On May 1, 2020, a Faculty Learning Community Showcase was held to display the Mays Transformational Leader mindsets at work, all of which add value to the teaching mission and stoke the fire of innovation at Mays. 

 

The come and go Zoom meeting hosted by Bailey Lenzen, Lecturer, and Program Coordinator, facilitated multiple breakout rooms, all of which showcased various combinations of the MTL mindsets and the innovative ways that they have been implemented. Lenzen said, “As we work to fulfill the promise of MTL development (Strategic Initiative 4.2), we continue to seek classroom opportunities for students to practice mindsets identified in the Mays Strategic Learning Framework. Creating such opportunities is best accomplished within a community of engaging, interesting, and similarly motivated peers. The MTL Faculty Learning Community invites about ten faculty members each year to develop at least one experiential learning opportunity designed to develop one or more Mays mindsets, implement and assess the learning opportunity, and present what was designed and implemented at a showcase each spring.”

 

In the Spring 2019 edition of @Mays Magazine, we focused on Academic Innovation. The magazine expressed how Academic Innovation asks the question, “what we’re doing is great, but how can we be better?” A large piece of being better is utilizing the mindsets of the Mays Transformational Leader. Taking advantage of the Analytical, Entrepreneurial, Ethical, Global, Inclusive, Social Impact, and Systems Thinking MTL mindsets, our students, faculty, and staff become innovators. 

 

The question, “How can we be better?,” is constantly being asked in the halls of Mays Business School. In the pursuit to advance the world’s prosperity, our goal is to put our future business leaders into a place to be successful. 

 

This means priming students in their undergraduate years to hit the ground running in the first few years of their career so that they, too, can be better. Akshaya Sreenivasan, Marketing Clinical Assistant Professor, learned that the students leaving Mays had a phenomenal grasp on domestic marketing markets but were struggling with international cases. Thus, the “Dunkin’ Donuts assignment” was born. Created to look at how American brands can be rebranded and positioned to fit foreign markets like India, a retail boom with high growth, this course requires students to use their Systems Thinking, Ethical, Analytical, and Global mindsets.

 

2020 has been no stranger to problems requiring Academic Innovation or the MTL Mindsets. As a pandemic threatened the world, Texas A&M was required to move an entire semester online in just one week. The extraordinary efforts of Mays Business School faculty and staff transitioned approximately 2,300 students online all while adjusting to new work schedules, new workplaces, copious Zoom meetings, and changes in home life. With the majority of the Spring semester and the entirety of Summer sessions being held virtually, the Mays Business School faculty and staff exemplified both the Aggie Core Values and the MTL Mindsets. 

 

To get a better idea of the student experience of remote/online classes, a survey was created and sent to Mays students. Nancy Simpson, a Mays Clinical Professor, Director, and Faculty Development Fellow, led the survey initiative and the showcase discussion on the feedback that was received. From appreciation for professors’ flexibility and empathy to challenges with internet and computer availability, survey respondents provided a gamut of information that will not only be beneficial in building future online courses but helpful in creating new, better, best practices for on-campus learning as well.

 

To see the presentations held at the MTL Faculty Learning Community showcase from this year and years past, please visit: https://mays.tamu.edu/strategic-plan/mtl-learning-community/