Students in Professor Henry Musoma’s Survey of Management course had the opportunity to hear from Robert Carter, a psychologist working in Student Counseling Services at Texas A&M University and a dear friend of Musoma’s.
The topic of the day was “Managing Interpersonal Relations and Communications,” so the main point of the discussion was simple. In Carter’s words, “the key to management is communication. You have to reach and connect with people in ways that truly allow for communication to happen.”
The story of Mays Business School Professor Henry Musoma and Texas A&M University student Ashton Robinson has surprised them both as it has rippled through personal and corporate social media outlets worldwide.
Robinson, a single mom, told Musoma last Thursday she would not be able to attend class because she couldn’t find a babysitter. Instead of giving her the class notes, as she had asked, Musoma encouraged her to bring the baby to class. Toward the end of the class period, Musoma – the father of four – picked up a restless young Emmett and held him as he finished his lecture.
Robinson posted on Facebook how impactful Musoma’s gesture was to her: “Being a single mom is so challenging but it’s people like Dr. Henry Musoma that make life just a tiny bit easier! THIS is why I’m so proud to be an Aggie! Definitely something I’ll never forget and can’t wait to someday tell Emmett that it’s because of people like this that mommy was able to graduate from the best university in the world.”
Five hours later, those six lines had spread worldwide, and Musoma heard from friends, former students, the president of Texas A&M University, and family members in his home country of Zambia, Africa.
“I never imagined such a thing would happen,” Musoma said. “I was just trying to make sure she had the support she needs to succeed – as I would for any student.”
Musoma teaches “Ethical Decision Making and Conduct” at Mays and International Leadership at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
The story continues
During that same class period Thursday, Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones surprised Musoma with an award – the first Mays Business School Spirit Award. The plaque reads, “For your selfless service and dedication to students and their educational needs and pursuits and for your heart for building community.”
“One of the things that we pride ourselves on at Mays Business School is having a community that’s connected, a community that’s caring. That’s all part of our Strategic Plan,” Jones said. “But he’s not doing it for the Strategic Plan. He’s not doing it because of our culture, necessarily. He’s doing it because this is who he is.”
Jones was joined in the auditorium by Marty Loudder, associate dean of undergraduate programs; Duane Ireland, executive associate dean; and Wendy Boswell, head of the management department.
After a few moments of silence, Musoma broke into an impromptu lecture. “When you do kind deeds you never die. So when you are a generous person, you have no fear of death.”
Then in another act of selflessness, he led the class in singing “Happy birthday” to one of the students before beginning his lecture.
Ashton Robinson and Henry Musoma are surprised in class by Dean Eli Jones and Marty Loudder, associate dean of undergraduate programs; Wendy Boswell, head of the management department; and Duane Ireland, executive associate dean. Credit – Taylor Stephens
The entrepreneurial spirit of longtime Texas A&M University benefactor Arthur “Artie” McFerrin Jr. will continue to inspire future generations of Aggies through the renaming of Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) in his honor.
McFerrin, who passed away Aug. 8 after a long battle with leukemia, consistently supported Texas A&M’s academic and athletic programs with major gifts. The 1965 graduate of Texas A&M University is the namesake of the McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, the McFerrin Athletic Center (the indoor football complex and track stadium) and the Cox-McFerrin Basketball Center.
“Widely known as one of the most generous, humble and understated leaders in business, Artie gave more in his life than he ever took,” said Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel. “He set a standard few others will ever achieve as a man of character and conviction focused on the future. It is fitting that the newly renamed McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship will bear the name of someone so focused on giving others opportunities.”
The CNVE’s renaming was made possible through a $10 million gift from McFerrin and his wife, Dorothy. These funds will advance the center’s work as an international leader in entrepreneurial education. “We are truly grateful to the McFerrin family,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “Artie’s spirit lives on through the thousands of lives he has influenced and will continue to influence. His heart for Texas A&M and entrepreneurship beats in the hearts of those Aggies who choose to be courageous enough to create solutions to the world’s biggest problems—those who are indeed fearless.”
Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Jr. ’65
Funds will further help the center more effectively prepare aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed in a turbulent global economy. “Our goal is to create a state-of-the-art center that equips young people for starting and growing their ventures,” said Richard Lester, the center’s executive director. “With this support, we can expand our reach and impact while linking existing programs for a cohesive experience. More than grooming specific skills, we hope to train students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset: to believe they can achieve and not give up when the going gets tough.”
Several current and former members of the Mays family have stepped up to earn recognition recently.
At the Academy of Management (AOM) conference, Executive Associate Dean Duane Ireland received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the AOM and the Distinguished Service Award from the AOM’s Strategic Management Division. Professor Emeritus Mike Hitt received the 2017 Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Educator. Deidra Schleicher transitioned into Chair of the HR Division 2. Professor Bert Canella and Kunyuan Qiao (a Ph.D. student) received Outstanding Reviewer Awards from the Business Policy and Strategy Division 3 (BPS). Associate Professor Cindy Devers received a BPS Distinguished Paper Award. And a paper authored by Assistant Professor Mike Withers, Assistant Professor Mike Howard and Kai Xu won the best paper award from the International Management Division. Associate Professor Cindy Zapata received a Best Reviewer award from the Academy of Management Journal.
At the American Marketing Association 2017 conference, Marketing Professor Rajan Varadarajan was honored as Outgoing Vice President of Publications; Marketing Department Head Mark Houston and former professor Kelly Haws were co-organizers of the conference; and former Mays student Sundar G. Bharadwaj was given a JM – Sheth Foundation Award for a paper he co-authored, “Rethinking Customer Solutions: From Product Bundles to Relational Processes.” Also, Kapil Tuli – one of Bharadwaj’s co-authors on the award-winning paper – completed his MS (Marketing) at Mays before joining Emory University’s inaugural doctoral class in marketing. Tuli is now on the faculty at Singapore Management University.
In addition, a paper by Shankar and Jeff Meyer was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Best Services Article from AMA Services SIG. Their paper “Pricing Strategies for Hybrid Bundles: Analytical Model and Insights” was published in Journal of Retailing.
Peter and Lisa Currie of Houston have always cared deeply about the impact of business education and the dual practices of teaching and research. That’s why they established the first $3 million faculty chair at Mays Business School.
The Curries’ gift creates the Lisa Huddleston Currie ’85 and Peter H. Currie ’85 Chair in Business and helps fund faculty recruitment efforts at Mays.
An appointment to an endowed chair is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member. The highest level of performance in research, teaching and service, based on national and international standards, is required for such an appointment.
Gift agreements with donors may specify the criteria for a position; however, in the absence of such specification research and publication will be given primary consideration.
Peter Currie received a bachelor’s degree in 1985 from the Department of Management at the business school. Lisa Currie received a degree in 1985 in educational curriculum and instruction.
Mays Business School is committed to advancing the world’s prosperity. In part, achieving this vision is attained by creating impactful knowledge, knowing that the more challenged students are in class the more they will be prepared to initiate inspirational change as alumni. Mays is actualizing this undertaking by stressing the importance of enhancing research through two classes that are being offered during this upcoming school year.
One of the courses focuses on graduate-level academic research, while the other introduces undergraduate students to methods for researching material through the lens of business research. R. Duane Ireland, executive associate dean and University Distinguished Professor at Mays, said the courses will serve a greater purpose for Mays graduates.
“Learning is an important objective that drives Mays’ faculty members as they engage in academic research. In this regard, we know that to be successful, business people must strive to consistently learn more about the needs of customers, employees, suppliers and the local communities in which they work and live,” Ireland said. “Similarly, in addition to developing new knowledge, academic researchers are committed to learning about practices that when effectively followed, have a strong probability of helping business people and their firms create value for those they serve. We are indeed pleased that courses are now available to Mays’ students through which they will learn about the purposes of academic research and how it can help them understand how to be effective leaders throughout their careers.”
