General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will require more consumer control and creative digital marketing. To clear up some of the confusion, Venky Shankar, Professor & Coleman Chair in Marketing and Director of Research at the Center for Retailing Studies, answers some questions about it.
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is a sweeping set of new rules developed by the EU to protect consumers in Europe.
Why is it important?
GDPR comes at the right time as we all are still recovering from the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica breach of consumer trust. The new set of rules will go into effect starting May 25. Non-compliant companies can face fines up to 4 percent of company revenues or Euro 20 million, whichever is greater. Although the jurisdiction is limited to EU, it will represent a test case for other countries to develop their own data protection regulations.
Unfortunately, only about one-third of marketers have heard about it and about one-fifth of the companies haven’t made any meaningful changes to their data collection and use to the point of non-compliance.
Scott Felton, a Class of 2019 Full-Time MBA candidate at Mays Business School, is a 2018 scholarship recipient of the Texas Business Hall of Fame (TBHF). He will be awarded $15,000 at a scholarship luncheon on Nov. 1 and will be recognized at an induction dinner that evening.
Shannon Deer, director of the Full-Time MBA program, described Scott as a thoughtful leader and a contributing member of the MBA program. “Scott has an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. He is a thoughtful leader who makes valuable contributions in the classroom that enhance his classmates’ learning experience,” she said. “Scott strives for excellence in all he does. I look forward to hearing about his many successes for years to come, including induction to the Texas Business Hall of Fame someday. Scott is a deserving recipient of this very prestigious scholarship and we are proud to have him in the program.”
According to TBHF guidelines, eligible candidates for the scholarship exhibit entrepreneurial aspirations, demonstrate a propensity for leadership in academic and campus activities and entrepreneurial achievements, and have good academic credentials.
Recipients were chosen after a round of nominations and then an interview process. A final recipient for each scholarship was selected to represent each of the participating universities.
Previous Mays students to win TBHF scholarships include Full-Time MBA graduates Willie Dennis, Lloyd McGuire, and Brian Carpenter.
Rachel Keathley ’18 has been selected as a Gates-Muller awardee and a Fulbright Scholar. She graduated as a Business Honors and management major with minors in economics and Spanish and a certificate in international business.
The Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award, which also includes a $5,000 gift, was presented to Keathley at commencement. It is one of the highest student awards on the Texas A&M University campus. It was established through a gift from the Muller family of Galveston to provide public recognition to the outstanding seniors graduating from Texas A&M who have demonstrated those qualities of leadership, patriotism, and courage exemplified by Robert M. Gates. He served as president of the university from 2002 until 2006, when he was named U.S. Secretary of Defense.
Keathley also will be participating in the Fulbright student program as a Fulbright-Garcia Robles grantee for the Binational Internship program in Mexico City, Mexico. The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The 12-member J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board selects the recipients each year.
A path of leadership
While a student, Keathley has served as events coordinator for the Business Honors program. She was selected as a Public Policy Intern for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., and was awarded the Sophomore Gathright and Outstanding Junior award for her college. She has served on multiple committees, including University Disciplinary Appeals, the Student Health Services Advisory Committee, and Wiley Lecture Marketing committee.
She is heavily involved in local ministry services such as the Philadelphia Sisters, Save Our Streets Ministries, and the Grace Bible Church Street Team. Her references extoll her commitment to “being a true friend,” someone who cares for “the frequently overlooked,” and who has the ability to “stay true to what she believes in, even in the face of challenges.” This fortitude was demonstrated during her term as elections commissioner through which her “conduct was above reproach”—showing “initiative, integrity, and leadership” while handling challenges “with grace.”
Mays Business School recognized 27 undergraduate students as Spring 2018 Martha Loudder Medal of Excellence recipients for their willingness to invest additional effort into their academics.
Named for Mays Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Accounting Professor Marty Loudder, the medal recognizes students who intentionally engage in their educations in and out of the classroom, and who engage in the reflective portfolio process to maximize their learning.
