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AU News

Supply Chain Students Embarking on Great Package Race

February 18, 2021
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Supply chain students from the Anderson University College of Business are learning about logistics while supporting humanitarian work overseas. Pictured is Glenn Ansley, his wife and two of his daughters in Italy.

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Supply chain students from the Anderson University College of Business are embarking on a project to benefit a missionary family overseas.

The Great Package Race started when Dr. Kimberly Whitehead, associate professor of quantitative management at the Anderson University College of Business, learned about a competition at another institution in which students gain practical experience in logistics. She decided to bring this idea to Anderson Universitywith one notable change. 

Whitehead contacted a missionary family to learn what supplies are helpful to their mission. In the fall of 2019, she assigned groups in one of her supply chain classes to a project named “The Great Package Race.” Students in each group were assigned a shipping carrier with whom they had to transport a box of supplies across the world to a missionary family in Zambia. 

That first Great Package Race was successful, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions on shipping goods to other countries, the 2020 competition was canceled. 

This year, student groups plan to send packages to a family working with a church plant in Ferarra, Italy. 

The supplies consist of necessities a missionary family requests in order to aid them in their mission. The boxes could contain a variety of items, including Play Doh, Bibles, markers, brownie mix or other needed items. In addition to the cost of the items, money has to be allocated for shipping. 

Funding for the project is largely contributed by business donors. Though some support has been raised, more is needed.

“The humanitarian need was added first to teach logistics students about the necessity of aiding in the welfare of others,” Dr. Whitehead said. “Our world relies on people filling this need. The second reason was so that students could witness first-hand how supply chain affects people in their day-to-day lives around the world.”   

With plans to bring back this unique project, there is a great amount of financial support needed. 

“This project is so beneficial and makes a huge difference in missionaries’ families lives, but is expensive in nature. We are looking for business and individual donors that want to be a part of something greater. Every contribution makes a difference,” Dr. Whitehead said. 

For details and to support the Great Package Race, contact Dr. Kimberly Whitehead.

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