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Transdisciplinary Student Project with Micron

Stacy Branzova, Aileen Campos, Jacob Garafalo, Kegan Kastner, Sophia Mitchell and Josef Sandahl.

During the Spring of 2020, the College of Business and Economics’ (COBE) Department of Information Technology and Supply Chain Management partnered with Micron Technology on a semester-long, student-led project. The transdisciplinary project team, consisting of four supply chain management students (Stacy Branzova, Aileen Campos, Kegan Kastner and Josef Sandahl) and two students from the College of Engineering (Jacob Garafalo and Sophia Mitchell), investigated an operational challenge faced by Micron and provided recommendations on how to improve the issue. The team was mentored by COBE faculty James Kroes, Ph.D., professor of supply chain management and Dan Rush, Ph.D., associate professor of information technology management.

The project required the students to leverage and further develop their data analysis and project management skills. The team was initially provided with a large dataset, consisting of several hundred thousand observations, which they had to interpret and piece together to develop an understanding of the issue. Additionally, the students organized and led weekly project meetings with the Micron team, which taught them valuable lessons on teamwork and meeting etiquette. The project also forced the students to rapidly develop the skills needed to operate remotely as their in-person meetings ceased during the middle of the semester due to COVID-19.

This effort was a great practical learning experience for the students and project participant, Josef Sandahl will be joining Micron as a manufacturing technician.

“I am grateful for the meaningful opportunities the College of Business and Economics provided to connect with local companies. This project was a highlight of my four years at Boise State, and it felt rewarding to work with real data from a real company to provide solutions that are now actually being implemented,” said Sandahl. “We all grew immensely in both our hard and soft skills as a result of the project. This opportunity also led to a job for me at Micron after graduating and helped me to launch my career. In short, the College of Business and Economics not only provided me with relevant classroom teaching but also open doors to leading local businesses.”

The project provided Micron with valuable insight into a challenging operational issue. Both the ITSCM department and Micron are excited to continue this partnership over the coming years.