Today at #ISMWorld2022: Here’s to the Richter Scholarship Winners

May 23, 2022
By Dan Zeiger

The number that Sam Setiawan, emcee on Monday night for the dinner ceremony honoring the R. Gene Richter Scholarship winners at the ISM World 2022 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, kept citing was 28.

With Michigan State University (MSU) student Syed Zaidi among this year’s recipients, 28 is the number of MSU Richter Scholars since the program began in 2004, the most of any school. Setiawan, a 2015 Richter Scholar, is another: “So, indulge me as I show my Spartan pride,” he told the dinner attendees while introducing Zaidi.

But there are many other statistics to raise eyebrows, regardless of one’s alma mater. The 18 Richter Scholar classes have honored 134 recipients from 25 schools. They have gone on to more than 90 companies — and some, like Setiawan, have earned recognition as an ISM 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars.

“It’s only a matter of time before we see the first CPO or first chief supply chain officer (CSCO),” he said.

While MSU added to its Richter all-time record, Pennsylvania State University had the biggest presence this year, with three honorees: Katie Cocco, Caden Hazenstab and Maria Karamanos. In addition to Zaidi, the other recipients are Abaan Kermani of the University of Maryland and Jenna Murphy of the University of Tennessee.

“Welcome to the Richter family,” Setiawan told them. “We’re here to be your biggest supporters and No. 1 fans because we know you’re going to do great things.”

The Power of Authentic Leadership

The theme of “Stand in Your Personal Power,” an ISM Women’s Supply Management Community symposium, can be practiced by anyone in a workplace: authenticity. However, being authentic is a choice that requires courage, said presenter Shami Anand, founder of Power Your Impact, LLC, an organization designed to help women elevate their leadership in the procurement and supply chain fields.

There’s relentless pressure, Anand said, for workplaces to conform to a dominant culture. She identified a spectrum of three frameworks that shape individual behaviors, decisions and actions: Authentic, adaptive (a willingness to modify to a dominant culture, often in order to advance in a career) and performative (conformance to a culture). “If you’re not cultivating a culture of authenticity in your office,” she said, “imagine what your team is thinking and feeling.”

Anand identified eight characteristics of an authentic leader: self-awareness, integrity, leading with the heart, leading with vision, focusing on long-term results, active listening, transparency and consistency. She added that authentic leaders are contagious because they deepen trust and connectivity with their workforces, resulting in stronger relationships — and higher performance. “And isn’t that what we all want?” she said.

A Collegiate Supply Chain Dynasty

In the Exhibit Hall, the largest presence in a booth is more than 8 feet tall and is not a human supplier or provider — it’s an inflatable Sparty, the athletic mascot at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan. His imposing figure in the booth for the Department of Supply Chain Management at MSU’s Broad College of Business symbolizes its success.

MSU’s program is a dynasty, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Business Schools rankings: Its undergraduate supply chain/logistics program has been No. 1 in the nation for 11 consecutive years, and the master’s program has a six-year streak at the top. MSU is a regular Exhibit Hall tenant at ISM Annual Conferences, as its Master of Science in Supply Chain Management is geared toward established professionals, said Jodi Robbins, the department’s business manager.

“Our average age in the program is 33 to 35,” Robbins said. Supply management is a relatively new field of study at most universities, and many in the profession came from another business function. With such a program, it’s not too late for a formal supply chain education. “Michigan State has long served that (experienced) niche, Robbins said. “I think that’s one of the things that makes the program so special.”

(Disclosure: Judith Whipple, Ph.D., professor at MSU and faculty director of the MS in Supply Chain Management program, is a member of ISM’s Board of Directors.)

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Tuesday’s Highlights

As we like to say on the day the J. Shipman Gold Medal honoree is revealed, the supply management world belongs to the winner, and the rest of us are just Conferencing in it. The next recipient of the profession’s highest honor will be revealed during the keynote session at 8 a.m.; he or she will then participate in a panel discussion with Shipman winners Sue Spence, MBA (2020) and Sidney Johnson (2021).


  • Breakout sessions continue, 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m.
  • ISM’s Spring 2022 Semiannual Economic Forecast is released as part of a session on how supply management practitioners can leverage the ISM® Report On Business® data, 10 a.m.
  • Pool party, 5 p.m.


About the Author

Dan Zeiger

About the Author

Dan Zeiger is Senior Copy Editor/Writer for Inside Supply Management® magazine, covering topics, trends and issues relating to supply chain management.