Lead Story

Mays Business School celebrates Deloitte as 2022 Partner of the Year

Mays Business School, September 26th, 2022

Texas A&M’s Business School honors the firm for advancing their mission

Three leaders holding awards

Texas A&M’s Mays Business School is pleased to announce Deloitte as its 2022 Partner of the Year. Mays Business School presented the award at a ceremony on Friday, September 16, which included roundtable discussions featuring Deloitte leaders and students.

Ahead of the ceremony, Deloitte representatives met with Texas A&M Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity Dr. Annie McGowan and Professional Program in Accounting interns. Interim Dean Ricky W. Griffin presented the 2022 Partner of the Year Award to Deloitte.

RECOGNIZING A LEADING MAYS PARTNER

Deloitte gives a gig 'em celebrating Partner of the YearSince 2016, the Partner of the Year honor has been given to organizations that have achieved excellence in advancing Mays’ vision – providing career opportunities, developing quality professionals, and investing intellectual and financial capital toward the realization of Mays’ mission.

“Mays is fortunate to have so many stellar partnerships with a wide array of organizations,” said Interim Dean Ricky W. Griffin. “Our vision to advance the world’s prosperity is made possible by these organizations. Those who have received the Partner of the Year recognition from Mays have taken the responsibility of partnership to a new level.”

BUSINESS LEADER

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500®, more than 7,000 private companies, numerous government agencies, and higher education institutions.

Building on more than 175 years of service, Deloitte’s network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. At Texas A&M, Deloitte has developed deep ties with Mays, as well as with the broader university community.

Students listen to the presentation celebrating Partner of the Year 2022“Deloitte offers a wide variety of internships and employment opportunities to our students and their professionals have consistently visited us in Aggieland to speak in our classrooms and events,” Griffin said. “Deloitte goes above and beyond in their selfless service of Mays and Texas A&M through their time and talent. They are phenomenal partners, on campus and off, and we are delighted to honor them.”

“Deloitte is proud to be able to make an impact at Texas A&M and is honored to be recognized with this award. Our team — including 983 Aggies who are Deloitte professionals — wants to see Texas A&M, Mays, the students, faculty and administration be successful,” said Amy Chronis, Houston managing partner, Deloitte LLP. “We are thrilled to continue to deepen our work with Texas A&M and Mays through faculty development, curriculum support, enhanced student experiences, and strategy development.”

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Initiated in 2016, Mays’ Partner of the Year has previously been awarded to Phillips 66, KPMG, EY, and Reynolds and Reynolds.

Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of Deloitte’s legal structure.

In late July, Michelle Fraire ’22, Mays Marketing Communications Student Assistant, asked Trevor Hale ’97, Clinical Professor of Business Analytics at Mays Business School, about his experience as a Senior Faculty Fellow in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Summer Faculty Research Program (SFRP).

Enjoy the interaction:

Fraire: 1. In your words, what is this program and why does it matter?

Hale: The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Summer Faculty Research Program (SFRP) is run by the ONR and supports about 75 faculty members and their research efforts at various US Navy research labs and bases across the country. The goal is to unite Naval facilities that have some research needs with university faculty that have relevant research skills. The result is a nice win-win. (Visit the official Navy website for program information.)

Fraire: 2. What has been the highlight of your experience so far?

San Nicolas Island. Credit: Flickr: twiga_swala

Hale: There are a bunch. If I had to pick one, I’d have to say that one was today. This summer was my (unprecedented) fifth ONR SFRP. I’ve spent the summers of 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017, and (now) 2022 in Port Hueneme, California. And today (July 25, 2022) I went out and back (a 16-minute flight each way from and to US Naval Air Station Point Mugu) to San Nicolas Island …a completely US military island that the US Navy acquired in 1933. It was awesome to see.

Fraire: 3. What of this experience has had the greatest impact on what you want for your career going forward, if at all?

Hale: The joke is I now have California residency as I’ve now spent 52 weeks there…albeit spread over five summers at 10 weeks and change each time. As for impact, they have varied. One of those summers has resulted in a journal article in energy management. One summer resulted in a white paper that was snail-mailed to 535 particular offices in Washington, DC. One summer I’m not allowed to talk about as it was a classified project. This summer was about reaching out to potential academic partners to be part of the new Microgrid Academy that my supervisor, Dr. Bill Anderson, started about a year ago. Among about a hundred others, this included inviting, of course, Dr. Stratos Pistikopoulos, the Director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute.

Fraire: 4. What is something you’ve learned about yourself that you didn’t know before you started this program?

Hale: I learned that I am more resilient than I thought I was. I am able to immerse myself in someone else’s research. As an academic and as an American, I am proud that I can support the US Navy…if only in a small way.

Fraire: 5. What do you find the most rewarding about participating in this program?

Hale: The most rewarding part of participating in the ONR Summer Faculty Research Program is being part of team US Navy. This may sound a little hyper-patriotic but it is so true. Like Mays, we…the United States Navy…really are a family. Mission-driven but family at heart. My brother (a 6’4”, West Point alum, US Army Lieutenant Colonel version of me) might disagree but he’d be wrong.

Fraire: 6. How is this program related to your interests and field of research?

Hale: My Ph.D. student, Aaron Heinrich, has started and will be writing a dissertation in the energy management arena. Aaron is a Navy veteran. The synergy therein is downright palpable.

Fraire: 7. When you’re not conducting research, how do you spend your time off?

Hale: In the ‘year’ of my life that I’ve been out here, I have surfed at Rincon Point, I have had brunch at Geoffrey’s two tables down from Tom Hanks, I have ridden my bicycle from Ventura up to Ojai and back on a 15 mile bike-only bike path (probably 5 or 6 times), I have played sand volleyball at my office on Naval Base Ventura County during my lunch hour as well as at the infamous East Beach in Santa Barbara. I have visited Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, UCSB, UCLA, UCSD, USC, Claremont McKenna, Cal State – Northridge, and nearby Cal State – Channel Islands…which was founded just 20 years ago in 2002. I rode my beach cruiser up and down the Venice Beach boardwalk. I have visited a friend in Goleta, a cousin in La Jolla, and a best friend in Ventura. I have hiked the nearby mountains and I have strolled across the base. I have stayed off base at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort and I have stayed on base in ‘BEQs’ (Bachelor Enlisted Quarters). I have played golf on the base at the Seabee Golf Course as well as off base at private Riviera Country Club with a member. In both 2009 and 2011 when my daughter, Lauren, was younger (she just celebrated her 21st birthday the other day) I spent three-day weekends at Disneyland and had tea and crumpets with the Princesses….IYKYK.