To be eligible for the medal, students first participate in a minimum of three high-impact experiences such as a peer educator position, an internship, or a learning community. Each student then completes a comprehensive learning portfolio, which includes self-awareness exercises and reflections on key experiences like those above.
The portfolio is showcased on a personal website, and serves as the final selection criterion for the Loudder Medal. Reviewers look for comprehensiveness, depth, and clear connections among stories, lessons learned, and future goals.
Mays Business School produces a fresh batch of capable, confident, and courageous young people at each commencement ceremony. This year is no different, when 1,310 students graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees Thursday, May 10. Here are some of their stories:
Amanda “Mandy” Miller
For management major Amanda “Mandy” Miller, selfless service is not only a core value through Texas A&M, it’s also a part of her everyday life. In June 2013, Miller got involved with the Adera Foundation, a nonprofit based in Ethiopia designed to use business as a solution to lead people toward self-sustainability. While working with Adera, she traveled and interned within Ethiopia on five separate occasions. During her time with the Adera Foundation, she created inventory systems and order forms through Microsoft Excel, developed and designed the website for Adera Designs, and connected Adera with two major accounts to carry jewelry from the program. It was involvement in this organization that led her to start her own social enterprise, “Buna: Grounded in Love,” in January 2016.
This initiative stemmed from a passion for two things: building social enterprises and combatting poverty. Buna: Grounded in Love is devoted to delivering an excellent product and providing employment opportunities for underprivileged women. Their hand-roasted coffee is available for purchase online, at pop-up markets, and at four local retailers, including Aggieland Outfitters. Mandy’s post-graduation plans include expanding her work with Buna: Grounded in Love by moving to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to take on a more hands-on role in using business to better people’s lives.
by Amy Pakes
Cynthia “Cyndie” Meersman
Cynthia “Cyndie” Meersman completed her bachelor’s degree in management with a focus in Entrepreneurial Leadership. Like many students, she began taking classes in her major based on interests she held at the time, which for her included human resources and marketing–fields that generally involve high interaction and ingenuity. To refine her career plans and gain a more worldly perspective, Meersman studied in Norway for a summer. Not only did that experience allow her to gain cultural insights and friends from across the globe, her coursework provided a perspective that she always knew was there, but that she hadn’t fully explored.
Through a course exercise, Meersman learned that she prefers a job that is both autonomous and creative, much like she experiences with her love of painting. That course exercise sparked an idea: she could pursue her love of the arts within the realm of business. Drawing upon early course lessons in interaction and ingenuity, Meersman founded The Business of the Arts, a student organization designed to enlighten students about careers in art and how to make those careers a reality.
It is no surprise that along the way, Meersman’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to the Entrepreneurial Leadership track for her degree. Her integration of the arts in business will serve her well as she continues both passions after graduation, initially continuing to paint while she finalizes plans to pursue a graduate degree in art leadership on her path to museum and gallery management.
by Kristi Mora
Mays management graduate Niyonsaba “Magnifique” grew up in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Arriving in Houston to a completely different life at the age of 12 provided her with a unique perspective, which translated to a passion helping those less fortunate than herself.
Magnifique was told at an early age by her parents that education is the key to success in life and the way to break the poverty cycle she had seen so much of in Tanzania. She graduated as the salutatorian of Lee High School in Houston and was awarded a full ride to Texas A&M University through the Posse Foundation.
She is quick to credit her success to mentors who have helped her succeed in both high school and college.
Magnifique has held leadership roles in a number of Texas A&M organizations, including Aggies Creating Sustainable Solutions, Maroon and White Leadership Fellows, and the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference. In addition, she completed an internship with BakerRipley, where she researched new curriculum for elementary ESL teachers to help foreign, illiterate students learn English. However, her desire to help others get the education they seek didn’t stop there.