Introduction to Academic Research
The accounting department is offering a new course called an “Introduction to Academic Research,” which will be taught by Associate Professor Nate Sharp. Its purpose is to encourage students to consider pursuing a Ph.D. in accounting through introducing them to scholarly research. It also includes a discussion element regarding what to expect from Ph.D. programs and how to succeed both in the classroom and as a professor.
Students will hear from guest speakers on why they chose to pursue a Ph.D. and how it impacted their careers. The immediate interest in this innovative course resulted in an enrollment that quickly exceeded the number of classroom seats that were initially available. So many students were eager to participate in this course, the interest surpassed the capacity of the class. Sharp hopes that while teaching the course, he “will be able to persuade them (students) that the scope and novelty of accounting research goes way beyond what they have learned in their undergraduate and even master’s classes about accounting.”
This course is being offered to fifth-year accounting students in the department’s Professional Program (PPA). PPA is a five-year program that offers students the opportunity to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Accounting, MIS, Management, Marketing, or Financial Management. Students in this program can learn from Sharp about the importance of academic research and the role that it plays in a university setting.
It will debut in the Fall 2017 semester.
Applied Business Competencies: Mays Business School Faculty Research
Business research is everywhere, from newspapers to journals to viral social media content. Used well, it can help firms make prudent financial investments, install talented leadership and shape successful advertising campaigns. It can also help everyday shoppers make more informed decisions and even provide rewarding opportunities for a potential career path as an academic researcher.
Yet many college students, outside of Ph.D. tracks and academic circles, are unfamiliar with business research. For them, research is esoteric at best; at worst, uninteresting.
But Stephen (Steve) Courtright, an assistant professor of management, hopes to change those perceptions. He designed an elective course “Applied Business Competencies: Mays Business School Faculty Research” to help make the world of academic business research more accessible to undergraduate and graduate students. The course launched in Spring 2017.
Through the one-hour-credit course, Courtright said he hoped to show students that business research is incredibly relevant for society. “What not everyone knows is that business research is like medical research; it has the potential to affect the quality of people’s lives,” he said. “It can improve how business is conducted and how organizations are run. This makes for a better work environment for everyone involved.”
He also explained that the life of the researcher is like an entrepreneur – and it comes with similar rewards. “Researchers are not just question-askers; they are problem solvers, and you have total freedom pursue the questions and problems that most interest you.”
During the first few weeks of the course, Courtright helped students understand what business research is. Students also learned to look past sensational headlines and questionable sample sizes to evaluate whether research is useful or not. The remaining few weeks of the course, Courtright invited professors from the various Mays departments as guest speakers to present on their own research pursuits and passions.
Participating professors included Nate Sharp, an associate professor of accounting; Matthew (Matt) Call, an assistant professor of management; Shane Johnson, a professor of finance; Subodha Kumar, an associate professor of information and operations management; and Leonard Berry, University Distinguished Professor of Marketing.
At the end of the semester, students wrote reflections on what they had learned during the semester.
Colton Bucey said the course helped him better see that the role of a researcher is like an entrepreneur. “Coming into this course, I thought I had a solid understanding of what professors’ jobs were like; I thought that professors each lectured for a few hours every week, held office hours, graded assignments and then were finished,” he said. “Actually, at any given time, professors can be working on numerous research topics. They are more or less their own bosses and have extreme flexibility in when/where they chose to work.”
Lauren Abiog, a business administration freshman, reflected on Berry’s presentation on his healthcare industry research and how it opened her eyes to the greater good that many researchers hope to realize. “Dr. Berry’s purpose in researching is to help improve the quality of life of others,” she said. “What a selfless and purposeful reason to live for!”
