The feeling never gets old, Kyle Gammenthaler says.

Helping Mays Business School students understand the nuts and bolts of philanthropy by giving away up to $75,000 themselves is always thrilling.

Kyle, who teaches the Strategic Philanthropy class as coordinator of the Certificate in Nonprofit and Social Innovation at Mays, told a crowd of about eighty who gathered for the semester’s check presentations on April 29 that it all started in 2015, when he had “a brilliant idea—that it would be great if students gave away money in a class.”

And this spring, the course’s students, funding recipients, and donors celebrated a huge milestone—passing the $500,000 mark in total giving to organizations in Bryan-College Station.

From $0 to $500,000 in Three Years

With support from Mays administration and generous donors—notably The Philanthropy Lab, a Fort-Worth-area organization that supports about twenty such classes around the country—students provided the first round of funding in spring 2016.

Now, thanks to additional donors, notably the VanLoh family and Cheryl Mellenthin, the class is one of the most successful of its kind in the country.

The VanLohs began donating after seeing the transformational experience their daughter, business honors graduate Grace VanLoh ’19, had as a student in the very first class.

For Cheryl Mellenthin, visiting with Mays students on a Philanthropy Friday was all it took.

“She texted me that night and asked, ‘Where do I send the check?’” Kyle says.

John Sharp ’72, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, attended the April 29 celebration and later said, “The Mays Business School’s philanthropy program is a great example of putting the Aggie values to work.”

Former Student Body President Amy Sharp ’19, a business honors graduate who took the class previously, announced at the event that the two representatives present from The Philanthropy Lab—both Aggies—had decided to give an additional $10,000 in honor of Chancellor Sharp’s visit.

“This has to be the easiest $10,000 Chancellor Sharp ever gave!” she said.

Student-Driven Impact in the Brazos Valley

The eighteen students in the May 2019 class funded eight organizations.

Marketing major and class member Shelby Edwards ’19 says a Charles Dickens quote inspired her to sign up: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

But for Shelby, the class proved to be life-changing.

“I know that what I learned about working with others to make decisions and about how I can make a real impact, even as a younger person, will influence me not only in my profession, but in my personal life, as well,” she says.

The class started the semester by learning about philanthropy and how nonprofits work in general, with a focus on strategic giving and the “why” behind charitable giving.

They crafted their own mission statement as the “why” to guide their decisions: “to thoughtfully invest in nonprofits in the Brazos Valley to move toward their visions and build better communities.”

Next, they chose ten nonprofits for closer review and broke into smaller groups to visit two organizations each. They then shared what they learned with the others and used their strategic approach to make the final decisions on which organizations to fund.

“Giving the money away was an absolute joy,” Shelby says. “The nonprofits showed us gaps in our community that we had not seen before. We were amazed at what they do to make life better for people here.

“My takeaway is that we all have the ability to give money, or time, or effort, not ‘one day,’ but right now, even if we are young and just starting out. We are a generation that can make a difference!”

A Simple but Life-Changing Idea

Business honors Jimmie Fields ’21 explained the powerful concept that inspired the class to fund OnRamp.

“Entrepreneurship is about finding the main pressure point and exploiting it,” he says. “The Jennings family has done just this in the Bryan-College Station area by giving reliable, pre-owned cars to people in need.”

The class gave $11,000 to cover the cost of two cars. OnRamp has provided 23 cars since the organization was founded about eighteen months ago. Other local charities refer clients to the Jennings family for consideration.

“As a pastor at a local church, I meet a lot of single moms who are near poverty and who cannot afford reliable transportation,” Blake Jennings says. “As a result, they find it hard to hold down a job, hard to get their kids to school, and hard to get to doctors’ appointments. My wife and I wanted to do something about it—to serve others just as we encourage our congregation to serve others.”

The Transformational Effect of Mays Philanthropy

Students are transformed by the class in many ways.

For example, Mays graduate Zach Marbach ’17, who took the inaugural class in spring 2016, is now an Associate Program Director with The Philanthropy Lab, as is fellow Aggie Megan Mader ’12. In addition, other students have joined the boards of the nonprofits represented or otherwise made charitable giving a priority in their lives.

