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February 2018

Global Supply Chain Management Students Earn Real-World Experience

SCM students l-r: Sedlatschek, Smith, Stanley, Perri, Ward, Yates

EKU’s Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) students are getting major real-world work experience interning at prestigious companies throughout the region. 

Since EKU's GSCM program launch in fall 2014, students have received over 40 internships with companies such as Hitachi Automotive, Bechtel, Domino’s, and Carhartt. Even more impressively, many of the students are offered fulltime jobs after completing their internships. 

Several recent GSCM graduates are actively recruiting students from their alma mater as a sign of confidence in the caliber of the overall program.

Below is a listing of some of the students working in GSCM internships over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year:

  • Trevor L. Yates (Jr., Brandenburg) has interned with ABC Automotive in London multiple semesters and focuses in the area of supplier quality. ABC Automotive is a major manufacturer of HVAC ducts and cargo assemblies for Honda, Toyota, Ford, & GM.
  • Teresa W. Smith (Sr., Lily) has interned with Hitachi Automotive in Berea multiple semesters and focuses in the area of production planning, inventory management, and supplier performance. Hitachi Automotive is a major Tier-1 supplier of braking and suspension systems for the automotive industry.
  • Dalton T. Stanley (Sr., Pikeville) interned at Carhartt’s Global Supply Chain Headquarters in Irvine, Ky., for multiple semesters, and also did a summer 2017 internship at Domino’s Regional Headquarters in Erlanger, Ky., where he delivered major cost reductions exceeding $300,000. Dalton graduates in May and has already accepted a fulltime job with Carhartt as a Supply Chain Engineer.
  • Nicholas J. Perri (Sr., Kenosha, Wisc.,) has interned with Reyes Fleet Management in Rosemont, Ill., for multiple semesters and has already accepted a fulltime job with Reyes upon graduating in May.  Nicholas’ internships have focused on using data analytics in driving continuous improvement in logistical cost modeling.
  • Trevor S. Farnstrom (Jr., Richmond) interned with Bechtel Corporation in summer 2017 and has already accepted a second internship position with Bechtel for summer 2018. Trevor’s internships have focused on working with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of materials.
  • Luke F. Leuthner (So., Taylor Mill) has recently accepted a summer 2018 internship with Enterprise Rental where he will be responsible for strategic placement of rental vehicles in the central Kentucky region.
  • Cody M. Sedlatschek (Sr., Bardstown) has interned with Carhartt’s Global Supply Chain Headquarters in Irvine, Ky., for multiple semesters. Carhartt’s SCM internships are particularly beneficial as students are rotated through various functional areas including engineering, procurement, quality, and operations.
  • Kevin Sawyer Ward (Jr., Georgetown) has already accepted a prestigious summer 2018 internship position at Domino’s Regional Headquarters in Erlanger, Ky., where he will be assigned a major project that culminates with a presentation to Domino’s senior corporate executives. Sawyer is a 2017 Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society recipient.

According to James Kirby Easterling, Executive-in-Residence for the GSCM program, “I am so pleased with the feedback I receive from companies during and after our students complete their internships. I consistently hear that our students make meaningful contributions in terms of driving cost reductions and improving operational efficiencies, as well as that our students are highly professional and have excellent work ethic. The employers really speak to the way we teach our SCM classes. We don’t just teach ‘content’, but we also teach ‘behaviors’ and the softer skills required by SCM professionals. I think the ultimate compliment of our program is when these prestigious employers offer our students full-time jobs upon graduating.”

EKU’s GSCM program is now one of the fastest growing programs on campus. As Easterling said, “We continue to look at ways to differentiate our SCM program so that our students are ready to enter into the workforce and make an immediate impact. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our curriculum, as well as ways to enable our students to network with SCM professionals. I am very grateful to the companies inside and outside our service region that are activey recruiting our students for both internships and fulltime jobs. I am also deeply appreciative of the SCM professionals that serve on our Global Supply Chain Management Advisory Council. I am also thankful for tremendous support from my colleagues within the School of Business and the Management, Marketing and International Business (MMIB) Department. Lots of people are responsible for the growth and success of this program.”       

EKU will host its 3rd annual Global Supply Chain Management Executive Speaker Series event on April 19th from 9:30-10:45 am in EKU's Business and Technology Center, Robert B. Rogow Auditorium (BTC 049). More details will be provided as soon as the event agenda is finalized. Past speakers include Tonya Jackson, Vice President of Supply Chain for Lexmark International, and Ben Robinson, Senior Account Executive with C.H. Robinson Logistics.

