Mays Impacts | Mays Business School | Texas A&M University - Part 3

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Texas A&M Full-Time MBA earns #25 overall in Fortune’s debut ranking

Blake Parrish, July 15th, 2021

Mays Business School FTMBA #25 in nation, per Fortune '22

#9 U.S. Public program ranking highlights Mays Business School’s former student’s success

Texas A&M’s Full-Time MBA (FTMBA) program has been named the #25 program in the nation and #9 U.S. public program, according to the inaugural 2022 rankings released by Fortune. The methodology used includes a heavily weighted outcome score (65%; including median base salary, mean base salary, and job placement rate), brand score (25%; based on Fortune/Ipsos brand survey to hiring managers, March ’21), and Fortune 1000 score (10%; number of MBA alumni in C-suite and MBA graduates in Fortune 1000 organizations).

“Our whole team is extremely excited about this ranking outcome because our main focus is getting the right faculty and the right students engaged in the MBA program at Texas A&M University,” said Arvind Mahajan, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Programs for Mays Business School. “The rankings are another data point that show we are making progress to ‘Advance the World’s Prosperity,’ which is Mays Business School’s vision. We are fortunate to have the incredible Aggie Network that actively recruits our graduates, bringing them into world-class organizations, altering their careers and lives.”

Mays Business School FTMBA #9 U.S. Public program, per Fortune '22

Texas A&M’s FTMBA excels at providing each student with individualized experiences that emphasize effective leadership practices. Faculty and staff are committed to knowing all degree candidates personally and to understanding their previous experiences as well as their professional and personal goals. Program leaders mentor MBA students so they can confidently assume leadership roles in all areas of life.

The intensive 18-month FTMBA program offers hands-on experiences in managing challenges, time, and resources. The program’s cohort format allows MBA students to establish meaningful connections with peers, faculty, career coaches, and program leadership. Outcomes of doing so include developing cutting-edge professional knowledge and skills including critical thinking. These skills are foundational to the ability of FTMBA graduates to assume leadership roles immediately upon completing their degree.

“We at Mays Business School take pride in the ability of our students, faculty, and staff to contribute positively to companies and the broader society through their dedicated efforts. This top 10 U.S. public program ranking from Fortune provides evidence of the quality of our program and certainly the talent of our students,” shared Duane Ireland, Ph.D., Interim Dean for Mays Business School. “Important to the accomplishments of our FTMBA program is our decision to center the activities of our graduate programs’ office around student success. Our staff and faculty collaborate to identify ways to support our students in their drive to learn and grow as a means of enhancing their professional and personal lives.”

Applications for Texas A&M’s MBA programs – including Full-Time, Professional, and Executive – are being accepted now for the class of 2024. For more information, visit: mba.tamu.edu

An article by Dr. Leonard L. Berry, Mays Business School’s University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, and his coauthors was recognized as the Distinguished Winner of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and EBSCO Responsible Research in Marketing Award. This award, also sponsored by the Sheth Foundation and Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM), honors outstanding research that produces both credible and useful knowledge that will benefit society.

The AMA/EBSCO award recognizes Berry, who was the lead author in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings article, “When Patients and Families Feel Like Hostages to Health Care.” The Texas A&M University Regents Professor co-authored this article with Tracey S. Danaher of Monash University, Dan Beckham of the Beckham Company, Rana L. A. Awdish of the Henry Ford Health System, and Kedar S. Mate of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

This paper is unique in that the study was published in a journal outside of the academic marketing community. “This is a best paper award in marketing, but it’s drawn from a medical journal, which is very unusual,” said Berry, who is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. “What’s exciting is that colleagues in the marketing community who do not read medical journals will now know of the article because it is quite relevant to marketing topics – particularly consumer behavior and service marketing – that we teach in business schools.”

The paper’s diverse group of co-authors – two marketing professors, a healthcare consultant, and two physicians – was instrumental in crafting an article on this unusual topic. Some of the journal editors were understandably wary of publishing an article on the potentially controversial topic of “patients as hostages” but the authors persevered through the review and revision process and Berry credits the journal for publishing the article. It turned out that the authors received many favorable comments from physician readers after publication, as much of the paper’s content offers guidance on how to help patients feel safe in communicating candidly with their doctors. Berry hopes that his research in healthcare may encourage other business school faculty to do more of their research in healthcare.

