AWESOME Scholars

AWESOME Excellence in Education Scholarships offer university women the opportunity to participate in the CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) Annual Global Conference and the annual AWESOME Symposium. The five 2017 recipients bring the total of AWESOME Scholars to 22, including two recipients in 2013, five in 2014, five in 2015, and five in 2016.

2017 Scholar Champion

Expeditors stepped up for the 2017 Symposium as the first AWESOME Scholar Champion, providing funding to support scholars’ attendance at the CSCMP conference and the 2018 AWESOME Symposium. Representative from Expeditors will participate in a special event with scholarship winners and AWESOME representatives at the CSCMP Conference, September 24-27, in Atlanta, GA.

“Expeditors is a Fortune 500 service-based logistics company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. At Expeditors, we generate highly optimized and customized supply chain solutions for our clients with unified technology systems integrated through a global network of 331 locations in 109 countries on six continents. As a service-based company, we don’t own the aircraft, ships, or trucks we use every day. Therefore, we can be highly flexible in our approach to supply chain management and effective at finding the best route and pricing options for our customers. We are proud of our uncompromising commitment to customer service and we believe our ability to execute on customers’ customized needs differentiates us in the marketplace.”

Selection Process

Faculty members from top universities were asked to nominate a young woman demonstrating superior supply chain leadership potential currently enrolled – and who also will be enrolled the following fall in the university’s MBA, MS or undergraduate supply chain program. A committee of supply chain leaders conducted a review of the applications, and selected the five scholarship recipients.

The AWESOME Scholarship covers the CSCMP conference registration, transportation expenses to and from the conference location, lodging, and a stipend to cover incidental expenses. Students are also invited to the AWESOME Symposium, and provided with funding for conference registration and travel. After the conference, recipients submit an essay about their experience and its impact on their leadership development.


AWESOME EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS

2017 Scholars

2016 Scholars

2016 AWESOME Scholars

2016 AWESOME Scholars

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Kyani Alford

Kyani Alford is a senior in Supply Chain Management and Logistics at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Kyani is from West Memphis, Arkansas. She is the director of events and past president of WISE (Women in Supply Chain Excellence), Collegiate Chair for the NWA MLK Council and SCSO Roundtable Member. Kyani has been featured in Global Trade Magazine (2016) and her work was featured in Nestle Purina’s internship recruitment segment (2015-16). Her passion for customer interactions and logistics work pushes her to strive in all of her projects. Her experience and interests include analytics, brand specialization and data mining. Upon her graduation in the Spring of 2017, Kyani plans to continue her journey with Nestle Purina in the Supply Chain Management Program.

From Kyani’s essay:
“Sunday evening’s cocktail event with DSC exposed us all to the world of networking and connections. I met a number of individuals ranging from academia professionals, current students, and executives who all knew one another. Throughout the entire conference, the most impressive aspect was being able to see how many professionals were acquaintances and happy to reunite.”

“The panel (Kyani served on a panel at the Conference) focused on Omni channels and the supply chain industry. My purpose was to express the millennial perspective on the topic and how we are impacted by the different stereotypes placed on us as a whole.”

“Having the opportunity to speak with (the supply chain leaders I met) helped me to shape my responses and ways of viewing the different questions commonly presented to millennials…I can say that I learned how to handle a tough situation in a mature and professional manner… I learned how to maneuver through a sensitive area of discussion with ease and professionalism that can be clearly understood and relatable.”

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Kaitlyn Gerard

Kaitlyn Gerard is a senior at the University of Kansas majoring in Supply Chain Management and Information Systems. She is very involved on campus and in the Supply Chain Program. Kaitlyn participated in study abroad programs, one to Panama and the other to Northern Europe, focused around supply chain and logistics. She is the President of the Supply Chain Management club, and wears many hats to provide students with experiences that engage them in the supply chain field. Kaitlyn is an active member of her local CSCMP Roundtable, running their social media and assisting in event planning. Kaitlyn also serves as an Executive Business School ambassador and is the 2016 Homecoming director. In the summer of 2016, Kaitlyn interned for Deloitte Consulting, where she gained experience in IT and supply chain consulting.

