Texas A&M | Mays Impacts

The two-hour digital event hosted by the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School will take a look at retail education and the skills needed by the Class of 2025 and beyond.

Engaging leaders from across the retail ecosystem, the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) at Mays Business School will host a short-form discussion focused on the skills needed from future retail graduates to support the evolving needs of the industry. The virtual event will highlight the expertise and opinions of retail business function leaders, college recruiters, and trade press while informing participants of the plans for the future of the CRS program at Texas A&M.

“The pace of change has accelerated within the retailing industry, and many retailers and consumer brands are moving to integrate their physical and digital teams into a single, integrated business structure.  It’s important that we stay out in front of that change by continuing to update and refine our program,” said Scott Benedict, Executive Professor and Director of CRS and a 35-year omnichannel retail veteran.

The highly engaging, quick-format, agenda includes a roundtable discussion, breakout sessions, and recap discussion at the end of the session.

The roundtable discussion will focus on the evergreen retail skills that remain relevant, new expertise needed to run an omnichannel business, and ways to accelerate into the future, including high impact learning opportunities, featuring:

  • Whitney Cooper, Director, Omnichannel Transformation and Acceleration at Walmart
  • Jody Hall ’87 & ‘89, Vice President of Global Sourcing, H-E-B
  • Lauren Hill ‘07, Director of Merchandising – Home, Target

Breakout sessions will focus on relevant topics and experiences from speaker’s perspectives that will culminate with an alignment on 3-5 key findings and recommendations for the focus of retail education.

The report back from the breakout session leaders will recap the 3-5 key takeaways with layering comments by the roundtable members.

“It’s sure to be an exciting and informative time together,” shares Benedict. “From this input from our constituents and industry partners, we will gain another piece of the puzzle to how to best equip students for the future needs in the retail industry.”

Attendance is free. The Retail Innovators Roundtable – A look at retail education & the skills needed by the Class of 2025 and beyond will take place on Friday, July 16, 202,1 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. CDT.

More information can be found at http://tx.ag/RetailInnovators

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About the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School

The Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University serves the retail industry by educating the next generation of industry leaders, developing retail-related research, and by providing industry executive outreach & thought leadership. Founded in 1983 in response to an unmet industry need for college educated leaders, CRS has become a renowned source of industry knowledge and a pipeline for developing future retail leaders.: mays.tamu.edu/retail

Media contact: Andrew Vernon, Center for Retailing Studies, avernon@mays.tamu.edu

About Mays Business School at Texas A&M University

At Mays Business School, our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools for its programs and faculty research.

Visit Mays: mays.tamu.edu

Categories: Center for Retailing Studies, Executive Speakers, Former Students, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

Kyle Koehler ’09 is an unlikely founder of a food manufacturing company. Yet Wildway –the company he co-founded in 2012–has benefitted from his financial acumen, commitment to health, and desire to live a values-based life that supports the creation of a better world. Koehler’s unconventional but highly successful path led to his selection as Mays Business School’s Professional Program in Account (PPA) 2021 Rising Star Award.

This honor recognizes a recent PPA graduate who is making a substantial impact on society through business acumen, exceptional leadership, or entrepreneurial success. “Kyle represents exactly what the PPA Rising Star Award is intended to recognize: he is a young, successful entrepreneur who co-founded Wildway just three years after graduating from Texas A&M University,” said Dr. Nate Sharp, head of the James Benjamin Department of Accounting in Mays Business School and the Nelson D. Durst Endowed Chair in Accounting. “As a PPA Rising Star, Kyle’s success demonstrates that ‘advancing the world’s prosperity’ often goes hand-in-hand with improving people’s lives. We are incredibly proud of what Kyle has accomplished with Wildway.”

An Adventure in Entrepreneurship

Koehler, who was born and raised an Aggie, took a circuitous route to being an entrepreneur. After graduating from Mays PPA Group 17, the native of LaGrange, Texas lived briefly in Austin before moving to New York City, where he worked for Ernst & Young. However, the big-city lifestyle eventually took its toll. “The corporate life got draining and exhausting, especially in New York City,” he said. “The hours and days were long and living there wasn’t fulfilling in my personal life. I wanted to pursue something that spoke to the values that I had personally and the lifestyle that I wanted to live.”

Kyle and his wife at the time, Kelli, decided to return to Texas, selecting San Antonio as their new home. “The main reason we chose to move back to San Antonio was to be closer to family,” Koehler said. “Family has always taken precedence for us and the importance of family is also built into our company culture. I always tell our people that family comes before your job and to never sacrifice family for work.”

The city also has proven to be a good fit in other ways. The proximity to the Hill Country offers ready accessibility to outdoor activities. Additionally, San Antonio’s business-friendly environment has been instrumental in the Koehlers’ rapid success as food entrepreneurs. “San Antonio is a very business-friendly city with a strong entrepreneurial culture and a great workforce,” Koehler said. “We would not be where we are today if we had to deal with the cost of building a manufacturing business in a more expensive city or state.”