Berry’s prolific research into healthcare and service quality also has played a foundational role in the identification of healthcare as one of Mays’ three Grand Challenges in the school’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. “Len Berry’s research program in healthcare has initiated an important conversation in Mays Business School about the societal impact of our professional endeavors,” said Dr. Manjit Yadav, head of the Department of Marketing at Mays. “This conversation, over the long-term, has the potential to significantly enhance our national and international reputation. The AMA/EBSCO award is a wonderful recognition of the impact that Len is having in marketing and the medical community.”

The Responsible Research in Marketing Award recognizes studies that exemplify RRBM’s definition of responsible research, which is built on a foundation of seven principles:

  • Developing knowledge that benefits both business and the broader society to create a better world.
  • Contributing to fundamental theoretical knowledge as well as application to address pressing and current issues.
  • Valuing interdisciplinary collaboration and diverse research approaches to reflect the multiple and complex problems facing business and society.
  • Implementing sound scientific methods and processes in the research undertaken.
  • Engaging stakeholders in the research process without compromising the independence of the study.
  • Creating an impact on diverse stakeholders that can contribute to better business and a better world.
  • Using diverse forms of knowledge dissemination that collectively advance basic knowledge and practice.

Additionally, the term “useful knowledge” recognizes that the research addresses important social challenges and offers meaningful insights that can inform policymakers and practitioners. The award winners’ findings have wider societal implications beyond a firm’s financial performance and extend beyond the particular consumer group, firm, or employee group that was studied.

More than 70 nominations were submitted for the AMA/EPSCO Award and reviewed by a diverse team of scholars, who received input from subject matter expert reviewers. To be considered, nominated studies needed to be published within 2017-2020 and exemplify the Seven Principles of Responsible Research.

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About Dr. Leonard L. Berry

Dr. Leonard L. Berry is University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Regents Professor, and holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He also is a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence. As a Visiting Scientist at Mayo Clinic in 2001-2002, he conducted an in-depth research study of healthcare service, the basis for his book, Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic (2008). Concurrent with his faculty position in Mays Business School, Dr. Berry is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement studying service improvement in cancer care for patients and their families.

Professor Berry has written ten books in all, including: Discovering the Soul of Service; On Great Service; Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality; and Delivering Quality Service. He is the author of numerous academic articles and an invited lecturer throughout the world. Professor Berry’s teaching and research have been widely recognized with many honors for his contributions, including The Sheth Gold Medal, The American Marketing Association (AMA) William Wilkie “Marketing for a Better World” Award, the Paul D. Converse Award, the AMA/McGraw-Hill/Irwin Distinguished Marketing Educator Award, the Career Contributions to Services Marketing Award from the AMA, and the Outstanding Marketing Educator Award from the Academy of Marketing Science. He is a Fellow of both the American Marketing Association and the Academy of Marketing Science. Texas A&M awarded him the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching (1990) and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Research (1996 and 2008), the highest honors bestowed upon its faculty members. In 2014, he was inducted into Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business Hall of Fame, the first doctoral graduate to be selected, and in 2015 the Mays Business School at Texas A&M awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Scholarship. A former national president of the American Marketing Association, Dr. Berry founded the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M in 1982 and served as its director through 2000.

About Mays Business School

At Mays Business School, we strive to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,300 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.

https://mays.tamu.edu

About the American Marketing Association (AMA)

As the largest chapter-based marketing association in the world, the AMA is trusted by marketing and sales professionals to help them discover what is coming next in the industry. The AMA has a community of local chapters in more than 70 cities and 350 college campuses throughout North America. The AMA is home to award-winning content, PCM® professional certification, premiere academic journals, and industry-leading training events and conferences.

https://www.ama.org

About the Sheth Foundation

Founded by Dr. Jagdish & Madhu Sheth, the Sheth Foundation supports the academic scholarship, publications, education, and research of tax-exempt, publicly supported educational organizations, primarily focusing on the discipline of marketing, by providing support to grant-awarding recipient organizations.

https://www.shethfoundation.org/

About Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM)

Responsible Research for Business and Management (RRBM) is dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and supporting credible and useful research in the business and management disciplines.

https://rrbm.network/

About EBSCO

EBSCO Information Services, headquartered in Ipswich, Massachusetts, is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a private company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. EBSCO provides products and services to libraries of very many types around the world.