From Katie’s essay:
“I chose a session based on the people leading it, because I found their jobs or past jobs peaked my interest the most. I found this was a very good choice for me, because a large majority of them used their career experiences to lead the session, so it was a win-win. I was able to learn more about a topic in the field of Supply Chain Management while also learning how they reached that point in their career.”

“When I left the conference on Wednesday, I came away with 103 business cards of new people I had made some sort of connection with and I left with none of my own business cards. That alone says a lot about all the connections I made over the course of the conference.”

“The CSCMP conference has been one of the most transformational experiences in my college career. Getting to be a part of something so much bigger than myself and getting to learn and connect with so many professionals who have made huge impacts on the field of supply chain management, is an experience I will always be so beyond thankful for.”

“Being a woman in a field of so many males, (connecting with the women in AWESOME) is a constant reminder not to ever give up or be pushed back because of my gender, because a woman can serve at a C-level…”

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Julie Ludwig

Julie Ludwig will graduate in May 2017 from Miami University with a major in Supply Chain and Operations Management, and a minor in Management and Leadership. Julie has held many positions of leadership on campus. Currently she serves as President of the Honors Student Advisory Board, after serving as Director of Public Relations for the board for one year. Julie plans all meetings and ensures that the organization runs smoothly. She is a Miami University Student Ambassador as well as an Honors Ambassador, where she advises prospective students and families about Miami University. Julie is also a Campus Tour Guide, a Teaching Assistant, and a member of the Supply Chain Management Association. In the summer of 2016, Julie interned for The J.M. Smucker Company in their supply planning unit.

From Julie’s essay:
“This was an invaluable experience and I learned a tremendous amount about the supply chain field, the importance of mentorship, and how there are many different ways in which you can define ‘success.’ Most importantly though, I was able to learn this from outstanding women… These are the women that I look up to and that I aspire to be like. It is 2016 and only 20% of the senior leaders in supply chain roles are women. That is something that I would like to see changed in the future and something that I think the AWESOME organization is definitely an instrumental tool in helping to improve.”

“The session that talked about supply chain innovation was very interesting to me because of how much they discussed the future… Leaders need to be the ones to fuel and drive innovation by hiring the right people that will challenge the current state, and creating a safe environment where employees are not afraid to fail. Innovation all starts with people.”

“I have two pieces of recommendation to future years’ recipients. The first, is to not be afraid to put yourself outside of your comfort zone… Don’t be intimidated by the executives, be motivated by them. Take advantage of their insight and advice… My second piece of advice, is to make as many connections as possible. Both with your fellow young professionals …and the high-ranking executives that you will meet.”

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Hannah Walcher

Hannah Walcher is studying Supply Chain Management at Colorado State University (CSU) with additional certificates in International Business and Leadership in Organizations. She will be graduating in the spring of 2017. Hannah is President of CSU’s Supply Chain Club and a member of CSU’s Dean’s Student Leadership Council. She is also currently working on her senior thesis on the topic of focal firm reactions to supplier use of child labor. Hannah has been a Purchasing Intern at Wolf Robotics and a Global Supply Chain Intern at Johns Manville. She is a Certified Supply Chain Analyst and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

From Hannah’s essay:
“The opportunity to be surrounded with successful professionals, innovative supply chain solutions, and impactful speakers felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“Once I stepped out of my comfort zone and started approaching AWESOME members, I was able to network and meet some incredible female leaders in supply chain management…What surprised me most about these women was how down-to-earth and approachable they were. They were so willing to spend their time with an undergraduate student, discussing their careers and companies. Connecting with these powerful, approachable women boosted my confidence and made me more driven to become one of them.”

“There are a lot of contradicting ideas that I have heard regarding career advice, so having a panel of extremely successful professionals and academics answer these questions was helpful… As a high-performing student, the idea of failing can be scary, so learning that it is critical to growth was an important realization. Your career is a place to grow and learn, so you should use it to try new roles and take advantage of exciting opportunities that come up. If you are in a role that you aren’t learning in, you need to move on and find a new one.”