“We are incredibly grateful to all who entrust our students to make life-changing decisions with their money,” Kyle Gammenthaler says. “Our next goal: to pass the one-million-dollar mark.”

In addition to OnRamp, the following local charities received funding this semester:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network
  • Health For All
  • Scotty’s House
  • Sexual Assault Resource Center
  • United Way of the Brazos Valley
  • VOOM Foundation

Categories: Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, News, Programs, Selfless service, Staff, Strategic Philanthropy, Students, Texas A&M

Written by marketing student Andrew Barker:

When I first walked into Dr. Troy’s Account Planning class in August 2018, I had no idea of the kind of transformative experiences, high impact learning, and profound relationships that lied ahead of me. There was no way to predict the amount of brain power and man hours this kind of project demanded. There was no way I could expect the bitter-sweet feeling I had when our research, creativity, and strategy formulation culminated at the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition (AAF-NSAC) last week in Shreveport, Louisiana. This was something that could only be experienced.

Every year, the AAF selects a client for the National Student Advertising Competition. Colleges and universities across the country then conduct research and create an advertising campaign to be presented in front of a panel of judges comprised of industry professionals and the client’s executives. Over the course of two semesters, my team – Good Bull Advertising – created an advertising campaign for this year’s selected client, Wienerschnitzel, to rebrand the hot dog and fight against common misconceptions about the food. We received the case during the summer and began our research during the fall semester. After utilizing the university’s databases and conducting our own independent research, we administered surveys and interviews to gather thousands of impressions. In the spring, we began our creative journey by focusing our campaign on a central theme and slogan: “Seize the Day, Seize the Dog.” We then created a media plan and came up with advertisements, initiatives, and activations that would take our campaign nationwide.

Last week, Good Bull Advertising traveled to Shreveport, Louisiana to present our campaign. When we arrived at the hotel and conference center where the competition would be staged, we were met by the presence of teams of students from other schools. After a few moments of uneasiness and giving each other once-overs, tensions were eased as the teams remembered that 1) We are all college-aged adults and 2) We all had studied hot dogs for far too long. This was a defining moment, as the teams seemed to have an understanding of each other that permeated into our interactions throughout the rest of the competition.

At the beginning of the competition, we were reminded by competition staff that we would likely work with the people around us in the near future as we were all geared toward careers in advertising. As I watched other teams’ presentations, I was encouraged by this thought. It was interesting to see the different directions teams went with the case because, for the most part, we all reached similar conclusions in our initial research (one team even used a slogan that we had brainstormed in the early stages of our campaign). It reminded me that there is never one solution to a problem and that the best solutions are flexible to the always-changing environment.

…Read more

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Programs, Spotlights, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are launching a program to develop transformational leaders in the ever-important health care industry.

Undergraduate Mays students, particularly finance majors, will apply their education in complex revenue cycle operations and health care administration with the primary goal to define, measure, analyze and improve revenue cycle processes in a three-month rotation.

Students will gain exposure to Revenue Cycle Analytics and Business Analytics Departments, including but not limited to the Division of Finance; Financial Clearance Center; Patient Access; Patient Business Services; Health Information management; Revenue Capture and Coding; Treasury Services and Operations; Managed Care; and Clinical Revenue and Reimbursement.

“The Educational Experience Program is a high-impact internship that will reshape how our students advance the world’s prosperity, our vision at Mays Business School,” said the Head of the Department of Finance, Sorin Sorescu. “We have been discussing the right fit and right time with leaders at MD Anderson for several months, and I am thrilled this program is coming to fruition with the incredible individuals at this great organization.”

“We’re excited to partner with Mays Business School in a program that will create a win-win situation for everyone involved,” said Connor Burdine, executive director, Revenue Cycle Analytics for MD Anderson. “We know the talented students from Texas A&M will bring diverse perspectives, and we will be able to utilize the work ethic and intellect of these students to help solve business challenges faced by the broader health care industry.”

The Mays – MD Anderson Educational Experience Program is open to sophomore and junior undergraduate majors at Texas A&M University, with a preference for finance majors. Application information is available through Brandy Tuck in the Department of Finance (btuck@mays.tamu.edu), and the first class will intern in summer 2019.

