News and Awards

News and Awards from the Supply Chain and Information Systems Department at Penn State

Villena Martinez Receives Best Paper Award

Congratulations to Veronica Villena Martinez on being selected for the 2019 Jack Meredith Best Paper Award for the Journal of Operations Management. The prize was awarded at the Academy of Management meeting in Boston on August 11.

SCIS Students Receive Spring 2019 Senior Awards

Congratulations to Alyssa Berdan, Maria Lucchi, and Benjamin Wondering on receiving the Ralph H. Wherry Student Service Award. This award honors graduating seniors who excelled in service to the college, have exhibited academic achievement, and manifest the promise of a successful professional career.

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Siyuan Liu Receives the 2019 CPIC Research Achievement Award

Congratulations to Siyuan Liu on receiving the 2019 CPIC Research Achievement Award for Big Data for Business Intelligence. CPIC is known as Pacific Insurance, which is a Fortune Global 500 company and one of the top three insurance companies in China. CPIC also named Liu as their Chief Scientist, an honorary title to lead their research projects.

SCIS Department Welcomes Three New Faculty Members

The SCIS Department welcomes three new members to its faculty this academic year.

Sergey Naumov, assistant professor
Doctorate: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Master’s: Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bauman Moscow State Technical University

Jingchuan Pu, assistant professor
Doctorate: University of Florida
Master’s: Harbin Institute of Technology
Bachelor’s: Tianjin University of Science and Technology

Olga Pak, visiting assistant professor
Doctorate: University of South Carolina
Master’s: Indiana University
Bachelor’s: Indiana University

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Villena Martinez Receives Faculty Award for Sustainability

Congratulations to Veronica Villena Martinez on receiving the 2019 Faculty Award for Sustainability.  This annual award recognizes a faculty member for their extraordinary achievement and service in advancing Smeal’s sustainability goals in teaching, research, and outreach.  Villena Martinez works with the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) and National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) to exchange best sustainable procurement practices, and her research focuses on supply chain and sustainability.

Katie Gustas Receives AWESOME Scholarship

Portrait of Katie Gustas.

Congratulations to Katie Gustas on receiving the AWESOME Excellence in Education Scholarship.  One of the initiatives of AWESOME is encouraging and inspiring young women to advance their careers in supply chain.  Katie Gustas is a member of The Schreyer Honors College at Penn State and a student of the Smeal College of Business. She is majoring in Supply Chain Management with a focus in International Business and Management Information Systems.

More information on the scholarship can be seen on the AWESOME website


CSCMP Students Host Food Drive

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) students collecting food for the drive to benefit The Lion’s Pantry.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) students hosted a food drive to benefit The Lion’s Pantry.  The Lion's Pantry works to mitigate student hunger at Penn State University Park campus and provide sustenance to students experiencing food insecurity. 

Anyone wishing to donate to The Lion’s Pantry can find a list of needed items at


Four SC&IS Seniors Awarded 2019 MIT Supply Chain Excellence Award

Front row L-R: Dr. Robert A. Novak, Kara Nardi, Maria Lucchi, Maria Tartaglia; back row L-R: Danny Yunes, Kaitlyn Rakestraw, Benjamin Vruwink

This year, four seniors majoring in Supply Chain and Information Systems received the MIT Supply Chain Excellence Award. This award is bestowed annually to the top seniors studying supply chain and industrial engineering.

Winners of the awards are given a tuition scholarship of $25,000 towards the masters degree program in Supply Chain Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Runners-up are awarded a $10,000 tuition scholarship to the same program.

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Undergraduates Compete in Inaugural Dell Case Competition

Dell Case Competition Winners (l-r) Mary George, Austin Thomas, Carson Sniegocki, and James Kosyla. Also pictured: Mary Jane Mitchell, Director, Product Engineering Operations, Anthony Dong, Advisor, Materials Planning, and Ashlie Wallace, Vice President, Supply Chain Enterprise WWP.

Penn State's SC&IS Department and Dell Technologies worked jointly to co-host the inaugural 2019 Penn State Dell Supply Chain Case Competition on Monday, April 1, 2019.  The Case Competition attracted more than 30 Smeal Freshmen and Sophomores eager to learn about supply chain management within the technology sector and to compete against peers in analysis and oral presentation. 

The case study, written by Dell (including Smeal alums), addressed tradeoffs associated with contract manufacturing in certain regions of the world.  Judges from Dell included Ashlie Wallace, Vice President, Supply Chain Enterprise WWP, Mary Jane Mitchell, Director, Product Engineering Operations, and Anthony Dong, Advisor, Materials Planning.  Susan Purdum, Associate Teaching Professor, Supply Chain Management, represented Penn State and was assisted by Ashley Kuhn.  "What a terrific way for Smeal students to test the waters of this exciting discipline before choosing a major,” said Purdum. 

The Dell team used the opportunity to assess and coach talent - even offering a summer internship on the spot to one lucky individual!  First place went to Carson Sniegocki, Mary George, Austin Thomas, and James Kosyla. Robert Wang, Joseph Dargon, Sean Douglas Hillman, and Jerry Dieter came in second place.  Dell generously provided $2000 in award monies distributed among members of the first and second place teams.

Marine Corps Logistics Fellowship Brings Supply Chain to the Battlefield

The Marines selected for the Smeal’s Supply Chain and Information Systems 2018 program are Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Warren and Major Jaehong “Jay” Park.

