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Pictured left to right: Nathan Brown, Kimberly Leiphon, Jennifer Gibson and Matthew Luckey.
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The WIU SCM team is working hard during the international APICS competition in Washington, D.C.
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WIU SCM Students Visit Washington, D.C. for International Competition

October 11, 2016

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - A Western Illinois University team of supply chain management (SCM) undergraduate students recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the APICS-TFC (American Production and Inventory Control Society) Global Student Final SCM competition.

After winning the Heartland District regional competition, the team represented its region in the international competition. Nathan Brown, a senior from Davenport (IA); Jennifer Gibson, a senior from Davenport (IA); Kimberly Leiphon, a senior from Bettendorf (IA); and Matthew Luckey, a senior from Moline (IL), traveled with Vitaly Brazhkin, faculty advisor and assistant professor, to the competition among 14 teams.

During the competition, the students were tested via a computer simulation environment on SCM critical knowledge and skills, such as understanding interdependency of different company functions and collaboration within the company and among SCM members. The team members were also asked to act as vice presidents of purchasing, operations, supply chain and sales of an ailing fruit juice manufacturer. The goal was to return the company back to profitability and gain a positive return on investment.

"Western's students were lucky to compete in the finals of a championship of this caliber," said Brazhkin. "It is an honor and great challenge to go against the best teams in the world and be able to visit the nation's capital to demonstrate the quality of WIU's Supply Chain Management program."

The competition was held in conjunction with the annual APICS conference. The students were able to participate in the educational sessions and interact with more than 1,000 SCM professionals from around the world. The students also visited various Washington, D.C. attractions, including the National Zoo and several Smithsonian museums.

"Both the regional and international student competitions provided excellent opportunities to apply the lessons I have learned in my SCM classes to real-world business scenarios," said Gibson. "I was excited to have the opportunity to be exposed to simulation software because I believe it's going to be something that is more widely used in the industry in the future."

"The most beneficial part of the weekend was the opportunity to network with top notch experts in the various areas of supply chain," added Brown.

Western's SCM program offers a comprehensive purchase-to-delivery curriculum and is one of only three programs of its type in Illinois and one of only approximately 50 programs nationally that is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). It is also one of Western's Signature Academic Programs.

For more information on WIU's SCM program, visit

Posted By: Alisha Looney (
Office of University Communications & Marketing