News and Awards

Special Thanks to Dr. Gene Tyworth after 15 Years as Chair of the SC&IS Department

The SC&IS Department gives special thanks to Gene Tyworth for his efforts in leading our department since its inception in 2000.  Gene is now stepping down from the position of Chair and returns to continue his work in teaching and research.  The Department is happy to have Nick Petruzzi join us as the new Department Chair.  Nick comes to Penn State from the University of Illinois.

Below is a letter from Dr. Tyworth reflecting on his time as Department Chair:

“Farewell,  with thanks”

Fifteen years ago, the Smeal College launched a supply chain program that captured industry best practices by integrating logistics, operations, and information systems.  The new Supply Chain and Information Systems (SC&IS) Department introduced a curriculum based on the industry-driven Supply Chain Operating Reference (SCOR) model, which focused on core (plan, source, make, deliver, return) processes enabled with information technology.  Additionally, we linked the core processes to new product development at the back end of the supply chain and customer relationship management at the front end.

The new department also introduced a new Management Information Systems major, which initially focused on systems design and administration.  We have now transformed this major to an IT-centric business analytics program that not only provides a stand-alone major, but offers complementary supporting courses for SC&IS and other business majors. 

The industry value, scope, and depth of our programs has enabled our program to earn top undergraduate and graduate program rankings from Gartner’s university survey, as well as recognition as one of the top three programs in the world for supply chain talent development in SCM World’s Chief Supply Chain Officer Report.  Moreover, this year Gartner/Software Advice identified our undergraduate program as number one in supply chain technology education.

This success reflects the program-building contributions from many stakeholders.  I send special thanks to our faculty and staff in the SC&IS Department, the Center for Supply Chain Research, the Executive Management Program, and the Smeal College leadership team over the past 15 years.  Special thanks, as well, to our large and loyal alumni base, corporate sponsors, and recruiters.  Most importantly, warm thanks to students, for you are ultimately the key success factor.

Finally, a warm “welcome aboard” to Nick Petruzzi, who will lead the department in the ensuing years.  

Dr. Gene Tyworth
Department Chair, Supply Chain and Information Systems
Penn State Smeal College of Business

Bernardo Quiroga Passes Dissertation Defense

Congratulations to Dr. Bernardo (Bernie) Quiroga on successfully defending his dissertation on May 12, 2015.  His dissertation is titled Complexity in Procurement Decision-Making.  Bernie’s committee included Dan Guide (co-chair), Brent Moritz (co-chair), Terry Harrison, and N. Edward Coulson (Economics).  Bernie will be joining Clemson University as an Assistant Professor.

Rueckerl earns MIT Supply Chain Excellence Award

Karoline Rueckerl, a graduating senior in the Penn State Smeal College of Business Supply Chain and Information Systems major, has earned a Supply Chain Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  The MIT Supply Chain Excellence Award is granted to an outstanding graduating senior in supply chain at Penn State as a result of a partnership initiated between the two institutions in 2013. The award grants a tuition scholarship for the student’s use toward the MIT Supply Chain Management Master’s Degree Program.

“For the third year in a row, an outstanding graduating Smeal student has been rewarded by MIT,” said Robert Novack, associate professor of business logistics. “This partnership underscores the excellent students that graduate from our supply chain program.”

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Smeal’s Sustainability Efforts Continue to Expand

The Penn State Smeal College of Business’ commitment to sustainability grew stronger during the spring semester on a variety of fronts. And there is more to come in the near future according to Terry Harrison, the college’s lead on sustainability-related initiatives.  

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Hui Zhao Promoted to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Hui Zhao on her promotion to associate professor of supply chain management with tenure. Hui received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue and has been with Smeal since 2012.  Her research expertise is in pharmaceutical supply chains, supply chain management and hospital/clinic operations.

New Scholarship will Honor Smeal SC&IS Faculty Member Robert Novack

John J. Coyle, founding director of the Center for Supply Chain Research at Smeal and professor emeritus of business administration at Penn State, is spearheading fundraising efforts for a new undergraduate scholarship named for Robert Novack, associate professor of supply chain and information systems.

Contributions are still being sought to enhance the impact of the scholarship. Endowed scholarships provide long-term support for students, regardless of economic fluctuations. They exist in perpetuity, helping generations of students to fully engage in campus life and prepare for their futures.

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Sharon Piciacchio of Axiall Speaks on Strategic Procurement

Sharon Piciacchio, Senior Vice President of Axiall Products, was recently recorded in an interview about describing what strategic procurement means.