Categories: Featured Stories, Finance, Health Care, Mays Business, News, Programs, Research, Students, Texas A&M

Shannon Deer, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs at Mays Business School, hosted the 2019 Mays Business School Energy Symposium on March 15 at Texas A&M University’s CityCentre campus in west Houston. Attendees included current and former students representing Mays Houston-based degree programs in all areas of the energy sector.

Energy is one of the three Strategic Initiatives in Mays’ Strategic Plan.

Guy Baber ’06, Vice President of Investor Relations at Marathon Oil Corporation, delivered the keynote. He began with his family’s history in the field and his personal passion and commitment to the energy sector. His discussion included how market forces have changed the upstream landscape over the past several years and how investor preferences continue to evolve. He then fielded questions from those in attendance and remarked on how the industry will likely reach equilibrium once U.S. operators commit to growing production responsibly and living within cash flows.

…Read more

Categories: Centers, Energy, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Research, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

By Richard Castleberry, Director of Full-Time MBA

There are not too many individuals who, when choosing between studying for an MBA and going onto medical school, decide to do both, However, there are not many Ahad Azimuddin(s) in the world. He is an MD/MBA student in Mays Business School.

Upon completion of his MBA degree in August 2019, Azimuddin will switch gears to focus on medical school. His primary interest is in surgery and taking “healthcare” to a whole other level. His focus on the “business of medicine” is off to a great start.

Azimuddin joined Texas A&M University’s MD/MBA Program at Mays Business School after obtaining his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in biomedical sciences; liberal studies; and minors in chemistry, medicine and society, and economics. While studying for his bachelor’s degree, Azimuddin worked as an undergraduate researcher for the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. Since joining the MD/MBA Program in July 2018, he has already left an indelible, positive mark on his class, and continues to impress.

Earlier this year, Azimuddin took advantage of an opportunity offered at Texas A&M’s McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship and entered the Raymond Ideas Challenge. The campuswide competition encourages undergraduate and graduate students to dream up the next great product or service. Each entry must include a 45-second video pitch of your idea. So Azimuddin submitted his 45-second video pitch of his medical device “L-Clip” idea (a pressure-sensitive medical device for a laryngoscope), and won the $3,000 first-place prize. He won with the Best Idea, as well as the Video Pitch, which brought him another $1,000 prize. …Read more

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, News, Programs, Research, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

Each fall semester, Mays Business School students have the opportunity to apply to attend the SUMMIT conference. SUMMIT’s mission is “to empower students as developing leaders through purposeful reflection and honest self-awareness.” This weekend-long overnight conference includes dynamic speakers, small group activities, team building, and time dedicated to personal reflection. The conference took place this year from Feb. 1-3 at Stoney Creek Ranch, and on the final day the students were given the chance to anonymously share their key takeaways.

…Read more

Categories: Diversity and Inclusion, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Programs, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

The Mays MasterCast is the flagship podcast of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. We share insights into how business and business school works, while sharing our culture and lives with listeners. Guests include current students, professors, alumni, and friends of the university who have distinguished themselves in the business world. In every episode, the hope is to find counterintuitive insight, vulnerability, and humor. Our goal is to be the world’s premier business school podcast.

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Programs, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

Richard Castleberry joined Mays Business School in early January 2019 as Program Director for the Full-Time MBA and MS Business programs. He brings a breadth of experience and seemingly boundless energy.

He explained his philosophy for doing his job. “Everything is about relationships, both external and internal, whether it’s a CEO or the person vacuuming my office. I bring my advice, experience, and background into play, and I hope to plug it into the well-oiled machine that is already in place here.”

Castleberry said he looks forward to meeting faculty, staff, and external partners, but most importantly, he wants to get to know the students. “I like to get the class schedules and just pop in to see what’s going on,” he said.