Clean Eating

The idea to create Wildway was sparked by the Koehlers’ decision to clean up their diet. “We took out a lot of added sugars from our diet and started eating really healthy. We felt really good with it,” he said. “We made snack items for ourselves that were gluten-free, didn’t have any sugars, and were made with really clean ingredients. At one point, we wondered whether we could turn this into a business and make something of this.”

After founding the company in 2012, Kyle and Kelli spent the next year testing products and formulations for clean and tasty cereals, granolas, and snacks at the city’s small farmer’s markets. Feedback and sales proved promising. “The first time we attended a farmers market in San Antonio, we made enough granola for the entire weekend,” Koehler said. “When we sold out of everything in a little over an hour, that’s when we thought that we might have something worth building on a larger scale.”

Healthy Growth

Now, the company’s products can be found on the shelves of over 2,000 grocery and health-food stores across the nation. Wildway is sold in a variety of leading national and regional supermarkets, including H-E-B, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Kroger, and Wegmans.

The business, which currently has 12 employees, differs from many other food manufacturing companies. “We do all of our manufacturing in-house, which is a little different from a lot of food manufacturers that outsource their manufacturing to a firm that specializes in food manufacturing,” Koehler said. “We built our manufacturing plant from the ground up and there’s a lot of learning experiences there.”

This business model works, and the company’s rapid growth has caught the industry’s attention. Wildway was selected from 700 applicants to be among the nine companies to participate in the Chobani Food Incubator. The Aggie-owned small business was also one of 10 chosen for the PepsiCo Incubator. Both incubators mentor entrepreneurs as they grow their business to the next level.

Feeding Success

The Mays graduate’s role continues to evolve as the company grows. Originally tasked with handling the accounting as well as a broad range of jobs necessitated in a small business, Koehler now primarily oversees the business’s finances and operations. Kelli, who was recognized by the Association of Former Students in the 2021 “12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight,” focuses on marketing.

Koehler credits much of the company’s success to what he learned at Mays and Texas A&M. “There are a lot of people who go into business without a business background because they are passionate about a product, a particular service or particular thing they can make,” he said. “The business background for me was very important in starting and growing the business. Knowing how to read a financial statement and how to balance a budget when we were first starting out was incredibly helpful. I think a lot of extracurricular activities that I was involved in at the university also helped with my leadership ability and ability to manage people.”

As the company continues to grow, Koehler remains dedicated to bringing positive change to the world through manufacturing clean food. “Kyle epitomizes the Aggie core values, especially excellence, integrity, and selfless service. Wildway, the company Kyle and Kelli have created, provides a high-quality product intended to make people’s lives better and healthier,” said Dr. Mike Shaub, the Deloitte Professional Program Director Professor. “Kyle shows his integrity in being uncompromising about being fully himself, and his focus is on others, whether that is the customer or his employees. He wants a healthy work environment, a healthy community, and a healthy world. He did not go into this venture to get rich, but to make the world a better place by what he saw as a genuine need. What better way to advance the world’s prosperity?”

Categories: Alumni, Former Students, Mays Business, News, PPA, Programs, Texas A&M

Business Honors Students utilize Mays Transformational Leadership Mindsets in High-Impact Learning event

Mays Business School students Mia Barone ’21, Steven Gooch ’22 and Laura Key ’22 won top divisional honors at the Loyola Marymount University’s International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition. This high-impact learning event, which was held virtually April 8-9, challenged participants to create a solution based on one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The Aggie team proposed that Amazon could protect the ocean’s viability by changing its maritime shipping approach.

Case competitions offer an opportunity for Mays students to further develop their transformational leadership mindset. “Participating in an international case study provides Mays students an opportunity to exhibit the culmination of business competency and experience gained in the classroom and through high-impact activities on a global scale,” said Katy Lane ’02, the director of Mays’ Center for International Business Studies, which sponsored the team in the case competition. “Working as a cohesive team to analyze and clearly communicate their solution is essential to succeeding in the high-pressure environment. In many cases, judges are from companies or organizations seeking to implement the winning solutions to make a positive social impact.  These teams clearly display the Mays Transformational Leadership mindset in action.”

Changing Course

Advised by Dr. Daria Panina of Mays Department of Management, the student team focused on the UN goal of conserving and sustainably using the oceans, sea, and marine resources for sustainable development. Their full presentation had to address the legal, financial, and ethical dimensions, and their recommendation had to be a solution that was viable on all counts. As part of this session, the Aggies, who are part of Mays Business Honors program, were questioned by a panel of judges who have executive experience in corporate ethics, compliance, corporate social responsibility, executive leadership, and sustainability. This panel did not include representatives from Amazon, which was the focus of the Mays’ team’s case.

