From top-ranked programs to research and thought leadership, the caliber of the Broad College’s supply chain management department is no secret. The department is so well regarded that the Broad College recently became one of nine schools selected to partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its annual Supply Chain Excellence Awards.
Started in 2013, the MIT Supply Chain Excellence Awards recognize exemplary graduating seniors studying supply chain or industrial engineering. Selected scholars are awarded tuition fellowships toward the MIT supply chain management master’s program, with winners given $25,000 and honorable mention recipients given $10,000, to be redeemed within five years.
In the past two years, 13 MSU students have been recognized and honored on MIT’s list. In 2019, Nicholas Holwerda, Hannah Carleton and Sarah Jonckheere were selected as winners and Jinxin Dam, Shane Huisman and Joseph Lynch as honorable mentions. Seven graduates from the Class of 2020 were recognized: Samantha Stevons, Alexander Shaw, Erin Bahm and Megan Reimel as winners and Jacob Rubenstein, Regin Horan and Melissa Finneran as honorable mentions. Although all of the 2019 scholars were Broad graduates, the 2020 class was split; Shaw, Bahm and Finneran hail from the College of Engineering.
An exciting end to undergraduate life
When reflecting on their scholarships from MIT, this year’s Broad recipients noted the award as an invigorating start to post-undergrad life. “It means a great deal to me to be considered for this award,” Stevons said. “It gives me hope and positive encouragement to seek an advanced degree from a prestigious institution like MIT and tells me that I shouldn’t limit myself or think Ivy League schools aren’t too far-fetched or out of the question to me.”
Rubenstein expressed similar sentiments. “To be recognized by such a prestigious school like MIT for my dedication to supply chain management is truly incredible,” he said. “I could not have done it alone, and I would like to thank all of my professors, faculty, family and friends for supporting me over the past four years.”
“After at least two years of additional work experience, my plans are to continue my education to obtain my master’s degree through the scholarship provided by MIT,” Reimel said. “This scholarship will allow me the opportunity to not only attend MIT but also any of their sister universities in their global SCALE network.”
Beginnings of the partnership
Michigan State’s involvement with MIT’s Supply Chain Excellence Awards was born from the diligence and dedication of a Broad College alumnus. After coming to MSU from China and graduating in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, Yuze (Frank) Wang enrolled in MIT’s MicroMaster program in logistics, materials and supply chain management. As a graduate student at MIT, he learned about the awards and was motivated to be involved.
Although the awards stipulate that recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, meaning that Wang was ineligible, he was eager to share the opportunity with fellow Spartans at his alma mater. He assisted in making an introduction between the MIT fellowship committee and Kelly Lynch, director of corporate and student relations for the Department of Supply Chain Management at MSU.
“Even though he was not eligible, Frank was thinking of others rather than himself,” Lynch said.
“One of my very first memories of Frank was at an event for MSU’s Supply Chain Management Association my freshman year,” Reimel, a friend of Wang’s, said. “In the short time I knew Frank, he was one of the most kind-hearted, engaged members of the group. He was a fantastic role model and was looked up to by many of his peers.”
Unfortunately, Wang died in March 2019 during a spring break vacation in Puerto Rico. Lynch noted that although the awards are publicly known as the MIT Supply Chain Excellence Awards, the supply chain management department calls them the Frank Wang Excellence Awards in remembrance.