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Supply Chain Students Receive IU Outstanding Senior Awards

May 10, 2013

Two supply chain seniors, Brett Rasche and Laura Hoover, received Kate Hevner Mueller Outstanding Senior Awards from Indiana University at the beginning of this year. Twelve recipients across campus were named “outstanding seniors” based on their leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom.

Brett Rasche

Rasche leading a student panel discussion

Rasche leading a student panel discussion

Brett Rasche chose to take the Kelley School of Business integrated core classes early to decide his future major sooner.  His initiative and involvement in all aspects of his college career exhibit the leadership skills for which he won the Mueller Outstanding Senior Award

When other freshman students overlooked club involvement, Brett forged his own path and, initially, attended clubs and groups by himself.

Indiana University Student Alumni Association (IUSAA) grabbed his attention because of the numerous activities to meet new people from across campus.  For freshmen, this is the main pull.  For upperclassmen, building relationships with Alumni and potential employers is more appealing.  Starting as a general member, he soon undertook posts in the organization including Director of Philanthropy and Vice President of Engagement.

From January 2012-December 2012, Rasche was President of the IUSAA, serving as a member of the Dean of Student’s Executive Council and IU Alumni Association Executive Council.  These positions gave him collaboration opportunities with different groups on campus, creating more attractive events for students.

IUSAA transformed within Rasche’s years of involvement.  Like all organizations, IUSAA grappled with how to do more with less. 

Programs not engaging students had to be cut.  General student meetings were first on the docket, because student attendance was low.  Even though the meetings were well-intentioned, Rasche felt students could be equally as engaged through the newsletter and fewer, more purposeful meetings timed before large events.  He applied logic learned from operations courses at the Kelley School of Business to push for more effective use of the leadership team’s time and resources.

“The transition phase that the Student Alumni Association underwent provided me a rare opportunity to apply concepts I learned in my ODT classes while still in college. I helped evaluate many of our programs by comparing their costs with the benefits they bring. If the value-add wasn’t there, we cut the program.”

In addition to his role as president, in September 2012, Rasche joined 180 Degrees Consulting.  A student-run club open to all Indiana University students, 180 Degrees Consulting provides free services to non-profit organizations in Bloomington. Students use information the organizations already collect and evaluate the information in order for it to be used more effectively.

Using Kelley courses that teach Microsoft’s Excel and Access programs, Rasche helped his team analyze a financial donor database for a non-profit that provides transitional housing to teenagers and young adults.  The team presented a written case to advise where funds are being raised efficiently.

“While at Kelley, I have changed the way I approach my extra-curricular involvement outside the classroom. When a problem arises, I first attempt to find the underlying issue to that problem and then try to determine the most efficient way to solve it. My classes have opened up my mind to an entirely new way of thinking.”

Rasche accepted a position with Cummins after graduation.

Laura Hoover

Hoover leading a seminar during her internship in 2011

Hoover leading a seminar during her internship in 2011

Laura Hoover’s service displays exactly how involved she has been the past four years. She serves on the Student Advisory Board for Kelley's Institute for Social Impact (KISI). As a former vice president and president of the Emerging Markets Club, Hoover managed a student-run journal and connected with alumni to expand the networking opportunities for students.  Outside of campus, Hoover works at Habitat for Humanity, where she started summer of 2010 as a Supply Chain Management intern.

During the summer of 2011, Hoover embarked on an internship in Uganda through the Foundation for Sustainable Development in partnership with KISI. The foundation connects interns to international organizations who then work to improve community programs. Hoover worked with Organization for Rural Development (ORUDE) in Jinja, Uganda, in assessing and advising a local Savings and Credit Cooperative, or SACCO.

Her experience in Uganda inspired her to seek out Alfonso Pedraza-Martinez, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Operations and Decision Technologies to begin research on a capstone thesis.  She applied for and was awarded research grants to return to Uganda in December 2012. 

Hoover’s research examines whether international internships make any impact on the community. She interviewed former interns, Foundation for Sustainable Development facilitators, and organization directors, assessing what contributes to the success of internship experiences.

“It was a great experience to see how the brand images I designed are displayed and recognized around the SACCO I worked with over one year ago. My manager saw a change among members that they feel like a family now and care about how the SACCO is perceived," Hoover said. "It was interesting to see how this portion of my program was lasting and impactful and other intangible portions have been left out. This case and the other internship experiences I researched were very revealing about what type of intern programs are sustained and how that compares to whether the programs are successful in helping the nonprofit organization.”

Hoover accepted a position with Schneider National’s Rotational Leadership Program after graduation.

The Nile River flowing through Jinja, Uganda

The Nile River flowing through Jinja, Uganda


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