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Nancy Gonzalez presents on vaccine supply chains at regional conference

Published on May 03, 2022

Nancy Gonzalez presents on vaccine supply chains at regional conference

Nancy Gonzalez presented her research team’s poster at the Northeast Decision Science Institute’s (NESDI) annual conference.

Gonzalez explains the research to John Maleyeff, professor of administrative sciences at Boston University.

In addition to Gonzalez, the project’s researchers include Business Administration majors Nicole Thomassen ’22 and Merita Cecunjanin ’21, and Health Sciences major Aidan Dunn ’22.

Health Sciences major Nancy Gonzalez ’22 presented research at the Northeast Decision Science Institute’s (NEDSI) 51st annual conference in Newark, NJ, on April 7–9. Representing a four-student team of researchers from Eastern, including Nicole Thomassen ’22, Aidan Dunn ’22 and Merita Cecunjanin ’21, Gonzalez presented the group’s project, “Vaccine Supply Chain (VSC) Systems: An Analysis Using Operations Management Perspective.” 

The research was part of an independent study with Management Professor Fatma Pakdil. The NEDSI conference was Gonzalez’s first research conference. She said she was happy that the team’s study helped her to learn more about supply chain issues in today’s economy.

“We learned that a supply chain system consists of suppliers, producers, multiple levels of distribution centers and end users in the marketplaces,” said Gonzalez. “We used the systematic literature review (SLR) method proposed by experts in the field of operations management, which contains three main stages: 1) planning, 2) conducting the review and 3) reporting the review. This experience really expanded my interest in research and improved my presenting skills. It was great meeting new people, learning from other presenters, and creating new ideas and questions from various topics.”

Thomassen said the independent course exposed her to the world of databases. “Professor Pakdil was extremely helpful in navigating the database websites and explaining her expectations for this course. Conducting research and reading through the research papers assigned has prepared me for my other courses as well. On top of this, we discovered the different types of vaccines used in different areas of the country, as well as the various methods used in each article we uncovered. As a result, we were able to find the most common methods used in the literature.”

Cecunjanin said once she learned that Pakdil was offering an independent study on vaccine supply chain systems, she knew she wanted to enroll in the course. “Living in a COVID world, I did not know much about our vaccine systems. Whether it was reading articles, journals or having a guest speaker, our team was able to gather pages of research. Taking this course allowed me to learn about the different factors that go into vaccine supply chains, such as materials, costs and transportation. After completing the course, I can confidently say that I have thoroughly researched the different vaccine supply chain systems and plan to use this experience in my future career in healthcare.”

Pakdil spoke highly of Gonzalez and her co-researchers. “Given the current needs emerging in the national and global public health systems, this student study focused on analyzing VSC systems-related literature in depth. By reviewing the literature on VSC systems, their research aimed to answer what has been found about VSCs in previous studies reported in literature, and what was found in previous VSCs regarding components such as operations management, public health related methods, various tools and techniques and previous approaches.” 

Written by Dwight Bachman