For more information on EKU’s Global Supply Chain Management program, contact James Kirby Easterling at, or at 859-622-7893. Easterling joined EKU in 2014 after a 22-year career in industry with Hitachi, Lexmark, and Corning, is a 3-time EKU School of Business graduate, earned a Masters in Supply Chain from the Pennsylvania State University, and is now working to complete his doctorate at the University of Florida.

Center for Professional Sales Poised for Growth

Kevin Cumiskey

Early in the Fall 2017 semester, approximately 20 students were pursuing the recently created sales certificate. With more than 50 students now pursuing a sales certificate, the Center for Professional Sales is aiming even higher.  In November, four students and two professors represented EKU in its first-ever national sales competition. Competing in a case competition and role-play scenario, EKU was one of five schools named as Rising Star Rookies. This experience provided great momentum for the program as did the opening of the Sales Lab.

The lab now allows various classes to record, review, and critique individual sales performances and will help the EKU Sales team to prepare for upcoming competitions. It will also be utilized to bring students and prospective employers together in a unique fashion. 

New fundraising efforts have begun in an effort to secure corporate partners for the Center and to enhance EKU’s relationship with industry professionals.  Tiered partnership levels will provide varying levels of access to student presentations, role-plays, and video interviews, and students will benefit from increased exposure to potential employers and interaction with mentors.   Earlier interaction with employers will serve to enhance a student’s career positioning and job prospects upon graduation.

To find out more about EKU's Center for Professional Sales at or contact the Center Director, Mr. Kevin J. Cumiskey, at

Awang Featured in Alma Mater Alumni Magazine

Dr. Faridah Awang

The word is out. Professor Faridah Awang's fame has reached all the way back to her alma mater at Southern Illinois University. According to Dr. Awang, "It all started with EKU Stories, Kentucky Forward Newspaper, Madison Living Winter Magazine, and now I’m being featured by my alma mater, Southern Illinois University Alumni Magazine." The story, “Simply Unique: Personal Challenges Build an Inspiring Identity for Alumna” was written by Caleb Hale. Excerpts from the story are below.

Dr. Faridah Awang is a popular and award-winning professor of corporate communication and technology in Management, Marketing and International Business at Eastern Kentucky University. She is also the first Malaysian-American to become a full professor in her academic field in the United States. Her journey from a poor girl in Endau, Mersing, Johor to a respected academic was not easy, but it was so inspiring it’s become the subject of a book and forthcoming movie in her native country.

Faridah is the Arabic word for unique and exceptional. Dr. Faridah Awang learned that early in life from her grandmother, who raised her, her older brother, and a cousin in a rural community on the southeastern tip of Malaysia. Living up to her name became a personal quest, and the key to achieving it was education.

"My grandmother didn't have any education, but she instilled in me a love for it," Awang says. "She would say, 'unlike lovers who may leave you, if you love education it will always be with you.' So I thought maybe this is something I should pursue."

Early experiences included copious study, participation in debates and lectures, sports and student organizations – anything she could think of to build her communication skills and stand out. After college, Awang went to teach at the University of Technology MARA Malaysia in Perak, had a child, and had a marriage end. But in the mid 1990s, she and her then-5-year-old son, Hafiz, embarked on a new and bigger journey, driven by another vision of her grandmother's that Awang would make a name for herself in a foreign country.

Awang traveled more than 9,000 miles to the U.S. to seek what would ultimately be a doctoral degree. This journey led her to Southern Illinois University in the autumn of 1995.

A Mentor and a Friend

A professor, mentor, and friend, Dr. Marcia A. Anderson, clicked with Awang immediately. Anderson recalls the first time she spoke with Awang over the phone. “She called and was at a university in Oklahoma and wasn’t pleased with the program she was getting,” With Anderson’s help, she was able to transfer to SIU. “Immediately when I met her, she knew what she wanted to do and was ready to go.”

Diligence comes to mind first when Anderson describes Awang. “Always focused, she knew what she wanted. She’d always go overboard on assignments. I don’t think she ever slept.”

Awang attended night classes, her son in tow. Anderson says Hafiz would sit outside the classroom doing his homework. During breaks she and other students would chat with him.

After finishing her bachelor's degree in 1996, Anderson helped Awang pursue her master's. Trouble struck, however, as an economic recession in Malaysia caused her scholarship to be pulled. Undeterred, Awang sold many of her possessions, including her computer, and took a job as a custodian.

"I had said I'm not going to leave SIU without a degree, " Awang recalls. "It didn't make sense to return home. I refused."

Because Awang had been forced to sell her computer for money, she relied upon the computer labs in Morris Library.

"I love the library. That's like my second home," she says. "I would say my best memories would be spending my Saturdays and Sundays on the 4th floor, the balcony level. My son would go with me. Sometimes we got tired of that we went to the Carbondale Public Library."

