Designing and Assessing a Multidisciplinary Service-Learning Course in Supply Chain Management Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper, we describe an innovative design for a multidisciplinary service-learning course on supply chain management in the industrial distribution program housed in the College of Engineering at a large research university in Texas. The purpose of this course was to increase students technical expertise and build a mindset and skills needed to tackle current societal issues, raising their social responsibility and enhancing civic-mindedness. The course combined curricular learning with community service, applying the content of academic disciplines to practice. It brought students from industrial distribution and sociology together to help food pantries to improve their operational efficiencies so that the food pantries can serve more people and work toward their goal. In this project, student groups identified the specific needs of community food pantries. They recommended solutions to improve operational efficiency so that they could use their technical skills to address the challenges and make an impact on the communities. In addition, student groups interacted with partner agencies via technologies that aided distance communication, which facilitated partnerships in remote locations. We also evaluated this project. The results reveal that this project had an impact on students personal and professional development as well as the community.

published proceedings

  • INFORMS Transactions on Education

author list (cited authors)

  • Natarajarathinam, M., Qiu, S., & Lu, W.

complete list of authors

  • Natarajarathinam, Malini||Qiu, Shaoping||Lu, Wei

publication date

  • January 2022