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Annie Zheng

Annie Zheng is a senior at Syracuse University majoring in Supply Chain Management. On campus, she works as a student ambassador with Career Services and as Vice President of Finance with the oldest and largest business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. As a teaching assistant for an Introduction to Supply Chain course, she helps oversee 4 classes and facilitate lab studies. Over the years, Annie has cultivated an array of skills from teaching at an urban education organization to interning at Eaton’s Ephesus Lighting in the supply chain department. Upon graduation, Annie is looking forward to applying her academic and professional experiences to strengthen supply chain systems and explore both international and domestic opportunities.

From Annie’s essay:

“Attending CSCMP has been one of the most incredible experiences as it refueled my passion and curiosities for supply chain.”

“After visiting several sessions and the exhibition, it was clear that supply chain innovation will rely heavily on information technology and data utilization in the future. With the Internet of Things, companies can react proactively to issues and delays in their supply chains so they can deliver faster customer service…How will matrix management accommodate the increasing need for speed, especially in larger corporations where lengthy approval processes undergo multiple departments? Although lengthy approval processes can help mitigate risks in different perspectives, it can conflict with lead time and hinder a company’s ability to adapt to the culture of speed.”

“I was able to connect with many professionals with senior positions to discuss their journey into the supply chain industry and what they anticipate for the future. Hearing their concerns and excitement for where the supply chain industry is going will help me better understand the competitive landscape for my future employer.”

Read complete essays

2015 Scholarship Recipients

2015 AWESOME Scholars at the CSCMP Annual Conference with Dr Nancy Nix, AWESOME Executive Director (left), and Ann Drake, AWESOME founder and CEO, DSC Logistics (center).

2015 AWESOME Scholars at the CSCMP Annual Conference with Dr Nancy Nix, AWESOME Executive Director (left), and Ann Drake, AWESOME founder and CEO, DSC Logistics (center).

Samantha Herold

Samantha Herold attends the University of Tennessee where she majors in Supply Management with a minor in International Business and French. She is a Global Leadership Scholar in UT’s College of Business and in 2014, won the Advancing Aspirations Global Scholarship from Womenetics.

From Samantha’s essay:

“One of my favorite quotes actually came out of AWESOME’s Reality Check from last year’s AWESOME Symposium: “It is no longer shocking to say that having women in executive roles provides business with a competitive advantage.” After attending the conference, this quote seemed to play out before my eyes. Hearing confident, capable, career-driven women speak eloquently about the roles thay have played in their companies not only made the notion of women providing a competitive advantage “not shocking” – it made it obvious.”

“I found myself in a session called ‘Women in the C-Suite: Leadership Lessons from the Top.’ All of the women on this panel gave excellent advice. They agreed that in order to advance to an executive position in your career, you need to acquire knowledge of the entire business. Panelist Kathy Wengel advises to have superior ‘technical chops’ and to build a set of experiences that brings legitimacy to your ‘brand.”

“Attending this conference has reinvigorated my zeal for the study of Supply Chain Management.”

Darby Hogan

Darby Hogan will graduate from Penn State University with a major in Supply Chain Management and a minor in Information Systems Management. She has served as president and in other executive board positions of Penn State’s CSCMP Student Roundtable.

From Darby’s essay:

“A key takeway from the conference was the importance of mentorship – both personally and professionally. I can’t think of one leader I heard on a panel who accredited all of their success to themselves. More often than not, it was accredited to the people they surrounded themselves with, as well as an excellent mentor along the way.“

“The technicalities of the profession change quickly, and in order to develop the most value to the firms we work for, we must always be willing to challenge ourselves to learn about the rapid changes within our industry, and yet still account for as many commercial variables as possible.”

“My advice for future scholars is to be as present as you can through the duration of the conference. Go to sessions on topics you know are of interest to you and also go to sessions you know will be a challenge for you. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable at the conference, as this is where you are going to get the most out of it!”

