Dow Chemical increases amount of SAP scholarship, three students benefit


Dow Chemical Company increased the amount of the Dow/SAP Award of Excellence to $4,500 annually, an increase of $1,500.

This means more opportunities for students studying business.

Three students have received the scholarship this year, each awarded $750, instead of the $500 last year.

Midland graduate student Matt Hock, one of the recipients, said Dow's presence can certainly be seen within courses.

"Their guidance can be seen from the guest speakers who visit the classroom to how classes are taught," Hock said. "It really takes an excellent teaching and support staff working with businesses such as Dow to aid in preparing students for the business world."

Funding from Dow Chemical Company has made many opportunities and resources available to CMU students in the past, including the Dow Science Building and the Dow Learning Lab In Grawn, which has 48 computer workstations.

Dow often works with CMU largely because of the university's strong use of SAP programs. Dow Chemical Company is a Fortune 1000 company that uses the software, which is very expensive and difficult to implement within a business, said SAP University Alliance Director and professor of business information systems Frank Andera.

The familiarity with SAP software is a requirement for all business students at CMU, and is an extremely useful skill to have when entering the workforce, said SAP University Alliance Program Secretary Chelsea Kuchar.

"SAP software integrates all aspects of a company on to one system, for instance, from sales to production to delivery," the Chesaning senior said.

CMU has the most extensive use of SAP across the nation, making the school very competitive in the job market, Andera said.

"CMU has 100-percent placement of students in this program," he said. "Students are finding these opportunities and it's not a surprise, it's a reality. These skills are in high demand."

Copemish senior James Theobald, another recipient of the scholarship this year, is proud to be part of such a well-established and successful program.

"CMU's SAP program and its related Information Systems curriculum have gained recognition and support from the industry. Support from a major corporation like the Dow Chemical Company confirms the quality of the program," he said. "Dow wants to hire the best SAP people and those people are coming from CMU."

The distinction of this scholarship has benefits stretching beyond just the obvious financial aid aspect, Theobald said.

"Being recognized for SAP coursework by the Dow Chemical Company makes those individuals stand out," he said. "A number of my classmates who studied SAP have internships or full-time careers at Dow Chemical, including several who have won the SAP scholarship."

Theobald knows that such distinction does not come without much work beforehand, and appreciates being recognized for his work in the program.

"It feels really good to be rewarded for performance in coursework. A lot of the motivation related to coursework is intrinsic; there are no promotions, no raises and no bonuses," Theobald said. "So when hard work gets recognized and rewarded with a scholarship, it's really an amazing feeling."

Hock appreciates the honor as well, but said he cannot take all of the glory from his accomplishments.

"I really am honored to have received the scholarship," he said, "but it wouldn’t have been possible without the excellent teaching staff that has encouraged me to strive higher"

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