According to Gary La Point, supply chain professor at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, he’s Orange to the bone marrow. On the cusp of becoming a four-time graduate of Syracuse University, La Point has spent more than 15 years on campus and working with students of the university. Currently, he is a staple in the supply chain management program at the Whitman School.
For the majority of his career, La Point worked for large multi-national companies such as Xerox, UTC/Carrier, ITT Industries and Cooper Industries in all areas of supply chain. However, he has always made time for his alma mater. After attending undergraduate and graduate school at Syracuse University, La Point taught night classes at the Whitman School for 12 years. He travelled from Rochester to Syracuse, juggling his job at Xerox during the day and teaching in the evening. When the opportunity arose to teach full time at the Whitman School, La Point became one of Whitman’s first professors of practice.
“I like the environment, I like the students and I love Syracuse University,” said La Point who teaches many of the supply chain classes, including SCM 265, SCM 401, Product Management, Warehousing and Lean Six Sigma. “I like the Lean Six Sigma class because that is working with companies, involved with real projects and students spend a lot of time actually outside of school at the company location.”
When he’s not teaching in the classroom, La Point takes supply chain students to various supply chain case competitions, which allow students to analyze cases and create solutions based on both their observations and what they have learned in classes.
“It is good experience to be involved in a case competition,” said La Point. “If you don’t win you still get the practice of the competition and you get to see what a winning presentation looks like.”
For the past 10 years, La Point has also led the Singapore Summer Internship Program. When La Point joined the program, the students attended a six-week, unpaid internship. Now, the program is a 12-week, paid internship, the only paid international internshtip offered through SU Abroad.
“We take weekend excursions to Malaysia, Indonesia plus many activities throughout Singapore,” said La Point. “We try to create a cultural experience in addition to a good work experience. I have gotten to see very interesting places in that part of the world.”
La Point is currently completing his Ph.D. in instructional design, development and evaluation at Syracuse University’s School of Education. He chose this program because he felt it allowed him to go on a part time schedule and continue being a professor of practice.
When he’s not teaching, La Point plays the trumpet in the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble and serves as co-director of Whitman’s H.H. Franklin Center for Supply Chain and co-director of the Harry Salzberg Memorial Program, which seeks to enrich the student learning experience by fostering a close community of practitioners of supply chain who collaborate to advance the state of knowledge, engage the mind and stimulate the best effort of all.