Most recently, Castleberry served as the university-wide head of business development for academic programs for Nazarbayev University (NU) in Astana, Kazakhstan. Prior to this, he served as the Director of Business Development and Assistant Dean of Marketing and Communications for NU’s graduate business school. As a member of the leadership team, he was instrumental in the founding of NU’s business school and worked very closely with its strategic partner – Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He led recruiting efforts for all master’s and Ph.D. programs. He also cultivated the university’s corporate partnerships across the world and has also taught many business courses at various institutions.

Castleberry earned an MBA degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., with a concentration in marketing. He received a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in international business and marketing from Northeastern University in Boston.

 

Categories: Departments, Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, MS Business, News, Programs, Staff, Texas A&M

The Mays Business School’s Center for Executive Development (CED) at Texas A&M University was announced as the winner of “Best New Program” and the runner-up of “Best Custom Program.”

The 2nd Annual Conference on Management & Executive Development (CMED) Program Awards took place during the annual conference in Orlando, FL., hosted by the ProEd Corporation (ProEd). The ProEd Corporation produces events for executive education professionals.

Joe Bork, president of ProEd, explains that the CMED Program Awards Competition “was created to assemble individuals that would compare and contrast Executive Education, Continuing Education, and Management Development outreach programs as a way to listen, learn, and possibly adopt current and new learning opportunities at their university.”

To be nominated, conference attendees submitted proposals reviewed by a designated selection committee. Fourteen schools from across the globe were chosen to present their programs to conference peers. Winners were selected by peer vote.

The CED’s Weatherford Leadership Development Program was recognized as runner-up for “Best Custom Program.” According to ProEd, programs in the Custom Program category must “demonstrate exceptional design and development of new services and content specifically for the customer.” The CED teamed up with Weatherford’s Talent Development office to create a program that identifies and develops strategic leaders, fosters engagement and commitment to moving Weatherford forward, and empowers leaders to make optimal decisions rooted in Weatherford Core Values & Leadership Competencies. In 2018, a total of 94 leaders and high potential employees completed the Weatherford Leadership Development Program with more programming scheduled for 2019.

The Executive Certificate in Business Essentials by the CED was named the leader in “Best New Program.” Programs must have been delivered within the last 18 months to be considered “new.” The Executive Certificate in Business Essentials was developed for busy professionals responsible for business decisions who hope to refine their business acumen. A range of business topics are covered, including numerous management/leadership sessions, financial acumen, marketing, supply chain, etc. With its unique structure of one two-day session per month over a course of six months, this program accomplishes the goals of participants with limited interruption to their professional lives. For more information on the Executive Certificate in Business Essentials, visit tx.ag/BizEssentials.

Brandi Plunkett, executive director of the CED, shares that “the team is so honored to be recognized for our programs, which are truly a result of tireless effort and tremendous talent on the part of our clients, faculty, and staff.”

The Center for Executive Development (CED) at Mays Business School provides fully customized executive education programs for companies and open enrollment programs for individuals that cultivate ethical leaders. Embodying the Texas A&M core values, the staff at the CED welcomes an on-going dialog with clients in order to meet their objectives and empower them to lead with excellence.

 

 

Categories: Center for Executive Development, Centers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Programs, Spotlights, Texas A&M

On a Saturday morning, during their 9 a.m. classes, students from the Professional MBA Classes of 2019 and 2020 were prepared to debrief a typical case assignment for their respective accounting course. The class of 2019 was in Mary Lea McAnally’s Financial Accounting course, and the class of 2020 was in Mike Kinney’s Managerial Accounting course. Both cohorts thought this would be a typical class discussion.

Moments into each separate class, the respective faculty announced that the student teams in both classes had a good start analyzing the case – but were incomplete in their analysis. McAnally told her Financial Accounting students, “To understand the complete picture of this company, the results they’ve generated, and the options in front of them, your team needs information from the managerial accounting team in Kinney’s class next door.” Kinney simultaneously announced to his Managerial Accounting teams that they needed to immediately partner with teams from financial accounting to complete a full analysis and generate valid recommendations.

The faculty said, “go,” and the teams from each class paired to complete a new “Combined Case” assignment in 90 minutes. After the 90 minutes, the combined teams presented their analysis and recommendations to a group of faculty who were assuming the role of the case company’s board of directors.

…Read more

Categories: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Faculty, Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Spotlights, Texas A&M