Texas A&M | Mays Impacts - Part 75

In a mid-year note to the Texas A&M community, President Robert M. Gates outlines university initiatives and updates progress on everything from the One Spirit One Vision Campaign to construction plans and faculty reinvestment.

Among the key changes discussed are a requested 6 percent tuition increase and $99 energy fee for each student to cover a  $32.3 million budget shortfall for FY 2007. Find out more at http://our-news.tamu.edu/newsmanager/templates/?a=2148&z=15.

Categories: Texas A&M

Mays alum Lupe Fraga ’57, president and CEO of Houston-based Tejas Office Supplies, was sworn in as one of the newest members of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in May.

The accounting graduate, also a 2003 Mays Outstanding Alumni Award winner, will serve until 2011. He and former A&M coach Gene Stallings ’57 joined the board during its May meeting on campus.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Fraga attended Texas A&M on a baseball scholarship. He joined the Army, spending three years in France as a lieutenant before returning to Houston in the 1960s to purchase a small office supply company. Tejas Office Supplies is now one of Houston’s largest minority-owned businesses, recording $13 million in annual revenues.

Fraga, recently named Hispanic Business Man of the Year for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Region III, also serves as board chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Houston Branch.

Categories: Former Students, Texas A&M

Management clinical associate professor Ben D. Welch — also director of the Center for Executive Development — was recently named a recipient of the 2005 Texas A&M University-level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching. He is one of 22 faculty and staff to be honored in May by the Association of Former Students for achievements in teaching, research or student relations.

Welch, who says he was humbled to learn of the award, explains that his approach to teaching has always been to put his students’ needs first. Welch’s management 105 class was also named one of the two best courses to take at A&M by Texas Monthly in 2004.

“It’s about human compassion — students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Welch says. “This is where my passion lies.”

A decade ago, Welch was recognized with another Association university-level award with the 1994 Distinguished Achievement Award for Student Relations.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Texas A&M

Marketing Professor Jeffrey Conant added a second university-wide professorship to his name in March with the Eppright Professorship in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence.

Conant, who last year was appointed a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence, is one of five Texas A&M faculty members named to the three-year university professorships. Conant is well known for research that delves into the elements of effective teaching, work he first started with colleagues in 1988 to provide insights into how marketing’s top teachers practice their craft.

His teaching philosophy is based on five key areas of importance: Course structure and organization, class atmospherics, student involvement, experiential projects and instructor availability.

Conant joined Mays as an assistant professor in 1986 and has received numerous awards for teaching at both the undergraduate and master’s levels. He is also a distinguished scholar, receiving the Journal of Marketing Education‘s Outstanding Article of the Year Award three times.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Texas A&M

Biomedical engineering PhD student Saurabh Biswas and Mays MBA Ben Price took 5th place overall at the 2006 Rice Business Plan Competition for their presentation of a business plan to commercialize a non-invasive colon cancer diagnostic technology. The team, sponsored by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), had Texas A&M’s best showing ever, also taking 1st place for best written business plan and 1st place for best elevator pitch.

Texas A&M competed for top billing with some of the best business programs in the nation. Overall winners are:

  • 1st place, Dartmouth College
  • 2nd, Columbia University
  • 3rd, Stanford University
  • 4th, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 5th, Texas A&M
  • 6th, Duke University
  • 7th, Harvard University

The Mays team’s entry is based on a technology developed in Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences that has the potential to identify the altered genes associated with colorectal cancer a decade before cancer strikes. Biswas is the co-founder of Cologenomics, Inc., the company that licensed the technique.

Among more than 140 universities from across the globe, Texas A&M was one of only 35 invited to Rice for the oral presentations. The team was also the only Texas or southwest regional team to reach the finals. Biswas and Price took away $5,000 as well as software.

The Texas A&M team also received an invitation to the University of Texas’ exclusive MOOT CORP competition in May to present its business plan. That was something Biswas had already qualified for in other events — he continues to excel in his championing of the technology. He took 2nd place at CNVE’s Ideas Challenge last May and 1st place in the Idea to Product International Competition last fall at UT for his colon cancer-screening test. He also won the inaugural Big XII New Venture Championship in March

Categories: Centers, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

D. Bruce Edwards, a 1991 Mays accounting graduate, became Texas A&M associate vice president for finance in February.

Edwards, who was director of operations finance at Delta Airlines in Atlanta, took over the position vacated by Thomas Taylor on Jan. 31. Edwards now oversees the budgets under senior vice president and chief financial officer K. Sue Redman.