The Aggies recommended integrating the practice of slow steaming into Amazon’s maritime cargo operations. “Right now, there’s a lot of sustainability work being done on the company’s consumer-facing, warehouse-to-door operations–electric delivery vehicles, sustainable mailers, shipment zero goal, etc.–but no responsibility is being taken for the impact of Amazon’s inbound logistics process through their shipping subsidiary,” said Barone, who is majoring in marketing and analytics.

The team’s presentation pointed out that a large proportion of the merchant fleet relies on bunker fuel, which contains a high amount of sulfur. The fleet’s fuel combustion releases large amounts of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, which acidify the marine environment and contribute to reduced calcification, erosion of coral reefs, and adverse effects on human health, especially in coastal communities. One cargo ship creates the same amount of pollution as 50 million cars[1].

Amazon ships approximately 3.2 million inbound shipping containers per year to warehouses globally; these containers hold $127.6 billion in products. The Mays team recommended that these ships adopt slow steaming. This approach, which reduces the ship’s speed from 20-24 knots to 12-19 knots, reduces the use of fuel and the resultant cargo emissions.

Wide Sustainability Implications

The Aggies also pointed out that slower travel does not result in lower profits. They cited University of Hamburg researchers, who found that profits for many container vessels decline when speeds surpass 20 knots.

The Mays team also believed that their proposal was feasible and environmentally beneficial. “Ultimately, the solution that we proposed is one that is easy to implement within a couple of months,” said Key, who is majoring in supply chain management. “It’s not a large-scale transformation. As they push forward with net-zero goals, making this small change can be very beneficial to the environment long-term. Using slow-steaming and slowing boats down reduces overall fuel consumption.”

The team advocated for more frequent, small shipments of each product to warehouses. Through using freight forwarding, Amazon would be able to combine small batches of multiple SKUs in containers, which would eliminate the need for holding additional safety stocks.

The Aggies believe these recommendations could have wider sustainability implications. “Amazon is a key player in the global shipping industry. Because of the economy of scale, they have the opportunity to set the standard for the industry,” said Gooch, who is majoring in marketing and analytics. “Adopting this practice would make it more acceptable for others to take on some more sustainable practices. Overall, this would have a greater impact on preserving our oceans and supporting those people in the coastal communities who depend on those resources.”

View the student’s winning presentation:

2021 Mays Business School IBESCC Presentation

Categories: Business Honors, Center for Business International Studies, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

Established in 1983, the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School has developed future retail leaders to advance the world’s prosperity.

 

Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) launched a fundraising campaign today titled, “Supporting the Future of Retail,” to engage strategic partners from across the retailing community in support of the Center’s critical mission of Inspiring the Future of Retail. From its founding in 1983 as the first university center of excellence in retail through today, the mission of the Center remains focused on developing retail leaders and business knowledge for tomorrow.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated change in the retail industry, including the growth of eCommerce, the integration of digital and physical retail operating models, and opportunities to engage the industry in a dialog about the talent needs of retailers and consumer brands for a more integrated and omnichannel approach to the business moving forward. The campaign will feature a breadth of content developed to educate, engage, and energize the retail industry. The desired outcome of the campaign includes to bringing more organizations along with the mission of the Center by investing time, talent, and financial support critical to student success and developing future leaders of the retail industry.

Join CRS in your preferred channel to gain a well-rounded view of opportunities from now through the end of July 2021:

Highlights of partnership with CRS include:

  • Access to talent and future organization leaders from a recognized and valued business school
  • Access to research faculty and the ability to collaborate on relevant retail research that advances knowledge of a rapidly evolving business and consumer from a recognized and acclaimed Tier One research institution
  • Engagement in industry networking and thought leadership, providing access to the collective wisdom of leaders from across the retail ecosystem as well as the brand recognition
  • Influence on the future of retailing education, by playing a role in identifying the skills needed for future leaders of their organization, the industry at large, and investing in capabilities they view as critical to their future success.
  • Industry updates on recovery from the pandemic, and the impact of retail on serving the American consumer early into, during, and after the crisis

For information on becoming a corporate partner of the Center for Retailing Studies or to request a sponsorship proposal, please contact Lauren Osborne at 979.845.0325 or email losborne@mays.tamu.edu. We gratefully acknowledge and thank our current partner companies for investing in retailing education at Texas A&M University.

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About the Texas A&M Center for Retailing Studies (CRS)

Since opening in 1983, the Center for Retailing Studies has been respected throughout the world as a leading source of industry knowledge and a pipeline for developing future retail leaders.

In collaboration with the outstanding performance of the faculty at Mays Business School and excellence in student education programs, each year, more than 150 students complete coursework, internships, and leadership programs that prepare them for professional careers within the industry in store management, buying, merchandising, planning, business analytics, and supply chain.

Explore more on CRS: https://mays.tamu.edu/center-for-retailing-studies/

 

About Mays Business School

At Mays Business School, our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools for its programs and faculty research.