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Cindy Liu

Cindy Liu is pursuing a dual degree in Supply Chain Management and Information Systems at the University of Maryland. She was selected for the Supply Chain Fellows Program, and is involved with Honors Ambassadors, Consult Your Community, Supply Chain Management Society, and the Dean’s Student Advisory Council on campus.

From Cindy’s essay:

“I began the conference by attending the Women at Work event (powered by AWESOME)…The room was filled with women from all walks of life: young and seasoned, been with the same company their entire career or had changed industries several times, loved their job or were looking to find more fulfillment. It was a great feeling to hear these women’s stories and to learn about their success in traditionally male-dominated fields.”

“I loved the perks of the networking receptions sponsored by AWESOME and DSC Logistics…It was so nice to be able to have a setting where higher level executives are open to share their experiences and are eager to talk to us.”

“My favorite part of the weekend was meeting the other scholarship winners. ..I loved learning about the different supply chain programs at their universities and they have inspired me to have a conversation with the Supply Chain Department and the Undergraduate Dean at my school to see how we could also implement some of those programs.”

Danielle Shields

Danielle Shields graduated in December 2015 from Syracuse University with a dual major in Supply Chain Management in the Whitman School of Management and Advertising in the Newhouse School of Public Communications.  She will be starting full time with Target beginning in February working as a Group Leader in one of their distribution centers.

From Danielle’s essay:

“I have never been so sure about a career in the supply chain management business as I am at this very moment (after attending the conference)….What I never expected was that so many established individuals in the supply chain industry would have such a genuine interest in me. I learned that networking with others means making both sides of a relationship feel valued.”

“Being sponsored by AWESOME to attend the CSCMP Conference is something I hold dear to my heart. I feel like I now have a support system of amazing women in all sorts of different careers in supply chain.”

“To future scholarship winners: Don’t be overwhelmed walking into the conference not knowing what to expect because this is the best part…My biggest piece of advice is to introduce yourself to as many people as you can… Everyone at the conference had so much to offer.”

Jessica Sun

Jessica Sun majors in Supply Chain Management with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Michigan State University. She has participated in the undergraduate branch of the Supply Chain Management Association and volunteered as an SCMA Career Fair Ambassador.

2014 Scholarship Recipients

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Hannah Bremer

Hannah Bremer is pursuing a Supply Chain Management degree at the University of Kansas. She is the VP of Finance for the University Supply Chain Club and a student member of CSCMP.

From Hannah’s essay:

“I discovered that leaders in the supply chain industry are continually asking questions. Answers are followed up with additional questions: How can we do this better? Is there a different way? Where can we create more value? What can we cut from the process to improve profitability/efficiency? The successful supply chain professionals have realized that in order to grow and maintain competitive advantages they must first recognize that they will never have it all figured out. Pursuing answers to what they do not know will help them stay one step ahead of the competition.

Change is the only constant in the supply chain industry. The only way to stay current is to always be willing to make changes and explore options. Collaborative efforts among competing businesses, hiring women in traditionally male roles, and radical software changes are examples of the major changes that are being made in order to improve businesses processes.”

“One day I hope to meet the qualifications to become a member of AWESOME and perhaps mentor a future scholarship winner. As for the present, I will use the knowledge I gained to complete my courses and find my place in the supply chain world.”

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Victoria Drici

Victoria Drici is a Supply Chain Management major at Lehigh University. Victoria is a Finance Peer Tutor, a Supply Chain Scholar, and a representative on the College of Business and Economics Student Board of Advisors.

From Victoria’s essay:

“One of the most beneficial features of attending this conference was being a student attendant at professional-based talks. This allowed me to be a sort of fly on the wall, and absorb content that was directed at fellow professionals rather than for an audience of potential future candidates. In particular, this was useful during an educational session about mentoring. As a future mentee, it was very insightful to hear what experienced mentors look for and the challenges they face. For example, forced links can be ineffective and as a mentee you must assume positive intent in the relationship for it to be productive.”

