News and Awards

Burlingame, Calderaro earn top MIT Supply Chain Excellence Awards

Karen Burlingame and Alexandra Calderaro, both graduating seniors in the Penn State Smeal College of Business Supply Chain and Information Systems (SC&IS) major, have earned first place in the Supply Chain Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Nick Artman, Lauren Fellin, and Sarah Miller, all graduating seniors from Smeal’s supply chain program, were runners-up. 

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.

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SC&IS Faculty Receive Sustainability Faculty Awards

Congratulations to Dan Guide, Smeal Chaired Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management, and Terry Harrison, Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems and Earl P. Strong Executive Education Professor in Business, on receiving Smeal Sustainability Faculty Awards.  This award recognizes faculty for extraordinary achievement and service in advancing Smeal’s sustainability goals in teaching, research, and outreach.  Guide’s research focuses on closed loop supply chains and reverse logistics.  Harrison led the effort in the Smeal Business Building receiving LEED Gold certification, added the first non-profit executive to the advisory board, started faculty sustainability workshops, and maintained the awards program.

SC&IS Faculty Members Earn Promotions

Congratulations to Brent Moritz and Christopher Solo on receiving promotions effective July 1.

Moritz has been promoted to associate professor of supply chain management. He joined the Smeal faculty in 2010. His research interests include supply chain management, behavioral operations, operations strategy and cognitive decision processes. He has a particular focus on inventory and forecasting decisions. Moritz holds a Ph.D. in operations and management science from the University of Minnesota. 

Solo has been promoted to clinical assistant professor of management information systems. Prior to joining the Smeal faculty in 2016, he served more than 21 years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, where he held leadership positions in the intelligence, acquisition program management, and operations research analyst career fields. During that time, Solo served on the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He taught undergraduate courses covering probability and statistics, optimization, decision analysis, queueing theory, and simulation. Solo holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research from Penn State. 

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Russell Barton Named 2017 Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Fellow

Congratulations to Russell Baron, senior associate dean of Smeal College of Business and distinguished professor of supply chain and information systems, on being named a 2017 IISE Fellow. Barton was a member of the Penn State Industrial and Manufacturing faculty for 11 years before moving on to Smeal. He continues to hold a courtesy faculty appointment in the Marcus department. The Fellow Award is the highest classification of membership in IISE and recipients are chosen by the organization’s Fellows Committee. The award recognizes distinguished leaders in the profession that have given significant, nationally-recognized contributions both to mankind and the field of industrial engineering.

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Penn State Smeal Names 2017 Sustainability Research Grant Recipients

The Penn State Smeal College of Business recently awarded a combined $10,000 to Jason Acimovic, assistant professor of supply chain management, and Razvan Lungeanu, assistant professor of management and organization, as the 2017 Smeal Sustainability Research Grant recipients.

Acimovic, who received $3,500, will use the money to fund his research titled, “Metrics for disaster relief pre-positioning: Theory-driven tools for non-expert practitioners.”

The project’s goal, according to Acimovic’s grant proposal, is to provide tools and analyses to the global disaster-assistance community in order to help it plan how many emergency items to store, where to store them and how they should be transported.

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Penn State Smeal Students Employ Supply Chain Skills to Rise up Against Hunger

More than 100 Penn State Smeal College of Business students banded together recently to use the skills they’ve acquired from the college’s top-ranked Supply Chain and Information Systems program to help fight world hunger.

Smeal welcomed Rise Against Hunger, previously Stop Hunger Now, a non-profit organization with one million volunteers around the world. It is determined to end world hunger in our lifetime. Nearly 800 million people worldwide face hunger and acute malnutrition daily and 21,000 perish from malnutrition each day.

The goal of the Smeal event, which was held in the Business Building Atrium, was to package 20,000 meals. More than 100 students from Smeal’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), the Beta Gamma Sigma international business honor society, and the Sapphire Leadership Program participated.

The process of packaging meals exposed students to different elements within a simplified supply chain.

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Team of PSU Smeal Students Wins 2017 Supply Chain Entrepreneurship Pitch Contest

The Penn State Smeal College of Business 2017 Supply Chain Entrepreneurship Pitch Contest drew 26 submissions from seven different Penn State campuses: Abington, Altoona, Berks, Harrisburg, Lehigh Valley, Worthington Scranton and University Park.

A team of four Smeal students — Cameron Stevens, senior finance, economics, and international politics triple major; Karen Burlingame, senior supply chain and information systems; Yue Shen, senior supply chain and information systems; and Tasha Burman, sophomore business — calling themselves Team DropLocker, was selected as the winner and awarded $6,500.

