Sunday, May 7, 2017

Celebrating a Fabulous Year for the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter!

Last week we had our end of the semester (also academic year) UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter party. It took place in the lovely Isenberg School of Management atrium.

This was a very special year for the student chapter. Not only was a new website launched, multiple speakers hosted (including Dr. Chaitra Gopalappa of UMass Amherst, Dr. Joe Sarkis of WPI, who brought some of his students, Dr. Ozlem Ergun of Northeastern University, who also brought a group of her students from Northeastern University, Basilio Gentile from ETH in Zurich, Switzerland), a panel organized, a service trip participated in at the Amherst Survival Center, and a tune-up for the annual INFORMS conference organized, but the students even hosted an extremely successful STEM Slam at UMass Amherst.

Last Tuesday was the last teaching day of the academic year (and on Thursday I would be heading to an NSF workshop at the University of Texas Austin on Disrupting Illicit Supply Networks). That was also our party day and, as is the tradition, I brought pierogies, kielbasy, and desserts and the students, who are logistics superstars, added many delicious dishes.

It was extremely important to recognize the hard-working, incredible Chapter Officers: this year's President, Pritha Dutta, the Vice President and Webmaster (and designer) Ekin Koker, the Treasurer, Deniz Besik, Destenie Nock, Secretary, who also was the fabulous emcee at the STEM Slam, Rodrgo Mercado, the Communication Director, and Amro El-Adle, our event coordinator.  These officers were recognized with award certificates.
The food was delicious at the party.  The terrific fellowship of students and faculty, whose passion is Operations Research and the Management Sciences, made for a very warm and special event. Even several of the students in my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class came as did Karen Li, my undergraduate student who is receiving the UMass Amherst 21st Century Leaders Award in ceremonies at graduation this Friday! She is only one out of ten recipients of this award from a graduating class of 4,000! And, yes, I nominated her.

The students also presented me with a framed certificate and a letter in a lovely note card that was very touching and so appreciated.
Thanks to the Chapter Officers and chapter members for a fabulous year! It is so special serving as the Faculty Advisor of this student chapter. The success of the chapter's alums speaks volumes about how this chapter enriches lives, builds camaraderie, and enhances professional experiences for students.