Categories: Health Care, Marketing, Mays Business, Research

COLLEGE STATION, Feb. 12, 2021 – The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University announced the Texas High School Ideas Challenge, the first ever state-wide entrepreneurship competition for high school students. Any Texas high school student between the ages of 14-18 is eligible to participate in the inaugural challenge. Participating students will compete for $15,000 in prize money in addition to in-kind gifts.

About the Texas High School Ideas Challenge

The Texas High School Ideas Challenge is based on the highly successful Raymond Ideas Challenge. For two decades the Raymond Ideas Challenge has only been available for Texas A&M Current students. Applications for the Texas High School Ideas Challenge close on March 31, are online, and do not require a formalized business, business plan, or prototype. Students are only required to submit an idea but must do so in a compelling manner that displays the idea’s viability, unique nature, and the problem that their idea attempts to address.

Student Impact

The mission of the public education system of the state of Texas is to ensure that all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of the state and nation. In 2019, Texas small businesses employed 45% of the Texas workforce, a clear indicator of the essential role that entrepreneurs play in driving the social and economic opportunities of the state. The Texas High School Ideas Challenge aligns with the mission of the Texas public education system by providing high school students with a highly accessible avenue to engage with entrepreneurship as a potential career opportunity regardless of if a student pursues higher education.

Competition Goals

In addition to supporting the mission of the Texas public education system, the Texas High School Ideas Challenge supports the Mays Business School’s grand challenge of entrepreneurship and improving economic development by cultivating and empowering the next generation of Texas entrepreneurs. Blake Petty, Executive Director of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship commented, “For twenty years, our Raymond Ideas Challenge has celebrated the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of our Aggies here on campus. We’re excited to now expand our scope across the state, in support of these creative problem-solvers while they are still in High School. We can’t wait to see all the inventive new ideas from Texas’ next great generation of entrepreneurs!”.

Categories: Uncategorized

Mays Business School’s FTMBA degree earns #20 U.S. public program

Woman in graduation cap and maskFor the third year in a row, the Full-Time MBA program at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has been named a top program globally, according to the 2021 rankings released by Financial Times. The Financial Times 2021 Global Full-Time MBA Rankings placed Texas A&M’s program at #85 globally this year, advancing one spot from last year and 14 spots from 2019. Out of U.S. public programs, Mays Business School’s residential MBA program is ranked #20.

Former students (alumni) from the class of 2018 were surveyed to compile the rankings data. Of particular recognition by Financial Times this year was the #17 ranking for “FT research rank,” a weighted calculation according to the number of articles published by a school’s current full-time faculty members in 50 selected academic and practitioner journals between January 2014 and October 2016.

“The Financial Times ranking our program is an honor because besides technical competencies and business acumen, it points to the integrity, leadership, and selfless service qualities that all Aggies exhibit,” shared Arvind Mahajan, associate dean for graduate programs. “With these core values in place, our students, faculty, and staff strive for excellence, resulting in accolades that have an impact across the world.”

Texas A&M’s Full-Time MBA program in College Station, TX is 18-months in duration, beginning in August of each year with a December graduation, and the degree includes the option to extend an additional semester for extra electives to match interest areas.

“Mays Business School’s vision is to advance the world’s prosperity,” said Richard Castleberry, director of the full-time MBA program. “Through this program, I witness students discover themselves, transform into the leaders they were meant to be with the support of faculty and staff, and graduate to impact the organizations and communities where they live. It’s inspiring and fulfilling to see the program receive this attention for the third year in a row.”

Applications for the Texas A&M Full-Time MBA program are being accepted now for the class of 2023. For more information, visit: mba.tamu.edu

Categories: Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Rankings, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s focus on creating high impact learning experiences has revealed an opportunity for Aggies to empower independent miners in Africa’s gemstone industry. Faculty and students in the Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MS-MIS) program are working with non-profit Virtu Gem to create a robust e-commerce website. The e-store makes it possible for independent miners from Malawi and Zambia to sell directly to gemstone markets, facilitating source country gem miners and traders in virtual sales.

This effort, which aligns with Mays vision of advancing the world’s prosperity, especially benefits African female miners, who face deep cultural biases in the mostly male-dominated African mining field. These biases restrict access to more lucrative jobs, lower prices for their gemstones, and expose the women to unfair labor practices. Without access to the larger and more profitable markets, female miners experience greater difficulties in profiting from their mining and mines in order to sustain themselves and their families.

