with news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Mahajan suggested reading news from outlets that give different political perspectives than his own. “It will force you to challenge your own biases, opinions and beliefs.”

Ireland added: “Find one or two news sources in which you have great confidence and read those often. Soon you’ll pick up on the cadence of the writing and be able to efficiently process the things you are reading.”

Ireland also recommended that the students increase the breadth of individuals with whom they interact. “In management, we talk a lot about strong and weak ties. We value strong ties as our close relationships with others, but even weak ties can be valuable opportunities through which you can have sporadic interaction with people different from yourself.”

Junior finance major Andrew Hitscherich said he appreciated that the deans took time to share their wisdom with students and their vision for transformational leaders at Mays. “I’m looking forward to seeing where Mays is headed,” he said.

Senior PPA and business student Sarah Burns said the deans inspired her and other students to pursue a global, well-rounded mindset. She said she appreciated the cross-functional education at Mays. “We have incredible leaders at all levels behind the scenes of Mays’ success,” she said. “It was really special that the deans took the time to answer our questions, ask for our input, and discuss with us one on one.”

Categories: Departments, DR Eli Jones, Faculty, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Mays Business School advanced in annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report of undergraduate business programs nationwide. It moved up two places — to 17th among public universities and 27th overall—in the “Best Business Programs” section of the magazine’s 2017 rankings released Tuesday (Sept.13).

In addition to moving up in national rankings, Mays is a leader among business schools in Texas—and no school in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) ranks higher, notes Mays Dean Eli Jones.

He says that in concert with the strengthening of Mays’ academic programs and related activities, creating a greater awareness of the school is a top priority. “We have many areas of distinction here at Mays, and we are determined to tell the world about them,” he points out. “We already have a strong foothold in Texas, and we are known nationally for our innovation and our impact. We are stepping up our efforts to play a transformational role in business research, education and practice.”

Mays’ peer assessment score – the measure the magazine uses to rank business schools – is at 3.6. The top peer assessment score possible is 5. U.S. News ranks undergraduate business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) based solely on surveys of business school deans and senior faculty. Participants were asked to rate the quality of programs with which they were familiar on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished). The undergraduate business rankings are based solely on this peer survey. To learn more about the rankings and methodology, visit

In its “Great Schools, Great Prices” category of universities, U.S. News cites Texas A&M University as one of the two top public universities nationally. It is first among public institutions in Texas in that assessment, which combines cost with quality of education.

The magazine’s annual rankings were announced Tuesday in advance of publication of its “Best Colleges” guidebook for 2017.

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Rankings, Texas A&M

Mays Business School welcomed 1,000 incoming freshmen in Fall 2016, bringing the school’s total enrollment to more than 6,200.
The following graphic, provided by the Office of Admissions at Texas A&M University, provides a comprehensive breakdown of the Aggie Class of 2020.



Categories: Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

The Petroleum Ventures Program has kicked off its inaugural semester with 25 petroleum engineering students, several finance students and a 23-member advisory board.

The interdisciplinary partnership between the business and engineering schools at Texas A&M University started with a $12 million gift from Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, who gave $6 million each to the finance (FINC) and petroleum engineering (PETE) departments. The petroleum engineering graduates own WildHorse Resources in Houston. Their goal is to teach finance skills to PETE students and petroleum engineering skills to FINC students.

Anthony Bahr

Anthony Bahr

“I’d say we are off to a good start, and the advisory board members are excited at what is to come,” said Detlef Hallermann, a Mays Business School clinical professor who oversees the program. “What I am hearing from the board is that it’s been a long time coming. We’ve made the first step.  Now the board is going to help us look at what we are doing and provide direction for where we wish to go next.”

Students wrote multiple analytical analyses, reviewed by advisory board members prior to being  accepted into the program. Approximately 100 students attended the informational sessions and more than 60 students applied.

Princewill Imouokhome, a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s in finance, said he was “immediately both interested and curious” about the program and the current state of the oil and gas industry’s impact on it. He applied because he wants to be involved in the energy industry.

“I saw an opportunity to gain both a competitive edge and to leave my comfort zone,” he said. “In my time in the program I have already seen a change in the way I see many things that a contingent upon the energy industry. I hope to gain knowledge, new perspectives on problem solving, and exposure to situations that force me to grow as an individual and a professional.”

Bahr said he is happy to hear about the popularity of the program. “I’m thrilled to welcome the inaugural class of business and engineering students into the Petroleum Ventures Program, and excited these students have made a significant commitment to their future careers in the energy business,” he said.

When fully implemented, the program will offer a Certificate in Petroleum Ventures for both PETE and FINC students. Hallermann is also director of the Trading, Risk & Investments Program (TRIP) and the Reliant Trading Center.

The program will have a profound impact on Mays at many levels, Hallermann said. It provides :

  • Increased visibility of Mays programs
  • Integration of engineering students in Mays undergraduate classes – mostly in finance, but also in other disciplines
  • Strategic importance
  • Groundwork for other programs

The advisory board’s first meeting is Oct. 6-7.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M