June Qiong Dong welcomes international scholars, students, partnerships

In this issue’s Spotlight, meet marketing and management professor June Qiong Dong, an expert in supply chain management. She helped forge an exchange program with her alma mater in China and continues to host and counsel international visitors to campus.

Q. Can you tell us about your Chinese and American names?
A. My real name is spelled Qiong, but sounds “June.” That’s why I changed my name. Qiong has two meanings. One is a wine, a good wine, and the other one actually means jade.

Q. Where were you born and educated?
A. I was born in Shanghai. I did my undergraduate in Shanghai Normal University, majoring in mathematics. Oswego has 2+2 exchange program and student research conference with them—a lot of connections. I did my master’s degree in Shanghai University for Science and Technology, in systems engineering.

Q. When and why did you come to the United States?
A. I came to the U.S. in 1990, a long time ago. It wasn’t so popular at that time to have female students as Ph.D. students (in China) and I really wanted to see the other side of the world, I had heard so much about the United States. I had the opportunity to study at UMass-Amherst, with very generous financial support.

Q. What are your areas of academic interest?
A. My doctorate was in management science. Basically, my interest is in mathematical modeling with applications in different areas—in engineering, in finance, now in supply chain management. I taught many courses, I think almost all the courses in the operations management major. I love to teach any of the courses in my major.

Q. What scholarly accomplishment are you most proud of?
A. (Co-author Anna Nagurney and I) actually built a model that was the first model in supply chain network equilibrium. We published a book called “Supernetworks: Decision-Making for the Information Age.” We look at supply chain from multiple networks’ perspectives—information network, transportation network, financial network. All these different networks have to work together. It was the first (book) in its way to look at those things.

Q. Why did you choose to come to SUNY Oswego after earning your doctorate?
A. I came to Oswego in 1994. I think it was the colleagues, actually. They were very friendly. I was so moved to meet all those people, like Chuck (Spector), who picked me up at the airport. Joan Carroll took me around with her kids in the car. I met a lot of great colleagues here. I am now among the senior faculty. (Laughs.)

Q. What do you think of the SUNY Oswego students you’ve encountered?
A. I see the difference from the beginning to now. They’re very friendly and a lot of them are very enthusiastic and eager to learn. They appreciate this opportunity. I was very surprised by the culture when I came here, at first. A student told me he had to miss class because he had to work. I said to him, “Your job is to study.” Later I realized that some students have to support themselves and some even have to support their families. I respect them a lot for that.

Q. Are you active with students who arrive here from other countries?
A. This is something I love to do. In the early 2000s or as early as 1998, I tried to make the connection with Shanghai Normal University. I bridged the two schools together. I love to see the exchange and the interaction between different students in other countries. A lot of Asian students, I think, feel comfortable to talk with me. I work with a lot of visiting scholars, and I host visiting scholars from China, as well.

Q. Have you seen improvements in the way international students adjust here?
A. I think our campus made a lot of efforts to bring services to our international students to make their lives in transition easier. We have students coming in with different training—they need a lot of guidance and advice, and I think at least in the School of Business we are talking about those issues. I see a lot of progress, and international students mingle with other students better. We have a Chinese Student Association. They organized a Chinese New Year party that was pretty big, two years ago.

Q. What does a host do for visiting scholars?
A. We have great support—we supply a lot of services, like computer printing, housing, travel. As a faculty host, we basically are the mentors. We work with them in terms of daily life, pickup from the airport, take them shopping, have dinners together, we meet regularly for academics and do research together. I have one now, and I had another two visiting scholars in the past. We try to pair the visiting scholars with faculty with similar interests.

Q. What is your own current research interest?
A. One (project) is almost done. I’m working with faculty members from SUNY Buffalo. We have a joint grant from SUNY. We are working on the U.S.-Canada bridge, the border bridge. I’m looking at the risk management part of supply chain management, (such as) disruption of the supply chain, how to select suppliers to manage the risk. I have working papers with one of our former visiting scholars.

Q. Do you work with local industries to provide career advice to students?
A. Once in awhile, I do. C.H. Robertson logistics company—they do the international part of shipping for companies such as Walmart—recruited some of our students for internships and then jobs. Also, some banks. I am the faculty adviser to SCOPE (Supply Chain and Operations Management) club. It is growing into an APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society) student chapter. They’re a very active club. They invited many speakers and organized company tours. We visited Budweiser, Frito-Lay and other places.

Q. What do you like to do outside work?
A. I like hiking. I spend a lot of time doing volunteer work at my kids’ school, F-M—Fayetteville-Manlius. We live in Manlius. Both my kids were on the Science Olympiad team. I spent time with the team, cooking, helping with whatever I could help with. My son Alex now is a sophomore at Cornell. My daughter Alena is a junior in high school.

Q. What else can you tell us about your family?
A. I visit my parents in China, mostly every year. They lived in Oswego for several years and in Manlius for several years. They are in Tianjin near Beijing. All my friends are in Shanghai, so I spend some time in both places.