Materials in Motion

Spanco Honor Scholarship Winner: Laura Holleran

For over 20 years, Spanco has awarded a yearly scholarship to a deserving Penn State University undergraduate student in the field of industrial or mechanical engineering through The Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. (MHEFI). We are pleased to announce that the winner of the $5,000 2017/2018 Spanco Honor Scholarship is Laura Holleran.

Laura is a senior with a cumulative GPA of 3.68 at Penn State University, where she is majoring in Supply Chain and Information Systems.

Laura chose to study supply chain because as a freshman in high school, she took a supply chain class and realized that nothing happens without it. She enjoys that supply chain impacts many businesses throughout multiple industries and continents, that a degree in supply chain opens many doors upon graduation, and that she gets to explore many areas that other business majors don’t get the opportunity to explore. But the biggest reason Laura chose to study supply chain is that it is a constantly changing field, which creates a fast-paced and challenging career that she can grow with.

After graduation, Laura plans to work for a global company that is dedicated to ethical culture and sustainable business practices. When she feels that she has sufficient experience in supply chain, she plans to return to school to get a MBA.

This past summer, Laura completed an internship at Faurecia, an automotive components manufacturer and supplier. While stationed in Columbus, Indiana, Laura assisted with two active car programs in different phases and values ranging from over $100 million for the 2017 Dodge Nitro Dragster to $5 million for the 2017 Volkswagen BSUV. She also designed a detailed tracking sheet of over 350 parts for the Dodge Nitro Dragster exhaust system, administered an RFQ to over 50 suppliers, and analyzed costing information for potential sourcing. She said that her biggest takeaway from this internship was that anything can be done with the right attitude.

Outside of maintaining her impressive GPA, Laura is also the President of Penn State University’s student roundtable of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). She has served in the CSCMP since her freshman year in various positions: Vice President of Administration, Director of Student Recruitment, and Student Recruitment Chair.

When asked what motivates her, Laura said that she is motivated by a desire to improve our world by incorporating sustainable business practices and reducing the footprint of the supply chain. She also said that although her role in improving our world might be small, she finds it extremely fulfilling to know that she is pursuing her passion. Laura said that she is inspired by her mentor, Dr. Robert Novack, Professor of Business Logistics at Penn State University. She said that Dr. Novack’s guidance and insights have impacted her so much that she often finds herself reciting his advice in her head whenever she is having trouble making a decision. She also said that Dr. Novack continues to give back to the Penn State community, which has inspired Laura to want to do the same someday.

Outside of her academic pursuits, Laura meditates and practices yoga daily. She also enjoys playing pick-up soccer on the weekends with her friends and kayaking, hiking, swimming, and anything else that involves the outdoors.

This summer, Laura will be working as an intern at Dell Technologies in their Global Operations Department. Spanco would like to congratulate Laura for her achievements and for winning the 2017/2018 Spanco Honor Scholarship. Spanco wishes nothing but the best to Laura in her future endeavors as she continues to impact the people and the world around her.