Say Howdy to Mays: https://mays.tamu.edu

Categories: Center for Retailing Studies, Centers, Donors Corner, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Programs, Research, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

Each Spring, Mays Business School celebrates its faculty and staff for superior accomplishments. This meeting is a time to look back on the past year and recognize those who have gone above and beyond in their service. This year, the Mays community gathered virtually to honor the following 2020-2021 achievements and welcome its newest members.

Faculty Emeriti

  • James Benjamin, James Benjamin Department of Accounting – 46 years
  • Julian Gaspar, Center for International Business Studies – 29 years of service
  • Steve McDaniel, Department of Marketing – 40 years of service

Faculty Tenures & Promotions

  • Lecturer to Senior Lecturer
    • Karen Farmer, James Benjamin Department of Accounting
  • Clinical Assistant to Clinical Associate
    • Bilal Erturk, Department of Finance
    • Russ Peterson, Department of Finance
  • Assistant to Associate
    • Marco Rossi, Department of Finance
    • Chris Yust, James Benjamin Department of Accounting
  • Associate Professor to Full Professor
    • Yong Chen, Finance

Faculty Awards

  • 2021 Distinguished Achievement Award (Teaching):
    • Gregory R. Heim, Professor, Department of Information and Operations Management
  • Department of Information and Operations Management Teaching Awards:
    • Master’s, Management Information Systems – David Gomillion
    • Undergraduate, Management Information Systems – Aaron Becker
    • Undergraduate, Supply Chain – Tony Arreola-Risa
  • Department of Management Teaching Awards
    • HR Division of the Academy of Management, Herbert Heneman Jr. Career Achievement Award – Murray R. Barrick
    • HR Division of the Academy of Management, Early Career Achievement Award – Joel Koopman
    • Best Editorial Board Reviewer for Journal of Applied Psychology – Joel Koopman
  • Department of Marketing Teaching Awards
    • 2021 Herb Thompson Teaching Award – Lisa C. Troy
    • 2021 Herb Thompson Teaching Award – Akshaya Sreenivasan,

Honoring our Ph.D. Students 

  • Outstanding Teaching Award
    • Stephen Stewart, James Benjamin Department of Accounting
    • Hai Pham, Department of Finance
    • Huseyn Abdulla, Department of Information and Operations Management
    • Melanie Prengler, Department of Management
    • Yuna Choe, Department of Marketing
  • Outstanding Research Award
    • Rachel Flam, James Benjamin Department of Accounting
    • Dora Li Horstman, Department of Finance
    • Mayukh Majumdar, Department of Information and Operations Management
    • Seoin Yoon, Department of Management
    • Muzeeb Shaik, Department of Marketing
  • Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
    • Rachel Flam, James Benjamin Department of Accounting

Staff Star Performer Awards

  • Taylor Bordelon, Program Coordinator, Center for Executive Development
  • Lisa Burton, Director, MS Marketing Program
  • Diana Cassetta-Perez, Administrative Associate IV, Department of Marketing
  • Ashley Corn, Academic Advisor III, Undergraduate Advising
  • Monica Espinoza, Administrative Associate II, Center for International Business Studies
  • Brent Jankowiak, Business Coordinator, James Benjamin Department of Accounting
  • Glynna Nickle, Program Coordinator I, Department of Marketing
  • Kimberly Scherer, Administrative Coordinator II, Department of Management
  • Donna L. Shumaker, Administrative Coordinator I, Department of Information and Operations Management
  • Katie Stober, Assistant Director, MBA Admissions
  • Business Honors Team:
    • Kris Morley, Director of Business Honors
    • Jeff Glenn, Program Coordinator, Student Transformation Center
    • Claire Raabe, Academic Advisor, Business Honors

Meeting our New Colleagues 

  • Ben Welch, Clinical Professor and Assistant Dean for Executive Education, Center for Executive Development
  • Alyssa Morgan, Program Manager – Client Engagement, Center for Executive Development
  • Julie Chrisler, Development Assistant, Development
  • Debbie Hesse, Director of Development, Development
  • Mark Toler, Assistant Director of Development, Development
  • LaRhesa Johnson, Assistant Director for Marketing and Communications, Graduate Programs
  • Regan Metoyer Peterson, Program Coordinator, Recruiting & Admissions, CityCentre, Graduate Programs
  • Jazmin Jones, Graduate Programs – Program Coordinator, Full-Time MBA Program
  • Shayla Clifton, Program Coordinator II, Department of Marketing
  • Kathy Miller, Business Coordinator II, Department of Marketing
  • Rachel Racicot, Communications Specialist II, Department of Marketing
  • Jess Junek, Business Coordinator II, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship

Celebrating Staff Promotions

  • Mike Alexander, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs
  • Joanne Byrne, Program Coordinator II, Grad Programs, Scholarships, and Financial Aid
  • Hannah Cole, Academic Advisor IV, Department of Marketing
  • De’Ambra Harmon, Administrative Associate V, Department of Marketing
  • Alyssa Hartmann, Academic Advisor II, Undergraduate Advising Office
  • Karen Hentschel, Executive Assistant I, Department of Finance
  • Ashley Hilgemeier, Director, Client Engagement, Center for Executive Development
  • Rebecca Itz, Academic Advisor IV, Department of Finance
  • Sarah Jaks, Associate Director, Full-Time MBA Program
  • Deborah Mann, Associate Director, Professional MBA Program
  • Tom Marrs, Associate Director, Client Engagement, Center for Executive Development
  • Deborah McHaney, Associate Director, MBA Recruiting and Admissions
  • Brittany Schultz, Academic Advisor II, Undergraduate Advising Office
  • Catherine Young, Academic Advisor II, Undergraduate Advising Office

Honoring our Retirees

  • Kim Austin, Director of Career Management Center, MBA Programs – 6 years of service
  • Paul S. Busch, Texas A&M University System Regents Professor, Department of Marketing – 35 years of service
  • Katherine Jackson, Business Administrator, Department of Marketing – 27 years of service
  • Richard “Dick” H. Lester, Clinical Professor, Department of Management – 15 years of service
  • Marty Loudder, Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and PricewaterhouseCooper Teaching Excellence Professor of Accounting, James Benjamin Department of Accounting – 32 years of service
  • Brian Molhusen, Executive Professor, Department of Marketing – 6 years of service
  • Nancy Simpson, Clinical Professor, Undergraduate Special Programs – 32 years of service
  • Chris Wolfe, Deborah D. Shelton Accounting Systems Professor, James Benjamin Department of Accounting – 36 years of service

 

Categories: Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Company Makes Joint Investment to Texas McCombs and Texas A&M’s Mays Business School

The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) has agreed to invest $7.5 million to the Texas McCombs Longhorn Fund, now called Texas McCombs Investment Advisers LLC, and $7.5 million to The Reveille Fund at Texas A&M Mays Business School. The funds are actively managed domestic equity funds benchmarked to the S&P 500. Operated by business students, the funds enable the business schools to provide unique experiential learning opportunities, continued investment education, financial research, and practice for their students.

Created in 1996, UTIMCO is the first external investment corporation formed by a public university system and manages investments for The University of Texas and Texas A&M Systems.

“UTIMCO is excited to support the student investment funds at the McCombs and Mays business schools and help give top students the opportunity to learn in a controlled and mentor-led setting and to receive exposure to real-world investment management processes,” says Britt Harris, UTIMCO president and CEO.

In addition to the financial investment, UTIMCO plans to strengthen its active involvement with both schools. Its leadership team will meet regularly with students to review portfolios, discuss performance, and comment on market conditions. UTIMCO will also facilitate meetings with the top external investment managers in the country.

“It is exciting that the discussions that President Jay Hartzell initiated more than one year ago have been fruitful,” says Clemens Siam, professor of finance and director of the AIM Investment Center at McCombs. “This collaboration with UTIMCO will ensure that this path-breaking program that was founded by Keith Brown and George Gau more than 25 years ago will continue to enhance the educational experience of our MBA students.”

“I am thrilled that UTIMCO offered this opportunity to Mays Business School last year, and I am really grateful to Sorin Sorescu, our Interim Executive Associate Dean, for working tirelessly (with input and help from many people) to make this a reality,” says Christa Bouwman, associate professor and acting head of the Department of Finance at Mays Business School. “We already offer a high-impact Aggies on Wall Street program focusing on investment banking. We can now give our students a top-notch Reveille Investment Management Program as well. The Reveille Fund is currently run by my colleagues Hagen Kim and Jene Tebeaux, and we’re delighted to have Brent (B.R.) Adams join as Program Director, bringing over 30 years of hedge fund experience to guide our students.”

Texas McCombs Investment Advisers LLC will initially manage $7.5 million in its Longhorn Portfolio and $7.0 million in its Endowment Portfolio. The Endowment Portfolio manages assets for the AIM Investment Center, the Business School Foundation, and several scholarships.

The Reveille Fund at Texas A&M University will complement The Tanner Fund, which started in 2000 with a $250,000 gift from Jamey and Richard Tanner, ’53. The fund has grown over the past two decades and currently has around $920,000 in portfolio. It has been a student-run portfolio under Jene Tebeaux’ leadership for the entire duration.

About the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin

Texas McCombs is a premier business school at a world-class public research university. We are a community that fosters lifelong engagement with our students and alumni. We cultivate principled leaders and develop ideas that will advance our economy, improve lives, strengthen our communities, and create new knowledge for future generations. Through high-quality instruction, experiential learning, and the pursuit of relevant, groundbreaking research, we are shaping those who will shape tomorrow and solve our most challenging problems.