The 26 submissions were pared down to eight in a virtual elimination round of two-minute videos judged by Smeal faculty members Shawn Clark, Travis Lesser, Dave Lenze, Robert Novack and Steve Tracey to determine the top four teams to compete in the face-to-face final round.

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Penn State Smeal names spring 2017 Senior Award recipients

The Penn State Smeal College of Business recognizes graduating seniors each spring with five named awards. Seniors who are graduating in the spring, summer, or fall of the same year are eligible. Recipients will be recognized at commencement and receive a Nittany Lion statuette as well as a monetary award.

Four SC&IS students were among the recipients of the following awards:

The John M. and Anne B. Stevens Academic Integrity Award: Awarded to a graduating senior or seniors who demonstrate leadership in academic integrity by serving on a college committee, task force or in a leadership role, dedicated to upholding the Smeal Honor Code and to promoting a culture of academic integrity.

  • Arissa Green, Supply Chain and Information Systems
  • Andrew Murphy, Supply Chain and Information Systems

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.

  • Laura Peterson, Supply Chain and Information Systems
  • Zachary Weinhold, Supply Chain and Information Systems

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Terry Harrison Participates in Project for National Academy of Science

Terry Harrison has completed a one-year project serving on a committee of the National Academy of Science to author the report entitled Strengthening Data Science Methods for Department of Defense Personnel and Readiness Missions.  The work is now published and can be downloaded at

SC&IS Hosts SCM Case Competition Sponsored by Dairy Farmers of America

Dairy Farmers of America
L to R: Frank Wurst (DFA), Ben Roberts, David Spencer, Tyler Mondock, Arjun Kottana and Paul Johnson (DFA)
Twenty-four students from six universities competed in a supply chain management case competition sponsored by Dairy Farmers of America and hosted by the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems on March 3rd and 4th, 2017.  Participating students represented Penn State-Behrend, Cornell University, Ohio State University, University of Michigan and Truman State University in Missouri in addition to students from Smeal and Agribusiness Management.  Teams of four with students from different universities analyzed a case on export logistics for processed milk powder for DFA’s new plant in Garden City, Kansas.  The first place team (photo below) included David Spencer (Smeal), Tyler Mondock (PSU-Behrend), Arjun Kottana (Michigan) and Ben Roberts (Ohio State).  They shared a $1000 prize provided by DFA.  Smeal students Arjun Sinha and Jarrett Ritchey were on teams that finished 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.  DFA is a milk marketing cooperative owned by nearly 14,000 dairy farmer members. DFA is also one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products.

Penn State Smeal Marks 10th Anniversary of Penn State Boeing Case Competition

Boeing Case Competition Winners and Judges
The team of Kevin Krieger, Zach Weinhold, Nicholas Gallo, and Zaid Darawsheh placed first in the Penn State Boeing Case Competition in late March. The team posed with the judges, all Boeing executives. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the case competition, which started at Penn State and has since spread nation wide.
In 2008, The Boeing Company was seeking a way to engage students from the Penn State Smeal College of Business, informing and recruiting them at the same time.  “We wanted to give them an idea of what is the business of a big production company like Boeing,” said Rosemary Potts, senior manager of employee development for the finance organization at Boeing. This week, the company’s creation, the Penn State Boeing Case Competition, celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Three teams of mixed Smeal majors earned the top prizes. The team of Kevin Krieger (supply chain and information systems major), Zach Weinhold (SC&IS), Nicholas Gallo (accounting), and Zaid Darawsheh (management information systems) placed first and won $1,000.  The team of Cara Ulizio (SC&IS) Matthew Goddard (SC&IS), Mackenzie Hornibrook (SC&IS), and Jazzy Song (accounting) earned $600 for its second-place finish.  The team of Raza Asghar (finance), Stephanie Mock(SC&IS), Christina Li (finance), and Reed Callan (SC&IS) placed third and earned $400.

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Penn State Smeal’s Russell Barton named Distinguished Professor

Russell Barton, Penn State Smeal College of Business senior associate dean for research and faculty, has been named Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems.

Barton, who holds a joint appointment as professor of industrial engineering in the Penn State College of Engineering, joined the Smeal faculty in 2002 after 11 years in Penn State’s Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. He is beginning his fifth year as senior associate dean at Smeal. 

He is responsible for the general academic and research strategies of the college as well as strategies associated with international collaborative relationships. He oversees the Ph.D. program, research funding and budgets, faculty development, all academic departments and research centers, and the office of international business. He chairs the executive committee, which is composed of department heads of all academic units in the college. 

