Kettering honors UPS

Oct 12, 2006

The 2006 Kettering University West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award was presented to the UPS Michigan district headquarters in Grand Rapids during ceremonies Oct. 12.

The UPS Michigan district headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich., received the 2006 Kettering University West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award during ceremonies Thursday, Oct. 12, at a reception in Grand Rapids. Kettering executives presented the award in recognition and appreciation of the company's continued support of professional co-op students.

Kettering selected UPS from a list of 39 cooperative education partners in West Michigan, an area comprised of Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties. Kettering and UPS have enjoyed a successful cooperative education relationship since 1989. The company currently employs 67 Kettering students in 31 locations nationwide, with seven students assigned to the Grand Rapids facility. The seven students working in Grand Rapids are


  • Steven Boylston, a freshman from Grand Rapids majoring in Industrial Engineering;
  • Paul Durkee, a sophomore from Battle Creek majoring in Industrial Engineering;
  • Lauren Richardson, a freshman from Grand Rapids majoring in Industrial Engineering;
  • Mark Shultheiss, a senior from Burton, Mich.;
  • Tabitha Theurer, a senior from Adrian majoring in Industrial Engineering;
  • Justin Zuehlke, a senior from Davison; and
  • Kristen May, a junior from Detroit, Mich.

Bob Nichols, vice president of Corporate Relations and Enrollment Services, praised UPS for the dedication toward Kettering and its students for the past 17 years. "UPS andKettering are in many ways a 'perfect fit,'" hesaid, using the phrase "perfect fit" from Kettering's current marketing campaign to attract new students to the University. "UPS-Grand Rapids has continued its long standing commitment to Kettering through good times and bad and the Grand Rapids facility has had the longest UPS relationship of all 31 company facilities," he added. He also said that UPS is a strong proponent of promoting within its organization, something that fits Kettering's developmental approach to cooperative education well.

This commitment to the school also extends beyond cooperative education assignments. Albert Wright, vice president of Engineering at UPS, is an active member of Kettering's Board of Trustees. Additionally, Brad Fitzgerald, director of Supply Chain Solutions, is a member of the institution's Business School Advisory Board. The company also is present at every possible campus event they can attend and requests more Kettering co-op students each year at facilities throughout the country.

The West Michigan area is developing into a hotbed for high-achieving cooperative education students and activities. The University boasts a number of alumni who reside in West Michigan, including Armen Oumedian of Grand Rapids. As a businessman in this part of the state, Oumedian has helped promote Kettering and its cooperative education program to hundreds of West Michigan companies like UPS and assisted in identifying numerous co-op opportunities for Kettering students.

Kettering's professional cooperative education program for undergraduate students consists of alternating terms of classroom study and career-related work. The work component represents a significant portion of the student's curricula and each student's level of professional responsibility typically increases as they complete advanced work.

Carmon Liversedge, who is a corporate relations manager servicing the West Michigan region, said that this award, "is given annually to a West Michigan co-op employer partner who is nominated based on the length and continuity of our partnership, innovative educational work plans that support Kettering University students' academic and professional development, alumni involvement, positive student and employer evaluations and a host of other criteria. UPS in Grand Rapids exceeds in all of these areas."

Past winners of this honor include Steelcase of Grand Rapids in 2005, Gill Industries in 2004, Cascade Engineering in 2003 and Siemens Dematic (formerly Rapistan) in 2002.

Founded in 1907 as a messenger company in the United States, UPS has grown into a $42.6 billion corporation by clearly focusing on the goal of enabling commerce around the globe. Today UPS is a global company with one of the most recognized and admired brands in the world. It has become the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. Every day, UPS manages the flow of goods, funds, and information in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Written by Gary J. Erwin
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