About Mays Business School at Texas A&M University

At Mays Business School, our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools for its programs and faculty research.

Categories: Departments, Donors Corner, Finance, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Mays MBA Student Leads Aggie Team That Earns 3rd Place in International Case Competition Focused on Addressing International Food Production Problems

Ryan StaplesA Texas A&M University interdisciplinary team led by Mays Business School Full-Time MBA student Ryan Staples ’22 earned third place in the 2021 Norwegian Business School Global Case Competition. The Aggie team–which included Danette Philpot, Garrett Brogan, and Meikah Dado, who are graduate students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communications—earned this international recognition by proposing an innovative use of technology to improve food production in Uganda by empowering women.

The Mays-sponsored group competed against 85 teams from 60 top-tier universities to generate game-changing solutions to food production issues involving obesity, malnutrition, and climate change. These topics will be discussed at the United Nations Food Systems Summit in Fall 2021.

Uganda

Once the case problem was released, Texas A&M’s team decided to focus on Uganda, which Brogan had visited through his studies. That focus was important because more than one of every three Ugandans suffer from chronic malnutrition.

This issue is compounded because the nation has a significant gender inequality issue in its food production system. Eighty percent of the food consumed by the nation’s residents is produced by women. However, for every one pound of food produced by a woman in Uganda, a man can produce three. “Our whole idea is how can we bridge this knowledge and gender gap between men and women so that the country of Uganda can produce more food,” Staples said. “With 80% of the food producers only one-third as productive as their counterparts, there is a huge area of opportunity. “

Tech Solution

The team proposed providing the women farmers with electronic tablets filled with agricultural knowledge so they can become empowered. Using technology allows the nation’s women farmers–who often do not attend extension programs because they are doing the farm work and caring for the children and elderly—to have ready access to extension resources, such as videos. “This is supplying them with knowledge so they can help themselves,” Dado said. “It is a bottom-up approach.”

The team projects that if this initiative is implemented over a 10-year period, 3 million women would be empowered. This would lead to a 30% increase in overall agriculture productivity and a $450 million boost to Uganda’s GDP.

Interdisciplinary Aggies

The Aggie team, which was the top-performing team among North American and South American colleges and universities, benefitted from the support by Mays Business School faculty members Dr. Daniel Usera and Dr. Mary Lea McAnally and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Dr. Jack Elliott, a professor and senior scientist at the university’s renowned Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. These faculty members were able to provide feedback before the team moved into the semifinal round of the case competition.

Staples believes that the team’s interdisciplinary representation was critical to the Aggies’ third place finish. “Our success was truly a testament to the power of synergistic team effort,” he said. “The true kudos go to my three new friends in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who shared this case competition journey with me.”

His counterparts agreed and appreciated Staples’ openness to learning about agriculture and his facilitation and leadership skills. “Ryan had knowledge in so many different ways that we didn’t have, but we had that knowledge of the agriculture aspect,” Dado said. “We were able to come together, and I do not think we would have been as successful if we hadn’t been interdisciplinary.”

Go to Market Plans

The Aggies are now seeking ways to bring their idea to the marketplace. They have presented to the Borlaug Institute’s director and senior faculty, who have offered positive feedback and are considering including the project in future grant proposals. In addition, Staples is using Mays’ contacts to pitch to Fortune 500 companies about corporate funding. The team also may receive an invitation to present at the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

These types of high-impact learning experiences that challenge Mays students to solve real-world problems are aligned with Mays’ vision to advance the world’s prosperity. “Case competitions offer students the opportunity to practice being transformational leaders through combining theory, research, and practical application while working in a team,” said Mays Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Arvind Mahajan. “We feel so strongly about the power of these learning experiences that Mays collaborates annually with Humana Inc. to host the Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition, which challenges 1,300 U.S. masters-level students to analyze the company’s data to identify innovative healthcare solutions.”

Ultimately, Staples credits Mays Full-Time MBA program for helping to polish his leadership skills to be able to successfully focus the team’s efforts. “The program helped me first to identify my leadership strengths, and then taught me how to leverage them. Apart from that, I have had the opportunity to lead team projects among my peers since last July,” Staples said. “The combination of understanding the unique skills I possess and the practical opportunity to practice those skills has been invaluable to my development as a leader.”

Categories: Entrepreneurship, Faculty, Featured Stories, Health Care, Mays Business, MBA, News, Perspectives, Selfless service, Students, Texas A&M

Study of 9,000 Texas public schools shows districts should keep investing in internet-access spending to improve academic outcomes

hands typing on a laptop keyboardInternet access has been a critical resource for public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has enabled teachers to reach out and educate students remotely. As things go back to normal, investments in internet access will need to continue according to a study of 9,000 schools conducted by a research team from Texas A&M University, University of Notre Dame, and Rice University.

