Project Management Graduate Students Win GGU & American Society for Quality® Scholarships For Research Papers

Yoko and Anna Project Management Degree San Franciscoedited

(left to right): Anna Noel, John Sourial, ASQ® San Francisco Secretary, and Ms. Hui-ling (Yoko) Ling

Each year, a few GGU student award-winners have the opportunity to present their research on quality and process improvement to industry professionals belonging to ASQ (The American Society for Quality) and earn tuition scholarships in the process. This opportunity is thanks to the sponsorship of GGU Quality Management Professor Shinmei  Kiyohara.

Anna Noel (MS, Project Management candidate) described how a Six Sigma approach to Quality Management was successfully applied to improve nursing-staff performance in a Dallas, TX area hospital. The Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) approach was also used and successfully addressed upper management’s goals for the 600-bed facility. As a result, a key medical procedure was reduced from 43 to 30 minutes, an adjustment to the shift-change procedure resulted in adequate staffing — and nurses enjoyed that they did not have to walk as far during their shifts.

Hui-ling (Yoko) Ling’s (MS, Project Management candidate) winning paper, “Improving Production with DMAIC Case Analysis,” describes a company with long-standing delivery-time issues. In her presentation, Ling outlined a case study about the company’s long throughput time (TPT) and the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology used to improve the TPT process.

“I’m proud of these students’ accomplishments.” Says Marie Spark, MBA, PMP®, Project Management Program Director & Lecturer.” To me, Golden Gate University is all about providing our students with hands-on experience and the chance to share knowledge with industry professionals. “

Applying Six Sigma & DMAIC to Healthcare Procedures
A list of papers and reports from Anna Noel, a scholarship winner.

“PMP” is a registered mark of Project Management
Institute, Inc.

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International Graduate Students at GGU in San Francisco

In honor of International Education Week, we’d like to share the stories of students from overseas who are in graduate school at GGU’s San Francisco campus. Among the international students from over 46 countries are:

Tsovinar Yenokyan (MS, Marketing ’18), Armenia


Tsovinar has been driven to succeed from an early age. She started to work at age 16, which was not common in her native country of Armenia, and began what she calls her, “long-lasting relationship with marketing.” Two years later, she took a Brand Manager position at Starcom Mediavest in Armenia.

Each student has an advisor and mine has been helpful in answering questions about student Visas and my curriculum.

Tsovinar’s story >>

Jatin Jaiswal (MBA, Marketing Concentration ’17), India

Jatin made his way from India to Golden Gate University in part to take advantage of San Francisco’s innovative technology environment. He landed an internship at a local start-up called FinTech School where he applies skills he picked up at GGU such as SEO, email marketing, and social media. But he says a big part of his education has been learning how to collaborate with people with different backgrounds and personalities.

Steve Jobs said that people are there to help you and all you have to do is ask. In San Francisco, I had coffee with people from Salesforce just by writing them through LinkedIn.  You may not get a job, but it leads to the next thing.

Jatin’s story >>

Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng (MBA, Supply Chain ’17), China

Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng is from China where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Law from Shanghai’s Customs College. After working in import and export operations, she wanted to expand her career. Golden Gate University provided a very comprehensive program in Supply Chain that covered the aspects of operations she found the most interesting: strategy and tactical operations.

San Francisco is a very welcoming place and people from different cultures feel comfortable here. There are young, energetic people here who are absorbing new information every day. These are the reasons I want to stay here after I complete my degree.

Anna’s story >>

Hussain Aziz Sham (MS, Marketing ’19), India / Dubai

Hussain a member of the Student IT Advisory Board, a Graduate Student Assistant in the GGU eLearning Department, and Vice President of the GGU Marketing Club. The members of the club participated in the Marketing Edge competition this year, which challenges student teams to produce a marketing plan to solve a real marketing problem posed by a real company.


At GGU, you will have the chance to meet, collaborate and make friendship with students who come from all over the world – India, the Middle East, China, and others — and bring their unique experience into classroom discussions and projects.

Hussain’s story >>

Learn how GGU supports its international students from start to finish >>

Starting a Career in Supply Chain–the Right Field for Me


Anne-Mari Parkkinen (MBA ‘08) is a Supply Chain Analyst at Sonic Manufacturing Technologies.

A career in Supply Chain is not often on the minds of people that are starting an MBA program. I didn’t have a clear view of what I wanted to major when I applied. During a two-day orientation for international students at GGU, the line for the Supply Chain program table not as long as the others—only because people like me did not know much about it. When I got to the table and met program chair Richard Dawe, I began to discover that the Supply Chain career would the right fit for me.

I don’t consider myself a ‘math person.’ I like the fact that much of my job requires human judgment and making a proper interpretation of data.

What is Supply chain? 

The Supply Chain includes everything that happens from raw material to the end product in a customer’s hand. This includes many things such as procurement and logistics — getting the right products or services to where they need to be.  All companies are complex, and if their employees only think about the end product, it may be more expensive to get it to the customer in the long run. Everyone talks about product price in terms of Supply Chain, but it includes logistics and dealing with manufacturers and choosing the best one that can deliver the part ASAP. There are various roles in the field such a logistics expert, Supply Chain analyst (as I am), or Supply Chain manager just to mention a few.