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Terry Harrison Receives Distinguished Service Award

Congratulations to Terry Harrison on receiving the INFORMS Volunteer Distinguished Service Award.  The award was presented at the 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.  Harrison has several service roles for INFORMS.  He currently serves as Chair of the committee creating INFORMS’ first analytics body of knowledge, is a member of the UPS Prize Committee, and is a member of the Daniel H. Wagner Prize Committee.  He is a board member of the INFORMS Section on Practice and serves as a member of the program committee that is organizing the INFORMS first meeting for the Directors of Analytics Program.  This meeting will occur in April 2017.

Russell Barton Receives Distinguished Service Award

Congratulations to Russell Barton on receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the Quality, Statistics and Reliability (QSR) section of INFORMS for his outstanding contributions and valued service to the QSR community.  The QSR Council will present the award at the 2016 QSR business meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.  Beginning in January 2017, Dr. Barton will serve as INFORMS Vice President – Sections/Societies.  He is completing his service as Simulation Society representative on the INFORMS Subdivisions Council and as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Quality Statistics and Reliability section.

Penn State Smeal names Alptekinoglu Research Director of Center for Supply Chain Research

The Penn State Smeal College of Business has named Aydin Alptekinoglu the research director of its Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR).   Alptekinoglu is an associate professor of supply chain management and the Robert G. Schwartz University Endowed Fellow in Business Administration. 

"We are quite pleased to have someone of Aydin's caliber on our team,” said Steve Tracey, CSCR executive director. “He's already brought some refreshing ideas and initiatives that we know will add value over the coming years. We fully expect that our internal and external stakeholders will be pleased with the improvements now that he's on board."

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Penn State Smeal’s Jordan authors book on robots

“Robots,” a newly released book by John Jordan, Penn State Smeal College of Business Clinical Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems, explores the many facets of robots, from prehistory, to treatment in popular media, to their place in technology and society.

As Jordan details in his book, robots aren’t just the technical, task-driven machines you see on automobile assembly lines. They come in many forms and touch nearly every segment of society in one way or another.

In “Robots,” Jordan views robots and robotics from multiple perspectives, giving the reader a 360-degree view of the topic.

Jordan joined Smeal in 2005. Prior to that he was a principal in the Office of the CTO at Capgemini and principal in the Center for Business Innovation at EY. He holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and history from Duke, a master’s in ethics from Yale, and a Ph.D. from Michigan.

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Penn State Smeal senior wins L.L. Waters Scholarship

Karen Burlingame, a senior Supply Chain and Information Systems major at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, has been named one of seven national recipients of the 2016 L.L. Waters Scholarship. Administered by the trustees of the L.L. Waters Scholarship Fund, the Waters Scholarship is named in honor of Dr. L.L.Waters, University Professor Emeritus of Transportation and Business History at Indiana University. Waters has taught undergraduate and graduate students in transportation and logistics for more than three decades. 

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Veronica Villena selected as Winner for Chan Han Best Paper

Congratulations to Veronica Villena on the selection of her paper “The Benefits and Downsides of Common Supply Chain Partners” as the winning “Chan Hahn” Best Paper Finalists by the OM Division of the Academy of Management. Veronica presented her paper in a featured session at the Academy of Management Conference.

For more information on this award, see

Huff named director of online supply chain graduate programs at Penn State Smeal

David Huff, clinical professor of supply chain management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, has been named director of online graduate programs in supply chain management. The director helps set the strategic direction and vision for the college’s Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management and the Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management, programs offered online in partnership with Penn State World Campus.

Huff, who will also work to identify and cultivate relationships with corporate partners in his role as director, joined Smeal in 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in operations management and a master’s in management science methods, both from the University of Rochester. He also earned a master’s in mathematics from Brigham Young University and a bachelor’s in mathematics from Utah State University.

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Gartner Ranks Penn State Smeal No. 1 in Supply Chain Graduate and Undergraduate Education

Gartner Inc. has again ranked the Penn State Smeal College of Business No. 1 in supply chain graduate and undergraduate education.

Gartner’s report indicates that Penn State undergraduate education scored among the top two schools as an industry value leader, which tend to have large, externally facing supply chain centers and strong internship participation with big companies. Smeal’s Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR) is a leader in research, executive education, benchmarking and sponsorship.

Penn State also ranked among the top three schools in program scope, which takes into account a diverse, balanced program based on the Gartner Supply Chain Talent Attribute Model.

In graduate education, Penn State Smeal received the highest scores in both program scope and industry value.

“Our commitment to excellence in supply chain education is realized through our world-class faculty and our connections to industry through CSCR,” said Nicholas C. Petruzzi, chair of the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. “These No. 1 rankings are a welcomed affirmation of both the rigor and the relevance of our state-of-the-art curriculum.”

Previous reports on supply chain education providers were released in 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.

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