Professor Trevor HaleTrevor Hale is a clinical full professor of business analytics at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He teaches in the MS Finance and MS Management of Information Systems programs, among others.

He received a Ph.D. in operations research Texas A&M University, a M.S. in engineering management from Northeastern University, and a B.S. in industrial and management systems engineering from Penn State University. Previously, he was a faculty member at University of Houston-Downtown, Ohio University, and Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Dr. Hale is a third generation professor and a fifth generation Texan. His father, the late Dr. Leslie C. Hale, Jr., was the A. Robert Noll Professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State while his father’s father was a professor of economics at then Texas College of Mines, now UTEP.

His research interests are in the areas of location science, warehouse science, data analytics, and grid-scale energy management. Dr. Hale spends about a third of his summers as an Office of Naval Research Senior Faculty Fellow at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California. He is the managing co-author of Pearson’s number one textbook in business analytics, Quantitative Analysis for Management, now in its 13th edition. His research has been published in the Annals of Operations Research, the European Journal of Operational Research, the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, and the International Journal of Production Research among other outlets. He is a senior member of both INFORMS and DSI.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Perspectives, Research, Spotlights, Texas A&M

Huseyn Abdulla is the first Mays PhD student to receive a Texas A&M Distinguished Graduate Student Award from Texas A&M’s Association of Former Students and the University’s Graduate and Professional School.

The award is given to outstanding graduate students to recognize their exceptional achievements in the areas of research or teaching. Just over one dozen graduate students (university-wide) receive this award annually. The Association of Former Students presents a framed certificate of achievement and a custom gold watch to the honorees to commemorate their accomplishments.

Huseyn Abdulla – who received this significant award because of the quality of his scholarly research – has, to date, published three articles in top-tier, Class A academic journals. His pipeline of current projects suggests that additional publications in major journals are forthcoming. We visited with some of Huseyn’s advisors to gain a broader understanding of his achievements in terms of scholarly research.

The sheer volume of high-quality research that Abdulla engages in across multiple disciplines differentiates him from his PhD student peers, particularly those earning their degree in a business discipline. Chair of the Mays’ Ph.D. coordinators Dr. Sean McGuire states it this way. “If a student in a non-scientific field has one “A” publication upon graduating, it is exceptional; so, for a Mays doctoral candidate to have authorship or co-authorship on three, before graduating, is truly impressive.”

Another distinguishing attribute for Abdulla is his relentless commitment to engaging the scientific process appropriately as a foundation for completing research projects. With a background in industrial engineering, he entered the Mays’ PhD program with a strong commitment to a scientific approach. “Huseyn quickly set himself apart with his instinctive prioritization of the scientific method,” shared Bob and Kelly Jordan Professor in Business, and Huseyn’s PhD advisor, Dr. James Abbey. “This can be a sticking point for high-level behavioral scholars – and to address this challenge so early in his career – is exceptional.” Dr. Michael Ketzenberg, Abdulla’s other advisor, agrees. “But not only that, “usually it’s the advisor that sets the agenda and helps to direct the research, in the case of Huseyn, his passion and discipline has him leading and his advisors often playing catchup. Quite the rarity.”

Huseyn is dedicated to achieving positive results from his own program of scholarly research and is dedicated to helping others be productive scholars, too. In the highly competitive space of post-graduate studies, Abdulla helps his peers elevate the quality of their research initiatives. Abbey elaborates: “Huseyn has been a driving force in pushing other Ph.D. students to excel, working closely to boost the proficiency and skills of his peers to see their research thrive. This is not a common trait of Ph.D. candidates.”

Abdulla’s research addresses pressing challenges in global markets. Studying within the department of Information and Operations Management (INFO), he has had opportunities to focus his research in areas that currently, have relevance for individuals, organizations, and societies. Three years ago, consumers may not have had an acute awareness of the impact supply chain management had on their daily lives. However, the pandemic created supply chain disruptions from inventory and logistics to production and design with resulting effects on business and consumers alike. “For his part, Huseyn is studying supply chain at this critical moment when it’s top-of-mind at the average dinner table, and his research is really applicable to everyone,” says McGuire.

Today, Huseyn’s research focuses predominantly on a notable pain-point in the Information Systems space – consumer returns. “Even pre-pandemic, Huseyn was passionately tackling the issue of consumer returns – which have now nearly doubled from $350 billion to well over $600 billion in the U.S. alone during Covid,” notes Abbey. Abdulla’s work adds to the scholarly literature and to managerial practice as well as dollar returns of the magnitude being experienced today have significant global consequences both fiscally and environmentally. From an environmental perspective, millions of tons of waste are expected to result from such an inordinate volume of returns. “Information systems are essential to helping monitor, analyze, and improve our reactions to ever-evolving global economic forces – this area of study is central to how we emerge and thrive in the post-pandemic landscape,” shares Abbey. “As such, our students play a pivotal role in informing how business will function moving forward. Huseyn and his breakthrough research are a standout example of the relevance and importance of this work.”

Under the leadership and guidance of Department Chair, Dr. Richard Metters, the Texas A&M INFO department has moved from a top 50 ranking to a top 10 ranking in scholarly output over the last decade. Because of this, its draw for top PhD student talent such as Abdulla continues to increase. Across its five academic domains, Mays Business School maintains a strong commitment to facilitate PhD students’ efforts as they seek to become prominent academic scholars capable of both generating new knowledge and conveying that knowledge while working with active learners.

Abdulla receiving this award provides a powerful signal to current PhD students and to those evaluating the possibility of completing their PhD degree at Mays Business School. As McGuire notes, “Abdulla’s recognition for excellence by the university says to the school’s PhD students that “There are no limitations on your success when you come to our Ph.D. program. From faculty and administrative support to other students and the Dean’s office, everything is in place for exceptionally bright and hard-working students to excel – the sky is the limit.” “In many ways,” McGuire says, “this award reflects that.”

“Dr. Metters and the INFO department’s faculty have fostered a culture of optimal support for Ph.D. scholars,” says Mays Business School’s Interim Dean Dr. R. Duane Ireland. “This is evidenced by the prestigious honor awarded to Huseyn Abdulla.” “We couldn’t be prouder of Huseyn and this outstanding honor,” shared Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Dr. Jerry Strawser. “In my 25-year tenure with the University, this is the first Mays Doctoral candidate I’ve been privileged to see receive such an award.”

