Mays Business School is hosting Greg Garland, Chairman and CEO of Phillips 66, on Thursday, Feb. 21.

He will be speaking from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Chevron Room in the Zachary Building of Texas A&M University. 

Students from Geosciences, Engineering, and Mays are invited to attend. 

An RSVP is required for all attendees at tx.ag/P66RSVP.

Categories: Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M

SEC-member schools, business leaders and professionals to attend annual conference to explore best practices in diversity and inclusiveness

By Keith Randall, Texas A&M University

Business leaders, working professionals, diversity officers, human resource officers, and others are encouraged to register for the 4th annual SEC Business School Diversity Conference set for Feb. 27-March 1 at Texas A&M University.

Hosted by Mays Business School at Texas A&M, the conference hopes to embrace diversity and inclusion and to identify issues and topics that are important to any business community. As in previous SEC diversity conferences, the meeting aims to:

  • Identify, advocate, and disseminate best practices and promote new initiatives about diversity and inclusion in business.
  • Conduct and promote research initiatives aimed at minority business students, staff, faculty and other stakeholders.
  • Empower academic and private sector professionals to become knowledgeable and engaged in diversity and inclusion practices.
  • Provide colleagues with professional development and resources to advance equity in recruitment and the classroom.

…Read more

Categories: Dean Eli Jones, Diversity and Inclusion, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M

By Leonard Berry

Published in The Conversation

“Cancer survivor” has become a catch-all phrase to refer to living individuals diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Cancer clinics and clinicians, patient advocacy organizations and media reports commonly use the term.

Using cancer survivor as a descriptor is certainly an act with good intentions. After all, people diagnosed with cancer have a diverse array of physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs – and the language of survival can be empowering to many of them. For this reason, institutions that focus on cancer have framed the term broadly. For example, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship has defined cancer survivor as “any person diagnosed with cancer from the time of initial diagnosis until his or her death.”

Nevertheless, as marketing professors who study how to better serve patients, we were struck by the notion of applying the term “cancer survivor” so broadly that it would even include people who ultimately die of cancer.

Should the same term be used for the entire spectrum of living people who have experienced cancer, which represents more than 100 distinct diseases affecting approximately 14 million people in the United States?

A complex issue

Indeed, the published research on this question reflects its complexity. An analysis of 23 studies of how people diagnosed with cancer view the term “cancer survivor” shows that although many embrace it, others see it as inappropriate. Some of them fear not surviving if cancer recurs; others think the term itself is disrespectful to people who die of cancer or believe the term better fits people with cancers more serious than their own.

Still others simply don’t want to live with the “survivor label” or don’t think the term reflects who they are. In studies that ask patients to make a discrete yes–no choice about whether they identify as a cancer survivor, the percentage who say “yes” ranges from about 31 percent to 78 percent, depending on the type of cancer and other individual factors, with breast cancer patients generally showing greater affinity for the term than patients with other types of cancer.

Recognizing that forcing a yes–no choice on this delicate question is not ideal, we partnered with Dr. Katie Deming, a radiation oncologist at Kaiser Permanente, and Dr. Jeffrey Landercasper, clinical adjunct professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, to conduct our own study of how current and former patients perceive the term “cancer survivor.” We measured reactions to the term in three ways: a seven-point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree, a 100-point allocation exercise from 0 (negative) to 100 (positive) on a continuous scale, and an open-ended question, “What is your personal opinion about the phrase ‘cancer survivor’ and why do you feel as you do?” We analyzed more than 1,400 surveys completed by patients, primarily with breast cancer, who belong to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation’s Army of Women, an organization that connects researchers with people who want to participate in breast cancer research. About three-quarters of our respondents were currently undergoing cancer treatment.

Our findings reinforce the concern that motivated our study. Respondents’ average scores for the two quantitative questions were slightly above the scale midpoints, indicating many people are negatively disposed to the term. The open-ended question was especially revealing in documenting not only how respondents regarded the term but also why. Overall, about 60 percent of comments were negative, 29 percent positive, and 11 percent neutral.

Among the negative responses to the term “cancer survivor,” the most common theme had to do with its disregarding the patient’s fear of recurrence. One woman’s response captures the essence of this concern: “I feel like I’m tempting fate when I say I’ve survived it.”

Other women who felt negatively about the phrase made statements such as “I don’t deserve to carry the title proudly because I didn’t ‘suffer’ enough to earn [it]”; “I prefer not to define myself by my cancer diagnosis or status”; and “it erases the experience of those who [still] have or will die of the disease.”

