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Business student wins national scholarship

March 12, 2007

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University student is one of 10 business students nationwide to win a scholarship from the world's leading business software company.

Elizabeth Aven, a senior majoring in integrated supply management from Edwardsburg, Mich., has won a 2006-07 SAP Americas Scholarship. The scholarship is presented by SAP Americas, a subsidiary of SAP AG, which was founded in 1972 as Systems Applications & Products and is the world's largest business software company. Aven's award comes shortly after she became one of six students nationwide to win another prestigious award--the R. Gene Richter Scholarship for talented students in the supply chain management discipline.

The SAP Americas Scholarship recognizes outstanding undergraduates pursuing a degree in business, computer science, mathematics or engineering, and includes $10,000 for education costs.

"The scholarship application required a significant amount of effort because of the research paper requirement," says Dr. Bret Wagner, associate professor of management and director of WMU's ISM Program. "Beth was willing to put in the work to apply for this scholarship. She was able to leverage what she's learned about ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems and SAP from her coursework in our program, with real-world experience from her internship at Whirlpool--a company that uses SAP. Her combination of academic and real-world experience in her research paper exemplifies what the ISM program is about. We are very proud of her accomplishments."

The SAP Americas Scholarship Program awards 10 students from SAP Academic Alliance Universities across the United States and Canada with a $10,000 scholarship to cover tuition expenses. A major component in the evaluation process is a research paper with a topic relevant to ERP or other state-of-the-art technology. The paper must thoroughly examine both the issue and its consequences, as well as propose practical recommendations to solve it.

In her research paper, "SAP Implementation and Change Management," Aven described a major problem involving companies that lack change management programs to enable a smooth transition for their employees. She proposed a program in which SAP will offer free change management consulting and support to the companies during the first few months after their purchases of SAP software.

"Winning this scholarship has taught me how ERP systems are viewed by large corporations," Aven says. "The funding allowed me to finish my senior year and gave me a greater respect for SAP consultants in the field of supply chain management."

SAP University Alliances provides faculty members at 120 universities around the globe with the tools and resources necessary to teach using the mySAP Business Suite--software that supports business, engineering and information technology programs and enables students to put classroom theory into practice through demonstrations, exercises and problem solving, case studies, and research programs.

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Senior earns prestigious management scholarship

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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