It’s amazing how quickly 20 years goes by! As a graduate of UNT, I have always been proud of the institution. I admire the dedication and passion this university and the faculty have for its students. After working in the Transportation and Supply chain industry for over 30 years, I have come to better understand what our industry is in need of with respect to upcoming young and talented people.
Dr. Ron Hasty must have felt the same way when he started the Texas Logistics Education Foundation in 1996. The North Texas region schools lacked Supply Chain programs and therefore qualified job candidates with logistics degrees came from out of state. Well, Dr. Hasty decided to change that and with the help of several other logistics professionals, he started this successful foundation, which laid the foundation for the UNT Logistics Program. Today, the foundation is known as the Center for Logistics Education and Research or simply, the Logistics Center. In 1997, the University of North Texas became the first school in the North Texas region to offer a logistics degree with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s support. Eight years later, the UNT Logistics and Supply Chain Management program was officially named the 3rd leading program in the nation for its research and incorporation of industry technology and advancements in its education.
It’s amazing what a vision and some hard work will do. Thanks to Dr. Ron Hasty’s vision in laying the ground work and the continued efforts of the current Director, Dr. Terry Pohlen, UNT has and continues to educate and develop leaders in our Supply Chain and Transportation industry. I had the great pleasure of meeting Ron in about 2000 when he approached me about having a hand in the UNT Supply Chain students’ education. He asked if I would consider providing internships to a few of these students so they can have firsthand experience in the transportation and logistics field. I thought this was a great idea and NT Logistics began offering internships, as well as did many other DFW companies. In the past 16 years, NT has opened its doors to many bright and eager students, who will have an impact in this field. Many became and are still full time employees of NT Logistics.
It was an honor to attend the Logistics Program 20th Anniversary open house April 22nd. The focal point of this event was the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for their newly expanded Complex Logistics Systems Laboratory. Directed by Dr. Brian Sauser, the technology that this new facility utilizes is something we only dreamed of 30 years ago. This laboratory allows for the ability to conduct a more interactive analysis by performing logistics simulation, data visualization, and even 3-D modeling! In cooperation with industry, the faculty and student researchers dedicate their time to these models and simulations to calculate the best, most efficient practices, while cutting costs. As an outsourced logistics provider, this is something NT Logistics consistently strives to do in order to leverage our services to our customers. As the program has always done, this new Laboratory will partner with industry leaders and providers to benefit both the students and the participants.
Being back on UNT’s campus was very nostalgic and brought me back to some of my best college days. I attended as one of the program’s Board of Directors, which has been an honor in itself since April 2013. Dr. Pohlen, the current Director, invited me to join the board and I have come to admire his incredible leadership and direction for the program. His genuine passion and dedication for the program and its students is truly a key element in the program’s continued success. While at the event, I had the opportunity to visit with both Dr. Hasty and Dr. Pohlen; it was great to connect with those two gentlemen who together represent the founding, the advancement, and the future of the Logistics Program.
Dr. Hasty certainly began a great program and it is an honor to have witnessed its beginning. Under the leadership and vision of Dr. Terry Pohlen, the Center and the Program continues to reach new heights and it is amazing to see these newest achievements firsthand. The list of competitions that the students attend and win continues to compound and add notoriety to the program. Working with the Capstone class has given me an opportunity to work closely with these logisticians of tomorrow. Being around some of the best and brightest, led and taught by the same is a true joy for me.
Listed below are just a few out of the many awards UNT Logistics students have won:
From left to right: Dr. Terry Pohlen, Lynn Gravley, and Dr. Ron Hasty