Patients who felt positively about being called a cancer survivor often said they took pride in the accomplishment of surviving cancer – as one woman put it, “of winning the battle against this life-threatening disease.” Another said the term made her feel “empowered, instead of victimized.” Others cited the sense of community conferred by the phrase, specifically a “personal connection to other cancer patients.”

Our statistical analysis comparing respondents with negative perceptions versus positive perceptions of the term indicates that undergoing active cancer treatment, advanced cancer stage, and older age at diagnosis or study participation are associated with less positive perceptions.

Health care language should do no harm

The key takeaway from our study, and from other published research on the topic, is that using a single label to describe a diverse population of cancer patients in blanket fashion inevitably leaves a substantial percentage of them feeling unrepresented, perhaps even alienated, by the term – even though many others derive positive benefits from using and hearing it. In short, because the group of people typically described by the term is far from a monolith, a single phrase that is subjective rather than factual is unlikely to be up to the task. The label “cancer survivor” is not based on any specific fact related to a person’s particular treatment or diagnosis; it is plainly subjective.

Language used with and about patients is important and can cause needless distress when used without care. Why not let patients choose the language of their cancer-related identity so that it best reflects their own individual experiences and preferences? Existing research, including our own, suggests that the question is worth considering.

Categories: Featured Stories, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Research, Spotlights, Texas A&M

By Kiera Merritt ’19

The United States Department of Labor predicts, “Today’s learners will have eight to10 jobs by the age of 38.” A majority of these future jobs do not even exist yet. For instance, people interested in both robotics and law could become robotics ethicists to mitigate issues such as ownership of and culpability for decisions made by machines. Because of modern technological innovation, once unimaginable opportunities are becoming new careers.

On Jan. 25, Christopher Bishop – a nonlinear, multimodal careerist – provided students at Texas A&M University with insight into succeeding in these fields of the future. Throughout his life, Bishop continuously redeveloped his skills and created new jobs for himself.

He toured internationally as a musician with artists such as Robert Palmer and Chuck Berry; wrote advertising jingles, including the original “Gimme a Break” Kit Kat jingle; turned a conversation on a commuter train into a 12-year career at IBM; and now delivers presentations on the future of work around the world.

Each time Bishop switched careers, he focused on three fundamental tools for success:

  • Voice. Identify your own brand. Invest in what makes you stand out. Frame your persona on your own uniqueness.
  • Antenna. Connect your interests to events in the world. Seek sources based on your values and interests that help you stay informed. These sources include magazines, newspapers, blogs, YouTube videos, podcasts, or other forms of media.
  • Mesh. Share yourself with those who value your skills. LinkedIn is a valuable tool. Expand your network by adding at least five people each week. Reach out to others who share your interests and goals, and join groups to expand your connections. This puts you on the radar of people you would otherwise miss.

While creating new jobs can be a daunting process, the trepidation behind progress is nothing new. In fact, in 1589, Queen Elizabeth I refused to issue a patent for a mechanized knitting machine, “for fear it [would] put [her] poor subjects out of work.” However, the new workforce should look to the future without hesitation because, as Bishop stated, “As long as there are problems, there will be jobs.”

The Mays Innovation Research Center hosted this event.

Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Jobs, Mays Business, Mays Innovation Research Center, News, Research, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

On Jan. 17, the Texas A&M Board of Regents discussed and approved two items pertaining to Mays Business School: the adoption of a resolution celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mays and the establishment of the Sales Leadership Institute. Both items were submitted by Texas A&M University President  Michael K. Young.

The board resolved to extend congratulations to the administration, faculty, research, professionals, and staff of Mays in honor of the school’s 50th anniversary. This resolution was included in the minutes of the meeting and will stand as a permanent tribute to the accomplishments and legacy of Mays.

The board also established the Sales Leadership Institute (SLI) as an organizational unit of Texas A&M University within Mays. The SLI will formalize and elevate the activities of the Professional Selling Initiative (PSI) at Mays which was officially launched in 2015 with the goal of attracting and preparing more students for careers in professional selling and sales management.

Pictured (from left) are Ervin Bryant, Student Regent; Regents Morris Foster, Cliff Thomas, Phil Adams, Chairman Charles W. Schwartz, Mays Dean Eli Jones, Texas A&M President Michael Young, Vice Chairman Elaine Mendoza, Regents Bill Mahomes and Tim Leach, and Chancellor John Sharp.

Categories: Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M

Originally published in Texas A&M Foundation

Inspired by his mother’s journey from a share-cropping farm in Georgia to running a business in Houston, Barnett “Barney” Gershen ’69 knew he could go anywhere in life if he put forth the effort. “When my mom Margie was 17, she took every penny she had and bought a one-way bus ticket to Houston for $18.50,” Barney said. “She wanted to escape the poor life she had lived in Georgia, and when she left, she knew she was never going back.”