Texas A&M University hosted a reception on Monday, April 25th to honor Huseyn and others receiving the Distinguished Graduate Student award.

 

Categories: Ph.D.

Three distinguished Texas A&M University graduates—Porter S. Garner III ’79, Dr. Eli Jones ’82, ’86, ’97, and Brian K. Pinto ’93—received one of Mays Business School’s top honors, the 2022 Outstanding Alumni Award. The trio was recognized during a celebratory dinner at The Stella Hotel on April 28, 2022.

This award spotlights former students who exemplify transformational leadership in their profession and community, as well as their service to Mays. “These honorees are leading lives of distinction,” said Mays Interim Dean R. Duane Ireland. “They embody the Core Aggie Values of respect, excellence, loyalty, leadership, integrity, and selfless service, while they support their communities as well as Mays and our universities.”

The active involvement of Mays former students is an integral part of the school’s success, as illustrated by their support for the new Business Education Complex (BEC), which is set to break ground in October. Moving forward, Mays is committed to becoming the preeminent public business school in the United States. “We are developing a strategy through which this objective will be reached,” he said. “Obviously, this is a very exciting time for Mays Business School. We are confident that by implementing our strategy, we will advance the world’s prosperity, which is our vision, by reaching our three-part mission, which is to create a vibrant learning organization, produce impactful research, and develop transformational leaders.”

Ireland stressed that Mays continues to hone its focus on excellence. “At Mays, we are one—one school, one vision to advance the world’s prosperity, and one Spirit captured primarily by our Aggie Core Values,” he said. “Being one is the building block for Mays to become the preeminent business school in the United States.”

Porter S. Garner III ’79

Garner’s love of Texas A&M was sparked while watching his first Aggie Muster on the banks of the Rio Grande River. “Watching the emotions and the profound reactions of my dad and other Aggies talking about their classmates and friends from A&M is what first motivated me and inspired me to say to myself—even at a young age—I want to be part of that,” he said.

He enrolled at Texas A&M and earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing before joining Hughes Tool Company. Two years later, he returned to Texas A&M as Field Director for The Association of Former Students and began to build an illustrious career.

Yet, one of his crowning achievements at The Association–being unanimously elected as chief executive, making him the seventh professional leader in The Association’s 143-year history—was preceded by the fall of Bonfire in 1999. “Those were indelible moments in my career because I saw the Aggie Spirit at its finest moment,” he said. “I saw the Aggie Network rally and support fellow Aggies, most of whom they never met and didn’t know. But all that mattered was they were Texas Aggies—and that began to shape my early CEO years because I thought differently than perhaps I had before November 18.”

During his 22-year tenure as the Association’s president and CEO, Garner has helped the organization grow into the premier alumni organization through enhancing its programs and services and broadening its reach and relevance to the global Aggie Network. Additionally, The Association of Former Students’ total assets have grown from $55 million to $190 million under Garner’s leadership. The organization also has raised over $400 million to support Texas A&M and individual Aggies during his tenure as CEO.

What continues at the forefront is the importance of Aggie Traditions. “There’s an old adage that the longer I live, the more I see both in my personal life and in my professional life—The more things change, the more they stay the same,” Garner said. “And I’ve seen it come full circle at Texas A&M with traditions and experiences. And while we are on the cutting edge on so many fronts at Texas A&M, we’re still doing things that are traditional, that are desired, and that are meaningful. I think it speaks to the value of tradition and why those many traditions are important to who we are as Texas Aggies.”

An active member of the Bryan/College Station community, Garner serves on the board of Baylor Scott & White Hospital—College Station Region and has a lifetime membership in the Brazos County A&M Club. Garner and his wife, Lisa ’91, are Endowed Century Club donors to the Association of Former Students, Eppright Distinguished Donors, and members of the Texas A&M Legacy Society. They also have three children, Claire ’21, Callie ’23, and Porter IV ’26.

Dr. Eli Jones ’82, ’86, ’97

Amid the promotions and accolades that Jones has received during his academic career, the Mays marketing professor and former Dean of Mays Business School ultimately sees himself as an educator. “What inspires and motivates me is watching leaders grow,” Jones said. “I love developing leaders, and I love the fact that we are all in on transformational leadership because we get the chance to watch students develop. They go on to be very successful; the cream rises to the top.”

Among the first generation in his family to attend college, Jones initially worked in sales and sales management for three Fortune 500 global companies before moving into higher education. He held faculty and administrative roles at the University of Houston before serving as dean at Louisiana State University’s E.J. Ourso College of Business and at the University of Arkansas’s Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Yet, throughout these experiences, Texas A&M and Mays Business School remained home.  He returned to Texas A&M to become Mays Business School’s dean in 2015. “When I think about Texas A&M, I think about the people–it’s the people that we hire, it’s the people who are impacting our lives,” he said. “When I would leave Mays Business School to go off and do something else and then come back—and I did that several times—every time I came back, I reconnected with those folks who actually touched my life in a dramatic way. Now it’s my opportunity to give back to them and recognize them, and that part is really special.”

In the role of dean, he oversaw the launching of a campaign to fund the BEC and collaborated with others to help Mays reach 147% of its Lead by Example campaign goal. He also led efforts to develop Mays’ strategic plan in 2016, which still influences the school today. Jones expanded Mays’ media and communications capacity, and also facilitated the establishment of several centers.

The Peggy Mays Eminent Scholar’s work as a leading academic also has received widespread recognition. Jones’ research in sales and sales management has been published in top academic journals, and he has written several published books. Jones also has received numerous Excellence in Teaching awards at the university, national and international levels for his work teaching undergraduate, MBA, and executive education students.

He has been recognized as the 2009 Outstanding Doctoral Alumnus by Mays’ Department of Marketing and the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Marketing Association (AMA) Sales Special Interest Group. Jones was inducted into the Ph.D. Project Hall of Fame and recognized as a “Most Influential Black Corporate Director” by Savoy magazine in 2021. That same year, the Association of Former Students’ Black Former Students honored Jones with the Aggie Impact Award. In 2022, Jones received the AMA-Irwin-McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award and the Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) CUTCO/Vector Distinguished Marketing Educator Award.

Jones and his wife, Fern, have four children and 10 grandchildren. He also currently serves on the boards of Insperity, Invesco Funds, and First Financial Bank.

