Lonnie C. Poole Jr. College of Management at North Carolina State University

Mariel Webb Wins Prestigious Richter Scholarship

by Christine Gloria, communications intern, and Anna Rzewnicki

Thursday, Apr 08, 2010

“I truly was not expecting to get far in the process, let alone be one of the final recipients, so this is an unbelievable experience for me, to say the least,” said Mariel Webb, one of seven recipients nationwide of the prestigious R. Gene Richter Scholarship for college undergraduates studying supply chain management.

Webb is a senior majoring in business administration with a concentration in supply chain management in the North Carolina State University College of Management.

She also is a Franklin Scholar, a dual-degree program offered jointly by the College of Management and College of Humanities and Social Science at NC State. As a Hamilton Scholar, Webb will receive both a bachelor’s in business administration and a bachelor’s in international studies when she graduates in December 2010.

The R. Gene and Nancy D. Richter Foundation awards the annual scholarships to undergraduate students who have attained very high academic achievement, demonstrated strong leadership ability, hold high ethical standards and most importantly, are pursuing a career in the field of supply chain management.

Its goal is to identify the future leaders of supply chain management and fast-track those students into the profession through a program of tuition assistance, executive mentoring, junior mentoring and networking through presentation at the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) International Annual Conference and participation in the ISM Power Conference a year after college graduation. The program also awards scholarships of $2,500 to $5,000 for educational expenses.

Webb and the six other Richter Scholarship recipients will be honored at an awards presentation during the 95th Annual International ISM conference in San Diego on April 25, 2010.

The Richter Scholarship Program was started in 2004. In 2005, the Richter Foundation partnered with the ISM to expand the program into the largest national scholarship program in the field of supply management.

To date, 39 students have received the award, including another NC State College of Management graduate, Simon Huleatt, who received the award three years ago.

Supply Chain + Environmental Issues: A Good Fit

Webb’s strong interest in supply chain management began during her Introduction to Supply Chain Management course in the College of Management.

“From the first day of class I knew I found my fit,” she said. “It enticed me because it is such a dynamic field where I can work with suppliers, logistics, procurement, sourcing and the list goes on and on.”

Webb also has a personal interest in environmental initiatives and hopes her career after graduation in December will include a combination of both these areas. She said that she believes companies have a lot of power when it comes to being international actors in environmental initiatives in the world, and is eager to become part of that and make a difference.

She got a taste of green sourcing during her supply chain practicum with a major financial institution in the spring 2010 semester. Webb and her teammates were asked to conduct a benchmarking survey to determine how various companies tracked and measured their suppliers’ green initiatives. The team members will be reporting their results to their project sponsor at the college’s Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) meeting later this spring.

The SCRC supports the graduate and undergraduate supply chain management curriculum through course development, company projects, internships and career networking opportunities, as well as research and executive education.

“I owe everything to NCSU and the College of Management,” Webb said. “It is through being here that I have really come into my own and have actually been a part of many opportunities that I am really proud of – and would have never been a part of otherwise,” she said.

Webb said that all aspects of her classes have been excellent, from interesting content to great professors. She said that she has not only been able to learn theory but also how to apply theory to the real world. It was in studying the real world situations that Webb said she has learned the most.

“The program has prepared me for a future career in so many ways, from the actual knowledge base to real-world-class opportunities like the BUS 479 Practicum, as well as the personal encouragement and support the professors give us,” she said.

Community Involvement

Prospective students visiting NC State may have already met Webb, as she is both a University Ambassador and a Student Ambassador for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students ambassadors volunteer their time to meet with prospective students and their families during their visits to campus. Webb also is a member of the College of Management’s Supply Chain Club, a blogger for the university’s admissions office, and head of the Hamilton Scholars publicity office. As a Hamilton Scholar, she has studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and Oxford University in England.

“I really enjoy the extracurricular activities,” Webb said. “I find that when I involve myself with different clubs and activities, I am happier and more productive all around. Through being involved with extracurriculars, I learn from and enjoy a whole different aspect of the university than what I take away from class. I try to approach it with a balanced mindset and give all that I am involved in 100 percent. I owe NCSU and my community a lot, for it is through them that I have had an incredible college experience and I want to try and do as much as I can to show my gratitude and appreciation in return.”

Webb has developed strong time management skills to make sure she is keeping up. “I’m a planner guru and always try to stay ahead, so that I can get my assignments in on time.” She works at balancing her time between academics and her extracurricular life, and admits that she’s not perfect at it. “When it comes down to a deadline, school always comes first. But I like being apart of my extracurriculars and so I always try and make an effort to do it all!”

Webb graduated in 2006 from East Gaston High School in Mount Holly, N.C. Her parents are Roger and Vanessa Webb.

Dig Deeper

Supply Chain Students Find Cooperation Leads to Realistic Goals for ‘Going Green’

The R. Gene and Nancy D. Richter Foundation

Supply Chain Resource Cooperative

Institute for Supply Chain Management™

NC State College of Management Campus Box 8614, Raleigh, NC 27617