From left, team coach Ashanti Johnson with Yeabsira Mezgebe and Beza Wondimu and Professor Chaodong Han.

TU wins first place in supply chain competition

Towson University won first place in the fifth annual Weinman Cup Supply Chain Management Case Competition in early March.

Yeabsira Mezgebe and Beza Wondimu, both juniors studying project management and business analysis who were mentored by their professor Chaodong Han, Ph.D., took first place. Teams from Stevenson University and Morgan State University took second and third place, respectively.

Organized by Towson University’s Master of Science in Supply Chain Management program and sponsored by the Toby and Melvin Weinman Foundation, the competition brings students from across the region to Towson University each year to develop solutions to real-world challenges and compete by presenting to a panel of industry judges.

Penguin Random House sponsored this year’s case, which dealt with issues publishers are facing due to a growing demand for printed books and a decreased book manufacturing capacity. Working under faculty mentors, teams proposed solutions to alleviate the symptoms of this imbalance.

Launch in 2015, the competition takes place each spring and is open to undergraduate students from around the region.

Mariana Lebron smiles as she talks to students in her leadership class

Professor’s background, values drive her passion for research and teaching

Mariana Lebrón, Ph.D, is an accomplished professor and scholar.

In just five years at TU, Lebrón has helped nearly 500 students work with over 48 non-profit and for-profit organizations through her leadership classes. She has co-authored papers on leadership development with students, and she has shared students’ innovative ideas by citing their names in published work that dares others to think differently.

“The beauty of life is that there is always more to learn,” she said. “And I intend to learn everything I can before my time here is done.”

Continue reading “Professor’s background, values drive her passion for research and teaching”

Dr. Aru Rao teaching in a classroom

Professor recognized by American Accounting Association for outstanding mentoring

When it comes to preparing students for careers in accounting, teaching the fundamental skills is just the start. As a teacher and adviser, associate professor Arundhati Rao, Ph.D., makes it a point to help students develop professional etiquette, navigate career paths and build soft skills needed for success.

In recognition of her outstanding commitment to mentoring aspiring accountants throughout her career, Rao received the 2018 KPMG Mentoring Award from the American Accounting Association in August.

The award is given by the organization’s gender issues and work-life balance section to individuals (both professors and practitioners) for demonstrating significant mentoring measured by the levels of achievement of the men and women they’ve mentored.

In her time at TU, Rao has taken students under her wing, coaching them on the nuances of networking and developing professionalism.

“She’s a great mentor because she is encouraging, caring, passionate, empathetic and knowledgeable,” said junior accounting major Minyi Chen. “I’ve learned how to be a constant learner and ambitious leader from her within the past two years.”

Rao also has striven to connect students to mentors working in accounting. During her time as a first year experience adviser, Rao connected each of her pre-accounting major advisees to mentors, most of whom were TU alumni.

Many of her current and former students credit Rao’s guidance as a significant factor in their personal and professional growth.

“I don’t know how to express in words how amazing Dr. Rao is as a person,” said An Tran ’15, a senior auditor at BDO. “She’s my first mentor at TU and my role model. She has always challenged me to strive to be the best in my career as well as other aspects of my life.”