The former dean encourages everyone he meets—and especially the students he interacts with—to embrace faith. “When I look back at the incredible things that have happened to myself and my family, faith has always been embedded in that,” he said. “When I started believing in a higher power, I started building the confidence to do some things out of my comfort zone. But I had to have a foundation, and that became the foundation.”

Brian K. Pinto ’93

Pinto is committed to teamwork—and credits Mays for helping him learn to work collaboratively. “What inspires me is winning together as a team, working together to overcome some sort of challenge or to reach a goal,” he said. “I look back at Texas A&M and all the opportunities I had to network and learn. That’s really contributed to my success.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in Tax, Pinto started at  Anderson and then joined Deloitte in 2002, where he has had a stellar career. In his previous role as the global business change storefront leader, Pinto worked with mergers and acquisitions, post-merger integration, and value chain alignment. He also was the Central Region managing partner for International Tax and Transfer Pricing Services, as well as the national operations leader for the U.S. International Tax and Transfer Pricing practice.

Pinto currently serves as the Global Lead Client Service Partner and Global Lead Tax Partner on some of the firm’s largest accounts. He also is the Global Leader for Mergers & Acquisitions for Deloitte’s Tax and Legal business, the U.S. Tax Leader for the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Industry team, and a member of the U.S. Global Business Council. He also has consistently been included as a leading tax professional in the Guide to the World’s Leading Tax Advisors.

From his professional perspective, Pinto sees great opportunities for Mays graduates. “We’re in a golden age of business, in terms of transformation, M&A, and regulatory change,” he said. “Mays is preparing our students to lead the way.”

Active in Deloitte’s initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion, Pinto has focused on increasing the company’s recruitment, development, and retention of women and diverse talent. To that end, he serves as the Advisory Leader University Partner for Texas A&M University, where he works closely with administration, faculty, and students to utilize Deloitte’s resources to support the university’s success across campus. Pinto also maintains a visible presence across campus as a frequent guest lecturer.

Pinto and his wife, Lori, have established the Lori and Brian Pinto Foundation Excellence Award (FEA) in Accounting. He is a member of the 12th Man Foundation, where he is an Eppright Distinguished Donor and a member of the 12th Man Foundation Champion’s Council. Pinto also is a member of the Dallas A&M Club, the United Way, the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society, and the Trinity Christian Academy Dad’s Club.

Yet despite his busy schedule, Pinto wants to remain engaged in his alma mater. “I stay involved in Mays because I’m passionate about the university; it means a lot to me,” he said. “I love what we’re doing at Mays as an advisory board and as a group of Aggies to differentiate Mays and set it apart from all the other peer schools,” he said. “I feel like the team that we have pulled together, and the resources that we’re putting toward the Wehner expansion and our FEA scholarships and all the different ways we’re making impacts will differentiate Mays Business School from its peers. I want to do my part to help the team win.”

Categories: Mays Business

Out of 42 finalists, ten teams were given top honors and awarded cash prizes for their innovative and entrepreneurial ideasr

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS May 7, 2022 – The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship hosted its second annual and first in-person Texas High School Ideas Challenge today, with competitive presentations held at Texas A&M University’s Memorial Student Center and The Crowd Fund Showcase and Awards Reception (sponsored by Education Advanced) held at the McFerrin Center. Open to high school students across the state of Texas, the challenge, designed to encourage students to explore entrepreneurship and foster development of an entrepreneurial mindset, awarded more than $10,000 in cash prizes to the top ideas.

Launched in 2021 by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, the Texas High School Ideas Challenge is modeled after the Raymond Ideas Challenge, one of the McFerrin Center’s longest standing programs open each fall to current Texas A&M students. Due to restrictions in place, the inaugural event in 2021 was held exclusively in a virtual format, but the 2022 event was held in person at Texas A&M, giving high school students from across the state the opportunity to visit campus and be introduced to Texas A&M, the McFerrin Center and the Aggie entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In addition to prize money for the top idea winners, this year’s challenge also awarded $3,750 in prizes based on “investments” from “The Crowd Fund,” with showcase guests having the opportunity to visit each of the ideas to meet the student teams and learn about their service or product concept and “invest” in their favorites via “McFerrin Money.”

For the 2022 event, Texas high school students aged 14-18 were invited to apply beginning in late 2021, submitting their idea as a team or individual, via a compelling application demonstrating creative, careful and methodical planning. Following a screening process, a total of 42 finalist teams, comprised of more than 100 students from 18 Texas cities, were selected as finalists and invited to compete in person on the campus of Texas A&M.

Throughout the day, each team presented their idea twice, each time to a different panel of judges. The presentations consisted of a 5-minute pitch of the idea, followed by a 5-minute “Q&A” with the panel. Judges, selected from the McFerrin Center’s network of mentors, successful entrepreneurs and Texas A&M faculty, were looking for competitors who have an outstanding idea and clearly indicate that their idea creates values, can defend their idea against other ideas in the competition, and demonstrate to the judges that the idea is viable in the marketplace with clear evidence that the idea is attractive to a customer. Ideas were scored based on idea uniqueness, target market, competitive advantage, resources, goals and presentation content.

Rudy A., a junior from Centennial High School in Frisco, walked away with top honors and $2,500 for his pitch of WorkBee, a business concept developed with his partner Sarthak D., also a junior, who was unable to attend the competition. WorkBee solves the problem of low inventory of quality holiday decorations and the hassle of installing decorations by enabling customers to purchase customized holiday decorations and labor from local, reliable, responsive, fair-priced contractors.

“A friend who applied for this challenge knew I had this idea, and he suggested I apply as well. I did, and then suggested a different friend also apply with his idea,” Rudy said. “I feel like that sums up entrepreneurship. Healthy competition, but always looking to help and assist others who are also trying to pursue and build their own ideas.”

Following high school graduation in 2023, Rudy plans to attend college, pursuing a degree related to technology and business. “The best takeaway from today was the feedback I received from the judges following my pitches,” he said. “One judge suggested I consider a subscription option, and one even told me it was probably the best pitch he’d ever heard, including from college students. That really made me feel like not only do I have a great idea, but the time, effort and energy I put into preparing for this challenge really paid off. I’m already thinking of a new idea to apply again and come back to Aggieland next year.”