Anderson continued to help Awang, both academically and sometimes financially out of her own pocket. Awang remembers a day when Anderson had asked how long since she’d last eaten, handed her fifty dollars, and told her to get what she needed. “She (Awang) always paid me back on schedule,” Anderson says.

Meeting Challenges

In 1999, a year after completing her master’s degree, Awang was involved in a serious car accident. The incident left her bed-ridden for several months. She lost some of her motor skills and had to undergo physical therapy to get them back.

Though a timely and expensive ordeal, Anderson says she was not surprised to watch Awang move through it matter-of-factly and ever focused on her end goals.

“She’d always be bouncing back,” Anderson says. “She’s always been so nonchalant about everything, even the car accident. If it was a challenge, you’d rarely see her wear down.”

Being unique doesn’t just happen, as far as Awang is concerned. “Success is not accidental, it’s a mindset,” she says. “"Many times being comfortable can ruin you. What happened to me, I was tested by so many challenges. And it was a contributing factor for me to keep going. “If I didn’t have all these challenges, I might be simple Faridah. The challenges are what gave me my uniqueness.”

Throughout her troubles, Awang was being recognized, winning awards for both her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation. In 2002, the year Awang completed her doctoral degree at SIU, she won the national Delta Pi Epsilon research award, becoming the first Malaysian-American to do so.

Awang joined the faculty of Management, Marketing, and International Business at Eastern Kentucky University in 2002, enjoying many successes, accolades, and leadership roles on the campus. She obtained full professorship in 2011.

Becoming an Inspiration

Awang returned to her home country in December of 2016 to speak as a Distinguished Scholar for series of educational forums. Part of the tour included an interview on a local radio show. Awang told her story over the air and it became one of the most listened to segments in the show's history.

She was approached about writing a book, something she finished in June of 2017. The autobiography, “Musafir Cinta 4 Musim” is currently selling well in Malaysia. Now, a director and producer have approached Awang about a movie of her life. All of the sudden attention is strange, Awang says, but she’s telling her story for a reason. “I’m a very private person. I really don’t like to make myself know for something like this. I’m not very comfortable with fame,” she says. “But I understand the need to impact others so they can find strength in whatever adversity and challenges they face.”

Anderson continues to be in contact with Awang. In fact, Awang made sure Anderson could watch a few of her Malaysian television appearances. Anderson admits she couldn’t understand what was being said, but she was no less proud of her former student and life-long friend.

“It’s marvelous that she’s being recognized for the work she’s done, “ Anderson says. “She’s become a well-respected business educator and leader in various associations. It’s with pride that I’ve seen what she’s been able to do over the years.”

Awang's commitment and focus has also rubbed off onto her son. Now grown, Hafiz recently finished his MBA in marketing and business intelligence at Xavier University and now works for Verizon Communications.

MMIB Faculty Continue Strong Publication Record

Staying current in one's discipline, especially in the ever-evolving world of business can be a challenge. The faculty from EKU's Department of Management, Marketing and International Business have a proven record for research and publication. Early into 2018, Dr. Lana Carnes and Dr. Allen Engle have already received word of accepted publications.

Carnes is Professor of Corporate Communication and Technology and her article, "A country in crisis: Will Greece survive?" was recently published in the Journal for Global Business Education.  The article was written to fill a need for in-depth international business articles regarding specific countries and the many aspects of their cultural identity and the way they conduct business.  Greece was studied to help educators and students build an understanding of the current crisis affecting the economic, political, and societal wellbeing of this country.  The austerity measures currently imposed on Greece and the influx of refugees entering Europe through this gateway country are explored for their impact on the Grecian people.  Activities for incorporating the article into international business classes are included.

Engle is a Foundation Professor of Management and Harold Glenn Campbell Endowed Chair of International Business. Well known for his work in international human resource management, Engle has recently published two new works co-authored with Morzena Stor and Jozef Poor. Both will be published in the Journal of Intercultural Management. The two-part piece is entitled: "Juxtaposition of organizational competitive factors and performance evaluation in conjunction with their implications for HRM in MNCs." Part One is the "contextual review and comparison of Central European and Polish findings" and Part Two deals with "statistical correlation analysis within the Polish findings." This research stream is a result of Professor Engle’s ongoing work with Jozsef Poor, from Budapest. Since 2008 they have worked together to create and coordinate the Central and Eastern European International Research Team (CEEIRT), a consortium of some ten to twelve academics teaching and cooperating on ongoing research throughout the Central and Eastern European region, including Russia and the Ukraine. These two empirical articles focus on the human resource activities of multinational subsidiaries operating in Poland.

MMIB Chair Dr. Weiling Zhuang said, "According to AACSB, research by faculty helps develop curricula, contributes to the intellectual climate of the institution, and strengthens the academic reputation of the school."

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