Because Supply Chain is so important to a company’s bottom line, more people need to take advantage of opportunities in the field. Every type of company needs logistics or supply chain professional, and there are many vacancies. There is also a trend of manufacturing returning to the U.S. which will increase demand.  Supply Chain is also a very good field to enter because it relates to all industries.

The demand-to-supply ratio of jobs to qualified individuals is six to one.
— Supply and Demand Chain Executive Magazine (2016)

Why I Like It

Supply Chain jobs can be surprisingly rewarding. This career fits my love of research and solving logical puzzles. Supply Chain is not a mathematical discipline, and I don’t consider myself a “math person.”  I like the fact that much of my job requires human judgment and making a proper interpretation of data—how to sort it and decide what the most important factors are.  I enjoy doing the research to help me come to my conclusions. Another part of what I love about my job is getting to find out about every physical aspect of a product and learn what makes it work.

My Experience at Golden Gate University

I got an MBA from GGU with a field of study that included Operations, Supply Chain Management, International Logistics, and Project Management. Here is what I liked most about my experience:

  • The faculty teach from their real-world experience
  • Many fellow students were working adults, which gave me more insights into the supply chain and its wider business context.
  • The education is actually relevant to what I need in my job today.
  • Classes are very interactive and conversational. We are problem solving all the time rather than hearing lectures.

I really enjoyed studying in GGU and would absolutely recommend it to everyone who is thinking about pursuing their career with MBA.

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The Intersection of Supply Chain Management, Sustainability, and Education

By Rex Ryan Magadia

Rex Ryan Magadia graduates in 2017 from GGU’s MBA program with a concentration in Global Supply Chain Management.

In one of my favorite books, Connectography by Parag Khanna, the author states that “Supply Chains are the greatest blessing and the greatest curse for civilization. They are an escape from the prison of geography, creating economic opportunities where none existed, bringing ideas, technologies, and business practices to places that lack the advantages of good climate and soil or other propitious variables. Now for the bad news:  Supply chains are “…also a conduit for plundering the world’s rain forests and pumping emissions into the atmosphere.”

Businesses are here to stay. Thus, looking through this paradigm, the next logical step is to ensure that businesses are run in the most sustainable and ethical way possible. This is done by developing good governance practices and taking a holistic approach when it comes to managing the social, environmental, and economic impacts of a business’s product and service life cycles. Examples include any policy or business practice that addresses human rights and labor, the environment, and anti-corruption in supply chain operations. An example may be creating more sustainable products that have fewer environmental impacts and ensuring that worker rights are respected throughout the supply chain.

It is not just the world’s rain forests which are at risk. For example, in the Philippines where tens of millions of people rely on healthy oceans/reefs for food, income, and protection from storms, supply chains are the mechanism that enables overfishing. Fish is the primary source of protein in the Philippines and if the global supply chains which operate in the Philippines are not managed in a more sustainable way, this vital life-support system will eventually disappear, leaving tens of millions of people in a state of low food security. My family is from the Philippines, and it’s been a goal of mine to teach environmental and supply chain sustainability there someday.

My GGU education was focused on real-world success from day one.

Career Transition

After I completed my B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Cal Poly, I worked as an engineer. I felt that my career path would be limited moving forward without having some sort of business background. In addition, I had been introduced to the concept of supply chain management and I saw this as the ideal field for me to pursue my passion for sustainability.

My greatest challenge in completing my degree was to achieve academic excellence in my role as a student/scholar while also finding the time to develop and meet goals that I’ve set in regards to my personal roles such as son, brother, lover, climate activist, teacher/mentor, and explorer.

My mission is to dedicate my life to helping others acquire the requisite knowledge, skills, and values to build a just and sustainable world.

My GGU education was focused on real-world success from day one. In an introductory global supply chain management (GSCM) course, Dr. Richard Dawe had us complete a Career Questionnaire & Career Plan to help us set a path for the rest of our graduate degree studies. Many, if not all, of my subsequent accomplishments were a direct result of the initial planning steps and actions that I took early in that introductory class. When it comes time to join a world-class supply management organization, I will be readily qualified and have the necessary knowledge and experience to do so.

GGU faculty members have had an immensely positive impact on my development as a student and as a human being. I’d like to give special thanks to Dr. Richard Dawe as well as Dr. Douglass Carlberg (Global Supply Chain Management Applications & Analytics) and Professor Howard Bernstein (Management Information Systems).

Changing the World

I believe that sustainability and climate change are the defining challenges of our generation. For this reason, I have worked to develop chain sustainability and climate change as my two primary knowledge areas. Over the course of the next ten years, I plan to work within this space and gain as much relevant experience and knowledge as I can. Ultimately my destination is education. As mentioned above, I’d like to one day teach supply chain sustainability within the context of climate change at the university level, perhaps in the Philippines. What I love about teaching and tutoring is the one-on-one interaction with students. As Dag Hammarskjold, Nobel Peace Prize recipient once said, “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.” My mission is to dedicate my life to helping others acquire the requisite knowledge, skills, and values to build a just and sustainable world.