“In only its second year, this is quickly becoming one of our Signature Programs, and one that brings so much positive energy and excitement to the Center and our partners. As a competition focused solely on inspiring, encouraging and celebrating our next great generation of entrepreneurs, the ideas this year did not disappoint, nor did the students themselves, who have been nothing short amazing,” said Blake Petty ’98, executive director of the McFerrin Center. “While we realize not all of these students will choose Texas A&M as a destination after high school, our ultimate goal and purpose is to pour into them at this earliest stage of their entrepreneurial journey and help fan the flame of their entrepreneurial spirit. If we can create a few new Aggie entrepreneurs along the way, we’ll consider that icing on the cake!”

The McFerrin Center is already planning the third annual event, scheduled for May 5, 2023. Updates and more information will be made available at tx.ag/TexasHSIdeasChallenge.

2022 Texas High School Ideas Challenge Winners

Top Idea Winners
1st Place ($2,500): WorkBee | Centennial HS | Frisco
sponsored by Active Industrial Fire Protection
Student receiving a big check
2nd Place ($2,000): FYDER, LLC | Alamo Heights HS | San Antonio
sponsored by CareerPhysician, LLC
3rd Place ($1,750): Com.Post | Round Rock HS | Round Rock
sponsored by Education Advanced
Honorable Mention ($750): Stoozies: The Heated Shoetree | Canyon HS | New Braunfels
sponsored by Critical Environments Group
Honorable Mention ($750): iPath American English | Centennial HS | Frisco
sponsored by Education Advanced
Honorable Mention ($750): sMile | Centennial HS | Frisco, TX
sponsored by Startup LLC
Honorable Mention ($750): Traverse Marketplace | Vista Ridge HS | Cedar Park
sponsored by Mays Family Foundation

The Crowd Fund Winners
1st Place ($1,500): M.T. Equipment Backpacking Table | Westlake HS | Austin
sponsored by Nexersys (XFit Inc.)
Students receiving a b
2nd Place ($1,250): FYDER, LLC | Alamo Heights HS | San Antonio
sponsored by Startup LLC
3rd Place ($1,000): Let’s Keep Talking | Elkins HS | Missouri City
sponsored by Mays Family Foundation

2022 Texas High School Ideas Challenge Sponsors

Education Advanced, The Crowd Fund Showcase & Awards Reception sponsor
Active Industrial Fire Protection
CareerPhysician
Critical Environments Group
Mays Family Foundation
Nexersys
Startup LLC (Living Learning Community)

 

About McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship

The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship serves as the hub for entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University. The McFerrin Center’s goal is to enhance entrepreneurial education by providing training, networking and assistance to enterprising students, faculty and former students.

The McFerrin Center enables the startup and growth of countless businesses and provides competitive opportunities, professional development and financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Aggie community through the support of a robust volunteer mentor network, corporate supporters, faculty and staff.

The McFerrin Center defines entrepreneurship as an attitude that acts upon opportunity. In this spirit, the McFerrin Center strives to deliver programs and events that are inspiring, engaging, motivating and life-changing. This philosophy has resulted in the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship offering more than 30 unique programs each year that positively impact the lives of thousands of students, veterans and other professionals seeking to blaze their own trail as an entrepreneur.

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Media Contact: Lara Robertson, communications manager, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, 979- 845-1724, lrobertson@tamu.edu

Categories: Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, Students, Texas A&M

The James Benjamin Department of Accounting’s Internal Audit Program (IAP), which is part of Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), an international organization of internal audit professionals.

Only 12 university programs across the globe have completed the stringent requirements to be named an IIA Center of Excellence. “This recognition from the IIA is a tremendous honor for Mays Business School and for the James Benjamin Department of Accounting. It is also a tribute to the hard work of Professors Tara Blasor and Mike Head, and it will provide additional high-impact opportunities for our students,” said Department Head Nate Sharp, who holds the Nelson D. Durst Endowed Chair in Accounting. “Our vision is to be the preeminent Accounting program in the nation, and the IIA Center of Excellence recognition is an important step toward fulfilling that vision.”

Mays leaders and faculty decided to seek the highest recognition because of the growing interest in internal audit among both students and employers. “We’d seen a lot of growth in the number of students in our program,” said Tara Blasor, co-director of Mays Internal Audit Program and assistant department head. “More and more companies are looking to engage with and hire our students, so we felt it was a good time to apply to be recognized by the IIA as top tier, which is the Center of Excellence.”

Stringent Accreditation

The IIA’s tiered accreditation process incorporates a specific framework of standards. Overall, 56 universities in 15 nations have completed the necessary qualifications to be recognized at some level as an IIA-accredited Internal Audit Education Program.

The IIA’s highest tier is Center of Excellence, which builds on the requirements for the Foundation and Comprehensive levels. Currently, 12 higher education institutions internationally—seven of which are in the United States—have received this recognition. Texas A&M joins two other Texas schools—the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Dallas—and one Southeastern Conference School—Louisiana State University—in holding this distinction.

Building on Quality

The IIA accreditation process uses a scaffolded approach that is designed to continually increase an academic program’s level of excellence as it progresses through the tiers. This approach focuses on ensuring that the institution is providing a strong educational foundation for students who want to enter an internal audit career.

Being named a center extends Mays’ long commitment to ensuring that Aggies are well-prepared to make an immediate impact in their career. “The program being recognized as a center is a commendable step in its future – especially for those students who complete the certificate,” said Bethany Miller ’20, a recent graduate of the program who is an internal audit associate with KPMG. “The program’s level of excellence encourages students to understand the critical thinking, diversity, flexibility, and rigor that someone can bring to the table—and adds value to our teams and our clients. It is attractive to recruiting and exemplifies the unique skillset that students will have upon graduation.”

Internal Audit Advisory Board meeting

To reach and maintain IIA’s top level of accreditation, Mays has committed to numerous on-going efforts. These include:

  • The Internal Audit Program offers a 15-credit-hour Certificate in Internal Auditing, which is awarded by Texas A&M’s Office of Registrar.
  • Every faculty member who teaches the Internal Auditing course (ACCT 408/608) in the Internal Audit program is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), which ensures that Mays’ instructional program is firmly grounded in practice.
  • Mays is committed to growing the program’s enrollment. With over 120 students currently enrolled, program leaders estimate that 35-40 students will graduate annually in the future.
  • The program provides exceptional support for students. A formal mentoring program links students with internal auditor professionals. Additionally, internships give students an opportunity to work in the field prior to graduation.
  • The program has an active Internal Audit Program – Student Association (IAPSA), which is affiliated with the Brazos Valley IIA chapter. The student organization offers leadership opportunities, professional networking, community service, and a social outlet for like-minded students who are interested in an internal audit career.
  • The Internal Audit Program has an active Internal Audit Advisory Board, which started in 2016. Representatives from more than 25 organizations and several Texas IIA Chapters are engaged in the advisory board and provide support through strategic direction, scholarship funding, internships, and full-time employment recruitment of graduates.