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Penn State Ranked Highly In SCM World’s List of Top 15 Supply Chain Universities

In the article “Beyond Supply Chain” by SCM World, Penn State is ranked second in its list of employers’ Top 15 supply chain universities.

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Software Advice Ranks Smeal Supply Chain Technology Undergraduate Education No. 1

The Penn State Smeal College of Business has earned the No. 1 rank in undergraduate supply chain technology education and the No. 4 spot in graduate education, according to Software Advice, a subsidiary of IT research and advisory firm Gartner.  Gartner Inc. has previously ranked Penn State No. 1 in both undergraduate and graduate supply chain education.

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Smeal SCM Online Masters Promoted in Inbound Logistics

In an article on what employers are looking for when they recruit supply chain professionals, Inbound Logistics promotes Smeal’s SCM Online Masters.

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Smeal Junior Awarded Richter Scholarship

Jenna Fischer, a junior in the Penn State Smeal College of Business, has been recognized as an R. Gene Richter Scholar by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and the R. Gene and Nancy D. Richter Foundation. The recognition is reserved for the top undergraduate supply chain students in the country.

Fischer, who is minoring in Spanish and is a Schreyer Honors College scholar, has achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8. She is the vice president of student recruiting at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and is involved in the Sapphire Leadership Program at Smeal.

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Faculty Promotion

Congratulations to David Huff on his promotion to Clinical Professor of Supply Chain Management, effective July 1, 2015.

Smeal Students Compete in Dairy Farmers of America Case Competition

Four SC&IS students traveled to Ohio State University during April 10-12 to compete in a case competition sponsored by DFA.  Dan Rose, Bianca Stanton, Mitchell Trenz and Christy Von Pusch competed as members of mixed-university teams during an express case featuring export transportation analysis, production scheduling trade-offs and process improvement.  Sophomore Mitchell Trenz’ team finished first in the competition and Senior Bianca Stanton’s team finished second.

Chuck Nicholson Receives Extension Outreach Award

Chuck Nicholson received the Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Award—Group of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) for 2015 for his research and outreach efforts on recently-introduced risk management programs for U.S. dairy farmers.  This award recognizes achievement of excellence in extension economics and teaching programs, and the group award recognizes the overall effectiveness, impact, and contributions of a group program.  Chuck represented Penn State in a team of economists from Wisconsin, Cornell, Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan State who developed and implemented educational programs for industry on the Margin Protection Program for Dairy during 2014.  The award will be conferred at the AAEA annual meetings in San Francisco in July.

Christian Heilman Accepts Award for Student-Produced TV Special

Congratulations to Christian Heilman (MIS and Journalism, 2014), who was in Hollywood to participate in accepting the award for Outstanding Magazine Show during the 36th annual College Television Awards program in Hollywood.

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Smeal Again Ranks No. 1 for Graduate Supply Chain Education

The Penn State Smeal College of Business once again ranks No. 1 in graduate supply chain education according to a report from IT research and advisory firm Gartner, which also ranked the college best for undergraduate supply chain education in August. Gartner based its graduate rankings on assessments of program scope, industry value and program size. In each of the firm's two previous undergraduate and graduate assessments, Smeal ranked No. 1.

“We are proud of our stature among the top business schools for supply chain education,” said Gene Tyworth, chairman of the Smeal Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. “Deep connections with our corporate partners ensure that our programs are highly relevant and our students are prepared to thrive throughout their supply chain careers.”

At the graduate level for supply chain students, Smeal offers a master of business administration concentration, a doctoral emphasis and an online master of professional studies in supply chain management (MPS/SCM). The MPS/SCM Program — offered in conjunction with Penn State World Campus — recently ranked No. 1 among the top 20 programs in an assessment by

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Gartner Ranks Smeal No. 1 in Supply Chain Undergraduate Education

Gartner Inc., has again ranked the Penn State Smeal College of Business No. 1 in supply chain undergraduate education. In addition, Gartner’s report indicates that Penn State scored highest on the number of industry mentions, reflecting “its strong brand with the supply chain community at large.”

Supply chain practitioners and academics were asked to rate U.S. supply chain education providers based on industry value, program size and program scope. Also factored in were data on enrollment, offerings and faculty size.

“We work hard to stay on the forefront of the supply chain education and research, through our leading faculty and our connections with industry through the Center for Supply Chain Research,” said Charles H. Whiteman, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. “This ranking brings a welcome confirmation from our peers and the industry that we continue to produce some of the top graduates in supply chain.”

Previous reports on supply chain education providers were released in 2011 and 2009, naming Smeal No. 1 both times. The university rankings are part of Gartner’s larger research project identifying skill and talent gaps in the supply chain industry.

A graduate education ranking will be released in the coming months.

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