About Rex Ryan Magadia, CPSM, CPSD

Rex Ryan Magadia‘s accomplishments include: a 4.0 GPA in GGU’s MBA Program, GGU GSCM Outstanding Award Winner (2017, ISM 2016 Graduate Student of the Year (Northern California Chapter), APICS 2016 L.L. Waters Scholar, APICS supply chain management magazine regular contributing author, APICS Editorial Advisory Board Member, and CSCMP Scholarship AGC Ambassador Award Winner (2017).  Magadia is also in the process of writing a 10-part series for APICS Magazine in which he will highlight a particular skill that young professionals will need to succeed in an increasingly dynamic and complex global supply chain environment. Rex is a certified CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management) and CPSD (Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity).

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MBA Graduate Students Honored by Prestigious Supply Chain Organization

Rex Ryan Magadia (MBA ’17) and Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng (MBA ’17) have won awards from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – San Francisco Roundtable (CSCMP-SFRT). Both students selected a concentration in global supply chain management at GGU and study at the San Francisco campus. The pair was selected for the 2017 honors on the strength of their academic accomplishments and essays on their future careers in supply chain management. Zeng received a scholarship award and Magadia won a trip to the national CSCMP conference where he will represent GGU among the thousands of participants.

Left to Right: Rex Ryan Magadia; Dr. Richard Dawe, Director and Professor, Global Supply Chain Management Program; and Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng

Zeng’s undergraduate degree in law has helped her develop analytical and deductive reasoning skills along with an understanding of detailed laws, regulations, and customs. Magadia’s undergraduate degree in environmental engineering from Cal Poly reflects his engineer’s penchant for details, and he is also passionate about the intersection between the supply chain and societal issues. Born and raised in the central valley of California, he is the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

Both scholarship recipients are highly focused on the coursework and activities outside the classroom such as membership in CSCMP and attendance at local events. One of the reasons they chose GGU was the close affiliation that we have with industry, particularly through the excellent local professional organizations like CSCMP-SFRT. We truly believe that the habits you form in school will be those you take to your career.

—Dr. Richard Dawe, Director and Professor, Global Supply Chain Management Program

In the near future, Zeng wants to focus on the management of international trade operations while Magadia is interested in the advanced technologies and the supply chain’s impact on future society, sustainability, and risk factors. He will also be honored next month with the ‘Outstanding Student Award’ for the Global Supply Chain Management program this year.

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Learning the Real World of Supply Chain Management: The Story of a Chinese Student

By Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng (MBA ’17)

I am enrolled in Golden Gate University’s MBA program with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. I am from China and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. My bachelor’s degree in Law is from Customs College in Shanghai. After working in import and export operations, I wanted to expand my career. I was looking for a graduate school, I saw that Golden Gate University provided a very comprehensive program that covered the aspects of operations I find most interesting—strategy and tactical operations. My study also helps me understand the operational decisions of U.S. companies more thoroughly.

I like San Francisco because it is a fast-paced city where I can meet different kinds of people. It’s a very welcoming place and people from different cultures feel comfortable here. There are young, energetic people here who are absorbing new information every day. These are the reasons I want to stay here after I complete my degree.

GGU gives us more than just academic classes, lectures, and research-paper assignments. The classes are structured to build skills that will help us get our footing in the business world.

Real-World Education

GGU gives us more than just academic classes, lectures, and research-paper assignments. The classes are structured to build skills that will help us get our footing in the business world. Here are some of my experiences:

  • Any real-time news about companies can become a problem-solving exercise in class.
  • We had an amazing guest speaker from PCH Lime Lab: a company that helps startups in the San Francisco Bay Area build prototypes and put them into mass production in Asia.
  • Professor Douglas Carlberg took my class to tour DHL’s facility in San Francisco. The streamlined environment, simplified processes, and the responsible staff were quite impressive to us.
  • The discussions among students with professional experience, and with our professors who are working in the field of supply chain, have been inspirational and keep moving me toward becoming an excellent supply chain professional.

Job Networking in the US

GGU professors give great suggestions for our career development. At the suggestion of Professor Richard Dawe, I volunteered and attended events at organizations such as the Institute for Supply Management, Women in Logistics, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, and the Bio Supply Management Alliance. I also had informational interviews at Genentech, Kaiser Permanente, and Tesla. Those visits gave me an opportunity to learn about the organizations and build a relationship with the people there.

I like San Francisco because it is a fast-paced city where I can meet different kinds of people. It’s a very welcoming place and people from different cultures feel comfortable here.

Working as One

We cannot accomplish any complex supply-chain project solely by ourselves. Teamwork is an important part of our work and is built on trust and understanding. At GGU, my classmates and I have multiple platforms— in class and at networking events — to form these relationships. All these experiences will help us achieve better performances in the real-world of business.

About Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng

Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng is in the MBA program (’17) with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. She enjoys working in purchasing and will pursue a strategic sourcing position in the future. Zeng was awarded a scholarship in 2016 from Women In Logistics and won an Academic Excellence Award in 2017 from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – San Francisco Roundtable.

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