Once she arrived in Houston, Margie found a job, rented a garage apartment and began building a better life for herself and her future family. She eventually met and married Louis Gershen, and the two started a family. Louis worked full-time selling cleaning chemicals while developing his business, XGI Janitor Services, named for his service in the United States Army.

…Read more

Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

As the fall semester comes to an end, a group of 18 students and five Brazos Valley nonprofit organizations celebrate a semester’s worth of hard work. For the past three months, students from the Strategic Philanthropy class at Mays Business School have engaged the local community in a unique experiential learning opportunity.

With financial support from George H.W. Bush Library Foundation, The Philanthropy Lab, and The Bethancourt Family, students determined how to allocate $72,000 to local nonprofit organizations. By reviewing more than 50 applications, visiting and interviewing leadership from the top 10 organizations, these 18 students were put in a position to make challenging decisions on how to distribute these funds.

The check celebration was made even more special as the partnership with the George H.W. Bush Library Foundation allowed the class to participate in President Bush’s legacy of service. The check presentation event occurred the day before Bush was brought back to College Station for burial at his presidential library.

The course instructor, Kyle Gammenthaler, quoted President H.W. Bush by saying, “Be bold in your caring, be bold in your dreaming and above all else, always do your best.” The five nonprofit organizations chosen to receive funds personify caring for their community, dreaming boldly, and doing their very best to impact the Brazos Valley for good.

Prior to announcing the nonprofit recipients, Jess Jiongo ’19, a senior university studies-business major, provided the audience with an overview of the semester. She used a blend of humor and poignant thoughts to masterfully retell the story of the Strategic Philanthropy course. She mentioned three takeaways from the semester.

  • All 18 students define “good” differently, but it is still good.
  • We have to be intentional and put ourselves in positions to do good and meet the needs of those around us.
  • We learned what it looks like be strategic and educated givers.

To conclude the night, teams of students presented oversized checks ranging from $5,000 to $21,400 to five nonprofit organizations. This semester’s recipients are Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach, The BEE Community, Save Our Streets Ministries, Still Creek Ranch, and Voices for Children. The organizations’ missions range from providing meaningful work to adults with disabilities to improving the lives of children in foster care. As George H.W. Bush once said, “no definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.” Although each organization has a unique mission, they all have one thing in common. These nonprofits have committed to the ultimate call of serving others, which impacted our students and inspired them to take steps toward making a difference.

See below for more information on the nonprofit recipients.

Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach

The BEE Community

Save Our Streets Ministries

Still Creek Ranch

Voices for Children

 

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Strategic Philanthropy, Students, Texas A&M

By Travis Cantwell, business honors ’22

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – Peter Drucker

Priding himself in building cultures that breed success, Wayne Roberts ’85 (BANA) and ’86 (MBA) has built a career as a “fixer” and “grower” of teams and companies. From his early days as a consultant at Arthur Andersen through stints at Trammell Crow Company and back at Accenture, he learned the value of getting results “through people, not in spite of them.”

Roberts spoke to Business Honors students on Nov. 29 as part of the Mays Leadership Forum series. He provided invaluable advice to students on establishing extraordinary cultures, finding value in people, and understanding your passion and professional mission.

Roberts serves Mays in an ongoing capacity as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board and co-chairs the Student Recruitment and Development Committee. …Read more

Categories: Accounting, Business Honors, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

Four Texas A&M marketing students have each won a $5,000 scholarship from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund national case study competition.

The case study for the competition was based on the “Globalization of Fashion.” Students were asked to investigate a retail company that did not have a physical brick-and-mortar presence in a specific country and conduct research into why that company would succeed in that country.

Participants were expected to utilize both primary and secondary research, create a marketing and financial plan for the selected company, understand consumer tastes and behaviors, and determine how to overcome barriers of conducting business in their particular country.

The four Texas A&M University marketing students who received the award were:

  • Manu Garikipati, who investigated introducing Nordstrom to Dubai;
  • Jacquelyn Armstrong, who investigated Anthropologie’s introduction to Paris, France;
  • Samantha Hunt, who investigated Academy Sports+Outdoors’ inclusion in Mexico;
  • Avery Heldenfels, who investigated Restoration Hardware’s introduction to China.

In addition to the prize scholarship money, these four individuals will travel to New York City in January to attend meetings with industry professionals, attend the gala awards ceremony, attend a career fair, and have various opportunities for one-on-one meetings with some of the companies that support the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Organization.

 

Categories: Departments, Featured Stories, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, 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