Harbert College of Business graduate Kenneth "Ryder" Digmon of Thomasville, Alabama, has been awarded a German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship, or DAAD.
Digmon, who graduated with a degree in supply chain management and a minor in German in fall 2016, will pursue a Master of Science degree in business administration with concentrations in supply chain management and information systems at the University of Cologne.
The DAAD Scholarship is Germany's premier scholarship program, and awards competitive merit-based grants for use toward study and/or research in Germany at any of the accredited German institutions of higher education.
As a graduate student in Cologne, the focus of Digmon's studies will be closed-loop and sustainable supply chains. Specifically, his research and course work will focus on the constraints of producing zero-emission automobiles and the challenges in broadly adopting such technologies. His long-term goals are to devise a better way to promote "green" supply chain innovation as it adapts to the demands for renewable energy.
"Five years ago, I was preparing to graduate high school and move to the big city of Auburn. Coming from a small town in rural west Alabama, my goals were set sky high," said Digmon. "For igniting the initial spark of curiosity about the German language and skillfully fostering my abilities throughout my undergraduate career, I'm forever grateful to the late professor of German, Tom Nadar. Additionally, I am very grateful to Mr. James Birdsong in the Department of Aviation Management for a summer of lessons about hard work and continuous support of my academic endeavors, and to my American government professor, Dr. Paul Harris who shared his love for Germany with me and who encouraged me to apply for this award."
Prior to graduating from Auburn, Digmon spent the 2015-16 academic year in Germany as a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals with the Technical University of Stuttgart. This program gives young professionals in both Germany and the United States the opportunity to spend one year in each other's countries–studying, interning and living with hosts as a cultural immersion program.
Among his more notable achievements, Digmon completed a semester-long internship with Daimler-Benz working in the global procurement division, served as a peer instructor with the Auburn Summer Programs and completed with "highest distinction" the rigorous test of German language administered by the Goethe-Institute. Digmon currently serves as an intern with Bosch Automotive Electronics in Stuttgart.