Courtright said he hopes the course will gain momentum with students in the coming years. “I want more students to be thinking about research as a career,” he said. “Even if they choose not to pursue it as a career, it will give them an appreciation for what faculty like those at Mays do for a living.”
The course is set to be offered in future spring semesters.
By creating these two classes, Mays is providing a platform where professors can instill in students an interest in research that will extend past the four years that they are in college. It has the chance to influence learners to become more intellectually curious, which in turn increases their ability to develop innovative approaches to pursue while seeking to advance the world’s prosperity.
For Roger Montemayor ’99, entrepreneurship is synonymous with confidence.
His guiding question is simple: “Do you believe enough in yourself to take on great risk for great gain?”
Believing in himself to take risks has been integral to his success in taking the helm of his father’s company, Victory Insurance, and growing it to the point of attracting the attention of the one of the largest brokerage firms in the world, Arthur J. Gallagher, where he is now area president.
Since he was a college student majoring in business management, he has had all the makings of an entrepreneurial spirit — drive, passion, and a love of leading others to accomplish great things.
“I knew early on that I wanted my performance to control my destiny and took a job offer from my dad to work in sales,” he said. He worked for his father’s company Victory Insurance selling commercial property and casualty to businesses in around the Houston area.
In 2009, Montemayor decided to purchase the agency from his dad and his partner.
“Immediately after he closed, I formulated a plan to diversify our business and focus heavily on growth. I created a personal lines division, that focused on high net worth, complex personal insurance needs. I also opened up a group benefits division, Victory Benefits Advisors.”
Montemayor said that both of these divisions created instant organic growth for the company. By 2016, he had doubled the top line growth of his agency.
Montemayor said he has always had a passion to build business and to lead. “I think it’s because I love the pressure, I love the hustle, I love competition and I’ve never been complacent.”
Montemayor easily recalls a highlight of his career: In 2016, when Fortune 500 company Arthur J. Gallagher sought out with interest in a merger.
The rewards of his endeavors with Victory Insurance have been vast for Montemayor, especially when it comes to the people with whom he works. “I love the responsibility of taking care of my employees,” he said. “It’s extremely fulfilling to know that if I do my job the way that I should, many others will also share in the success.”
Montemayor also underscored that his background at Mays has been invaluable in helping him succeed. “The environment at Mays promoted competition and cultivated a drive that prepared me for the real world.” He credited the community of professors and mentors who were attentive to his preparation and growth.
He added that that the strength of the Aggie network has been crucial. “As Aggies, we take care of each other and we do business with each other. I’ve created so many professional relationships with Aggies, it’s unbelievable.”
Aspiring veteran entrepreneurs will receive small business management training at Texas A&M University during the annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) July 15-22. This year’s program marks the 10th anniversary of EBV at Texas A&M and comes with a new title and partner. Veterans will come to the College Station campus to leverage valued skills from military service in pursuit of business ownership.
Founded in 2007 at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, EBV has now expanded to include ten world-class universities, including Mays Business School at Texas A&M. These 10 institutes of higher education deliver EBV to post-9/11 veterans who desire to develop the skills and tools needed to launch and maintain successful businesses. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners, foundations and private donors allow participants to attend the program cost-free.
This year’s program at Texas A&M is renamed Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program to recognize a $2 million dollar endowment provided by the Reynolds and Reynolds company to support EBV at Texas A&M. The gift is part of Texas A&M’s “Lead by Example” campaign that launched in 2016, and celebrates the tenth anniversary of EBV’s success at Texas A&M.
Reynolds and Reynolds has always been a strong partner of Mays Business School, consistently recruiting talent from Texas A&M and as a founding partner of the Mays Professional Selling Initiative. As a company, Reynolds and Reynolds provide automotive retailing solutions for car dealers and automakers in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Europe. It is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio with more than 4,300 associates worldwide.
