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Two ISM majors win $10,000 scholarships

Oct. 1, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Two Western Michigan University business students are among 10 students nationwide to win $10,000 scholarships from the world's leading business software company, extending WMU's win streak to two years in a row in the annual contest.

Marie Chapman of Bay City, Mich., and Richard Pode of Sterling Heights, Mich., both seniors majoring in integrated supply management, are winners of the SAP Americas Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding undergraduates pursuing a degree in business, computer science, mathematics or engineering. SAP Americas is a subsidiary of SAP AG, which was founded in 1972 as Systems Applications & Products.

Their awards come after another student in WMU's integrated supply management program won the SAP Americas Scholarship for the 2006-07 academic year.

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 education expenses. A major component in the evaluation process is a research paper with a topic relevant to ERP--Enterprise Resource Planning--systems 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.

Chapman's paper was titled "RFID Implementation Failure Risk: A Time Management Solution for Implementers."

"Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is a valuable business tool that many companies are implementing in order to enhance their organization," Chapman explains. "My paper illustrates the current problem with poor, inaccurate RFID integration and recommends a solution that could decrease the occurrences of failed RFID implementations."

Chapman plans to use some of her scholarship to study abroad in addition to paying tuition expenses.

Pode's research paper was titled "The Positive Effects Technology Has on Inventory Management Systems."

"It was about how different technology can help a business' inventory management system," Pode says. "The basis for my paper was RFIDs and bar codes."

Pode intends to use his scholarship for tuition expenses.

Being part of the SAP University Alliance program has been beneficial for WMU students, says Dr. Bret Wagner, associate professor of management and director of WMU's integrated supply management program.

"The SAP University Alliance program has allowed our students to learn how information technology is used to manage business processes," Wagner says. "Their experience with SAP's ERP software in the classroom has been valued by many of our corporate partners who use SAP software, including John Deere, Kellogg, Whirlpool and Kohler. The fact that our students have won two of the 10 scholarships offered by the University Alliance shows that our students also appreciate the strategic impact of this technology."

The SAP University Alliance program provides faculty members at about 120 universities in the United States and Canada with the tools and resources necessary to teach using SAP 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.

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

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