“We are very excited to have attracted a person of Mr. Edwards caliber to this position. He will bring a corporate perspective to the Division of Finance operations,” Redman said in making the announcement.

Edwards holds a BBA from Mays and an MBA with a finance concentration from the University of Texas.

Categories: Former Students, Texas A&M

The West Campus Library will soon focus solely on the needs of Mays Business School, allowing Mays faculty and students to enjoy greater access to research and support materials.

Since opening, the West Campus Library has served Mays as well as the agriculture and life sciences departments, which are also housed on West Campus. Due to significant disparity between disciplines, this arrangement has prevented both groups from receiving optimal service, according to Michael Smith, West Campus Library’s interim director.

In an effort to improve service for both parties, resources and library staff that were dedicated to agriculture and life sciences will be relocated to the nearby Medical Sciences Library.

“The primary difference that students and faculty will notice is that there will be more room in the R.C. Barclay Reference and Retailing Center for business reference material,” Smith says, adding a set date for the transition process has not been established yet. “Additionally, our customers will also now be assured that the staff member helping them at our reference desk is a business generalist/specialist. Beyond these two outward changes, it is our intention to strengthen our relationship with Mays and to develop programs that directly support its mission.”

Smith emphasizes that even though changes will be made, all Texas A&M students, regardless of academic discipline, are welcome to use the library’s reference and computer resources and study spaces.

Categories: Centers, Research Notes, Students, Texas A&M

The Center for the Management of Information Systems’ (CMIS) fifth annual Women in Information Technology centered on helping students build their careers. The event drew students from Texas A&M as well as Prairie View A&M, Texas A&M International and Corpus Christi.

The half-day conference gave students multiple opportunities to interact with women in the IT profession through both round-table discussions and an interactive panel.

The panel was facilitated by Gwendolyn Wright-Morris, a senior programmer analyst with FedEx and featured Pam Crawford, manager of strategy and optimization at ConocoPhillips; Elaine Gordon, director of software testing at Dell; Julie Yancey, director of recruiting and training at FedEx; and Andrea Jacaman, director of TXU’s retail customer systems program.

Panelists discussed what they believe are essential components of “Career Building,” which was this year’s theme.

“I cannot say strongly enough that everything in life is about continuing education,” said Crawford. “Whether it’s an advanced degree or on the job, don’t ignore chances to grow.”

Categories: Centers, Executive Speakers, Students, Texas A&M

Mays alumnus Gen. Hal M. Hornburg ’68 , of Langley AFB, Va., will be inducted into Texas A&M University’s Corps Hall of Honor on October 11.

The Corps Hall of Honor was established in 1993 to pay tribute to former members of the university’s Corps of Cadets who have lived a life that exemplifies the Texas Aggie spirit. They must also possess the values on which the Corps is founded: honor, loyalty, service, pride, patriotism, faith, leadership and honesty. To date, 44 former cadets have been inducted.

Hornburg graduated from Texas A&M in 1968 with a degree in finance. Four other former cadets will be inducted into the Hall of Honor with Hornburg including James. L. Huffines Jr. ’44, Edward F. Kruse ’49, Howard W. Kruse ’52 and Jon L. Hagler ’58.

Categories: Departments, Former Students, Texas A&M

Several Mays faculty members have been named to the 11-member search committee charged with selecting Texas A&M’s new athletic director. Former Dean Benton Cocanougher — who was named a special assistant to President Robert Gates — is serving as chair of the committee.

Joining him are Dr. James Flagg, associate accounting professor and chair of the Texas A&M University Athletic Council and Dr. Robert Strawser, who holds the Andersen Chair in Accounting and serves as Faculty Senate speaker.

In addition, the school’s namesake Lowry Mays ’57, CEO of Clear Channel Communications, and benefactor Jerry Cox ’72, CEO of Cox & Perkins Exploration, are also serving on the search committee.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Texas A&M