EBV is a three-phase program, beginning with a three-week online instructor-led course where participants shape business plans and learn business language. During the second phase, participants will complete an intensive eight-day residency at a university, learning the ‘nuts and bolts’ of business ownership from established entrepreneurs and educators. Following the residency, EBV graduates will receive access to a year-long support and mentorship program through EBV Technical Assistance — managed by the IVMF.
About the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a first-of-its-kind initiative that transforms veterans into entrepreneurs. Delivered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, the EBV leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members with service-related disabilities. Founded at Syracuse University in 2007, the program has since expanded to nine additional universities across the U.S., including Cornell University, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Purdue University, Saint Joseph’s University, Texas A&M University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Connecticut and University of Missouri. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners and donors allows participants to attend the program at no cost. For more information, visit ebv.vets.syr.edu and follow the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
About the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship
Through a combination of entrepreneurial-focused curricular and experiential opportunities, The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) seeks to enhance the livelihood of Texas A&M University and the greater community. Since its inception in 1999, the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) has served as the hub of entrepreneurship for Texas A&M University.
Our goal is to enhance student education by providing training, networking, and assistance to enterprising students, faculty and alumni. With the support of our volunteer network, corporate supporters, faculty, and staff, CNVE has been able to provide business start up acceleration, competitive opportunities, work experiences, and financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Aggie community and across the world. For more information about the EBV Program at Texas A&M, visit ebv.tamu.edu.
About Texas A&M University and Mays Business School
Texas A&M University, currently enrolling more than 45,000 students, is the oldest public university in the state. One of its most cherished traditions and legacies is the Corp of Cadets. With the exception of the service academies, A&M’s Corps makes up the nation’s largest uniformed student body, with approximately 1,800 students participating, and annually commissions more officers than any other institution. To date, more than 220 former cadets have achieved the rank of general or admiral. Since 1968, Mays Business School has been training ethical business leaders to impact the global society. Mays is nationally ranked among public business schools for the quality of its academic programs and faculty scholarship and currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 875 graduate students. Mays is home to seven centers that advance innovative theory and best practices in a broad range of business functional areas including new ventures and entrepreneurship. These centers offer a direct connect for faculty and professionals to collaborate on research, and for students to be exposed to ideas advancing business today.
About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational, and entrepreneurship education and training, while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis, and program evaluations. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The Institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit ivmf.syracuse.edu and follow the IVMF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A Texas A&M University program that provides training for entrepreneurial veterans will be renamed the Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Program to recognize the company’s $2 million endowment made in 2016.
The funds will be used to provide support to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) Program, which is administered by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School. Mays is a founding member of the EBV Consortium of eight universities dedicated to developing veterans in entrepreneurship through on-site training and ongoing mentorships.
The new name was approved April 27 by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
The renaming coincides with the 10th anniversary of the EBV at Texas A&M.
It bolsters the Mays grand challenge of entrepreneurship – which emerged after a school-wide strategic planning initiative that spanned most of 2016 and set the course for the school’s future.
Texas A&M University and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation hosted an open house April 28 of the Blackstone LaunchPad (BLP) studio in the Koldus building.
After remarks by Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones, Blackstone Director Don Lewis, and Blake Teipel of Essentium Materials, tours of the studio in the Koldus Building were offered.
BLP is a campus-based program designed to assist and mentor students, faculty, staff, and alumni who want to learn about entrepreneurship opportunities at Texas A&M.
Blackstone expanded its campus entrepreneurship program, Blackstone LaunchPad, in 2016 to three Texas universities: Texas A&M, The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at Dallas. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, $3 million grant will establish a partnership between the three institutions to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and offer opportunities to the universities’ 130,000 students, regardless of major, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system.
“Texas has a strong business environment and is a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman, CEO and co-founder. “As universities look to the private sector to expand their capabilities and provide experiential opportunities to their students, we are pleased to help meet that need and deliver the tools and resources to build strong enterprises rooted in the state and connected to a global network of entrepreneurs.”