WIU SCM Students Sweep Delta Nu Alpha, Chicago Chapter, Scholarship Awards
May 6, 2010
MACOMB, IL -- Finding and getting a job is no easy task in a tough economy. Job seekers, these days, are better positioned if they have an edge as they tackle the job market. Recently, three Western Illinois University students studying in the marketing and finance department's supply chain management (SCM) program -- and who will be in the job market within the next year or so -- garnered a bit of that needed edge with the help of the Chicago chapter of Delta Nu Alpha, "an international organization of professional men and women in all areas and at all levels of transportation and logistics."
Kortney Burrage, a senior from Rock Island (IL); Chanel Greenleaf, a junior from Highland Park (IL); and Mike McGraw, a junior from Knoxville (IL), were named recipients of three scholarships awarded by the Chicago chapter of Delta Nu Alpha this spring. Each student will not only receive the scholarship funds to offset the cost of his or her individual education, but the fact they each received the scholarship will put them in high contention for attending Delta Nu Alpha's national conference in Nashville (TN) in October, which will offer each student a plethora of future employment networking opportunities.
According to Barton Jennings, associate professor in Western's SCM program, the fact that WIU received three scholarships from the Chicago chapter of Delta Nu Alpha this spring is particularly noteworthy because, for two of the scholarships, Western's SCM students are competing against students studying in much larger SCM or similar programs at such institutions as Northwestern University and Elmhurst College.
"Delta Nu Alpha has supported WIU's supply-chain program for a long time. Long ago, the Chicago chapter committed to one scholarship per semester for Western students. Traditionally, that chapter has awarded three scholarships per semester, one to a WIU student, and then usually a Northwestern student gets one and an Elmhurst College student gets one. This semester, the Chicago chapter of Delta Nu Alpha awarded all three of their scholarships to WIU students -- Kortney, Chanel and Mike. For our SCM program, it's very exciting, because although we're a very small program, this demonstrates that our students are successfully competing against students studying in much larger similar programs -- in which they may have between 10 and 15 faculty and 500 students -- at larger institutions. In Western's SCM program, we have about a hundred students and three faculty between the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses," Jennings explained.
Don Adams, president of the Chicago chapter of Delta Nu Alpha and of the national Delta Nu Alpha organization, explained why this spring semester, the Chicago chapter members decided to award all three of their available chapter scholarships to Western students.
"The applications we received from the WIU students illustrated they were all deserving of a scholarship. All three have superior academic performance, and they all have, or will have, served in an internship position. One of Delta Nu Alpha's goals is to encourage our scholarship recipients, as well as the members of Delta Nu Alpha's student chapters, to enter and remain in the field of transportation and supply-chain logistics. We feel that internships are important for students and will help them along in their career paths in the field," Adams said.
Burrage, who will be entering her third summer of interning with Corn Products International (Westchester, IL), noted that the internship opportunity has given her a chance to apply the knowledge she has been introduced to through WIU's SCM courses.
"Having the hands-on experience prior to entering the field, I think, will give me the confidence and practice I need to do my job well," Burrage said. "My internship also has made me realize how much I truly love the field and has given me even more drive to do well in school in order to prepare myself for my future career."
McGraw will enter his second summer of interning for State Farm in Bloomington (IL) after his courses conclude at Western this spring.
"Working there last summer, I learned about purchasing, contracts and negotiating, and I also was exposed to a little bit of the transport part in warehousing. I haven't specifically figured out which area I'd like to work in the field, but my internship has given me some important experience before I actually enter the job market," he said.
Greenleaf, who will serve in her first internship this summer with John Deere in Waterloo (IA), is looking forward to the opportunity. She added that she feels her internship opportunity, as well as the help she has received from WIU's SCM program to apply for such opportunities as the Delta Nu Alpha scholarship, are the benefits of studying at Western.
"I definitely think the small program helps, because you develop a personal relationship with the instructors. You feel comfortable asking them questions. They not only help you with the courses, but they also help you network and they help you with your résumé. Their help for students extends way beyond just the courses they teach," she said.
Jennings noted that he is very proud of Burrage, Greenleaf and McGraw, as well as of Western's SCM students in general. He said that, in the recent past, Western students also have received scholarships from Delta Nu Alpha's national organization, including in 2009, 2007 and 2006.
"I would also like to thank John Deere for the opportunities the company provides our students. With Deere's help, we are able to provide such opportunities as funding some students' attendance at Delta Nu Alpha's conference and to other professional associations' conferences. That has helped our program become very well known, and it has helped our students make contacts in the companies that belong to these professional and trade associations," Jennings said.
For more information about WIU's supply chain management program, contact Jennings at (309) 298-1540 or BE-Jennings@wiu.edu or visit wiu.edu/marketing/prospective/undergrad.php.
For more information about the Delta Nu Alpha Chicago Chapter, visit www.deltanualpha.org. To learn more about national-level scholarship opportunities, visit www.deltanualphafoundation.org.