Do students benefit from increased internet access in public schools? This has been an open policy question. Advocates of internet-based learning argue it improves student access, engagement, and personalized learning. Its detractors cite children’s access to obscene or harmful content and disciplinary problems.

To address these policy questions, the research team created the largest and most comprehensive dataset to date. The dataset of 1,243 school districts represents more than 9,000 Texas public schools from 2000 to 2014. The team measured internet-access spending along with indicators of academic performance indicators and disciplinary problems. It used statistical techniques to isolate the effect of internet-access spending on academic performance and disciplinary problems.  Of note, this dataset examines the effect of internet access spending in a pre-COVID era.

Even when schools are fully physical, increased school district internet spending is strongly associated with improved academic outcomes. In addition to improved graduation rates, increased internet spending was also associated with improvement in commended performance in math, reading, writing, and social studies. Districts with increased internet access spending also showed a higher number of students meeting SAT/ACT criteria and completing advanced courses. These improvements, according to the research study, were stronger for students who lived in counties with greater internet access (as measured by the number of broadband providers). It seems that increased internet access at home and at school has a symbiotic benefit for students.

“Texas public schools have provided important insights for education policy,” said study co-author Shrihari Sridhar, a professor of marketing at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School. “Many public schools ramped up internet access spending during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move past COVID-19 to a more physical-based learning environment internet access spending needs to be maintained at previous levels or even increased. This is a worthwhile investment with very high returns—academic performance and financial gains.”

“We caution that the clear and meaningful academic benefits from increased internet access can also increase disciplinary issues such as cyberbullying. Therefore, schools will do well to create and implement policies to address them,” continued Sridhar.

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The paper, “Investigating the Academic Performance and Disciplinary Consequences of School District Internet Access Spending,” which appeared in the February issue of the Journal of Marketing Research, was co-authored by professors Yixing Chen of Notre Dame, Vikas Mittal of Rice University, and Shrihari Sridhar of Texas A&M. It can be downloaded at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022243720964130

Categories: Faculty, Marketing, Mays Business, Texas A&M

An article by Dr. Leonard L. Berry, Mays Business School’s University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, and his coauthors was recognized as the Distinguished Winner of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and EBSCO Responsible Research in Marketing Award. This award, also sponsored by the Sheth Foundation and Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM), honors outstanding research that produces both credible and useful knowledge that will benefit society.

The AMA/EBSCO award recognizes Berry, who was the lead author in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings article, “When Patients and Families Feel Like Hostages to Health Care.” The Texas A&M University Regents Professor co-authored this article with Tracey S. Danaher of Monash University, Dan Beckham of the Beckham Company, Rana L. A. Awdish of the Henry Ford Health System, and Kedar S. Mate of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

This paper is unique in that the study was published in a journal outside of the academic marketing community. “This is a best paper award in marketing, but it’s drawn from a medical journal, which is very unusual,” said Berry, who is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. “What’s exciting is that colleagues in the marketing community who do not read medical journals will now know of the article because it is quite relevant to marketing topics – particularly consumer behavior and service marketing – that we teach in business schools.”

The paper’s diverse group of co-authors – two marketing professors, a healthcare consultant, and two physicians – was instrumental in crafting an article on this unusual topic. Some of the journal editors were understandably wary of publishing an article on the potentially controversial topic of “patients as hostages” but the authors persevered through the review and revision process and Berry credits the journal for publishing the article. It turned out that the authors received many favorable comments from physician readers after publication, as much of the paper’s content offers guidance on how to help patients feel safe in communicating candidly with their doctors. Berry hopes that his research in healthcare may encourage other business school faculty to do more of their research in healthcare.

Berry’s prolific research into healthcare and service quality also has played a foundational role in the identification of healthcare as one of Mays’ three Grand Challenges in the school’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. “Len Berry’s research program in healthcare has initiated an important conversation in Mays Business School about the societal impact of our professional endeavors,” said Dr. Manjit Yadav, head of the Department of Marketing at Mays. “This conversation, over the long-term, has the potential to significantly enhance our national and international reputation. The AMA/EBSCO award is a wonderful recognition of the impact that Len is having in marketing and the medical community.”

The Responsible Research in Marketing Award recognizes studies that exemplify RRBM’s definition of responsible research, which is built on a foundation of seven principles:

  • Developing knowledge that benefits both business and the broader society to create a better world.
  • Contributing to fundamental theoretical knowledge as well as application to address pressing and current issues.
  • Valuing interdisciplinary collaboration and diverse research approaches to reflect the multiple and complex problems facing business and society.
  • Implementing sound scientific methods and processes in the research undertaken.
  • Engaging stakeholders in the research process without compromising the independence of the study.
  • Creating an impact on diverse stakeholders that can contribute to better business and a better world.
  • Using diverse forms of knowledge dissemination that collectively advance basic knowledge and practice.

