2020 MIT Supply Chain Excellence Award Recipients Announced in Virtual Ceremony

Forty-six top students from eight leading undergraduate Supply Chain Management and Engineering programs across the U.S. and Mexico were presented with MIT fellowship awards in a virtual ceremony held May 4, 2020. Six of the students were supply chain management undergraduates from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

Whitman School Winners ($25,000 fellowship awards):
Ruth Bang
Kathryn McPherson
Erin Thalacker
Alyson Weber

Whitman School Honorable Mentions ($10,000 fellowship awards):
Michael DiNardo
Kyle O’Brien

The MIT Supply Chain Excellence Awards are given annually to outstanding graduating senior supply chain or industrial engineering majors at select institutions that have partnered with the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics’ Supply Chain Management master’s program to expand opportunities for students to pursue graduate study and advance the field of supply chain and logistics.

MIT SCM program Executive Director Dr. Josué Velazquez describes the awards program as “a way to recognize exceptional talent coming out of the best supply chain and industrial engineering undergraduate programs in the world, while also raising awareness of MIT’s master’s program in Supply Chain Management.” He praised this year’s pool of nominees as “incredibly strong, with exceptional academic records, experience, and leadership qualities. It was an honor and a challenge to choose winners from such a talented pool of applicants.”

Velazquez and SCM program Academic Administrator Robert Cummings were joined for the 2020 awards presentation by Supply Chain and Engineering faculty and department chairs from Arizona State University, Lehigh University, Michigan State University, Monterrey Tech (Mexico), Penn State University, Purdue University, Syracuse University and Texas A&M University, who honored their student nominees and announced the names of fellowship recipients from their respective programs.

The virtual event was the first Supply Chain Excellence Awards ceremony hosted by MIT’s SCM department; in prior years, winners were announced on each campus during spring academic awards events. With campuses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a need to adapt became an opportunity to bring nominees and representatives from all schools together for the first time.

Along with the presentation of awards, the program featured remarks from past Supply Chain Excellence awardees who are currently completing their master’s degrees as part of the SCM class of 2020. Trevor Thompson, 2016 SC Excellence awardee from Arizona State University, shared, “It’s not the award itself that brings you the greatest satisfaction. It’s the reward that comes after utilizing that award that will truly change your life. The SCM program will set you up for an incredible future in supply chain management; and connect you with a whole new family.”

Texas A&M alum and 2017 awardee Gina Gerhart added, “It’s an incredible honor to receive this award. MIT’s SCM program is a very collaborative experience and an opportunity to absorb not only from courses, but also from a diverse group of peers, faculty, and staff.”

Bringing the ceremony to a close, Velazquez told awardees, “You’re already super successful. We know you’ll make big changes in the world, and we want to be part of your journey.”

The MIT Supply Chain Excellence Awards program has provided $520,000 in fellowship funding to 20 awardees who have joined the MIT SCM master’s program to date. Awardees can redeem their awards by applying and being admitted to the SCM program after gaining 2-5 years of post-bachelor’s professional experience. Fellowship awards may be applied toward SCM master’s program tuition at MIT, or at MIT Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) network centers in Spain, Malaysia, Luxembourg, or China.

Learn more about Whitman women in supply chain management.

Kimmy Kimball