The biases also hamper these women’s ability to earn fair prices from their discoveries. When female miners find a gemstone, they often use a male intermediary to make the sale as many brokers won’t work with women or only offer a tiny fraction of a stone’s value. The miners must pay a large commission to the intermediary for their assistance. “Female miners generally only get 10-20% of the value of the gems, strictly based on their gender,” said Dr. Dwayne Whitten, a clinical professor in Mays Department of Information and Operations Management.

The partnership with Virtu Gem is a natural progression of Dr. Jordana George’s initial research on the use of blockchain in the gemstone industry. “Blockchain is being used by diamond firms to ensure that diamonds stay out of the blood diamond conflicts,” said the Information and Operations Management clinical assistant professor, who began studying this area in 2019. “Blockchain also allows diamonds to be authenticated because lab-created diamonds are becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from naturally mined stones.”

As her research on this topic progressed, George started focusing on the societal impact of information systems by analyzing the miner’s point of view. She realized that blockchain could be used as an emancipatory technology for female miners and invited Whitten to co-author a paper on a Tanzanian venture that helped female miners retain 95% of the export price of their stones.

George and Whitten continued to explore this research topic through interviewing individuals in the industry. Those interviews eventually led to Virtu Gem’s representatives – and the creation of a MS-MIS class project that offered real-world application and implications.

Block security

During the fall semester, the Aggies helped Virtu Gem redesign its website to have a more robust e-commerce function. Students learned to work on the Squarespace website builder and make the site more flexible to serve both retailers and wholesalers as well as to satisfy African countries’ individual export requirements and taxes.

This project offered Mays students the opportunity to apply what they were learning in their MS-MIS program. “As part of the project, we made real deliverables for our coursework,” said Mahesh Thiagarjan ’22, an MS-MIS student from Belize who served as a product manager for this project. “All the assignments I did during the Advanced Systems Analysis and Design course were tailored to the Virtu Gem project. This helped me to obtain practical experience as a systems analyst.”

The students also gained valuable leadership experience. “I was able to understand my role of a project manager and it only confirmed my ever-growing desire to become an IT project manager,” said Deborah Uchegbulam ’22, an MS-MIS student from Nigeria who also served as a project manager during the fall semester. “I learned key skills such as leadership, communication, time management, understanding website designs, documentation, and so much more.”

Virtu Gem’s staff appreciate the expertise that Mays faculty and students brought to the project. “It’s been really wonderful to work with Mays faculty and students because they are listening in order to understand the challenges that we are facing in our source countries,” said Susan Wheeler, owner of Susan Wheeler Design and founder of Virtu Gem. “The Virtu Gem website improvements that the Mays students made are very important because the website directly and efficiently connects African female miners to the global market. Otherwise, these miners often have to live hand to mouth.”

Categories: Mays Business, Students

U.S. News and World Report just released their annual best Online Master’s in Business Rankings (non-MBA), placing Mays Busines School’s Master of Science in Analytics (MS Analytics) on the list for the first time, the very first year the program was eligible to apply for ranking.

U.S. News’ ranking included a broad range of online degrees – from education to engineering to nursing and more. Mays MS Analytics program ranks #6 program in the state of Texas and #72 overall for Best Master’s in Business.

MS Analytics is the most recent addition to Mays Business School’s MS programs, having moved from the College of Science to the business school in 2018. Shortly after the change, Arvind Mahajan, associate dean for graduate programs, appointed a committee chaired by Bala Shetty, professor in the Department of Information and Operations Management, and comprised of faculty and practitioners. This committee analyzed the program’s content, benchmarked against other programs, and recommended changes in the curriculum. Most recommendations that surfaced have already been implemented.

“Our current MS Analytics program content, while remaining rigorous in the data analytics, now has the classical business school flavor, including a focus on leadership, managerial effectiveness, and influential communication,” shared Mahajan.

MS Analytics program director Myra Gonzalez added, “As a young, quickly-growing industry and just joining the Mays family of MS program two years ago, we are committed to the mission of our college: to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. We designed our program to be an inclusive learning environment and focus on excellent customer service through our cohort model. Those efforts have enabled a 90% graduation rate.”

