WMU Student Wins 2017-2018 Gary L. Buffington Scholarship

The Industrial Supply Association (ISA) announced today that Western Michigan University student Rachel Larson was chosen to receive the 2017-18 Gary L. Buffington Memorial Scholarship.

Rachel LarsonLarson is working on a double major in Integrated Supply Management and Computer Information Systems, and is scheduled to graduate in 2018. Originally from Macomb, Michigan, she is the executive director of member relations and recruitment for WMU’s chapter of APICS, and vice president of the student honor society Alpha Lambda Delta. Both organizations have provided opportunities for Larson to mentor younger students. She is also team lead consultant in WMU’s Bronco Force Initiative, which offers applied supply chain solutions to industry clients. The program is designed to address real-life difficulties that supply chain managers face, and engage students and faculty in determining the best methods to solve problems in the workplace.

“Within our ISM and Bronco Force Supply Chain Management curriculum, Rachel is an extremely valuable member,” said Samuel J. Kline, associate director of Applied Supply Chain Solutions, Integrated Supply Management – Bronco Force ISM at Western Michigan. “The Bronco Force ISM projects have already developed her supply chain management skills and she is well prepared for a management position directly after graduation.”

Sime Curkovic, professor and academic advisor for the Integrated Supply Management program at WMU, says Larson is a successful and hardworking student with tremendous potential in the field of supply chain management.

“Rachel has made enormous contributions to our supply chain program,” Curkovic said. “We regularly have Rachel meet with our new students to serve as a mentor and our employers to serve as an ambassador of the program; we trust her that much. We actually solicit her for ideas on curriculum development because her feedback is that constructive.”

Larson hopes to begin her career in industrial distribution by progressing through all aspects of an organization, from sales, to operations and eventually a management position.

“I’m very thankful to the committee for all of the time they spent interviewing me, and the difficult questions they asked me to challenge my mindset. I couldn’t be any more grateful for this opportunity to be considered for this scholarship,” Larson said.

The scholarship was created in 2003 as a memorial to former I.D.A. Executive Vice President Gary Buffington. It is awarded each year to a rising senior in a qualified undergraduate industrial distribution program. The ISA Educational Foundation selection committee evaluates candidates from colleges with programs in industrial distribution.

The ISA Education Foundation will award the $10,000 scholarship during the general session of the 2017 ISA Convention on April 22 in Denver.

Companies or individuals that wish to contribute to the Gary L. Buffington Memorial Scholarship fund may do so by submitting a check payable to the ISA Educational Foundation, indicate that the donation is earmarked for the GLB scholarship, and mail it to: ISA, 100 North 20th Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19103.