Her goal after graduation is to run her own non-profit in Burundi and Rwanda with goals to raise scholarship funds to help underprivileged students complete their education and empower them to succeed. The oldest of three children, and a first-generation high school and now college graduate, Magnifique wants to continue to model the core values she has embraced while at Texas A&M.
by Amy Pakes and Liesl Wesson
Accounting major Heather Berry faced several unique challenges throughout her three years at Mays after being admitted as a transfer student. First, as a non-traditional student, it took some time to settle in with the other younger undergraduate students around her. Heather says that “I liked to think that I blended in well” and it is true. Her peers would have never assumed this. She arrived in class dressed the same way, unpacked her backpack with her notes, and occasionally spent the few minutes before class catching up on her phone… she fit right in.
What her classmates probably did notice, however, was an interpreter who assisted Heather each class by interpreting the instructor’s lecture in sign language. As a deaf student at a hearing university, Heather had to navigate how to properly obtain accommodations to help her succeed as well as adapt to the classroom environment at Mays. This didn’t cause her to give up, however. Her interpreters consistently mentioned to her professors that it was a pleasure to work with someone as friendly as Heather and how she had a great sense of humor.
Just as Heather was finally in her groove her second year of classes, Heather got what many consider the greatest news of their lives: she was pregnant. Heather gave birth to her precious daughter in the winter of 2016. While many take time off after a newborn, she continued to take classes (notably her most difficult upper-level accounting coursework) in the next spring semester and each semester after that until graduation.
She balanced a newborn and her coursework, and still found some time to get some sleep.
She is proud of herself, and says she couldn’t have done it without the support of her boyfriend, nterpreters, and professors.
After graduation, Heather is excited to take a short break to relax and then start applying what she learned in her accounting coursework as an Accountant for Communication Service for the Deaf (a non-profit serving the deaf community).
Alliance combines research expertise and entrepreneurship for new transportation advances
Taking innovative transportation ideas and working with the private sector to develop them into viable products and services that improve transportation safety and mobility is the goal of a new partnership between the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
The partnership was announced Wednesday, May 9, at the Texas A&M Transportation Technology Conference by TTI Agency Director Greg Winfree and Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones. It is the first partnership of its kind for both TTI and Mays, as it marries the entrepreneurial-focused educational and experiential opportunities offered by the McFerrin Center with the deep transportation research expertise at TTI, a state agency and member of The Texas A&M University System.
Designated the “Innovation Hub @ TTI,” the purpose of this venture is for TTI and the McFerrin Center to work together with a range of partners to develop transformative transportation solutions that address long-standing mobility and safety challenges. The goal is for these solutions to be marketable to the public and provide product commercialization opportunities.
“This is a paradigm shift in how we at TTI might think about approaching a transportation problem and formulating a solution,” said Ginger Goodin, TTI senior research engineer, who is leading the initiative. “As a public transportation research agency, it is becoming increasingly important for us to engage more deliberately with the private sector in addressing today’s transportation issues because our transportation system is clearly becoming more reliant on private-sector innovation. The McFerrin Center offers TTI expertise in facilitating industrial partnerships and identifying marketplace needs to help us grow our private-sector relationships.”
“The Texas A&M University System has profound innovation capabilities, and our researchers are thought leaders within practically every industry,” said Blake Petty, director of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. “TTI’s researchers are a shining example of transportation thought leaders, and we are pleased to partner with TTI on this new venture. We envision the Innovation Hub @ TTI will make a significant impact on how we innovate and translate next-generation transportation technologies to the marketplace. We also see the partnership as a prototype for problem-solving innovation and entrepreneurship training across the Texas A&M System.”
The Innovation Hub @ TTI will function as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and innovation in emerging transportation solutions and will include the involvement of TTI researchers, Texas A&M students, private-sector partners and the broader transportation community.