With over 300+ data science/analytics programs in the nation, students have many options. Texas A&M’s MS Analytics offers a formal education led by prestigious faculty with terminal degrees or strong ties to industry. Each year, the program enrolls 65 students from all backgrounds. Faculty and students build off each other in the program. “Our faculty members capability, paired with our students’ persistence and thirst for excellence, enable the quality and the success of the MS Analytics program,” shared Gonzalez.

The MS Analytics program is offered at Mays Houston CityCentre campus as a dual delivery program. About half of the participants are spread throughout the U.S., allowing for the flexibility to get a world-class education on student’s terms. “Hybrid delivery merges both distance and face-to-face students into the same classroom, ensuring those outside the classroom have the same experience,” shared program manager Javier Adalpe. “We were doing this before the pandemic, so we’re used to the challenges. Digital learning has always been a top priority. Support staff monitor distance students in case they have any questions, and we utilize state of the art technology at our Houston CityCentre classrooms. We go to great lengths to ensure all students feel included which is reflected in our ranking.”

The program is currently accepting application for the fall 2021 cohort. To request more information, contact Javier Aldape, Program Manager at 979-845-2149 or jaldape@mays.tamu.edu

Categories: Departments, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Programs, Rankings, Texas A&M

Dr. James Gaines, chief economist and director of research at the Texas Real Estate Research Center, and Research Economist Dr. Ali Anari have retired.

During his 15 years at the Center, Gaines specialized in housing and land development issues. He was the author of more than 50 Center reports and articles and the organization’s principal speaker.

Previously, Gaines spent 16 years with KPMG and Arthur Andersen providing real estate consulting services. He also served five years as president of the Rice Center, an urban research center affiliated with Rice University.

His decades of experience included a broad array of professional activities, primarily in real estate research and education, urban economics, land-use analysis and development, and project risk assessment. Gaines worked extensively with major corporations, developers, investors, financial institutions, and government agencies across the country.
…Read more

Categories: Uncategorized

Mays Business School’s master’s in management degree gives students in-classroom and high-impact experience

On December 2, students and faculty of the Master of Science in Business (MS-B) program gathered virtually to celebrate and share their semester-long projects from the Integrated Business Experience (IBE) class.

Young woman wearing mask around wrist, on face, and holding hair

Handy Mask, one business run by MS Business students

Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Arvind Mahajan said, “It’s an important day for our students as well as for our program. MS Business admits diverse undergraduate majors and invests in many ways to develop them as transformational leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets. This course is a perfect example of that change.”

The MS-B program is a graduate degree designed for non-business majors who want to grow their business knowledge to supplement their bachelor’s degree.

Various soaps with framed picture of Aggie skyline

Century Tree Soap Company’s soaps

 

Student Rigor

MS Business Program Director, Richard Castleberry, said of the students, “Other than students with great academics and backgrounds, a primary component we look for is students who show the Aggie Core Values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service. We insist these traits display in our students, and I can say that the 62 students that are here today exhibit those Aggie core values.”

…Read more

Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, MS Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M


 

Explore Benefactor 2020 – Strategic Philanthropy

Benefactor - Strategic Philanthropy

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Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Originally posted on universitybusiness.com


Dr. Eli Jones of Texas A&M’s Mays Business School and colleagues at The PhD Project are identifying and encouraging leaders of color to make a long-term impact by pursuing futures in education.
By:  | November 23, 2020

People Images/Getty Images

 

 

Dr. Eli Jones

Dr. Eli Jones

Dr. Eli Jones, the dean at the Texas A&M Mays Business School, and his colleagues at The PhD Project are leading the charge to get more people of color in significant academic roles.

The list of strategic initiatives at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School include many of the goals set by other institutions: high-impact research, impactful teaching and learning and transformational leadership.

But at the very top, strongly and purposefully, is this: Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement.

“We made that one the first priority,” says Jones, Dean of Mays Business School. “That sent a signal to the organization that this is a really important issue for us. I’m glad that we did. To me, this priority is about setting our culture and climate more than anything else.”

The culture Jones would like to see at his school, and others across the country, is one of belonging – a place for all students to feel welcome. Texas A&M is still a primarily White-student-serving institution. In fact, Black students comprise less than 4% of the population across its campuses, including College Station. The divide in numbers at Mays Business School is just as pronounced: Of its 6,300 students, just over 4,000 are White and 147 are Black. If changing the culture starts with belonging, then closing that gap is a must.