“An area of personal development which I found chiefly important was the inspiration and confidence I gained being a woman entering the workforce. It was a unique experience being surrounded by so many successful and established women. It is unfortunate that many college grads will not have the same eye-opening experience that I did… One of the most important things I learned through this experience- how to carry myself and approach a professional.”

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Carla Garver

Carla Garver is a second year MBA student with a specialization in Operations and Supply Chain at Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. She served eight years active duty in the US Coast Guard, responsible for forecasting, budgeting and procurement.

From Carla’s essay:

“At first I was timid because I felt out of place as a student rather than a practitioner. When people read my name tag and saw I was from Ohio State University rather than a large company, I immediately defended myself. As time went on, I began to realize that we are all students in some way or another. Many people told me they wished they could go back to school for their MBA. My confidence surged as I told them there are many part time programs, and explained the benefits that I had already received well ahead of my graduation date. I was so shocked that I got the chance to reciprocate all the knowledge I had gained by being an ambassador of sorts for further training and education.”

“As a welder in the U.S. Coast Guard, I was used to being surrounded by men in my profession. At the (CSCMP) general session, awards were given for Smartway Transportation. All but one of the recipients was male…I had been surrounded by so many great female leaders over the past few days as I attended the AWESOME events that I took it for granted that women leaders were everywhere in the industry. The reality is that women will always be present, but they are still not advanced in the Supply Chain positions.”

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Lauryn Kulkarni

Lauryn Kulkarni is a double major in Supply Chain Management and Finance at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. At Syracuse, Lauryn has participated in the Denver Transportation Case Competition and is a member of the Franklin Supply Chain Group.

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Nancy Odero

Nancy Odero is a Supply Chain Management major at Miami University of Ohio. She is a founding member and Vice President of the International Students Advisory Council, and is a member of the Supply Chain Management Association.

From Nancy’s essay:

“Les Brown once said, ‘In every day there are 1440 minutes. That means we have 1440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.’ The opportunity I had to attend this conference is proof of the substance of this comment. The ladies involved with AWESOME have used their daily 1440 minutes of opportunity to build inspiring careers for themselves and make an impact on young women entering the Supply Chain field… I am honored to have been able to experience this opportunity in my college career and hope that one day I may be able to use my 1440 minutes of opportunity each day to make a positive impact in the lives of other women.”

“My participation in this conference has given me a first-hand view into the professional lives of women in the Supply Chain industry as well as different up and coming issues that companies continue to face and deal with.”
“The (panel of women leaders) discussed what they perceive to be issues that prevent women from taking charge and being at the forefront of their careers; some of these were our tendency to not be forthright with our ideas and our lack of belief in our own capabilities. I hope to be able to venture into the professional world after graduation with a strong belief in my skills and an ability to acknowledge that I can succeed just as any man can, sometimes even better.”

2013 Scholarship Recipients

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Alex Kester

Alex Kester is a 2014 graduate of the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University with a major in supply chain management and marketing. Her honors thesis is on “Human Capital Affects the Efficiency and Viability of the Supply Chain.”

From Alex’s essay:

“Through AWESOME I have found role models and assurance that a woman can make a significant difference and penetrate the man’s world…I was exposed to strong, persistent, self-assured women who are masters of their craft. ..Three key takeaways from my interaction in these events are everyone needs a mentor, the right kind of confidence is essential, and women need to take more career risks.”

Monica Yu 2013 Scholarship Recipient

Monica Yu

Monica Yu is a 2014 Robert Bartels Fellowship MBA student in the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, focusing on operations, Lean Six Sigma strategy and marketing. She received her BA degree in finance from Soochow University in Taipei in June of 2008.

From Monica’s essay:

“Our world needs more female leaders to stand out. Through this chance to attend the CSCMP Conference and AWESOME events, I have more confidence in myself. Now I have the courage to think big and different. This is a life-changing experience. I told myself someday, I expect to make the same contribution to support our next generation.”

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