Four Penn State Smeal supply chain students win awards from MIT

Three Smeal graduating seniors earned first place in the Supply Chain Excellence Award from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They are, from left to right: Maria Tartaglia, Maria Lucchi, and Benjamin Vruwink. Credit: Andy Elder / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Maria Lucchi, Maria Tartaglia and Benjamin Vruwink, all 2019 graduates of the Penn State Smeal College of Business Supply Chain and Information Systems (SC&IS) major, earned first place in the Supply Chain Excellence Awards from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kaitlyn Rakestraw, who also graduated from Smeal with a degree in SC&IS, was a runner-up.

The MIT Supply Chain Excellence Award is granted to outstanding graduating seniors in supply chain at Penn State as a result of a partnership started between the two institutions in 2013. The award grants a tuition scholarship for the student’s use toward the MIT Supply Chain Management Master’s Degree Program.

After completing a minimum of two years of work, each student can apply to MIT’s master's program in supply chain management. Lucchi, Tartaglia and Vruwink would each receive a $25,000 scholarship. Rakestraw would receive a $10,000 scholarship.

Danny Yunes, a 2006 Smeal supply chain alumnus and graduate of MIT’s Supply Chain Management Program, visited the Business Building to present the students with their awards. Yunes is the founder and COO of Realine Technology in San Francisco.

The MIT Supply Chain Management Program is a 10-month study program, designed for early-career supply chain professionals, that includes coursework, a company-sponsored project and international travel.

Lucchi has accepted an offer to work for Corteva Agri Sciences; Tartaglia from Bose Corporation; Vruwink from A.T. Kearney; and Rakestraw from Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Previous Smeal MIT Supply Chain Excellence Award winners are:

  • 2018: Laura Holleran, Taylor Peterson (Rachel Gimuriman, Lillian Swei, and Amanda Rizzotti — runners-up)
  • 2017: Alexandra Calderaro, Karen Burlingame
  • 2016: Emily Waschenko (Lauren Eckert, Darby Hogan — runners-up)
  • 2015: Karoline Rueckerl
  • 2014: Markea Dickinson (Leah Davis, Jesse Swank — Honorable Mention)
  • 2013: Courtney Quisenberry, Lindsey Joyce, Samantha Jarmul

About the Supply Chain Program at Penn State
Smeal’s nationally ranked No. 1 supply chain program offers a comprehensive suite of supply chain education, beginning at the undergraduate level with a bachelor’s degree in supply chain and information systems. In conjunction with Penn State's World Campus, students can earn a master of professional studies in supply chain management. The Penn State Smeal MBA Program offers a concentration in supply chain management, and the college also offers a doctorate in supply chain. Smeal’s Center for Supply Chain Research and Penn State Executive Programs offer certificate programs in supply chain management and supply chain leadership.

Last Updated June 03, 2019