It is not only student enrollment that matters. Leadership positions at colleges and universities need to be more inclusive as well. Not counting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Jones is one of only a handful of African-American senior administrators in the country.

“Think about that for a minute,” Jones says with a pause. “There are more than 800 AACSB accredited business schools, and only a handful of African American business deans at non-HBCUs. Obviously, we have a long way to go.”

Despite that seeming futility, there is hope, and Jones sees change coming. It is starting in the classrooms and it’s weaving its way through MBA and master’s programs and into Ph.D. programs. A number of universities this year have placed leaders of color in president positions. Still, it is a long road to climb.

The opportunity costs are high. To get there requires sacrifice and countless academic steps, sometimes leaving a high salary at a well-known company to become a graduate student. It could take 15-20 years on a tenure track to build the reputation needed to be considered for a senior leadership position in academia.

However, the payoff long-term can be worth it. And it is Jones and his colleagues who are trying to convince more to pursue those tracks. He is part of a non-profit initiative called The PhD Project that aims to diversify business college leadership … and thus change the makeup of leaders in the corporate world by increasing the number of people of color in the classrooms and in academic leadership.

“We’re talking to people in corporations about considering a career change to become a professor, and we’re helping them navigate and matriculate through PhD programs across the country,” Jones says. “These are critical career decisions.”

 

Peathegee Inc/Getty Images

The 1-2 punch: COVID and George Floyd

Not everyone needs to rise to the level of dean to make an impact, Jones says. He notes the continual increase in people of color in important positions in higher education – professor, center director, department head, and associate dean. Their status and leadership have provided reasons for young, under-represented minority students to want to attend classes, enroll in programs and further other academic pursuits.

In fact, The PhD Project notes that since its inception in 1994, the numbers of minorities who have completed Ph.D.s has risen from 294 to more than 1,500. The group is currently guiding more than 300 doctoral students and over 1,300 business professors of color. Their success at these institutions is staggering: 90% of those impacted complete the Ph.D. program, crushing the 70% median rate. Their retention rate is even better – 97%, compared with U.S. national average at just over 60%.

“More people of color are making the sacrifices in the short term so that they can make a long-term impact by becoming professors and helping students of color at the undergraduate and graduate levels.” – Dr. Eli Jones, dean at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School

Jones points out that change is happening, but it is slower than desired. The pipeline in the past wasn’t there. An infusion of new minority professors and senior leaders, however, is beginning to make a real difference.

“If you happen to be in a classroom, and you see someone who looks like you, sounds like you and has a similar cultural experience, that could make a great impact as a role-model,” Jones says. “More people of color are making the sacrifices in the short term so that they can make a long-term impact by becoming professors and helping students of color at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

Speaking of impact, there may not have been anything more significant to the movement around diversity and inclusion than two major events in 2020: the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd murder. Jones calls it a “1-2 punch” that created a combination of fear, anger and frustration that led to both a heightened awareness and extreme discomfort over the Minneapolis Police Department’s mishandling of the Floyd arrest – the feeling that “this is not right.”

“People around the world had a chance to see on video how grossly wrong that was,” Jones says. “It was very visible to them and they reacted. We’ve been given lip service about diversity and inclusion for many, many years. But that tragedy and others made it real.”

It not only sparked mass protests involving all races and genders but also ignited conversations among CEOs at businesses, who leaned on Jones and other academic leaders when drafting their statements on diversity, equity and inclusion.

“I heard from senior leaders at companies, statements such as, ‘I’m not going to just make a blanket statement that says yes, we believe in diversity, equity and inclusion,’ ” Jones says “I want to put something out that is more meaningful. Could you sit and talk to me so I can better understand the underlying issues? So, I think it’s more than lip service now. There’s a level of sensitivity about it.”

 

Jose Luiz Palaez Inc/Getty Images

The play that changed the SEC

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is best known as the home of major college football – Alabama and Nick Saban, LSU and Death Valley, and of course Texas A&M and its 12th Man. But the SEC recently proved it is more than just gamesmanship on Saturday afternoons.

When the George Floyd murder occurred, the deans of the business schools in the SEC put out a collective statement together – 14 strong – to back diversity, equity and inclusion. And not with a nod to the moment but a lean to the future.