Penn State’s relationship with the military is ingrained in the school’s history. From the Blue Band’s performance honoring the military at the military appreciation football game to the Freedom 5k for PTSD, military appreciation week is always a memorable and important time at Penn State to thank our armed forces for their commitment to our nation. Ever since Penn State was established as a land-grant university in 1863, the military has had a tremendous impact on our school. Our ROTC program is one of the nation’s largest and oldest, and Penn State has a long-standing relationship with the Department of Defense for its research capabilities.

The Smeal College of Business has a special relationship with the military in the Marine Corps Logistics Fellowship program. Each year, two Marines undergo a competitive selective process to be chosen for the fellowship. Its purpose is to further the education of the selected Marines in supply chain in their respective military roles earning their master’s degree upon completion. The program is a hybrid of on campus MBA courses and online courses at Penn State World Campus. It was established to prepare supply professionals for the military’s ever-changing requirements for effectiveness on the battlefield, which has evolved to include new supply chain and logistics trends, e.g., artificial intelligence and machine learning in military supple chains.

The Marines selected for the Smeal’s Supply Chain and Information Systems 2018 program are Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Warren and Major Jaehong “Jay” Park. LtCol Warren most recently served in the Joint Staff Logistics Directorate at The Pentagon and Maj Park most recently served as the Chief of Contracting, Expeditionary Contracting Section for Headquarters Regiment, Third Marine Logistics Group in Okinawa, Japan.

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Smeal Supply Chain Undergraduates Compete in Supply Chain Case Competition

Darren Florin, (Senior), Katie Gustas, (Junior), Stephen Day, (Sophomore) and Matthew Cavadas (Sophomore) took second place at the 7th Annual National Undergraduate Supply Chain Case Competition March 27-30. Also pictured: Ralph Sees.

A team of Supply Chain students took second place at the 7th Annual National Undergraduate Supply Chain Case Competition March 27-30 sponsored by the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.  The team consisted of Darren Florin, (Senior), Katie Gustas, (Junior), Stephen Day, (Sophomore) and Matthew Cavadas (Sophomore) and was advised by Ralph Sees.  Thirteen schools from across the country were represented in the competition which challenged teams to redesign and optimize the US Distribution/Transportation network for 3M, a large multi-national manufacturing company headquartered in Minneapolis and one of the competition’s chief sponsors.  The team had 24 hours to synthesize real-world data and present their recommendations to judges from major corporations in the Twin Cities area.  After two rounds of presentations, the team finished a close second to the eventual winner, the team from the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to the competition, the Penn State team toured Target headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.  The tour was hosted by Michelle Li, a 2018 SCIS graduate.  Students were able to see the scope of procurement and inventory management responsibilities and opportunities available with that major retailer.  The team also visited the Innovation Center at 3M’s headquarters and the Polaris Small Engine lean assembly operation.  Throughout the competition the students heard presentations from the Vice Presidents of Supply Chain from Cargill, Target, and 3M, and had time to network with Supply Chain leadership as well as students and faculty from across the country.

Incoming SC&IS Faculty Member Receives First Place MIT Thesis Prize

Congratulations to Sergey Naumov on receiving the MIT Sloan doctoral research first prize for “Unintended Consequences of Automated Vehicles and Pooling for Urban Transportation Systems.”  Sergey will receive his PhD in June and will join the Smeal SC&IS Department.

Penn State Smeal retains No. 1 rank in graduate supply chain education

Gartner, Inc., has once again ranked Penn State Smeal College of Business as No. 1 in North American graduate supply chain programs in a recent report.

This marks the fifth time Penn State has earned the top spot in Gartner’s published rankings since 2008.

New this year is that Penn State, alone, achieved the highest score in all three major categories used to compile the rankings, which include: program scope, industry value and program size.

“Retaining the No. 1 ranking for graduate supply chain education provides great affirmation for the rigor, relevance, and impact of our professional supply chain programs,” said Nicholas C. Petruzzi, chair of the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems.

The No. 1 graduate rankings news comes on the heels of earning the No. 1 rank in supply chain undergraduate education back in June.

“We take pride in this news and being recognized as a leader in supply chain education is a testament to the dedicated and tireless efforts of our faculty and staff, students, alumni and recruiters,” Petruzzi said.

Gartner compared 46 universities in its study. Program scope measured for best curricula that prepares students for supply chain careers. For industry value, Gartner surveyed university programs and supply chain practitioners on program reputation and recruitment. Finally, program size was evaluated using the number of full- and part-time supply chain students with full-time faculty.

The Gartner report is intended to help supply chain leaders identify university partners best equipped to help them recruit the right talent.

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Gartner ranks Penn State Smeal No. 1 in undergraduate supply chain education

Gartner, Inc., has once again ranked the Penn State Smeal College of Business No. 1 in North American undergraduate supply chain education.

Previous reports on supply chain education providers were released in 2016, 2014, 2011, and 2009, naming Smeal No. 1 each time. The university rankings are part of Gartner’s larger research project identifying skill and talent gaps in the supply chain industry.

“This ranking is a testament to the shared vision and coordinated efforts of our dedicated faculty and staff, recruiters, and alumni that ensure our curriculum remains not only rigorous but also highly relevant to industry needs.  It is gratifying to have Gartner’s validation of the excellence in supply chain education at Smeal for which we strive every single day,” said Nicholas C. Petruzzi, chair of the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems.

To compile its rankings, Gartner evaluated three categories: industry value, program size, and program scope.

The industry value measurement considered recruit mentions, “best” mentions in SCM World’s ‘Top Supply Chain Universities,’ undergraduate internship participation, and average starting salary. Gartner highlighted that leaders in this category tend to have large, externally facing supply chain research and experiential learning centers, much like the Center for Supply Chain Research™ at Smeal.

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