James Randy Carter

UAB Student Wins 2012-13 Scholarship

The Industrial Supply Association (ISA) announced  that University of Alabama at Birmingham student James “Randy” Carter was chosen to receive the 2012-13 Gary L. Buffington Memorial Scholarship. 

After spending more than 20 years working in manufacturing, the Pinson, Ala., resident decided to pursue a college degree when the company where he had been employed closed its doors during the economic downturn.

Carter has worked as a contract laborer to help support his family while he has been taking classes toward a double major in Industrial Distribution and Business Management.

“Being a non-traditional student and being older than a lot of college students, I’m very excited. I feel very lucky,” said Carter.

“Losing his job was not an easy experience for Randy. As a husband and father of two children, Randy immediately was concerned about making ends meet,” said Kristen Craig, program manager for the UAB School of Business industrial distribution program. “Randy did realize, however, that he had a choice. He could submit to the negativity, or he could empower and equip himself to improve. With great enthusiasm, he chose to improve his situation, and his vehicle for this improvement was education.”

When he graduates in 2013, Carter hopes to combine his educational background with his years of experience in manufacturing plant procurement by finding employment in management with a large distribution firm.

“Being a buyer for many years, I dealt with distribution. My longest position in the manufacturing sector was in purchasing, so I dealt with many distributors and distribution outlets. So I think that will complement my background,” he says.

The Gary L. Buffington Memorial 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 Educational Foundation will award the $10,000 scholarship during the ISA Product Show & Conference in San Antonio, Texas, April 21-24.

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 and mailing it to: ISA, 100 North 20th Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Please be sure to note that this is for the Buffington Scholarship on your check.