Mays Internal Audit Program’s rapid growth can be tied to Blasor’s hiring in 2012. “Since then, the program has seen incredible growth, and was further strengthened when Mike Head joined in 2016, bringing a career of experience as an Internal Audit leader to the table,” said Protiviti Managing Director Jordan Reed ’95, who has been recruiting at Texas A&M since 1996 and serves as a member of the program’s advisory board. “The Advisory Board has provided guidance and support over the past six years, and I could not be more proud to follow the program’s progression from a Foundation Program to a Center of Excellence in a fairly short time span.”

Continued Forward Movement

As the program grows, Mays’ leaders are committed to maintaining a strong student-centered focus—which Aggies appreciate. “The classes that we take in the program are valuable to our education,” said Ellyse Hahn ’22, an accounting major who is completing the Management Information Systems track in Mays Professional Program in Accounting (PPA). “When I went on my internship, I had a leg up from the interns from other schools due to my education here.”

Elise Hahn ’22, pictured (right)

Aggies also appreciate the opportunity to step into student leadership roles that help them hone their skills. “When I first joined IAPSA, I never dreamed that I would become the president,” said Hahn. “Now, it’s exciting talking to freshmen and sophomores that are joining and telling them about the opportunities that they can have here. If a student comes in and is driven to succeed, they will get to make a difference in the Internal Audit Program.”

Ultimately, Mays is committed to doing its part in preparing more graduates for this growing career field. “There is a high demand for students to go into the internal audit career. Additionally, there is far more demand than qualified students available,” said Head, who is a Mays executive assistant professor. “Mays’ Internal Audit Program gives another avenue where businesses can find students who have been exposed to this specific career and curriculum and are positioned to be successful in these risk-based services. This accreditation is telling potential employers that Mays is a source of very high-quality students because it’s been recognized as a Center of Excellence.”

 

 

Categories: Accounting, Mays Business

Sunjay Letchuman ’22, a senior at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, is the lead author on the article, “Revise the IRS’s Nonprofit Hospital Community Benefit Reporting Standard,” published April 15, 2022 in Health Affairs Forefront, a preeminent journal for healthcare policy.

Letchuman co-authored this article with his mentor, Dr. Leonard L. Berry, Mays Business School’s University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, along with Dr. Michael K. Hole, executive director of The Impact Factory and assistant professor at The University of Texas, and Dr. Ge Bai, professor of accounting at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Letchuman now has had four published articles and a fifth under review while an undergraduate student at Texas A&M. “It is unusual for an undergrad to publish an article regardless of where he or she is placed in the byline. To be the lead author for an article in which the other authors are MDs or Ph.Ds. means that Sunjay earned the placement by leading the way throughout,” Berry said. “Dr. Hole, Dr. Bai, and I have plenty of experience researching and writing articles and we pitched in during the cycle of multiple drafts, but Sunjay earned the lead author spot on his own merits.”

The article’s publication in Forefront offers the co-authors an important opportunity to inform and influence healthcare policymakers and industry leaders.  “Appearing in the leading health policy journal, this article may actually lead to revision of the Community Benefit Standard, which, in turn, will enhance nonprofit hospitals’ involvement and investment in improving community health,” Berry said.

This paper analyzed the Community Benefit Standard, which is used by the Internal Revenue Service to determine whether a hospital qualifies as a nonprofit. “Over half of U.S. hospitals are organized as nonprofits, meaning they do not pay taxes in exchange for benefiting community health,” Letchuman said. “Unfortunately, however, most nonprofit hospitals do not provide more community benefit than their for-profit counterparts. A recent study showed that, for every $100 of total expenses, nonprofit hospitals spend just $2.30 on charity care (a key component of community benefit)—substantially less than the $3.80 of every $100 spent by for-profit hospitals.”

The co-authors suggest changes to the Community Benefit Standard in order to make nonprofit hospitals more accountable for enhancing the community’s health and welfare.  “The federal, state, and local tax exemptions that nonprofit hospitals receive amount to over $25 billion annually. Local property tax dollars that nonprofit hospitals would have paid could have been used to build parks, improve schools, fix roads, and offer other services that bolster public health,” Letchuman said. “Our article describes which of the Community Benefit Standard’s 10 current standards should be kept, modified, or removed, and we include 3 new standards to add. Policymakers can use our article as a guide to strengthen current policy to ensure nonprofit hospitals fulfill their stated mission of promoting the health and well-being of the communities they serve.”

The article also reinforces the role that nonprofit hospitals can play in community wellbeing. “One of the biggest takeaways from this article is that nonprofit hospitals should focus on promoting and achieving community health equity, which means everyone has a fair opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires the dismantling of barriers to good health, including poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, such as access to stable housing and education,” Letchuman said. “As anchors in their communities, nonprofit hospitals can and should dedicate at least some of their surplus funds to address the social determinants of health, and they should make the value of their tax exemptions transparent to allow the public to evaluate the adequacy of community benefits provided.”

These publishing opportunities give Letchuman, who will enroll in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the fall and plans to devote a part of his career to influencing healthcare policy, the chance to work with and learn from some of the world’s leading researchers. “I am humbled and constantly inspired by the researchers I get to work with,” the Mays student said. “These professors and researchers are doing the work I want to do one day—making high-quality healthcare more accessible to every American. It’s a privilege for me to learn from and work with my role models.”

His co-authors have been equally impressed with the Aggie’s work. “I am certain Sunjay will change the world for good, and I’m grateful I’ve had the chance to watch his rocket-ship career take off,” Hole said. “How fun, too, collaborating across “rival” institutions; we are certainly stronger together.”

 

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Categories: Business Honors, Health Care, Mays Business, News, Research, Texas A&M

Dr. Murray Barrick is the 2022 recipient of Mays Business School’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Scholarship. The award will be presented April 20, 2022 during a special presentation.

