Archived News & Awards from the Supply Chain and Information Systems Department at Penn State University (2013)

Clinical Professor Promotions

Congratulations to John Jordan on his promotion to Clinical Full Professor and to Felisa Preciado on her promotion to Clinical Associate Professor.

Penn State Smeal MBA Students Top U.S. Schools at Logistics Case Competition

Last month, six students in the Penn State Smeal College of Business MBA Program traveled to the University of Arkansas to compete in the Sam M. Walton College of Business International Graduate Logistics Case Competition. The Smeal team topped their U.S. competitors and earned third place overall. Team members included second-year MBA students Tim Pace, Jose Fanjul, Derek DeGroot, Felicia Li, and Joey Ly, as well as first-year student Darius Adl. Alan Stenger, professor emeritus of supply chain management, joined them as their faculty adviser.

Management Information Systems Association Receives Award

Congratulations to the Management Information Systems Association (MISA) on receiving the 2013 Smeal Most Improved Organization Award.

Susan Purdum Elected to Board of Directors for Penn State’s Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Society

Susan Purdum, Instructor in Supply Chain Management, SC&IS Department, was recently elected to the Board of Directors for Penn State's Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Society.  Sue received a BSIE in from the College of Engineering in 1980.

APICS Case Competition

Congratulations to the SC&IS undergraduate team on taking second place in the undergraduate category at the APICS Mid-Atlantic Division Case Competition on February 8-9.  The team, consisting of Melany Cruz Rodriguez, Evan Chen, Alyssa Martir, Patricia Rivera, Justin Scarpello, and Jesse Swank, was awarded a prize of $1,000.  Ten undergraduate teams participated in the Competition.

The case looked at a company that had recently begun to incorporate lean practices into its manufacturing processes but was looking to do more.  The company also wanted to expand lean practices into other areas of the enterprise.  Student teams needed to evaluate recent changes as well as propose additional changes.  They worked through the night to come up with their solution, prepared a three page paper describing their proposals, and put together a seven minute presentation.  They then presented their solutions in front of approximately 35 judges.

USC Marshall International Case Competition

Congratulations to Nick Fakelmann, Devin Weakland, Ben Pugh, and Samantha Jarmul on earning a 3rd place victory at the University of Southern California’s Marshall International Case Competition.

Each year USC invites 30 schools from around the world to compete in a 24 hour case competition.  This year’s case revolved around Owens & Minor Inc.—a very successful supply chain solutions provider of medical and surgical supplies.  Recently Owens & Minor acquired a European firm to help expand their global reach.    In essence the students were charged with the following question: How do we extract the greatest value from our recent European acquisition?  The students had to create a business strategy, implementation plan, and financial return analysis in less than 24 hours.  On the judging panel were senior members of Owens & Minor including the CEO—Craig Smith.

Penn State took 3rd Place, the University of British Columbia took 1st, and the Singapore Management University took 2nd.  Of the American Schools that competed, Penn State ranked higher than Penn, U.C. Berkeley, USC, Texas, North Carolina, Carnegie Mellon, University of Washington in St. Louis, and Illinois.

Smeal Program Improves Supply Chain Education at Local High School

Thanks to help from Bob Novack, associate professor of supply chain and information systems at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, the State College Area High School in State College, Pa., offers a series of supply chain courses to introduce high school students to the profession. The program began several years ago. “Supply chain was one of the fastest growing careers in Pennsylvania, and State High is one of the single highest suppliers of students to Smeal,” said Novack. But, he said, the demand was growing faster than the supply of professionals, partly because of a lack of familiarity with the industry. “High school students don’t generally understand supply chain,” Novack said. “Often, even our Smeal students don’t.” So in a bid to get more high school students thinking about supply chain as a career path, Novack pitched a series of supply chain courses to be taught at the high school level.

Developing and teaching the courses fell to State High teacher Sarah Griffith, who said that, at first, she thought supply chain would be a tough sell to high schoolers. But she soon found that once they learned a little bit about the opportunities a career in supply chain could offer, they got really excited. “The students are surprised by how much it relates to their lives,” said Griffith.

One such student is Anthony Dong, a State High graduate who always thought he wanted to go into marketing. He was taking the marketing courses offered at the high school when his adviser told him about the fast-growing field of supply chain. “I knew a little bit about logistics,” said Dong, “but I hadn’t heard the term ‘supply chain’ and all it implied.” So he joined the inaugural supply chain course at State High in his senior year. Dong is now a sophomore at Smeal majoring in Supply Chain. “I liked the analysis of making things efficient,” he said, “and there are so many opportunities.  There’s just a lot you can do with this degree.”

Novack and his colleagues at Smeal work closely with State High to offer students opportunities to learn more about the profession and the major. The students take field trips to Smeal, attend Careers in Supply Chain night, and visit the supply chain career fair in the fall. “There are companies out there offering internships to some seniors for the summer before their first year of college,” said Novack, representing the great demand for people in supply chain.

Now that the program has been up and running for several years, Griffith says that former students are its best salespeople. And, like Anthony Dong, the courses are encouraging some students to commit to supply chain as a career. “This is a great pipeline for students to come into Smeal and into supply chain,” said Novack.
The Supply Chain program at Smeal is ranked number one by Gartner Inc.’s Ranking of U.S. Supply Chain Education Providers at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Spring 2013 SC&IS Career Fair

The spring Supply Chain Career Fair was held on February 5-6, 2013, in the Smeal Business Building Atrium. This Career Fair was once again a huge success. We had a combined total of 83 companies attending with more than 275 students from Supply Chain, MIS, IST, and Industrial Engineering. We continue to engage sophomores who are incoming to the Supply Chain major.  During the following two days after the Fair, the companies conducted interviews with students.

Along with the Supply Chain Career Fair, we hosted our Supply Chain Corporate Information Sessions on Monday night with 10 corporate sponsors running concurrent information sessions with about 75 students attending the event.

On September 23, 2013, the Supply Chain Corporate Information Sessions will kick off the fall 2013 recruiting activities. The Supply Chain Career Fair will follow on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 24-25, 2013.