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Two of 10 national Richter Scholarships go to WMU students

by Mark Schwerin

April 21, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU students Christopher Mulcahy and Cameron Tew.
Mulcahy and Tew
KALAMAZOO--Two students from Western Michigan University are among 10 students from across the country selected to receive a prestigious nationwide business scholarship.

Christopher Mulcahy of Livonia, Mich., and Cameron Tew of Rochester, Mich., each received a Richter Scholarship awarded by the Richter Foundation and the Institute for Supply Management's Richter Scholarship Fund. The prize includes tuition assistance of up to $5,000, pairing with an established executive and former Richter Scholar who will serve as mentors, and other benefits.

Now in its eighth year, the Richter Scholarship Program is the largest nationally recognized scholarship program for supply chain management. It identifies future supply chain management leaders and helps fast-track these students into the field. The 2011 Richter Scholars will be recognized Sunday, May 15, at an awards dinner during the Institute for Supply Management's annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit in Orlando, Fla.

This year, 65 students from 26 universities applied for the scholarship. Along with WMU, the recipients represent such institutions as Arizona State, Michigan State and Pennsylvania State universities. Since the program was created in 2004, scholarships have previously been awarded to three WMU students: Andrea Brown, 2005; Elizabeth Aven, 2006; and Jamie Loeks, 2009.

Mulcahy is entering his last semester at WMU, where he is majoring in integrated supply management offered through the Haworth College of Business. In addition to being a full-time student, he also works 20 to 25 hours a week on his second internship assignment with the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Mich.

From February to December 2010, Mulcahy was a business reporting and analytics intern with Kellogg and this January, he transitioned to the customer service logistics innovation team, which he serves as an innovation project assistant. He also leads Kellogg's Intern Committee and as such, is responsible for planning and organizing meetings, networking events and other activities that help interns advance their professional abilities and gain exposure for full-time employment upon graduation.

Mulcahy also shares his leadership talents as a member of WMU's chapter of the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. He is an elected member of the fraternity's board and serves as vice president of alumni relations. He also is an active member of the University's chapter of the Association for Operations Management, known as APICS.

"I take a lot of pride in leading by example. I would never ask anyone to do anything I'm not willing to do, or have not done," Mulcahy says. "My experience has taught me that by working together and using individual skills or interests, the group becomes more effective than any one individual could."

Tew is entering his last semester at the University, where he is majoring in integrated supply management and minoring in general business. He was awarded the General Motors/EEOC Scholarship through WMU's Haworth College of Business and is participating in a purchasing internship with American Axle & Manufacturing in Three Rivers, Mich.

As part of his co-op employment with American Axle, Tew leads a team of employees from various departments working to create a more efficient and greener filing system for the company's sensitive documents. Tew led an innovative solution that eliminated manual search and retrieval of thousands of documents. Packing slips, purchase orders and invoices are now scanned into American Axle's existing Oracle ERP system and virtually "attached" to a corresponding electronic receipt.

"For me personally, the most exciting feature about supply chain management is that it requires my work to be results-driven," Tew says. "I take pride in pointing to an implemented system or accomplished cost savings as an example of my team's ability to create a positive outcome."

Tew is a member of WMU's student chapters of the Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization. After graduation, He plans to begin a position with IBM as a junior supply chain consultant for the U.S. federal government.

For more information about the R. Gene Richter Scholarship Program, visit Visit for more information about the Institute for Supply Management.