The honor, which is one of Mays’ most prestigious awards, recognizes a faculty member who has made a substantial contribution to academic and industry knowledge. “Dr. Barrick is a prolific scholar who is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts with respect to employee selection processes used in organizations. His research has had a significant influence on helping companies use more evidence-based selection processes,” said Mays Interim Dean R. Duane Ireland. “Dr. Barrick is also an excellent mentor for his students. There is a large group of masters and doctoral students who can attest to the value of the guidance and counsel they received from him.”

Barrick considers this honor to be one of the highlights of his career. “Being nominated for this award is amazing. While I’ve won two lifetime achievement awards in two academic societies, this is the most meaningful to me,” said the Department of Management faculty member, who will be retiring at the end of the 2022 Spring semester. “It’s a great way to reflect back on what I’ve accomplished throughout my career and what it’s meant.”

Barrick holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. He enrolled at the University of Akron, earning both his master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial/organizational psychology.

His faculty career started at the University of Iowa, where he had a decade-long appointment before joining Michigan State University’s Broad Graduate School of Management for two years. Barrick returned to the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business as the Stanley M. Howe Professor of Leadership in 2001.

In 2006, Barrick was recruited to Mays Business School and named the Paul M. and Rosalie Robertson Chair in Business. Within the first two years, he found himself becoming more impressed with Mays’ academic quality and influence. “I was astonished at the number of scholars in the field who had started their careers at Texas A&M and earned their PhDs here or had started as assistant professors here,” he said. “We have a long history of excellent selection. It just reinforced that I hadn’t made a mistake.”

In 2007, he was named head of the Department of Management and served in that role until 2011. “The Department of Management has a long history of excellent scholarship and has been a vibrant learning community for years,” he said. “We have had among the most influential scholars in the field working here.”

The department continued to flourish through Barrick’s leadership. Four months after his term as department head ended, Texas A&M leaders evaluated the university’s academic performance.  That analysis found that the Department of Management was the university’s top-ranked department (out of 93) and was in the top 5 for research productivity of management faculty based on a comparison of peer and aspirant universities.

Barrick’s substantial body of work continues to contribute to the department’s prestige. His teaching and research have focused on the strategic utilization of human resources, the development of effective selection systems, the impact of behavior and personality on job performance, motivation to effectively manage work, and executive teams. Barrick’s work—which, according to Google Scholar, has been cited over 49,000 times as of March 2022–has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and other journals or as chapters in Handbooks.

In 2011, Barrick assumed the role of director and then executive director of the Center for Human Resource Management (CHRM). In those roles, he helped the center expand its well-respected offerings and services through hiring exceptional staff members. This set the stage for CHRM to better serve its clients, many of which are Fortune 100 companies and five of which are Fortune 10 companies.

Barrick also has offered significant contributions to the field. He served on the Editorial Boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology and Personnel Psychology. Additionally, he was Chair of the HR Division for the Academy of Management Program, Volume Editor for “Personality and Work: Reconsidering the role of personality in organizations,” and Associate Editor of Personnel Psychology.

The current James R. Whatley Chair also has received numerous honors, including the 1997 Fellow of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists in the American Psychological Association, the 2001 Owens Scholarly Achievement Award, the 2009 Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and the 2010 Fellow of the Academy of Management.

In 2010, Barrick was named a Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor. This honor recognizes his seminal contribution to and global authority in the field of management as well as his record of teaching and mentoring students.

As the sixth recipient of the Mays Lifetime Achievement Award, Barrick joins a distinguished and elite group of faculty members that includes Ireland, Dr. Leonard Barry, Dr. Ricky Griffin, Dr. Michael A. Hitt, and Dr. Rajan Varadarajan. “The level of scholarship that they have been able to achieve underscores the value of this award. It is only given for outstanding scholarship,” he said. “What also impresses me is the level of service prior recipients have exhibited, including multiple stints as Department Heads, Associate Deans, and service as Interim Deans multiple times. I’m not sure that I live up to that, but receiving this award is quite impactful.”

Categories: Mays Business, Research

 

COLLEGE STATION, TX – Mays Business School is proud to announce the recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Alumni Awards. Mays will recognize and honor these individuals during the 30th Annual Mays Outstanding Alumni Awards Dinner in April.

Porter S. Garner III, ’79, Eli Jones ’82,’86,’97, and Brian K. Pinto ’93 are the 2022 recipients.

As the highest honor a Mays Business School graduate can receive from the school, we recognize recipients of the Mays Outstanding Alumni Award for leading lives of distinction and embodying the Aggie core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service.

To date, Mays has honored 94 former students who have made outstanding contributions in their chosen fields with significant impact, innovation, and influence at Mays, in their community, and in other walks of life. “Those we are honoring this year continue the tradition of exemplifying the Aggie Spirit. I am very pleased that Mays is recognizing these outstanding Aggies,” said R. Duane Ireland, interim dean at Mays Business School. “The ways in which these individuals serve their communities and how they live their lives in both their personal life and professional career substantially contribute to the betterment of their community and of society. They are an inspirational group of leaders and irreplaceable members of the Mays Family. We all look forward to celebrating and recognizing them in April.”

Hosted by R. Duane Ireland and powered by the Mays Experience Team at Mays Business School, the 2022 Outstanding Alumni Awards’ celebration will welcome the family and friends of this year’s honorees, previous award recipients, and a variety of other special guests to the invitation-only event on Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Aggieland.

 

Categories: Alumni, Uncategorized

Mays Business School Ph.D. candidate, Hannah Judd, becomes the fifth student from Mays to accept $25,000 from The Deloitte Foundation’s Doctoral Fellowship program.

Deloitte aims to provide reliable services and resources to their clients, amplify the success of their partners, and make a difference in society today. Part of their efforts to encourage success and ignite difference in the world is through The Deloitte Foundation and their annual Doctoral Fellowship program. Every year, The Deloitte Foundation rewards 10 Ph.D. candidates across the U.S. with a $25,000 grant to support their final year of coursework and succeeding doctoral dissertation. This year, Mays congratulates one of our own for this prestigious award.

Judd grew up in San Jose, California, and received her bachelor’s & master’s degree in accounting, with an emphasis in taxation, from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Along with her academic career taking off, she became a tax intern at Deloitte in London, a tax associate at Grant Thornton LLP, and a CPA. Hannah has been around the world, both far and wide, setting the example for the next generation, but what made her choose Mays?

