Messer receives national scholarship for second time

When Samantha Messer started looking toward a career, she had a few requirements.

“I always knew I wanted to enter a field that was dynamic with many opportunities for growth and challenges,” she said. “Working in distribution and logistics is a perfect fit. The field is growing dramatically, and I am excited to be a part of it.”

Messer is a senior in East Carolina University’s industrial distribution and logistics (IDIS) program in the Department of Technology Systems. She’s also ECU’s first two-time recipient of a national scholarship from the Material Handling Education Foundation Inc., (MHEFI).

“I have worked very hard to get to this point. It feels good to know that others see the effort I have put in and want to help me reach my goals by relieving some financial stress,” Messer said. “I am so appreciative of the donors, and I hope to one day be in the same position of those who have helped me, so that I may bless someone in the same way.”

After receiving the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association scholarship last year, she’s received the $5,000 Howard Bernstein Honor Scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year. The distance education student from Rutherfordton in western North Carolina described her reaction to receiving back-to-back recognition from MHEFI as “15% shock, 40% excitement and 45% relief.”

“Not only am I a full-time student, but I am also a full-time mom with a full-time job,” she said. “As you can imagine, I have many responsibilities daily that I am thinking about and making sure they are completed. Not having to figure out how I am going to budget for my senior year is a huge blessing. It is one less responsibility, on a plate full, that I can put away and not have to think about anymore because it has been taken care of.”

Messer said distribution and logistics offers plenty of career choices.

“Global logistics is rapidly changing. There are so many new technological advancements and processes. I hope to continually learn new skills throughout my career,” she said. “I never want to be in a spot where I’m comfortable. I want to keep challenging myself to advance my knowledge. I really do find my career choice fascinating. I am looking forward to where it leads me.”

When she decided on distribution and logistics, ECU was an obvious choice for her education, she said.

“Who wouldn’t want to be a Pirate?” she said. “I read good things about the program before transferring to ECU. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I made a great choice. I love the IDIS department.”

She said she appreciates the program’s faculty, specifically mentioning Dr. Mark Angolia and Natalie Aman.

“My most enjoyable experience as a distance education student has been getting to know the wonderful staff for my program,” Messer said.

She said she thanks God for many blessings in her life, including the biggest lesson she’s learned while attending ECU.

“Get used to change,” Messer said. “I mentioned earlier how the distribution and supply chain industry is changing rapidly. This can also be applied to our personal lives, especially with everything that has happened since the pandemic. I think it’s important for everyone to remember that change is always going to occur, and we can’t stop it. What we can do is adapt. Be flexible to change, internally and externally.”

Established in 1976, the Material Handling Education Foundation is an independent charitable organization that aims to engage and attract students to the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry by providing financial support. The foundation offers scholarships up to $6,000 to undergraduate students pursuing material handling, logistics or supply chain careers. Students who receive scholarships demonstrate dedication to achieving excellence, strong leadership skills, potential for future growth as leaders and persistence in the pursuit of education.