Additionally, the term “useful knowledge” recognizes that the research addresses important social challenges and offers meaningful insights that can inform policymakers and practitioners. The award winners’ findings have wider societal implications beyond a firm’s financial performance and extend beyond the particular consumer group, firm, or employee group that was studied.

More than 70 nominations were submitted for the AMA/EPSCO Award and reviewed by a diverse team of scholars, who received input from subject matter expert reviewers. To be considered, nominated studies needed to be published within 2017-2020 and exemplify the Seven Principles of Responsible Research.

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About Dr. Leonard L. Berry

Dr. Leonard L. Berry is University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Regents Professor, and holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He also is a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence. As a Visiting Scientist at Mayo Clinic in 2001-2002, he conducted an in-depth research study of healthcare service, the basis for his book, Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic (2008). Concurrent with his faculty position in Mays Business School, Dr. Berry is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement studying service improvement in cancer care for patients and their families.

Professor Berry has written ten books in all, including: Discovering the Soul of Service; On Great Service; Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality; and Delivering Quality Service. He is the author of numerous academic articles and an invited lecturer throughout the world. Professor Berry’s teaching and research have been widely recognized with many honors for his contributions, including The Sheth Gold Medal, The American Marketing Association (AMA) William Wilkie “Marketing for a Better World” Award, the Paul D. Converse Award, the AMA/McGraw-Hill/Irwin Distinguished Marketing Educator Award, the Career Contributions to Services Marketing Award from the AMA, and the Outstanding Marketing Educator Award from the Academy of Marketing Science. He is a Fellow of both the American Marketing Association and the Academy of Marketing Science. Texas A&M awarded him the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching (1990) and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Research (1996 and 2008), the highest honors bestowed upon its faculty members. In 2014, he was inducted into Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business Hall of Fame, the first doctoral graduate to be selected, and in 2015 the Mays Business School at Texas A&M awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Scholarship. A former national president of the American Marketing Association, Dr. Berry founded the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M in 1982 and served as its director through 2000.

About Mays Business School

At Mays Business School, we strive to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,300 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.

https://mays.tamu.edu

About the American Marketing Association (AMA)

As the largest chapter-based marketing association in the world, the AMA is trusted by marketing and sales professionals to help them discover what is coming next in the industry. The AMA has a community of local chapters in more than 70 cities and 350 college campuses throughout North America. The AMA is home to award-winning content, PCM® professional certification, premiere academic journals, and industry-leading training events and conferences.

https://www.ama.org

About the Sheth Foundation

Founded by Dr. Jagdish & Madhu Sheth, the Sheth Foundation supports the academic scholarship, publications, education, and research of tax-exempt, publicly supported educational organizations, primarily focusing on the discipline of marketing, by providing support to grant-awarding recipient organizations.

https://www.shethfoundation.org/

About Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM)

Responsible Research for Business and Management (RRBM) is dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and supporting credible and useful research in the business and management disciplines.

https://rrbm.network/

About EBSCO

EBSCO Information Services, headquartered in Ipswich, Massachusetts, is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a private company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. EBSCO provides products and services to libraries of very many types around the world.

Categories: Health Care, Marketing, Mays Business, Research

Mays Business School’s FTMBA degree earns #20 U.S. public program

Woman in graduation cap and maskFor the third year in a row, the Full-Time MBA program at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has been named a top program globally, according to the 2021 rankings released by Financial Times. The Financial Times 2021 Global Full-Time MBA Rankings placed Texas A&M’s program at #85 globally this year, advancing one spot from last year and 14 spots from 2019. Out of U.S. public programs, Mays Business School’s residential MBA program is ranked #20.

Former students (alumni) from the class of 2018 were surveyed to compile the rankings data. Of particular recognition by Financial Times this year was the #17 ranking for “FT research rank,” a weighted calculation according to the number of articles published by a school’s current full-time faculty members in 50 selected academic and practitioner journals between January 2014 and October 2016.

“The Financial Times ranking our program is an honor because besides technical competencies and business acumen, it points to the integrity, leadership, and selfless service qualities that all Aggies exhibit,” shared Arvind Mahajan, associate dean for graduate programs. “With these core values in place, our students, faculty, and staff strive for excellence, resulting in accolades that have an impact across the world.”

Texas A&M’s Full-Time MBA program in College Station, TX is 18-months in duration, beginning in August of each year with a December graduation, and the degree includes the option to extend an additional semester for extra electives to match interest areas.

“Mays Business School’s vision is to advance the world’s prosperity,” said Richard Castleberry, director of the full-time MBA program. “Through this program, I witness students discover themselves, transform into the leaders they were meant to be with the support of faculty and staff, and graduate to impact the organizations and communities where they live. It’s inspiring and fulfilling to see the program receive this attention for the third year in a row.”

Applications for the Texas A&M Full-Time MBA program are being accepted now for the class of 2023. For more information, visit: mba.tamu.edu

Categories: Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Rankings, Texas A&M