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Senior WIU Supply Chain Management (SCM) majors are pictured with WIU Assistant Professor of SCM Vitaly Brazhkin. Back row, left to right: Matthew Luckey (Moline, IL), Brazhkin and Nathan Brown (Davenport, IA). Front row, left to right: Kimberly Leiphon (Bettendorf, IA) and Jennifer Gibson (Davenport, IA).
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WIU Supply Chain Management Students Win Student Case Competition

April 26, 2016

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - A team of Western Illinois University Supply Chain Management (SCM) students was selected as the winner of the 2016 American Production and Inventory Control (APICS) Heartland District Student Case competition.

Team members included Nathan Brown (Davenport, IA), Jennifer Gibson (Davenport, IA), Kimberly Leiphon (Bettendorf, IA) and Matthew Luckey (Moline, IL), all senior supply chain management majors, who were advised by WIU Assistant Professor of SCM Vitaly Brazhkin. The students, who attend classes at the WIU-Quad Cities campus, were part of a regional competition that featured 16 teams from Midwestern colleges and universities.

"The win at the prestigious competition of a major professional organization is a testament to the strength of the WIU SCM program, which served as a foundation for the team's training and is ultimately responsible for its success," said Brazkhin.

"We went through many aspects of preparation for the competition—team roles, special cases and areas of supply chain knowledge, presentation skills, etc.," explained Brazhkin. "Since all members are non-traditional students, the preparation required an exceptional commitment and dedication on their part."

The team, who often met on Saturdays for extra preparation time, not only earned first place in the competition, but the students also earned a People's Choice Award from the APICS audience, comprised of industry professionals.

The students regional first place award also guaranteed them a place in the APICS National Competition in September in Washington, D.C.

"While the competition and the preparation of the team members were separate from the students' coursework, the amount of pre-competition training exceeded the effort required by most courses," Brazhkin said. "The format of the national competition will engage computer-aided simulation, which will require significant competition preparation."

"The exceptional accomplishment of this team demonstrates the ability of our students and dedication of our faculty," said WIU Department of Management and Marketing Chair Craig Conrad.

Designated as a WIU Signature Academic Program, Western's Supply Chain Management program strives to enhance student knowledge through an experience-based learning methodology and is led by faculty with real-world applied knowledge from the field. The comprehensive "purchase to delivery" curriculum allows the program to partner with world-class organizations to provide unique experiences for students. The student talent generated by the program is showcased each fall semester through the WIU Supply Chain Management Day, where the program's industry partners actively seek both interns and full-time employees.

For more information about WIU's Supply Chain Management program or the annual Supply Chain Management Day, visit

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