Aggieland is known for being a friendly place to live, learn, and grow, and after applying and interviewing with Mays Business School, there was no other choice for Judd. “The faculty was so warm. They care about high-quality research and good teachings, and the quality of the faculty and culture is why I am here.” Mays aims to create a community where its current and former students, faculty, and staff, feel a sense of belonging and support. Today, nominated by her accounting faculty, Mays gets to recognize Judd as a top Ph.D. candidate across the U.S.

Judd is no stranger to hard work and resilience, and to be recognized as a remarkable student from her university and Deloitte, she has felt nothing short of appreciation and privilege to receive this grant. “I’m so grateful for this recognition, especially knowing how many people have helped me so much along this journey—I really wouldn’t be where I am now without the amazing faculty and fellow Ph.D. students here.” Not to mention that this accomplishment helps Judd and her family financially. “Financially, this will be a huge benefit with my husband in medical school and our eleven-month-old son.” Judd has worked consistently and diligently to get to where she is now, and the honor and rewarding feeling she has comes from knowing that her hard work has paid off. With her ambitious drive and determination, Judd stated she does not plan to stop there.

The Deloitte Foundation’s Doctoral Fellowship program is to aid these students in pursuing an academic career. For Judd, she dreams of becoming an accounting professor to teach the future generation and aid in high-quality research. The upcoming semester is approaching rapidly, which means Judd’s fellowship will soon be put in motion. While she does not know where she will be after graduation, perhaps she will join Mays’ past recipients, Rachel Flam (2022) at London Business School, Jennifer Glenn (2020) at Ohio State University, Brant Christensen (2015) at the University of Oklahoma, or Mike Drake (2009) at Brigham Young University. Wherever Judd goes, she will be changing the lives of future business students, just as she did here at Mays Business School.

Categories: Accounting

COLLEGE STATION, T.X. — Earlier this year, Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School boasted top ranking for Fortune’s list of preeminent Business Analytics programs. Now, in just their second year of ranking eligibility, the program has leapt more than 50 places on the U.S. News and World Report list of Best Online Graduate Business Programs. From a ranking of 6th in Texas and 72 overall last year, to this years’ 2nd in Texas and 16th overall – the Mays’ program performed exceptionally across a host of competitive metrics in the ranking’s methodology. Categories included: engagement, expert opinion, faculty credentials and training, services and technologies, and student excellence.

Atop the list of data points informing the U.S. News methodology was engagement, an area where the Mays’ MS Analytics program (Mays’ first online offering) really sets itself apart, according to program director Myra Gonzalez. “Our program is unique in that it’s one of the few online, non-MBA, part-time, business programs designed for working professionals.” Drawing on their own experiences in graduate school, Gonzalez and program manager, Javier Aldape, sought to make the process of completing the MS analytics program student-centric and seamless. They identified engaging and supporting students more holistically (beyond the enrollment process) as essential to student retention and – ultimately – graduation rates.

Creating a “one-stop-shop” for student services – to keep students focused on school and eliminate obstacles to program success – they cut the middleman across campus offices and partner with students directly to help them navigate everything from onboarding and financial aid, to tutoring, academic advising and business degree plans. “We know first-hand the balancing act that’s required to achieve simultaneous success in school, work and home life,” shared Aldape. “We wanted to reduce administrative burden and stress, creating opportunities for students to focus on their classes, finish their degree plans on time, and engage meaningfully with their peers.” Gonzalez concurs, “We hope students will reflect on this time as a positive one, despite the workload. By building relationships with the students in our program and providing a single point of contact for administrative details, we replicate the simplicity and personal touch of a small-school experience in tandem with the resources and educational value of a major university.”

First-class faculty also drove the program’s ranking. Unlike instructors for many online programs, Texas A&M’s MS analytics professors typically have terminal degrees, in addition to robust industry experience. “This ranking reflects the excellence of our faculty and the distinctive blend of skills they bring into the classroom,” shared associate dean of graduate programs, Jerry Strawser. “Outstanding academic credentials, paired with deep private sector experience, uniquely position our instructors to equip students with the tools to excel in this rapidly evolving field.”

Additionally, with online hybrid delivery that dates back to 2013, the program’s faculty are fully prepared to create a distance-learning experience that is both effective and provides comparable instructional value to a traditional classroom setting. Gonzalez is quick to note the distinction. “Our faculty’s distance-learning tenure significantly predates the wave of online courses we saw offered in answer to the Covid-19 Pandemic. This isn’t a new playing field for us; our instructors are highly accustomed to instruction in a hybrid face-to-face and online setting.”

The breadth of faculty credentials helps provide greater parity with classroom learning in a digital setting – a program priority its leaders pursue relentlessly. To that end, Aldape and Gonzalez have curated a state-of-the-art, intuitive learning management system that prioritizes user experience and accessibility. “By ensuring a frustration-free technology component to the degree, we’ve seen a major boost in student engagement with course materials and peers, as well as a more positive outlook and strong retention,” shared Aldape.

A standardized interface and simple navigation for course structure and material – regardless of the course – offers students one-click access to recorded lectures, syllabi, course content, contacting the professor, and networking with fellow students. Assignments and exams are integrated such that interaction with key content is a prerequisite to accessing subsequent coursework. The design of this “read, reflect, display, do” model aims to keep students focused and engaged, courses interactive and to reduce pain points. The system builds on a service model focused on student experience, helping them manage course expectations and facilitating connectivity between students, their cohorts, and instructors.

Lastly, among other marketing and engagement efforts that bolster expert opinion of the MS Analytics program, the value of the student capstone projects to their respective organizations is noteworthy.  As part of the capstone, students are tasked with building a predictive model in support of their current employers. The projects run the gambit from safety modeling, to expected well production, to predicting outages before they happen. For the 2021 cohort the average estimated annual value per student capstone project is $18.2 million in savings or new revenue for their organizations. “Our students are leveraging their extended education to drive demonstrable value for their organizations – and that is something we are exceedingly proud of,” shared acting Dean, R. Duane Ireland. “It really affirms the caliber of the students coming through this program;” with an average student GPA of 3.5 paired with an average 13 years of work experience; “for student excellence, we are setting the bar.”

For an overview of the Texas A&M’s MS Analytics Program, visit the MS Analytics site. The program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2022 cohort.  To request more information, contact Javier Aldape, Program Manager at 979-845-2149 or jaldape@mays.tamu.edu.

Categories: MS Business, Uncategorized