“We are soundly committed to fostering a sense of community that is welcoming to and respectful of all individuals — students, faculty and staff,” the statement said. “Likewise, it is our duty to prepare our future business leaders for careers in an international and increasingly diverse workforce. We strive for inclusion, equity and diversity where all voices, viewpoints and backgrounds are valued and supported.”

It was a special moment for Jones. He is the only African-American dean in that contingent and the one who spurred the call to action.

“We have been talking about doing something together, and what a great opportunity to show how cohesive we are on an issue that truly matters.”

Moments like the Floyd murder – and the resulting response – have opened a lot of eyes and a lot of minds.

“I’m now sensing that people really want to listen,” Jones said. “I’ve had lots of non-minority colleagues say, ‘we’ve never really talked about this, Eli. Maybe we should grab dinner and talk through some of what we’re seeing nationally.”

On a more macro level, the work of The PhD Project continues. There is an annual conference for potential doctoral students interested in a number of disciplines, including accounting, finance, management, marketing and entrepreneurship. The cadre of business school leaders hope that those discussions will spark interest and lead to others follow the same paths that Jones and others have taken.

Jones believes that sooner or later, it will happen … where incidents like George Floyd no longer occur, where the pool of students is forever diverse and where belonging is just happenstance.

“I think we’re positioned now to really make some substantive changes, that will actually help in the future,” he says. “I’m thinking about my grandkids. I want my grandkids to have a better future where they’re not having to struggle through these issues.”

 


The PhD Project resources

Categories: Diversity and Inclusion

COLLEGE STATION, TX – November 19, 2020 – The student team of Alexander Kondziolka and Jonathon Thierer from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has won the $40,000 First Place prize in the Humana-Mays Health Care Analytics 2020 Case Competition sponsored by health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

Over 700 master’s level students representing over 70 major universities in the U.S. registered for the national competition to compete for $70,000 in total prizes. The fourth annual competition was held virtually and was open to all accredited educational institutions based in the United States. Full-time and part-time master’s students from accredited Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Information Systems, Master of Public Health, Master of Business Administration programs, or other similar master’s programs in business, healthcare, or analytics, were eligible to enter.

Alexander Kondziolka and Jonathon Thierer received the top prize following a virtual presentation on Thursday, Nov. 12 to an executive panel of judges. The Second-Place prize of $20,000 was awarded to Christopher Painton, Yilun Sun, and Ruiwen Wang from the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business, while the Third-Place prize of $10,000 was presented to Kamala Pillai, Jack Sampiere, and Chloe Xu from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Anderson School of Management.

“Advanced analytics have helped Humana identify those members who are at the highest risk for COVID-19 in order to make quick and personal outreach to them,” said Heather Cox, Chief Digital Health and Analytics Officer for Humana.  “This is just one example of how analytics can enhance our industry in resolving challenges and help us deliver better care and improve outcomes. This year’s participants applied similar ingenuity and thoughtfulness to their approaches and ideas, and their dedication to finding solutions was remarkable.”

The analytics case received by the students was designed to be multi-faceted and complex, similar to a real-world business problem. This year’s competition focused on social determinants of healthcare that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Transportation challenges are one of these determinants. Students were asked to create a model to predict which Medicare members are most likely struggling with these issues. The goal was to propose solutions for overcoming these barriers to accessing care and achieving members’ best health.

“Mays Business School is a model academic institution championing responsible research and teaching on every aspect of decision making in businesses. To that end, I am pleased that the students’ analyses will help Humana shape the way the industry delivers healthcare,” says Arvind Mahajan, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at Mays Business School. “This case study is an example of how students learn to apply their analytical skills to solve complex business problems which can have a social impact, and in this case, improve the lives of patients and their families.”

The teams were judged based on the following criteria:

  • Quantitative analysis identifying key business insights
  • Professionalism, data visualization, and presentation skills
  • Ability to provide meaningful implications and recommendations based on results/insights

This is the fourth year of the competition, which has grown to be one of the top healthcare analytics case competitions in country.

For more information, visit HumanaTAMUAnalytics.com.

 

About Texas A&M’s Mays Business School

Mays is a full-service business school that steps up to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.

 

About Humana

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
  • Calendar of events
  • Corporate Governance information

 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

Blake Parrish

979-845-0193

marcomm@mays.tamu.edu

 

Humana

Lisa Dimond

832-330-4702

ldimond@humana.com

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