About the Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Recognized as one of the premier higher education-affiliated transportation research agencies in the world, TTI’s research and development program has made significant breakthroughs across all facets of the transportation system. TTI research is widely known as an excellent value with a proven impact of saving lives, time and resources. In the laboratory and the classroom, TTI researchers help prepare students for transportation careers.
About the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship
Since its inception in 1999, the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship has served as the hub of entrepreneurship for Texas A&M University. Offering more than 30 enterprising programs each year, the center engages student and non-student entrepreneurs in a variety of opportunities to enhance their entrepreneurial skills. From business plan competitions to entrepreneurship certificates to the Startup Aggieland accelerator to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, the center’s programs are touted as transformative and inspiring.
The spring faculty and staff meeting was a time of celebration. Among the announcements were news that the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) had reaccredited Mays Business School and the Department of Accounting. The process required extensive documentation and a site visit from a peer review team.
Dean Eli Jones also announced plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mays Business School. More details about this special weekend are at wereamaysing.com. A celebratory toast with nonalcoholic juice and cakes was held in the lobby of the Wehner Building.
Also announced were the following promotions:
David Griffith, professor and head of the Department of Marketing, professor and head, with tenure on arrival. Manjit Yadav was thanked for his service as interim head of the Department of Marketing.
Jeremiah Green (Accounting), to associate professor with tenure on arrival.
Neil Giesmar (INFO) and Dechun Wang (Accounting), to professor.
Michael Howard and Michael Withers (both of Management), to associate professor with tenure.
Aaron Becker (INFO), Michelle Diaz (Accounting), and Sudarsan Rangan (INFO), to clinical associate professor.
Tara Blasor (Accounting) to senior lecturer.
Anwer Ahmed (Accounting), Ashley ’88 and David Coolidge ’87 Chair in Business,
Wendy Boswell (Management), Jerry and Kay Cox Chair in Business,
Jim Benjamin (Accounting), Deloitte Leadership Professorship
Chairs and professorship appointments announced were:
Dechun Wang (Accounting), Ljungdahl PwC Chair in Accounting,
Rich Metters (INFO), Paul M. and Rosalie Robertson Chair in Business,
David A Griffith (Marketing), Hallie Vanderhider Chair in Business,
Jeremiah Green (Accounting), Ernst & Young Professorship in Accounting,
Mary Lea McAnally (Accounting), PwC Professorship in Accounting,
Stephen Courtright (Management), John E. Pearson Professorship in Business Administration,
Cindy Devers (Management), Lawrence E. Fouraker Professorship in Business Administration.
Mays Business School at Texas A&M University received its five-year accreditation renewal this week from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The renewal includes a separate accreditation of the Department of Accounting, making the college one of 186 worldwide certified in both overall business and accounting programs.
Dean Eli Jones was notified Tuesday, May 1, 2018, of the reaccreditation. “AACSB accreditation is the most rigorous international accreditation a business school can earn. Our engaged stakeholders (faculty, staff and advisory board members) push us to reach this very high standard of quality,” he said. “I am proud that Mays Business School has continuously improved in terms of innovation and impact, which is reflected in our maintaining this accreditation over many years.”
Advancing the world’s prosperity
Department of Accounting head Jim Benjamin added, “We were delighted to be one of the first 13 schools to achieve AACSB accounting accreditation in 1982. Maintaining our status challenges our faculty to pursue excellence and continuous improvement.”
To prepare for the evaluation, Mays officials submitted voluminous documents late last year about the school’s programs and achievements. Mays educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students in accounting, business honors, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. The vision of Mays Business School is to advance the world’s prosperity by being a vibrant learning organization, creating impactful knowledge, and developing transformational leaders.
A peer review team visited the school, looking specifically at accomplishments since the previous visit five years earlier – including the launch and activation of a new Strategic Plan and consistently high rankings among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The team of deans and professors visited Mays in February to interview faculty, staff, outside business partners, alumni, and students about the mission and vision of the college. They rated faculty and curricula and ensured all the programs in the college met quality standards relating to strategic management of resources, interactions between faculty and students, and student success in terms of achieving learning goals.
