2015 Andrew Schultz, Jr. awards go to Michael Tillman and Mary Tapscott, granddaughter of the late College of Engineering Dean.
At a graduation ceremony on Commencement weekend, Master of Engineering Director Kathryn Caggiano announced this year’s recipients of the Andrew S. Schultz, Jr. award. The award honors the late head of ORIE's predecessor Department of Industrial Engineering and Administration, who served as Dean of the College of Engineering during years when Operations Research became established in the College. It goes to the most outstanding Master of Engineering students, as evidenced by high academic achievement, exceptional teamwork, and demonstrated potential to become exemplary professional citizens.
This year’s honorees are Michael Tillman and Mary Tapscott.
Tillman, who did not attend the ceremony, is a summa cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College. As an M. Eng. student he was a member of the prize-winning team that analyzed operating room scheduling at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. Now he is a Senior Analyst in the health care group in the Minneapolis office of Kurt Salmon, a consulting firm that has employed many ORIE alumni.
Tapscott, a Houston native who was an undergraduate in ORIE, said of her and her family that “this award is extremely meaningful to us in particular… and we are very familiar with the good for which it stands.” The prize is a legacy of Lynn E. Bussey ’43 ME ’47 in honor of Tapscott’s grandfather, for whom it is named, and was first awarded 25 years ago.
Like Tapscott, Andrew S. Schultz, Jr. earned his BS at Cornell, in his case in Administrative and Mechanical Engineering. In 1941 he received a Cornell PhD in Administrative Engineering and after service in WWII, he returned to Cornell as a faculty member in what had been his undergraduate department. He advanced to be named department head and in 1963 became the fifth Dean of the College of Engineering. During his deanship he established industrial engineering as a separate department and oversaw the creation both of Cornell’s first courses in operations research and, in 1965, the establishment of both the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and the college-wide Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program. Nationally, he was a leader in the major transformation of industrial engineering from a qualitative to a more quantitative discipline
At the graduation ceremony Dr. Kathryn Caggiano, the current ORIE M.Eng. Director, noted the special significance of Mary’s award 50 years after her grandfather established both the degree and the unit that was awarding it to her. “I just hope I’ve lived up to Andy Schultz’s name,” Tapscott said, “and I still can’t believe how the fates have aligned so coincidentally.”
Caggiano praised the accomplishments during her M.Eng. year that led to Tapscott receiving the Schultz award. She served as co-chair of the Master of Engineering Student Leadership Committee and was a key member of the Master of Engineering team that analyzed the operation of a proposed Pitney Bowes center intended to process packages for international shipment. Tapscott played an important leadership role on the team, handled relationships with the Pitney Bowes client, and carried out database and data analysis tasks.
Because she had already taken several required M.Eng. courses as an undergraduate, Tapscott had room in her schedule to complete a second concentration, the Semester in Strategic Operations (SSO), as well. SSO is a program in the Johnson Graduate School of Management, open to M.Eng. students from ORIE, that “was a great experience and vastly different from the type of learning to which I am accustomed in the engineering college,” Tapscott said. “I was able to focus on application over theory and learned from our many site visits to different businesses across the Northeast, and was even able to participate in a company’s Kaizen event.” According to Caggiano, it is extremely rare for an M.Eng. student to complete two concentrations in the program.
Tapscott has joined a Virginia office of consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where she is an operations research analyst and consults in the area of mission operations for the Department of Defense. Her work there involves quantitative analysis and simulation modelling.
The Schultz name is prominent in Tapscott’s family. Her full name is Mary Schultz Tapscott. Her mother is Susan Schultz Tapscott and her grandfather’s name is Andrew Schultz Schultz, Jr.