An intense peer-review process
The Continuous Improvement Review Committee and the Accounting Accreditation Committee concurred with the peer review teams’ recommendations for extension of accreditation of the business and accounting degree programs. The Board of Directors concurred.
Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International, extended congratulations to Mays Business School on extending its accreditation. “The intense peer-review process confirms a school’s continued focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning. Mays Business School’s dedication to delivering high-quality business education will create the next generation of great leaders.”
The AACSB sets the highest standards of excellence, and it has been accrediting business colleges since 1916. It provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to more than 1,500 member organizations in 90 countries and 810 accredited business schools in 53 countries. There are more than 16,000 business schools around the world.
The first-place team in the inaugural Aggie Pitch competition on April 20 was Bezoar Labs – a team familiar to McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship because it received honorable mention in the 2017 Raymond Ideas Challenge.
Of the 10 finalists in the competition in which students from Texas A&M System schools and branch campuses pitch their business concepts, eight had been involved in McFerrin programs (3 Day Startup, Ideas Challenge, and Startup Aggieland).
Bezoar Lab team members said their invention “tackles every element of our planet’s complex web improving its health by creating a safer, more nutritious protein sources for all.” Team members were Ryan Springer, manufacturing and mechanical engineering technologies; and Grace Tsai, nautical archaeology.
McFerrin Center Director Blake Petty said the first competition was encouraging. “Our inaugural Aggie Pitch event showcased the dedication and entrepreneurial spirit behind our top student entrepreneurs,” he said. “McFerrin Center looks forward to enabling the next wave of students within our Aggie Entrepreneurial Ecosystem to be even stronger competitors in 2019 and beyond.” …Read more
Students in the Strategic Philanthropy class at Mays Business School awarded $62,500 to six local nonprofit organizations at a celebration on May 3. After researching local nonprofit organizations for the semester, students in the class awarded gifts ranging from $2,400 to $17,500.
That brings the total allocations since the class started in 2016 to $318,000.
Kyle Gammenthaler, lecturer and Coordinator of Social Impact Initiatives at Mays, described at the celebration in the Wehner Building the impact of the course on both the students and the nonprofit organizations. “Strategic Philanthropy provides students with an opportunity to experience generosity firsthand,” Gammenthaler said. “For many students, this is the beginning of a life filled with service and meaningful engagement with nonprofits in our communities and around the world.”
Bill Peel, the executive director of innovation and strategic planning at Mays, welcomed the audience gathered in the seminar classroom. “At Mays, our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Our students are challenged to innovate and impact the world around them,” he said. “This class has dedicated a whole semester to researching their community. Now they will give back to their identified non-profit organizations with philanthropic investments. You will hear our students share their stories about how they engaged their local community and the impact of this transformative experience.”
The winners are…
This semester’s funding was provided by The VanLoh Family and The Philanthropy Lab. The recipients and their proposed projects were:
Northway Farms: $17,500 – Housing infrastructure
Health For All: $15,100 – Critical medical supplies
Save Our Streets Ministries:$13,500 – New vocational training work truck and vocational training program support
Mercy Project: $8,000 – Two social workers in Ghana
Still Creek Ranch $6,000 – TAGGED Program
Family Promise: $2,400 – Operational support
In her overview of the semester, finance senior Lydia Wallis said her overall impressions of the class were that everyone was excited to be there, and that the students considered the people operating the various organizations local heroes.
Wallis said her journal entries reflected her feelings that the class was not just educational, it was a “beliefs stretch.” “It really matters if you surround yourself with people who care,” she said. “Don’t just live, live with purpose. Live with intentionality.”
She closed with her favorite quote, by J.R.R. Tolkien: ‘There is some good in the world, and it is worth fighting for.”